I want to thank you, my friends and readers, from the bottom of my heart, and share the Dedication of the book with you.
To me, those few pages in the front of the book are the most important - and the most fun – because I get to celebrate YOU with a shout-out, all of the amazing people who have read my books, given encouragement, and shown me way more love and friendship than I deserve. Whether you realize it or not, you have been on this journey with me every step of the way. I seriously couldn’t do any of this without your support, so please consider this OUR book (especially if it sucks – then it's ALL you!).
More and more I could care less about commercial success, professional validation, or money. To me, it’s all about sharing these words with you - the story of how I chased my dreams. I get the biggest thrill in the world when someone reads the book and enjoys it or tells me they laughed. And if it makes you think a little, or feel slightly more human, then it sends me straight to the moon!
I could fill up the whole book with all of the names of the people I want to thank, and I’m sure I’ve missed a few, but I’m only allowed a certain amount of space. So whether you are listed here or not, please know that YOU are the reason I do this, and your . THANK YOU!
Thanks for all of the support and love from my family, Angelika, my mother, Ferdinand, my father, R.I.P., Barbara, my sister, Sean, Colin, Ryan, and Madeline. A shout out to the DePinos— Mitch D and Fun Lisa, Jackson and Amelia, Glen Fu, Mrs. D, and Johnny D, R.I.P. Much love always to the Holthoffs—Lily, Joseph, R.I.P., Marcus, and Daryl, and to the whole Fuller family.
To Stephanie Chandler at Authority Publishing—the real brains and muscle behind the operation. Two literary influences I respect who took the time to help: Ben Hamper of Rivethead and M. Rutledge McCall of Slipping into Darkness. Sherrie Larolo Matusza and Alison Fineman Seidenfrau, thanks so much for your guidance.
Big ups to Adam Ambrecht for the artwork, Lauren Bretschenieder Flynn, Jessika Morrison for your edits. Jaime Lee, the cake was a hit! Tom Huynh and Leonard Row for the awesome photography. Thomas Dodson, thanks for your help and pura vida. Camille Elizabeth, thanks for spreading the word.
My old friend, Dylan Bruno, and Emmeli Bruno, Damien and Odin, Jason Sheftell, Shock G from Digital Underground, Liza Brown Somilleda, the Immortal Reilly, Melissa Hart, Tatum Reilly, Phil Rigney - my bro who was there when it all started, Stephen White and fam, Kyle McGee and fam, Mike Mercurio and fam, Dan Schuman, Luis Diego and fam, Diamond Dave Aaronson, awesome Danica Ratkovich thanks X2. Special thanks to Joey Famous and Big Mike Fabish for showing up and surviving the most interesting first 24 hours ever. Uri Carrazco, one love, bro! Bella Carrazco and Cashy Classy. Judah, Tank, and Brian Boyd. Jason Matthews, Jodi Martinez and fam, Adam Groth and fam, Beth Helmsin and Brad Harris, my peeps
Paul Duncan and Tracey Strong, Fidel and Steve, Heath and Amy, Nydia “NiniHead” and KK, Sugar Ray Schiavone, Gee, Mey Mey, Gina Mangulli Moran, Ron Carrano, and Scott Jackson. Sean Dolan, Brian Dolan, Ed and Bruce Crowder, Joena Russel, Chris Foster and fam. The amazing ML and Pete Kmeto. Carlye Leann, thanks for a crash in O Town! Lucinda and Vanessa Aguilar. Thanks for the support to my new friends like Jasmine, Krysta, Chris, Chivaughn, Tamara, and Heather.
The University of Connecticut and the Sigma Chi fraternity.
A special prayer of healing goes out to the families in my sister’s town, Newtown, Connecticut.
Pura vida to my Tamarindo peeps: Cyn Castro, Flower Saborio, Jon Phillips at Bar One, Steve Rowland, Sandra, Dayana and Marcela, Derek Furlani, the Loonies Carla and Craig, Bernard, “the paparazzi of Tama,” Avellino, Ivan, mi hermano loco!, Fernando from Villareal, Sarita “don’t threaten me with a good time” Gillis. Sarah Long. Sarah Jordan, Alyssa Nitsche, Big Derrick, the Danes Louisa and Thor, Kelly Zak and Rafa at Kelly’s Surf Shop, Reina Ramirez, Mishele Vargas, Jaime Peligro at the book store, Cristiano, the best bartender in the world, Lt. Colonel Tripp, Francisco and fam at Botella de Leche, Fatima, Christopher, Adrianna Barrantes, my Playa Coco crew, Melissa, Michelle, and Monique Oye, Shirley, Puna, Grace, Magally, Hazel, Yoisi, Rusty at Rusty’s Pizza. Hector, thanks, budddddyyyyy. And last but not least, a blind dog named Motta.
In Nicaragua—“dale duro” to Eddy Centeno—thanks for watching my back, hermano, my roomie, Meghan Armbrecht, and yes, Morgan too, Tommas “old people look at hills” Coldrick, Adam “my main man in Tottinham” Williams, and the Panda Mon!, Blake Cash and Trevor Gibbs—thanks for everything at Banana Hamacas, Carmen, Jeiner, Sean Dennis, my homie “Big Wave” Chris Madden, the wild card Johnny Goldenberg, Alis Acuna, Ruth for the Spanish lessons, my buddy, Omar, Dickie at Maderas Village, DeWitt Foster the Black Tsunami, Fabiola, Captain Zach, Gretchen Escobar, Towe, Cory and Mandy, Elsi, Ruth, Marvel, Lindsay “The Big Lind” Laverty, Charles Davis, Shorylann, and my amiga Marta. A special thank you to Gaspar and family. Suertes y saludos, Nica, you have my heart.
Barrio Chino, San Juan del Sur: “Jamas Nos Venceras,” — “We will not be conquered.”