new author

Writer Friends–the Greatest Gift Ever!!

I love my writer friends.

I have several now. Some are just twitter acquaintances who tweet little gems of wisdom. Some are well-recognized, writing world powerhouses, whose capacity to blog profoundly helpful and hilariously funny gold mines is beyond impressive. But this morning I am specifically thinking of three amazing ladies who saw me hiding in the corner at DFWCon two years ago. Call it kismet, karma, or providence, these lovelies scooped me up and said, “You’re a part of our pack.” They’ve included me in their writing pursuits ever since, and I will be forever grateful.

When I entered the labyrinth that is writing, I discovered you need people around you who will tell you the truth. Your mama is probably going to tell you your MS is genius, and she always knew, ever since your first ‘How I Spent My Summer’ essay in third grade, that you would become a world-famous author. As much as we need a mama’s love and encouragement, that’s just not going to help. It makes me think of all the people who have tried out for American Idol and made fools of themselves because their mamas said they sing like Whitney Houston, when they really sound like a dying cat (not that I have any personal interaction with a dying cat–but I can imagine).

Cue writer friends. They know what you are pursuing. They read books on improving the writing craft. They stay abreast of writing competitions to enter to help build writing experience and add legitimacy to a query letter. They tell you the truth and make you a better writer.

If you haven’t surrounded yourself with writing friends yet, you need to. They will make the difference between an interesting exercise in putting words on paper and a story that isn’t cliche, overdone, or a plot-less, hot mess. Yes, they will tell you the truth. But you CAN handle the truth, and you need it.

If you’re just starting, may I suggest a few big names to follow (not even close to a complete list but some of my faves):

The Indefatigable: Kristen LambThe Champion of Hook: Les Edgerton, The Not Safe, But Good: Query Shark

I am super grateful for Diana Beebe, Nicole Grabner, and Liza Caruthers for taking me in that day. You guys are awesome!

Categories: new author, Writing, writing support | Tags: , , , , | 4 Comments


Can you believe it? I won something! I never win anything — like ever (sorry for the Taylor Swiftism).

But, seriously, I won a random drawing on The Firebirds website. The Firebirds (Cecily White and LorendaC) had interviewed their agent Pam van Hylckama Vlieg, and if blog readers commented on the interview, they were entered to win a critique (by Pam) of the first chapter of their MS!  Well, I’ll be darned if I didn’t win!  I danced around the house like an eleven-year-old girl who’d just been given One Direction tickets!

I’ve followed Pam for a good while on Twitter, and I’m so excited to have her read my story.  I’m also inexpressibly nervous.

May my luck continue!

Categories: new author, novel, Writing, young adult fiction | Tags: , , , , , | 4 Comments

My Platform

As I understand it a “Platform” is the number of readers who would buy your books. I am a newbie, so I may be wrong about that, but I’m trying to learn. I know there are writers’ conferences out there that I should attend to teach me more. I just need to convince my sweet hubs to let me pay the money to go. He’s a real ROI kind of guy, and I don’t blame him. Trying to become a published writer seems like trying to be drafted into the NFL. It’s a one in a million chance.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m serious about what I’ve written. I love and care about my novel and I believe in my characters. I really would like to catch the eye of an agent and be published one day.

For now my platform is three sweet people who share this life with me (and one day I’ll have a fourth — when she can read). I care most what they think. If they love it, I’ll press on into less certain waters.

Categories: new author, platform | 5 Comments

I’ve Written a Novel

Last July, I sat in the quiet cabin our family rented for a week in the Colorado Rockies, and I had a vision. Wait. That’s not exactly true. The vision actually occurred the month prior while watching X Men First Class (I have a fondness for mutant heroes…Wolverine, in particular. But I digress.). I saw a young, teenaged girl with a mysterious identity. I thought about her frequently, wondering about who she was and why we had serendipitously met.

Fast forward back to July. Those quiet moments in the cabin (and the absence of technology other than Microsoft Word) brought clarity to our meeting. I was meant to tell her story, and quite a story it is. I sat there in the evenings, my children playing cards, my husband reading, and I began to write. It poured out of me as though a dam had broken. It was thrilling.

I just wrote my last chapter a few days ago and gave it to my oldest to read. He is an avid reader and pretty honest. He liked it. I still have editing to do because it isn’t yet to my liking, but after eighteen chapters I feel pretty darn proud.

Thank you for sharing your world with me, Brigid, I’m excited about our next adventure.

Categories: new author, novel, young adult fiction | Leave a comment

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