Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Adrienne Kress, Timothy, Alex, and Kenny

Good Morning!

One of the coolest things about being an author is making author friends. Authors are some of the nicest people I have ever met. And they come with the bonus of fun books to read too! (Really, how many friends come with bonus features??)

One of my favorite author friends is Adrienne Kress, author of a MG novel called Alex and the Ironic Gentleman. Fun FUN book that has such a classic feel to it. All of the chapters are called "In Which . . . . " As Eoin Colfer said, "There was a nod to Lewis Carroll and a wink to Charles Dickens." And it is such an apt description!

The reason I'm mentioning this is that Adrienne's second book is being released today! Timothy and the Dragon's Gate. More of the same classic voice, zany adventures with hidden meaning, and unforgettable characters. And speaking of unforgettable characters . . . Alex is back! She makes an appearance and Timothy's Comrade in Arms! I am so excited for that!

So seriously, if you are looking for an example of literary-esque writing in a story that is unput-downable, check out Adrienne's books. Also, you can check out her blog or her website.:)

Congratulations Adrienne!!!

I don't brag about my husband very often *attempts to hold a straight face* Okay, fine. I brag about him all the time.:) But I'm going to do it again. My husband is an incredible editor. He's a great second eye for all of my books and if I am willing to listen, he always knows how to make it better.

He's my cheerleader, but not in the way you would think.

Here is how the situation generally goes. I finish my book. I don't hand him a first draft. I clean it up, do usually 2-4 drafts, find every typo I can, etc. So I hand him something that I would feel confident handing in to my agent. And there is always one part that I am so tickled for him to read because, Man! I really think I've nailed it!

He's fast. He usually gets it back to me in a day or two. And we do track changes for his comments and edits. I always get it and start at the beginning, meaning to go slowly through the whole thing. There are comments and edits that make me go, man, I suck! But eventually, I skip them and go right to the part I am SURE I've nailed.

And I have never, not once!, actually nailed it.

And even though I always hate it at the moment, I love that my husband is brave enough to tell me so.

He really is my cheerleader. But instead of cheering, "Yay! You can do it! You're the most awesome author ever!!" He cheers more like this: "Yay, you're done with a first draft! Now make it better!"

Kenny's edits are always tough on my confidence. Because he is brutally honest. But they make my book SO much better. Plus, when I am slaving away at my edits and inevitably have to turn to him and ask, "Is this just a bad book?" He will always come back and remind me that it's a great book . . . it's just not done yet.

I hope you all have someone like this in your life. Someone willing to shatter your illusions. Who will help you see that you are not at the top of the mountain, you're only halfway. And then give you a boost to start climbing again.

But they are only half of the equation. The other half is you. You have to listen.

Is my husband right all the time? No, of course not. I ignore some of his suggestions. (usually the little ones.) But most of the time, he is.

Plus, he gets me prepared for my ed letter from Tara because she does not pull any punches. And my books are way, way better for it.

I love my cheerleader.:)



Elise Murphy said...

I am blessed to have my very own at-home-editor, too. I call him Mr. Encyclopedia Man because not only is he a great editor and cheerleader but he knows something about just about everything, or at least knows to tell me to go look it up. He starts his critiques with praise and then generally comes to the point where he says, "This is a good start . . . " I have writing friends whose spouses have NEVER read their books. I'm pretty lucky.

Mim said...

My husband edits for me that way as well. He really gets what will make the story stronger. He is good at pointing out things that I'm on the verge of doing that will help tip the story from okay to great. I'm grateful that he is so supportive.

Thanks for sharing.

K. M. Walton said...

Hubby T is my number one fan and supporter. He reads every word and writes all over it, with intelligent feedback. My mom is also from that mold too- encouragement & meaningful feedback.

*Kara* said...

Go Kenny!

Miranda said...

Can you find me a cheerleader like that??

Jamie Ford said...

My wife is a phenomenal reader/editor/coach/cheerleader. Plus she totally calls me on it whenever I get lazy with my writing.