The laundry list of individuals who contributed, each in their own way, to the final product of this book is a testament to how writing a book is never simply done by just the author. It is a collaboration of family and friends.
I guess I should start with my family. First and foremost my daughter, Tori Smith, for always believing in me and giving me strength when I wanted to call it quits. You are my inspiration, Mija. Randy, my Love, my Soul Mate, words could never express my gratitude to you for putting up with my insanity and irrational mood swings through this journey. My brother, for seeing greatness in me when I couldn’t, my grandfather, who taught me to not only love books but to cherish them, my dad, who educated me, from a young age, the merit of a proficient vocabulary, and my mom, for always having my back, no matter how crazy my dreams were.
A special thanks to Tyler Strause for being my first reader and first fan, Robbie Tinney-Green for being a sounding board for ideas, Shannon Densman, my cheerleader from day one, Robyn Roberts-Irving, my favorite English teacher, you taught me the art of crafting a bland sentence into something extraordinary, and Gary Blackaller, my day job boss, for letting me revise and write while at work.
No writer would be where they are without their beta readers. I am no different. Authors, J.A. Souders & K. Edwin Fritz are two of the most talented and honest beta readers on the face of the earth. I’m lucky to have them in my life.
A nod must also go to the Editors and Staff of White Bird Publications, for believing in this book and me.
Last, but in no way least, Absolute Write, Purgatory and its inhabitants. Without this extended family I would have made irrational choices and still be lost in my journey. Gretchen McNeil & Alice Loweecey, for being the voices of reason and good advice as well as sometimes brutal honesty, I am truly grateful. Tina Dill, Danielle DeVor, Rick Campbell, L K Herndon, Cindy Pon & Tina Moss, for helping me gain perspective and of course, Clovia, for bringing a smile to my face when I didn’t think it was possible.
You all held my hand and cheered me on, helping me to make this book become a dream realized. Thank you.