My publisher sent an email today asking if I'd like to say something on the dedication page of The Hidden Feast. Of course! However, in all my busy work, I had forgot.
I'm sure that most readers won't even notice my dedication, but it's important to me. A completed book represents a huge piece of who I am. Much love goes into my books: love of children; love of the craft; love of art; love of the people who have inspired and mentored me. The dedication is special to me because that's when I get to pour all that love out to that one person, or persons. I'm not a touchy-feely person, so saying "I love you" can be quite a climb. Kick me, but that's just who I am.
I dedicated my first book — not a trade book , but a book none the less — to my grandmother who had passed away shortly before I received the book offer. I almost cried as I typed the dedication and sent it to the publisher. When I see the printed book on my shelf, I think of her.
I dedicated my second book, my first trade book, to my mom. For as long as I can remember, she's been my biggest cheerleader, and without her encouragement as a child, I wouldn't have had any books published.
My third book was a combination Valentine's Day story with a Christian message. I dedicated that book to my wife; she's my valentine, and my grandfather because he has been the spiritual leader of our family.
Since then, I've dedicated books to my children, my coworkers back home in Des Moines, and my aunt who is an author of YA novels. It would take more than a blog to describe how these people have shaped my life.
I always thank God.
For this book, I wrestled with who to dedicatee would be. My son's teachers and daycare staff first came to mind. However, he's not at that particular daycare any longer, and probably by the time the book publishes, they'll have all moved on. He attends a private christian school now, but I'm not sure if they'll appreciate a book with talking and partying animals.
I ended up dedicating it to my son:
For Kolby — the best little art critique a dad could have. Thank you for liking my pictures. Thank you for being honest when you don't like my pictures. I look forward to sharing this book with you many bedtimes to come.