Red Pencil Thursday
Next week we have an RPT volunteer, but this week on Red Pencil Thursday I’d like to welcome my very own critique partner, Ashlyn Chase. Though I like to think our online sessions here are helpful, it’s hard to overestimate the value of a flesh and blood critique partner. I encourage you to find one.
On paper, Ash and I really shouldn’t work well together. She’s a liberal Wiccan and I’m a conservative Christian. She loves beta heroes and I’m all about the alpha. She writes wickedly funny contemporary paranormals with a whole menagerie of vampires and werewolves and witches, oh my! I barely dabble my historical toes in the fantastical waters of metaphysics. But we respect the writing and sincerely want to see success for each other, which I think is key to any critique relationship.
We meet around my dining table over a cup of coffee, reading our work aloud and stopping each other to make suggestions. Sometimes, when a face to face is impossible, we email the manuscripts and critique by phone. We bat around ideas for new stories and I credit her with the premise for my current project (which my agent went into raptures over, I might add!). Ashlyn is wildly inventive and just plain fun to work with. I’m very blessed.
And so are you because she’s sharing her thoughts about how a book comes together and offering a terrific giveaway for everyone today! Take it away, Ashlyn.
Birth of a Book
Have you ever noticed the similarities between childbirth and authoring a book? I have. For those of you who are readers and not authors, please bear with me.
We talk about conceiving an idea. All books begin with a mere kernel of an idea and grow. Some people call them plot bunnies. They sort of hop around in our heads and multiply.
Then you have to write the thing. It takes several months to come to fruition, and if you’re as lucky as I am, you have a support system to get you through the process. My terrific critique partner Mia Marlowe is that wonderful woman who has been through it all before and will answer my silly questions seriously, encourage me, and sometimes even hold my hand as I face this daunting task. Usually she’s going through the process too, so it’s like we’re both pregnant with books at the same time. I’m her cheering section too.
Okay, now we’re getting close. If it hasn’t already been arranged, it’s time to book the hospital and pick a birth coach. That would be my publisher and editor. Then, at last, the big day arrives. The baby is born! My publicist helps me deliver it into the world. I guess that makes Danielle my doctor. Actually, we have to credit the sales and marketing staff that get the book into bookstores too, so let’s say it takes a team of doctors and nurses to come into play when the baby is ready.
Every time I look at my baby’s adorable face, my beautiful cover, I fall in love all over again. How could I not? I just accomplished something big, but I didn’t do it alone. This article is to thank all those special people who helped me with the birth of my latest book in the Strange Neighbors series.
Oh, and thank you Tom Brady (who inspired the idea of an apartment building in Boston owned by a professional athlete.) Mia! Does that make him the baby daddy? LOL. Okay, I guess there’s such a thing as taking an analogy too far.
Maybe if Tom played for the Red Sox instead of the Patriots, Ash. After all, your Strange Neighbors hero is a baseball player!
Now I have a wonderful treat for you. There will be no random drawing for a winner. You are all winners! YOU CAN DOWNLOAD STRANGE NEIGHBORS FREE! It’s available for Kindle, Nook, or as a PDF straight from Sourcebooks! Here’s a chance to try Ashlyn’s stories risk free. I think you’ll love them.
Be sure to leave a comment or question for Ash! I’m sure she’ll be dropping by to respond.
Oh! and before I forget, the IMPROPER BLOG TOUR is making a stop at Lucy Monroe‘s place today. I’m sharing about the first time I heard this National bestseller speak shortly after she published her very first book. Now she’s over 50 books and counting! Come join me there for a chance to win a copy of Improper Gentlemen!