It’s Absolute Sunset’s birthday! I went to the grocery store today, and on my way there I wondered if anyone around me had any idea what an important day it was—for me, anyway. Here comes Kata, in her trainers, her hair still a bit a mess, trailed by Rafa—and nobody has any idea of the great celebration she’s planning for tonight.

 

When I was a little girl, I used to imagine that I was a princess, and today, walking down the street, I remembered that feeling—that I had a magnificent secret. But this time it wasn’t imaginary, it was real. The book was out there and the party was about to start!

 

I baked a cake and placed one candle right in the middle of the chocolate topping, and I want to share the cake with my whole team (sorry, no champagne—I’m not drinking):

 

  • With my beloved family, who sometimes frown at my ideas, but always support me. Without their unwavering faith, and their belief that I was a great writer, I’d never have released this book in English. Their pride carries me forward.

 

  • With my parents, who claim that I was a master of self-creation, which can sometimes be scary, but who never told me to quit, submit, or write something easy. They’re also my marketing team, sharing my books with anyone and everyone.

  • With all my friends—writers and civilians, here and abroad—who supported me in my efforts and served as beta-readers, offering me their advice.

 

  • With my granddad who passed away before the book was published. He’d always been a great advocate of studying English, forcing me to work hard and hiring numerous teachers, who struggled to get me under control—I was a pretty energetic child.

  • With my grandma, who also passed away before I became a writer—she’d always dreamed of having a writer in the family.

 

  • With Saul Bottcher, my publishing partner from indiebooklauncher.com, who fell in love with my book at first sight and, despite some translation issues, decided to help with the publishing process. We faced a lot of difficulties along the way, but he never gave up, always believing that the book was “one of the best psychological thrillers,” to quote a review.

  • With Nas Hedron, my English editor (also from indiebooklauncher.com), always patient and ready to explain his decisions regarding the text. Because of his enormous effort the final version of the book is perfectly smooth, while my style has been kept intact. Thanks to Nas, my English is now much better than it was a year ago, and I’m able to write directly in this new language.

 

  • With Paulina Sadzikowska, who was responsible for proofreading and correcting the first, draft translation, which I had developed. I know how much effort she put into correcting the text.

 

  • And there has to be cake for Rafa, the silent witness to my tears whenever I felt like quitting, and my insane laughter as I searched through dictionaries, not knowing which word to choose, and who looked at me with deep doggie disapproval whenever I cursed.

And I think I get a small piece of the cake, too. For being stubborn (which in this case was a distinct advantage), for keeping a sense of humor when faced with difficulties, and for not being ashamed to make mistakes and ask for help. And for being a damned good writer (okay—tomorrow I’ll probably think that I suck, but today I feel unstoppable).

 

And the last piece of cake goes to the real person who was the prototype of the Hanka you’ll meet in the book. I hope you found you peace, girl. I’m sure you did.

 

The cake is small, so there isn’t quite enough to share with all of you, my many, dearest readers, so I’m sending each of you good vibes, and a big thank you for giving Absolute Sunset a chance and for accepting this unknown author, Kata Mlek from Poland, who wanted to share her book with English readers. Thank you for giving me such a warm welcome abroad!

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