Friday, June 26, 2015

Acknowledgements for 'Ghosthunting San Antonio, Austin, and Texas Hill Country'

While writing is a solitary pursuit in so many ways, a striking number of people nonetheless played a role in the completion of this project and deserve recognition here. 

Foremost among those who warrant thanks is my wife, Diane, who accompanied me on visits to many of the sites that appear in this book and, perhaps even more importantly, allowed me to make working on it a priority.

Three people who have encouraged the development of this project and given me an opportunity to speak about it publicly are Donna Stewart, Laura Schier, and Sharon Kincaid of Psi-Fi Radio, a paranormal-themed show I have appeared on many times over the years. All three of them even ventured out to Texas in May 2014 to do presentations and broadcast the show from the Comicpalooza fan convention in Houston! 

Comicpalooza itself, for which I serve as the paranormal track coordinator, has also been a terrific venue for talking to people about haunted sites in Texas, the America’s Haunted Road Trip series, and paranormal investigation in general. Its organizers have always been very helpful and encouraging. I am especially grateful to John and Patty Simons, Ginger Simon, J.R. Warren, and Dawn Washington.

Another convention that has given me the opportunity to talk about haunted places in the Lone Star State is Dallas Comic & Pop Expo, which is owned and operated by impresario Zachery Taylor McGinnis, who I always enjoy working with.

I also have had the opportunity to work with a number of paranormal investigation groups while writing this book and would like to thank the members and organizers of San Antonio Ghosthunters, Dawn Paranormal, the Pasadena Paranormal Research Team, and the Dallas Area Paranormal Society. People in those groups whom I have particularly enjoyed working with include Jill Benoit, Christy Briones, John Delgado, Alan King, Glenn Martinez, Coy and Lori McCollum, and Kristen Stout.

Special thanks are due to Lauren Swartz and Allison Lindhorst of Sisters Grimm GhostTours, whose historical roots in San Antonio, paranormal research in it, and work on the subject provided me with lots of useful information and some unique perspectives.

Karen Holmes, someone whom I have worked with off and on in some capacity or other since moving to Texas in 2009, deserves thanks for encouraging me in this and other projects and discussing the history and folklore of Texas with me. She also gave me the opportunity to visit or spend time at a number of the sites described in this book, including Enchanted Rock, the Texas State Capitol, the San Antonio Missions, and the Devil’s Backbone (the first three of which I visited with her and students from Fischer Schule Haus Christian Academy, and the last of which is the area where that school is located).

I do not want to neglect to thank the publishing, editorial, and design staff at Clerisy Press for the work they did on this book at their end. I am especially grateful to acquisitions editor Tim W. Jackson, who served as de facto project manager for this book and as my main point of contact with the company while I was working on it; to marketing and publicity specialists Liliane Opsomer and Tanya Twerdowsky Sylvan; and to publisher Richard Hunt. Molly Merkle and Marie Hillin at the Keen Communications headquarters have also always been helpful and a pleasure to work with.

A number of the proprietors or staff of various sites I visited or people I encountered in the process of doing so deserve my thanks as well, and these include Jo Ann Rivera of Victoria’s Black Swan Inn, Doug Blank of the Faust Hotel, staff members at Hotel Indigo and the Emily Morgan Hotel in San Antonio and the Driskill Hotel in Austin, the staff of Ye Kendall Inn in Boerne, the management and staff of the Austin Pizza Garden, and bartender Lincoln at the Devil’s Backbone Tavern.

I also would like to thank all of the editors, colleagues, family members, business associates, and friends who patiently — or, in some cases, not so patiently — waited for me to fulfill my obligations to them while I was focusing so much of my attention on this project.

Finally, if there is anyone I have left out of these acknowledgments, I would like to sincerely beg their forgiveness and thank them for the roles they played in the completion of this book as well! 

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