Congratulations to my various giveaway winners!
Erin M, USA won my Goodreads The Afterlife of Alyx & Israel giveaway
Deb B, USA won my VIP-exclusive Dark Angel paperback giveaway
Louise S, UK won my 10 YA Fantasy Paperback giveaway
Now that my giveaway is over I can tell you the Answer to the Afterlife Riddle…
The answer to the riddle was
If you’ve read AFTERLIFE then you’ll know the sunflower scene. Not many people know how much the Sunflower means to me.
In 2012, my writing mentor – a man with 26 international bestsellers under his belt, the man who I owe every to – called me to tell me he was dying. With a heavy heart, I flew to Canberra to see him one last time, to spend one last week in his glorious presence.
As we were saying goodbye, he handed me a sunflower seedling, his favourite flower, grown from one of the sunflowers in his garden. He told me to collect the seeds and to ‘pass them on to create joy’ as Alyx’s mother did to Alyx in Afterlife. His last words to me were “my only regret with you, is that I won’t live to see you published”.
These words destroyed me.
Clutching my precious sunflower seedling, I flew home, stunned. Soon, shock turned to fury. And this fury forged into a steely-determination. I would prove him wrong. I would finish my first novel, and publish it before he passed away. I would prove to him that he didn’t waste his time nurturing me, encouraging me, pushing me. God dammit, I would make him proud.
In less than 6 weeks while still working an office job, I finished & edited Dark Angel 1, had the cover designed, created a website, shot a trailer, organised a blog tour. I was running on an average of 3 hours sleep a night but I had never felt so alive. Because he would see me published.
On 22 November I was told that he had passed away. Three hours later, my first book went live.
He never got to see me published. But I think he knows. His last gift to me, his sunflower, bloomed as he was leaving this earth and I don’t believe that is a coincidence. I believe it was him saying goodbye. And that he knew. And he was proud of me.
Today, the children of his sunflower have been planted across the world and I’ve run out of physical seeds. But I’ve learned the physical seeds were never the point…
I hope through my stories filled with redemption, hope and love, I’ve given you a “seed”. If I have, it’s now your turn to pass it on.