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Zoe's Tale Part 33

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For too long a time, I despaired how I would ever actually get a writing tone approximating that of an actual teenage girl, nor did I get particularly good advice from my male friends on this one. "So go hang out with teenage girls," is an I-swear-to-G.o.d actual quote from a male friend of mine, who is apparently oblivious to the social and legal implications of a thirty-eight-year-old emphatically un-Brad-Pitt-like man lurking around soph.o.m.ore-aged girls.

So, I did something I think was smarter and less liable to get me a restraining order: I showed some of the work in progress to women I trust-all of whom, so I'm told, were teenage girls at one point in their lives. These women-Karen Meisner, Regan Avery, Mary Robinette Kowal, and especially my wife Kristine Blauser Scalzi-were instrumental in helping me find a voice that worked for Zoe, and equally unsparing when I got too caught up in my own imagined cleverness with the character. To the extent Zoe works as a character, you may credit their influence; to the extent that she doesn't, you can blame me.

I've already mentioned Patrick Nielsen Hayden as my editor, but there are others at Tor Books who have worked on the book as well, and I would like to offer my public thanks to them for their work. They include John Harris, who gave the book its most excellent cover; Irene Gallo, the world's best art director; copy editor Nancy Wiesenfeld, whom I pity for having to catch my many screwups; and my publicist at Tor, Dot Lin. Thanks also and as always to my agent Ethan Ellenberg, and also to Tom Doherty.

Friends! I have them, I don't even have to pay them, and they helped me keep it together when I felt like I was going to completely blow apart. Thanks in particular go to Anne KG Murphy, Bill Schafer, Yanni Kuznia and Justine Larbalestier, each of whom I spent more time chatting with on IM than I probably should have, but oh well. Devin Desai called me on a regular basis, which also helped to keep me from bouncing off the proverbial walls. Thanks also to Scott Westerfeld, Doselle Young, Kevin Stampfl, Shara Zoll, Daniel Mainz, Mykal Burns, Wil Wheaton, Tobias Buckell, Jay Lake, Elizabeth Bear, Sarah Monette, Nick Sagan, Charlie Stross, Teresa Nielsen Hayden, Liz Gorinsky, Karl Schroeder, Cory Doctorow, Joe Hill, my sister Heather Doan, and lots of other folks whose names escape me at the moment because I always blank out when I start making lists of names.

Also, an extra special set of thanks to the readers of my blog Whatever, who had to put up with quite a lot of disruptions this year as I tried to get this book done. Fortunately, they're good at keeping themselves amused while I'm banging on the keyboard like a monkey. And a fond farewell to readers of By the Way and Ficlets.



Certain names in the book are borrowed from people I know, because I'm really bad at making up names. So hat tips are in order to my friends Gretchen Schafer, Magdy Tawadrous, Joe Rybicki, Jeff Hentosz, and Joe Loong, who has the special distinction of having been murdered in two of my books now. It's not a trend, Joe. I swear. swear.

One final reason that I wanted to do Zoe's Tale Zoe's Tale is because I have a daughter of my own, Athena, and I wanted her to have a character of mine that she could feel kins.h.i.+p with. As I write this, my daughter is nine, which is quite a bit younger than Zoe is in this book, so it's not accurate to say the character is based on Athena. Nevertheless many of Athena's qualities are in evidence in Zoe, including some of her sense of humor and her awareness of who she is in the world. So my thanks and love go to Athena, for being an inspiration for this book, and for my life in general. This is her book. is because I have a daughter of my own, Athena, and I wanted her to have a character of mine that she could feel kins.h.i.+p with. As I write this, my daughter is nine, which is quite a bit younger than Zoe is in this book, so it's not accurate to say the character is based on Athena. Nevertheless many of Athena's qualities are in evidence in Zoe, including some of her sense of humor and her awareness of who she is in the world. So my thanks and love go to Athena, for being an inspiration for this book, and for my life in general. This is her book.

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