The official Time Between Us Launch Party was last week, but we also threw a private book celebration in our town over the weekend. It was a great way to bring together the many people throughout our community — friends, teachers, family — who have watched my publishing journey and have been so supportive.
I had some words I wanted to share with this very special group, but the signing line was long (thank you!), the evening got away from us, and I didn’t get to say everything I wanted to while the larger group was there. So I’m going to use this opportunity to thank some incredible people in my life.
Mike: When we got married, we wrote our own vows. I’ve always loved the words we wrote and I think we’ve stayed true to them over the last 14 years. One promise we made was “To bring out the best in you always, and for you, to be the best person I can be”. We also promised this: “To believe in you, even when you doubt yourself”. This journey has tested both of those vows, and I’m proud to say… “Dude, we killed it.” It’s not always easy to push someone to be better, but you do that for me all the time. And you believed in me at every turn, even when I started to lose faith in myself. Thank you for being the love of my life, and the best dad our kids could ever ask for. And for feeding me when I was huddled over a keyboard for hours on end. And… never mind. You know how awesome you are.
Aidan and Lauren: I honestly don’t think I would have written this story if it weren’t for you. When you grow up, your mind starts to fill up with dumb things, like worries and daily tasks, and you stop taking time to just enjoy this wonderful part of you called “your imagination”. You two are so creative and imaginative all the time. I love the stories you make up. You inspire me every single day. Thank you.
Our teachers: I remember the day I volunteered in my son’s kindergarten class. I was in the back of the room, cutting out paper ducks or something, and listening to his teacher talk about the importance of writing stories. How stories are everywhere, in places where you least expect them. That teacher, Rebecca Wilson-Gonzalez, came to show her support, but I don’t think she ever knew that as I sat in her class that day, I was thinking, “I remember when I used to do that. I wonder why I don’t anymore?” Or that I started writing this book a few weeks later.
To Rebecca and to all our teachers, both the ones who came and the ones who couldn’t, THANK YOU! All of you work so hard to teach our children to love books and to be their own best storytellers. But mostly, you teach them to think creatively. Our community is so lucky to have inspiring teachers like you.
Speaking of inspiring teachers: My high school journalism teacher surprised me by coming to the party. Mr. Wehner was that teacher for me. He believed in me when I needed it most, and I honestly don’t know if I would have gone to college without his encouragement (a single decision that made such a difference in my life). Thank you for coming, Harvey!
My business partners, Stacy and Molly: You two have given me nothing but enthusiasm over the last two years, even though this project took me away from the business we share. I miss working together every day, and I cherish those catch-up calls and lunches that remind me how fortunate I am to have you two in my life. Thank you so, so, so much for sharing this adventure with me.
My family: My family has been ridiculously supportive. My mom flew in from Seattle, and Mike’s parents and brother were there to celebrate. Everyone else was there in spirit, but I felt them there the whole time. Thanks to each and every one of you! You all live too far away.
My friends: I can’t believe how many of you showed up! There will never be enough words to thank you for everything you’ve done over the last two years to show your support — from watching my kids when I was on deadline to simply asking me how the book is coming along! You guys are incredible.
Three inspirational girls: One day I was at my friend Stacy’s house, and I was chatting with her daughter about books. I remember how she lit up when she talked about the characters she loved, and it reminded me so much of myself at her age. I left thinking, “Someday I’m going to write a book for her.” Here you go, Claire.
Hosanna and Sophie, sisters and great friends, are such inspirational people. They’re smart, athletic, driven, and they have this worldly perspective I never had at that age. It’s no coincidence that they’re a lot like my character, Anna Greene. They’re the girls I wish I was at sixteen. And the girls I gleefully watch my daughter look up to. Thank you for reading the early drafts, you two.
My agent: None of this would be happening if it weren’t for Caryn Wiseman’s devotion to this story. I knew from the beginning that she would be a tireless champion for this book, and she’s proven to be just that, again and again. Thank you for everything, Caryn!
My editor: My editor, Lisa Yoskowitz, couldn’t be there to celebrate, but I would have thanked her publicly anyway. She knows I push myself hard, but because she’s a great coach, she pushes me even harder. She knew exactly what I wanted this story to become, and she gave me the tools and encouragement I needed to create it. Thank you, Lisa.
My local indie bookstore: Thank you for selling the very first copies of Time Between Us! You guys were fantastic.
A final thank you to Barbacoa for hosting a perfect, memorable evening.