It’s publication day for my second novel with Viking Press, First Impressions; A Novel of Old Books, Unexpected Love, and Jane Austen. Before you read this blog, run out and buy a copy! Have you bought it? Good. Now, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again—please read the acknowledgements. Writing a manuscript might be a lonely solo endeavor, but creating a book is a team effort and the acknowledgements are where the author gets to thank some of the members of the team. Of course, lead time being what it is, there are names that I do not learn until after it is too late to include them, so to the list below I would add Kristen Haff who designed the beautiful dust jacket as well as book designer Sabrina Bowers. To thank the rest of the team, here are my acknowledgements as they appear in the book you just bought (no spoilers, I promise).
I am grateful to have grown up in a home where books were valued both as text and physical objects, and for that I especially thank my father, Bob Lovett who not only collected books, but also taught literature. His passion for the eighteenth-century and for Jane Austen led me into the world that much of this novel inhabits.
Humble thanks Janice Lovett, whose wisdom has contributed to First Impressions as it has to so much of my writing; David Gernert and Anna Worrall, who saw the potential in a rough manuscript and gave me direction; and Lindsey Schwoeri for her expert editorial guidance. To the incomparable Kathryn Court I must express thanks for so much more than brilliant editing—the energy to write this novel is due in large part to her support and encouragement.
Thanks also to Stephanie Lovett for assistance with Latin, to Victoria Huxley for a lovely tour round Jane Austen’s Adlestrop, to the Wake Forest University Library and Megan Mulder for allowing me to handle (and even read) their first edition of Pride and Prejudice, and to Chris and Delphie Stockwell for helping me understand English gardens and so much else about life in Oxfordshire.
In addition to William Austen-Leigh and Richard Arthur Austen-Leigh’s Jane Austen: Her Life and Letters, I am particularly indebted to the anonymous work The History of Printing, published in London by the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge in 1855.
To all those at the Gernert Company and Penguin Books who have brought my work to the world, I am eternally grateful, especially Will Roberts, Rebecca Gardner, Rebecca Lang, Annie Harris, and Scott Cohen.
Finally, thanks must go to my family, in particular to the aforementioned Janice whose patience, love, and support makes being a writer possible and to Jordan and Lucy—my children not only inspire me they also read my novels.