Dear First Readers,
Let me count the ways I love you
1. for reading my sprawling 250+ page manuscripts in a timely manner (and for not being annoyed when I call several times asking, “have you gotten to it yet?”)
2. corollary to this one just for my husband, for being able to concentrate on reading my manuscript while I breathe anxiously over his shoulder, and for the moments when I’m not reading over his shoulder, for answering me when I ask continually, “what part are you on?”
3. for kindly and lovingly giving me much needed criticism despite my stony silences and/or pathetic jabbering. (But don’t you get it, that part is supposed to be confusing/over written/boring, etc…)
4. for reading multiple versions of manuscripts. Special shout out to my college friend Tom who I just realized has read every single piece of writing I have ever produced since the age of 18. God Bless you, Tom. There is a special place in editorial heaven for you.
5. and corollary to that one for my husband Rick, who doesn’t even really like children’s books, but has read nearly everything I’ve written and still manages to put on a brave face when presented with yet another “finished” draft. (also, I should add a thanks for the many times he’s come home from work with same brave face, to find me still wearing my bathrobe, the house a complete sty and yet another appetizing meal of chocolate chip pancakes awaiting him for dinner.)
6. for their willingness to discuss plot holes and character motivation problems ad nauseum. (extra praise here to my two long-suffering children who have helped me work through more than one book issue with sweet little smiles on their adorable faces)
7. for telling me over and over again through the years that “this book is really good!” or “I bet this one is the one!”
Here’s to you, my wonderful, generous, gracious, and supportive first readers on Valentines Day—a BIG thanks and a promise that when the elusive book deal comes, every one of you is getting a real card and a box of chocolates.