Heather Killough-Walden, a New York Times bestselling author, discusses her motivation and how her leather journals from Epica help her to follow her inspiration!
Hello, my dear fellow journalers! I want you to know that I use that greeting with the same emotional connection that others might use the greeting, “Hello, dear friends.”
To me, every journaler is a friend!
You already officially share more in common with me than my entire family or the majority of those I call friends. And you share this commonality in one single passion: you write! Only people like you and I can fully appreciate why a journaler would feel this way. Only you and I understand how fundamentally true it is. And that’s half of what ties us together right there – that empathy.
How all started!
When I was five years old, I slapped a boy named Mike. I thought I was so clever for slapping him. He’d dared to try to kiss me, after all. And the event was so momentous! So, in-tune with my whole idea of how a real whirlwind romance should be a power struggle, a little dark and a little dirty, I felt the need to share the news.
But… as you can imagine, at the age of five, I had trepidation that sharing the news of this event would worry my parents, and fly right over the heads of my three younger siblings. My friends would just plain think I was being mean.
So, it was with a sense of desperation, of being utterly and completely misunderstood right from the start, that I asked my mom for something to write in.
It just so happened that we were quite poor. Six people living on $10,000 a year does not a lot of journals buy. However, it also just so happened that my mother knew someone who could help us. This person purchased Sanrio items, amongst other things wholesale for a store called Gonzalez Padin.[editor’s note: Sanrio is the home of “Hello Kitty and Friends”] The store was my grandfather’s legacy. This person was my grandmother, my abuela. The store was in Puerto Rico.
When I asked for the writing materials and was met with my mother’s rather haggard and helpless shrug, I was fairly certain I would be forever relegated to penning my thoughts in-between the columns of a Bible (as I was unfortunately caught doing that night). Or jotting them down in the margins of an old print published work such as Don Quixote, like the one I was caught writing the next day. The one that was apparently an original printing from the nineteenth century. Ouch.
I was insufferable in my writer’s tenacity already. The pen was indeed mightier, and might I add more damaging, than the sword.
And then, a week after I asked for something to journal with. My mother presented me with what was probably the most momentous and most precious gift she would ever give me: A brand new lined Hello Kitty journal. It was paper softcover rather than hard cover. And said cover was bent almost immediately by my horrendous little brother, who had learned it was a brother’s job to read a sister’s diary but who couldn’t even yet read. But I carefully coated the cover with packing tape to harden it up a little and lived with it.
Besides. It was what was inside that counted. Page after page. Line after line of waiting space. An open and empty book, patiently standing by to receive the concessions of my soul. Precious. Absolutely, irreplaceably precious.
And fill it with revelation, I did.
Everything’s changed but the feeling is the same
Now, years later – don’t ask how many because this is one concession I will not make – I still open the covers of a journal and gaze lovingly down at the empty spaces with the same sense of awe and wonder. Do you realize what those spaces are? They are other worlds. Entire universes. They are creatures and buildings and forests and oceans and the Cosmos – the multiverse – in that space between the seconds. That moment just before the Big Bang.
They are an infinite possibility.
How can the people of the world not see this? How and why do they not know what I know? A journal is vast, immense power. Right there in my grasp. All it needs to become real is the stroke of a good pen.
And stars are born.
I am Heather Killough-Walden, a New York Times bestselling author. I was one of the first authors to make that list as a self-publisher using Amazon’s Kindle. But despite the electronic nature of my bestselling novel (the first of forty-eight so far), and irrespective of the fact that I now publish in all mediums, as well as through Big Five publishing, I begin every book the same way.
Every single one begins with a swoosh and a click.
The swoosh of a leather-bound journal opening fluidly to a fresh, lined page – and the click of a pen. (Or pencil. Or whatever is handy when inspiration strikes… I’ve literally written in my own blood before! Kid you not… though, I did that just so I could say I’d done it.)
A long relationship with Epica leather journals
The people who own and run Epica Journals have been beside me on this journey of mine for quite a while now. I would almost call it “our” journey. Epica makes a lot of stunning, quality journals, but not enough with lines for my tastes. For this reason, they’ve agreed to make custom journals for me every single time I’ve asked. And they charge the same fair price as they do for the unlined. They keep me abreast of new products. They wish me good luck when I’m about to submit a new manuscript. They ask me how I’m doing.
Like family. Or better yet, like fellow journalers.
Epica plainly understands how essential this process is of allowing the magic to be borne in my soul, filter itself through my and fingertips, until it finally emerges in its fresh infancy through the ink of my instrument upon the waiting page of a beautiful, hand-bound book. They empathize.
That may be why I keep coming back for their journals.
And it’s probably why I’m about to ask them for another one Classic Leather Journal With Hand Cut Pages
Happy journaling, my friends. May you always find a page when you need one. And may your ink never run dry. xoxo
It has been our privilege to have Heather as a valued customer and friend of Epica for many, many years. More recently, we even supplied her with a bespoke journal, which our artisans love to create for all passionate journalers who ask for one (or more). If you are finding Epica helpful or inspiring and you would like to contribute a guest blog, we would love to share your words with our ever-growing audience.