Back on a plane this afternoon, heading home. I'm always sad to leave Colorado - and of course, my parents. But my life is in Nashville, and so to Nashville I go.
It's a three hour flight. With all I've done this week, now seems like a good time to write the epilogue for the May '12 book, so that's what I'll do. (And shhh.... I did download the new movie version of Jane Eyre...)
Donna asked about my beta readers. Betas are a very important part of the process for me. I don't like writing in a complete vacuum. Nine novels in, I have a lot of confidence in my work, but I still love to get feedback. My husband is my number one beta reader, my Dad is number two. I also have friends I've made along the way who read for me - my critique partner and literary twin sister, Jennifer Brooks, is my go to gal - and my comma cop. Laura Benedict reads for me as well - she is an amazingly accomplished writer whose opinions I trust implicitly. You'll see the dedication of WHERE ALL THE DEAD LIE goes to her - the book just wasn't working, and she made mention of something that made it all click for me. Joan Huston, a reader from the great Northwest territory, has been my beta from day one as well - she even read the first manuscript that wasn't ever published, so she's one of the few people who actually knows Taylor and Baldwin's backstory. And no, she won't share ; )
That's my core, those five. Now my newest critique partner, Paige Crutcher, reads, and I always farm out to some experts - a cop, a medical examiner, a death investigator, and a military man, just to make sure I get all the details right. Once I get everyone's opinions, then and only then do I feel ready to submit to New York.
I also do have a critique group. We meet every two weeks and bring 10 pages to read. That's a huge help as well - just to see if things are working.
Here's the deal: Having friends that you respect and trust is vital to your life, and that's especially true in writing, where hooking up with the wrong people can actually hurt your career. Nora Roberts said in her keynote luncheon speech at RWA last year that finding a cadre of friends you can trust, who you can travel this crazy path with, is incredibly important. I agree with that sentiment. I've been blessed to find some of my dearest friends in the literary world.
So with that in mind, a little something for you to nosh on - 11 Literary Friendships We Can Learn From
See you tomorrow!