I began writing seriously in 2013 as a form of self-therapy, and fell immediately in love. Aurora and Raine had been in my head in some form since I was about 10 years old, and they were the first thing that appeared in the early drafts of Dawn.

I’ve struggled with a lot of health issues since I was very young, Dysautonomia being the main one — a central nervous system disorder that causes untreatable issues such as extreme weakness and chronic pain. Another major one was Endometriosis which I had for five years, severe enough that I had to have a complete hysterectomy when I was 19. My parents divorced a year after my surgery, which caused life to change in a lot of drastic ways. That being said, pain was a very common part of my life from a very young age, both physical and emotional, and writing was the thing that brought life from my death.

I remember one day years ago when I was just a teenager, lying in bed during the middle of the day, too sick to even stand up and move to the living room where I could be near my family, and a thought came to me, seemingly out of the blue, a thought that changed my entire life: “So maybe my body is broken, but that doesn’t mean my mind is.” And then I took that one step further and asked myself, “If you could be anywhere right now instead of here, where would you be?” The first thing that came to mind was an image of snow and mountains and trees, untouched by anyone other than me, very similar to Aurora’s dream in chapter 25. And that was the start of what would later become So Sang The Dawn, and more specifically, Frostholm itself.

I let my mind run with those images for years, and didn’t actually begin to write them down until I was 21. It was so incredibly freeing. To know that I had this place in my head and on the page that was mine, that was untouchable by anyone else, or anything else. In that place, I was in complete control, and the possibilities were endless.

If you’ve read the book, you know that Aurora and Raine struggle with unimaginable pain, and while it killed me to force my girls to live a life similar to my own, it was also really freeing, because as they healed, I began to heal too. I grew with them, hurt with them, ached with them, hoped with them. And in the end, I learned so much more about myself and about my God than I ever had in the entirety of my life beforehand. It was truly an amazing experience and continues to be to this day.

I hope that through Aurora and Raine’s story in So Sang The Dawn, you’ll find a hope and a courage of your own, and that you’ll know that no matter how dark your own night, there’s always, always light. Sometimes you just have to look up to find it.