Only the writer knows how instrumental others are in the work that he gets to call his own. In my case, at least, those brief moments of intervention often seemed far more important to the final outcome than all the months of furious typing.
And so, first I must thank my wife, Tracey—both for putting up with me to begin with and for all the things I’ve learned from you. Without you, this book would still be a poorly written first draft, gathering dust in a drawer somewhere. Also, thanks go out to all the friends and family who read those early drafts, particularly Larry and Shelly Fox (gracias, los Zorros); to Christopher Gangi, who is like a brother; to my actual brothers; and, of course, to my parents, who never stopped me from trying anything, even if it was dangerous or just a little crazy.
And, of course, a writer never feels like a writer until they’re published. None of which would have been remotely possible without my agent, the fantastic and amazing Barbara Poelle; how I was lucky enough to sit at your table, I’ll never know. The same goes for Irene Goodman, Danny Baror and the crew at Bantam Dell, beginning with my editor, Danielle Perez, whose suggestions and thoughts are so on point it seems she knows the characters better than I do. Thanks as well to Marisa Vigilante for her input and assistance, Carlos Beltran for the fantastic cover and everyone else whose efforts went into making this happen.