When I tell people that it took me nearly six years to write The Good Thief, they usually ask: How did you keep going? Well, one of the answers is in this picture–my writing group: Helen Ellis and Ann Napolitano. The three of us met at NYU’s Graduate Creative Writing program, began sharing our work, and have now been meeting for more than ten years. We’ve seen each other through many ups and downs, rejections, our first publications, and finally our first books. Helen published Eating the Cheshire Cat, and Ann followed with Within Arms Reach. Look for Helen’s new young adult series, which will be published next year, and Ann’s new novel, which will be sent out to publishers this fall. We went out last week to celebrate the paperback of The Good Thief and afterwards stopped in a bookstore. There it was, on the front table! For those of you out there trying to write, the most important thing, I believe, is to become a part of a community. A writing group that meets regularly keeps you going, and doesn’t let you give up, even when everything in your life is conspiring against you finishing that book. So here’s to Helen and Ann–great editors, cheerleaders, and friends. I couldn’t have done this without you.