Honey Melon Gratitude

Honey Melon Fudge has hit the shelves!  It is finally, fully, completely and utterly available for purchase.  While you can purchase a copy from any major online retailer (ok – Amazon and B&N as of this post.  Borders always takes a little longer.), buying your copy from my website is the only way to make sure it arrives signed.  Of course you could also pick up a copy from Amazon and bring it with you to a signing.  Options, folks, you have options.

Honey Melon Fudge is my second novel.  It is better than my first.  That isn’t always the case with sequels or second books, but with all the objectivity I can muster, I will stand by that as fact.  I changed as I wrote, and the process changed me (see my previous post for one glimpse into this process).  HMF is better in part because I let go of some of the constraints I insisted upon in writing FSLK, and, of course, it is better because the writer I became after finishing FSLK is more skilled.

It is also better because I prioritized assembling a top notch support team.  Jill Dearman provided a developmental and line edit that kicked the manuscript’s untidy butt, animated the cardboard cutouts, and sent me scurrying to read Lynne Truss’s small but mighty work on grammar and punctuation.  Michael Lally, commas fascist that he is, took over from there providing a copy edit and lots of laughs.  Lydia Diaz should be trying out for a major league baseball team, what with her spectacular catches on the proofreading.

Kurt Boyer designed the cover, tolerating revision after revision, and damn near daily emails (“can you make the shade of brown a tiny bit more red?”  “Can I see the images in honeydew green instead of cantaloupe?” “Can you start over? I need to see it totally different to know if I like it the way it is.”).  Kurt gets my nomination for sainthood (or perhaps we can just enter the cover in design competitions… ones with big cash prizes).  ADKHighpeaks hiking buddies got involved when I asked for a back cover photo, and after recovering from the amazingly generous deluge of submissions, Paul (a.k.a. Woolybear) Swieton’s view of Diamond Notch from the Buck Ridge lookout was the perfect choice.  When I saw Joanne Hihn’s photo of a lonely tree out on Bearpen Mountain, and Mark Schaefer’s luscious blackberries, the interior layout became a no-brainer.  The inclusion of these photos takes the book to the next level.

Eric Koppel has my back for technical support, emergency HTML code insertions and god knows what else, since he handles all the website stuff I don’t know how to do.  The gang at Mill City Press has been responsive, friendly, and professional, with a special shout out to Jenni Wheeler, art director, as she had to deal with my idiosyncratic requests, needs, hopes and dreams.

That’s the short list of key players.  There are many more – folks in the Catskill and Adirondack hiking community, local writers, high school buddies, colleagues at work, and “e-friends” – who have shared feedback, offered encouragement, cheered me on, and waited with me for this moment.  Thank you all so much.

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