Monday, September 1, 2008

Dedication


Call me deluded (I don't mind - I've been called worse) but sometimes, late at night before the sleep fairy descends, I imagine what sort of dedication I'll write for my book when it's published (I told you I'm deluded.)

There's a prime example in Agatha Christie's "The Secret Adversary, " which reads, To all those who lead monotonous lives in the hope that they experience at second hand the delights and dangers of adventure,' which I rather like as it seems to embrace all her readers. Another favourite is Spike Milligan who dedicated, "Silly Verse for Kids," to his bank balance.

I'm not so keen on those over-emotional acknowledgements that mention everyone the author's ever encountered, including the neighbour's dog, although I suspect if I was ever published I'd be so grateful I'd be emoting with the best of 'em.

Thomas Wolfe (not the Bonfire of the Vanities one) apparently dedicated his 1935 book, "Of Time and the River" to a great editor and a brave and honest man, who stuck to the writer of the book through times of bitter hopelessness and doubt and would not let him give in to his own despair." Undoubtedly another category I'd fit.

I realise though that it's a good opportunity to thank everyone who's supported you, and to reveal something about yourself. Personally, I'm torn between something Oscar-speechy, something devastatingly witty and clever, something simple and down-to-earth and something confusing that's open to interpretation. A riddle perhaps, or a symbol. Maybe an anagram. Or something retro like, Karen woz 'ere. Or something fun. A crossword puzzle? A quiz with a prize for the best answers?? A date with the author if you can guess what she was wearing when she wrote the final word???

There's only one downside. You apparently have to write a book first...

21 comments:

Paul Capewell said...

It's quite sweet, one of ym favourite authors included his email address in his dedication/introduction and I wrote to him for a suggestion of which bar to drink at in the book's main city. We're now friends on Facebook!

Annie Bright said...

You could dedicate it to me if you want to - I wouldn't mind. :-)

Oh, and you will write that book!!

SpiralSkies said...

Oh my God, I'm always fantasizing about that! LOL! I like Paul's story... I think it's a choice between being a dahling and being clever.

But if you crack the dedication, you'll HAVE to finish the novel?

Lane said...

I think I'd be scared of offending anyone by missing them out. Or maybe they'd be offended to be included!

Probably easier to just dedicate it to the dogs. It's them that have to put up with me reading to them:-)

Yvonne said...

I'm always thinking about the dedication too, in fact if I spent as much time writing than I do daydreaming about everything around it, I'd have the bloody thing finished by now! :)

Debs said...

I, too, have spent many an hour/day deciding what to write in the dedication.

I suppose we could think that by doing this we are positively visualizing having written the book, found an agent and publisher etc. Or maybe I'm just making excuses for having so many displacement activities.

HelenMH said...

Yes, that thing about writing the book first is a bit of a downer isn't it?

Calistro said...

Ha! I've been thinking about this too recently (funnily enough!). Was thinking "For my mum and dad" but then thought "Hmm, maybe my brother and sister would feel left out if I did that" but if I put "to my mum, dad, X & Y" then what about Y's daughter, and Y's partner and X's partner. And my friends. And my blog friends. And...

Yes, I can easily see how a dedication being like an Oscar-style speech!

Pat Posner said...

OK, so how about writing a book of dedications? You could have a chapter for each sort of dedication: Funny, Serious, Nice, Naughty...
Dedicate it to 'Whomsoever it May Suit'.
OK,it's bedtime so I'll stop now.

JJ said...

I'm putting my money on "devastatingly witty and clever." No pressure, or anything.

Anna said...

I'll be thanking Ian Hislop and Paul Merton, for making me laugh...

Alis said...

Took me ages to write my aknowledgements for Testament, not because there were tons of people to thank (there weren't) but because those people i did need to thank were very important. Must have struck at least some sort of right note as several of the emails I've had about the book have mentioned how much they liked the acknowledgements!!

Fionnuala said...

God karen, I go away for two weeks and come back to you and Annie all publishing fab stories. Well done? Whats the secret ( assuming of course your chortling colleage knows.....) Can you let me know?! x

TOM FOOLERY said...

There's only one downside. You apparently have to write a book first... MAYBE NOT! What about a ghostwriter? PLEASE go for a witty one or just maybe you could dedicate it to your colleague! :O Tommox

Cait O'Connor said...

Ha Ha. If (NO-WHEN!) you get that far with your book, I imagine that writing the acknowledgements will not be a problem.

Debs said...

Just to let you know that there's an award for you over at mine.

Dx

Annieye said...

I fantasise about running my fingers over the embossed cover of my book and the smell of a brand new paperback - only it's my paperback that I've written. Then I peel back the cover everso gently, so that I don't crease it, and read the dedication .... 'to my imaginary friend' .... because that's still all it is - just a dream. (Loud sigh)

Leigh said...

My book will be dedicated to Mrs Brown, my first year (secondary school) English teacher. Every Monday morning I'd present her with reams of stories, written over the weekend. She had no obligation to read any of it - it was nothing to do with school work - but she read every word, and gave constructive feedback.

I ever get anything published, it'll be because her support enthused me for the long road ahead.

KAREN said...

paul - That's really cool! I'm trying to guess who it is now :o)

annie bright - There'll probably be several pages of dedications!

spiralskies - Yes I wouldn't want to come across all luvvie. Not that I could if I tried...

lane - That's the trouble...like weddings. If we invite Uncle Jim, his ex-wife will throw a wobbly etc. Actually Molly-dog is responsible for most of my ideas, which tend happen when I'm walking her, so that's not a bad idea!

yvonne - I think I may have found another form of procrastinating :o)

debs - I like the idea of it being positive visualisation rather than time-wasting!

helenmh - There's always a down side!!

calistro - You'll be thinking about it more than ever now ;o) It'll be like Gwyneth Paltrow at the Oscars all over again!

pat posner - That's a great idea! A book of unusual dedications... Might be a bit short, but that's not a bad thing :o)

jj - Hmmm. I might have to think about it some more in that case!

anna - As long as I don't start thanking my mum for giving birth to me!!

alis - I think if no-one thumps you round the head with it you must have done something right!

fionnuala - My secret was joining a private blog with some lovely ladies who give great feedback and encouragement :o)

tommo - I could get a ghostwriter actually, and dedicate my time to working on the, er, dedication instead :o)

cait o' connor - Fair point! Although, like a synopsis, it might prove even harder to write :o)

debs - Aw thanks, you're too kind (blushes) x

annieye - Ah, but not for much longer surely! You MUST have something ready to go?

leigh - That's brilliant. I remember an encouraging English teacher too, but can't think of her name unfortunately. It does make such a difference :o)

KatW said...

I think dedication-dreaming is part of the course for an aspiring author. Or at least this is true for me.

What about starting a kind of dedication agency where you could write clever dedications for other authors. Whilst doing this you'd get to know the authors, maybe meet their publishers, maybe make new contacts for publishing your amazing novel..........

Good to be back and reading your blog again!

Kat :-)

wordtryst said...

LOL! I SO wanted to write a cryptic one to an ex who broke my heart, but decided to go the straightforward route - the people who believed in me, the agent and the editor. Figure I can get wacky later on.

I'm holding a launch party for Cafe au Lait and you're invited! It's on until Wednesday, and I'm giving away books so hang left and follow the coast road to my blog. Can't miss it!

btw, I love Pat's idea!

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