Where It All Began—The Crystal Keys: Champion of Destiny

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I wrote my first book when I was seven.

I wish I still had that thing; I bet it was horrendous!  I still vaguely remember the details.  It was about a wild stallion and his band of mares.  Of course it was, I was a seven-year-old girl!

I spent the next thirty some-odd years writing random stuff . . . and dreaming of putting something, anything, between covers.

Yet time passed, and life has a way of crushing your dreams beneath her heavy heel.

First came love, then came marriage, then came Angelia with the baby carriage. And bills. And another baby carriage. And still more bills!

It was nearly three decades later when I was lying on his couch in Oklahoma watching some silly reality show when he asked me the question that would eventually change the trajectory of my life.

“Can you fix it?”

He’ was my dear uncle, Gary Follis.

It’ was a manuscript he had written—go figure—when I was seven.

Unk and I about the time he wrote the first draft of The Crystal Keys: Champion of Destiny

I read the manuscript, and it was pretty bad (terrible actually!), but I knew in my heart that I absolutely could ‘fix’ it!

Together we set out on a breathtaking journey to create something extraordinary.

For the next three years I worked ceaselessly on the project in my spare time between kids, work, and life.

First came a complete overhaul and rewrite. Then came the edit and the edit and the edit and the edit . . . and the edit.  You get the idea.

Oh, did I mention more editing?

Sadly, tomorrow is not a promise, but rather a uncertain mirage in our hopeful hearts. On September 24, 2013, after a long battle with illness, my uncle passed away.

His final wish was, “Finish our book.”

Losing him rocked my world;  I was devastated. The next months were hard—very hard.

Some days I worked fervently on polishing the manuscript, driven by the need to fulfill a dream—a dream that he and I had shared.

Some days I could not even bear to look at the words on the screen because they were like a dagger to my soul, a painful reminder of the gaping hole his passing had left in my life and heart.

Finally, in early December 2014, I knew it was time.  I submitted the manuscript to a Wheatmark Publishing.

Pressing the ‘submit’ button was beyond difficult. This book is not just any old book. It is personal—laden with moments of great joy and even greater pain. It is what is left of my uncle and I, printed with teardrops and bound with love. Sharing it with the world has been hard-very hard.

 This book is not just any old book. It is personal—laden with moments of great joy and even greater pain. It is what is left of my uncle and I, printed with teardrops and bound with love.

The fallout, however, has been…unimaginable.

The amazing man from the publishing company to take my first call boasted a very, very unusual name—incredibly, a name that just happened to belong to one of the main characters of my story—a name picked for that character over thirty years ago by my uncle.

Here’s your sign. 

The rest of the story is history in the making.

Though the book has only been out less than a month, the reviews and feedback have been mind-blowingly positive. There is something very special in the Keys—passion, love, and devotion.

What does the future hold? Who knows—but it hardly matters. Success is not about money or fame.  Success is about perseverance, overcoming, and seeing dreams come true.

Whether we sell one book or a million, we have already succeeded. Love found a way.

Angelia Griffin and Gary Follis
Angelia Griffin and Gary Follis

So that is, in part, our story.

I truly believe that it is one of those tales that touches you so deeply that a part of it will remain with you always and forever.

I know one thing for certain—it has changed my life.

Always.  Forever.

Thank you for undertaking this breathtaking journey with us. It is my honor to share this piece of my heart and the culmination of two dreamers with you. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as we enjoyed writing it.

And to my dear uncle… WE DID IT!

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Purchase the book on Amazon HERE.

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