Novels Take a Village

The time has come: I need to write an Acknowledgements page for Above World.

A lot of people think novel writing is a solitary activity, but it’s not for me. I lean on my friends and peers, and I lean heavily. They support me, inspire me, and kick me in the pants when I need it.

I don’t think anyone but me realizes how much help I got with this book. I think it’ll be fun — and perhaps illustrative to folks trying to do this novel writing thing alone — if everyone who helped me with Above World comments on this post and mentions how they helped. (And hey, I’m much less likely to forget anyone this way, too!)

So if you read a draft, suggested a character name, gave me a critique, or helped in some other way, step right up and claim your place in Above World’s village!*

* That metaphor is so not working.


Erik Ratliff 7 years ago .

It takes a reef!

I read one of super early drafts. Hope that helped!

    Jenn Reese 7 years ago .

    Of course it helped! Thank you!

Greg van Eekhout 7 years ago .

I had the privilege of reading a couple of drafts. I also suggested you make Aquaman King of the Kampii, but that seemed not to resonate with your vision of the book, so, you know, I tried to help. :^P

    Jenn Reese 7 years ago .

    Aside from Aquaman, it was either you or Tim who came up with the name Fathom for the rewritten villain. Or maybe it was me and you guys emphatically agreed, or something. But regardless — THANK YOU!!!

      Greg van Eekhout 7 years ago .

      Looking back at old email, I think I did come up with Fathom, but clearly by that point I was trying to design a new Aquaman villain action figure. So I almost got my way!

Bill 7 years ago .

I love taking credit for stuff!!!!! I may even have done something this time to deserve it!

    Jenn Reese 7 years ago .

    LOL. I credit the whole guild with moral support, for sure. :-D

Karen 7 years ago .

Does it count that Ted and I sat in the hallway with you that night when you were hitting a wall over plot points, and helped talk you through a series arc? I don't know if it's Acknowledgements-worthy, but it sure was fun and made me excited about the books!

    Jenn Reese 7 years ago .

    I will never, ever forget that conversation and how great you guys were. And the centaur "smooshing" machine for makin' baby centaurs! Although the talk was for book 2, you definitely helped with the overall world building. Thanks!!!

Shelley 7 years ago .

It was a privilege to read an early draft, and I can't wait to see the published version!

    Jenn Reese 7 years ago .

    I'm the lucky one, getting one of your awesome critiques!

Tim Pratt 7 years ago .

I read a draft and probably muttered some incoherencies that were best ignored. But yeah, Fathom was all Greg. I just lamented that Ocean Master was already taken as the name of an Aquaman villain.

    Jenn Reese 7 years ago .

    Dude, you're the one who told me to drop Calli's stutter. I will be grateful FOREVER. (I remember using your crit as a checklist, as it was so thoroughly awesome.)

Steph Burgis 7 years ago .

I was so, so lucky to be able to beta and crit this book. I LOVE THIS BOOK! :)

    Jenn Reese 7 years ago .

    You were my insta-feedback friend for this book! You get a special pedestal all your own. :-D

Mike Jasper 7 years ago .

Hey Jenn — yep, I read an early early draft, and quite enjoyed it. Looking forward to reading it again when it comes out!

    Jenn Reese 7 years ago .

    I still have your crit, Mike! I always love getting your feedback.

Sarah Kelly 7 years ago .

I read a first 50. :-)

    Jenn Reese 7 years ago .

    And you were totally smart about it! I love your "After reading this, I expect X, Y, and Z to happen in the rest of the book." SO HELPFUL!!!

Adam Rakunas 7 years ago .

I hope Bud gets a mention.

    Jenn Reese 7 years ago .

    Okay, I have no idea what you're talking about. Bud???

      Name 7 years ago .

      Crap, did I get his name wrong? The biologist from Flagstaff, the one who talked about altitude and oxygen and all that? Sarah knows who I'm talking about. Sarah, help my oxygen-deprived brain here.

        Jenn Reese 7 years ago .

        BUD! No, you're totally right! I was confused because I brought a different book to SH, but you're right — I totally hit Bud up for info on this book. Nice!

Ling 7 years ago .

I might have read a few pages.

    Jenn Reese 7 years ago .

    Ha!! You were the one who gave me the great swimming advice, right at the beginning. Along with a whole heap of other great suggestions. But I remember your fierceness about the swimming the most. :-D

    Jenn Reese 7 years ago .

    Which name do you want in the acknowledgements?

      Samantha 7 years ago .



      Samantha Ling please.

Chris East 7 years ago .

I think I might have fixed you spaghetti a few times during the writing of ABOVE WORLD…

    Jenn Reese 7 years ago .

    If every novel came with a Purple Heart, you would get this one.

Sally Felt 7 years ago .

Read a draft and made a few suggestions, like, oh, that your characters wear clothes.

    Jenn Reese 7 years ago .

    You and your silly fixation with trivialities… Love you!

Eugene 7 years ago .

I was pleased to offer feedback on your agent query and synopsis, which were already in awesome shape. Then I happily read and critiqued one of the later novel drafts–which was also in excellent shape, actually. :) Frankly, I think I got the better part of the deal.

    Jenn Reese 7 years ago .

    You helped in a million ways, Eugene. Your query, synopsis, and agent spreadsheets saved my butt. Thank you!!

    Jenn Reese 7 years ago .

    Do you want to be Eugene or E.C. in the acks??

      Eugene 7 years ago .

      I'd better stick with Eugene. It still weirds me out a bit when people refer to me as E.C. irl. :)

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