I have plenty to be thankful for, not least of which is readers, because without them, there'd be no need for writers. So I am thankful for all the wonderful readers on this Thanksgiving.
Though writing comes easily to me, the business of writing and publishing are not always the most breezy and fun areas to navigate. It's very easy to become jaded, discouraged, or downright bitter in this industry. Therefore, I'm also indebted to the wonderful publishers and editors who've helped me along to either make my work better or further my career, or, often, done both at once. Liz Burton at Zumaya and Dan Reitz at Mundania are just aces. Zane and Maxim Jakubowski, by publishing my work, have made me feel like I earn the right to call myself a writer. And Susie Bright made me feel like a writer who was doing something right.
I'm not the easiest person to get to know, or to get along with. I know that. Really, I do. But, somehow, there've been a few people who've been able to tolerate me long enough that I consider them not just colleagues, but friends.
Ellen Meister is the kind of writer, who, at a quick glance, could inspire insidious jealousy. She's gotten the big deals and had successful books. But instead of inspiring envy, she simply inspires, because she is the kind of talent that gives one faith in the system. She is a wonderful writer -- full of humor and great plots and unforgettable characters. Even better, and just as rare in this world, she is a truly classy dame.
Donna George Storey elevates sex with smarts, infusing elegance and culture and beautifully languid word precision into truly sultry situations. She's also a fine friend, both caring and considerate and always ready with a joke.
William Reese Hamilton takes me to bygone eras I've never known and brings them to life just as he enlightens me with vivid depictions of far-off corners of the world. Better, he's always close with an encouraging word or unabashed praise.
Last, but certainly not least, is the incomparable Donald Capone. He's a better writer than probably even he knows -- full of life and humor. And he's also the most generous person I've ever met. Time, money, and work, he gives it all away freely by being a renaissance man in the realm of publishing. Cover designs, editing, publishing, critiquing, and promoting -- I've never seen anyone give back so much to so many other writers. Alas, no one's perfect, not even Don. Witty and giving as he is, he's also a Yankee fan. I am so grateful to know Don, but also grateful he's got that fatal flaw that keeps me from developing a mad, hopeless crush on him.
Reviewers. There's a double-edged sword. Of course, writers are tremendously thrilled and flattered when they get praise, and a good review makes the arduous endeavor seem worthwhile. So I am most certainly thankful for all the readers who've taken the time to read my work, and then gone the extra step to review it kindly. As this is a kindly holiday, a lot of people would be classy and thank all reviewers, for both the good and the bad. But this is Thanksgiving, not "I've lost my fucking mind and balls day" so, really, if I'm being perfectly honest, I'm not feeling so kindly inclined toward the bad reviews. Basically, if you trashed my work, there's a pretty high chance that you're either thickskulled or twunty, or possibly both.
Of course, that does come with a caveat. If you trashed my work using adjectives such as hard, rough, or edgy, then I probably took it as a compliment even if you were abundantly clear that wasn't your intention. Bonus points if the negativity was due to my preponderance of filthy material. And triple score if there were then comments about me being overly sentimental or gushy. Those are exactly the sort of comments that make my dark soul brighter, my nasty, libidinous pulse quicken, and my mushy heart swell.
Also, I am thankful for vodka.