A lot happens in four years: a presidential term, an Olympic Games or World Cup, a high school or college education, and a leap year.

Almost four years after I started working on it, as of today Alice in Chains: The Untold Story is a reality, available in hard cover and e-book editions. It’s a surreal feeling to be typing this in my Seattle hotel room, knowing now that the book is finally out there for the world to see. It was even more surreal to finally be able to download my own book from the Kindle store.  I’m sure this won’t be the last time these feelings come up today and in the weeks ahead.

I wrote something similar in the book to the point I’m about to make now: although my name is on the jacket and the writing and reporting are mine, I would not have been able to get to this point on my own, and would like to take this opportunity to publicly thank those who made it possible.

Thanks to my agent, Anthony Mattero, as well as my editor Rob Kirkpatrick, executive editor Peter Joseph, and everyone at Thomas Dunne Books and St. Martin’s Press who shared my vision for what this book could be and were unwavering in their support for it.  Thanks to my tireless PR team – Suzanne Williams, Christy D’Agostini and Staci Burt.

Thanks to every source who agreed to be interviewed and helped make this book possible. (My on the record sources are listed at the end of the book, so I won’t name them here.) They are the ones who made it what it is.

Thanks to the many outstanding academic and professional mentors I’ve had over the years. (Also listed at the end of the book.) It is through their time, patience, generosity, insight and wisdom that I learned the skills and mindset that went into this book.

Thanks to my incredible and caring friends and family for all their moral support as I went through this process for the last four years. I love them all.

There were several books that influenced how I wrote this one (see the FAQ), but I especially want to thank Walter Isaacson. I read his brilliant biography of Steve Jobs in late 2011 and early 2012, and that set the bar very high. I wound up scrapping and rewriting some of the early drafts I had written up to that point, and for the next several years, constantly looked to it as a mark to try to reach.  I hope I’ve done that, but will leave it for others to decide, because I can’t and won’t grade my own work.

Thanks to everyone who pre-ordered the book, as well as those who will buy it in the future, for putting your trust and hard-earned money in an unknown author who wrote a book without the authorization or participation of its subject. I hope it lives up to your expectations.

Having said all that, why the title for this post? Because that is how I’m feeling at this point.  After four years of writing, editing, rewriting, and waiting, my first book is finally out in the world.  It feels almost like a high school or college graduation – the ending of one journey, which starts the beginning of the next.  I have two projects I’ve been developing, which I will announce further down the line when the time is right, but for now I want to savor and enjoy these moments. It’s difficult to pick just one word to describe it, but the closest that comes to mind is euphoria.

Thank you.

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