This doesn't mean I don't write alone--I do. I write the stories, edit three or four times (if I'm being good) and then I send it to some trusted friends to see how it looks through a reader's eyes. I trust them, value their opinions, and that means I agonize over every change, every edit on my story. You would not believe the comma drama that can be involved in my own head. It's nice to ask someone who hasn't read the same line forty times until sneaky ungrammatical words that should appear as masked bandits, seem like familiar old friends. Family even. Who knew they had such complicated meanings this side of the comma? To edit, one must be suspicious, ever on the lookout for the conspiracy of sentences harboring bandit misspellings, rogue commas, and the flat out wrong sound alike words. They lurk in the shadows of my paragraphs.
That being said, I don't do this alone, and I want to thank the people that help me be who I want--an author that gives the very best that she can in the moment she has. They give me the help that only time could substitute--if I had a few years laying around; the support that says keep going; and the kindness that makes me think, "If they liked that what if I did something a little more extreme?" They're truly wonderful. If this blog is sort of a diary for the web, then I want to give them all the thanks no book has space for:
Olive Huisman (Livvy) has been a near and dear friend for years. She's never been fond of the fantasy genre--it's just not to her taste, and I have no problem with that. She writes something beautiful--general literature for children. She starts off the generation that makes being an author possible, and her books are beautifully written: http://www.amazon.com/Best-Friends-Olive-Huisman/dp/0595424104/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1414213978&sr=8-1&keywords=Olive+huisman
She has two published books and more short stories, but this is my favorite. Her greatest note to me that spurned me on to keep writing is this, "I love your descriptions." It's a simple sentence, but it encourages me not to be lazy in my descriptions just so I can hear her say it again.
Hywela Lyn (Lyn) is just incredibly sweet. Her blog is wonderful and giving, right down to the button you click that donates to animal shelters without costing you a dime. Her work is adventuress; it differs from mainstream Space Opera (as she prefers to call it). Her characters tread a different path that transcends genres. http://www.amazon.com/Starquest-Hywela-Lyn-ebook/dp/B001GS77RO/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1414214474&sr=1-1&keywords=Hywela+Lyn I favor this one for her use of the first person. Her best note to me: "Maybe it should be shorter?"
I've tried to explain that with the genre and because that sentence is so pretty, and really what would the sun and the moon and the stars think if I shortened it? Did she even consider how hard they would take it? :)
When I've run out of excuses and stepped back from hugging my darlings, I can see whether or not the edit is right for me, and most often, I make the cut. It was a beautiful description, that one you never saw, but the story's a heck of a lot better without it.
Janet Walden-West has an uncanny knack for picking out what I can't seem to see in my story--or at least what I don't feel like admitting until I've had time to recuperate and look at it again. How does 2016 sound? :)
I can't pick out any specific thing, mostly because she loves the genre and she's picked so many things. She writes award-winning but as yet unpublished novels. I can't give you the privilege to see her work yet, but I can direct you to her website: http://janetwaldenwest.weebly.com/ and tell you to remember her name. Because if you love the fantasy genre, her name will be one of the favorites on your bookshelf.
It took me a minute to think of what her strongest notes to me is, because it's almost become second nature, something I think about whenever I start a story--"Start it with a hook."
Roane's editors make me more conscious of my work, their marketing department makes me want to help reach out to my audience more, and the interest of Roane in general--it makes me take my work more seriously, lets me know this will actually go out to someone who might just take the time to read this. There will always be time and energy for that last read through, to make my work the best that I can.
Roane Publishing has been kind and they truly care about their authors. Not to mention they do the most enticing covers--I can't wait to show you the one they made just for my story "Light a Candle for the Beast." If you love reading fantasy and romance, or maybe even write it, they are definitely a first choice: http://www.roanepublishing.com/
My family is awesome, my fellow Roane authors write stories that help make these titles I'm in successes, and though my only published works have been short there are those people that get a twinkle in their eye--excited for me--and tell people they know me. This makes my little introvert self try to curl into a proper shell. It also makes me want to thank them.
You might hear about authors being solitary and writing alone. That's for the most part true--though I do know of some people that co-author, but I don't know how they do it.
No, we write alone, but we don't become authors alone. It takes time, thought, ambition, patience, and kindness.
As writers we fall in love with the art, but a reader breathes life into our words, our worlds, and sees our work in a light we never thought about. The stories written take time to read, love, live, and transform in a reader's imagination in a way a writer might never foresee. That's why my work should be as good as I can make it and why acknowledging the people who see the best in me is key.
Because if I only have that one chance to be an author you want to read again, I want to make it count. Enjoy my work with the assurance that short or long, my work is never taken lightly, and always in the back of my mind is the thought I might share it with you--a reader that took a chance on me.
I can't wait to share the cover and the blurb of "Light a Candle for the Beast" with you. Come Monday, I will. And other blogs will do it with me.
If you want to join in and be a part of it, sign up here: http://www.roanepublishing.com/light-a-candle.html
Like I said, I don't do it alone. :)