As today is Valentine’s Day, it got me thinking about how us writers express our love- not the red roses/box of chocs variety, though I’d never say no to either *coughs loudly in Mr Carroll’s hearing*- but by the thing that’s unique to writing a book; the dedication.
In the editing process, the dedication is one of the last things to be done. You often see proofs with ‘dedication to come’ typed on the opening pages, meaning the author probably hasn’t yet made up their mind who the lucky person will be. Or they’re thinking how to word it- or something.
Either way, for me it seems quite a big thing to dedicate a book. You want to say ‘thank you’ to the right people without offending others. Often there are special reasons why a particular book gets dedicated to a particular person- they might’ve helped inspire the story or shown you support during the writing process. They might be someone the story reminds you of, or a person who you know will totally ‘get’ having a book dedicated to them.
So, to my dedications.
Frost Hollow Hall was dedicated to my husband.
To Owen, always.
It was a no-brainer. He’s my number one, and has been a massive supporter of my writing from the start. I owe him everything.
The Girl Who walked On Air I dedicated to my parents.
To my mum and dad, who gave me books not ponies.
Again, they’re such a massive support to me, I can’t tell you. And so proud that I’m now doing the one thing I’d always dreamed of. As a little girl, they took me to the library every Saturday for books, books and more books. When I was pony mad, they didn’t buckle under the pressure to buy me my own- they couldn’t afford it. But they did keep me fed with a constant stream of horse books, so I could escape to a place where girls had ponies, even if in reality their’s didn’t.
In Darkling Wood was for Owen again.
To Owen, who gave this story idea wings.
I could’ve branched out at this point and chosen someone else, but Owen was very much part of why I wrote the book. Yes, I knew the Cottingley fairies story, but he got me onto all the old fairy myths. Most important of all, he showed me my very first fairy door.
I dedicated The Snow Sister to my best friend Karl,
To dearest Karl, the original Snow Sister.
Once I decided to give the book that title it was another ‘no-brainer’. Not only is Karl the sort of friend who’s like family, but we share an unhealthy obsession with snow. Together we are complete snow geeks-though we prefer to call ourselves ‘snow sisters’. Although the meaning in the book itself is different, it’s still a story about recovering from loss and how someone outside your immediate family might help you bear that loss more easily. This is very true of Karl for me.
As for my next book, Strange Star, I’ve got two dedicatees (is that a word?) in mind- my nieces Eliza and Mia. Or Mia and Eliza. I know they’ll bicker over whose name goes first, but I also know they’ll ‘get’ it and be massively chuffed.
The proofs for Strange Star are due any day now. Once they’re done, the dedication will be the only thing left to do. I’d better start thinking what I’m going to say.
Or maybe this time I’ll be direct: I love you. There. Said it.