Monday, 1 February 2010
Acknowledging My Dedication Duties - Lucy Coats
Not everyone is thrilled with their dedications from authors. I was quite surprised to learn that one of my literary Facebook friends did not care for hers (from another writer) at all, and reckoned she should have been consulted first. I still haven't discovered what was said (the literary friend is very discreet and would never spill the beans), but it must have been inappropriate at the very least. Till now it has never occured to me that I had to ask before I dedicated, but perhaps it should have, as I would hate to cause offence. Luckily, so far I've had no complaints--and I trust I never will. I don't know about other authors, but I dedicate to those I love and respect. I don't think I would ever dedicate something to a stranger--even if if were someone I admired a lot*. For me dedications are small personal gifts to another--and I think about each one very carefully. Acknowledgements are the same--but of course they don't go in every book, because there isn't always room, For those that do have the space, I like to look back over the long hard process of writing that particular story, and remember who has supported and been there for me during that time. My acknowledgements are a little history of good and bad times in that period of my writing life.
As a child, the prefaces, dedications and acknowledgements were the bits I skipped over. I was a reading beast, tearing past those boring page bars to get to the meat of the story itself. Now, like Lizzie Enfield, I find them endlessly fascinating windows into another writer's world. I do sometimes wonder fleetingly if anyone reads mine, apart from me and the dedicatees. I will never know, and I'm not bothered if they don't. My thanks are out there for anyone to see if they want to, and that's what matters to me. All I can hope is that I haven't forgotten to mention somebody vital!
* The one exception is in The Sailor Snatchers, the last in the series, which I have dedicated to all my readers. If they've stuck with me through twelve books, I reckon they deserve it, and I hope there are lots of them!
Look out for Lucy's new 12-book series Greek Beasts and Monsters coming Feb 2010 from Orion Children's Books
Lucy's website is at http://www.lucycoats.com/
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