Thank you, Thank you, Thank you (Did I say thanks?)
Whatever modicum (I like that word) of success that comes my way, and by the way, to me success is people enjoying the books I’ve written, and NOT any financial gain, honest! Some people have been pivotal in helping, and supporting me to make this happen.
I look at my wife sometimes, when I’m banging away on my laptop and she brings me a cup of green tea, or black coffee (depending on how late at night it is) and I think who would be married to a writer? Let me say up front that Jaqcui is not a reader and I respect that, but at dinner sometimes I tell her plot outlines and about characters and on occasions she gets heavily involved in giving me her strong views on things like “Oh he wouldn’t say that, he’d say this”, or with some indignation, she would ask “Why did he kill her with the rolled up newspaper with a knife inside it and not the pitchfork?” Well OK, maybe that last one was silly, but you get the idea. She has been my biggest supporter and sounding board and without her pushing and prodding me, none of this would have happened. I remember we went away ‘down south’ to this beautiful cabin on the ocean for four days, and for those four days I wrote solidly, while she spent quality time with my daughter. She so understood my needs, and I adore her. I might also mention her, and the kids, combined to buy me a new Mac laptop to write on, so my first thanks much go to her, a truly fantastic woman, and my soul mate; love you babe.
Next, is my eldest daughter, Tania. Boy, where do I start? Back a couple of years ago, when inspiration hit me like a sledgehammer from the sky I wrote the first poem I’d written in more years than I care to remember about a man killing women through his point of view. It was dark and moody, OK, *throws hands in the air in surrender* some would say morbidly sick. But it was a story, desperately trying to get out, and that poem, was the Meer cat poking its head above the sand hill to have a look around to see if was safe. I needed someone to read it and tell me it was rubbish, because I thought it was good (surprise surprise). So I sent it to her for her opinion. Now she, in her younger days studied journalism, but now is a manager for a drugs company, and to be honest is far smarter than I could ever hope to be. She is also a voracious reader of books, especially thrillers, so I really respected her thoughts. She rang and said she liked it, and was proud of me, and when I said there was more to that story than just a poem she urged me to write it. Once my wife got in the act and told me to do it as well, I did. In what seemed like no time flat I had three chapters written, which started, from the unusual (I felt) viewpoint of a man in the act of his tenth murder. I sent it to Tania and asked what she thought, because I was full of self-doubt, and worry that I had no idea where the story was going, let alone how it would end – bless her, she urged me to keep going. So started me bombarding her with emails, and the biggest compliment came when she phoned me one day and said, “I’m not speaking to you again, you killed off (spoiler alert) Mike Knowles, I liked him.” She did an awesome job trying to sort the mess out and do some form of editing, and she was the first person to tell me ‘Dad, your tenses are all wrong.” She has read every word I’ve written, given feedback, done editing, told me how things could improve, but most importantly, told me she was proud of me, and urged me on. Thanks isn’t enough, none of this was possible without you.
So when Forever Night was completed and sent out into the big wide world of agents and publishers and I started up again biting my nails, Sarah Smeaton, a senior editor from TEG (Totally Entwined Group – Evidence Press) wrote to me, and said “I love what you’re trying to do with this story, but your tenses are all wrong.” Clearly she had gone to the same school as Tania. Jacqui and I went out to dinner to celebrate that email, and I bored the socks off her, yes it was cold and she was wearing socks, telling her about this idea I was half way into, about internet dating, chat rooms and a psychotic killer who focuses on a married man (Domin8). Were it not for Sarah seeing something beyond all my wrong tenses and asking me to fix it so she could contract it, nothing that followed would have happened. Thanks Sarah.
I then worked with Shannon, another awesome editor with TEG who assisted in me writing the next three books: a trilogy, comprising of Domin8, The Vigilante Taxi, and Burial Ground. Unfortunately, TEG’s parent company, Bonnier pulled their funding for Evidence Press and they could no longer take those books, but Shannon was a massive help in becoming, hopefully, a better writer. Thanks Shannon.
In fact, thanks to everyone at TEG, you are an incredible bunch of extremely talented and dedicated people; I loved working with you all, and would drop everything to be with you again, without hesitation.
So thrust out into the world of finding a publisher again I was urged to find my own editor to work with. Luckily I found another amazing woman who is so dedicated, smart, knowledgeable and is also such a nice person to work with; Alex Moore. Whenever I get a manuscript back from you Alex I am blown away with two things, firstly how little I know about grammar, and secondly how much you do. I can’t thank you enough for agreeing to take me on, as busy as I know you are, and thank you for enjoying my books as you madly work away with your pen. (It must cost you a fortune in red ink).
Lastly, but by no means least, the person responsible for creating this web site, and providing stunning artwork for the book covers, take a bow Katrina Wall. Katrina’s skill with camera, computer (web designing), and using photo shop, leaves me with goose bumps. I can’t thank you enough too for re-inspiring me when I was at my lowest ebb and contemplating giving it all away.
Lastly, to all the others along the way too; like my other children, friends, family and colleagues: thank you all for your interest in my attempt to become a serious writer, and your support. Just remember books make excellent presents, so buy at least a dozen of mine.
For fear of repeating myself: Thank, you, thank you, thank you.