Month: August 2018
Get in My Kindle: She Would Be King by Wayétu Moore
Hello, book lovers! I’m actually off from my day job today (yay!), but instead of deep diving into the new book I started yesterday (The Outsider by Stephen King), I’m at the library attempting to bang out formatting and editing work for some authors I work with (although I’m almost done with the first section of The Outsider and my brain is already churning at the skillful structure, the characterization, and the way he’s fleshed out this fictional area in Oklahoma despite the tight focus. I can’t wait to figure out what in the world is going on). I missed Monday’s usual Get in My Kindle, but there are so many great books coming out, I couldn’t miss sharing a new one with you this week. Today, in keeping with the little dip we took into Magical Realism yesterday, I’m sharing a novel described as having “an exhilarating range, magical realism, and history.”
Title: She Would Be King
Author: Wayétu Moore
Release Date: September 11, 2018
Description: Wayétu Moore’s powerful debut novel, She Would Be King, reimagines the dramatic story of Liberia’s early years through three unforgettable characters who share an uncommon bond. Gbessa, exiled from the West African village of Lai, is starved, bitten by a viper, and left for dead, but still she survives. June Dey, raised on a plantation in Virginia, hides his unusual strength until a confrontation with the overseer forces him to flee. Norman Aragon, the child of a white British colonizer and a Maroon slave from Jamaica, can fade from sight when the earth calls him. When the three meet in the settlement of Monrovia, their gifts help them salvage the tense relationship between the African American settlers and the indigenous tribes, as a new nation forms around them.
Moore’s intermingling of history and magical realism finds voice not just in these three characters but also in the fleeting spirit of the wind, who embodies an ancient wisdom. “If she was not a woman,” the wind says of Gbessa, “she would be king.” In this vibrant story of the African diaspora, Moore, a talented storyteller and a daring writer, illuminates with radiant and exacting prose the tumultuous roots of a country inextricably bound to the United States. She Would Be King is a novel of profound depth set against a vast canvas and a transcendent debut from a major new author.
Why I Can’t Wait to Read: As you might have learned yesterday, I’m not very familiar with magical realism. When anyone said those words to me, the only book I could possibly name was 100 Years of Solitude, which I haven’t read. I’m also not a big fan of historical fiction. It’s not historical fiction’s fault; I just feel like I have to KNOW the history in order to appreciate the fiction, and unless it’s a well-known, interesting event or period in history, chances are I don’t know enough about it to suit me. Nothing about this book’s genres screams “Put me in your kindle, Erica Denise!” So why is it here?
Simply put, the story sounds fascinating. A novel sweeping three countries, with three extraordinary people who possess extraordinary gifts, who meet in a land and somehow bring disparate people together to form a new nation? Intriguing. The fact it pulls together Africans and people of the diaspora and talks about a history I’ve always found myself wondering about raises my interest level.
If you’re playing book bingo or part of a challenge, it’s a perfect storm of checkmarks: diversity, magical realism, historical fiction, a debut novel, a woman writer of color, etc.
I’m a reader who loves to discover a new voice. I’m always looking for debut authors and their works. I search out their interviews to see what they’re passionate about and how they tell a story well before I investigate their books. Through the wonders of the internet, I somehow found myself following Wayétu Moore on Instagram. Her feed is full of posts from her recent trip to visit family in Africa, meeting with people whose ancestors owned her ancestors, and even her recent wedding. She’s shown herself to be a thoughtful writer who knows how to tell a story even in a concise space. I’m looking forward to reading what she does in a longer form.
Are you a fan of debut novels? Looking to read in a new to you genre? What book outside of your usual reading zone has you intrigued?
Gateway Books: Magical Realism
If you’ve always wanted to know what magical realism is or get a few book recommendations in this genre, read on. Click on the book covers to find the books on Amazon.
A few years ago, I read a book that introduced me to a genre of books I hadn’t experienced before: Magical Realism. It was one of those reading experiences I remember so fiercely. It challenged many of the usual pictures I create in my mind’s eye when reading and replaced them with curiosities I could question as abstracts yet accept as completely real.
Considered to stem from Latin American Literature, magical realism is not only a genre of narrative fiction, but also a concept seen in paintings, films, and a variety of different areas of art. It’s one of those genres that leaves most readers confused because they often can’t quite identify what it is about a piece, but know something is strangely well, magical. These elements of magic and the supernatural tend to exist in an otherwise ordinary world. The balance is difficult to achieve yet perfectly splendid when it does because it refuses to reveal everything to the reader.
Here are five books to add to your reading list if the appeal of the imaginary blending with the ordinary is to your tastes. I encourage you to explore this genre and discover for yourself if magic really is real.
The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton
Foolish love appears to be the Roux family birthright, an ominous forecast for its most recent progeny, Ava Lavender. Ava — in all other ways a normal girl — is born with the wings of a bird. In a quest to understand her peculiar disposition and a growing desire to fit in with her peers, sixteen-year old Ava ventures into the wider world, ill-prepared for what she might discover and naive to the twisted motives of others. Others like the pious Nathaniel Sorrows, who mistakes Ava for an angel and whose obsession with her grows until the night of the summer solstice celebration. That night, the skies open up, rain and feathers fill the air, and Ava’s quest and her family’s saga build to a devastating crescendo. First-time author Leslye Walton has constructed a layered and unforgettable mythology of what it means to be born with hearts that are tragically, exquisitely human.
Chocolat by Joanne Harris
In tiny Lansquenet, where nothing much has changed in a hundred years, beautiful newcomer Vianne Rocher and her exquisite chocolate shop arrive and instantly begin to play havoc with Lenten vows. Each box of luscious bonbons comes with a free gift: Vianne’s uncanny perception of its buyer’s private discontents and a clever, caring cure for them. Is she a witch? Soon the parish no longer cares, as it abandons itself to temptation, happiness, and a dramatic face-off between Easter solemnity and the pagan gaiety of a chocolate festival. Chocolat’s every page offers a description of chocolate to melt in the mouths of chocoholics, francophiles, armchair gourmets, cookbook readers, and lovers of passion everywhere. It’s a must for anyone who craves an escapist read, and is a bewitching gift for any holiday.
The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey
Alaska, 1920: a brutal place to homestead, and especially tough for recent arrivals Jack and Mabel. Childless, they are drifting apart—he, breaking under the weight of the work of the farm; she, crumbling from loneliness and despair. In a moment of levity during the season’s first snowfall, they build a child out of snow. The next morning the snow child is gone–but they glimpse a young, blonde-haired girl running through the trees.
This little girl, who calls herself Faina, seems to be a child of the woods. She hunts with a red fox at her side, skims lightly across the snow, and somehow survives alone in the Alaskan wilderness. As Jack and Mabel struggle to understand this child who could have stepped from the pages of a fairy tale, they come to love her as their own daughter. But in this beautiful, violent place, things are rarely as they appear, and what they eventually learn about Faina will transform all of them.
One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (considered one of the first books using Magical Realism)
One of the twentieth century’s most beloved and acclaimed novels, One Hundred Years of Solitude tells the story of the rise and fall, birth and death of the mythical town of Macondo through the history of the Buendia family. Inventive, amusing, magnetic, sad, and alive with unforgettable men and women—brimming with truth, compassion, and a lyrical magic that strikes the soul—this novel is a masterpiece in the art of fiction.
The Girl Who Could Silence the Wind by Meg Medina
Sixteen-year-old Sonia Ocampo was born on the night of the worst storm Tres Montes had ever seen. And when the winds mercifully stopped, an unshakable belief in the girl’s protective powers began. All her life, Sonia has been asked to pray for sick mothers or missing sons, as worried parents and friends press silver milagros in her hands. Sonia knows she has no special powers, but how can she disappoint those who look to her for solace? Still, her conscience is heavy, so when she gets a chance to travel to the city and work in the home of a wealthy woman, she seizes it. At first, Sonia feels freedom in being treated like all the other girls. But when news arrives that her beloved brother has disappeared while looking for work, she learns to her sorrow that she can never truly leave the past or her family behind. With deeply realized characters, a keen sense of place, a hint of magical realism, and a flush of young romance, Meg Medina tells the tale of a strong willed, warmhearted girl who dares to face life’s harsh truths as she finds her real power.
Shelf talk: Have you read any of these books? Have other recommendations? Let us know in the comments section.
Hola, fellow book lovers! This week has been super busy for me, and it’s not over yet! While I’m finishing this month helping two independent authors publish their books and sneaking in a few pages of my current read here and there, I’m already thinking about what I will be able to read with a less rigorous schedule next month. While perusing some #bookstagram pics, I came across a challenge that might peak your readerly interest. It certainly has my vote!
If you’re an avid reader, chances are, like me, you have several books in your house that you haven’t read yet (even though you’re probably chomping at the bit for that new book at the bookstore, or the one coming to your doorstep or kindle soon!). Despite my best intentions, and my desire to read them, many of these books fall by the wayside in favorite of a hot new release of find. Whether it’s because the book requires more thought than I can give it right now or I’m just not in the right mood, many books in my house have gone unread.
If this sounds like you, Instagram user @anovelfamily has a challenge you might want to try next month. #readwhatyouown is a challenge to, well, read books you already own. There are two ways to participate: commit to reading 2 books you already own in September or commit to reading only books you already own in September. Use the hashtag #readwhatyouown to join other participants. Be sure to follow @anovelfamily and give this account credit for the challenge. Easy peasy.
I believe I have over 50 books I already own that I could read this month (o_O), so I’m going to participate. I am also counting books I pre-ordered that I’ll get in September. Once I choose those I want to read, I’ll post a pretty picture here and on Instagram so you can see what I (and my co-contributors, if they’re game!) will attempt to read in September.
Your turn: Are you participating in #readwhatyouown? What books would you read for this challenge?
Buzz Book: Vox by Christina Dalcher
Happy Hump Day, fellow book lovers. I usually post a Writing Wednesday post here, but today I wanted to do something different and talk about a new release that’s been getting a lot of buzz. Critics are saying if you’re a fan of The Handmaid’s Tale, this book is the book you should read once you finish the classic tale. It has an intriguing premise, and as of this writing, it’s the #1 New Release on Amazon in Political Thrillers & Suspense, and in the top twenty in dystopian. Are you one of the readers who has been highly anticipating this new release?
Author: Christina Dalcher
Release Date: August 21, 2018
On the day the government decrees that women are no longer allowed more than one hundred words per day, Dr. Jean McClellan is in denial. This can’t happen here. Not in America. Not to her.
This is just the beginning…
Soon women are not permitted to hold jobs. Girls are not taught to read or write. Females no longer have a voice. Before, the average person spoke sixteen thousand words each day, but now women have only one hundred to make themselves heard.
…not the end.
For herself, her daughter, and every woman silenced, Jean will reclaim her voice.
The Buzz: Vox has garnered praise from Publisher’s Weekly, O Magazine, Entertainment Weekly, SheReads, Good Morning America, Pop Sugar, Refinery29, Vanity Fair, Cosmopolitan, and authors like Lee Child.
Erica’s Two Cents: Dystopian isn’t one of my favorite genres. It’s not an automatic add to my TBR pile. However, I don’t limit my reading picks by genre. If a book’s premise is intriguing, I’ll happily venture outside of my go-to genres (this is how I ended up reading Dean Koontz’s False Memory). As someone who would probably suffer whatever consequences come with going over the word limit for women in this world on day one, I’m intrigued to see how women stay within these limits, what happens when they go over the limit, and how Jean challenges this system.
Vox would easily make the list of books I’d recommend to co-contributor Christina, as she’s a fan of The Handmaid’s Tale and the description sounds right up her alley. Perhaps if we ever start a book club or podcast, this would be one of our picks.
Are you a fan of dystopian or the Handmaid’s Tale? Are you reading/will you read Vox? Most importantly, would you survive if you could only speak 100 words a day, or would you be as dead as I’d be before 6:00am on Day 1?
FOMO: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
FOMO posts are blog posts about the books that have been buzzed about, made the bestseller lists, won all the awards, are constantly cited as life-changing or industry shaping…and I haven’t read a word of them. These posts are my chance to explain why I haven’t jumped on the bandwagon, and your chance to tell me if I should. The book I’ve chosen for today has been mentioned on Anne Bogel’s much lauded podcast What Should I Read Next? and was featured in all the glossy magazines for their must read summer 2017 lists. Even fellow By Her Shelf contributor Alex of CatFairy Books can’t stop raving about it and recommending it. So why haven’t I read it yet?
Title: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo
Author: Taylor Jenkins Reid
Release Date: June 13, 2017
Why I have FOMO: This book has been talked about and recommended by both glossy magazines and “serious” publications. It has glitz, glamour, and the backdrop of the golden era of Hollywood. The book smacks of Elizabeth Taylor and other starlets of old Hollywood. The buzz for the book is strong, but the premise is a stronger draw for me: an aging icon who chooses an unknown reporter to write her biography. There promises to be secrets, a look at the sacrifices of one woman to be the best, and some gut wrenching revelations. I should be all over this.
Why I haven’t read it yet: As I said, this book has been recommended in several places, and some of the recommenders have hinted at what the revelations might be, and let me tell you, nothing ruins a book (or movie) for me faster than hints or spoilers at the book’s central mystery. Not only does this ruin the reading experience for me, but this particular hint/spoiler is not something I’m interested in reading. I know I’m being vague, but that’s so I don’t ruin it for anyone else thinking of reading it (I’m a giver that way).
Also, a book with a mystery at its core always runs the risk of the mystery not living up to all the foreshadowing and hype around it. You get to the end and go “that’s it? I spent umpteen hours reading and speculating for that?”
Another reason I haven’t read it is because books with a historical element are hit or miss for me. Sometimes I can get into them, and sometimes I lose interest. I don’t mean books that were contemporary when they came out a long time ago (somehow this doesn’t bother me at all, especially if I love the premise), but stories that are contemporary that “harken back to a ‘simpler’ time.”
Here’s Alex’s endorsement of Evelyn Hugo:
This is the kind of book that I will never forget about. I have to say this book left a profound effect on me. Mrs. Reid’s book made me realize the fragility of life and that we must live our lives now. This book taught me to hold the people that I love close and to never take them for granted because even though we all want to be successful in life it shouldn’t be in the expense of others.
Evelyn Hugo taught me that we must take chances in our lives and that we don’t get many chances to make a mark in this world.
Evelyn Hugo is more than Evelyn Hugo the starlet and the one that America worships in cinematic history… This is about a woman that literally grabbed life by the balls and made incredibly hard decisions. She hardly apologized for the choices that she made in her life and she has ne regrette…(No regrets)…
Your turn: What do you think? Am I missing out by not reading The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo?
Get in My Kindle: Well Read Black Girl
Happy Monday, fellow book lovers! If you’re a lover of essay collections, today’s Get in My Kindle might be right up your alley. This book will also appeal to those seeking to add more diversity to their reading list. *Thus far, Get in My Kindle is not a sponsored post, and I haven’t been given an advance reader copy of the book featured. I’m simply sharing the books I’m interested in reading as soon as they come out.
Title: Well-Read Black Girl: Finding Our Stories, Discovering Ourselves
Author: Glory Edim
Release Date: October 30, 2018
Description: Remember that moment when you first encountered a character who seemed to be written just for you? That feeling of belonging remains with readers the rest of their lives—but not everyone regularly sees themselves on the pages of a book. In this timely anthology, Glory Edim brings together original essays by some of our best black women writers to shine a light on how important it is that we all—regardless of gender, race, religion, or ability—have the opportunity to find ourselves in literature.
Contributors include Jesmyn Ward (Sing, Unburied, Sing), Lynn Nottage (Sweat), Jacqueline Woodson (Another Brooklyn), Gabourey Sidibe (This Is Just My Face), Morgan Jerkins (This Will Be My Undoing), Tayari Jones (An American Marriage), Rebecca Walker (Black, White and Jewish), and Barbara Smith (Home Girls: A Black Feminist Anthology)
Whether it’s learning about the complexities of femalehood from Zora Neale Hurston and Toni Morrison, finding a new type of love in The Color Purple, or using mythology to craft an alternative black future, the subjects of each essay remind us why we turn to books in times of both struggle and relaxation. As she has done with her book club–turned–online community Well-Read Black Girl, in this anthology Glory Edim has created a space in which black women’s writing and knowledge and life experiences are lifted up, to be shared with all readers who value the power of a story to help us understand the world and ourselves.
Why I Can’t Wait to Read: I’ve been watching what the Well Read Black Girl brand has been doing for quite some time. As a well read black girl myself, I’ve loved using their website and book club to find books recommendations I wouldn’t have come across otherwise. I was very excited to see that founder Glory Edim was putting together a collection with many contemporary authors whose work I admire. When I learned the focus of the collection was on representation in literature and included stories of when these amazing authors first saw themselves in literature, I knew I had to get my hot little hands on it. I’m a reader who loves reading about when others fell in love with books and reading, when they first saw themselves in a story, and when they first became a reader or writer, and the fact that this collection includes stories of women of color gave it a special twist for me. I wonder if any of the books that changed me will make an appearance in the essays, and if my new favorite writers have a personal connection to the works of my favorite classic authors. I’m fascinated by other authors’ influences, so I’m counting the moments until I get to devour this one.
Amazon Associate links:
Are you a fan of essay collections? Will Well Read Black Girl make your TBR pile? Any other essay collections or diverse literature you’re looking forward to this fall? Let me know in the comments section!
Alex’s FOMO Book List
TGIF, fellow book lovers! Erica here to introduce a fun post from Alex of CatFairy Books all about FOMO books. As you know from my previous post, a FOMO book is a buzzed about book that you haven’t read and aren’t sure if you’re missing out or not missing a thing. You, the readers, get to tell us which books we should absolutely read and which ones we can totally pass on. Which books on this list should Alex read? Let her know in the comments!
My Fomo Books…
Guys if you know me I am always experiencing the feeling of FOMO! (FOMO stands for Fear of Missing Out.) Now I am a huge YA fan but I personally feel like I hopped on the YA train a bit too late! I started to really delve and obsess over the world of YA about two years ago. What I discovered is that there are so many books that were published about two or three years before I discovered YA that still have so much hype and unfortunately I haven’t read any of these books! And then there were books that were published back when I was in the late teens that I should have read and finished a very long time ago! This is when the FOMO feeling breaks in…
Here is my list of FOMO Books! (Prepare yourselves, don’t yell at me!)
The Harry Potter Series…
I know gasp! What is wrong with me?! I started to read the Harry Potter series back when I was 19 and stopped when I got to the third book!
I am known to be absolutely terrible when it comes to finishing a book series! Fortunately, I am now officially catching up to the Harry Potter series! I just finished the audible version of Order of the Phoenix and I only have two more books left to go! Audible has been a lifesaver for me when it comes to catching up on books!
When I first got into YA all I would hear about on BookTube was Sarah J. Mass and the ACOTAR series! I was so intrigued to read it because they described The Court of Thorns and Roses to have a Beauty and the Beast vibe! Beauty and the Beast retellings are my jam and I will read any well-written Beauty and the Beast story! Unfortunately, I just never got a chance to read it because I kept getting distracted by other books that were recently released already! (Recently released books are evil!) Now I am actually FINALLY picking up the ACOTAR series! I just started reading the first 50 pages of The Court of Thrones and Roses and so far the story is very intriguing!
Honestly, it doesn’t many any sense that I haven’t read this book yet because I am a complete SUCKER for YA contemporary books! I gobble them up like I gobble up my pastelitos de guayaba!
Fangirl is about a blogger who writes Harry Potter like fanfiction! I mean really…I need to read this because this book has me written all over it! Although I did read Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell thinking it was a good start to introduce myself to the world of Rainbow Rowell but now I want to kick myself! Eleanor and Park wasn’t a favorite for me to say the least and I wish I started with Fangirl! TBR goals!
The Sun is Also a Star
This book has been sitting on my bookshelf for way too long! I read Everything, Everything last summer and I completely fell in love with it! I couldn’t stop reading it and even though I wasn’t thrilled with the ending I am in love with Nicola Yoon’s writing! See my book review about it here.
The Sun is Also a Star got amazing reviews and it looks like the perfect contemporary read to get you out of those dreaded book funks! The book is essentially a romance of two strangers meeting in the bustling city of New York and falling in love but it’s not only about romance. One of the main characters finds that her family is going to get deported to Jamaica and this is when the conflict ensues… Nicola Yoon is a gifted writer and I can’t wait to finally read this!
Let me know your thoughts in the comments below! Are these books worth a read?! Have you experienced FOMO when it comes to books?! What books are they? I would love to hear your opinions!
You Oughta Know: Book Vloggers
5 Vloggers Who Will Change the Way You View Books
Several years ago, I fell into a YouTube rabbit hole. I clicked on a random recommended video showing a book haul and discovered a whole corner of the video platform dedicated to people who love all the bookish things. One recommendation led to another and suddenly I was subscribed to over 50 channels where I could spend hours getting lost in recommendations, analysis, and videos dedicated to anyone with a literary heart.
I began watching all these videos on a regular basis and I’d be lying if I said they didn’t influence my reading choice and my book buying habits. I quickly grew to love this community that prided itself on connecting with others over their literary adventures. It wasn’t like a book club, per se, but it felt like a conversation with friends who dearly love the same things I did. For a while I even created my own BookTube videos and learned to appreciate the camaraderie from all sides. After all these years I still have favorite BookTube vloggers whose videos I watch instantly. They all have their merits and styles, but what they have in common is a love of books and reading that could make a reader out of anyone.
1. Jen Campbell – Jen is an author, poet, podcaster, bookseller, and fairytale love. Her channel was one of my first BookTube finds. She shares book hauls, intimate reviews, recommendations, and so much more. While she’s a literary judge of several book prize competitions, she’s extremely down to earth and makes books approachable by everyone. Check out her fairytale video on the history of Sleeping Beauty!
2. Jean BookishThoughts – Jean made me fall in love with antiquity. She studies Greek and Roman works of literature and brings such a young eye to works we might otherwise dismiss. She runs a book club through Goodreads called “The Feminist Orchestra” and it’s incredible. Not only does she share recommendations, but she also gives in-depth looks into her university studies and her Ph.D. program. Check out her review of “The Gracekeepers.”
3. Climb the Stacks – I consider this to be a very academic channel, but that’s why I love it! When Ashley shares her reviews and analysis of different books it’s like talking to the most awesome English teacher ever. She just has a way of making the most difficult literature feel approachable. While she doesn’t upload as frequently as others, her videos are worth waiting for. Check out her playlist on different book genres.
4. Books and Pieces – Elizabeth is an amazing vlogger, bringing such a fun energy when she talks about books. Much of her channel focuses on Science Fiction, but she does an amazing job sharing aspects of books in general. She is also one of the few vloggers who gives a realistic view into the ‘behind the scenes’ side of the book industry. Check out her playlist on bookish jobs and careers.
5. Elena Reads Books – Elena is like the mom friend we all wish we had! She is outgoing, fun, and covers such a variety that it’s hard to put her into one category. She makes such great reading choices and rarely do I watch one of her videos without adding at least a couple books to my wish list. Check out her best books of 2017.
There are so many wonderful vloggers bringing books to the front and center. Show these BookTubers some love and I promise you won’t be disappointed. If you end up down the bookish rabbit hole, however, I take no responsibility!
Did we miss your favorite booktuber(s)? Share them in the comments!
Writing Wednesday: Critique Partners
Happy Wednesday, fellow readers! Erica here. I don’t know about you, but this week has been super busy for me. Yesterday I focused on finding some job opportunities that might get me started in my dream career, something that brings me closer to full time writing and publishing work. For this Writing Wednesday, I wanted to focus on the unsung heroes of the publication journey: critique partners.
Critique partners are often the unsung heroes of the publication journey. It’s difficult for me to give you any advice on how to find these everyday superheroes because I found my critique buddies in a unique way. My two critique partners and I all entered a writing contest sponsored by a publisher and subsequently joined a Facebook group for writers seeking publication with this particular publisher. Within the group, everyone who wanted to find critique partners added their name and writing genre to a list to be matched. Dana, Christina and I were matched because we all wrote inspirational romance, although at the time I wrote contemporary, Christina wrote historical, and Dana wrote suspense.
Starting in December of 2013, we exchanged chapters on a weekly or bi-weekly basis until we shared our full manuscript. There are several benefits to having a good critique partner:
- Accountability. I knew I had to work on my writing every week to prepare for chapter swaps. To this day, I know I can count on them to hold me to my deadlines and goals.
- Work Ethic. Knowing I had to send my chapter each week pushed me to polish my work carefully. I went over my work several times for consistency, continuity, and voice in addition to copyediting and proofreading. I learned how to revise and self-edit effectively through my relationship with my critique partners.
- Feedback. My critique partners provided me with invaluable feedback. Not even a beta reader could have done a better job. Because we were targeting the same publisher, we could read each other’s work with their guidelines and wish list in mind. As fellow writers and readers, we could read for enjoyment and the story as well as read as writers.
- Support. It has been a great support to me to have people in my life who understand the joys and struggles of the writing life. They are there to celebrate contest wins or manuscript requests and commiserate when rejections come in. They make themselves available for writing sprints. They listen to me talking through my current struggles with a story. Having someone in your life who “gets it” and is interested in the ins and outs of your story makes the load a little bit easier.
Many people know the benefits of having a critique partner, but how do you find one? How can you find a trustworthy person to share your work with? We’ll discuss this next week.
Do you have a critique partner? If so, how did you find them? If not, would you like to find one?