Dedicated to… Whom? by Natalie Anderson

by Natalie Anderson, author of First Time Lucky? (Harlequin Presents Extra, May 2012)

For me one of the hardest parts of writing comes after the book is finished. Ironically it’s only a couple of sentences I need—should be a cinch, right?

But the dedication, for me anyway, takes a lot of time and thought to get just right. I always like to reference something or someone that was personally relevant to me during the time I wrote the story.

When I was writing First Time Lucky?, my world had gotten a little chaotic—we’d gone through some massive earthquakes and were experiencing literally thousands of aftershocks. We had illness issues within the family, and we were about to move house. Frankly, it was full on—and there was a lot of ‘hard’ stuff to deal with every day for so many people. The city had literally broken apart.

It’s at times like these that you need hope and something to life the spirits – frankly, you need to read some romance!!! So I lost myself with my characters—plucky Roxie and the utterly gorgeous Gabe (honestly, that guy—he’s really, really good at helping Roxie out with a certain ‘to do’ item on her list!)…

And then we had the privilege of seeing something so special—the way people come together in a crisis—strangers helping strangers, communities pulling together. And nothing showed that more than the students of the university in our town. They got together—via Facebook—and formed a voluntary army to go to the most affected parts of the city and shovel up all the silt and sand and mess that bubbled out of the ground relentlessly with each major quake. It was dirty, hard work and those young people were at it day after day after day.

I sat in front of the telly watching the news at night and it was seeing those beautiful people of our future that brought the tears to my eyes. They were awesome. So I acknowledged them in one of the small ways I could. Here’s the dedication from First Time Lucky?

 For the University of Canterbury’s Student Volunteer Army—thanks for showing, in the most fantastic way, that the brightest lights on Christchurch’s horizon not only have brains and beauty, but also the most tremendous hearts. You’ve been such heroes, and you’ve proved how positive our city’s future will be.

For me, it’s a very special part of being published to be able to write dedications— I hope that those people to whom I dedicate my books do know how much I mean it.

Do you take note of the dedication in a book? I always do—and I love it how you can get all kinds, from quotations, to cryptic nicknames and messages of love.

If you’d written a book, to whom would you dedicate it? I would absolutely love it if you’d share a dedication that you would write—leave it in the comments below. I’m giving away a copy of First Time Lucky? to someone who does.

With very best wishes,


Note from Amy: Natalie will be closing the giveaway Monday, so leave your comment this weekend if you”d like a chance to win. The contest is also open internationally — thanks Natalie!

UPDATE: The contest is now closed. Please check the comments for the contest winner!

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Comments ( 19 )
  1. Kristin
    May 11, 2012 at 11:25 am

    This would be my dedication…

    To my husband, Vic – Thank you for loving me, for supporting me, for believing in me even when I doubted myself. We’ve been to hell and back together and you are the only one I’d want to share that trip with. I love you.

  2. smiling_ina
    May 11, 2012 at 11:26 am

    That’s a tough one, but I think if it were for my very first book, I would probably “have” to dedicate it to my husband and son OR my parents. I have no idea how I would phrase it though. *lol*

  3. Naomi Lucas
    May 11, 2012 at 11:26 am

    I would dedicate my book to my five children & it would go something like this;

    This baby goes out to my five babies Chloe, Sascha, Charlie, Yaz & Jamilah. I love you all now & forever xxxx

  4. Jodelle
    May 11, 2012 at 11:40 am

    I dedicated my first book to my grandparents who passed away. It simply stated: “For Nanay and Lolo Inchong.”

    If I ever write and publish another book, my dedication would depend on the nature of the book. If it’s a love story, I might have to dedicate it to the person who inspired the story, or my husband or my fiance or something. Not adding that to the calculation, it would probably be to my family and it would look a lot like this:

    For the five most important people in my life: Dade, Mame, Kuya, Ate and Diko. You have shaped me into who I am, helping me build the list of things I love and of things I cannot stand. Thank you.

  5. Teresa
    May 11, 2012 at 11:47 am

    Who am I planning to dedicate my book too? Some former work colleagues, friends and family. Basically all the people who have encouraged me in my writing efforts over the past couple of years and then there are my long suffering cats who have had to listen to me swearing and muttering and cursing as I struggle through a story… 😛

  6. StacieD
    May 11, 2012 at 12:27 pm

    I would dedicate my book to my 3rd grade English teacher. She was also my Sunday School teacher. She was there for me when I needed it most. She is my all-time favorite teacher.

  7. Jacquie Biggar
    May 11, 2012 at 4:29 pm

    Happy Mother’s Day Natalie!! Love the dedication you did for your book, your right those who go in and help in a crisis are heroes. For me, I would have to dedicate mine to my husband. He’s my stongest supporter and always is there to boost me up when I feel I’m failing, when I told him 11 years ago that I wanted to buy the Cafe where I worked, he simply said, “Let’s go for it” He’s my best friend and the love of my life.

  8. micheledewinton
    May 11, 2012 at 6:37 pm

    To readers and librarians everywhere – thanks for making the passion contageous!
    And thanks for making reading a joy Natalie!

  9. Kaelee
    May 11, 2012 at 11:01 pm

    Hi Natalie ~ I always read the dedication and the dear reader letters. I’m disappointed when one of them is missing.

    I’ll never write a book but if I did this would be my dedication.

    To my Mom for showing me how to live my life to the fullest and for introducing me to romance novels.

  10. Sophie
    May 12, 2012 at 1:14 am

    I dedicated my first e-book ‘Yesterday & Forever’ to my family and to my husband 🙂

  11. Amy Andrews
    May 12, 2012 at 5:28 am

    Well now if that dedication didn’t bring a tear to the eye!
    I too take a lot of time over the dedication and try to personalise it with each book. My brother and his wife lost a baby at 23 weeks gestation during the writing of my last book so I dedicated it to little Halle.

  12. Shelley Bagby
    May 12, 2012 at 11:34 am

    I would dedicate it to all my students who inspired me and challenged me through the years.

  13. Melanie Milburne
    May 12, 2012 at 7:28 pm

    Hi Natalie,

    I love dedications and yes, you are right in that they have to be worded well. I always read them in whatever book I’m reading. They often give insight into an author’s life.

  14. Aimee Carson
    May 13, 2012 at 5:04 am

    What an inspiring story! I dedicated my first book to my husband. Given how much he does for me, I think I should dedicate ALL of them to him, but he won’t let me LOL.

  15. BeckyP
    May 13, 2012 at 2:39 pm

    I would dedicate my first book to my husband you has stood by me having a mental illness.

  16. melanie j
    May 14, 2012 at 10:33 am

    I would dedicate it to my family who stood behind me while writing..

  17. CrystalGB
    May 14, 2012 at 12:09 pm

    I would dedicate it to my Mom who passed away in January. I always knew I could count on her to be there for me.

  18. Natalie Anderson
    May 14, 2012 at 5:42 pm

    Thank you SO much for sharing your dedications and would-be dedications – they are all wonderful. I love it that so many are to husbands, mums and family – where would we be without the support of our loved ones, right?!

    And also the teachers, readers and librarians – yeah!! Those people ROCK 🙂

    Amy – all my thoughts to you and your brother and his wife, that’s a heartbreaking loss, but I think it’s so touching that Halle is remembered in that dedication.

    I’m going to go draw a winning commenter number now (I’m not choosing a ‘best’ dedication -is impossible as they all mean so much!) and I’ll email Amy so she can put it up.

    Thanks again for sharing with me,

  19. Natalie Anderson
    May 14, 2012 at 6:01 pm

    CrystalGB – I meant to pass on my condolences to you in that previous post too – I’m so sorry about your Mom.

    In terms of the draw, the random number generator picked 4 for me, so the fourth commenter is Jodelle! If you could email me your snail mail address Jodelle, then I’ll get a signed copy of the book in the post to you asap. It’s natalie(at)natalie-anderson(dot)com

    Thanks again!