A Tiger Drive Thanks

Vitality Stories

Tiger Drive Acknowledgments

A Tiger Drive Thanks

It takes a village to write and publish a book. Here are the people and groups who are recognized in Tiger Drive.



Finishing a book requires soda, licorice, yogurt covered peanuts, magazines, glue-sticks, alligator skin, earplugs, candles, walks, a timer, a door, two saw horses, a fitness ball, The Civil Wars, and olive branches. But mostly, it takes a village of believers, coaches, supporters, and collaborators.

I would not have been able to write this novel without the support and encouragement from Ted—he has opened up my world and has challenged my views in countless positive ways.

Thanks to Karsen and Adam who started the “three pages” challenge several years ago. Unbeknownst to each of us, my first three pages of this pre-internet, snail-mail exchange would become Chapter Two of Tiger Drive.

Thank you, Tia, for the author’s new hire package that I woke up to in June 2011—you set the perfect tone for the first day of my new career. Also, thanks to Lanita, Annie, Christine, and Elizabeth for not telling me I was crazy to quit my job to write.

Detective Gonzales, the experience you shared about lawless motorcycle clubs was most instructional (and funny and terrifying). Though I have butchered everything you told me and created a gang of amateurs (I blame my paranoia), I couldn’t have created said amateurs without your help.

While writing this work of fiction (yes, that’s a reminder that this is not a memoir—Hi, Mom), I felt overwhelmed with gratitude for the Stocks, Lamers, Langsons, and Huntzingers for sharing their homes and families when I needed both the most. Apryl Huntzinger and Julie Langson, I am a better person for having known you and am honored to remain close.

Many thanks to Karsen for reading each page as soon as I wrote one and for thinking each was the best it could be. Hugs to the readers on the frontline who braved reading the first craptastic drafts full of typos and insanity, and for helping me pinpoint the lines that shouldn’t be drawn: Crystal, Sarah, Jessica, Tia, Kate, Gretchen, April, Stephen T., Michele, Annie, Julie R., and Ingrid, and authors Cathey Graham Nickell, Brian Peyton Joyner, Angela Alvarez, and Lisa Sinicki. Lisa—you’re so patient and always believe I can write better. Brian—you worked wonders with WJ’s introduction.

Chris L., thank you for sharing your creative knowledge.  Steve Z., thanks for telling me to “stop worrying and get that book published already.” Bridgette, thanks for reading the romance I wrote long ago (and then burned). Author Heidi Ayarbe, thanks for some synopsis sympathy.

Editors change everything. First, Deborah Halverson with DearEditor.com. You gave me advice that not only changed Tiger Drive but me as a writer: “Give me a reason to care about this guy.” You also nailed the ending of Carrie’s essay.

Lizette Clarke with Author Accelerator, thanks for the light bulb moments around POV and how to better share Harry’s letters. Thanks to additional editors Carrie Ann Lahain, Kit Frick, Paige Duke, and Eddy Bay—your input gave me the confidence to charge into the publishing arena.

Online courses and masterminds with San Diego State University, Author Accelerator, Story Genius, and WeGrowMedia have taught me much about collaborating, writing, and establishing a routine.

Authors Mary Jo Hazard, Brian Peyton Joyner, Jack Schaeffer, Lisa Manterfield, and Maya Rushing Walker—you people rock my creative world, and I will continue to strive to return the favors and GIFs. Rupert Davies-Cooke and Gemma Glover, our micro-group has created macro results from day one. Cheers!

“Kicksass” creator, Kelsey Browning, you are the best (and most relentless) coach and Say-It-Like-It-Is friend out there. That you introduced me to Mrs-Can-Do-Anything-Reva is a bonus.

Dear newsletter subscribers, thank you for being you and for joining me almost weekly. I’m grateful to all of the Tiger Drive Squadsters, especially Mary Jo Hazard, Mary Incontro, Donna Barker, Lorraine Watson, Crystal Case, Aimee Strathman, Susan Murray Kurilla, David Prater, and Lisa Sinicki. Donna, one call with you and the squad was born. Validation? Check!

Mr. Thompson, as you’d say, “BOOM!” Thank you for our We-Can-Write-Books-Right? calls. Answer: YES, WE CAN.

A book is judged by its cover. Thank you cover designers Olya Vynnychenko, Estella Vukovic, and LancelotZ01 for taking on the challenge. Colleen H., thanks for being my non-reader who judged the covers and description. And author Carlen Maddux, thank you for suggesting a subtitle. Thanks to Buffalo Street Books and Short Stories Bookshop & Community Hub for your feedback on my book covers and media sheets.

Thank you, King Features Syndicate for supporting my use of E.C. Segar’s Popeye. And Patsy Cline, thanks for being ahead of your time and for inspiring Janice and me.

Finally, thanks to Crystal for picking up the phone every time I call (excluding nap time).


Next week I’ll share what’s been happening since Tiger Drive‘s release, including some awesome interviews and pictures shared by friends as they received the books. In the meantime, if you’d like to order Tiger Drive or read what people have been saying about the novel, scroll below.

Until then, thanks for being you!!!!


What people are saying about Tiger Drive

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