With Longtails releasing, I wanted to release the Acknowledgments from the back of the book. Let’s face it, whether you read the book or not, these amazing folks deserve to be praised!
A lot can change in a very short amount of time. If The Storms of Spring has taught me anything, it’s that what you expect and what actually happens are very often completely different. When I released my last novel, A Home for Wizards, over two years ago, in one of the worst snow storms to ever hit New York City, I had no idea I was about to embark on one of the most challenging years of my life, followed by one of the most incredible. Not two days after the release of that book, I signed a contract to write Apollo’s Landing, an idea which I knew was a sure winner. In fact, I even said that it would be one of the easiest things I’d ever written. Oh, how wrong I was.
After five drafts, each of varying levels of awfulness, I finally gave up on the idea. In the meantime, my husband, Carl, and our dog, Izzy, were relocating from NYC to sunny Orlando. We picked up our lives and headed south. It was one of the best decisions of my life. The year between A Home for Wizards and our eventual move was incredibly tough for many different reasons. And at more than one point, I questioned whether or not my writing career had hit a dead end. After ditching Apollo’s Landing, and trying (and failing) to write a handful of other ideas, I was beginning to get desperate. So, one day, I sat down to write something just for fun. I wanted to live out an adventure and escape the stress and challenges of my day to day life. It was at this point that I began work on Longtails.
Writing a novel is a lonely process, for the most part. We, as writers, sit and stew over plot lines and dialogue and witty sentence structure. But I would be lying if I said that this book only happened because I willed it into existence. There are some incredible people who made this book a reality, and they deserve all the praise and thanks in the world.
First up is the fantastic Amy Chang. This is Amy’s third time editing a book for me. Her notes and opinions have become invaluable. I often don’t feel like a book I am working on reaches the best it can be until she’s given it her time and attention. Amy has always been timely, positive and a joy to work with. But beyond that, Amy is the kind of friend who comes to your aid, even when you are bad at asking for it. And for that, I thank her with all my heart.
I need to thank Dexter Allagahrei. Dexter joined my team on A Home for Wizards, beautifully rendering a cover at very late notice. With Longtails, he has stepped up the game, creating sketches of the characters, images for short stories on my blog and even the front and back covers of this very book. Dexter, who I am proud to say is my real-life cousin, has been nothing but supportive and excited in regards to creating this new series and his sketches of the mice and other members of the cast allowed me to fully realize them as actual living, breathing characters. Thank you for everything you do, whether it be creating art, or just sending me photos of mice eating mini pancakes.
While my mother is not directly connected to the creative process, she inspires me every single day. Those that follow me on social media and on my blog will know that my mom went through some tough health issues this past year, which encouraged us both to get healthy and take care of ourselves. More than 100 lbs. lighter, Mom is shining brighter than she ever has before. Mom, you are an inspiration to me, and your ability to celebrate life, taking the good with the bad, has helped me be a healthier, happier person this year, and Longtails would not have happened if not for that positivity in my life. So, thank you!
I want to give a shout out to my Grandma. We don’t talk as often as we should. I know that. But Grandma is always one of the most supportive people in my life. Right before my wedding to my, now, husband, I came out to my Grandma. I expected this to go horribly, but to my great surprise, Grandma has been one of the most supportive people in the entire family. She always checks in to make sure Carl is doing well, and she always reads the ridiculous things I write, remarking “You’ve got quite the imagination.” Thanks for always being a pillar of love and support in my life, Grandma.
Of course, none of this is possible without my husband, Carl. Carl is the ever-radiant light in my life no matter how dark and brooding I feel. Carl sees the best in everyone, even if I sometimes see the worst. But more importantly, he sees the best in me. It is a rare person who can believe in you fully, yet still challenge you constantly. Carl raises me up and pushes me even higher than I thought possible. Since the release of my last novel, Carl and I got married, and it was, and always will be, one of the best days of my entire life. Carl was an editor on this book, but more importantly, he is an on-going editor on my life, always working with me to ensure that every day is better than the last, correcting any typos that life might throw at us.
Last, but certainly not least, I want to thank you! Yes, you! Whether you’re someone I know personally, or not, books are written in the hopes of being read. So, the fact that you’ve read this one deserves my undying gratitude. Writing The Storms of Spring has been an amazing experience, but knowing that you read it, really is a dream come true. Thank you for your support, and your time. I literally could not do this without you.