Having a novel published is long odds, even in the best of times. Right now, with the economy in shambles and the publishing industry in a worldwide funk, those odds are even greater, stacked against new authors in particular.

Still, we are still out here writing and there are still certain people that should be thanked when the novel is done. I worked very hard on my recently finished manuscript, but all that work would have been harder, if not impossible, without help. Therefore, although I believe that my novel will find an agent and, subsequently, a publisher, I would like to thank the following people for their contribution to Project Superhero:

–My wife, Amy. Without doing all the little things like feeding me and allowing me time away from her and the children (not to mention my household chores), I could not even hope to be a writer. She is my inspiration as well as a sharp-eyed critic and I am thankful for those roles, along with every other role she plays in my life.

–Remla. She is my lead beta reader and without her, Dead and Dying would have just been dead. She is a lovely woman, made all the more lovely by the amount of free time she gave up to proofread my last manuscript and the encouragement she has given me during the process of writing Superhero. She is obviously insane, as she is really looking forward to reading the new novel, and for that I am very grateful.

–My children. They have an early bedtime and they generally observe it. More or less. Also, they don’t laugh at me when I say I like to write stories and they don’t ask me if they’ll sell like Harry Potter. They’re good kids like that. I particularly want to thank my daughter, Alex, who has repeatedly asked to help edit the book despite my telling her no way at least a dozen times. It always helps to have at least one fan.

–The cast and crew of Rent. Throughout the course of writing Superhero, I found that the songs from Jonathan Larson’s musical really shared a similar tone with the story I was seeing. Granted, none of my characters are gay, nor are they dying of AIDS, nor are they living in a ramshackle apartment in New York, nor are they abusing or recovering from abusing drugs, nor is there a single musical aspect to the book. Anyway, I listened to the whole score at least fifty times while writing the book and am damn near ready to join a touring cast as Mark Cohen (no Jewish characters, either) should one happen by, and I want to thank the cast and crew for providing the underscore to my book.

–Mozart, Beethoven, Bach, Vivaldi, Rachminoff, Strauss, Elton John, George Michael, Josh Groban, Stevie Wonder, and any number of others I listened to during my writing sessions. Thanks for having talent I will never possess, but that nonetheless helps me use the one I do.

–Cherie Priest. Thanks for giving me a bar to reach for, even if it is a crowbar so I can hit myself over the head every time you have a new book come out. By the way, because I know you’ll read this, I’m getting Fathom for Christmas.

–Jaye Wells. Thanks for our lengthy conversations about books we haven’t read and such. Hopefully, I’ll have this one published so you can skip reading it as well.

–And finally, my lead characters. Thank you Micah, John, Brandon, Seth, Mindy, and Lauren for making the job so easy.

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