I meant to give a speech at the launch party… cheesy right? Yeah… def cheesy. But I wanted to, and had it written out, and honestly forgot about it once I was there. Looking back, I think it would have been weird; most of the people would’ve been gone by the time I wanted to give it, which was at the end of the party, and also the end of the party was the transition into the monthly ballroom dance we have and it would have been chaos.
So here it is:
First of all I wanted to thank everyone for coming and supporting me. Writing is my life and is hugely important to me. In the acknowledgement section in my book I thanked these people and I wanted to thank them now, some of which were there since the beginning of this project. My mom, dad, Julie, Jimmy and Missy and my best friends Kristen, Craig and Vicki who were the first people who read it, my friends Eileen and Clare, Sasha, my mom’s friends Karen who critiqued it, and my mom’s friend Karen who helped me when I was researching what happens at funeral homes.
Most importantly, my dedication for this book is to my late grandma. Her name is Doris Schirmer but we never called her that, we always called her Grandma Albion. She passed away on January 1, 2009, when I was smack in the middle of writing it. After that, the story became more eye-opening and visual for me.
I spent a lot of time reflecting on myself and others and on personalities, and did research on personality types and on the value of suffering, whether people are religious or not. I wanted to portray all I’ve learned and been through in the 5 years I wrote the book, between 2006 and 2011, and use my characters and the storyline as a vehicle not just to entertain people, because ballroom is also my life and just so much fun, but to educate people and make them see things a bit differently – through other’s perspectives. For example my personality is melancholic/phlegmatic (in 1 word, introverted) and a lot of people I’m close to are sanguine/choleric (in 1 word, extroverted). Sometimes people with the same personalities clash, as Vaughn and Maggie do, but also because Vaughn and Sara have opposite personalities, they clash in different ways.
I wanted people to think about what we would do without each other, even with the things that drive you nuts about someone. What if you were without that other person? What if they stopped, upon you telling them to do so, doing the things that drove you nuts? You’d likely regret it and miss that about them.
I wanted to portray the value of relationships, even if there are differences, whether that’s friend, or spouse, or child, or brother or sister. Relationships are all we have. I hope this book makes you think and motivates you to live your life to the fullest.