Authors usually include acknowledgments in their books, but for some reason, this little fact was overlooked when I submitted HIDDEN to my editor. Before I knew it, copy edits were done and then page proofs and then it was too late to include them. But I wanted to do something, so consider this my addendum to the book:
HIDDEN took me a very long time to write. I first had the idea back in 2009, right after I found out that my Annie Seymour series was not going to be continued. I wrote about 30 pages, but then it got put on the back burner because I was contracted to write the Tattoo Shop Mysteries. It was never very far from my mind, though, and I always wanted to see where the story went, and this is where my agent Josh Getzler comes in. I sent him the pages I had and he told me that I had to finish it. He was so encouraging that I decided I would. It’s such a different type of style and story for me, though, so it was not easy. I began to call it my Manuscript from Hell when referring to it on Facebook. One issue is that my protagonist is a computer hacker, and I am not. I started reading about hacking online and found Kevin Mitnick’s books invaluable for my research. Because I am not a hacker or even remotely schooled in computers, however, any mistakes are mine (but keep in mind that this is fiction and writers can make things up).
So I would definitely like to thank Josh and his colleague Danielle Burby for their faith in my work and especially in this book. They have been amazing to work with. I would also like to profusely thank Kate Lyall Grant at Severn House, who saw what Josh saw in the book and took a chance on a cozy/traditional mystery writer’s switch to the darker side of suspense/thriller. Sara Porter at Severn House is an amazing copy editor. I am just so thrilled with being included in the Severn House list.
My readers Alison Gaylin, Cheryl Violante, Patty Smiley, and Mary-Ann Tirone Smith also need a nod because they were there first and made me realize the book doesn’t suck. Clair Lamb went above and beyond and helped me with the nitpicky stuff.
The book is set on Block Island, one of the most beautiful, serene places I’ve visited. Way back when I was travel editor at the New Haven Register, I took a press trip there and was hosted by the wonderful Melissa Devine and Keith Marshall at Rhode Island tourism. Melissa and Keith showed me the island off season, and we will always have Club Soda, where “we’re all here because we’re not all there.” I also sort of stole the name of my actual tour guide cab driver Steve McQueeny.
And finally, I couldn’t do any of this without the support of my amazing husband Chris and daughter Julia. This one is for you.