If you ever want to meet some of the nicer people on the planet, write a book. While I was pleased with the response to my recently published novel Knight to King 4 (K2K4), the kindness of so many people was an unexpected bonus. Friends, of course, were supportive; equally gratifying was the outpouring from people I have never met. One of the latter was the person from the Denver Chess Club who purchased books for his club and extolled K2K4 in a published review.
Two that stand out are writers, whose paths I would have never, otherwise, crossed. Karen DeGroot Carter came highly recommended as an editor and she went above and beyond in providing editorial support for K2K4. Only much later did I learn Karen also published and if you are a reader I highly recommend Karen’s book, One Sister’s Song.
One Sister’s Song is the story of a single, biracial young woman forced to raise her sister’s adolescent son upon the sister’s untimely death. As a married, white, middle-class father of four there would seem to be little attraction in the book’s themes of race, romance, generational conflict and financial struggle. Yet Karen truly knows how to write. Her prosaic elegance and ability to weave a story that at its heart is about family drew me in. Such that it became can’t-put-it-down reading.
Similarly a series of supportive emails came from the UK’s Richard Downing, who I learned also published The Devil’s Tattoo. That story follows a Japanese WWII air ace who afterward becomes part of a major crime syndicate. As with Karen’s work, at first blush there would seem to be little in common between Richard’s protagonist and me. Yet Richard’s genius was that I quickly went beyond being educated about Japanese society, and came to identify with the character and his story of struggle and love as if it were second nature to my experience.
Thus K2K4 brought me in contact with Karen and Richard, and I am truly enriched by the acquaintance.