Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Drafting the "Acknowledgements" Page

Following weeks of editing and revision, I received the best ever email from my editor. She told me my book was ready. All I needed now was to write the acknowledgement page and the dedication.

All? This could be the toughest part of the book to craft. Where should I begin? Asking a new author to acknowledge those who helped in bringing a project to fruition is a bit like asking a first time academy award winner to offer a “brief speech.”

I had a rough idea of some of those I should include. My dynamite editor, Bethany Kaczmarek, would of course be included. And there’s Eddie Jones from Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas who gave me my first contract for my very first book. No brainers.

I would acknowledge members of my family. For example, my husband, Tom who refers to me as a writer. That’s powerful. He supports me beyond belief. He has cooked dinners for me when I was in the throes of revision and read my story from page one. Over and over… 1A, 1B….you get the idea.

Of course I would mention my daughters, Allison, Danielle, and Kendall. They tease each other, suggesting I have taken one or more attributes from my own children to develop the adult daughters in my book. They’re only half right. I did use some of the good parts. I’m sure their husbands agree.

And each of my girls encourage this new career I have launched. Allison is already marketing my book and handing out copies of articles I’ve written to everyone she knows. Danielle designed and produced my business cards and actually helped me with the title, and Kendall not only retweets my blog, but is working on a book trailer for me.

Tom and the girls were first readers for my work. I’ve counted on them to give me feedback. They didn’t hesitate. I like that about my family. Even my oldest grandson, Joshua, has read most of the text and offered editing comments.

I mustn’t leave out Nora, one of my biggest cheerleaders. She always likes what I write. Then again, she’s my mom.

And I can’t forget God. God gave me the desire to write, the story to tell, the words to use, the people to contact. Yep, God is another no brainer in the list of those I need to include.

But shouldn’t I thank those who unintentionally contributed to my story? People like David Hargrave, who will find nuggets of his sermons embedded in the pages of this book? Or, my good friends Charlie and Susan who serve as role models for facing tough issues with strength and faith?
I want to acknowledge everyone. I may never get another book published. This may be my one chance!

I want to acknowledge the friends and colleagues who have prayed me through the process and agreed to help me get the word out as soon as the book is published. The people who read my blog and offer words of encouragement or share something I’ve written which is an incredible support. People like Nancy and Marty, and Tammie, Evelyn, and Beth. People like Susan and Kevin and Lorie. Others, like Sharon, Leah and Brenda. Jon, Mark, Kelly, and Joyce. The list goes on. How about former students like Louisa and Sara who asked me how the book was coming along in its early stages.

But shouldn’t I also mention Mrs. Salyers, my second grade teacher who started me on the path of writing by publishing one of my stories in our school newspaper?

You see what I mean? There may be one name on the front cover, but an army behind each and every writer. I’ll draft my acknowledgment page. In fact, maybe I just did. And I’ll pray I don’t leave anyone out –even though I probably will. I just hope I can find a way to repay the kindness of my team.

I may watch the Academy Awards with a new appreciation this year.

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