By: Joelle Charbonneau
This week I was asked by my editor if I wanted to included acknowledgements in SKATING UNDER THE WIRE – the fourth of the Rebecca Robbins mysteries. Including acknowledgements is always optional, but an option I have always taken because while writing a manuscript is often done in solitude, getting a book published is never done alone. The acknowledgements section is the place where I get to say thank you.
However, the true problem with acknowledgements is that an author never wants to be that person who stands at the academy awards podium and lists everyone from his first English teacher to the woman at Starbucks who serves him coffee. At least, I don’t. I never want to be the one who gets dragged off the stage with the music still playing and the audience shaking their heads at how boring the speech was.
Because of that, I tend to keep my acknowledgements to a page—more or less. SKATING UNDER THE WIRE was the sixth book for which I have written acknowledgements (which makes me realize now that I need to talk to my YA publisher to see if they would allow me to include one for The Testing). Some of the same people are mentioned in each one not because I feel like I have to mention them, but because I truly couldn’t do what I do without them. My family tops that list as does my incredible literary agent. Both provide very different and yet incredibly necessary support. (For those who don’t believe I am silly for having a literary agent in this day and age – I can honestly say that my work is always better for my agent’s input and I wouldn’t give that up for the world!) My editors are always named as are members of my publishing house who have collaborated with me on the project.
After that, I run into the problem of trying to decide who to thank. The list is endless. Friends. Extended family. People whose named I’ve borrowed for characters. People who helped me with research or read early versions of the book in order to help me make it better. Others who reached out during times of emotional upheaval and let me know that they were there. Every single one is important…as are the people who make my Cinnamon Dolce Lattes at Starbucks!
So with every book I have to make a choice as to who to thank and who to put on the list for inclusion the next time. Unlike the first set of acknowledgments I wrote – which was for a one book deal –I know for certain there will be a next time.
However, since next time is still a while down the road, I want to say thank you to all of you who are reading this. Thank you for reading this blog, for encouraging me with your comments and for being a wonderful support of me and my work. Writing is often lonely. There are days where every word you write feels as if it is the worst thing ever written and you are convinced you shouldn’t be writing at all. There are days where books get published and you feel on top of the world. And there are all the days in between. None of it matters without all of you.