Sunday, December 26, 2010

'Twas the Night Before...

By Hilary Davidson

I'm in awe of my fellow Criminal Minds. Their fabulously twisted takes on the classic poem by Clement Moore are ringing in my ears. But this Christmas has been more about reflection than celebration for me.

The past year has been among the best and worst of my life. I managed to do something I'd dreamed of since I was a small child, which was publish a novel. But I also lost some beloved people. That started last Christmas Eve, with the death of my uncle Doug; he'd fallen into a coma six days earlier, and he never woke from it. To the doctors, his sudden death was a medical mystery; to my family, it was a shock and a heartbreak.

The following months were a painful time. My husband's great-aunt Bobby passed away. Another uncle — my mother's eldest brother — died suddenly from heart problems. Most shocking was the suicide of a childhood friend; his death still unsettles my mind. In the midst of this, a mole I'd had removed turned out to contain melanoma cells. That situation turned out fine, but in the context of what was going on at the time — the minor follow-up surgery was sandwiched between my friend's funeral and great-aunt Bobby's — it was difficult.

That it was a tough year personally made me especially grateful for all of the support I received — from family, friends, and a stunning number of people in the crime fiction community. It would be hard to describe what all of that kindness meant without veering into sentimental territory. I was overwhelmed by the sweetness of Dan O'Shea, who engineered a flash-fiction challenge on the subject of "Hilary's Scar" after my skin-cancer scare. I'm so grateful to him and to the other writers who wrote their amazing — and amazingly twisted — stories.

I'm grateful, too, to everyone who picked up The Damage Done. I have a huge, heartfelt thank you for everyone who read the book, wrote about it, came out to a reading, told a friend about the book, got their library to order it, or wrote to me. I'm so grateful to all of the stores who were kind enough to host me, who hand-sold the book to their customers, who made the novel their book-club selection. There are a few people whose exceptional kindness makes me simultaneously elated and teary: Jen Forbus, Jon and Ruth Jordan, Steve Weddle, Chris F. Holm, Dave Zeltserman, Lesa Holstine, Linda Fairstein, Rebecca Cantrell, Dennis Tafoya, Sophie Littlefield, Bobby McCue, Linda Brown, Keith Rawson, Megan Abbott, Lauren O'Brien, Holly West, Kathy Ryan, Susan Shapiro, Trish Snyder... the toughest thing about naming names is that a blog post can only be so long before people drift off. Let me also just mention the great people at Forge — especially my amazing editor, Paul Stevens — and at my Canadian distributor, H.B. Fenn. Be warned: the acknowledgments for my second novel, The Next One to Fall, are going to run long.

It's been a rough twelve months, but it's shown me how fortunate I am to have such wonderful people around me. Thank you for all you've given me this year.

14 comments:

Michael Wiley said...

I'm glad that you've made it through the year, Hilary -- and that THE DAMAGE DONE has made it debut. May the New Year be easier . . . and full of happiness.

Mary Vaughn said...

May 2011 be your best yet!

Anonymous said...

Hilary, I'm sure that the year ahead is going to be fantastic for you with even more success to come. I look forward to reading the next chapter:))
McDroll

Lois Winston said...

Hilary, wishing you only good things in the coming year.

Hilary Davidson said...

Michael, Mary, McDroll & Lois, thank you all for stopping by! I know my fellow Criminal Minds will tar and feather me if I get sentimental too often, but when I think about the past year, what I'm most grateful for are my friends, old and new. Hope everyone is enjoying the holidays — and I wish all of you the best for 2011!

PS Michael, your version of "'Twas the Night Before Christmas" was my favorite!

Joshua Corin said...

Hilary, as cliche as it may sound, sometimes our highs need to be balanced by lows. Still, I hope you prove that cliche wrong in 2011 and that your coming year soars beyond your wildest expectations.

Kelli Stanley said...

Thanks for closing out the year with us, Hilary--and may 2011 bring peace, joy, love and great success!

Chris said...

Hilary,

I'm sorry you suffered so much loss this year. May your next year leave this one in the dust.

And, at risk of some crazy schmaltz myself, one of my great pleasures this year is getting to count you as a friend. (Looking back, it seems we first crossed internet paths in late '09, but then, math never was my strong suit.)

Happy holidays, and here's to a kickass future ahead...

Jen Forbus said...

My darling, wonderful friend! Thank you for your special mention, but you are simply the easiest person to love. I'm blessed to know you, blessed to be able to read your incredible creations, and beyond all blessed to say, "Hilary Davidson is my friend."

Here's to a fantastic 2011! Love you!

Hilary Davidson said...

Josh, Kelli, Chris & Jen, at the risk of sounding both cliched and schmaltzy, I'm incredibly fortunate to count you among my friends. I promise, I'll return to my usual hardboiled self soon, but I'm so glad to have you in my life.

Rebecca Cantrell said...

May 2011 be much better! I'm glad you made it through 2010 and its many travails. And I'm grateful that I met you too!

Shane Gericke said...

Hilary, we're glad ya didn't get the cancer, cause that would have sucked for us, and as you know, it's all about us :-) A delight to have met you this year, and to know you in '11 and beyond.

Shane Gericke said...

Hilary, we're glad ya didn't get the cancer, cause that would have sucked for us, and as you know, it's all about us :-) A delight to have met you this year, and to know you in '11 and beyond.

Hilary Davidson said...

I've said it before and will again: I have the most awesome friends. Thanks, Becky & Shane, for your sweet comments!