After years and years of working and waiting, Above World is finally out in there in the wild. I’m going to steal a page from my buddy Sarah Prineas and take this opportunity to post the book’s dedication and acknowledgements. Today is also Valentine’s Day, which is fitting since my heart is overflowing with love and gratitude. Thank you, my friends, for helping me make this dream a reality.
And for Stephanie, who frequently saves me
First of all, thanks to Stephanie Burgis and Christopher East. They read each chapter of Above World as I wrote it and made me keep going. They are both incredible writers, cheerleaders, and unconditional friends. Thanks also to Sarah Prineas and Greg van Eekhout for almost daily support and inspiration on a whole heap of levels. Great friends do more than help you with your book – they help you with your life.
Thanks to my agent, Joe Monti, for believing in me and this book, and for encouraging me to include even more martial arts. Thanks also to Barry Goldblatt for creating a family, not just an agency.
Thanks to Sarah Ketchersid, my wonderful editor, for loving the book even more than I did most days. Her insights made Above World the book I wanted it to be. The whole Candlewick team has my gratitude, including Liz Zembruski, Kathryn Cunningham, Rachel Smith, Hannah Mahoney, Maggie Deslaurier, Martha Dwyer, and everyone in sales and marketing.
I have some of the best friends in the world, and they give some of the best critiques. Thanks to Sally Felt, Michael Jasper, Samantha Ling, Eugene Myers, Tim Pratt, Erik Ratliff, and Shelley Stuart. Above World also went to the Blue Heaven novel workshop with Paolo Bacigalupi, Tobias Buckell, Sarah Castle, Deb Coates, Charles Coleman Finlay, Daryl Gregory, Sandra McDonald, Paul Melko, Sarah Prineas, Catherynne M. Valente, and Greg van Eekhout. These guys kept me from looking like an idiot (at least with regards to this book).
Thanks to my World of Warcraft guild. (Don’t laugh!) They’ve been with me on this journey from the beginning, particularly: Andrea, Andrew, Andy, Bill, Brenda, Danielle, Erin, Jamie, Leslie, Lisa, Mike, Mikiel, Paul, Rachel, Rob, Roe, Shelley, Steven, Tom, and Tommy.
Thanks to my martial arts family at White Lotus Kung Fu: Master Douglas Wong, Master Carrie Ogawa-Wong, Master Phil Jennings, and the rest of my brothers and sisters.
For all-around awesome advice, support, and friendship, I want to thank Christine Ashworth, Claudia Hoffman, Heather Shaw, and my buddies at SAGE and Cosmic Toast Studios.
And last, thanks to my family: Mom, Jeff, Jason, Maya, Griffin, and Cassell. I love you.