Saturday, December 12, 2009

Dedication and Acknowledgments

I'm doing this post because I know how badly I'd LOVE to see other authors do it.

I adore dedications and acknowledgments. They're some of my favorite parts of books. Mine were fairly short, as far as I know, but I thought I'd do a post demystifying them nonetheless, in case anyone was curious.

First, my dedication:

To the Musers, who know this was a group effort.

The Musers, The Musers, The Musers. I would be absolutely nowhere without them. the Musers are a writing group I've been a part of since its conception something like two and a half years ago, maybe longer. We were in full, intense swing when the time the idea for BREAK rolled around, and they were absolutely vital to getting it finished. They named the characters, the helped me with the ending (as many reviewers have noticed, endings are not my strong suit), they read draft after draft after draft. They were unbelievable.

And I am SUCH a strong proponent of writer's groups. Find a good one. And I strongly believe that a good group has writer's from all steps of the process. My group has published authors--(Bethany Griffin, of Handcuffs, and Suzanne Young of The Naughty List series), writers currently on submission, writers actively seeking agents, writers working to improve their craft before they look for an agent, and writers who couldn't give less of a shit about getting an agent. And that amount of perspective is unbelievable.

BREAK was absolutely, one million percent a group effort, as emphasized by the acknowledgments:

The ever-fabulous Jenoyne Adams and Anica Rissi, Amanda K. Morgan, Chris, Alex, Emma, Galen, Seth, Abby, Mom and Dad, Motion City Soundtrack, Alexander Supertramp, and Chuck Palahniuk. Thanks for the inspiration.

Jenoyne Adams--my first agent, who sold BREAK.

Anica Rissi--My unbelievably amazing editor from Simon Pulse (more on her next week.) She edited BREAK and will also be doing INVINCIBLE SUMMER and my next book after that (and hopefully more...?) I love her. To pieces.

Amanda K. Morgan--One muser in particular who was instrumental in getting BREAK to be the best it could be.

Chris--Chris is the boy. We've been together for almost three years. BREAK's just about the only book he's ever read. He says he likes it. Thanks, darling.

Alex--my best friend. He reads everything I write the second it's off my fingers. He tells me it's fantastic waaay before it's anywhere near good.

Emma--another best friend, the only female of the bunch. One of the smartest people I've ever met. She sat down with me about halfway through BREAK and helped me plot out the whole thing.

Galen--another best friend. He keeps me fed.

Seth--another best friend. He keeps me sane.

Abby--my beautiful sister.

Mom and Dad--I think this is pretty self-explanatory. They and Abby had very little to do with BREAK or its publication, but they get credit for raising me and stuff.

Motion City Soundtrack--possibly my favorite band of all time, and their angsty energy was a perfect soundtrack to BREAK. I've already shared "Time Turned Fragile" as the song that really echoed the plot for me.

Alexander Supertramp--the codename Christopher McCandless used when he escaped to Alaska, documented in the book and movie Into The Wild. This sounds weird, but he inspired Jesse's character, and I thought of the book just after seeing this movie.

Chuck Palahniuk--hello. He wrote Fight Club.

Hope this was interesting, and if you have acknowledgments and dedications you decide to elucidate, leave a link in the comments so I can see!


Jessica Burkhart said...

So cool! I'll do this soon and will Tweet the link. :)

Cat Hellisen said...

Aw baby, you are awesome, and this post rocks.

Anonymous said...

Go go Muser power!

...I am staying anonymous because I don't have a commenting profile under "Potato".

- RP

Kody Keplinger said...

I also love dedications and acknowledgments. I love reading them!

hannah said...

Potato--you definitely need a google identity. You could have a blog about what it's like to live underground and grow slowly.

Anonymous said...

Muser love! :)

Heather Zenzen said...

What a great idea for a blog post! Really interesting to see more on who's behind your scenes, Hannah. I met Anica at SCBWI LA last summer, and she's the one who gave me an ARC of Break. I've since passed it on to a mentor of the Minneapolis Loft's teen writing group. Hopefully, seeing such a young author have such great success will help them keep going!

Suzanne Young said...

Musers are the best! And it's great to have a range of genres too. Get different perspectives.

This made me smile. Thank you, Hannah! It makes me want to post my acknowledgments

Suzanne Young said...

K, you inspired me.

inkspatters said...

Wow, reading this was really weird because I got the idea for the book I'm querying now after watching Into the Wild too! And author dedications are amazing, I love reading them and I loved reading your explanation of all of the people in yours too. Great post :D

Gary Couzens said...

Very interesting, thank you. The Musers were in full swing by the time I became involved much with AW, and it's a phenomenon I witnessed from afar, so to speak. I think you'd sold Break by then.

Ditto on writing groups. I'm a member of one that meets in London once a month - mostly genre (SF, fantasy, horror, crime) but we have publications in other genres (erotica, literary/mainstream) as well. We do have an entrance qualification that you should have sold at least one short story or be considered capable of doing so from an audition piece. But we have people who have sold novels or have them represented by agents...or, like me, with short-fiction publications and working on novels again after a long hiatus. About three or four of us are working on YA novels.

I've just completed a novel in first draft. Haven't yet thought about a dedication, but have a rough acknowledgements list which I'll add to when appropriate. More than one person in this thread will be on it.

Amanda Morgan said...

Awwww. You are so sweet Miss Moskowitz. You--and BREAK--totally rock!

Ellen B said...

Brilliant post - I really wish more writers would do this, and I promise I will do it if I'm ever published :)

Denise Jaden said...

Yes, this made me want to post my acknowledgements too...when I get them written. I'll let you know.

Sarah said...

So, yeah. I bought your book yesterday at The Strand - a really awesome used bookstore in NYC - and just finished reading it. It's the sort of book I love reading because it's cheap ($4, whee), a quick read (an hour or so), and has quite a strong voice (which, apparently, you love doing, so I'll be looking for more of your stuff). Plus, the whole 'this book is depressing and has amusingly-characterized characters' is always a strong selling point for me.

Just figured I'd comment with a 'nice job, author!' Everyone likes encouraging comments, right?

hannah said...

I love encouraging comments! Thanks so much, Sarah!

09smithjame said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.