It has been an emotional week for me. The sense of joy and pride I feel in having seen my project through has been great indeed. But more so, what has excited me about the release of "The Year of Oceans" has been the way in which it has brought me closer to my community. Friends, family, and co-workers have been so supportive of the book! All I can do is render my deepest appreciation.
A bit more than six years ago I was sitting in my dorm room at the University of Washington, writing a story. Originally a Social Work major, I experienced a moment while writing when I realized I wanted to major in English. That story I was working on would become "A Lively Garden", my first novel. Highly experimental and autobiographical, it was a bit of a mess, but it holds a place in my heart nonetheless, for it was the first step forward.
During grad school I worked on "Under the Sun", a fantasy novel that told the story of two brothers and their adventures on an island. After my wife encouraged me to explore realism, I wrote "Gray and Bright", a deeply personal novel about a depressed college kid on a family vacation. I think this was my first novel that had good moments to it, but it wasn't where things would end.
Eventually, I found the inspiration to write "The Year of Oceans", a novel that was about my struggle with grief, but also about more than that. It is the story of Hugo Larson, his life, his struggles.
Honestly, though people were there to encourage me and read what I wrote, nobody ever told me I was going to get published. The last six years have been a story of me slowly developing my craft, buckling down, and just plain working as hard as I can. I recognize this sounds pompous, so I will balance it by saying that there is still so much I have to learn, and that, truly, I couldn't have gotten here without the encouragement and support of my friends, family, and co-workers. Now you are a part of this story!