March 28th, 2007
I Get By With A Little Help From My Friends

Today I plan to highlight several writers who’ve helped (and continue to help) me with my writing. So yes, this post is going to be biased. That said, I still respect these ladies and the work that they do. If you aren’t reading their work, you’re missing out.

The first person I’d like to mention is Julia Templeton. Julie and I met a few years ago, when we were both looking for new/more critique partners. I fell in love with her work and over time she’s turned into one of my best friends. She released The Bargain, which is a fantastic Norman/Saxon love story. It’s by far my favorite book by her. I love the hero, Renaud. He’s yummy. She has a new historical coming out later this year called Return to Me. It’s a bit of a new direction for Julie, since it’s a vampire romance, but it still contains her trademark sensuality and a classic love story. Go’eth out and purchase’ith now. See, I could write a Medieval. *ggg*

The second person I’d like to mention is Sylvia Day. Some of you might have heard of her. *g* We have critiqued for the past couple of years, schedules willing. I’ve found her insight extremely helpful. She’s been kicking some serious publishing ass lately. Sylvia is another one of those writers that you really can’t go wrong with any of her books. Her latest release, The Stranger I Married has been garnering a lot of attention. Lately, Sylvia has been winning a ton of awards, so if you’ve been wanting to check her out, now is the time. She’s on fire.

The third person I’d like to mention is Vivi Anna. I was a fan of her writing after I read Hungry Like the Wolf and Hell Kat. She’s terrific at action/adventure stories.
Vivi and I met for the first time at RWA in Atlanta last year. I realized after talking to her that our writing would probably mesh well. Am glad I was right. 🙂 Vivi recently came out with a couple of books, the lastest being Bad to the Bone from Loose Id. She also recently released her first Harlequin Nocturne called Blood Secrets. I mentioned this book earlier (ie CSI meets vampires/werewolves/and other creatures) in the month because I thought it was so cool. If you’re into action/adventure with a twist, Vivi is your girl.

The fourth author I’d like to mention is Charlene Teglia. Charli and I started talking several months back. She’s a terrific motivator. Always super positive and scary organized. *g* We do Fast Draft together and she works as a second set of eyes for my books. She writes fun, sensual books that run the gamut from contemporary to fantasy/paranormal. Her next release, Wild, Wild West will be out in August of this year. She has several more books from St. Martin’s lined up in the queue and they are smokin’.

The fifth author I’d like to mention is Cathryn Fox. Like Vivi, I met Cathryn at the RWA conference in Atlanta. She’s not really my critique partner per se, but she’s certainly saved my butt on more than one occasion. She gave me a read through, when no one else was available. I respect her opinions. They’re always spot on. Cathryn has had two recent releases. The first, Pleasure Prolonged, came out in December 06. The latest, Alluring Tales, is an anthology that includes Sylvia Day, Sasha White and Vivi Anna among MANY other talented authors. So if you’ve ever wanted to check her work out, this is the perfect opportunity.

The final author I’d like to mention is Jeaniene Frost. She’s been helping me with my urban fantasy. We haven’t met yet–other than online, but I like her. She has a potty mouth, too. Yes, it’s a point of pride. *ggg* Jeaniene has a kick-ass book coming out in November of this year called Halfway to the Grave. She has written a hero that rivals Henry on the series Blood Ties. His name is Bones. Once you read about him, you are not likely to ever forget him. I’ve already got dibs on him. 😛

Why did I list all these people? Because these writers help me to present the best manuscript that I can to my agent and editors. I know there are a few writers out there who’ve shunned critique partners because they just don’t work for them. I can respect that. I had to go without my normal critique partners, when I sent RED in to Tor. It was an invaluable lesson. One that proved to me that I could write a book without them, if I had to. It doesn’t mean that I liked doing so. And in the end, I still had Cathryn, Charli, my mom and my dh read through that book, before I sent it in.

I consider the people above my giant safety net. They give me the opportunity to continue walking the publishing tightrope without having to worry about plunging to my death. Do you have a safety net? If so, who or what is it?

16 comments to “I Get By With A Little Help From My Friends”

  1. Jordan!!! Who loves ya babe?? LOL I feel the same way. I was fan a long while back adn when I met you at RWA I felt a real kind of karmic connection. And I tell you, you have helped me IMMENSELY with my writing. You rock!

  2. (((Hugs Vivi)))

  3. Awwww. : D Thanks, Jordan, and thanks for being my safety net and reading those sample chapters in a hurry!

    I used to work without CPs, before I sold. But after, the job got bigger and I didn’t get more hours in a day. And I find it really helps to have another perspective when the time crunch is on! You don’t want to have your project turned down by your agent or editor because you probably won’t get a second chance to make a stronger presentation.

    Here’s to the joy of having a safety net.

  4. Potty mouth stopping by to say thanks for the too-kind words, Jordan! 🙂 I’m loving my sneak-peek at your UF. It’s a fun spooky ride and I can’t wait for the rest of it!

    (that was a hint, btw *giggle*)

  5. Charli, Anytime. 🙂 I appreciate that second set of eyes that you willingly lay on my pages. I used to critique with Chey McCray only, but I think we hit each other at the wrong time. We would probably be better critique partners now, than we were when we both started out. I think you’re absolutely right that you only get one chance to make an impression on the powers that be. And these days especially, you better make it count.

  6. Jeaniene, LOL! I mean ‘potty mouth’ endearingly. 🙂 I’m going back to work. 😉

  7. I have a safety net, sort of. LOL I have friends that are writers who will help stave off the panic when it hits, but mostly they’re frineds, not critique partners. If that makes sense?

  8. Oh, I take potty mouth as a compliment! Really, that’s the nicest way I’ve heard anyone describe my language 😉

  9. Potty Mouths rock!

  10. Sasha, That makes sense. Mine just happen to be one and the same. *g*

  11. Jeaniene, You and me both. That’s why I love it when I’m over in London. My language is the norm. *ggg*

  12. Amie, LOL! 🙂

  13. I’m starting to create that safety net you speak of. It’s hard though in a word where it’s all competition, and it’s hard to trust. Call me paranoid. 😉

  14. Tempest, It is difficult. I have more trust issues than concerns with competition. The only person I’m competing with is myself. The success or failure of other writers doesn’t affect my success or failure. Publishing is not a finite pie.

  15. Jordan, thanks so much for the kind words. I’ll always be there for you, just like I know you’ll always be there for me. You’re a wonderful friend and an amazing writer and I totally respect your opinions.

    Now, let me just say, it’s MY pleasure to read your work. To think I got a sneak peak at RED, and your latest UF(Which so totally rocks-I want more by the way!) What an honor!

  16. Cathryn, (((Hugs))) Thank you. More pages are headed your way. 🙂