Monday, January 02, 2012

In Which I Thank The Not So Little People

The road a book takes to creation, I've learned, is a lot like wandering stoned through the desert on a vision quest. It's hazy, enlightening, full of strange new lessons from strange new people.

There's a lot of falling into cactus.

At the end of it you have gone to the land of the dead and come back changed.

CITY OF THE LOST officially hits the bookshelves tomorrow. And though I'm the one who wrote it that feels almost incidental.

Do you know how many people it takes to write a book? Lots.

I don't care whether you've gotten it published with some massive New York publisher, a tiny indie-press, self-pubbed or sitting in your desk drawer covered in dust. You didn't write it alone.

There are the people who gave you good advice you took and bad advice you ignored. The ones who encouraged you to do it, or discouraged you and you told them to go fuck themselves. There are writing groups, editors, agents, friends, spouses.

And I'd like to thank a few of those people who helped me get CITY OF THE LOST where it is today.

I know I'm missing some people from this list. And I'm sorry for that. It's been a long road and I have a memory like a bullet-ridden sieve. But here are a few shout outs.

My Wife, Kari
She convinced me to do NANOWRIMO in 2002. If I hadn't done that I don't think I'd have had the confidence to pursue writing anything longer than a couple thousand words. It proved to me that I could sit down and actually do the work. Toss in years of encouragement, advice and not killing me with a shovel, though I'm sure the urge has been pretty great from time to time.

Allan Guthrie
My agent, the Tartan Ninja. Al Guthrie isn't just a hell of an author, or one of the brains behind Blasted Heath Books, or even a fantastic agent. He's a kick-ass editor to boot. He had suggestions and pointers on CoTL that made it a far better book than I could have hoped for. Even if I cursed him for all the rewrites, the outlines, and that one, teeny-tiny suggestion that meant rewriting the entire second half of the book.

But he was right, damn him. He usually is.

Betsy, Debra and Josh at DAW Books
Everyone at DAW has been fantastic to work with. Thanks guys for putting together a kick-ass book.

Sandra Ruttan
I came up with the idea for CoTL back in 2004 or so but couldn't make it work. Finally I decided to hell with it and I wrote a short story to get it out of my system. Submitted that to Sandra over at Spinetingler Magazine and they ran it. Of course, it didn't get it out of my system. Instead it turned into the first few chapters for CoTL.

Duane Swierzynski and Rob Gregory Brown
Both of these fine, upstanding gentlemen helped me out with my agent search. Thank you, guys. Really appreciate the assist.

Brett Battles
Who critiqued the book, giving me some excellent suggestions and, while I was looking for representation said, "Hey, what about that Allan Guthrie guy? I hear he's an agent. You should try him."

Theresa Weir
Who read an early draft and has been a constant supporter of my writing. She's an incredible writer and a good friend.

The Folks At The Mystery Bookstore
Before it closed early last year, my go-to bookstore was The Mystery Bookstore in Westwood.  Linda, Bobby and everyone else who worked there was always very supportive.  You're all very missed.

There are more. Lots more. Daniel Hatadi, Chris Holm, J.D. Rhoades, David Terrenoire, Doselle Young, Naomi Hirahara... The list goes on.

Thank you, everyone for helping get this mad creation out into the wild. I honestly couldn't have done it without you.


Al Guthrie said...

Aw, shucks. Now I'm all embarrassed. Pleasure to have the chance to work on such a fine novel, Stephen. It's me who should be thanking you for the opportunity to do so. Oh, yeah, I should point out that I am quite a little person, in fact. Five foot seven and a half.

Anonymous said...

Stephen, you are such a wonderful writer, and I'm so excited for you. It's been a long journey. And you're right -- it's not one we make alone. It's been so nice to join you along the road now and then. Hugs, Theresa Anne

Ben said...

Very happy for you Stephen. Congratulations!

Sabrina E. Ogden said...

I've been trying to catch all the wonderful posts that are flying across the internet and found this one by accident. I must have missed it yesterday.

This is a wonderful post and I love reading about all the people that have helped and encouraged you along the way. I'm very, very happy for you, and I'm really looking forward to reading City of the Lost and all the other wonderful stories you throw our way in the future.