Thoraiya Dyer's name. I'd never met her, yet I was incredibly jealous and was filled with an instant and illogical dislike. I even wanted to throw rocks at her. Of course at that time I had no idea she was not only a superb writer, but an archer.
After I started reading some of her work, the jealousy became adoration and worship ('Damn, I wish I could write like her' levels) and the dislike for her subsided. But it was only at the launch of Anywhere But Earth launch I finally had a chance to meet her. As she passed I noticed her name tag, and mentioned I'd loved her novella, 'The Company Articles of Edward Teach', and wished I'd brought it with me for her to sign. She looked at my name tag and mentioned she read my blog. Sure, I thought, nice thing to say. And then she mentioned a post I'd made a couple of weeks prior.
A short time late Thoraiya became the first person ever to ask me to sign my work.
Over the past year or so, Thoraiya has been incredibly supportive. Emails with just the right words at the right time, advice, shared commiserations, praise and encouragement - even listening to my occasional grumble. More than that, though, she continues to be a writer I hold in awe. Her ability to shape words, create worlds and to carry me away into another time and place amazes me.
More than that, I continue to be grateful a multi-award winning author treats me, a relatively unknown writer, as a peer.
One day, I'll get the opportunity to spend a little more time with Thoraiya. Perhaps I'll even buy her a drink or two and tell her the story of that early dislike.
A collection of four new stories, Asymmetry, is slated for release (as part of the fabulous Twelve Planets series) through Twelfth Planet Press in early 2013. Go on. Check it out.
Maybe you'll be jealous too.