In Which Alethea Thanks Everyone She's Met in the Last Eleven Years
When a book like Haven, Kansas is released--over a decade since its inception--it's impossible to thank the dozens (hundreds) of people who helped to make it (and me!) the amazing thing it is today.

If you touched any one of the numerous versions of Haven that has existed over the years, I invite you to leave a comment here. If possible, please add the year in which you met the ill-fated Townsend family!

And know, without doubt, that I love you ALL. xox



Haven, Kansas started out as a screenplay I wrote over Fourth of July weekend, sometime around 2004. I decided to turn it into a novel in November of 2005 as my first foray into NaNoWriMo. It was the first book I ever finished, clocking in at a little under 40,000 words. Based on comments from my Codex critique partners, I revised it, made it longer. Worked with established authors—dear friends who loved the concept and gave it their blessing—revising it further still. In 2010, armed with more experience after finishing Enchanted, I revised it again. In 2014, based on the recommendations of my agent who loved the manuscript so much she didn’t want to give up on it, I revised it again.

Countless beta readers, countless edits, countless other books and TV shows called Haven, multiple rounds of rejections from every desk in New York because they just couldn’t find a place for it…this little story has been through the ringer. But we live in the future now! At last, I finally have the ability put this long-beloved gem into your hands.

This book has been over eleven years in the making. To thank everyone involved would take another novel. On top of which, two of those original authors who gave their blessing have since passed away.

I am honored to finally share their blurbs with you.

First and foremost, I want to thank those who were with me at the very beginning. Mom, for leaving angry messages on my answering machine when I didn’t finish a chapter fast enough (those infamous messages now immortalized in Beauty & Dynamite). Dad, who read my coffee cup and predicted that Haven would be a movie someday. Sherrilyn Kenyon, who gave me the strength to keep going as the uphill battle became steeper and steeper. Tom Piccirilli—Unca Pic, I miss you every day. Tammy and Mark, who drove me to the real Haven, thus prompting yet another revision (I still have my tumbleweed!). And David Buchert, maybe the only other person that read the original screenplay, who will always be kicking himself that he didn’t buy the film rights for a dollar when he had the chance.

The bulk of thanks for the 2016 release goes to my dearest, bestest friend, Casey Cothran. I held out on giving her the manuscript for so many years, so that the dedication would be a surprise when it was finally published. Thankfully, when she read Haven over for what would be its final edit, it was still a surprise.

And yes, she cried.

I met Casey over a horror movie—Poltergeist II, I’m pretty sure it was—at a YMCA lock-in I attended with a friend the summer after sixth grade. When the friend abandoned me, I wandered around until I discovered the movie room. It was still early, so there was only one other person there—a tiny girl with a long, curly blonde mane and glasses who sat in front of the TV, enraptured. I didn’t even really like horror movies, but I loved movies in general, and I didn’t know what else to do. So I sat with her. I honestly don’t remember us having any conversation at all. We didn’t need to.

When she showed up in all my classes in the seventh grade, it was like we’d been best friends from birth.

Casey was my very first writing partner and encouraged every single crazy little idea I had. I don’t believe in Muses, as most authors think of them, but Casey has always been my inspiration. She is my Minna, my Dawn, my Sunday Woodcutter. My Erin. Haven was always meant for her. It is only fitting that her input was the magical final ingredient for its release.

And to everyone else who touched a piece of Haven from its inception to this release: THANK YOU. Thank you for your input and your support, for standing beside me as I grew into my wings as a full-fledged author. You are the village who raised the writer I have become.

I only hope I continue to make you proud.


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