Laurie Forest lives deep in the backwoods of Vermont where she sits in front of a wood stove drinking strong tea and dreaming up tales full of dryads, dragons and wands. The Black Witch (May 2017, Harlequin TEEN) is her first novel, and Wandfasted (The Black Witch prequel, Summer 2017, Harlequin TEEN) is her first e-book novella.
It takes a village to bring a novel into fruition, and my village of readers/editors/authors is a talented one.
First of all, a huge thank you to my husband Walter – for all his years of support, child/teen care, reading, editing and all-around book-widowerhood – and all that tree information!
Thank you to my daughter Willoughby (for her spot-on, unflinchingly honest feedback); daughter Schuyler Forest (for her great editing and ideas); and daughters Alexandre and Taylor for putting up with my writing habit and helping to “hold down the fort”.
Thank you to my parents, Mary and Noah Sexton for their enthusiasm, ideas and encouragement.
Thank you to the Burlington Writers’ Group – Cam M. Sato, Kimberly Ann Hunt and Denise Holmes (three of my favorite writers and talented editors); the amazing Diane Dexter (editor, reader and good friend); the incredible Eva Gumprecht (esteemed writer and editor); everyone at Harlequin TEEN who worked on this project; Liz Zundel (reader, editor, and font of intrepid moral support); Leslie Ward (for her feedback and encouragement when this project was in its infancy); my mother-in-law Gail Kamaras; my sister-in-law Jessica Bowers (without whom, none of this would have happened); my brother Jim and M.J. Bray – some of my earliest readers; Bronwyn Fryer (genius friend) for teaching a novice how to format my editing; Anne Loecher; Tanusri Prasanna; The Fabulous Dian Parker & Kane Gilmour; The Burlington Writers’ Workshop; Lorraine Bencivengo Ziff (for amazing editing and encouragement); Susan Shreve; Crystal Zevon; Geof Hewitt and everyone else who read and gave feedback on parts or all of my various novels/novellas. Thank you, Betty, for your support. Thank you to the 2017 Debut authors – I am so honored to know you and share this journey with you. Thank you, Beanbag, for loaning me your mad writing skills and genius wit!
A big thank you to Mike Marcotte, computer whiz extraordinaire, for tech support and my fabulous author website, http://laurieannforest.com/. And thank you to everyone else who helped with tech support.
Thank you to Shara Alexander, Siena Koncsol, Megan Beatie, Linette Kim, Evan Brown, Amy Jones, Bryn Collier, Aurora Ruiz, Krista Mitchell and everyone else in marketing and publicity who helped to promote this series. Kathleen Oudit and Mary Luna of Harlequin TEEN’s phenomenal art department—I can never thank you enough for my spectacular covers and map. Many thanks to the sales team for their support―and especially Gillian Wise, for your boundless enthusiasm for The Black Witch Chronicles. A big thank you to Harlequin TEEN’s digital promoters/social media team: Eleanor Elliott, Larissa Walker, Monika Rola and Olivia Gissing.
Thank you to Natashya Wilson, Executive Editor at Harlequin TEEN, for taking a chance on this series – I’m thrilled to be working with everyone at Harlequin TEEN (the most fabulous and fun imprint EVER). Lauren Smulski, you are the best (and wittiest) editor I could have imagined for this project – you’ve brought this book to a whole new level. Thank you for your endless patience and incredible editing/ideas.
Above all, I want to thank my tenacious agent Carrie Hannigan (Hannigan, Salky, Getzler Agency) for believing in the Black Witch series for so many years (and through so many edits). I couldn’t ask for a more encouraging or talented agent/reader/editor.