How important is a dedication and when should you write it? this is Kimberly Menozzi’s way.
I've been an avid reader all my life. It's my understanding that most writers share this trait – a fascination with the written word is often developed from a rather early age, when all of us were susceptible to the magic and escape of a good story. In that regard, I suppose I have a lot in common with just about any other writer.
From an early age, I was also fascinated by books. Not only with the stories themselves, but also with the way books are made. The shapes, covers, spines and so on gave me endless hours of contemplation. Was the book glued or sewn? Was it hardback or soft-cover? Was it able to stand on its own or did it need a bookend to keep it upright?
I played with books, sometimes, in the way other kids played with blocks or Lincoln Logs. I stacked and organized them, made landscapes for my Star Wars action figures, and, eventually, I would give in and use these makeshift building blocks for their intended purpose.
It wasn't long before I started contemplating how the interiors of books were made. I would read from cover to cover – in the most literal sense – starting with copyright and title pages and finishing with the indices and final endpapers.
One of the most intriguing parts of a book for me was (and still is) the dedication page. As a reader, I find those few lines possess a subtle intrigue. Sometimes cryptic, sometimes nakedly open, occasionally humorous, the dedication seems to me the real final word from the author. While the acknowledgements page shares who helped with the work and the author's gratitude for that assistance, the dedication page is a summation of who the author worked so hard for, and sometimes why.
As a writer, the dedication is how I declare a book "finished". It's the last thing I write before the book is sent out for publication. Often, it is the hardest thing to write.
My first novel, Ask Me if I'm Happy, had this dedication:
Ti voglio bene.
Sei tu lo scatalone che mi tiene verticale...
It was a difficult dedication to write, because I wanted to convey so much in that limited space. After much deliberation, I settled on the above. I wrote it in Italian because it suited the mood of the story (not to mention the setting), but also because the phrase "Ti voglio bene" played a small but significant part in the story itself. The last line is a paraphrasing of a lyric from what my husband and I consider "our song".
My novella, Alternate Rialto, was a prequel to Ask Me if I'm Happy, and it had this dedication:
Ti voglio tanto bene, per sempre…
This one was on the short and sweet side, in comparison. It reflected the length of the book, and expressed the emotion I needed to convey. What's more, it reinforced the sentiment of the dedication in Ask Me if I'm Happy.
As I worked on what is now my most recent release, 27 Stages, I pondered what the dedication should be. I understood I was putting the cart ahead of the horse in thinking about it so soon, but it became a pleasant daydream task when I wasn't writing.
27 Stages took nearly four years to complete, due to setbacks of all sorts in my writing and family life. The longer the writing took, the more I wanted the dedication to mean something special. I was determined to finish this novel, but it wasn't easy.
When the time came, when 27 Stages was complete and ready to be shared with the world, I composed this dedication:
For Alessandro, who answered the question correctly;
for the fangirls, of every age, all over the world;
and for the riders who leave everything on the road, every time they ride.
Sei sempre con noi.
There are, of course, multiple meanings in this. Some are fairly direct – you don't have to be a cycling fan to figure out who "the riders" are. Some are a little less clear – who, or even what, are "fangirls"? a reader might wonder. There is a hint of mystery, too – what is the question Alessandro answered correctly?
And, finally, for readers unfamiliar with cycling and its history, what is WW 108? And what does "Sei sempre con noi (You are always with us)" refer to? It is my hope the readers who don't understand this will take the time to look online or do some sort of research to find out.
Surely there are readers out there, readers like me, who will work a little more in order to understand? It would just take a little more dedication, so to speak.
Check out or Author, Books, Trailer & Review Pages to find out more about Kimberly