When I woke up this morning, my phone was already desperately blinking at me, filled with messages and alerts from Twitter and Facebook. Friends and family and colleagues had started early in the morning spreading the word about my debut novel’s birthday. It was an amazing feeling and as the morning wore on, the posts kept coming, poring in so quickly it was (and still is) impossible to keep up!
There are so many people who deserve thanks for their part in this process, but there are several that I feel the need to call out here.
My sister Haley has always been my first and biggest fan. She’s the kind of fan who remembers my books better than I do and brings me presents because they remind her of an old story that, at this point, will NEVER see the light of day. She’s already read Sing Sweet Nightingale more times than anyone but me and my wonderful editors and even sat with me in my bedroom one weekend while I read the entire 105,000 word book to her. Her enthusiasm for what happens next in my stories is one of the things that keeps me writing quickly, wanting to get her the next chapter as soon as I can.
Although Haley may be the first true fan of my writing, my mom, Corey, was always the first real fan of me. No matter what I thought I wanted to do, she was there supporting me in it. Driving me to dance classes and dress rehearsals and competitions when I was little, helping me with homework, encouraging my hobbies–she did it all. Most importantly, though, my mom believed wholeheartedly that I was exactly the person I should be, no matter how weird that person was. I couldn’t have asked for a kinder, smarter, more supportive mom and a lot of how Dana Teagan relates to Mariella in Sing Sweet Nightingale comes from how amazing I know my own mother would be in that situation.
All of my friends have been fascinated by and supportive of my writing aspirations, but Lani Woodland has literally been there since the beginning. Like Haley, Lani has read almost everything I’ve ever written and been one of the first people I call when I get stuck or things go wrong. Or when things go right! Without Lani, Sing Sweet Nightingale would not have been born. It also wouldn’t have found such a loving home with Danielle Ellison and Patricia Riley at Spencer Hill. Thank you for everything, bestie!
And then there’s Spencer Hill. Danielle and Patricia jumped in to my corner from day one. They took my vision for The Dream War Saga, pulled out the bits that I didn’t know wouldn’t work, and helped me put the whole thing back together into a shape that was even better than what I’d started with. My wonderful editresses have been crazy perfectionists who demanded more than I thought I was capable of. They have been cheerleaders, publicists, and, best of all, friends. I cannot imagine this series in any other hands and I am so thankful that Lani introduced me to Danielle and the rest of my Spencer Hill family. They have put SO MUCH WORK into this series already and we’re only now publishing the first book. What I’ve learned over the past eighteen months or so, though, is that they’re brilliant and, most importantly, they’re almost always right. I adore my editresses and I honestly do not know how to thank them enough for everything they’ve done and everything we have yet to accomplish together. <3
My agent, Danielle Chiotti, has been invaluable for the past year. Helping me keep my head when edits overwhelmed me, guiding me through revisions, teaching me all the things I didn’t know, and generally going WAY beyond what is technically required of a literary agent. She’s proven herself ten times over and I am so lucky that she chose to take me on. Even more so, I’m SO looking forward to working with her over the coming years!
There are so many other people who have played small but extremely significant parts in my life over the past few years. The team at Spencer Hill who have been working behind the scenes for eighteen months to make sure this book was perfect–Kate Kaynak, Cindy Thomas, Britta Gigliotti, Rich Storrs, and so many others! My fellow SHP/SHC authors–A.R. Kahler, Sarah Guillory, Dahlia Adler, the Rock sisters Joanne and Karen, Megan Whitmer, Mary Gray, Rachel Harris, and Kelsey Macke–have been nothing but supportive and generally wonderful! And then there have been friends like Asja Parrish and Taylor Thompson who willingly gave up their free time to read a new draft of my book or bloggers like my fabulous Dream Team and everyone who volunteered their time for the blog tour hosted by Jamie and Rachel at Rockstar. It’s amazing how many people have already been a part of Sing Sweet Nightingale‘s life and it’s completely mind boggling how many more people are about to join the party now that the book has been released in to the wild.
Thank you to absolutely everyone! This day has been wonderful and all of you have played a part in that.