Many of you may know that I lost the love of my life, my wonderful Buddha Belly, my soul mate of 43 years on April 18, 2009. Tom was my biggest fan, my staunchest supporter, and was (without doubt) the Wind beneath my wings. With his death, my wings folded with a hard quiver and I am grounded...at least for now.
I've been asked many times why I use the word 'wind' in my titles. My usual explanation is because I was born on June 20th, a Gemini, and an Air Sign. I tell interviewers I love the way the wind moves over me, the sounds it makes, the way it clears debris from the landscape.
The truth is much harder to explain. Tom was everything to me and he gave me not only the wings to fly but flew right alongside me, clearing the way, protecting me, encouraging me when I decided to become a writer, nagging when I wanted to quit. Without a single second thought he shelled out thousands of his hard-earned money to get my first book published with a subsidy publisher. He didn't bat an eye because he had faith in me. If NY wouldn't take my work, he'd get it out there anyway he could. If it meant doing without something he wanted, he never complained. He gladly shelled out another couple of thousand on the second book without a qualm. His motto came from a quote on a card he bought me: "If you don't do it, you'll never know what would have happened if you had done it." He'd smile and add: "Go for it, sweetie."
Long before the song Wind Beneath My Wings came out, that was exactly what he was to me. He was beside me every moment of my journey from unknown, struggling writer to published author to now having a large reader base who faithfully buy whatever I write. NY may still thumb its nose at me but I'd venture to say more people on the Internet know who I am thanks to Tom than the authors who were one-hit wonders in NY and who faded into the mist, never to be read again.
I have Tom to thank for every reader I have. His encouragement and his support was beyond measure and beyond price.
Now that he is gone, the Wind has been laid to rest. It swirled among his ashes and resides in the urn that sits on my dresser. There will be no more Wind titles now out of respect for the man, the friend, the lover, the everything who has left my world.