I just wrote an Acknowledgements page for the back of my next novel, Rebel Yell, and I thought, “You know what? Maybe my blog readers would like to read this.”
After all, many of you are my Rebels. And if you are, you get your own little shoutout in this page.
And more importantly, as I say in the document, I didn’t do this alone. Yes, I’m a self-published author. That is a GREAT title. It evokes so much. It makes you think of the struggling artist, railing against the world, playing by no one’s rules but his own! AMERICA! FUCK YEAH!
In truth, even the self-publishiest of self-published authors doesn’t do it all by himself. Even in how we are raised, we receive contribution to the person we’ll become, and therefore what we’re capable of producing as artists. So a salute to everyone who contributed to this book. You are legion.
Not that you likely care, but I should remind you: this is an early draft and subject to change, particularly as more beta readers begin to respond.
I am a self-published author. While I love that label for the image it conjures, in reality no one publishes a book alone.
I owe the most tremendous debt of gratitude to my wife and children. My first and last thoughts are of them always. I am so very grateful for their patience as I spend my days chasing down dreams. Meghan, I wish I could buy you a million-dollar mansion already. One day, baby. Dawn, Luke and Desmond, I can’t believe I had a hand in bringing such amazing beings into this world.
I spend a lot of time with my dog, Chewbacca. Chewie, thank you for believing you are still a puppy and trying to cuddle in my lap every time I go outside for a break from my writing. I think your fur must be packed with static electricity, because you never fail to recharge my batteries.
My parents, Donna and Robbie, made me who I am. If you like this book, it’s mostly their fault. I wouldn’t be able to create my art if not for their upbringing. More importantly, I would not be the same person. I would not have the same things to say, or perhaps anything at all. Mom, I miss you more than I can say. Dad, I am so happy for your happiness.
My friend David McCullough is a constant source of support and encouragement, though he’s probably very surprised to see his name here. David heard the first germ of Rebel Yell more than two years ago. I won’t expand on the differences between then and now, for fear that you’d hear the ideas and think they sounded better than the final book. Trust me: they were not, and David was always enthusiastic about explaining why.
Sean Platt, Johnny B. Truant and David Wright, of the Self-Publishing Podcast, were the first people to tell me to write for a living. Of course, they didn’t tell me, but I took their message personally due to narcissism (common to most artists). Without them, this book would not exist. The story would, but only as a screenplay tucked in a drawer somewhere, never seeing the light of day. In particular, Sean, thank you for your invaluable guidance and assistance as I made the transition from a full-time worker bee to a full-time author. Those were scary days, and you were my constant cheerleader and mentor.
An extra and very special thank you to David Wright (again) and Crissy Moss, whose artistic sensibilities both contributed to what has become my favorite book cover. You should have seen the cover before these two put their magic hands on it. Scratch that. You should never see that first cover.
For the first time in my writing, I opened this project up to beta readers. Their willingness to read my novel long before it was done, to face up to the flaws in my story and inform me (sometimes brutally) of those flaws, is why the novel is what it is. Thank you, Bill, Blaine, Brendan, Chris, Christopher, Cindy, Dave, James, Krissy, Marc, Mary, Matt, Michael, Patrick, Stacy, Stephanie, and Steve.
In particular, I must give my utmost respect and thanks to Simon and Melissa, both of whom went far above and beyond the call of duty, answering every question and then expanding their responses into things tremendous. After this experience, I don’t know if you’ll ever want to help me again, but I’ll still call on you every time.
My Rebels always have my back. Remember back in the day, when I formed our little tribe and gave it a name? That name came from this book, still just an idea at the time. I hoped it had the potential to be worthy of you. Now that it exists, I hope you find it does. You are incredible, and a life without you would be a darker one.
To you there, reading this book, now thrown out of the moment as I break the fourth wall—thank you. Thank you for supporting independent art. Thank you for reading at all. Whether you have a good or bad opinion of this book, thank you for having an opinion at all.
And because, as I said, they are first and last in my thoughts, thank you again to my family. Meghan, the human mind has not yet perfected the language necessary to express my love and admiration for you. Dawn, Luke and Desmond, Daddy is sometimes terrified he can’t be a good enough father to you, but only until he realizes that amazing as you are, there’s not too much he can do to prevent you from growing up to be adults of amazing potential.
This book was a journey unto itself, but also just one step along a far longer road. And whether you stay with me until we reach our destination, or you’re just a hitchhiker providing company for this one stretch, I’ve enjoyed the miles we put behind us together.
– Garrett Robinson, 2013