I first met Anna Stephens around four years ago, at work.
We first bonded over the gym. I say bonded. She went a lot and began dragging my sorry ass along with her. She would support me, push me to do more and believe in myself. In the gym, and outside of it. If I was grouchy at work, she’d bring me a cup of tea, tell me a funny story or send me a picture of Jon Snow.
I would never have stepped in to a squat rack if it weren’t for Anna. I’d have never started writing my blog (I’m sorry that I’m still so lax at keeping it up-to-date, Anna). I’d also probably have drunk a lot less gin, but that’s another issue.
What does this have to do with the book? Not much, in truth. It has to do with the author.I opened my copy of Godblind this morning (a little teary after reading the dedication and seeing her autograph) and felt compelled to write. I suppose I should do a book review but I haven’t actually read it yet – not since poring over the opening chapter when it was being sent off to potential publishers a few years back!
I ended up opening a word document and just seeing what came out – and it was all about Anna’s character.
She is strong, persistent, bold – and she builds the people around her to be too. She’s also hilarious and has a beautifully bizarre imagination – the sort of imagination that gets you signed for a book trilogy, y’know.
I have always been in awe of her dedication – particularly to her writing.
While I was still snoozing at home, Anna would be up in the early hours, blasting out a few thousand words. My lunchbreak I’d mooch around the shops. Anna would get out her laptop and do some editing.
She lived and breathed those characters and their gruesome, bloody lives. More than ten years ago, long before we’d crossed paths, she began pouring her heart and soul into Godblind.
I feel so privileged to have a piece of that to enjoy. I know the hours of painstaking research that have gone in to this – the sacrifices (of time and fun, I hope, rather than blood…), the sleepless nights. I know the courage Anna showed to carry on in the face of rejection letters.
I could not be prouder to be holding a copy of her words – all from her actual mind – in my hands.
This is potentially the only copy in the Southern Hemisphere for now, but I’ve no doubt this incredible piece of literature will continue its march for world domination.
Congratulations Anna. Thank you for your amazing mind, friendship and book.