A Thank You to My Apricots
My name is Mary. Though many of you may not know me now, I was once one of the most active, involved, and prolific contributors to ApricotPie, and many of you who have been here for a long while no doubt remember me.
I joined ApricotPie in 2008. Shortly after joining, I began posting a chapters of a serial historical fiction called The Shadowfields. It was written offhandedly, perhaps even flippantly, purely for the fun of writing it, while my focus and concentration were dedicated to my more serious current project at the time.
However, what started as a purely for-fun project met with an overwhelming response here at ApricotPie. People loved it. The comments were full of excitement, enthusiasm, speculation about what the next segment would contain, and pleading for me to hurry up and post more. A few of you even emailed me with desperate pleadings (and, in a few cases, threats) when you felt that I was taking too long in getting the next chapter up.
As a still-developing writer wrestling endlessly with the monstrosity that would (eventually) become my first novel, I found such an enthusiastic welcome immensely helpful and encouraging.
Your excitement and gushing comments about how much you loved the story bolstered my confidence in my abilities as a writer. Your anxiety and impatience kept me motivated during down times. Your helpful criticisms helped me improve and further develop my craft and skill. Your comments at the story's conclusion helped me realize that I was capable of creating a story world and characters that would not only satisfy readers, but leave them wanting more and keep them talking about it even after "The End".
In short, that story and the response it received here were crucial in my development as a writer. They helped me get to where I am today: a published author with three titles to my name so far.
Yes, three...because yesterday, The Shadowfields went live on Amazon to an amazing, enthusiastic welcome from readers.
And it's all because of you, Apricots. Without your feedback, support, and encouragement, I probably would never even have finished writing The Shadowfields, let alone considered it good enough to publish.
Thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Thank you for being my writing family and welcoming me into your ranks when I thought I was the only one like me in the world. Thank you for encouraging me with honesty and love together when I wasn't sure I had what it took to be a "real" writer.
Thank you for loving this story and convincing me to believe in it! I have so many wonderful memories of the time I spent posting it here. I think I looked forward to your reactions and responses as much as you looked forward to each new chapter! When the time came to delete it from my ApricotPie account so that I could publish it, I nearly cried, and I spent hours re-reading all of your comments and feedback.
And of course, I couldn't publish it without including a very special thank-you to all of you in the acknowledgments. You guys really are the best. Thank you so much for everything you've done to help me in my journey!