Saturday, November 29, 2008

Dedications

I just signed a contract for a novella in a YA anthology due out next summer. Every contract I sign is accompanied by an author info sheet with a cover request, the blurb, an excerpt, etc. The one part that always takes me the longest is the dedication. There are always so many people I want to recognize - from critique partners to loved ones to favorite college or high school teachers.
The dedication is one of the most important sections of the book--at least it is for me--because it is a window into the author's personal life. Writers easily hide behind their characters and plots, allowing their readers to see only a carefully orchestrated creation. I always read the dedication in books because it is that tiny crack into who the author really is and frankly, I'm a voyeur by nature. I love peeking behind the curtain to see the actors not playing roles. Of course, I love the play as well. But glimpsing something of the real person gives me a sense of behind-the-scenes knowledge.
A friend told me recently she rarely reads the dedication unless she knows the author personally. I found this unconscionable! How could she skip past such a vital piece of information? She said she doesn't want to know too much about the author. It might cloud her perception of the story. What???
So now I'm curious. Do you always read the dedication? Or are there others out there like my friend? Do tell...

4 comments:

Katie Reus said...

I ALWAYS read the dedication, whether I know the person or not. I was doing this long before I became a writer. It's intriguing to learn more about the person behind the story.

p.s. Congrats on the contract! :)

Terry Odell said...

I read them. I'm often surprised to find names I recognize. But I'm always afraid I'll forget to mention someone when I write mine.

And ... Congrats

jax said...

I'm with Katie. I think it's important to know the author because without knowing who they dedicate or make acknowledgements to, it doesn't give you insight into the author. Whenever I do my own dedications, it reminds me of how memorable that part of my life was...

Chudney Defreitas-Thomas said...

Congratulations!I read them, though not always when I start the book.