Writers aren’t created in a vacuum. There is always a parade of people behind us and our work. I’d like to publicly acknowledge a few here:

My Children: The impact of my life as a writer is a constant presence for my children. While I do take time off from my writing while they’re with me, writing is a huge part of my life. There are whiteboards around the house covered in plot, story boarding and timelines. I stare off into space when story ideas come my way, bore them with book stuff in line at amusement parks or the grocery store, and default to talking about the stories when nothing else comes to mind. My daughter is my biggest fan and always there to bounce ideas off of or to read out loud for editing purposes. My eldest son serves as my staunchest competition, assuring me in countless ways how bad my writing is and how much better my stories would be if he wrote them. My youngest son just suffers behind rolled eyes and asks me if I want to join him in a video game. Even so, the three of them provide a fount of ideas (some quite bizarre) even though they don’t often realize it.

Advanced Readers: I can’t say enough good things about these people. Each brings unique contributions to manuscripts from encouragement or plot line issue identification to grammar/punctuation checking, fresh ideas and sound boarding. They take time out of their own lives to go over manuscripts not ready for public consumption, sometimes repeatedly over several versions. My grateful thanks to all my advance readers over the years: Mike M., Virginia, Troy, Johanna, Jason, Lynette, Bryan, Shannon, Andrew, Karen, Eric, Katherine, Mike B., Scott R., Dalton, Justin, Rus and Sarah.

Writing Group Peers: If you’re an aspiring writer and you don’t have a writing group, go find one. Of all the people who’ll accompany you on your journey as a writer, writing groups will stand with you with an understanding that few others can grasp. Writing groups share critiques, sound boarding, trading manuscripts, networking, shared publishing information, and the ever present building up of one another against the avalanche of rejections. Thanks for all the support: Kimberly, Sean, Benjamin, Kristen, Darrell, Katherine and Kelsey.

The Pros: Another incredible resource I’ve found to help me along the way are the pros. Professional, published authors that just same take time to share a word of wisdom or encouragement. Some I’ve ran into have said just the right thing at the right moment to keep me going, push me forward, change my perspective or lend me otherwise missing understanding.

My Taco Bell Triangle: Probably not the most expected category to find here, but I don’t make any secret that I enjoy writing in restaurants with a Diet Pepsi fountain. Having been a fan of Taco Bell since a kid, I frequent three of their restaurants around my area. Over the years and countless pages I’ve gotten to know their managers, trainers and crews. They’ve become friends and fans, providing character names, opinions and even occasionally a bit of free food for the starving artist. They make me feel at home rather than glowering at the guy sitting there for hours on end. They have my thanks.

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