‘Tis the season for gratitude, and although I have never enjoyed any of the traditional Thanksgivings customs, I do like to take a little time out around this time of year to reflect on the things I’m grateful for, and there are a lot of them. A lot. I am thankful to my family for their ongoing support, my friends for their love and loyalty, my kitty, Pawpurrazzi, for amusing me, my dog, Sven, for refusing to die after all these years, and my friend, my mate, my manager, Berlin, who has earned every title given here and without whom I would not be where I am… in many, many ways. Also, I am grateful to the models who allow me to photograph them in strange ways for our book covers and e-posters. Like these guys…
Finally, I would be remiss if I failed to mention my collaborator, Tamara Thorne. I began reading Tamara’s horror novels in the ’90s and was a huge fan. Then, through a series of events (which basically means I stalked her), we met and became fast friends. In 2012, she asked me to collaborate with her on a novel and I said yes. And my whole life changed. That collaboration worked so well, we haven’t stopped. In 2014 so far, we’ve written two full-length novels and a considerable amount on a serial novel called The Ghosts of Ravencrest.
Because Tamara has been so good to me these past years, I have a lot of gratitude for her; too much to just say, “Thanks for everything…” and I’m not sure I have ever really properly thanked her. So here is a list of reasons I’m thankful for her. These are the reasons I adore this woman.
1. She trusts my writing. For someone who precedes me by almost 20 years in the publishing business, she might easily insist on doing things her own way, but she doesn’t.
2. She shares the same vision as me. We’re almost always going the same direction and I love that.
- She loves my kitty almost as much as I do!
- She’s loyal. After all this time, she hasn’t once tossed me aside, thrown me over for someone more interesting, or made me feel irrelevant. Even in the presence of some truly amazing people, she’s never treated me like a second-class citizen.
- There is no drama. Ever. Period.
- She loves my characters. She invests in my fictional creations and flatters me endlessly by delighting in them as much as I do.
- She respects my time and space. She doesn’t interfere or impose.
- She wants me to succeed. That is more rare than many of you might realize.
- She is a hobbit. I think she’s only like 4 foot 9 or something, and that is funny. (Okay, she’s 5’2” but, whatever. I like to tell her she’s 4’9”.)
- She doesn’t have to be the teacher. She respects me as a writer in my own right and gives me credit for having practical sensibilities. She trusts my senses of ethics, business, and creative direction. And she’s secure enough in her own intellect to be teachable.
- She knows the most amazing people… and she introduces me to them. Seriously. I have met some truly incredible folks. Writers, agents, editors, entertainers, film directors… she knows some really awesome people.
- She’s a great writer. She writes by instinct, not formula. She’s a natural-born and that keeps her writing fresh, unpredictable, and engaging.
- She’s an excellent researcher. Before she starts a story, she digs in, gets her hands dirty, and makes sure she knows what she’s writing about. I admire this in a writer.
- She’s hilarious. Her sense of humor – and lack of gloom and self-pity – is constant and uplifting. On and off the page, she knows how to make me laugh.
- There is no competition between us. There are no games, no popularity contests, no bullshit; just a consistent genuine resolve that we succeed, both as individuals and as a unit.
- She’s a great radio show co-host. I wouldn’t do Haunted Nights LIVE! without her.