Hello everyone! Today I am very excited to welcome three lovely authors to the blog: Kate Lowell, Genna Donaghy, and Jena Wade. These ladies all have new releases out and are here to share more about their books. They are also offering four giveaways for four lucky readers. So please join me in giving them a big welcome!
Well, here we are. Three lovely Loose Id Ladies, new authors all of us. What do we have in common?
We all belong to the same critique group.
In honor of the two month anniversary of Bite Me Tender (Kate Lowell), the one month anniversary of Touch Me Not (Genna Donaghy) and the release day (October 22–hooray!) of Shoes & Ties (Jena Wade) and Forgotten Menagerie (October 18th–Kate Lowell), we decided to have a post/party and a giveaway!
So, we got together in Google Docs and this is what happened:
I can see you typing and it’s creepy! 🙂 – Jenn 🙂
Isn’t it, though? But cool, too. – Kitty
Right? I feel like I should be able to talk out loud to you… people might look at me funny though.
As long as we’re entertaining, it’s all good. So, be funny! That’s an order! – Kitty
Questions! We need questions! *Rubs the Magic Genie Lamp* Genna, put him down. And Jena, I see that butterfly net! *grumbles* It’s like living with hormone addled toddlers around here. Or my editor–it’s kind of the same thing. – Kitty
How has being in a group changed how you write?
Genna: It hasn’t changed how I write, so much as it’s made me a bolder writer. Now I know I have good, brutal friends who will tell me if something isn’t working. So there’s less second guessing and more throwing stuff at the wall to see if it’ll stick.
Kitty: I’ll second Genna’s comment. I’m naturally a little ‘out of the box’–having a group that applauded experimentation and was willing to help me massage something until it worked was a huge boost in teaching me to trust my instincts. Oh, and I use many fewer ‘ing’ verbs now. (Thanks, Jan!)
Genna: You? Out of the box? I don’t see it. 😛
Jena: OMG – My writing changed soooo much. Ya’ll remember what Shoes & Ties looked like when I submitted my first chapter. It’s funny because I was so proud of it. *Sigh* what little I knew then, and really, how little I still know – but I got ya’ll to continue teaching me.
Genna: And then you got published. So there. We’re all learning.
Kitty: Totally. And then we forget stuff, and everyone points it out and we blush.
Jena: I hate when that happens – makes me want to call Mulligen and resubmit 🙂
What are some of the upsides you noticed in the group?
Genna: It’s fun to interact with writers who share a passion for the same genre. We have shifter romances, contemporary, historical, short stories, novellas, etc. Everyone shares and crits each other. It’s great.
Kitty: You can get ideas and have a lot of fun when you’re in a group that focuses on the same genre. We can talk about things almost in a short-hand manner and everyone gets it. Also, we are totally cross-promoting and helping each other out like fiends.
Jena: reading good work for free? LOL. Just kidding, but that is partly true. I think we’re lucky to have such a diverse group. Yeah, we all write M/M (as well as other stuff) but we have such diverse backgrounds, likes/dislikes, and all of that. I’m the romantic sap of the group who always wants a HEA with an detailed epilogue that wraps everything up in a neat little bow 🙂
Kitty: Responsibility. It’s kind of scary to know that someone is going to make changes to their manuscript according to comments you make. What if you were wrong? What if the vast majority of people wouldn’t find it a problem? What if my grammar sucks?
Genna: I suck at the whole ‘deadline’ thing, and usually upload my own work sporadically. It’s sad that I’m better organized at critiquing than uploading, but the schedule does force me somewhat on track.
Jena: …. I got nothing.
Why is it important that people other than you read your story before you send it out?
Genna: For the same reason it’s a good idea to check you don’t have any breakfast stuck in your teeth before you go to a job interview.
Kitty: Because we all have our own verbal or written tics, like my -ing verbs, or a tendency to latch onto a word and use it ad nauseum. Someone else’s eyes will tell you if your darlings are slowly strangling your story to death.
Jena: I still have so much to learn – I couldn’t imagine not having someone look over my work. Plus I still do not understand grammar. At all. I’m terrible. You’d think I’d have caught on by now.
One important thing about being in a group?
Genna: Give as much (preferably more) than you receive. Learning to point out issues in other’s writing often helps to strengthen your own.
Kitty: It can keep you going when your own life gets tough. To know someone is depending on you to critique their work, or someone is eagerly waiting for your next chapter…well, sometimes that’s the inspiration you need to keep you in the writer’s mindset when all the world seems determined to keep you out of it.
Jena: I agree with both prior comments – especially give as much as you receive (if possible) sometimes I feel like I can’t contribute as much since I’m still a newbie, but I’m improving in my writing and critting ability, and that’s what counts.
Genna: Yes, just like in sex it can be as much fun to give as to receive…
Kitty: Aaaaaand, here we are, back in the gutter, thanks to Genna. (Why do we always end up in the gutter?) Good thing we keep extra wine down here. *Pours for everyone* Now be careful with that, ladies, we don’t want any untoward incidents. Remember our last party? I was digging frosting covered Navy SEALs out my couch for days. They take so long to clean up properly…
Tips for giving/receiving critiques?
Kitty: Remember to point out the good bits, too. And make sure you explain why something doesn’t work for you, don’t just say it doesn’t work. If that’s all you give me, I’m much less likely to take it into consideration, simply because it doesn’t tell me what direction I need to change the text in.
Genna: What Kitty said. Also, if you find a critique harsh, it’s helpful to step away from the computer for a few hours or close the doc for a couple days. Often when you return you can see the truth in the suggestions.
Jena: Being a big girl is important, but I also think the critter should be mindful of how things are worded – use your “I sentences” (anyone do this in therapy? *crickets* anyone?) – Phrase your comments as “I don’t think this works. I don’t understand. I think it would work better this way…” Rather than, “this is terrible. This makes no sense. This is how it should be done.”
Kitty: Good one, Jena. Yeah. No one is the be all and end all of ‘what is right’. All you can do is talk about your own experience in reading the text. Definitely a YMMV situation.
What are we giving away again? Oh yeah, our stories…
Jena: Shoes & Ties Contemporary MM
Genna: Touch Me Not. Western BDSM MM
Kate: Bite Me Tender (werewolf/witch MM)
Forgotten Menagerie (weresquirrels and four other stories)
Kate, Jena, and Genna are giving away the four books listed just above. Leave a comment for your chance to enter. The first name drawn will have first choice and so on until all four are awarded. The contest closes on Thursday, October 17th at 11:59 pm EST.
- By entering the giveaway, you’re confirming that you are at least 18 years old.
- Winners will be selected by random number. No purchase necessary to win. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning.
- If you win, you must respond to my email within 48 hours or another winner may be chosen. Please make sure that your spam filter allows email from Joyfully Jay.
- Winners may be announced on the blog following the contest. By entering the contest you are agreeing to allow your name to be posted and promoted as the contest winner by Joyfully Jay.
- Prizes will be distributed following the giveaway either by Joyfully Jay or the person/organization donating the prize.
- By entering you are agreeing to hold Joyfully Jay harmless if the prize or giveaway in some way negatively impacts the winner.
- Readers may only enter once for each contest. Duplicate entries for the same giveaway will be ignored. In the event of technical problems with the blog during the contest, every effort will be made to extend the contest deadline to allow for additional entries.
- Void where prohibited by law.