Do you read the Dedication and Acknowledgement pages in the books you buy? I’m not sure I ever used to, but I do now. Since I was lucky enough to get my own book on a shop shelf, I now love reading the little bits about the people involved in helping that author type The End on their story.
Jules and Belinda are who I dedicated my newest book, The Cafe By The Bridge, to.
Julesy is a childhood friend, who just recently got married to her childhood sweetheart. She’s inspired a few of my heroines in books: Christina from my debut story His Brand Of Beautiful had a fair bit of Jules about her, and Taylor from The Cafe By The Bridge has a fair whack of Jules in her too.
Mostly, it’s the clothes that does it. Christina could sew all sorts of things: clothes, cushion covers, patchwork over a hole in a tent. Taylor is an op-shop queen who puts all combinations of clothes together to make personal and individual works of art. That’s my mate Julie-ann to a ‘T’.
Miss Belinda is a more recent friend. Bel is a former work colleague, and as our work friendship grew we each discovered the other shares a mutual love of orchid hunting. But Bel’s status as ‘orchid-hunter-extraordinaire’ took the next step a year or so ago when she posted a picture of The Queen Of Sheba orchid on Facebook.
I actually thought this orchid didn’t exist anymore. I was pretty sure it had been crowded out by forest and habitat clearing, and by collectors (or thieves) trying to transplant it to grow elsewhere.
Little did I know the Queen does still exist in small hidden pockets in the wild and even near to my own backyard (the South West of West Australia). When Belinda posted this photo, (coincidentally at a time when I’d been writing an orchid scene into The Cafe By The Bridge) I actually changed the dialogue in the story to make sure I had my information right.
The Dedication is different to the Acknowledgements. Acknowledgements are where you can write a long list of ‘thank yous’. It’s kind of your moment where you can (on paper at least) step up to the stage to accept your Oscar for Best Actress and thank everyone who has helped you get the book together, including your Mum, your first teacher, your swimming teacher, your neighbour, the person who once offered you their seat on a bus…and of course for an author, it’s a chance to thank the many wonderful READERS who like your stuff!
I love writing Acknowledgements. Acknowledgements rock. Here’s a little taste of mine in The Cafe By The Bridge.
Not long to go now for The Cafe By The Bridge, Book 2 in the Chalk Hill Series. Can’t wait to see it out and about. I love Abe’s story, and I hope you will too!
Thanks Jules & Bel for inspiring me to write it…