From Sue Klebold, author of A Mother’s Reckoning
I would not have been able to complete this book without Laura Tucker. Hundreds of pages of writing and thousands of hours of heartache might have died with me had Laura not transformed them into a publishable manuscript.
During the years we worked together, Laura has been much more to me than a writer. She has been midwife, therapist, surgeon, researcher, architect, navigator, workforce, spirit guide, and friend. She was both mortar and mason, completely responsible for turning a pile of broken bricks into a solid structure. Until we teamed up, I was mired down by problems that seemed unsolvable.
How could I tell a story effectively when readers already knew the ending? How could I explain real-time experience when critical information about facts was learned later? How could I craft my voice when I started out as one person and ended up as someone else?
Laura solved these and countless other problems. She has an uncanny ability to weave disparate incidents into threads of logic. She knew how to mine for detail and when to abandon it. I was continuously stunned by her sensitivity to nuance and her ability to hear what lay in the silence between words. Having the opportunity to work with Laura has enriched my life. I will always be grateful that she had the fortitude to undertake a book with such painful subject matter and “walk the walk” with me – even when it was difficult for both of us. I am, and will always be, in awe of her skills and deeply indebted to her.
One of the reasons I chose to work in restaurants was because I don’t like working alone; I always do my best work when I’m part of a team. And in Laura Tucker I found the best teammate I could have ever hoped for in writing this book. She helped me take all of the crazy ideas from my head and weave them together into the words on these pages. Her exceptional warmth, unbelievable talent, and endless patience proved to be exactly what I needed through this process. I’ll be forever grateful for the many, many hours we spent together bringing this to life.
From Will Guidara, author of Unreasonable Hospitality
From Kasia Urbaniak, author of Unbound: A Woman’s Guide to Power
Thanks to Laura Tucker, literary midwife, writer, for understanding every single nuance and finding the right language for the invisible and often seemingly unexplainable, and for the joyful hours spent probing every subtlety.
I do not have words to fully express the depth of my gratitude and appreciation for Laura Tucker, my writer, without whom this book would not have been possible. She did more than faithfully collect my thoughts and words—she managed to assume my voice and leap straight into my soul.
Writing this book was an extraordinary process—sometimes extraordinarily difficult—in part because I didn’t really believe that any person who had not lived by my side for my entire life could succeed at this task. In this exceptional writer I found someone who truly was able to walk in my steps. She knows exactly what that means to me, as perhaps no one else can.
From C. Vivian Stringer, author of Standing Tall
From Ed Levine, author of Serious Eater
To Laura Tucker, brilliant writer, thinker, and SE fan, my “book therapist.” Laura, you made me believe I could actually tell this story. Your support, suggestions, fearless critiques, and perceptive observations based on the hundreds of thousands of words I sent you made this book better in so many ways.
Enormous thanks go to my co-writer, Laura Tucker. There was not a note, anecdote, or page of research that you did not pull deeply into your heart, examine with your own soul, and offer back to me for the page. You have helped me understand myself and find my voice.