With the release of my new book baby, I have some very special people to thank for making The Blue Lute possible.
First and foremost, to my accidental cousin, Christina Tetreault, this book was a beast a year ago, topping out at 180,000 words. For the non-author people reading, that’s about 800 pages. It had a full recounting of Brandon’s first day in 1999, as well as a whole subplot that isn’t in the new version at all. Christina took time away from her own books and family to read through and help me cut it down to about 120,000 words. Without her I wouldn’t have been able to tame the beast. I am eternally grateful. It was a task that I didn’t think was possible but she helped make it possible!
Moving on to a dear friend of mine, Magan Vernon, who also helped me with word cutting and a lot of the 2001 student dialogue. Apparently, guys don’t say things like: I heard that test on the Civil War is going to be a doozy. Yeah, I have an old mind. Thanks Magan for adding youth to my Matthew McGraw! I’d also like to thank, Kate Larkin who assisted in a line by line correction of my lovely confusion of past and present tense among other things. Heck, all the ladies (and one gentleman) at the Central Illinois Chapter of the Romance Writers of America have helped me in so many ways, it’s impossible to not give you all credit. You guys are the best!
Now, I always mention my best friend in the whole world, Dawn Taylor, for getting me started in fiction writing, but for The Blue Lute, it was her husband, Frank Taylor,that gave me the vast knowledge of being a musician. In fact, I even got lessons from Frank after I bought my very own acoustic guitar to help me write about Brandon’s career and love of music. Frank, you are just awesome – have I told you that?
And speaking of husbands my sister’s husband Corey and his best friend Matthew were also a terrific source of knowledge on growing up in New York. Corey grew up in Staten Island and just listening to his thick S.I. accent brought the story alive. Matthew,on the other hand, who works and resides in the city taught me all the ins and outs about the subway system, and what bridges and routes to take at the best times. The only thing that would’ve been a better source about New York would’ve been me actually going there, which I couldn’t, so thank you!
Another husband and another Matthew (there are 3 Matthews who were involved in the creation of The Blue Lute and funnily enough, none of them are the reason I named my character Matthew), Matthew Reynolds, my friend Christina’s love, I know you don’t know this, but you are the image of my Matthew McGraw. So thank you for the mannerism and look of my fun-loving character. Christina, thank you for the very early help on the book too. Your influence is deep within the basis of The Blue Lute.
You were there from the very beginning along with my Grammar Guru Mandi Miller. Thank you for always being there when I need you, helping me through those tricky sentences. Those early days mean just as much, if not more to me than the final days.
To my other cousin, sweet Mary Hart… thank you for walking me through time travel and all it’s problems when they got too twisted up in my mind. Seriously, I think you may be my only friend/cousin who would understand stuff like that. It must have been all those years watching movies and tv like Dr. Who, Back to the Future, Star Trek and Frequency.
Do you know how cool Kerry McQuisten is… knowing that I am such an American Patriot and that The Blue Lute was dedicated to the men and women who were victims of 9/11, my dear publisher made it possible for The Blue Lute‘s publication birthday to be none other than September 11th. I teared up at the sight of that date on Amazon. Thank you for everything you’ve done for me. I am so grateful to have had you with me through this journey! Thank you for giving me my dreams come true!
I also have some awesome friends & fans that without them none of my books would have gone as far as they have. Graeme Sewell, Shawn Nordhoff, Lucy Wright, Katherine Logan Lowry, Sydney Jamesson, MJ Schiller, Laurie Larsen, Leanna Furlong, Kari Martin, Maryon Shaw, and so so so many more!! You are all so wonderful and whether I’ve met you in person or just through social media – you are a friend for life!
Well, I could go on and on and on with all the people I want to thank, but I have to curb myself some how, so let’s imagine the Oscar orchestra has started playing their music…
Last but not least, thank you to my family for all their love and support with all my books! Bean, Bits, Kelli, Shawn, Tyler, Liam, Kristin, Corey, Macci, Pook, Jim and Sharon – I love you so much!
And finally to my little family of Jon and Cameron: My boys, my loves, my heart…I couldn’t have done ANY of this without you. Thank you for your the support of my dream and the tolerance of my work at all hours of the day and night. Thank you for loving me and dealing with a cluttered house and cereal nights those times I have been stuck on the computer. One of these days I’ll take a break… but tell that to my brain, because I still have a million ideas!