*imagines a bunch of women running around with additional appendages*
Um...what was I trying to say?
Oh! Right. Sorry, my brain's a little loopy today--but I do have a point, I swear. And it's that I don't know if it takes a village to raise a child, but I do know that it DEFINITELY takes a village to write a book.
The whole 'reclusive writer' thing is wrong. I'm sure there's a FEW exceptions, but most of the time--even when I look at history--I see writers flocking around each other. Just look at neighborhoods like Saint-Germain-des-Pres in Paris. They had Les Deux Magots. And we have the Blogosphere.
It's where I found all the awesome people I now lean on extensively--and I would be lost without my backup. LOST!!!!!
So I thought I'd take a minute to give them a shout out, and to show the world (or, well, the few thousand of you) just how much help this silly blonde girl needs to make a book happen.
Sara McClung: The Writing Twin
One of 'The Sara(h)s'--my core CPs. Not only are our blog names thesorized versions of each other (and yes, thesorized is not a word--but Sara and I have decided it should be), but I can't even begin to tell you how many times we'll suggest the same thing within seconds of each other during a brainstorming chat. She's got a sharp eye, is AMAZING at cleaning up my clunky, wordy sentences, and I know she sees my projects the same way I do. So whenever I consider a major change, she's my go to girl. I can always count on her to help me figure out what's right for my book. Bonus: she never complains about reading things multiple times, which is good, because she's now read my drafts about as many times as I have.
Sarah Wylie: The Cheerleader
The other Sara(h)--though certainly not lesser, by ANY stretch of the imagination. I'm not sure anyone puts more happy faces, lols, or compliments in a critique, and I swear she loves my characters more than I do (I've even turned her into a cougar, at 21-years-old, no less). She's also been known to ship special 'revision Twizzlers' all the way from Canada to keep me going. But that's not to say she goes easy on me. She's awesome at spotting mistakes, and it was with her guidance--and repeated reads (when she was in the middle of finals) that I FINALLY nailed the hardest scene in my book.
C.J. Redwine: The Butt-Kicker
C.J. was the first writer to read my pages and the first person (who wasn't married to me or my parent) to tell me I was 'the real deal.' Then holy wow did she whip me into shape with her yellow-highlighter-of-doom. She is smart and honest and brutal and even though I have needed many deep breaths before reading her notes, they always make my pages better. Her query and synopsis workshops were a Godsend, and I can honestly say I would not have an agent without them--especially since C.J. was also the one who kicked me into the querying pool with her #HitSend Twitter Campaign. She's become the voice of reason, the person I call when I need some honest advice, and a lifeline I probably rely on too much. But I'm a better writer because of her. Even if I've had to make Were-Platypus cupcakes and humiliating vlogs. ;)
Elana Johnson: The Pro
The second I read Elana's blog I thought, yep, this is someone I NEED to know. We'd been in touch before WriteOnCon, but really bonded during the hundreds or thousands of emails it took to put that together, and now she's stuck with me. Muwhahahaha! :) She's an expert on promotion, a force when it comes to blogging, the querying Ninja, and has answered countless questions for me over time. She's also talked me down off the ledge when I needed her to, and has given me some incredibly helpful notes. I love that she never lets anything stop her--something I SO aspire to emulate--and she's one of the most hardworking people I know (in fact, sometimes I wonder if she has a couple extra hours in the day) :)
Whenever anything goes wrong: a scene isn't working, a character is driving me crazy--or maybe I have to make a big decision and don't know what to do--these are my go to girls. But they're not the only ones I turn to. Lisa and Laura Roecker, Jamie Harrington, Karen Amanda Hooper, Stephanie Perkins, PJ Hoover, Lisa Schroeder, Kimberly Derting and SO many others (Sorry, I know I'm probably forgetting a million of you--my brain is tired today. Please forgive me if I forgot you) have all taken the time to give me a wealth of help and advice along my journey. And I will continue to turn to them as I walk this difficult and confusing path. (Sorry guys--you're stuck with me)
So yeah, it takes a village to write a book, and I think it's important to sometimes take a second and really thank the people who are part of that village. So THANK YOU! Anyone who reads this blog, leaves me comments, follows me on twitter, or reads my emails--thank you!
And now I'll leave the comments section open to you guys, to give shout outs to the people who help you. Who's part of your village? And what makes them so awesome?