Thursday, January 29, 2015

Putting Emotion on the Page

Today's designated topic is on how to put emotion on the page.  But with Thorn of Dentonhill's release just days away, it's just about impossible to talk about HOW to do that.  So, instead, I'll just put some emotion on the page.  Or screen, as it were.
And that emotion is gratitude, because the book would not exist without the assistance of quite a few people.
First of all, there is my amazing and incredibly patient wife, Deidre Kateri Aragon.  She has been an anchor in my life for the past fifteen years, giving me the ability to pound away at a keyboard day after day and making this book happen.  But more importantly, she got me on task in the first place, moving me from being that guy who just talked about “writing a book at some point” to actually making writing a real focus in my life.  She, as well as my son Nicholas, have been a source of constant support and strength through the process of becoming a novelist.
No less important to thank are my parents, Louis and Nancy Maresca, and my mother-in-law, Kateri Aragon.  My mother, especially, read an early draft and gave it a solid critique and line edit. 
Next, there are all the many people who read versions and drafts of Thorn, and gave useful advice that helped shape it into a stronger, better work.  This includes Kimberly Frost and Julie Kenner, as well as Miriam Robinson Gould, and the Bat City Novelocracy crew: Kevin Jewell, Abby Goldsmith, Ellen Van Hensbergen, Leigh Berggren, Nicole Duson and Amanda Downum.
A huge portion of thanks has to go to Stina Leicht, who has been running the ArmadilloCon Writers Workshop for many years, and after I had attended it several times, brought me on board to run it with her.  Stina has been a friend, a mentor, a sympathetic ear, and a good source for the occasional much-needed whap upside the head, which is exactly what every writer needs.
I can’t emphasize enough how much is owed to my agent, Mike Kabongo.  He’s handled with grace and humor the arduous task of dealing with my constant harassment while shopping my work.  He deserves extra accolades for taking an interest in a manuscript that was not ready or sellable, but filled with potential.  He really shepherded that work, which eventually became this novel.
Further thanks are owed to my editor, Sheila Gilbert, as well as everyone else at DAW and Penguin: Josh Starr, Katie Hoffman, Nita Basu, and probably a dozen other people who helped bring this about whose names I never knew.  I am deeply grateful for all the hard work they’ve done to make this the best book it can possibly be.
Finally, there is my dear friend Daniel J. Fawcett, who has been my sounding board and bent ear on everything creative I’ve done since the seventh grade.  Nothing in this book would be what it is without his influence.  I wouldn’t be who I am today without his friendship.

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