Today is my friend Andrew's birthday. I know Andrew because he read my blog a million years ago (in internet time) and saw that I was a fan of various Steve Jackson games. At the time, Andrew worked at SJGames on some projects you may have heard of, like Chez Geek, Munchkin, GURPS 4th Edition, and several others. Andrew e-mailed me and offered to take a look at what was then the first draft of Dancing Barefoot, and we've been working together ever since. Andrew has played a significant part in everything good I've ever written, including my 2007 PAX keynote, my story Cura Te Ipsum in the second Star Trek Manga, and, of course, The Happiest Days of Our Lives.
In the acknowledgments to The Happiest Days of Our Lives, I wrote:
I couldn’t have done this without the tireless assistance, guidance, and magnificent red pen of my editor and friend, Andrew Hackard. I’ve worked with several different editors in my brief life as a full-time writer. Until I started working with Andrew, I didn’t understand why some authors would follow certain editors to the ends of the Earth to keep working with them. I also want to thank Andrew’s parents, Jim and Sandra Hackard, for creating him, making him the person he is today, and for being so supportive of our work together.
I treasure Andrew's friendship, and I wouldn't be half the writer I am without his Red Pen of Doom. I've lost track of the number of times I've called or e-mailed Andrew in a complete panic, because I just can't find the end of something, or I've been working on something so long I've gotten too close to it and can't figure out why it doesn't feel right. Every time, Andrew talks me off the ledge and makes my writing better. I'd love it if everyone who reads my blog took a moment to join me in wishing him a happy birthday.