Note: This post is one in a series where I give a more expanded set of thank yous to folks who were influential in helping me to write my new book, Kotov Syndrome. I wanted to keep the acknowledgments section of the book short, so as to keep printing costs down, but I also have a lot more to say than what I said in the book. Thus, we have this series.
As we’ve gone through this week leading up to the release of my book, Kotov Syndrome, tomorrow, I’ve shared a bit about the process I’ve gone through to write these thank you posts. Monday’s post was the most awkward to write as, with a couple of minor exceptions, I’ve rarely interacted with the people I mentioned in that post. Wednesday’s post was a bit chaotic to write, both because I went into writing it with very little planning and because I’m worried I’ll miss someone along the way.
Today’s post is by far the easiest to write. I’ve had a plan for it since before the book was in the beta reading stage. I’ve known who I want to thank in this post for months. In general, I’ve known what I want to say all along. By those metrics, creating this post should take me no time at all.
Today’s post is also by far the hardest to write. While saying thank you comes easy to me, I often feel like my words of gratitude sell my actual level of appreciation short. I could do my best to be sucinct in my praise, but then I worry I’m selling it short. I could also write pages of praise, but then it just turns into a rambling mess. As a result, I’ve chosen to stay somewhere in the middle. I have a set list of folks I’ll be thanking in this post. I’ve preemptively chosen to limit myself to no more than two paragraphs about each person. That isn’t to say my gratitude doesn’t go further than the words on this page. But fuck, even the people I’m saying nice things about will get tired of reading at some point.
I’ll begin by talking about the person who has arguably been familiar with my writing the longest, my friend Erin. I’ve known Erin for close to eleven years now thanks to the now-defunct site 20 Something Bloggers1You’ll notice this is a light theme in this post.. We’ve done two different rounds of NaNoWriMo together (2011 and 2012) and have been reading each other’s fiction work and blogs for nearly a decade. Erin was one of the first people to see potential in my fiction writing. She was instrumental to me publishing An Epilogue to Innocence in 2016 and has been consistently supportive as I wrote Kotov Syndrome. Without Erin’s support, I likely would not have published any books. As of tomorrow, I’ll have two published books to my name. That wouldn’t have been possible without Erin’s early support.
Similarly, I owe a significant thank you to my college roommate, Mike. I’ve known Mike for nearly 15 years now. Over that time, life has taken us in very different directions, be that in college, with work, or whatever it may be. Of all of the people in this post, Mike has likely read the least of my writing. Considering this was the same guy who played World of Warcraft while running a radio show with me in college, this shouldn’t be too much of a surprise. But he’s supportive of my work and goes out of his way to share it, even though he’s not much for social media. Or people. His support of my writing isn’t even the biggest thing he brings to the table in my life. But the fact that he does care about it in some way is greatly appreciated — and is also a big reason why I’m still considering adapting one of my short stories into a video game or visual novel at some point in the future.
Next, I want to say thank you to my friend Stephanie. Over my career as a blogger, Stephanie has long been one of the first people to message or text me and tell me if I had a typo or a sentence that didn’t make sense. While that might sound annoying, I have always found it to be incredibly helpful. She has been a great sounding board for my writing ideas for a long time now, though admittedly started with video game posts like those you find on this blog rather than my fiction writing. Throughout the process of writing Kotov Syndrome, Stephanie was able to provide me with a ton of character and psychology insight through roundabout questions — all done in an effort not to spoil her on the book itself. Plus, if there’s ever something I need to know about hairstyles, Stephanie is the first person I ask. You’d be surprised how much she’s taught me about hair.
For the penultimate thank you of this post, I want to call out part of the author tandem releasing their book the same day as mine. In case you’ve forgotten, The Assassin by Jacob Crawford is coming out today too. Half of that author duo, E. V. Jacob, is also my dear friend, Evey. Over the past few years, Evey has become a guiding force in my life, both as a writer, as well as in working through my own mental health struggles. She has helped me to improve vastly in both areas, both by helping me directly, and by leading by example. I genuinely don’t think I could have gotten through 2020 with my mental faculties intact without Evey. I am constantly in awe of her talents, her work ethic, and her compassion for others. I could not be prouder to share a book release date with someone.
Finally, in a moment I have been waiting on for several months now, I owe a massive thank you to my editor, Charlotte. Kotov Syndrome started as this weird, 50-page outline that was mostly just character descriptions and a vague idea of what I wanted the story to be. It took me the better part of a year and a half, but I eventually got a first draft written. I don’t think said first draft was particularly good. In retrospect, I see where it had potential. But it wasn’t good yet. Over the course of the next year and a half, I worked with Charlotte to turn my then-unnamed book into something worth reading.
If you were to ask her, Charlotte would tell you that the story was always worth reading. Or that the story itself always had a good idea behind it. Or that it was interesting. Or whatever she would say2As a side note, I’m loving how this post is infuriating my SEO plugin. It can fuck right off.. And it’s probable that Charlotte was right all along. But the amount of effort she put into helping me edit, rewrite, tweak, and massage the story into something better — something that told the story I wanted to tell in an engaging, captivating way — cannot be understated. I’ve learned from her both as a writer and as an editor throughout this process. I don’t know that Kotov Syndrome will be successful (though I hope it is). But I do know that this book is better because she poured her heart and soul into it.
I don’t really know how to end this week’s series of posts. If you were kind enough to read through all of my thank yous and thoughts leading up to launch, I appreciate it. I’m sure the list of those who actually did so is pretty short, so leave a comment and say hi.
I know that I intend to make Kotov Syndrome part of a larger series in time. There’s another massive outline started for that larger series. But this was the first step. And tomorrow that first step is set in stone. I could not be happier to be here. Thank you all.
You can pre-order Kotov Syndrome from any of the links below. For a full list of where to buy, go to the Kotov Syndrome page on this blog.