I first committed the story of my love for Danny to paper all the way back in 2003. I wasn’t trying to become an author—I just thought writing would help me work through some of the emotional burden I was carrying around. I wrote the manuscript with a typewriter and sent copies to two publishing houses, although without any serious interest in their response. Which made the contract I was offered all the more surprising: someone wanted to publish my story.
So what did I do? I turned it down!
The idea of the whole world knowing my far-too-personal story frightened me so much that I burned the manuscript—in a huge fire in my parents’ garden, a fire that had just finished consuming all my photos of me and Danny. I never managed to burn the photos I wasn’t in, though, and I saved his letters and poems as well, packing them carefully away in a box in the basement until I was ready to close the book on the subject for good.
In 2010—at age 28—I moved to a new city, got married, and had a son. One day, I mentioned to my husband in passing that I’d once written a book and been offered a publishing contract. He asked more questions, and what had started as a short anecdote about Danny became a week-long report. Noticing that I clearly hadn’t come to terms with a few parts of the story, my husband advised me to write it all out (again). From that moment on, I spent every free minute writing.
For weeks, I ran around carrying paper and a pencil, confused, caught up in a completely different time. My notes developed into a highly emotional novel. Purely out of curiosity, I sent the manuscript to five literary agencies. Within a few weeks, four of them had expressed interest, and, after several long conversations with publishers, I finally agreed to put So Near the Horizon out into the world. What happened from then on, still feels like a dream…
The enthusiastic response I received from readers prompted me to continue the series, and So Near the Abyss as well as So Near the Ocean, the second and third books in the Danny Trilogy, were released later on.