My debut novel is finally published, and I’m so happy! I’m incredibly grateful to everyone who has helped me along this journey, which was six-and-a-half years in the making. Of course, I’ve thanked them all in my acknowledgments at the back of the book, which I wrote a while back. But I also want to repeat these words of thanks now, as it all comes to fruition. So below, in all their glory, are my acknowledgments – including some author notes on how the book came about.
I’ve always been fascinated by the concept of the multiverse. As a child, I was prone to asking my teachers precocious questions about parallel universes and alternate timelines. And it’s been a treat to see so many cultural outlets embrace this idea in various forms, from books like Kate Atkinson’s inspiring Life after Life, TV shows such as Fringe to movies like Sliding Doors—all three of which played a role in the creation of my own version of this story. Although today I’m agnostic in terms of belief in the multiverse, I love to ponder the infinite possible outcomes of our lives through decisions made and actions taken—both significant and miniscule.
Writing one’s first novel is just such a decision, as is emigrating to another country—both actions I’ve taken in recent years in order to become the woman I want to be. The best possible version of myself, by my own standards. I hope my novel will remind readers that there are infinite paths their own lives could go down, and all we need to do is take those steps, large and small, to move toward that best life.
I have many people along my writing journey to thank for helping me become the “published author” version of myself. First are my agent, Victoria Skurnick of Levine Greenberg Rostan in New York, and my publisher Kate Lyall Grant of Joffe Books in London. I wouldn’t have the immense pleasure of even writing these acknowledgments if it weren’t for these wonderful, smart, creative women taking a chance on me and my somewhat quirky tale.
I’m also extremely grateful to the fellow writers, beta-readers, editors, and advisers who have counselled me along the way. These include invaluable help from my talented editor friend Susan Boyce, as well as my beta-readers, Paula Radell, Kathryn Sievert, Monica Storms, Terri Brunsting, Brittany Moss, and Jennifer Marra, all of whom assisted in improving this story immensely. Very importantly, I would also like to thank the various Indigenous advisers (whom I know would prefer to remain nameless) and numerous BIPOC writers who have shared their wisdom on how to sensitively portray an Indigenous character in a book that does not claim to tackle Indigenous culture or challenges. Indeed, I am indebted to the wider online writing community of which I am an active part, as the support and willingness to help has been incredible. We are all on our individual paths to success, leaning on each other along the way.
Finally, I would like to express my deep gratitude for the people in my life, and especially my loved ones, who have supported and even sparked my storytelling. From the guy I once met only briefly near Seattle who ultimately prompted the character of Rob, to two recent boyfriends I’ve had (not simultaneously!) whose traits and qualities between them made up the Peter character, to my wonderful brother Richard who was the basis for David—I’m thankful for the men who inspired me.
To the incredible women I’m so lucky to count as close friends, and from each of whom different pieces were taken to create the Suzie character—and a special name-check to Shona, Becky, Sarah, and Libby, you all mean the world to me. To my fabulous sister, Alice, whose love and whose two gorgeous sons are the great joys of my life—thank you for being all I need. And to my dear mother, Claira, and her husband, Ian, my eternal gratitude for your unwavering love and support, and for showing us all it’s never too late to take a new path toward joy.
PS: Since I wrote these acknowledgments, another person I have to thank is Lorelli Belli and her team at the Lorella Belli Literary Agency. This team has been working hard on selling additional publishing rights, and they’ve already succeeded in selling audiobook rights, and both Czech and Slovak publishing rights. Amazing job, and I’m so grateful!