Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Acknowledgments (but cooler because they include book recommendations)

Whew! Dreamwielder had a successful launch yesterday, and even got its first review from a blogger, a 4 out of 5 star review from Book Broads that starts off, "I was swept away from the moment I began reading Dreamwielder to the turning of the last page." I'll take it! Now that the book is out, it's time for me to thank all the people who helped make the book possible. First up are the big names--the fantastic authors who were kind enough to write jacket blurbs for Dreamwielder.

Tim Powers is one of my favorite writers, contemporary or otherwise. He's one of the progenitors of steampunk, and an all around brilliant writer who masterfully blends elements of fantasy, science-fiction, and horror along with history, mythology, folklore, and more than a few mad-genius ideas. My favorites of his are Anubis Gates (perhaps the only book I've ever given 5 stars on GoodReads), On Stranger Tides (the inspiration for many of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies--and far better than all of the movies, I might add), and The Drawing of the Dark (a fantasy novel about magic beer!). Tim is a fantastic guy and has always been super generous in offering advice to me. It's obviously a huge honor to have one of your favorite authors write a blurb for your own book, so thank you, Tim!

As I mentioned in my interview with him, James P. Blaylock and I go back a ways. He's been a great teacher and mentor to me, and he and Powers go way, way back together. In fact, the two of them used to hang out with Philip K. Dick when they were younger, which is super cool. Blaylock is another progenitor of steampunk, but more often writes a quirky brand of contemporary fantasy. My favorite book of his is The Last Coin, which I was sad to discover is out of print. You can find it as an e-book or pick up a used paperback copy for cheap. If you're looking for something more along the lines of standard high fantasy, check out his first novel, The Elfin Ship, which is very Tolkien-esque, but less dark and funnier. I'm also a big fan of his Langdon St. Ives short stories, which you can find collected in The Adventures of Langdon St. Ives. I'm currently occupied reading A Canticle for Leibowitz (for a post-apocalyptic fiction class I'm teaching) and so haven't yet finished reading Blaylock's newest book, The Aylesford Skull, but so far so good. Thanks, Jim!

Misty Massey and I haven't actually met in person yet, but we chat frequently online, and she's another author who has been gracious and unbelievably supportive. I interviewed her back in August 2011, and since  then she's been hard at work on the sequel to Mad Kestrel, her rip roaring pirate adventure chronicling the adventures of female pirate extraordinaire, Kestrel. You can keep up with Misty's progress over at her website . I was so happy that Massey wrote a blurb for Dreamwielder, because as I said last month, female authors played a big influence on my writing of the book and I really feel that female authors are under recognized in general. Thanks so much, Misty. You rock, and I can't wait for your next book!

Next I'd like to thank my agent, Elizabeth Kracht, who has been on a tear lately getting her clients' books published. You can keep up with all the new releases she represents at the blog for Kimberly Cameron & Associates. I'd also like to thank everyone at Diversion Books, particularly Mary Cummings and Sarah Masterson Hally. They've been a pleasure to work with and turned my manuscript into a gorgeous, finely edited e-book. Thanks, Liz, Mary, and Sarah!

Lastly, I'd like to thank my manuscript reviewers. Both my writing groups, the Biscuits and the Inklings II (currently undergoing voting for a name change), have been instrumental in making me a better writer, but I'd like to give an extra-special thanks to Ahimsa Kerp, Eric Tryon, and Craig Comer, who put in a lot of extra time to read multiple drafts of Dreamwielder and gave me invaluable feedback. Without them, the book would not be what it is. And, of course, I can't forget my mother, Shirley Phillips. As I've discussed previously, she literally dreamt the opening scene to Dreamwielder, and she was one of the most dedicated readers throughout all incarnations of the manuscript. Thanks, Mom! Thanks, Ahimsa, Eric, and Craig!

I'll be back next week with showcase of all the great writers in my two writing groups. Until then, I'm off to veg out and relax for a while...

-Garrett Calcaterra

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