I am being a bad deb and should absolutely have my pearls — not to mention ball gown — yanked away for this, but I’m ignoring this week’s scheduled topic and writing instead about the week I had writing my acknowledgments for my book.
I hope I’m not the only writer who started thinking about this before the book was even a book. It was surely before I wrote my first sentence of it, probably around the time I had the thought, “Hey, this would make a great idea for a novel.” Possibly it was even further back — say, when I was in sixth grade and my teacher gave me a B- on a paper I was sure deserved an A and thought, “Someday I’m going to write a book and not thank her in it.” I know that last year, quite obnoxiously, I would make off-hand remarks — say, that I was absolutely going to thank Trader Joe’s Salt and Savory Mix in my book since that particular food had helped me through many days when I simply didn’t think I could work on the thing anymore — to people before I even dared hope that my book would actually sell.
>So I wrote them. And it was fun. And I did obsess, removing one person when I realized he really didn’t belong there and adding another when I thought she’d really be hurt because I included someone I met through her — all the standard people-pleasing stuff. My list was long. So I asked my agent if she thought writers who had an endless stream of acknowledgments were obnoxious. She, ever tactful, simply said that the shorter the list, the more each acknowledgment means.
I haven’t changed a word of it yet. After all, I don’t want to hurt Trader Joe’s Salt and Savory Mix’s feelings.