Posted on September 14, 2010 - by Shannon Vannatter
Once again, reading has been the thing I do least. With new writing projects, marketing, a husband, an eight year-old, and a church family, something had to give. And sadly it’s been reading. No matter how crazy life gets, I make time to read at least one chapter of the Bible daily. And I’m reading Lorna’s, Making Waves. But since I read about thirty minutes two or three times a week before I go to bed and in the pickup line when I go to get my son from school, it’ll take weeks to finish it.
Though I read this book a chapter at a time every three weeks, when the working title was Summer of Truth, it’s fun to see the story in book form, with a really great cover and Lorna’s picture on the back. It’s fun to see what she implemented of my critique advice and what she ignored. And she was right in both cases. But a few weeks ago, before I received my copy of Making Waves, I cleared my calendar and made time for a new writer.
And oh am I glad I did. This book has gripping characters to root for, a wonderful sweet romance, conflict galore, emotional baggage, and a wonderful inspirational theme of letting go and letting God. The adventure-seeking hero was absolutely yummy and the play-it-safe heroine so deserving of his affections. The timely subject matter and pacing of this book jolted me through the pages. I couldn’t wait to see what happened next. And every time I thought the characters would get a break, boom things would get worse, which kept me turning the pages to see what happened next. Yet the writer managed to bring it all to a logical resolution. One of those sweet, perfect endings that makes you sigh with satisfaction.
So, who is the new writer I’ve discovered. Our very own, Brenda. Poor Brenda got lost in the shuffle of mine and Lorna’s dueling deadlines. She critiqued her little heart out on our work, taking extra time to read full manuscripts in a couple of week’s time before we turned them into our editors. In the meantime, critiques on her WIP got pushed aside. So after my last deadline to turn in book 3, I told Brenda to send me the full of her new romance she’d written. She did, three months ago.
Then school let out. An all consuming, only child was home alone and bored. We invited friends over, but we’re talking boys, so that just meant double supervision. Plus, I had editing deadlines, a couple of family trips, speaking engagements, and trying to spruce up my hopefully next series to send to my editor. I didn’t touch Brenda’s book all summer.
School started again and suddenly my productivity went into overdrive. Within a week and a half, I finished my manuscript and sent it to my editor. Since I felt so badly about neglecting Brenda, I set a week aside to critique hers. And thoroughly enjoyed every minute. Brenda will be pitching Flying Lessons to agents and editors this weekend in Indy. I’m praying they’ll enjoy it as much as I did, so that one day I can hold it in book form with a great cover and Brenda’s picture on the back and read for pure pleasure.
Have you ever discovered a pre-published author who made you feel like an agent or editor discovering the next big thing?