Friday, June 8, 2018

Why Your Book Dedication is Important by Dawn Kinzer

Dawn Kinzer

Do you read book dedications?

I do! They’re actually one of my favorite parts of books.

Why?

They tell me a lot about the author’s personality, humor, and heart. They often provide insight into the writer’s life.

When you create your own dedications, do you give them time and thought? Remember … as writers, we want to impact lives. What you place on that blank page could be important to not only your readers, but also the people included in your dedications.



Sarah’s Smile

To my husband and best friend, Sonny—
You’ve always believed in me.
I could never have shared this story without
your love, help, and encouragement.

I had no problem deciding what to write for my first published novel. It was important to me that I dedicate the book to my husband. It was my way of honoring him. He’d done so much to help me see my dream become reality, and I wanted my readers to know it.



Hope’s Design

To my daughters, Brooke and Ana
And my stepdaughter, Katrina,
May you always follow your dreams …

My second novel includes the themes of using our God-given gifts and pursuing our dreams. I’m very close to my two adult daughters, and I wanted to remind them to never give up on their own dreams. My stepdaughter had stepped away from her faith. Shes an avid reader, but I didn’t know what she’d think of my books with a spiritual message. It turned out, she loved them! Including her in the dedication for Hope’s Design also touched and made an impact on her.


Rebecca’s Song

In memory of
My grandmother, Florence Schlough,
who taught children in a one-room schoolhouse,
and my grandmother, Marie Johnson,
who always filled her yard and home
with flowers—including zinnias.

My heroine in Rebecca’s Song is a schoolteacher, and the flower with significance in this story is the zinnia. (Each book in the series features a specific flower.) Aside from honoring two women who had played important roles in my life, I wanted readers to understand why I chose a particular career for a heroine and flower for this story.



Now that I’ve shared my dedications, here are some I’ve discovered that I think are fun and meaningful …



Dark Places
by Gillian Flynn

What can I say about a man who knows how I think
and still sleeps next to me with the lights off?
  


Austenland

by Shannon Hale

For Colin Firth
You’re really a great guy, but I’m married,
so I think we should just be friends.



The Selection
by Kiera Cass

Hi, Dad!
*waves*



An Introduction To Algebraic Topology
By Joseph J. Rotman

To my wife Marganit
and my children Ella Rose and Daniel Adam
Without whom this book would have
Been completed two years earlier



This Boy’s Life
by Tobias Wolff

My first stepfather used to say that what
 I didn’t know would fill a book. Well, here it is.



The Land of Stories
By Chris Colfer

To Grandma,
For being my first editor
And giving me the best writing advice
I’ve ever received: “Christopher,
I think you should wait until you’re done
with elementary school before worrying
about being a failed writer.



Ship of Magic
by Robb Hobb

To caffeine and sugar, my companions
through many a long night of writing.



Moorchild
by Eloise McGraw

To all children
who have ever felt different



These dedications are some of my all-time favorites. The author found a way to honor his father by using humor—and he still managed to tie in a fun hook that I imagine his fans loved.



Otherland (Books 1-5)
by Tad Williams

Book 1

This book is dedicated to my father Joseph Hill Evans with love.
Actually Dad doesn’t read fiction, so if someone doesn’t
tell him about this, he’ll never know.

Book 2

This book is dedicated to my father Joseph Hill Evans with love.
As I said before, Dad doesn’t read fiction.
He still hasn’t noticed that this thing is dedicated to him.
This is Volume Two—let’s see how many more until he catches on.
  
Book 3

This is still dedicated to you-know-who, even if he doesn’t.
Maybe we can keep this a secret all the way to the final volume.
  
Book 4

My father still hasn’t actually cracked any of the books—
so, no, he still hasn’t noticed.
I think I’m just going to have to tell him.
Maybe I should break it to him gently.

Book 5

Everyone here who hasn’t had a book dedicated
to them, take three steps forward.
Whoops, Dad, hang on there for a second …




Your turn! What dedications have you found fun or interesting? Please share what you’ve written for your book dedications and why.







The Daughters of Riverton, Book 3 

Rebecca Hoyt’s one constant was her dedication to her beloved students. Now, a rebellious child could cost her the job she loves. Without her teaching position, what would she do?

Detective Jesse Rand prides himself in protecting the people who ride the railroads. But, when his own sister and brother-in-law are killed by train robbers, the detective blames himself. Yet, another duty calls—he must venture to Riverton where his niece and nephews were left in the care of their beautiful and stubborn teacher, Rebecca Hoyt. They need to mourn and heal, but Jesse is determined to find his sister’s killers. Rebecca is willing to help care for the children, but she also fears getting too close to them—or their handsome uncle—knowing the day will come when he’ll take them back to Chicago.

Will Jesse and Rebecca find a way to open their hearts and work together? Or will they, along with the children, lose out on love?


Questions included for discussion and reflection.
  


Dawn Kinzer is a freelance editor, and her own work has been published in various devotionals and magazines. She co-hosts and writes for Seriously Write. Sarah’s Smile is the first book in her historical romance series The Daughters of Riverton, Hope’s Design is the second, and Rebecca’s Song completes the trilogy.

A mother and grandmother, Dawn lives with her husband in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. Favorite things include dark chocolate, good wine, strong coffee, the mountains, family time, and Masterpiece Theatre.

You can connect and learn more about Dawn and her work by visiting these online sites: Author WebsiteDawn’s BlogGoodreadsFacebookPinterest, and Instagram.




10 comments:

  1. I guess I need to start reading more dedications. Those are really clever! I don't generally read them, but I always read the acknowledgements. Those can be fun too.

    Hmm...I wonder how many books have been dedicated to me. :o

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    1. Haha! Yes, start taking a look at the dedications, Sandy. Some can be really fun and interesting. ;-)

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  2. Thanks for sharing these, Dawn! I love how the author's personality, which has to be neatly tucked away for writing in characters' POVs, can be displayed in the dedication and other author notes (acknowledgments, author letter, etc.). I read them too. It's fun when we recognize names of friends. :)

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    1. Yay! I'm glad to hear that someone else looks at dedications, Annette. :-)

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  3. I enjoy reading book dedications. I am always interested in who is thanked and/or acknowledged. Also, very interesting how some people thank God first and some people thank God last. Great post. This one really has me thinking. :-)

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    1. I enjoy reading acknowledgements too, Melissa. You bring up an interesting point - including God in that list. I always place him last because for me it's like leaving the best for last. The acknowledgement on the bottom of the page is like revealing the foundation for all that came before. But, now you have me wondering why others choose the same or something different. ;-)

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  4. what a great post!! i like to see who my author friends have dedicated their books to! my latest series was about four friends, so each of the four books was dedicated to one of my four best friends (and i didn't tell them before, either!)
    i borrowed a quote from Aristotle, "A true friend is one soul in two bodies."
    my first book, though, i dedicated to my mom, "Dedicated to my mother, Elizabeth Anne Mason, because writing is what we shared most." bittersweet because she was gone before i was ever published.

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    1. Robin, I love your idea - honoring your four best friends each with a dedication in one of your books.

      I'm so sorry your mother wasn't present on earth to celebrate your first publication with you. Maybe the two of you will throw a party later in heaven!

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  5. I always read dedications! Love them. The one about the dad cracked me up.

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    1. Glad to hear someone else reads the dedications, Terri! I love the one about the dad too. I wonder if he ever read them. LOL!

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