Here follow my acknowledgements and thank yous–I intended on putting a page in the book devoted to these, but once written, it felt so stuffy, so not-me. That, and I can put links on here where they’re appropriate, and it’s easier to share with everyone. 🙂
First of all, to my family and friends–thank you for always being there, for always believing in me, especially when I couldn’t. And especially my mom, for giving me the idea for Firebrand in the first place! And thank you to my siblings–my very best friends–for being such awesome sounding boards. You’ve endured my endless questions, brainstorming, and awful first drafts. (I feel like I should be saying “sorry,” not thank you, haha.) Anyhow, I love you!
Thank you to my amazing writing group and critique partners–Stacey, Keith, Linda, Teri, Justin, and the rest of the Roanoke “Inklings.” Your talents, encouragement, and friendship have been invaluable. Thank you for pushing me along and teaching me so much. And special thanks to Justin for doing a few rounds of copy-editing for Firebrand, you gave my eyes a break and did a fantastic job!
A very, very special thank you to my first creative writing teacher and friend, Mrs. Driskill. You told this awkward, self-conscious, thirteen-year-old kid she was a writer, and she never forgot. Your passion and joy for writing and stories was infectious. Not only that, you’re also the reason I’m a teen librarian, and I hope that I can make even half the sort of difference you made in my life with my own teen writers. I’m so glad we’ve remained friends.
And of course, my “teens”–because no matter how old you get, you’ll always be my babies! Thank you, Gabby, Gwen, Megan, Temple, Chris, Abi, Hannah, Mackenzee, Julie, Deanna, Alexxus, Caitlin, Beth, Mary, John, and all of my other Scribblers. You were my first YA readers, and the first to fall in love my characters the way I have. And you mean the absolute world to me!
Thank you to my editor, Stephen Parolini, for helping to make Firebrand the very best it could be! You were a pleasure to work with. (see his website at www.noveldoctor.com)
Thank you to Julie Keller for your beautiful cover designs–they made Firebrand come to life in a way I’d only ever dreamed of. I can’t wait to see what the rest of the series will look like! (See more of her work at thestudiozoom.com)
Finally, and certainly the very most, I thank my Lord and Savior, the great Author and Creator, and my one true love–for without Him nothing is possible, and without Him, my words are empty.
Glóir do Dhia amháin–Glory to God alone.