These are the acknowledgements that I have included at the back of my book, A Class Apart:
Thanks first of all must go to Averill Buchanan for her excellent editorial advice and Andrew Brown for designing such a beautiful cover. They helped shape this book inside and out, and I am so grateful for their expertise.
Next I wish to thank all the people who helped me at various stages along my publishing journey: Mary Arrigan, Sr Cecilia O’Dwyer, Eoin Purcell, Catherine Ryan Howard, Robert Doran, Vanessa O’Loughlin, and Corinne DeMaagd. Most of these people won’t even know why they are on this list (I have elaborated on those reasons further down this page), but believe me when I say their generosity did not go unappreciated.
Huge hugs go to my early readers and cheerleaders: Miriam Lanigan, Claire Moloney, Grace Noon, Noreen Shanahan, and Laura Mason. They read my unpolished manuscript, offered invaluable feedback (especially that important piece of advice, Miriam!), and never wavered in their belief that I would make it someday. Thanks so much also to Petra Hanlon, TL Harty, and all those who have engaged with me about my book online or in person.
I want to say a massive thank you to my amazing parents and to the rest of my family who have been so supportive of my dream to become a published author. Words cannot express how much it has meant to me.
Lastly, my unending gratitude goes to my husband, Bob, who has had to endure countless discussions about grammar rules and the 19th century over the past few years. He has continued to encourage me when at times I might otherwise have stumbled. All my love.
And for further clarification:
Mary Arrigan: I wrote a couple of fan letters to this Irish author when I was a teenager and she kindly responded each time. I contacted her again as an adult after I decided I wanted to get published and she gave me some very helpful advice, chief of which was to purchase a copy of the Writers’ and Artists’ Yearbook (I got the 2012 edition). This book proved to be my first stepping stone to understanding how the publishing industry works and I would have quickly floundered without it.
Sr Cecilia O’Dwyer: My employer Sr Cecilia has always generously pointed me in the direction of any writing-related contacts and radio/TV coverage featuring writers. The most significant of these was an interview segment with an author on the RTÉ Today Show – it led me to enter their ‘Get Your Book Published’ novel competition in which I was ultimately shortlisted in the final ten in February 2014.
Eoin Purcell: In his role as Editorial Director at New Island Books, Eoin sat on the panel which judged the RTÉ Today Show novel competition and he offered me some very encouraging comments despite the fact that I didn’t win. I subsequently met him in person at a publishing workshop the following month, where he took the time to chat with me about my writing and to suggest I get in contact with an influential figure in the Irish publishing industry, Vanessa O’Loughlin (see further below).
Catherine Ryan Howard: I saw Catherine speak at a self-publishing workshop at the Irish Writers Centre in January 2015 and, as a result, purchased Self-Printed, her book on self-publishing. Without it, my own book would never have made it into the world. I read it back-to-back twice and referenced it countless times in the run-up to the publication of A Class Apart. It’s packed with extremely useful information and Catherine delivers it all with a healthy dose of humour so, at times when I would rather have cried at the task ahead, she made me laugh instead.
Robert Doran: Robert spoke at the same self-publishing workshop in his role as an editor. Afterwards, I contacted him via his website as I was considering getting my book edited, and he actually rang me back. Although he didn’t think he was the right person for the job because he wasn’t familiar enough with the tropes in historical romance – which was the genre I was using at the time – he was just so kind and spent a full half hour on the phone giving me advice. I’ll never forget his generosity to someone who wasn’t even a loose thread yet in the enormous tapestry of the publishing industry. He also gave me the names of two great editors, one of whom was Averill Buchanan who, three years later, did the manuscript assessment for A Class Apart before I published it.
Vanessa O’Loughlin: As well as being an author, Vanessa runs writing.ie and The Inkwell Group. I have been in contact with her a couple of times, firstly on the back of Eoin Purcell’s recommendation in 2014 and again in 2015 at the Irish Writers Centre’s self-publishing workshop. She was so friendly and obliging, and the guidance she gave me that day was what led me to submit my manuscript to Lyrical Press, which is how I came into contact with Corinne DeMaagd.
Corinne DeMaagd: My submission in May 2015 to Corinne, who was Acquisitions Editor at Lyrical Press at the time, marked the closest I ever got to traditional publication. In the end it wasn’t to be but, during the eight months I was in communication with her, she taught me a huge amount about the workings of my manuscript. Off the back of that eventual rejection, I entered an eighteen-month stretch of major revisions on my whole series.
My sincere thanks to all these individuals for their help, knowingly or unknowingly given!