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 him know!


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 map.
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 happening.
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.
Koveck - 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 meet!


Clemens, James - Bestselling author. For his selfless nature and inspiring work ethic.
Dabel, Les & Ernst - Whose own work never ceases to amaze me.
Domingo, Dominick - For his marvelous illustration of the Crimson Sword.
Fagundes, Alex - For his expert contributions to the building and hosting of this website.
Jordan, Robert - Bestselling author. For his commanding presence, unflinching strength, and small acts of kindness. May he rest in peace while his work lives on forever.
LeGrand, L. Scott - Film producer. Who didn't cringe at the mention of the word "fantasy".
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.
Pettersson, Vicki - Bestselling author. For her exhilarating stories and humble nature.
Rice, Cindi - Manager. For seeking positive opportunities in a sea of Hollywood negativity.
Rodriguez, 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 promotional support.
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 gracious hospitality.
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 storiesall the better with that Scottish burr.
Collins, Celine - A California girl who gets as fired up about fitnessand Hobbitsas 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 did.
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 booksand 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.
Laviolette, 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 hostessand 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.
Nuttall, 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 is unattainable.
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 like me.
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 rollingfor everyone.

And countless others from whom I'll take a beating for having neglected!


Ackerman, Hal - UCLA. For storytelling insights that are not limited to any particular medium.
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!

Maui Writers

Because they are all of the aboveprofessionals, teachers, and friendsthe 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 possibilities.
Brooks, Judine - For suffering my shadow-like tendencies with patience and understanding.
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.
Engstrom, 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 her.
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 professionals.
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 heartfelt thanks!

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