Stephanie J. Blake
Ever since I sold The Marble Queen I've agonized over my long list of people who have helped me in some way on my long journey to publication. While my acknowledgements won't be included in print, here's my chance to thank some important people!
I am especially grateful for my ever-patient editor extraordinaire, Robin Benjamin, who pushed, pulled, and dragged more out of me than I ever thought I could give. Kudos to the whole Marshall Cavendish team.
I’d also like to thank Lisa Graff who was Freedom’s first champion and helped immensely with plot. Thanks also to Steve Malk. It was his critique at the 2007 SCBWI conference that helped me dig even deeper into Freedom’s story.
Much love to all of my trench buddies at Verla Kay’s Blue Board. Much appreciation for the ones who have held me up and kept me going over the years: Brenda Sturgis, Nan Marino, Danette Vigilante, Ingrid Law, Barbara O’Connor, Hilary Sierpinski, Kay Peterson Pluta, Amy Allgeyer Cook, Janel Rodriguez, Kristin Walker, Laurie Boyle Crompton, Robin Prehn, Jennifer Gill, Anne Marie Pace, and Tracy Abell.
To my high school English teacher, Darcy Garretson, who encouraged me to write from the heart.
To Mary Blake for making sure I have always had a library card.
To my grandfather, Roger Blake. He told me once that I could be anything I wanted to be. To my grandmother who told me that once in a while the dishes can wait.
To my mother, Barbara Bowers, for showing me that it’s okay to be different.
To my boys, Austin, Jett, and Chase. You inspire me every day.
Where would I be without my husband? Sam Firenze, you helped me chase down this dream.
Last, but certainly not least, to my dad, Michael Blake. I can always count on you.