The Sculptor would not have been possible without the faith of two men: my agent, William Reiss, at John Hawkins & Associates; and my editor, John Scognamiglio, at Kensington Publishing Corp. For their excitement, insight, and guidance throughout this project I am eternally grateful. In between its first draft and publication, there were many in my family who offered to read The Sculptor, and thus helped me iron out a lot of the wrinkles: my loving wife, Angela, who has always been my biggest fan and my harshest critic; my father, Anthony, and my brother, Michael; my mother, Linda Ise; my uncle, Raymond Funaro, and my aunt, Marilyn DiStefano. To all of them I owe much love and gratitude. Further appreciation goes out to my coterie of readers here at East Carolina University: my colleagues John Shearin, Jill Matarelli-Carlson, Jeffery Phipps, Robert Caprio, and Patch Clark. And last but not least, I would like to thank my student Michael Combs for giving me the opportunity to learn from him.