Over on YA Highway they are asking a question that I thought would be fun to answer:
Who has helped you on your reading/writing/publishing journey?
My best friend, Rayna, and I love to hike, so in 2009 we took a day trip to play in the mountains and take pictures. While huffing and puffing climbing a steep portion of our hike, we discussed that we each needed something more in life. We had both always dreamed of being writers, but finished nothing. It was then that we vowed to each other to have a finished novel within a year. Through out that year we continued to push and encourage each other. So, Rayna helped me tons. She still critiques my work and listens to me rant.
Now, this next person is an agent. And I know most writers don't mention the actual agents names in their blogs, but I'm going to mention her this time.When I finished my first novel she was the very first agent to ever request anything, and boy did she! A full. Three months later, she not only sent me a sweet reply complimenting my story-telling and writing style, but she offered helpful advice and reassured me that a lack of character depth was VERY normal in first manuscripts. Her name is Rachel, and she didn't have to take the time to outline for me the areas I needed to work on. She is not currently my agent, and since writing that first book I've changed genres to one she doesn't represent. But I think her gentle advice changed the direction of my writing and helped me to hone my skills.
When I wrote my first novel, an author of the same genre befriended me. Her debut novel was about to be released and we became instant online friends. Sarah Sundin has since published two more books with a contract for three more. She has allowed me to email her numerous questions about the business, send her my queries to critique as well as my first three chapters. And not only once. She's critiqued many versions!
Since writing my first novel, I've found many beta readers, and various critique partners who have helped me along the way. Audra, Amanda, and Jeannie to name a few.
My husband has been incredibly encouraging and has recently pushed me to start attending conferences. When he notices that I'm procrastinating sending out queries because I fear rejection, he lights a fire under me to get them sent.
And then there's my daughters. Ah, my daughters. My biggest fans. Especially my oldest, who is an avid book reader and loves to sit behind me reading the words I spill onto the laptop screen.When I receive a rejection letter my oldest daughter gets angry. Of course you can't dislike someone for not having the same taste as you, but I love her passion.
How about you? Do you feel as though you have a supportive net holding you up, or is that net still being woven?