When people ask me about writing, I tell them it’s a labor of love. But it’s not just the author’s love—the people who love you most often end up laboring a lot along the way as well.
My husband Aamer Hasham encouraged me to write and accompanied me to book events. My twin sister Sofia Faruqi listened to me talk about The Oyster Thief for hours on end. Her patient questions helped me untangle plot intricacies and her thoughts helped me devise new angles. My brother Salman Faruqi contributed tremendous big-picture thinking. An avid reader of fiction, he provided ideas to create more characters and enhance conflict.
Beta readers played a crucial role in the development of The Oyster Thief. In addition to my husband, brother, and sister, the team included: Stacey Gordon Sterling, who paid thorough attention to detail, Kristyn Nanlal Khetia, who delved into pace and emotion, and Lauren Friedwald, who focused on clarity and feeling. Without the commitment of the team of beta readers, The Oyster Thief would not be the same.
Sarah Krejci, Celia Kujala, Lucas Melbye, and Monisha Rahemtulla also provided feedback on early chapters, and Autumn Ladouceur and Ashley Ryan read very early iterations of the book.
My editor Jessica Case at Pegasus Books provided perceptive edits, contagious enthusiasm, and ambitious thinking. She was a delight to work with. Maria Fernandez provided interior design and typesetting, and Charles Brock from Faceout Studio designed a lovely cover.
Randall Abate, Jonathan Balcombe, Louisa Gilder, Lorraine Johnson, Rob Laidlaw, Nina Munteanu, and Misagh Parsa mentored and guided me in my writing career.
Friends offered a warm listening ear, including Monica Jain, Ismat Khatri, Barbi Lazarus, and Wei Su. Also, Nandita Bajaj, Barbara Center, Neel Desai, Mike Farley, Bruce Mason, Berna Ozunal, and Andrew Scorer supplied imaginative ideas for book promotion. Catherine Houle created a beautiful animated website.
I’m indebted to my parents Shaista and Amin Faruqi for their love and support. I’m also grateful to my parents-in-law, Shamim and Nazir Hasham; my siblings-in-law, Erik Desrosiers and Maha Hasnain; and my extended family, including and especially Zia Aleem, Javed Aleem, Perveen Matloob, Sultana Ali, and Shireen Begum.