He got up and sat on the edge of the bedstead with his back to the window. “It’s better not to sleep at all,” he decided. There was a cold damp draught from the window, however; without getting up he drew the blanket over him and wrapped himself in it. He was not thinking of anything and did not want to think. But one image rose after another, incoherent scraps of thought without beginning or end passed through his mind. He sank into drowsiness. Perhaps the cold, or the dampness, or the dark, or the wind that howled under the window and tossed the trees roused a sort of persistent craving for the fantastic. He kept dwelling on images of flowers, he fancied a charming flower garden, a bright, warm, almost hot day, a holiday—Trinity day. A fine, sumptuous country cottage in the English taste overgrown with fragrant flowers, with flower beds going round the house; the porch, wreathed in climbers, was surrounded with beds of roses. A light, cool staircase, carpeted with rich rugs, was decorated with rare plants in china pots. He noticed particularly in the windows nosegays of tender, white, heavily fragrant narcissus bending over their bright, green, thick long stalks. He was reluctant to move away from them, but he went up the stairs and came into a large, high drawing-room and again everywhere—at the windows, the doors on to the balcony, and on the balcony itself—were flowers. The floors were strewn with freshly-cut fragrant hay, the windows were open, a fresh, cool, light air came into the room. The birds were chirruping under the window, and in the middle of the room, on a table covered with a white satin shroud, stood a coffin. The coffin was covered with white silk and edged with a thick white frill; wreaths of flowers surrounded it on all sides. Among the flowers lay a girl in a white muslin dress, with her arms crossed and pressed on her bosom, as though carved out of marble. But her loose fair hair was wet; there was a wreath of roses on her head. The stern and already rigid profile of her face looked as though chiselled of marble too, and the smile on her pale lips was full of an immense unchildish misery and sorrowful appeal. Svidrigaïlov knew that girl; there was no holy image, no burning candle beside the coffin; no sound of prayers: the girl had drowned herself. She was only fourteen, but her heart was broken. And she had destroyed herself, crushed by an insult that had appalled and amazed that childish soul, had smirched that angel purity with unmerited disgrace and torn from her a last scream of despair, unheeded and brutally disregarded, on a dark night in the cold and wet while the wind howled
“Genesis” will be published tomorrow AND it got a starred review from Kirkus and will be in the list of Kirkus’s November edition Best Indie Books of the Month! I just wanted to say that I couldn’t have done it without you. Thank you so so so much for all your help.
– Bellamy Westbay, author of “Genesis”
Dear John, I’m just writing to tell you I have a contract with Random House for the book you helped me with! Thank you for being so excited about my work. You made me a better writer, and I am going to recommend you widely.
– Susan Doherty, author of “The Ghost Garden”
Dear John, I self published “Born Ready” on Amazon, and I put a brief post on Facebook about it. Soon, people were busting down my door with excitement about how much they loved it, and asked how soon the sequel would arrive. Thank you so much. I couldn’t have done it without you.
– Kathleen Belt, author of “Born Ready”
Children’s Book Testimonials
I took your course, “Two Weeks to Your Best Children’s Book.” Upon completion I sent you my manuscript “Eddie Ventures Home” for edits. I hired an illustrator and released the book in January, 2021 on Amazon. In a little over three weeks I have sold over 1,000 copies!
– Julie Kennedy
I wanted to share with you that my book, “Sassy Sisters vs The Sock Monster,” has been named a finalist in the CHILDREN’S PICTURE BOOK #Ownvoices category of the 2021 Next Generation Indie Awards! Thanks again for all your help!
– Jacquese Groves
You helped me with my debut children’s book, “When You Lived in My Belly,” a couple of years ago. The book has earned a Gold Medal Readers’ Choice Award, a Gold Mom’s Choice Award, a First Place Purple Dragonfly Award, and dozens of excellent reviews, including Kirkus Reviews.
– Jodi Meltzer Darter
Thanks to John, my book ended up winning a BRASS RING AWARD at the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions. Who were the runner-ups? Disney and SeaWorld! Plus, my book is now being made into an animated series.
Carolyn Franks, author of The Tale of Gillie Guinea Pig
Prizes & Awards
Writers I work with don’t just publish … they win prizes and awards!
ENROLL IN MY COURSES NOW