While the phrase "it takes a village" always sounds a little cliche, it really does hold true for the career of most writers. It's the rare author who launches from the starting gate into the stratosphere without many people behind her (or him) helping in so many ways.
It's hard to even recount some of the many, many people who have helped me to get to where I am at this point in my career. Certainly first and foremost to thank is my husband, whose constant support has bolstered me through the ups and downs I've experienced as a writer. And I'm most appreciative of his reliable income: when mine was most unreliable, I was still able to persist in my efforts to help sustain us financially with my income as an author. Without him I could not have continued to try to plug away at a career as an author. And my kids, who have ridden the highs and lows alongside me as well and been my biggest cheerleaders. That goes for so very many family members who have been there for me on the sidelines (starting with my mom, who bought me my first laptop so I could write books while waiting for my kids at various after school practices and while on the road for soccer matches).
Many fellow authors loom large for me: those who have been in the trenches alongside me and shared in the frustrations and successes---and there have been many of both. These include writers I've befriended and become good friends with online, some from writing groups, others I've met at conferences. And of course the lovely ladies of the Girlfriends Book Club---an amazing group and super supportive. Many of my writer friends are women and it's a unique sisterhood we all have forged for ourselves in this business that has often been inherently more challenging for women than men. But there are a lot of guys who write whose input and support has been invaluable as well.
And there are authors who were way ahead of me in the business and were kind enough to reach a hand down to help pull me up: the lovely and hilarious Meg Cabot, who kindly blurbed my first novel for me; Jane Porter as well for that matter. And a host of author friends who kindly took the time to read and blurb my books also, which is asking a lot when they have their own books to write and edit: Kristy Kiernan, Eileen Cook (who's got the book of the spring launching soon!), Lauren Baratz-Logsted, Suzanne MacPherson, Bev Katz Rosenbaum, Wade Rouse (who also has a much buzzed-about book coming out soon), Beth Hoffman, Sarah Pekkanen, Ad Hudler.
And some top-tier authors who are all-around good people: the late Pat Conroy, such a lovely, humble and exceedingly talented writer, and Jamie Ford, so funny and so poignant, both come to mind.
Along the way I've had some terrific editors, who help so much to polish a book to its full luster: Chris Keeslar, Emily Westlake, both in the land of traditional publishing, and now folks like Anne Victory and Nikki Busch, Jen Pooley (who will honestly tell you when you need to know when to fold 'em), and Bev Katz Rosenbaum. I couldn't be where I am without thanking Kim Killion, who creates excellent covers for my books. And my assistant Joanne Levy, who truly has the patience of a saint when it comes to disorganized me.
And I can't forget my excellent agent Holly Root who without doubt has the patience of Job with me...and who will one day get The Book from me. It's fermenting in my brain as I write this. And a shout-out to agent Jeff Kleinman, who gave me lots of early encouragement when I really needed it.
And last but of course far from least, loyal and lovely readers: without whom I'd never have gotten past my first novel---and wow, did readers help to bolster my confidence when I launched my first novel! I'd be an awfully lonely writer without supportive readers, who send the most wonderful emails and post awesome reviews just because they're really nice people, and who continue to seek out books I've written and pop in to say hi when they're on Facebook (and, um, maybe even send me some adorable panda pictures, which I love to obsess over): I can't say enough about how grateful I am to you all, who have stuck with me over the years and given me the impetus to keep on keeping on in this crazy business, because I know there are people out there who enjoy reading the books I write. For that I can't say thank you enough!
Geeze, I didn't mean to get all Academy Award on you here--not like I've been handed a gold statue and been asked for my acceptance speech or anything! But I think it is so important to thank everyone who has contributed to my getting here: I think more so in publishing than in most traditional jobs, an author stands on many, many strong shoulders to get to where they've gotten, and to you all I say thank you, thank you, thank you! (and if I forgot to mention you, many mea culpas for that failure!).
So great news! I just released Throne for a Loop, book six in my It's Reigning Men series! It's available here: iBooks, Kindle, Kobo, GooglePlay, Nook
And what do you think of the cover for book 7? I love it! It's available for pre-order, coming out May 24! You can get it here: iBooks, Kindle, Kobo, GooglePlay
Oh and for a limited time I've got an awesome free book for you if you sign up for my newsletter: Something in the Heir, book 1 of the It's Reigning Men series! Sign up here http://eepurl.com/baaewn and you'll be first to hear about deals and giveaways.