Penny spent the year in flux: first she was hot, then she needed a makeover, then she was back-burnered, resurrected, strengthened, shaped up (and not with Spanx) and sent back out to the publishing front lines. But like any challenge, she’s stronger for it.
I spent a lot of time working on Ocean Effect, taking in feedback and making it a tighter, more suspenseful story. I couldn’t have done it without several great friends and people, as well as the mysterious agents and editors I submitted my manuscript to.
Diane O’Connell, my editor from Write to Sell Your Book, is judicious with the red pen, super smart and insightful. Her Novel Writer’s Handbook is an invaluable resource and her wry sense of humor about this industry never fails to provoke a laugh just when I need it.
Hank Phillippi Ryan, one of my favorite authors and all around thoughtful person, whom I met at the NE Crime Bake. Have to admit I was a bit of a fan girl when I met her, asking her to sign her new book, Trust Me. But she is totally down-to-earth, generous with her advice and her time.
Jon Land, another favorite author, whom I had the chance to chat with again at the RI Author Expo recently who asked about my publishing progress. His impromptu request to hear my pitch on the spot and his instant feedback (Have to admit I stuttered) helped tremendously, as did his encouragement and insights on genre.
Check out their books, you won’t be disappointed!
Last but by no means least, my sailor buds who provide inspiration, and my friends and family, many of whom cheerfully submitted to my request to pretend to be in a bookstore, read my first page or chapter and tell me if they’d buy the book. Thanks all!
The takeaway for the year? It’s an immensely subjective business, and what one agent or editor likes makes another one shudder. So it’s all about finding the right one in 2019.
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