Today is a day that reminds me of grief and anger. But also beauty and courage. A bit of a personal blog, if you will excuse me. The 5th of November is a day etched into my brain, a day I will never forget, a date as immobile in my mind as my own birthday, Christmas, New Year’s day.
Today marks the date that my best friend committed suicide.
In my life, I carried many coffins to their graves. I have been no stranger to that which we must all face in our lives. Some funerals I’ve attended were for people younger than me, and those are always scary. I attended funerals where there were no tears, for the departed was not exactly “dearly”. I carried my grandmother to her grave in an anguish I did not know was possible. I was at the funeral for my uncle, who was a de-facto second father to me when I was a kid. I sat staring wide-eyed in disbelief at the coffin of the woman who turned me from a boy into a man. This unexpected grief is something I know, if not something one ever gets used to.
But nothing ever hit me as hard as the day that my friend decided to call it quits. She was only four days past her 20th birthday, and this beautiful, intelligent, funny, interesting, kinky, wonderful being decided that life was too much for her. I still do not know why, and I’m not 100% sure I want to know.
But now, on the day that she would have turned 24, I have to announce to the world something I kept for myself: her death was a terrible, terrible, awe-inspiring gift.
Discovering Leigh was a very difficult book to write for me. Insanely personal without being biographical. It helped me make peace with a lot of my demons. Except one.
One demon was still waging war in my heart, my soul. The demon of the death of a dear friend. It was not a demon I wanted to face. It was a demon that scared the crap out of me. But since I finished Discovering Leigh, and that weird “wow, I’ve done it” feeling passed, I knew that I could not delay this confrontation any longer.
Just after New Year’s day this year, I wrote “Chapter one” on what was to become the follow up to Discovering Leigh. And a few weeks ago, I wrote “The End” at the end of my second draft.
I would like to take today to mark the anniversary of a terrible day to thank my friend for her terrible gift, and announce that the sequel to Discovering Leigh will be published next year, provisionally scheduled for 30 May 2019, exactly a year since the publication of Discovering Leigh.
The story picks up a few months after the ending of Discovering Leigh, and introduces a new female lead. It is a much, much deeper story than Leigh, and plunges into unexplored regions of emotions an psyche that I avoided for many years. It was a very difficult manuscript to write, and will be an even harder one to edit and polish. But it is a story that I needed to tell. Demanded to be told.
And of course, my dear friend graces the cover.
Developing Giulia is a sequel to discovering Leigh, so if you haven’t read Leigh, Giulia would make no sense, so get Discovering Leigh here.
PS: a shout-out to my anonymous benefactor who is making all this possible. You know who you are.