by Skylar M. Cates
Do you know what irritates me? When my kindle skips over the acknowledgements and dedication pages and always takes me to the first chapter. Maybe I’m a nerd, but I enjoy reading the author’s notes and acknowledgments.
Secrets of You, the fourth book in my Sunshine and Happiness series, has a special dedication. Before I write about it, and I’m a little choked up to do so, I wanted to reflect on some of my previous dedications and what they meant to me.
As I went back to various books and the dedications, each one did have significance. Here are a few that I wanted to share:
Exposed: A first book really is a baby, so who better than Mom to dedicate it to? A day or so before Exposed was to be on the coming soon page at Dreamspinner, I had a nerve-jangling attack. The book wasn’t ready! It could still be better! I’m taking it back! Mom came to my rescue.
It was my mom who reassured me, cheered me on, and made me take that final leap of faith. She really was my hero that week.
Dedication: And for my mom, my eleventh-hour champion
The Guy from Glamour: Aware of the dedication to my mother in my first novel, my sister said all her friends teased her. Where was she in my acknowledgments? She had to defend our sisterly bond from the doubters. Although she was joking (sort of), I could tell she wished a book would be dedicated to her too. The Guy from Glamour seemed a perfect choice. The book had sisters, after all, lots of them. Siblings played an important role in the book.
Dedication: This book is dedicated to Karen, my big sister and my friend
Lovers, Losers, and You: This wasn’t the first novel that I dedicated to my kids; however, it was the first novel they all took an avid interest in discussing. No, they haven’t read it (yet), but my kids often heard me bemoaning plot and character points with my husband (who nodded in all the correct places), and they began to offer “help”. In the book, there’s a reality cooking show, and at the time, my daughters loved shows like Cupcake Wars and Master Chef Jr., so I used some of that for inspiration. Each one of my kids wanted to create a judge. I have three kids= three judges. I took notes on the gender, personality and looks. I used what they told me. One day I would love to see them actually read about the judges that they helped their mom create. For now, it makes me smile when I reread those competition scenes.
Dedication: For Ariana, Jared, and Talia—thanks for the judges!
Secrets of You: My original person to thank was my husband. He is the best at giving me time to create. I had the dedication there, ready to go.
Then I changed it.
Editors don’t often get the credit they so richly deserve. They can take an author’s words and improve them. They can talk you off the ledge. They can make you shine. If you’re lucky, as I have been, they are also friends.
At the start of Secrets of You, my head editor Sue was leave, for reasons I didn’t know, but I was assured she was coming back for the second half of the editing process. Sadly, Sue was unable to return. For personal reasons, she had to leave DSP for a longer period.
Although the substitute editor was excellent too, I missed my friend. Only Sue had been with me through the creation of the Sunshine and Happiness series to here. She once joked “I speak Skylar,” and that was for real. She got me.
I decided my hubby could get some other dedication (and had been in other dedications already). Before the final draft went to print, I altered the page.
Dedication: For Sue Adams.
Sue, I miss your expert eye and warm heart. Be well.
There is a second part to my dedication in Secrets of You.
Without readers, writing can be a lonely and frustrating task. On the bad days, it’s enough to make a writer want to stick the manuscript in the closet.
I certainly have felt this way. But then I wonder if somebody is actually waiting and wanting my book? And I push through the doubts.
If you ever are considering sending a writer a small note of appreciation, I’m here to tell you to do it. It matters. A whole lot!
To the loyal readers of this series—you’re the miracle that makes me want to write. You’re the bright sunshine in my day. Thank you!
Writers do not have to leave dedications; it’s optional, but I always do it. How often do we get a chance to thank the important people in our lives? These days, especially, I want to remember to be grateful.
So, guys, next time the kindle jumps to the first chapter, maybe scroll back? Take a look? You never know what dedication is waiting.
Thanks for hosting me today!
About Secrets of You
It’s never easy to find redemption.
Carrying scars and regrets, River Darcourt avoids too much intimate contact. Among his friends, he is known as a quiet loner. Forget about love—it’s not something he will consider—until sweet, young, and tempting Morgan Hayes becomes his housemate. River closed his heart long ago, but the attraction is impossible to deny.
Morgan Hayes needs a change. He is moving out of his critical father’s home and in with his friends, including his secret/not-so-secret crush, River. Having feelings for River is a terrible idea. But what is a guy to do when the annoyingly sexy mechanic is just across the hall?
While Morgan has overcome ugliness and is ready for love, he’s just not sure River ever will be. They have both experienced pain in their lives. So Morgan dares River to take a chance, and love will either break their fractured hearts in more pieces or, just possibly, make them whole again.
About Skylar M. Cates
Skylar M. Cates loves a good romance. She is quite happy to drink some coffee, curl up with a good book, and not move all day. Most days, however, Skylar is chasing after her husband, her kids, and her giant dog, Wasabi. Skylar dreams about spending her days writing her novels, walking along the beach, and making more time for her good friends. On a shoestring budget, Skylar has traveled all over in her early years. Although, lately, the laundry room is the farthest place she has visited, Skylar still loves to chat with people from all around the globe.
Skylar has graciously offered up a copy of the Secrets of You e-book or choice E-book from her backlist to one lucky winner!! The giveaway starts now and ends March 10, 2017 at 11:59 p.m. To enter, just comment below with who you would dedicate a novel to and why?