Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Throughout this journey I’ve often likened writing a debut novel to the conception, growth, and birth of a first child. Though I have no actual experience with that, I have to imagine there are similarities—the sleeplessness, the obsessive consideration, the overwhelming excitement, and the sense of foreboding, even terror, that you tell yourself is “totally normal.”

That being said, it truly does take a village! I was lucky enough to have mine filled with so many people who loved and supported me, fully aware I didn’t know what I was doing, fully prepared to console me if I never figured it out.

I want to give special thanks to my parents: one who became a valued plot editor, the other my biggest fan. Both graciously allowed pieces of their truth to be woven into my story.

Thank you, Caroline Kaiser, for your patience and for editing my baby with as much meticulous attention to detail as if it were your own. There were times when the words on the pages began to look like a foreign language to me, and in those times, I trusted your eyes more than my own.

I want to thank my PR manager, Stephanie Leslie, for believing in me with the level of confidence only a PR manager (and sister) can have. Thank you for treating me like a published author before I’d even finished the book and for pulling me upright whenever you knew I was going sideways. My deepest apologies regarding the Prologue. It was not my finest hour.

Thank you to my stylist and photographer, Courtney Caldwell. You were also a beta reader, consultant, and therapist, and you juggled all those titles while maintaining the most important role of all: friend.

Thank you to Charlette Brothers, Lesley Geddes, and all the other amazing beta readers who set time aside in their busy lives to read the various versions of my novel, even the ones that didn’t come close to resembling the final product. Your eyes and your advice were invaluable and helped shape this book in so many tangible ways.

The list could go on and on, especially if I shared the names of everyone in my life who listened to me speak incessantly about the plot, the challenges, the submission process, and more recently, the road to self-publishing. You’re all so dear to my heart, and your kindness will never be forgotten.

Last, but certainly not least, thanks go to my husband, the man who endured every bump in the road with me. And believe me, the road was bumpy. You helped me fight through every pang of self-doubt that halted my progress, every setback, and every rejection. You held me when reading someone else’s book was enough to reduce me to tears, for fear I’d never have what that author had. Thank you for the way you believed in me, picking me up every time I was knocked down, reminding me why I was doing it, and remembering to celebrate even the smallest of wins along the way. This labour of love has been simultaneously the most taxing and most fulfilling experience of my entire life, and I know I wouldn’t be writing this right now if not for you. I love you, Kyle.