by Darlene Ryan
aka Sofie Kelly and Sofie Ryan
I was going to begin by saying that everyone dislikes goodbyes, and then I remembered one of my mother’s friends, who always said she didn’t mind goodbye because it just put her a little closer to hello again. This is my second goodbye to Poe’s Deadly Daughters. The first time, I knew the blog was going to continue. I knew I could drop by. I knew that I was just a few cyber-steps from hello again. This time however, it really is so long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, goodbye.
My first post on Poe’s Deadly Daughters was as a guest in January of 2007, seven years ago. It feels a lot longer than that. Later, I became a weekend regular on the blog. I almost said no to that invitation. I was a Young Adult author, intimidated about being in the company of women who were more accomplished in a genre that I used to joke I couldn’t break into with a crowbar. But I swallowed down those fears long enough to say yes. And quickly discovered that I had found my tribe. I wasn’t just surrounded—figuratively if not literally—by five women who were doing what I aspired to do—publish a mystery novel. I had been embraced by five women who were happy to share what they knew, and to encourage me not to give up on my dreams.
In 2007, I had five books to my credit, but my first mystery wouldn’t be published for four more years. Now I have thirteen published books, with two more coming out later this year. That’s close to 700,000 published words and even more written and discarded. Back then the only name I wrote under was my own. Now I’m Darlene Ryan, Sofie Kelly and Sofie Ryan. (The Sofies have better hair than I do.) Sofie Kelly has made it into the top ten of the New York Times paperback bestseller list. That was a dream I would never have shared with anyone back in 2007 because it seemed so farfetched.
Seven years ago, I was the mother of a nine-year-old with a mouth full of braces. Today I’m the mother of a beautiful sixteen-year-old with straight, white teeth. Her orthodontist has gone to Vegas five times in the past seven years. I’m pretty sure I know who paid for those trips.
There is a quote, often attributed to Chaucer, that reads, “There is an end to everything. Good things as well.” Poe’s Deadly Daughters is one of those good things. Thank you to the original daughters, Sandy, Liz, Julia, Lonnie and Sharon for letting me be a small part of what you created here. I hope this ending just puts us that much closer to hello again.