Saturday, January 25, 2014

Celebrating Four Great Aussies

If I’d written this a few years back, never in my wildest imaginings would I have guessed my writing life to turn out as it has. I’d hoped to become a published author, but hope and expect are very different things. I also didn’t figure on having my publishing life center in Australia.

Today, for the Aussie Owned and Read Blog Hop and to celebrate Australia Day,  I’d like to give credit where it’s due to some wonderful and talented Aussies…my publishing family.

Let’s start where it started then, shall we? I’d entered my information on a critique partner Meet and Greet, feeling like a eleven year old boy at a Jr. High School dance. I was nervous I’d be left without a hand to hold at the end of the evening, but that wasn’t’ the case. Through it, I connected with several great writers and one of them was Stacey Nash.

At that time we were both just starting our journey in publishing, seeking to grow as writers. Since then, Stacey has written several novels and her first, Forget Me Not, is due out in February through Entranced Publishing. She lent her keen eye to the manuscript of my first novel, Tearing the Shroud and we’ve become good friends in the process. I owe a lot to Stacy, not just for the editing. You see, it was Stacey who first pointed me to my publisher, Escape. Had she not encouraged me to contact them, I’d never thought to do so and I can’t thank her enough. The funny thing is, she’s an Aussie, published with a US company, and I’m a Yank working with and AU one...go figure.

This leads to my second honoree, Kate Cuthbert. I’d queried Tearing the Shroud with thirty-four agents and publishers and received a lot of encouraging feedback, but Kate industry person to fall in love with the story. She took a chance on this new writer, in an upcoming category (NA) and gave fantastic and patient support to me. She’s endured all my mistakes and questions, even taking the time to Skype with me before I signed the contract. This wasn’t just to get me in the door. Kate is a wonderful person, who continues to stay in touch, working to unsure Escape, and each of its authors, grows and progresses in a healthy way. Kate even paired me with someone to help with my blurb, Ainslie Paton, the next honoree.

Ainslie is a multi-published author with well over a million words in print, read any of her books…you won’t be disappointed. Even with all this experience, she accepted the challenge Kate gave, and helped me polish my blurb to its current sheen, but it didn’t end there. I felt a working connection with Ainslie and hoped she did as well. So, when the blurb was done, I offered to read one of her unpublished works and give comments. She accepted and it turned into an amazing working relationship as we critique each other’s work. She doesn’t let me get away with anything that’s off in my writing, challenging me to go deeper and push myself. My second novel, Mending the Shroud, would not be what it is without her. It will (hopefully) be out later this year through Escape.

Our last honoree comes in this place only due to being the last I’d met. Belinda Holmes is an outstanding editor. Escape paired me with her to work on Tearing the Shroud…talk about a lucky draw! She is a delight and gives insights that fill in the small gaps in my work. I’d thought of editors as cutting out the unneeded items, sliming down a novel to its slickest form but under her watchful eye my novel grew by ten thousand words. It is a much better story for having Belinda on the team. But more than that, she fell head over heels in love with it and that’s something I cherish more than I can express. I’ve requested her as my editor with all my Escape novels.

So, Stacey, Kate, Ainslie, and Belinda…here’s to you…four amazing Aussies. Happy Australia Day!

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