Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Giving a nod to my better half

She is usually the first person I consult on writing matters and the contributor I trust the most. She is the person most likely to recognize problems in my books because she has read them all and helped fix them all — more times than I can count.

No one else, I think it is safe to say, knows me better as a writer than my wife, Cheryl Fellows Heldt. Then again, no one else knows me better as a person.

Her support for my “hobby” goes back to the beginning. Long before I even dreamed of writing my first novel, The Mine, in the summer and fall of 2011, Cheryl encouraged and supported my career as a newspaper sportswriter, reporter, and editor.

She went through my manuscripts, attended events I covered, and occasionally provided me with story ideas. She also put her own career ambitions on hold for many years so that I could achieve my goals as a journalist, a librarian, and finally a novelist.

Even now, when she is extraordinarily busy blazing her own trails as an educator, Cheryl sets aside blocks of time to help me with various projects. In the past year alone, she has listened to and offered input on the narration of three audiobooks.

So it’s with much love and respect that I recognize my wife today. On our thirtieth anniversary, I have never appreciated her more.