I remember the first day we met. She walked into one of our Utah Chapter of Romance Writers of America meeting and the only chair available was next to me. She stood, looking around the room, not knowing anyone -- ever been there? I have. You're a bit nervous, anxious to be seated, but wanting to feel comfortable.
I motioned to the chair by me. I asked her the usual get to know you questions -- introduced myself, asked where she was from, etc. We started to chat. We bonded. From there a friendship grew. Come to find out she and her family only lived a few miles away. I asked her if she was interested in joining a critique group. She jumped at the chance, and that's when I found out what a fantastic author she was, and how knowledgeable she was. What a great addition to our critique group.
We laughed. We criticized and made recommendations. We brainstormed along with Alysia S. Knight. Our group just clicked. We had fun. We got work done. She even suggested the name of my story, Dark Secrets. After reading it, she called me and said that had to be the name because of all the secrets revealed in my story. As soon as she said that, I knew it was what I'd name that book. Dark Secrets.
About three years ago she and her husband moved to Las Vegas. I missed her so much, but we talked now and again. We still shared bits and pieces of the books we were working on. Then I couldn't get hold of her. I worried about her, and a few months later, I received the call from her sister. Broke my heart. She had passed away.
Funny how a stranger walks into your life and your world changes. She was that type of person. Encouraged me to do better. Helped me along the way with suggestions. Pushed me at times to work a bit harder. Became a friend and mentor, and I can't thank her enough. She was a wonderful lady, and I still miss her so much.
So I wanted to write this as a tribute to her - my good friend, a wonderful critique partner, a super great person and gifted author. Rest in peace with God.
K. R. Bailey