E is for Eden, as in Sarah M. Eden.
She's a historical romance author with an uncanny knack for twisting fairy tales into stories worthy of Austen's pen. My absolute favorite is Seeking Persephone, or as I like to call it Beauty and the Beast meets Pride and Prejudice.
On paper, Mrs. Eden intertwines witty dialogue and lovable characters. A twist here, a turn there but eventually the boy happily sweeps the girl off her feet - along with the reader. But behind Sarah's written word, is another world altogether.
In her home, away from the adoration of fans and critics, she battles a painful illness. At book signings she's unable to grasp the pen for a simple autograph.
Little by little, I've become aware of her downward struggle. But it wasn't until I read this that I began to better understand the woman behind the words.
I have seven of her books nestled on my shelf, with another on my nightstand. Each story is a gift, a piece of her. As my novel is a part of me. Through the weeks and months of writing and editing, those pages have become more of my flesh than my own skin.
I am more than two states away and unable to sooth her pain. But I can help her feel appreciated, loved. I can tell others of her gifts, her stories. She cannot run, or even stand. But through her characters we can laugh and smile together.
Dear Sarah, you are not alone. And because of your literary talent, you never will be.