“I wanted to write a story about a monster like me.”

Cyndere's MidnightTonight we were at Third Place Books attending the release party for our friend, Jeffrey Overstreet’s second fantasy fiction novel, Cyndere’s Midnight.

Before he read an excerpt, he talked of beasts, and the appetite that drives them, and the things that transform them. “When we don’t understand the monster in ourselves,” he said, “we don’t understand the monsters around us. I wanted to write a story about a monster like me.”

It was a year ago this very week we attended the release party for his first novel. And in that time, I closely followed the progress of Cyndere’s Midnight through twitter and gtalk – reading of late night editing sessions, approaching deadlines, and final submissions. It was like being a fly on the wall like we so often wish for, observing the process unnoticed.

Cyndere's Midnight _ inscriptionIt’s funny, because I’ve known Jeffrey for years, yet since the invention of twitter we’ve had many more “water cooler” conversations than ever before.

Tonight at the reading and book signing, even as we chatted about Over the Rhine and the virtues of a Mac over a PC, he signed the following inscription in our book: “For the Zugs, with great affection for your daily companionship (online).”

It is an awesome thing to share in the success of our friends. As we left the building we sighed with contentment, and I felt a warm pride as if I had something to do with Jeffrey’s career.

We also remembered our other author friends, how we can count on one hand the number of published authors we’ve had the privilege of knowing before they were known. Regular people pursuing their dream, using their gifts, seeing a vision to it’s completion.

This? This was an encouraging night for a writer like me.

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