This is not the first novel I’ve ever written, but this is the first one that’s made the journey all the way to publication. I could never have gotten here without the help of a lot of amazing people.
Firstly, my wonderful agent, Suzie Townsend, who loved this book and found it the perfect home in record time. My editor, Sarah Landis, who saw the potential of my dark little monster book and helped me take it to the next level. Nicole Sclama, who helped guide me through the entire publication process.
Brenda Drake, for creating the wonderful Pitch Wars contest, which gave me the opportunity of a lifetime. My amazing mentors, Rebecca Sky and Stacey Trombley, who picked me out of a slush pile of talented people, helped me edit, and supported me through this journey. You guys are incredible, and I’m so lucky I met you both.
My early readers, the Dark Forces of Narnia, who looked at a rough first act and helped reorganize it. The Storybook Dreamers for helping me polish that first act so it gleamed for submission. Thanks to Allison Latzko and Michaël Wertenberg, who read the first, truly appalling draft of this novel.
J. S. Dewes, who read the second, much better draft, and went above and beyond answering questions and loving the story and the characters. Aurora Nibley and Julia Kantic, who read a whole bunch of the book just because they liked it, and gave me wonderful comments to make it even better. Lynn Miller, Rebecca Carter, and any other beta readers whose names I have forgotten from that mad editing summer in my life.
Xiran Jay, who read it twice with a critical eye and is basically the reason the science makes sense in the novel. And who listened to me rant and rave, and helped me cook up vengeance schemes whenever bad things happened and celebrated when good things did.
Special thanks go to my sensitivity readers, especially Yamile Saied Méndez. The book is so much better because of the time you spent. Any errors in the book are entirely my fault. I apologize for any mistakes.
Thanks to Koech, the company I worked for in Peru. Without the opportunity to live and work in Lima, this book would likely be radically different. Gracias por todo.
I also have to thank Marie De Zetter and Sam Markham for reading my last God-knows-how-many novels and providing critical, honest, and invaluable feedback, which made me grow and learn and rewrite. I wouldn’t be the writer I am without either of them.
Publishing is a crazy wild stressful business, and I definitely need to thank the entire EaF group for being so amazing and supportive, especially Kester Grant, who pulled me into the group and out of a bad time. You guys are the best, and I love all of you.
Thanks also to my publishing house sister Alexa Donne, who helped me with my website; to Jerry Quinn, who let me crash on his couch when I pitched the book at the NYC pitch contest one time; and to all my fabulous friends and fellow writers whom I’ve met along the journey to publication. I’m constantly blown away by how supportive the writing community is, and I’m so grateful I’ve been able to be a part of it.
I also want to thank my parents, for supporting me in this journey from a young age. Thanks to my mom, for typing out my handwritten novel back in grade seven, and for letting me crash at her place for several months to write this book. And thanks to my father, who read and edited all that trash I wrote in high school and university even though he didn’t like fantasy. I couldn’t have asked for a better or more supportive family.
And finally, thanks to all the readers who make this possible. Thanks for loving my little monsters and joining them on their journey. I promise many adventures ahead.