In 2013, Colin McAllister and Justin Ryan made me cry.
And then they made my husband cry.
But our whole family loved them for it.
I had followed their writing and TV shows: they are brilliant designers. But they didn’t know me. How surprising then, that Colin and Justin should have done something special for my first book that helped launch my career as an author.
It happened at a time when I was coping with serious injuries from a car accident and had lost all self-confidence. Gone were the days of being a high-flying TV exec, of heading up big projects, of knowing my own strength.
Now, I badly needed to believe in myself. The book I’d been writing over twenty-plus years was about to be published.
Colin and Justin’s support, and that of other readers and reviewers, made an impact. On me, and on the book-reading public.
A Good Home became both critically acclaimed and a bestseller.
In the years since then, I continued to follow Colin and Justin’s projects, cheering them on when they launched a new TV show and an excellent home accessories line.
Occasionally, I dropped them a note. But I still never met them.
Yesterday, an appointment fell through. I ended up strolling through a nearby store, delaying the long drive back home.
I looked up at two men and recognized them instantly.
With several books to my credit, I once again know what it’s like to have fans; I know what it’s like to be approached by strangers. But no fan could have behaved as bizarrely as I did yesterday.
I think I yelled something like “Colin and Justin! It’s me, Cynthia Reyes!”
And then I hugged them.
They probably should have called store security.
But Colin and Justin hugged me back as if deranged women with windswept hair, absolutely no makeup — and no attempt at coolness — attacked them in stores every day.
They asked about my writing, and whether their support had helped. I was so proud to tell them that it had.
If you look at the back cover of my first book, A Good Home, you’ll see a lovely testimonial from Colin and Justin. But if you want to know the full story, and why my family and I are so grateful to these two men, please read this:
Thanks again, Colin and Justin. For your brilliant designs. For being kind to a stranger. And for being you.