ONE YEAR AND ONE WEEK ago, my lifelong dream of being a published author finally came true! My debut novel, The Walled Garden, entered the world, kicking off an amazing year of opportunities and encounters I could never have imagined.

I want to highlight some of them here, and to say thank you to the many lovely people who have welcomed The Walled Garden into their hearts and onto their TBR lists!

Among memorable firsts:

Holding my actual published book in my hand for the first time.


Seeing The Walled Garden on a bookstore shelf for the first time.


Being interviewed on radio shows and podcasts like a REAL author. 🙂


Signing copies at two local Barnes & Noble stores. (Thanks to B&N Southcenter and B&N Woodinville!)


Hearing The Walled Garden come to life as an audiobook through the fabulous voice talents of Elizabeth Klett.


Meeting a wonderful new friend, Eileen Brill, who lives in Philadelphia and whose brilliant debut novel, A Letter in the Wall, came out from SparkPress the same month as TWG. We’re hoping to meet in person for the first time this summer!


Meeting lovely people I would never have otherwise met at book groups, which I adore because they’re such amazing communities of readers and booklovers! Most recently, I was welcomed to the 24th Avenue Book Group in Portland by delightful hosts and friends Mike and Susan Davidson.


Writing a guest post for CrimeReads about the Language of Flowers. (Link here.)


Connecting with a lovely community of passionate readers and writers on Instagram. (Special shout-out to the Mary Stewart Buddy Reads Group!)


Reconnecting with my long-lost childhood friend, Susie. (I wrote about this experience in an earlier post.)


Returning to the Oxford Botanic Garden, one of my favorite walled gardens in the world, on a perfect September day.


This is what I know:

Only here is peace

the dream of green I crave.

Blossoming bough,

Flower and fruit:

Earth in its cycle both cradle and grave.


Donating a copy of TWG to one of the places that inspired it, the Old Parsonage Hotel in Oxford.


So, I want to offer a huge heartfelt THANK YOU to everyone who bought and read The Walled Garden, listened to the audiobook, gave copies as gifts, invited me to speak, came to a signing, posted online reviews, and sent me lovely notes. Also, to those who have sweetly inquired about the progress of the new novel, I’m delighted to say that I’m halfway through a first draft!


And I just have to say a special thanks to my husband Kurt, the patron of my art, who has faithfully supported me through all the joys (and freak-outs!) of this whole process of writing and publishing. I couldn’t do it without you! xx  🙂

Celebrating our birthdays together last fall in the mists at Salish Lodge


Poetry by Elizabeth Blackspear

All photos my own