Saturday, May 19, 2012

My Personal Pep Squad


Inspired by Amy Christine Parker's  blog post about her writing cheerleaders, I decided to give a shout out to some of my own.

Ruth Lauren Steven



Anyone following my blog has heard of Ruth Lauren Steven. She’s an author of ridiculously amazing books for teens, and is represented by Julia Churchill of The Greenhouse Literary Agency. She’s also my critique partner. But way before all of that, Ruth and I were just a couple of newbie authors on the writing website Writersbeat.com. After a brief online fisticuffs initiated by me (Seriously, I am such a bitch), Ruth and I began exchanging chapters of our books. Not long thereafter, we became the best of friends. Over the course of two years, Ruth has read Every. Single. Word I have ever written, from the hilarious beginning, when I thought it was a good idea to start a book describing weather, to the twelve versions of The Witch Hunter’s Bible, and yet somehow seems to want to read more. Even though she has 4 kids and her own books to write, she always happily critiques every thing I send her way, as soon as I’ve sent it her way. Her advice is completely invaluable, spot on, honest, and effing hilarious.

Writing aside, I can (and do) email Ruth about anything and everything, without ever having to worry about censoring what I say because it’s horribly politically incorrect and just plain horrible, because I know that Ruth will never judge me, and will likely respond with at least two f-bombs to my one. I’ve never even met Ruth, but she’s one of my closest friends. I’m so lucky to have her, and back off she’s mine.

Brandy Allard 



Like Ruth, my twin sister Brandy has read every single word I’ve ever written. But unlike with Ruth, I have Brandy’s phone number and therefore can harass her about my books via phone calls and text message, in addition to email. You’d think she’d get annoyed of me begging for help fixing plot issues or forcing her to hear my ten thousand New Ideas, but if she does she’s very good at hiding it with squeals and happy clapping. From Day 1, Brandy has always been my biggest writing supporter. She read my first book, and even though I trunked it, she never once wavered in her belief I’d be a bestselling author one day. Every new chapter of The Witch Hunter's Bible I sent her way got sent back within twenty minutes time, along with an amazing, detailed critique. She has an astounding ability to spot plot holes and areas of weakness big and small, as well as a talent for making me feel good with her various exclamations marks, LOLs, LMFAOs, and ‘this is totally getting published’.  She also plotted my whole novel. 


Have I mentioned Brandy’s my biggest supporter? She arranged a family dinner to celebrate my first publication (a short story in a obscure magazine). Yet another dinner, this time with a gift basket of, like, a zillion bestseller books, along with a card that said my book would be in there soon, after I’d landed my agent. And got my whole family to pitch in for a freaking MACBOOK PRO when I got my book deal. I know, right? I couldn’t ask for a better cheerleader, sister, or friend. 

Brandy’s also a talented author of YA fiction. You’ll be hearing more about her soon, and not just from me. I’m sure of it.

Adriann Ranta 



I’ve loved my agent Adriann Ranta from my very first communication with her, when she requested to see my full manuscript if it was still available. If it was still available! As in, she thought it might not be. But I knew Adriann was the agent for me during our first telephone conversation, when she gushed profusely about my book much in the way that I would about a book I loved. Which is to say, a lot. She has a talent for finding just the right thing to say to both warm my heart and make my ego grow twelve times its size (which my family and friends don’t thank her for). Adriann strikes a perfect balance between serious and fun. She also has an impressive editorial eye, a sound business mind, and an insane work ethic. Plus she got me a book deal with Random House. So yeah, love her.  


There are others, of course. But they’ll have to wait to read the acknowledgements page of The Witch Hunter’s Bible, because this post is long enough already. Speaking of the acknowledgements page, I just finished a solid chunk of mine with this post! Hells yeah! 


And don't forget to enter my contest, in which one lucky follower of my blog will win a free copy of Insurgent, Cinder, and Under The Never Sky!




19 comments:

  1. Ahhh gotta love the personal cheerleaders! I don't know what I'd do without people like this. (minus the agent, of course--not there yet...) I'd probably just curl up in a ball of insecurity and chocolate and weep on my manuscripts.

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  2. So glad my post got you writing this one! Srsly, what would we do without these people? And let me say that I am also lucky to have met you and Ruth! You guys crack me up regularly and exactly when I need a good laugh!

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  3. Finest description of weather I'd ever seen! : D

    I have one of these posts of my own lined up (thanks Amy :)) so now it's absolutely my mission in life to make you cry with it since I had to blink a lot in order to read the bit about me three times : D

    <3 you!

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    1. It won't be difficult since I can cry at the drop of a hat, but give it a good go anyway, if you like :P

      Love you too!

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  4. What wonderful support! You're blessed. :-)

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  5. Wow, what a great bunch of cheerleaders you have.

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  6. LOVED this post. Came at such a good time. Just graduated (can you believe it) from uni with a Bachelor's in Creative Writing. I am so grateful to have friends from the major/program who along with me went crazy over our writing but also supported each other. I also have great online critique partners.... I would not have the progress I do without all of those people.
    Oh and a shout out to my mom and dad, LOL, who keep blabbing to EVERYONE that I wrote a book and an agent was interested (she wants R+R). Love them but....really......do they have to tell EVERYONE? :-P

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    1. Huge congrats, Rachel! That's majorly aweseome!

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  7. Aww, this post made me tear up! So sweet!

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  8. It's so awesome to have supportive friends. I think every writer needs one or two. Or better yet, a group of friends to help them get through the nitty-gritty aspects of writing. :)

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  9. cheerleaders and supportive friends are SO important! It's great to have honest feedback and encouragement, or someone to give you a wack upside the head if you're having a meltdown, lol. My author friend had to do that the other day when I was freaking out about the revisions I had to do.

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    1. Oh, revisions! I have to tackle those soon, and I'm REALLY going to be needing my pep squad then!

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