A huge thanks, first, to all my family, friends, and colleagues who have helped in their various ways to corral this book into something unique and to be proud of—most especially: Bruce Van Ryn–Bocking for your expertise, insight, and supportive input; Tracey Thomson, for your brilliant ideas and guidance throughout every stage of this process; and Michael Bungay Stanier and Michael Leckie, who are the most resplendently well-humored colleagues one could hope for to whitewash this fence. Thanks also to: Shaun Prendergast, you are the stuff of legend; Den, your genius is a constant guide; Jennifer La Trobe, for your opinions and care and always being there (for whatever reason or none at all); Dan Trommater and Daniel Tomlinson, for your knowledge of the solid and the ephemeral; Toni Grates, for Namaste Bitches; Michael Turnbull, for your hair and approach to design; Rodd Olmstead, Jaime Almond, Adam Green and James DeStephanis, for your input and generous beta testing; and Ian Young, for being a winner.
I am grateful, as well, to my literary agent, Carolyn Forde, at Westwood Creative Artists, and to Adrianna Johnson, Christine Moore, and Lauren Freestone at Wiley, for their focused advice, unwaveringly positive attitude, and what has, at times, felt to me like fanatical support.
To Mum and Dad, Ann, Helen, and David “The Bad Dogg” Bowden, thanks for buying me all those Asterix the Gaul books so that René Goscinny and Albert Uderzo could help me to !@#$ing read and ...