I’ve been a life-long reader, and here’s something I never understood until I sat down to write the acknowledgements for The Trouble With Fate: though a writer spends a hellish amount of sitting alone in front of the monitor, writing a book is really a lot more like running a marathon.
There are people–a veritable crowd of them–who will help you train, who will yell encouragement, who wait for you at the end of your run.
I thought about that when I wrote the acknowledgements for the book, and I thought about it again today, when my daughter called, and went over the Christmas shopping. Chelsea is doing it all for me. AGAIN. For the second Christmas in a row, she’s online, she’s at the stores, she’s slogging through the crowds. For me. Again. Because Mom’s running behind her deadline, and my girl is heading to the rescue. She’s good a that–taking care of people, seeing to details, organizing the event. I’m lucky. Both my kids are very loving people. Both of them can be endearingly sweet (that would be the picture up above). BUT they have grit. They have backbone. They get things done. For proof, take a gander at the second picture. If you look closely, you’ll notice that my daughter has two black eyes. She got that when she ran into a pole. They had to replace the light standard, but my kid? The next day, she’s laughing. And her brother? J.B. was just ticked that he wasn’t there to personally toss that hunk of steel into the incinerator.
I am grateful for my kids, which reminds me of the other people I owe thanks to.
So, here we go.
I’ve always wanted to do this–take a minute to run through the acknowledgements. Because you know what? It’s never just about you. Here they are: The People From My First Marathon.
My agent and also, a dear friend, who saw a faint glow and knew how to make it shine.
My dear, patient US editor. Who did not thump me over the head when I wrote “Here’s the book. Sorry there’s no love scene, but my stomach’s acting up, and there’s no way I can drink a bottle of merlot.”
My personal Gandalf, and cherished friend, Caitlin Sweet. Loved both for her insightful comments and for the fact she’ll drink merlot even though she prefers white wine.
Susan (last name withheld)
There is a rumor going around that she’s related to me, and that she may be one of the two people in this picture. Susan (name withheld) has an amazing ability to put her slim finger on the exact thing that’s fouling the scene. Yeah. She’s been looking after my interests for a long, long time.
Chris Szego of Bakka Phoenix.
She read a draft of Hedi and wrote “TSTL” beside something that was truly dumb. She used a red pen to do it. When I finally reached the bottom of the manuscript’s box, I discovered her pen. I looked at it for a bit, wishing I could throw it at the wall. Then I had a moment of clarity. She was mostly right. Beside it was smarter to hold on to her favourite red uni-ball. As soon as I got a published copy of The Trouble With Fate, I’d send the book her way WITH the red pen.
Friend and beta reader. That sounds like fun doesn’t it? It’s hell. NONE of my first drafts read much like the final product. She was honest enough to tell me that Trowbridge needed some work. She was right on that. And I’m grateful to her honesty.
Her virtual home witnessed the birth of my writing career. I owe her more than I can say.
Friend and champion of the missing word.
The people above were mentioned in The Trouble With Fate’s acknowledgements. (With the exception of my immediate family. No recent pictures for them because they should have their own lives, and not stumble over their images online) However, there have been people to thank since then–all of whom have been massively important in terms of getting The Trouble With Fate to the market. Here they are:
This charming woman had the excellent taste to buy the U.K. rights for the Mystwalker series. If you pick up a copy of THE TROUBLE WITH FATE in the UK, and you feel compelled to scream from the top of your lungs, “I LOVE THIS BOOK!”, then turn yourself in the direction of Tor UK, and add “Bella” to the front end of that cheer. However, if you hate it, you might opt for stoic silence. *grin* Your choice.
Tricia Pickyme Schmitt –she has created memorable covers for my U.S. prints. (Just you wait till you see the next cover!)
James Annal–I’m hugely grateful for the wonderful cover he created for my U.K. publication.
Rich Fahle–he’s added some gloss to the launch of Leigh Evans.
And finally, my new favourite person (seeing as I’m going through the copy edits of THE THING ABOUT WERES)–Ragnhild Hagen. This poor cursed soul has been the copy editor for both of my books. Lucky for me, s/he possesses both sharp eyes and heaps of patience. Ranghild–I’m giving you fair warning. You might need to brace yourself for book 3.