PRIDE’S CHILDREN, BOOK ONE wouldn’t be a reality with out an enormous amount of help and support from a bunch of people over a very long time. I’m going to list them here, where I have plenty of space and time to go into all the details of contributions lasting over years.

FIFTEEN years. I started with the idea for this book in 2000. Wow. I hope the rest of the story goes faster!

In no particular order (and I’ll add everyone as I remember):

JM Ney-Grimm – I can’t say enough about Jessica. This year has been the start of a beautiful friendship which started when I asked her questions about her gorgeous covers. As I did my own cover for Book 1, she became my mentor, as well as the person who I could ask anything about the work of. It has evolved to far more than that: a support system during the writing of my one book, and her planned release of her next work (about which I can’t give any details until she goes live herself, but it will be a great one). The amount of her time she has given me has been massive and impressive and incredibly useful ranging over all technical aspect of producing final work and personal subjects which will remain personal. I owe her bigtime.

Rachel Roy – my amazing beta reader. Rachel and I met online through Janice Hardy’s blog, and when she started leaving intelligent comments on Chapter 1, I asked if she’d like to be my beta and see everything before anyone else – and get to point out the typos. It was a wonderful experience to send her a new chapter – and get back more of her quality commentary. She always found the little awkward spots and the punctuation in the wrong place, but more than that, she GOT IT. So much so that my motto for writing is now ‘Torture Rachel.’ Hard on her, maybe (she claims not), but incredibly useful. Because she is in her early 20s, I realized that my idea of who might like the story was too narrow – and found ARC readers and reader and writers of all ages.

Marie H Curran – my friend in County Galway, Ireland. If I made Andrew sound even a bit authentic and Irish, it is almost entirely Marie’s patient emails and lists of answers to my question: how might someone where you (and Andrew) live say ‘stove.’ Hint: it’s not ‘stove.’

Claire Dawson Chase – a good friend from my Girl Guide/Girl Scout days, back in the previous century in Mexico City, who reconnected all of us on FaceBook – who supported and read, and now is recommending me to people in many places. We are widely scattered, the North District girls – and she put us back together. Those were the days, and these are, too, now.

Sandy Manning – my long-time writing partner. We would gather for lunch at the Red Lobster on Route 1 in Lawrenceville to share our latest pages. Our kids are best friends – we went to Bouchercon together in 1998 (I still have the black cloth bag) after meeting online. We are still the best of friends, and I wholly celebrate her traditional contract for her thriller – which will come out next spring – because that’s what she wanted, and she got it!

Sue Gately – friend, neighbor, and godmother to my middle son. She has supported me all through a very long writing process – since she moved into our neighborhood and had her son in the baby carriage when I had just found out I was expecting – and life. She read preliminary versions, knows where the secrets are buried, and has promised she won’t tell. She couldn’t wait for the full story – and took one of the first electronic Advance Reader Copies. She has already started recommending me. I value her every word.

Cynthia Lang – longtime friend and homeschooling mom with me. She has been listening to me for long over 30 years, when we met because we were both women engineers with our first child on the way. And then listening to me interminably over the past fifteen years babble on about writing. She knows secrets, too.

Jon Gwinn – a mutual friend put me onto Jon’s magnificent sunset photos (iPhone, I believe), and he gave me permission to use three of them. They are at the head of this blog and, and one of them was the source of the sunset on the cover of Pride’s Children: PURGATORY – and was what actually started me on the cover idea. I even have plans to use them for the other two books in the trilogy.

My colleagues in the self-publishing world:

Writers who have been generous with answering my many questions, and whose blogs I list because of the huge amount of content for newbies and pros.

Chris McMullen – everything physics and publishing and math.

Jaye Manus – formatting your ebooks. If I hadn’t decided to learn how to do my own, I would have begged Jaye to take me on. She knows EVERYTHING or will figure it out.

Julia Barrett – both supportive professionally, and through one of her books and her kindness, there for me at a very difficult time for our family.


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