July 22, 2019

Lainey Cameron

Do you dream of escaping on holiday to finish your current draft? Or wonder how some writers churn out thousands of words while on vacation?

I’m an author and digital nomad (meaning a person with no fixed abode who lives in different locations). The most frequent question writer friends ask me is How exactly do you travel while writing?

As it’s vacation season, I’d love to share a few tips based on three years of full-time travel.

1. Set a goal for each trip: generate inspiration or buckle down and get words out?

In writing world we revere the concept of butt in chair and with good reason. But that isn’t the only way for travel be productive. 

One writer friend generated the idea for every book she’s written while on family vacation. For her, travel means “taking my brain to new places to spark my imagination”. Once she escapes her regular packed schedule, then new food, overheard conversations in airports, travel difficulties all become fodder to ask What if…?

On the other hand, perhaps you have a serious word goal to achieve. An Aussie writer friend took a two-month sabbatical in France and with this view from her desk, she completed a 90,000 word first draft. Her approach is similar to mine; use tourist adventures as the reward for achieving your goal. 

Clarity on your goal is the foundation for self-compassion.If your dream is for new ideas to flow during this time, don’t punish your brain for not achieving word count.

2. Build in white space (aka boredom)

If vacations are supposed to free up cycles for idea generation, then why doesn’t that work for everyone? 

In Laura Drake’s article Ideation: Where Ideas Come From, she concludes that creativity happens in the white space in-between, when we’re being still and have nothing else to occupy our minds.

We want to believe that staring at the Mediterranean as we hurtle around cliff corners on the Amalfi coast road will inspire us, but the reality is half our brain will be occupied with new planning functions. Where will we eat? What’s Italian for bathroom? Is little Tommy’s upset stomach a day bug or something worse? 

The solution is to build true downtime into your itinerary. Daily walks in the forest. A moment in the garden to write after breakfast. Two hours at the pool with the family and a notepad in your lap.

Pro Tip: For maximum writing potential, don’t move around too much.

Travel is, by its nature, disruptive, and I’ve measured it. I write the most on days I wake up and go to bed in the same location. And the least on days I need to move from point A to point B.

I’ve learned that the ramp period in every location (finding the nearest supermarket, understanding the city layout, getting connected to Wi-Fi) eats the most into creative time. 

3. Travel workspace. Are you a ‘zone-out’ or a ‘get in the zone’ kind of person?

You probably know this about yourself. Are you the type who can work at the kitchen table and zone out the mayhem around you? Or do you need a separate quiet space and a closed door? 

It may seem obvious, but whatever your most productive writing environment at home, that isn’t going to change just because you’re traveling. 

For example, my partner and I tried and failed at traveling and working in an RV. Turns out I’m the type who needs to not hear his delightful singing voice. Now, we always seek rentals with two separated spaces. 

Pro Tip:Hotel rooms are hard. Rentals are your friend. 

With rental sites like AirBnb or HomeExchange you can afford more space and inspect photos of the room setup and furniture configuration. We often write to the owner before booking to inquire about the quality of the Wi-Fi, and sometimes they can even secure an extra desk for you. 

4. Ergonomics matter

Have you seen the articles that say sitting is the new smoking? Well, if that’s true, then hunching over a laptop is the equivalent of inhaling six packs a day.  

Ideally, your screen needs to be at eye level.  The easiest way is to invest in a cheap Bluetooth keyboard and mouse and place your laptop on a box or a stack of books, so the screen is in front of your face, and the keyboard and your hands rest on the desk.

I use a solution called the Roost, a stand which folds out on a table to hold your computer at the correct height. This is perfect for working in coffee shops, although I will warn that it can be a conversation starter!


5.  Backup Online or Take Photos of Your Notepad

You may think I’m paranoid here, but if your ideas are in a notepad and you leave it on the Spanish steps, or your handbag gets snatched, you’re going to wish you had a copy in the cloud.

The easiest solution is to take a photo of your notes at day’s end and email it to yourself. One better is phone apps like Genius Scan, which do a great job of rapidly scanning a lot of hand-written pages (just be sure you send the file off your phone).

For laptop backup, you need a cloud backup service like Backblaze or Carbonite. I plan to write a longer article on writer backup next month, but the short version is your backup cannot be in the same location as your computer (which means when traveling, it cannot be traveling with you).

By this point, I’ll bet you’ve noticed many of my tips could apply to writing in general? 

The same goes the biggest writing rule of all. Even if travel serves up inspiration,butt in chair is still what ultimately gets the book written, whether you’re in Mexico, Milan or Milwaukee.

What’s your Experience with travel and writing? Have you managed to be productive writing away from home? Any other tips you’ve learned?


About Lainey:

Lainey Cameron is a digital nomad and author of women’s fiction. A tech industry dropout, her first book was inspired by a decade of being the only woman in the corporate board room. The novel won 2ndplace in the Rising Star Award for unpublished Women’s Fiction and tells the story of a Silicon Valley investor who, when faced with her husband’s mistress across the negotiating table, must learn to work with her or jeopardize both their careers. 

An avid travel instagrammer, Lainey finds inspiration everywhere. She is currently working on her second novel, a tale of an instagrammer who witnesses a murder and is pursued around the world.

She’s an active volunteer with Women’s Fiction Writers Association, and is on a mission to obliterate the term aspiring writer, which she believes saps writers’ ownership and creative confidence.

Find her online at www.laineycameron.com where she posts progress of her books and tech tips for writersor InstagramTwitter, and Facebook.

** Header photo is on the Mekong river near Luang Prabang in Northern Laos. 

July 19, 2019

Jenn Windrow

I’m a firm believer in writing what you love, not what you think will sell. For example, I write in two genres that have fallen out of favor with the big New York publishing houses…paranormal romance (PNR) and urban fantasy (UF). And not just any urban fantasy. Mine has the dreaded V-word…vampires. 

But did I let this stop me? Heck to the no! (Heck was not first word choice, but I am trying to keep this post rated PG so WITS might invite me back some day.)

I queried and queried with both of my manuscripts and received the same rejection over and over.

“I love your writing, the story, the characters, your voice, but unfortunately with the current market I am unable to sell that genre to the editors.”

Discouraging? Yes. End of my career? No.

And if you are getting the same response to the novel you poured your soul into, it doesn’t have to be that way for you, either. 

Your readers are still out there. People who love vampire books want their fang fix. Contemporary romance readers want their big city romances. Regency romance readers are always searching for the next Mr. Darcy. 

Just because the Big 5 don’t want you, it doesn’t mean you have to give up writing in the genre you love. You have other options and other ways to find YOUR readers.

Option 1 – The Small Press

This was my first toe-dip into the publishing world. While NY may see your genre as dead on arrival, there are many small presses and independent publishers that are still willing to take a chance on you. I entered a contest called Authorpalooza, put my queries out there, and received four contract offers for my PNR. After doing a lot of homework, I went with the offer that seemed the best for me at the time.

What I got: a book cover that I loved; three rounds of edits (developmental, line, and copy); the opportunity to have someone else hold my newbie hand through the publishing process without having to fumble my way through on my own; and the support of an editor who not only loved my book, but believed in me as an author. 

I published four books with them and was happy until I decided I wanted to move on to option two.

Option Two - Self-Publishing or Indie Publishing

While the world of the small press was a great place to start, I was still sharing my royalties and doing a fair amount of work when it came to marketing my books. I had done some research, and it turns out there are genres that excel in the self-publishing world.

According to Amazon these are the top categories that sell well in the indie world.

  • Romance
  • Mystery, thriller suspense
  • Science fiction and fantasy
  • Non-fiction

Both of my genres happen to fall nicely on that list. 

So instead of a toe dip, I dove head-first into the sea of self-publishing and have been swimming in the deep waters ever since.

Is there more work? Oh my lord, yes. Do I still have a ton to learn? So much my brain hurts. Is it worth it in the end? Totally.

And even though I was told vampires were out and no one wants to read them anymore, my vampire novels are my biggest sellers. I have gained rabid fans from that series who have then moved on to read my romances. When I sell and sign at book festivals, I barely spit the V-word out before they grab a copy and march to the cash register.

But let’s not just look at me, let’s look at some of the top selling indie published authors and see how well they are doing. You might even recognize a few on the list.

  1. EL James – Fifty Shades of Grey
  2. Amanda Hocking – Over 17 self-published books 
  3. Beatrix Potter – The Tale of Peter Rabbit(Yep. You read that right.)
  4. Joseph Malix – Dragon’s Tale

Just to name a few.

But, You Ask, Do You Sell Books?

Yes. Yes! And an even louder YES!

The readers are out there. They still read what they love. They want new material. New characters to fall in love with. New heroes to root for. New journeys to travel.

I guess what I am trying to say is that even if you get a rejection letter telling you no one reads [insert your genre here], it’s not true. It just means that the Big 5 aren’t looking to buy or invest into those genres anymore.

But readers? The ones who really matter? They definitely are.

So let’s discuss…

  1. Would you be willing to write in a genre you weren’t passionate about just to be picked up by a Big 5?
  2. Are you a reader who loves a certain genre and will read any book in said genre, no matter how it is published?
  3. Are there any self-published authors you know of that have a huge following and fantastic platform?

*******

About Jenn Windrow

Jenn Windrowis the award-winning author of the Alexis Black Novelsand the Redeeming Cupid series. Her books include vampires, Greek gods, and a bit of freak show fun for everyone. When she isn’t writing, she spends her days as a stay-at-home parent/chauffer/referee to two teenage girls, binge watching Netflix and reading with her cat in her lap.

You can find her at:

FacebookTwitterGoodreadsAmazon Author CentralBookbubPinterestAudible

And if you sign up for my newsletter, you will receive a free Alexis Black short story collection called Premium Evil.

July 17, 2019

by Jeri Bronson

Disclaimer:  Some topics discussed may be a trigger for people. I do try to be as sensitive as possible, but proceed with caution.

I'm married to a coroner, which means that I have some conversations many other spouses simply don't have. Now that I'm a writer, our marriage is a conversational gold mine.

One day I came home from work and as I headed to the laundry room my husband called out to me, "don't open the washer". Of course any wife would be curious as to the mess their husband had gotten into, but I know better. When you're married to a coroner and he tells you not to look, you don't.

Quick background on the nature of the job:

Coroner job duties vary from county to county and state to state. Some have medical examiners, some only have transport people and if it's a really small town, the police handle investigations. My husband investigates mode, manner and causes of death. Determining if a death is a homicide, suicide or natural and whether or not detectives should be called in is his first step. 

The coroner controls the scene. All police, fire, detectives etc. have to listen to him before anything else can be done. He does NOT pick up the body.  It really irks him when people assume that's all his job entails or ask if he's like CSI. You will get another big eye roll when that happens.

My husband has been on the news more times than I can count, investigating cases from a serial killer to a bombing, but let's talk about the HowWhy and What of being a coroner.

How does someone do this job?

You have to be able to see things from all possible angles. You definitely have to be able to see what's not even there sometimes. You also have to have a level of medical detachment.

My guy was a paramedic prior, so he knows how to read people. This doesn't mean he’s cold or detached—quite the opposite. Even though someone has passed, the coroner is still serving them by being caring, compassionate and respectful. Using all these skills could be the key to solving the ultimate puzzle like a murder.

Why would anyone want to do this?

The coroner gives people closure by answering questions they could spend a lifetime wondering about.  Although a coroner encounters people in the worst possible situations, in the end those people are grateful. A coroner can help them in a way no other person can.

Example: my husband once solved a decade-old cold case with just a jaw bone that was found in the riverbed. He scanned the missing person's database when things were slow in the office, looking at this jawbone. Sure enough his "vision," as I call it, saw this lady even though the picture was transposed. He still knew it was her. Crazy right?

In many ways, that’s what a writer does, right? We take the bones of an idea and flesh them out into a character.

What...

I guess I'm here to answer the What, because it's what I've learned from the most. Marriage to a coroner has taught me to see things from every angle, when I used to be a linear thinker.

As a writer I've learned that no matter what I think is a unique scene, reality is stranger than fiction. There are many variables to consider when you are committing dastardly deeds. 

You have to consider a person's purpose, their mental state and even the weather in some cases. Also, don’t forget—location, location, location when considering all the factors of your scene. Time is the enemy in working a case. Toxicology takes 3 to 6 months to come back, but they have a new Rapid DNA system that can provide answers in 3 days. Hopefully other tests will get faster as well.  

One big thing I've learned is you have to think outside of the box to do this job. I think its best if I illustrate by example.

Years ago, my husband had to do a death notification for a family member in Japan. The Sheriff's Department didn't have a translator but my ‘outside the box’ thinking husband called over to Disneyland, which is nearby. I'm sure you're asking how can talking to Disneyland help in a death notification. Turns out Disneyland has a direct line to Japan and they have translators on hand at all times, so they were nice enough to translate for him. I'm sure it was an experience that translator won't forget.

Honestly, I could go on forever. Perhaps I will do another post. But here is a glimpse into some of the things I've heard over the years.

My husband has always worked nights, so we have to conduct a lot of communication over the phone. Keep in mind, this daily life is just routine to him. (I still hope the NSA never listens in to our conversations!)

Coroner Conversations

  1. I hate Summer. It's decomp (decomposition) season.
  2. I don't know why the lifeguards didn't want to keep those life preservers. They still work. A little bleach and its all good. (We had 2 of them that have since be re-homed.)
  3. I got to play with the arson dog tonight.
  4. The FBI does not have a sense of humor when you give them a name suggestion for a serial killer.
  5. I called Interpol tonight.
  6. Do not open the washer!
  7. Don't touch my uniforms in the red bio hazard bag on the laundry room floor. (They were covered in poison ivy)
  8. I'm going to be late picking up the kids from daycare. Transport can't find a hand. I have to go back and help.
  9. I’m going to work early. I have to stop and get blood from the hospital by the house.
  10. I hung out with NCIS agents tonight, and almost got sprayed by skunks.

My life is like the TV show, Castle, except more graphic. I guarantee not many people have the conversations I have on a daily basis.

I hope this has given some of you some new book ideas or helped to answer questions. Thanks to the ladies of Writers in the Storm for having me here today. It was an honor.

Do you have any simple questions for Jeri? She can't go into great detail here, but can answer quick ones. She'll ask her husband, if she doesn't know!

*  *  *  *  *  *

About Jeri

Jeri Bronson lives with her husband of thirty years in Southern California. They have two children, a grown daughter who just graduated college and a son in his last year of high school. Ten years as a Human Resources manager has given her a greater understanding of people.  Ten years as a substitute high school teacher, has given her the dialogue and perspective for her Young Adult novels. She is currently working on a Romantic Suspense trilogy (because she has the perfect resource). In her spare time Jeri is a tennis fanatic sometimes watching matches when she should be writing... but hot guys on a tennis court, well, let’s just call it inspiration.

You can find Jeri's debut YA Contemporary Novel, Seeking Perfect on:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

You can follow Jeri at the following Links: Facebook | Twitter

July 15, 2019

Christina Delay

Authors are in a frequent state of change. In today’s world, we must flow and shift and sometimes do some fancy footwork as the season demands.

Flow. Shift. Dancing. That sounds a lot like change. Change is scary. Don’t worry, stick with me. We’ll get through this together.

How do we know if the change we’re making is the right change? Or if it’s the right time for a change? How about the how of making a decision we can be certain of?

My kids are still young, so we watch a lot of Daniel Tiger. One of the biggest things the show impresses on children is if something is scary or if they don’t understand or are unsure of something, they should talk about it.

We’re not children. But we still deal with scary unknowns and uncertain outcomes.

So let’s talk about it.

An Author’s Fancy Footwork

What kind of things can authors expect to change, not over the course of their career, but perhaps over the course of first draft to polished manuscript? 

Oh boy. 

Where to start, where to start. 

*takes a deep breath*

  • Editor Wish Lists
  • Agent Wish Lists
  • Reader Tastes
  • Genre Trends
  • Marketing Tactics
  • Facebook Algorithms
  • Amazon Algorithms
  • Writing Styles
  • Taboo Topics
  • Social Media Platforms
  • Popular Hashtags
  • The Disappearance of Hashtags
  • Self/Indie Publishing
  • Traditional Publishing
  • New York Publishing
  • Small Press Options
  • Cover Trends
  • Audiobooks
  • Big Box Store Closures
  • International Data Collection Laws
  • Copyright Laws
  • Policy Changes by Vendors (Mailchimp, Facebook, etc)
  • Not to mention a personal life...

*big exhale*

I’d keep going, but I couldn’t hold my breath any longer. And a lot of what I just covered are big topics within which live a myriad of changes and decisions to make. It would take a year to explore each variable and by the time we were done, it’d all be out of date. Such is the publishing world we live in.

With all that going on, how are we supposed to know what the correct dance steps are? 

Decisions, Decisions

It can be really hard, not just to make the right decision, but to be certain of your path after you’ve made your decision.

Recently, I made a couple of tough decisions. One of the biggest is taking Cruising Writers on an extended vacation break after this year’s November cruise. Cruising Writers will be back in a couple of years, once my patooties are a little more self-sufficient :). But if you want to cruise with us anytime soon—this year is the year.

Another tough decision I’ve made is to go hybrid. My pen name, Kris Faryn, indie publishes supernatural suspense and fantasy. 

Both of these decisions took place over a long period of time, but the following is ultimately what helped me make those decisions. Perhaps some of these ideas will help you gain comfort around scary decisions that lead to change.

Meditation

Meditation is a great way to shut off that noisy logic jabber-jaw voice in your head and instead, listen to the quieter voice of your heart. Start your meditation time with a question you want answered, and let your subconscious do the rest. Will you have an answer by the end? Maybe. Or maybe just a stronger push in a certain direction.

Pros and Cons Tables

For the more analytical of us, a pro/con list can be a great way to let the logic jabber-jaw voice have its way for a bit. The more unbiased you can get in your approach to this exercise, the better chance you’ll have of looking at your situation with a realistic perspective.

An Honest Look At Goals

It’s easy to get distracted by the newest shiny thing or idea. But where is your drive? Why do you do the things you do? Why do you write? Why do you want to be published? What kind of career do you honestly want for yourself? And is this next decision, this next change, going to move you toward that goal or away from that goal?

On my to-do list, I often write (in big letters—purple pen) “To What End.” It helps me manage my list and judge the worthiness of the tasks I add to it so I can always be working toward my end goal.

Envisioning the Different Paths

Another meditative practice, but one fiction writers are exceptionally good at—daydreaming. That’s right. You have permission to daydream. But do it with focus. Imagine the result of each of the choices before you. Which is most aligned with your goal? Which do you want most?

Shift and Flow

Maybe for you, these decisions involve whether to get an agent. Or get a different agent. Knowing when your book is ready to publish or be sent out. Deciding to self-publish or go traditional. Contacting a critique group for the first time. All of these choices and decisions require dancing the complex footsteps of the publishing landscape.

It’s scary. Change always is. We’re hard-wired to fear change.

But that doesn’t make change a bad thing.

“Things may change and, that’s okay! Today we can do things a different way.” ~Daniel Tiger

 

About Christina Delay

Christina Delay is the hostess of Cruising Writers, as well as an award-winning author of Young Adult Fantasy and Adult Suspense. She may also have a new series out under a pen name. When she's not cruising the Caribbean, she's dreaming up new writing retreats to take talented authors on or giving into the demands of imaginary people to tell their stories.

About Cruising Writers

Cruising Writers brings writers together with bestselling authors, an agent, and a world-renowned writing craft instructor writing retreats around the world. Cruise with us to the Bahamas this Novemberwith Alexandra Sokoloff of the internationally-renowned Screenwriting Tricks for Fiction Authors, Kerry Anne King - Washington Post and Amazon Charts bestselling author, and Michelle Grajkowski of 3 Seas Literary.

July 12, 2019
Photo Credit: ©hsfelix, depositphotos

When I talk to other writers about the fabulous relationship I have with my primary critique partner, the question always arises:

How did you find her?!!!

Recognizing the importance of quality feedback, writers often search for trusted critique partners or groups like a romance novel protagonist searching for true love.

Where is The One?
How will I know when I find them?
Will they love me back?

My "Love Story"

I found my primary critique partner (CP) through an immersion hosted by Margie Lawson, who often guest posts here. As a true introvert, it took a lot of gumption back then for me to attend a four-day retreat at a stranger's house, but I'd reached that point in my writing where I realized how much I didn't know and needed to learn. So I bit the proverbial bullet, signed up, and drove from Houston to Dallas.

Meanwhile, my CP had driven most of the same route. We got to know each other somewhat during immersion, and that would have been that—making another lovely writer friend—except that she suggested swapping pages for feedback. After all, we lived in the same metro area, had been writing about the same length of time, had gone through Margie's courses, and both wrote young adult. Why not give it a shot?

We started slowly with tentative comments reminding each other what we'd learned and what a reader might see (or not see) in what we'd written, then moved to more direct feedback once we'd gotten to know each other's writing styles and personalities better. These days, I trust my CP so much with my writing that if she reads a passage of mine, turns to me, and lifts an eyebrow? I know I've got work to do.

But we had to earn that respect from one another, and—just like any close relationship—we sometimes call each other out if a suggestion is too vague or a comment too abrasive. It wasn't love at first sight, but rather a relationship that developed over time and required adapting ourselves to what the other needed and wanted. And it continues to require nurturing.

Tips for Finding The One

While our "meet cute" can't be replicated, my experience has taught me six tips for finding good critique for your writing.

1. Know where you are in the journey.

Writers need different kinds of critique at different stages. Early on, you need more encouragement than criticism and more story structure and character tips than prose specifics. Further along, you've developed a better voice and learned some basics, so you need more honing and critical feedback.

You want to work with someone who pushes you without making you feel like an idiot. It's like how in college I preferred playing tennis with my friend, who also saw the game as recreation, to playing with my roommate who'd won tennis tournaments. I wanted my roomie to coach me, but after losing 6-0 and 6-1, I wasn't very motivated to retake the court with her on the other side of the net.

One reason my CP and I worked well from the get-go is that we were at about the same spot along the writing journey—having written for the same length of time, taken courses, attended Margie's immersion. We were at a close enough level to push each other toward better writing.

Figure out where you are on the journey, and that will help you identify what kind of critique you need and want.

2. Determine your critique style.

Do you like being in a group or working one-on-one?
Do you prefer blunt feedback or need more sensitive commentary?
Do you want suggestions in the margins or direct editing on the page?
Do you want overall story and character critique or line editing?
Do you prefer to submit chapter by chapter or after the whole book is finished?

There's no one way to critique a book. I've worked with other CPs who do things very differently from my primary partner. What's important is that you agree on a critique style. To some extent, you can direct your CP to give what you need, but if they and you work very differently, the relationship isn't going to gel.

Think about what you want and pursue a partner who is willing to give what will work best for you, and vice versa.

3. Go where good CPs are.

If you're sitting at home, wishing you had a great critique partner, and wondering where to find one, ask how involved you are in the writing community. That is, have you taken classes where you might meet others? Are you in a writing chapter? Do you attend conferences or retreats? If you want to find someone who knows their stuff, you have to go where those writers go.

I found my main CP at an immersion course, but I've shared pages and gotten critique from others I've met at my RWA chapter, through a regional writers conference I attended, from my fellow Golden Heart nominees, and in an online class.

Be willing to attend writer events, even virtually, to put yourself in the company of those who might need, want, and make a great critique partner or group.

4. Do a trial run.

Once you've found someone, don't slice your palms, slap your hands together, and swear a blood bond just yet. Do a trial run to see how well you work together.

It was probably months before I really felt like my CP was my CP. For a while, she was simply a writer I was exchanging pages with, and no hard feelings if it didn't work out. That open-ended experiment allowed us to really try each other out without undue pressure.

Trade some pages and see how it goes. Give feedback about their feedback so they can adapt to what you need and want. Be open to their editing suggestions but consider whether their critique is helpful where you are in your journey. If your styles are too different, thank them for their time and move on.

5. Periodically review how it's going.

The development of a CP relationship may mimic a love story, but at the end of the day, this is a business decision. Because getting good feedback is about improving your product—the book.

I've witnessed too many writers stay in a relationship with a critique partner or group long after they knew it wasn't working anymore. They worried about their friendship, about being judged poorly for backing out, about possible discomfort when they announce their decision, about not being able to find another critique relationship. But if you are not getting what you need from the partnership, don't string that CP along. Say goodbye.

It might be worth saying that directly to your critique partner or group—that you fully appreciate the relationship you currently have, but everyone needs to ultimately do what's right for their writing.

6. Tend to the care and feeding of a good CP.

Finally, when you find that special someone, don't take them for granted! A good critique partnership or group isn't easy to come by, and a huge boost to your writing when you find one.

Look, I wouldn't be the writer I am today without the great critique I've gotten. All that wonderful feedback has pushed me to improve my craft and write better stories. And if I fail my own standards, I'll see my partner's YCDB (you can do better) in my manuscript margin. For which I'm grateful.

So when you get great feedback, say thank you...a lot. Meet your own deadlines for critiquing their work and, if you can't, explain why and when you'll get it back. Adapt your feedback to what they need (while not letting them publish garbage). Celebrate their successes. Include them in the acknowledgments of your book. Thank them. Did I already say that? Well, thank them again!

For myself, here's a big thank you to Christina, Catie, Diana, Donna, Melinda, Edwina, Jenn (and other people I'm leaving out because my middle-aged memory sucks).

What suggestions do you have for finding a great critique partner?

About Julie

Julie Glover writes cozy mysteries, young adult fiction, and supernatural suspense (under the pen name Jules Lynn). Her YA contemporary novel, SHARING HUNTER, finaled in the 2015 RWA® Golden Heart®, and her primary critique partner became her co-author this year with the release of the Muse Island Series, which begins with book one, Mark of the Gods.

When not writing, Julie collects boots, practices rampant sarcasm, and advocates for good grammar and the addition of the interrobang as a much-needed punctuation mark. You can visit her website here.


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