Authors: James A. Owen
Tags: #Fantasy, #Ages 12 & Up, #Young Adult
For John Munden
Every successful creative venture is in some way a collaboration, and that’s more true of books than almost anything else I can think of (with the possible exception of big-budget films). I could produce a book entirely on my own, and the result would probably be pretty good—but to produce a work of great quality requires the help of many hands and the labor of many minds, and without all of the people who have helped me with this book it would be a far lesser work of quality than it is.
Valerie Shea, our intrepid copyeditor, never fails to astonish me with her efforts on these books. I quite honestly do not understand how her mind works in the way it does. By the time the manuscript gets to her, my editors and I have gone through the pages several times—yet she always,
manages to find a hundred ways to improve the clarity and intent of my writing. On a technical level she’s flawless and, frankly, a bit intimidating. But at the end of the process, I find I am grateful for her and her work, and I’m very glad she is as good at her job as she is.
Jeremy Owen is my alpha beta reader. He is the first person to see every drawing as I sketch it, and the first person to listen as I work out difficult scenes. Because he manages the Coppervale
Studio, he’s always present as I create the books—but he also has a more active hand in how the work is developed than anyone else. Visually, he is responsible for the clarity and authenticity of almost everything in the illustrations. He finds all of the reference I ask for, pencils in details, and often revises layouts to help make sure they come out just as we intended. He also takes care of the myriad little details of operating the studio, which allows me to focus on the work itself. I literally could not create these books without him.
Navah Wolfe remains my best reader. Her suggestions have more than once transformed the nature of an entire book, the direction of a storyline, and the choices of the characters—and in doing so she has reshaped the series itself, for which I am very, very thankful. David Gale remains the driving force behind our efforts. He is my ideal editor, and I consider his insightful decision to take on this series as the best thing that has happened in my career.
Jenica Nasworthy, Laurent Linn, Paul Crichton, and Siena Koncsol have been invaluable in making sure this book reads well and looks even better, and that people know where to get it. I work better because I know they have my back. Jon Anderson and Justin Chanda have been incredibly supportive on the publishing end, and I sleep better because I know they have my back too.
My attorney, Craig Emanuel, is, in a word, steadfast. He and my manager, Julie Kane-Ritsch at the Gotham Group, have consistently looked after the business end of things with heart and dedication. My friends Brett, Daanon, and Shannon have looked out for me personally in ways large and small, and sometimes in ways I didn’t know I needed until they were there, offering to
help, to support, or just to listen. And my family, Cindy, Sophie, and Nathaniel, are the reasons I do what I do—but without all of these people, I would not do it nearly as well. I am grateful for them all.