An Update From Shawn

Hi Everyone,

It occurred to me yesterday when one of Terry’s fans wrote into the website asking after my welfare that five months have passed since I updated you all on my battle with cancer. It’s time to do that, I suppose.

First, I’m doing well. Better than well. I completed my chemotherapy treatments to their absolute end. I took in that venom, held it closely for a while, and then purged it along with the cancer. It has been almost seven weeks since my last treatment and I feel stronger every day. I even had my first follow-up PET scan this last Friday and I’m still in remission. My oncologist is very confident we killed the cancer; I went into remission early and then spent another 3 1/2 months in treatment. Those 3 1/2 months should have been enough chemotherapy to kill an elephant—and every last cancer cell in my body.

Second, my financial situation is of course dire. Cancer can ruin a future but so can the financial burden of treating the disease if one doesn’t have health insurance. And I don’t. I owe my hospital over $150,000 now. Yes, that was me eye-rolling from the keyboard! The good news is Terry has given all he can to help. Imaginary Friends, Terry’s Word/Void short story, has sold extremely well and although it only covers about 2% of what I owe, it was a start. Thank you to everyone who purchased it! Terry hopes you enjoyed it too!

Terry’s not the only one helping though. On February 1st, I will announce as editor a fantasy anthology that is currently being created, the proceeds from which will go to paying off my medical bills. Who is contributing short stories to this anthology, you ask? Only the best in the business. Some names? Brooks. Rothfuss. Novik. Sanderson. Butcher. Salvatore. Williams. Carey. Abraham. Brett. Redick. Orullian. Lockwood. Vaughn. Hearne. Lawrence. Durham. Bosworth. Grossman. Erikson. Every one of these people are helping to protect my future by offering you all an anthology that is looking like one of the best of all time. A great book being created for a good cause. Can’t ask for more than that as fantasy readers! More on February 1st.

Terry and I are also talking about producing Imaginary Friends as a small limited-edition hardcover similar in scope to Indomitable by Sub Press. And my dark contemporary fantasy The Dark Thorn will be published in April in hardcover. More about both of those on February 1st as well.

All in all, I have no complaints. Life is about balance. I have to take the good with the bad.

Thanks for your encouragement over the last seven months! You the fans have stood by me every step of the way. Terry thanks you too. Both he and Judine have done what they could, watching out for me as second parents. I’m a lucky man to have such love sent my way. We all are lucky though to have Terry in our lives.

More on February 1st!

Best Wishes,
Shawn Speakman

45 responses to “An Update From Shawn”

  1. That’s fantastic news about your health. I wish you the best of luck, and I’m sure, together, we can help you with your hospital bills. I’d like to do whatever I can to help 🙂 Looking forward to these potential new publications!

    • This is good news Shawn. You have been a real warrior through all of this and deserve a break. I think your positive attitude has a lot to do with your current good health.

      I look forward to “The Dark Thorn” in hardcover. Consider this a pre-order. I know you had it out on digital, but I’m one of those old “dinosaurs” that prefers books with paper pages, and I really liked the few excerpts that I’ve read so far.

      All the best to you. You deserve it!

  2. Welcome back we have missed you and our prayers were answered, I am very happy to hear your in remission, and we are very lucky to have you in out lives to Shawn.

    • I wholly agree with Andy. Our prayers have been answered. Thank God for your recovery and the wonderful friends and family who are helping you (not only financially) through these very trying times.

      May your recovery and strength continue to mend. We want to keep you around for a very long time.

      All of the best to you Shawn.

  3. Shawn, I’m so glad you’re doing so well. We all love you very much. Thank you for keeping us updated. I know, along with so many others, will do all we can to help you. Just let us know! You are an inspiration, my friend.

  4. I’m so glad to hear your cancer free! Please if you can let those of us know how we can purchase these books that help you cover your medical exspenses. Big hugz being sent your way! <3 you and Terry are both unbelievably awesome people! (Please excuse my spelling) You both have had an major impact on so many of our lives! Looking forward to being able to help you out Shawn! <3 Kristy 🙂

  5. So glad you are in remission! Sounds like you have a multitude of friends looking out for you as well as the fans. Looking forward to all the news to cocme on Feb.1.

  6. Shawn..I am so pleased to hear that you are in remission, that is great news!!! Hopefully this is the end of this battle for you! All cancer patients should be that fortunate, like my poor sister who has be fighting for 9 years now. I will keep you in my prayers, and keep sending good energy your way. I am also very excited about all the news you have upcoming. I hope everything works out well for you, and i am looking forward to making a few purchases!!!! Feel better!!=D…Rose Castellane from NJ

  7. Good to read the update, Shawn. You remain in our thoughts and prayers. Hang in there. I’m looking forward to the books too!

  8. That is absolutely wonderful news!!! So glad to hear you are doing so much better! Better than better actually!! Can’t wait for the books!!! Keep us updated in Feb.. Happy New Year my friend!!! This one is going to be great!!!

  9. Shawn, to be in remission is GREAT news! Looking forward to The Dark Thorn. (another pre-order) 🙂 Keep up the good health and THANK YOU for all you do for the fans as well as for Terry!

  10. Glad to hear it Shawn. I have purchased the e-book version of “Imaginary Friends” and will definitely purchase a hardcover version, as well as your e-book AND hardcover of The Thorn. Anything to help out, I say. Do you have a donation page anywhere, with paypal etc.? Keep up your good work with suvudu and the signed page and let us know if you have anyplace for us to donate. Cheers, Dennis

  11. Great to hear you’re in remission Shawn. I hope everything goes your way this year! The anthology (and everything you’ve announced this year) sounds great.

  12. GREAT to hear you are doing so well Shawn… best wishes and continued health and success! It is great to see how the community has rallied you… I am looking forward to your book!

  13. Shawn,

    Glad to hear your health is improving. It sounds like you have a great attitude and a supportive network.

    I just bought a copy of Imaginary Friends and look forward to the upcoming book releases as well.

    All the best to you!

  14. Shawn-so very glad that you are doing well and that the cancer is gone. Looking forward to the new publications and will gladly purchase them. Good things will continue to happen!!!

  15. Good to hear! I’m glad you’re in remission. Not so much, about the financial burden this has left on you, I hope it all works out.

  16. Shawn!
    I am so glad of the news that you are in remission! Congrats on balance and getting better! And even greater the news about that anthology! I can’t wait! And I am so hoping for a hardcover edition of Imaginary Friends. I had only borrowed the anthology it had first appeared in, so that would be a fantastic addition to my Brooks collection. Definitely looking forward to your e-book & hardcover as well! Keep writing, getting well and I send healing wishes your way.
    All the best!

  17. So pleased to read the good news. We are all so grateful for the work you have done, and happy to help support you in any way possible. Definitely watching for more news on ordering the coming books to help. Good luck, and continued improving health to you!

  18. Hi Shawn,
    Great to hear you’re doing well. Let us know if we can do more to help. It’s good to see all these people are watching out for you.
    Looking forward to the upcoming publications, especially to Dark Thorn.
    Wishing you everything good.

  19. I’m so happy to hear this and will support all your projects. I look forward to reading The Dark Thorn and many more!

  20. I am so happy to hear this news. You had us pretty worried Webbie. I am sure everyone on the site will be happy to hear this as well. I will be looking forward to buying any upcoming books to help out in anyway I can. I have also talked a few into buying imaginary friends on their nooks as well. I will look forward to Dark Thorn. If there is anything else we can do to help just say the word and your friends here will do their best to help I am more than sure of that! Hugs! Stay well! ~Dee~

  21. Great news shawn wish u all the best in the future hope everything goes well for you stay strong we are all routing for you mate

  22. Like the rest of us, we wish you all the best mate, and keep smiling. We have all come to know you in some form and it is great to hear that the cancer is on its way out the door.

  23. Might I suggest you set up a fund so that people can directly donate toward? If there is one, please you post the corresponding data necessary to make such a donation.

    I for one don’t need the book, though I would surely enjoy it, but I’d be more than happy to help if there is a means to effect that desire.

  24. Glad all is well with you!! So awesome that so many writers are pulling through for you as well! Look forward to the awesome read!!

  25. Glad to hear you are doing better. Looking forward to reading your book once it’s published. Are you going to be setting up a signed edition as well?

    Great cast for the anthology, can’t wait to hear more.

    Also, great idea to put imaginary friends in HB format. I am old school, hate kindle, so I’ll purchase the HB once it’s published as well.

  26. That is great news. I am glad to hear you’re doing better, and I am going to buy both books as soon as I can.

  27. Thanks for the well wishes, everyone! It truly means a lot. On a different note, I just had my port-a-cath removed from my chest. It was the means by which the nurses drew blood and gave me my chemo. I’ll have a Frodo Baggins scar on my chest up by my shoulder as if a Morgul-blade had pierced me, but after a few days I’ll be mostly healed and able to resume a mostly normal life.

    More news about the books will be coming soon! I’m excited for it all. Gonna be a fun 2012!

  28. That is wonderful news, Shawn! February 1st is my Birthday, so I look forward to hearing more! I will do everything in my power to help you lower that amount you owe! Blessed Be, Web Druid!

  29. I usually just read articles here, but I wanted to congratulate you on your health. That anthology sounds insane already; it would be worth buying even if wasn’t for a good cause.

  30. So glad to hear you are feeling better (& of course actually doing better). Prayers continue. Can’t wait to get the new anthology & your new book. Both sound amazing.

  31. That is terrific news Shawn. I know I will be one of the first ones in line to get your book when it is published. Having that scar can actually be a good thing, you can make up some good stories about it.
    Also looking forward to that anthology, can’t wait to hear when that will be coming out.

    Would love to get a copy of that with all the contributors signatures on it.

  32. Hey Shawn,

    So glad to hear you’re doing well and hope everything continues to progress the way that it has been, so keep on keepin’ on as my grandma would say. Bye.

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