I wrote ‘Hold On Please, Emily’ in hopes of opening conversation around challenges in relationships, death, and illnesses for adolescences around the world. Nobody likes to talk about death and illness, even though they are all a part of life.
Also, my intention was to reach out to anyone who has or knows someone diagnosed with cancer to help them feel validated, seen, and heard. I hope that my words could bring moments of resonance to my readers so that they can feel less alone and less afraid with whatever challenges they may face in their lives.
I am indebted to the Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada, who shared invaluable information about brain tumours to support the research components of this book. However, I would like to acknowledge that any medical information in ‘Hold On Please, Emily‘ should be treated fictitiously as parts were sometimes dramatized to move the story along without impediment.
To the entire team at Self Publishing School, thank you for your support and guidance to launch my authorship career. A special thanks to my two coaches, Ramy Vance and Barbara Hartzler, and my entire launch team.
Thank you to the wonderful people at Cutting Edge Studio, especially Joris van Leeuwen and Marijke van Leeuwen. There were so many moments during the publication process when I felt lost, and Joris pushed me in the right direction every time.
Marijke is the designer behind my professionally-looking book cover; her graphic design skills and knowledge in the literary market are impeccable. If it weren’t for Marijke’s sound advice, I wouldn’t have developed a title with such a powerful hidden meaning. I will have to share the story behind my title one day with my readers. Also, special thanks to Suzanna Chriscoe for going above and beyond in formatting my book. The entire team at Cutting Edge Studio brought my book to life, and I am grateful for all their help.
‘Hold on please, Emily’ features lyrics I wrote over several cups of steaming, hot coffee. When writing Emily’s songs, I felt compelled to bring them to life. My greatest gratitude goes to Matthew Isaacs, the mastermind behind our accompanying music album, ‘Hold on please, Emily: Songs of Hope.’ Check
out our music on Spotify and the music videos on my YouTube channel to see how one song can change the way you dance in life.
Personally, I would like to thank my family for challenging me to reach the finish line. But, especially my son, Lucas, who always loves finding his name in a book. He is my greatest source of inspiration whenever I battle against vexatious writer’s block. My husband, Joran, who is my greatest supporter, but also my first and most trusted reader. And my mother-in-law, Priscilla, who made time for me to write whenever I needed it. Thank you for believing in me. To my sister-in-law, Vince, and my parents, brother, and sister, I am grateful for all your support and for celebrating this debut novel with me.
Thank you to all my friends, especially Pamela Boyer, Stephanie Cullen, Shazia Ghafur, Georgiana Roman Sarita, Lynn Slightham, and Seung Hee Yun. I’d been working on this novel for almost two years, and I witnessed so many amazing members of the SPS family launch their books successfully. However, through it all, my finish line always felt unattainable. It was the friendly nudges by these particular individuals who encouraged me to never give up on my dream. My self-publishing journey has been a surreal mix of highs and lows. I would describe it as one of the longest and most epic roller coaster rides I’d ever taken―one with steep slopes, inversions, and tight turns. My friends may not have had all the answers to my problems, but I never had to face any of them alone. Seeing their excitement for my story motivated me to stay on my bumpy roller coaster ride and see it through to the end. Thank you for your continued support and for being a true friend.
Lastly, my readers, thank you for taking the time to read this book. Your support humbles me and drives me to continue writing novels and songs—even creating videos and inspirational material. We all have stories to tell, and I hope my words can resonate awareness, change, and understanding to reach as wide of an audience as possible. Together, we can inspire hope for everyone. Thank you for sharing Emily’s message of hope to the world. Hold on please, Emily. Hold on.