Dear Rachel and Logan,
It’s been a long, hard, and ultimately rewarding road. I feel honored to be the one who got to tell your story. When I first sat down with nothing but a dragon who lived underground, a city-state, and an impulsive, stubbornly courageous redhead, I honestly had no idea it would turn into a trilogy that would often scrape me raw, ask me to go to dark places within myself, and require the kind of honest vulnerability on the page that up until a few years ago, I couldn’t even manage with my closest friends. I thought I was telling the story of an epic quest. The reality is that I was telling the story of hope and redemption.
Logan, you were a surprise. I thought you were a secondary character. I thought you and Rachel would remain mostly adversarial. I had no idea what had happened to your mother or the depth of your integrity and your commitment to those you’ve chosen to be responsible for. Getting to know you, seeing you reject your label of outcast, and watching you take on the most dangerous men in your world simply because you refused to fail those you love was a privilege. I’ll miss you, but I hope I’m leaving you in a much better place. May you always remember that it’s okay to lean on your friends for help, that even though love is more complicated than science, it’s worth it, and that Rachel always saw in you the man you were destined to be.
Rachel, you broke in ways that hurt me, but you didn’t stay broken. You slowly rose to your feet, dusted off the ashes of your former life, and stepped into your new life with a deeper understanding of others and of yourself. You chose not to let your past define you. You are a beautiful example of redemption and healing, and I’m so glad I got to spend the past three years with you as you walked this difficult road. May you always remember that loving others takes courage, that you should sometimes think before you speak, and that Logan needs you to keep him on his toes.
About C.J. Redwine
C. J. Redwine lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with her four beautiful kids, an amazing husband, two fairly crazy cats, and a dog. She has a job, a writing career, and a bunch of really cool friends she doesn’t get to see nearly as much as she’d like to. Defiance is her first novel. Visit her blog!