Today the paperback of The Good Thief arrives in bookstores. It's hard to believe that a year has already passed since the hardback was published. I was in New Zealand in August 2008, and I remember feeling strange but also relieved that I was so far from home. The novel I'd been working on for the past six years was finally out, and I was full of joy but also anxiety and fear: would anyone buy it? I went for a walk on the beach in Paihia. And what did I find there, on the opposite end of the world? Wishing stones. For those of you who don't know what a wishing stone is, and how important they figure in The Good Thief, I suggest checking out the Q&A for the book. But if you're familiar with The Good Thief, you can understand how appropriate and magical this moment was, even though these rocks were very different from the soft gray stones I collected as a child on the coast of New England. They were charcoal black and more like jagged pieces of slate--but the bright white line was circling them, all the same. I was extraordinarily grateful, sitting there with those wishing stones. I took their discovery as a sign of good things to come. And come they did. The Good Thief has found an enthusiastic audience, and for that I am extremely thankful. Over the past year I've met readers in bookstores, at schools and colleges, at festivals, conferences, online book forums, libraries, continuing education programs and book clubs. Through this extraordinary novel (that I wrote sitting alone in my apartment), I have connected with people across the country and made many new friends. Now that The Good Thief is out in paperback, I'm hoping Ren's story reaches an even wider audience. So hello to everyone who is visiting this site for the first time. Welcome! And thank you for turning the pages.