I’m not a romantic… my husband will vouch to that, but please note that this, is going to be a romantic post. It is Valentine’s day this weekend, after all.
I wanted to tell you about the story behind the dedication in my book, Sun: Queens of Earth. Here’s a snapshot of the dedication, and in case you still can’t read it, it says: “For Kenneth, who didn’t try to wake sleeping beauty, instead he joined her in dreaming”.
As Sun was my first book published, I had a real headache trying to figure out if I wanted to put in a dedication, and if so, who it should be for, and what should it say. I originally settled for no dedication, then realised that I was being silly, and that I really needed to dedicate the book to my husband, Kenneth, since he has put up with my creative madness for so so many years (twenty years so far, to be precise).
Once that was settled, I came up with all sorts of dedications; funny, weird, inside-joke ones, lovey-dovey ones, loads! But, it was just a couple of days before the book went into production that I came up with the dedication that you see above, that made it through.
I met Kenneth when I was sixteen. He was seventeen. We went ‘steady’ (as you did when you’re teenagers in the 90s) and dated all through the last six months of his high-school that year. At the end of that year, he gave me his year-book to sign (I still had another year to go), and in it, I wrote a little story.
I told the story of sleeping beauty (me – I love sleeping), waiting for her prince charming to come and break the spell that was placed on her. Three princes arrived, and fought to kiss her. The first had extremely bad breath. His kiss was so vile that he woke her immediately. Jarred awake, she slapped him before falling straight back to sleep.
The second prince was Patrick Teoh. Back story: Patrick Teoh is an ex-Malaysian newscaster who was prolific in the 90s and advertised for Clorets, the breath mint.
Prince Patrick Teoh rocked up to sleeping beauty, confident that his breath was minty-fresh (thanks to Clorets). He placed his lips over sleeping beauty’s, but before they even touched, she snapped awake and slapped him in the face. Before he could even ask why, she shouted, “I hate breath mints!” before falling straight back to sleep. (And yes, I hate breath mints.)
The third prince (Kenneth, of course), somewhat shocked at the reactions the other two got from sleeping beauty, moved cautiously, but surely towards her. He placed a hand gently behind her head and leaned in to kiss her. To everyone’s surprise, he drooped forward as soon as their lips touched, where they lay side-by-side, fast asleep in dreaming, for the rest of their lives, happily ever after.
That was probably my first written piece of fiction that was read by someone other than my friends. Kenneth’s mum read it, lots of his friends did too, and I remember being anxious, but proud of my little story.
So, you can imagine how pleased I was to be able to give sleeping beauty another appearance, now, in my first published novel, to rightly represent the gratitude and love that I have for my husband, partner, best-friend.
Thanks Kenneth. Happy Valentine’s. x