Something AMAZING happened this week. Something I will never forget EVER in my entire life. But, if I never ventured out of my writing shell, it never would have been a possibility.
I know I’ve mentioned it before, but for a long time, I never told anyone about my book. Three people knew about it: my husband, my sister, and my mom. As many creatives seem to be, I am a fiercely self-conscious person. The thought of even telling people about Old Souls petrified me.
Since I stepped out of my comfort zone and started talking about it, some pretty amazing things have happened. I found a critique group which I love, where other writers take time out of their day, accumulating to NINETY-FIVE hours so far, to help make my book even better. (Because it’s already pretty awesome.)
In that critique group, I met Dan Alatorre, who wrote and self-published a plethora of books you can find here and quickly skyrocketed to best-selling author success. My regular blog followers see him around here all the time. It’s because he’s awesome. And, not just because he says he loves my book. He’s my “work buddy.” His ambition is contagious. When I started a Facebook Author Page, he sent people over to like it. When I started Scribbles on Cocktail Napkins, he ran a new author profile on me and linked it to my blog. He’s critiqued every one of my chapters, and it’s his critiques I look forward to the MOST.
And if it comes to pass one day that I can’t find an agent, he promised me to help get the damn thing published.
He introduced me to Allison Maruska. I recently discovered Allison is probably one of the funniest people I know, along with being another, wait for it, best-selling author. On Wednesday night, Dan and Allison invited me to ref their Facebook Chat (drunk debate) on the virtues of plotting vs. pantsing. We never came to a real conclusion, seeing as we never really got around to talking about plotting vs. pantsing. Instead, we talked about Canadian Tire, trampolines, and . . . something else . . . which I can’t really remember right now, ’cause I was a (little) drunkskie. Which probably speaks to the benefits of PLOTTING, y’all.
He also introduced me to C. J. Andrews, who, like me, is still wrestling with her first book. Having read most of it, I can tell you, her work is incredible. Like, ‘I can’t wait for her to finish it, so I can find out what happens’ incredible. And, even though she doesn’t like fantasies, she critiques my work and gives me the props I need to keep going. (I should probably mention she likes my book. ‘Cause it’s awesome, remember?)
Building a support network, a group of “work buddies” is one of the smartest things a budding author can do. But, in order to do that we have to come out of our shells. That way, when something amazing, fantastic, life-altering, and MIND BLOWING happens, we can celebrate it together.
Anne Rice read, enjoyed, and shared my blog, and (incidentally) a snippet of my upcoming book! How many people can say that? I have never been so amped to keep on going. It’s time to get this puppy finished so I can keep my promise to give the very first copy to the QUEEN of Horror herself.
If you aren’t already, YOU need to follow my blog. Be a part of the support network. It’s getting real, kids. Boom.