The author would like to thank the following individuals for their
contributions, encouragement, and support in helping to make all of this a
reality. If your name should be on this list, and isn't, send an
email to let
Bialer, Matt -
Literary Agent. A man whose job it is to help dreams come true.
Bierhaus, Anna - Assistant to Matt Bialer. For
keeping things running smoothly.
Cain, David - Artist. For transforming my sketches into an actual world
Dwyer, Deborah - Copyeditor. Whose eagle-eyed analysis caught problems
I'd missed a dozen times over.
Gill, Diana - Executive Editor. Without whom none of this would be
Hacker-Delany, Iva - Designer. For adding some
flair and style to the page.
Hinton, Will - Assistant to Diana Gill. For
handling the grunt work and more.
Artist. For his amazing cover artwork.
Krump, Emily - Assistant to Diana Gill. Who
always makes time for my petty requests.
Ribar, Lindsay - Assistant to Matt Bialer. For
keeping pace with my nomadic moves.
Robbins, Amy - Copyeditor. For her meticulous
cleanup of my sloppy prose.
Serrano, Ervin - For his wonderful jacket design.
And a truckload of behind-the-scenes folks I haven't yet had the pleasure to
Clemens, James -
Bestselling author. For his selfless nature and inspiring work ethic.
Dabel, Les & Ernst - Whose own work
never ceases to amaze me.
- For his marvelous illustration of the Crimson Sword.
Fagundes, Alex - For his expert contributions to the building and
hosting of this website.
Robert - Bestselling author. For his commanding presence, unflinching
strength, and small acts of kindness. May he rest in peace while his work lives
LeGrand, L. Scott - Film producer. Who didn't cringe at the mention of the
Martin, George R. R. - For raising the bar on an entire genre while
proving that unconventional is sometimes best.
Newcomb, Robert -
Author. For his
willingness to help another young author find his way.
- Bestselling author. For her exhilarating stories and humble nature.
Rice, Cindi - Manager. For seeking positive
opportunities in a sea of Hollywood negativity.
Tone - Artist. For delivering in a big way at a moment's notice.
Salvatore, Bob - Bestselling author. For his hearty congratulations,
levelheaded attitude, and ready advice.
Speakman, Shawn - For his
terrific concepts and invaluable guidance in getting this site off the ground.
Wilson, Eric Thomas - Who gave my life purpose just as that and all
else was about to go missing.
Family & Friends
Adkins, Crystal - For her friendly banter and enthusiastic
Agee, Susan - Writer. Whose faith and humor
are an inspiration.
Anderson, Paul - Screenwriter. For remembering to tell me what I
was doing well.
Antrim, Kathleen -
Author. Who assured me from the beginning this day would come.
Autele, Brian - The fiercest guy I've ever met,
but a friend with a heart of gold.
Biddle, Kelly - My "dream" girl. For giving me something to
endlessly aspire to.
Bizzell, Brandon - Cousin-in-law. For his
Bizzell, Heather - Cousin. Who built a life for
herself against such terrible odds.
Blake, Christopher - Cousin-in-law. For his insatiable enthusiasm.
Blake, Rebecca - Cousin. Who has never held my
surliness against me.
Browning, Dotty - Who wrote me a letter of such wonderful encouragement when the
doubts were closing in.
Clark, Iain - For his companionable nature and terrific stories—all the
better with that Scottish burr.
Collins, Celine - A California girl who gets as
fired up about fitness—and Hobbits—as I do.
Elbling, Ross - For his eager assistance in the editing and proofreading
department. Rest in peace, my friend. You are missed.
Fitzpatrick, Warren - For befriending an
unknown author, and sharing such wonderful work of his own.
Fowler, Dennis - For not sweating the little
things that so many others get riled up about.
Hackney, Robin - A proud, responsible
mother who is every bit as spunky and fun as when we were kids.
Haviland, Christopher - Writer.
Who knows the struggle, but never lets me lose hope.
Hayden, Patricia - For her honest outlook and friendly conversation.
Henderson, Russell - For giving me an
opportunity, while yet encouraging me to pursue my true dream.
Hoach, Rick - The hardest-working man I've ever met.
Holley, Tiffany - For understanding what I was trying to
say when so few others
Johnson, Judy - Who made me feel like a valuable
member of our team.
Kamberg, Kandy - For being the one member
of her family with whom I can eagerly discuss fantasy fiction.
Laviolette, Damian - For being there in the very beginning, and hanging in there until now.
Laviolette, Dylan - Who has such great tastes in
books—and as it turns out, music, too.
Laviolette, Janice - For being the steady one in
a sea of family chaos.
Laviolette, Jean - For both his tireless work
ethic and his blunt honesty.
Laviolette, Kelly - Who taught me to smile for
the sake of the customer.
Laviolette, Perry - For teaching me physical toughness, even if it didn't stick.
Shantal - The most fun-loving "bookworm" I've ever met.
Laviolette, Shirley - For making a lowly dockhand
feel like an adopted son.
Laviolette, Teah - For being a gracious and energetic hostess—and for keeping that husband of hers in line.
Ly, Michelle - Among the first to help celebrate
this achievement, and for doing so with such unabashed glee.
Mathiasen, Eric - A friend for as long as I can
remember, and one of the few who never scoffed at my goals.
Mattingly, Kathryn - Writer. Who is forever giving me way more credit than I deserve.
May, Kevin - For both his unfailingly good humor and his scathing honesty.
McCormack, Melissa - For her sweet
spirit, bright smile, and loving nature.
Narkun, Charis - For greeting every conceivable challenge with a smile upon her face.
R. Kyle - For his love of life and the written word, not to mention
his longtime friendship.
Oglesby, John - Writer. Always the first in line
to help toast a friend's success.
Olinger, Carrie - Who has achieved more in a few
years' honest labor than I have in a lifetime of daydreaming.
Olinger, Crissy - For putting up with a side of me that few others get to see.
Olinger, Vicky - For acting as though this is all much more exciting than it really is.
Philpott, Danny - Who convinced me that nothing
Pfister, Sue - For being one of the best
"real-world" bosses I ever had, always leading by example.
Powell, C. Eric - Even though he'd just as soon shoot me in the face.
Raju, Kartik - For his unspoiled optimism in a
world of jaded filmmakers.
Richards, Michael - Screenwriter. Who hasn't yet forgotten old classmates
Rowe, Diana - For showing me how to lighten up
and have a good time.
Riley, Jason - For both his hilarious antics, and
the driving hunger that fuels everything he does.
Riley, Susan - For welcoming me into her home at
a moment's notice.
Riley, Tom - Who has more stories than any one
man deserves, and is willing to share them with the likes of me.
Schmidt, Brooke - Who, no matter how she may
feel, always manages a brave and ready smile.
Schmidt, Sue - Who hasn't forgotten how to have
fun, even in the face of adversity.
Smith, Jack - Writer. For treating me time and again like one of his
own kid brothers.
Spagnola, Sherise - For always seeing the best in
people, even when they may not deserve it.
Sturdivant, Patrick - Elder brother. Who is forever
looking out for the rest of us.
Sturdivant, Tim - Father. For reminding me to
keep an eye on the practical side of things.
Sturdivant, Toreen - Stepmother. For being as
proud as any birth mother could be.
Tidwell, Janet - For making even the most arduous
task seem more like an enjoyable family gathering.
Tidwell, Vaughn - For teaching me that all it takes is a little bit of vision and
a lot of hard work.
Thompson, Dagne - Mother. For taking such pride
in each of the children to whom she has dedicated her life.
Thompson, Jared - Younger brother #1. For always
listening whenever El feels the need to talk too much.
Thompson, John - Uncle. For the honest and
helpful writing advice he gave a young kid long ago.
Thompson, Neil - Younger brother #2. For always
pushing me to make it better.
Thompson, William - Younger brother #3. For
treating me as if I were someone to be looked up to.
Thompson Sr., Eldon J. - No known relation, but
who was kind enough to let me have this URL anyway.
Tostado, Jonathan - Writer. Whose earnest
zaniness kept the rest of his classmates in stitches.
Turner, Cal - Uncle. For working so hard to keep
the family together.
Turner, Lainey - For hanging in there amid all
the madness, and keeping her eye on building a positive future.
Turner, Linda - Aunt. For all the little niceties
that help me to feel better about myself.
Turner, Merri Lee - Cousin. For being tougher
than any girl her age should have to be.
Tyrpak, Suzanne - Writer. Whose dedication and
willingness to sacrifice has encouraged me to do the same.
Wilson, Kathy - Who refuses to settle for
anything less than what she really wants.
Wilson, Will - For his willingness to do whatever it takes to get this
ball rolling—for everyone.
And countless others from whom I'll take a beating for having
Ackerman, Hal - UCLA. For storytelling insights that are not limited to any
Duke, Errol - For challenging me like few others have before or since.
Lucanio, Patrick - Western Oregon. Who led me to
believe I might have a future as a writer.
Rand, Thomas - Western Oregon. Who made the study
of literature come alive.
Thoma, Dave - Because when so many others told me to play it safe, he
suggested I follow my dreams.
West-Gerber, Valerie - UCLA. For her active involvement in making this a
better story than it was before.
Zenor, Cinda - For allowing me to write about
whatever I should choose.
And many more I've not yet mentioned!
Because they are all of the above—professionals, teachers, and friends—the good folks of the
Hawaii Writers Conference
(formerly Maui Writers Conference)
get a category all to themselves...
Allison, Dorothy - Award-winning
author. Every writer should have a "mama" like her.
Bova, Barbara - Super agent, who yet took
the time to congratulate a newcomer like me.
Bova, Ben -
Bestselling author. For opening my mind to new horizons and unexplored
Brooks, Judine - For suffering my shadow-like tendencies with patience
Brooks, Terry -
Bestselling author. Because I
don't think I'll ever be able to thank him enough.
Cratty, Al - For his ready smile and adventuresome spirit.
Elizabeth - Bestselling author. For rewarding my persistence,
rather than chiding me for it.
George, Elizabeth -
Bestselling author. Who taught me the importance of preparation.
Horn, Sam -
Emcee. Who exudes warmth and the aloha spirit from the moment you see
McCabe, Thomas - The most welcoming man
you'll ever meet, who treated me the same in the beginning as now.
Sack, Mike - Master storyteller. For teaching me how crucial it is to begin with a reasonable idea.
Saul, John -
Bestselling author. For
allowing me to laugh at myself, setting me on track to
become a professional.
Tsukiyama, Gail - Award-winning author.
For her kind words, and her insight into using environment as character.
Tullius, John - Author and editor. For
providing the ground in which writers go from hobbyists to
Tullius, Shannon - For her tireless
efforts in helping less experienced writers to realize their dreams.
Wiggs, Jay - For whom all of this fancy author stuff is ancillary to the latest round of golf.
Wiggs, Susan -
Bestselling author. For so readily welcoming me into the writers' community.
And to all the staff, presenters, and my fellow students over the
years, my most