Yesterday was a day of celebration as my friends and family gathered at Babar Books in Pointe Claire to help me launch my first young adult novel, Guitar Hero. Some writers say that writing is a solitary process, but not for me. This book, from the beginning to the end, was created with the help of other writers in the Montreal community and the support of friends and family who believed I could do it, even when I thought I couldn’t.
I owe a big thank you to Monique Polak and Lori Weber for encouraging me to turn the original short story into a novel. Both are multi-published young adult authors who always take the time to give advice to emerging writers like myself. Lori then became my mentor and helped me flesh out the story and the characters, and finish the first draft. Then there’s my critique group, Virginia Modugno, Robin Patterson, Alastair Reeves, Judie Troyansky, and Helen Wolkowicz who read the manuscript over, and over and over again. Their thoughtful comments helped to shape the manuscript further. Robin, a talented illustrator, designed the cover and Virginia became my copy editor. I have zero talent when it comes to music so I have to thank James Morehouse and Collin Steinz (both real live guitar heros in my view) for their musical guidance, and Sebastien Hébert of the Queen Elizabeth Hotel for giving me a tour of the John Lennon, Yoko Ono suite. I would also like to thank Maggie Jagger, Michael Ferguson, Sandy Chan, Jesse Douglas, Levah Douglas, Amanda Lee-Roy, Kim Lo and Jennifer Hong for reading the manuscript in various stages.
And, last but not least, I’d like to thank Arthur and Crystal Lau, and the Chinese Mandarin School for sponsoring the launch.
Thank you all for helping me make my dream come true.