Thursday, August 11, 2016

BryonySeries Throwback Thursday: Sarah Stegall and the Magic of Bryony

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Sarah Stegall and the Magic of Bryony

My cell phone rings, and there's a chorus of groans.

"Betcha it's Sarah," one disgruntled adult child says. It doesn't matter which adult child. They've ALL said it. Nary a day passes when Sarah and I don't speak at least once, and one time is on the low side.

That wasn't the case a year ago.

Sarah is my oldest daughter. She lives out of state, but she could have lived on Pluto for all we communicated, mostly by email, even if she had lived next door. Things had been tense at best since her teen years, although we had progressed to some polite, if not friendly, communication.

Then, after the first round of editing, my niece asked to read Bryony. Except for four members of my household, no one else had read it or expressed a remote interest in reading it.

That got the proverbial ball rolling.

My niece loved it and begged her mother, my sister, to read it. My sister told me yesterday she had resisted, certain the story wouldn't be very good. But she read it, to please her daughter and loved it, so much that my parents wanted a copy. They, too, loved it, and my mother said so to Sarah.

That's when my daughter called and wanted to know why I hadn't let her read it. I told her she might, if she liked.

Sarah later told me she only wanted to read it so she could publically and harshly denigrate it. Hoiwever, I already knew that, which is why I couldn't box up a copy and send it out to her fast enough. Bryony was about to face her greatest critic.

A couple days later I received a Facebook message from Sarah: "Where are the other two drafts?" That was all, but she was in, "sucked in," she likes to say. Well, it is a vampire story. It was also a peaceful truce to years of conflict.

Since then, Sarah has created and maintained Bryony's Facebook page and website, helped with the cookbook, and has been the book's biggest champion and promotor. No one, including the author, has more enthusiasm for the story. Sarah has read Bryony cover to cover more than anybody and intends to keep that record, even after the book's release.

I like to think her reaction is a testimony to a good story. Sarah says she'd hate to seeBryony take off and miss her chance at being rich and famous. Hmmm....

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