Writing a book isn’t something you (should) do alone. For me, I have multiple readers, graphics help, editing help, and on and on. Never mind my better half, who keeps the coffee flowing and prevents the cat, dog, or friends from breaking my stride. Writing can be very isolating, but it can also be social.
I now have a dedicated group of writing assistants. They are my beta readers. Picky, voracious, and brutally honest readers who don’t mind hurting my feelings… I love them. We fight, we bicker, and together, we make the books better. Among all of that, I have my alpha reader.
She is a true gem. When I lose focus, she puts me back on track. When I find something else shiny, she smacks me upside the head, and points to the unfinished novel I’m in the middle of. And, best of all, she reads the work as it happens.
This is invaluable. For her, she gets to see the story unfold, hear why characters do things, and get a peek inside their minds. For me? Yeah, no longer do I end up wandering chapters down the wrong path. My romeo characters are much less likely to end up gay (yeah, I once had a guy just flip for a scene, then go straight again. Oops!). Places where **I** know what is going on, but the description kinda leaves that out? She makes me fix before I can have continuity issues.
All of this, due to the wonders of google hangouts. I write, finish a chapter, then copy it for her. While she’s at work, being lazy, or doing whatever people do at their own homes (which, obviously, is not compulsively typing words to the next story. That’s just me).
In each book, we get to make a dedication. Now, I understand why these are always so long. I’ve had so many wonderful people pitch in and help push my dream forward. Whether that was reading through multiple attempts at query letters, checking a synopsis, or just hounding me for the next book…. guys, it really makes a difference. Thank you.