Beta Readers, Critique Groups

Andrew McDowell

Beta readers help polish writers’ work in preparation for submitting to publishers. Sometimes they work with one another one-on-one. Sometimes they form critique groups, where members share their work and receive critical but constructive feedback from everyone. What makes them helpful and essential is they aren’t necessarily in the publishing profession. They are people whom writers can trust with their earliest, roughest drafts. They are in effect the first step to sharing work with the world.

Some say it’s not a good idea to share drafts with family. Well, family is the first source of encouragement and support, and sometimes there are relatives that can offer constructive feedback. Nevertheless, it’s important to interact with and receive feedback from people who aren’t family, but who are passionate about writing and/or are seeking publication. Sometimes they’re already published, and can offer insights into the process. They will provide more critical and constructive…

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WOLF NOTES: An Uncommon Interview – T J Perkins

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Welcome to WOLF NOTES, where interview questions stray from the rest of the pack. It’s nice to know the usual stuff like where an author gets their inspiration and why they write, but sometimes we need a little fun in our lives.

71208503_725522397963963_7406763108741414912_nTJ Perkins is a gifted and well-respected author in the mystery/suspense Pagan/fantasy genre. Her short stories for young readers have appeared in the Ohio State 6th Grade Proficiency Test Preparation Book, Kid’s Highway Magazine, and Webzine ‘New Works Review,’ just to name a few. She’s placed five times in the CNW/FFWA chapter book competition. Her short story of light horror for YA, The Midnight Watch, was published Oct 2007 by Demon Minds Magazine. Finished works of her young reader’s chapter books are entitled: The Fire and the Falcon (which won two chapter book awards), Wound Too Tight, Mystery of the Attic, and On Forbidden Ground. Published books in the Kim & Kelly Mystery Series include: Fantasies Are Murder, The Secret in Phantom Forest, Trade Secret, Image in the Tapestry (which won a chapter book award) and In the Grand Scheme of Things (all with GumShoe Press 2006). Shadow Legacy series, Silver Leaf Books, book 1 won an award. Four Little Witches, Schiffer Publishing, won the 2016 COVR Visionary Art Award, as well as The Healthy Witch 2019. Mystery of the Attic was made into a play by the Café Theater in NJ, Oct. 2005. TJ has had numerous short stories published in many anthologies 2016-2019.

Wolf: If you could be any animal in the universe, what would it be and why?

T J: Phoenix. Because it will continue to rise from the ashes over and over.

Wolf: And hopefully learn from mistakes. If you had to pick a weapon, what would it be and why?

T J: Bow and arrow. I like silent but deadly

Wolf: That’s always a good thing when hunting. What is the nicest thing you’ve ever done to your characters?

T J: Let them live and achieve a goal

Wolf: Living is good. You’ve just been turned into a plant. Describe yourself.

T J: Spearmint. I’m holistic, healing, attract money. I complement drinks or deserts and I can be used in a love spell.

Wolf: One of my favorite herbs. Do you consider yourself a cat person, or a dog person?

T J: Cat person

Wolf: That’s a fast answer. While walking in the woods you come across…

T J: A Faerie mound

Wolf: I’m sure you have a knack at finding those. If you could have a super-power, what would it be?

T J: Invisibility

Wolf: Wait. Where did you go? (Just kidding) There is a door at the end of a dark, damp corridor. You hear rumbling. What do you do?

T J: Walk away real fast

Wolf: Smart move. What five items would you want to have in a post-cataclysmic world?

T J: Sword, knife, rope, canteen and toothbrush.

Wolf: Two blades. You must be expecting trouble. What is your favorite body of water and why?

T J: Babbling stream – because the sound is soothing, you can connect with the water elementals, and it’s a great source of cleansing

Wolf: So true. What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

T J: Exercise, garden, be in nature, read

Wolf: Thanks for stopping by. Don’t forget to check out T J Perkins books. While you’re there, pick up a copy of Star Touched and Wolf Dawn.

Star Touched

Wolf Dawn

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THE WRITE WOMEN BOOK FEST – Saturday, September 21, 2019 – 10 AM – 4 PM

The Write Women

FREE EVENT
FOR KIDS, TEENS, AND ADULTS

The Write Women Book Fest kicks off at 10:00 AM this Saturday, September 21, 2019 at the Marietta House in Glenn Dale, MD.

It’s more than just books. There will also be performers and artists.

Visit me in the Author’s Tent, then swing by the Event Room at 12:15 for a reading.

FREE PARKING

For more information, visit the website here.

Located at Marietta House Museum in Glenn Dale, MD
Saturday September 21st, 10 AM to 4 AM

The Glenn Dale Farmer’s Market will also be running until 2 AM, with some vendors staying on until 4 AM.

Come join the fun.

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WOLF NOTES: An Uncommon Interview – H. L. Brooks

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Welcome to WOLF NOTES, where interview questions stray from the rest of the pack. It’s nice to know the usual stuff like where an author gets their inspiration and why they write, but sometimes we need a little fun in our lives.

hlbheadshotH.L. Brooks writes contemporary fairy tale and paranormal romances with an emphasis on strong female characters. Her Red August series is available at many major online retailers. She is also an artist and photographer. Her coloring book “The Yoni Coloring Book” can be found on Amazon and other online retailers. You can read her sensual observations and micro-fiction in the Sensual Sunday series at her blog. H.L. is currently developing a series of short bedtime stories for adults, in collaboration with William Hardy, to be released as podcasts.

Wolf: Let’s get to know you a bit more. Describe a meal you would be served while visiting another world.

H. L.: I’ll go ahead and choose this funny little flatbread I saw on an episode of Stargate once. It was so obviously an attempt at something “exotic” but it came off more like “hey, kraft service has some of these little personal sized flatbreads, run over to the caterer next door and buy some edible flowers, the props master forgot to design food for this shot.” And DESPITE that, I enjoyed the aesthetic and, clearly, still remember it. Also, the food had some special properties.

Wolf: I remember that episode. If you could be any animal in the universe, what would it be and why?

H. L.: I think maybe a cat. I feel a bit like I’m already a cat. I’m fluffy and I like sunny little spots to nap.

Wolf: Sun. Warm & cozy. Sleep… If you had to pick a weapon, what would it be and why?

H. L.: Broadsword for close combat. I enjoyed swinging the big “waster” (wooden practice sword) around. It felt pretty badass. But for further away, the bow and arrow. I took some classes to study for my Red August series, because I wanted to know what it was really like to shoot. Write what you know and if you don’t know it, learn it. When you can. Some things you can’t ever know, but you can have good guesses. I like to write as authentically as possible.

Wolf: I don’t think I could lift a broadsword, but love bows and arrows. While walking in the woods you come across…

H. L.: A lot of rocks. And mosquitos.

Wolf: Must be damp in your part of the woods. You’ve just been turned into a plant. Describe yourself.

H. L.: I’m soft and long-stemmed. I don’t like full sun, but I can bare it if I have to.

Wolf: We better take this interview inside. There is a door at the end of a dark, damp corridor. You hear rumbling. What do you do?

H. L.: I would likely never been by myself at the end of a dark damp corridor. You know, the rumbling might be there and I’m not about that.

Wolf: How about disasters? What five items would you want to have in a post-cataclysmic world?

H. L.: I assume you mean aside from water and such. Lip balm, Advil, matches/lighter, sewing kit, multi-tool.

Wolf: Good choices. What is your favorite body of water and why? (river, ocean, waterfall, puddle, bottle…)

H. L.: A brook. Bonus for a little arching footbridge.

Wolf: Of course it is. What story are you working on now?

H. L.: I’m working on the third book of my Red August series. Book one is “Red August” and book two is “Red Archer.” Book three will be “Red Hunter.”

Wolf: Do you have a favorite character?

H. L.: That’s really hard to say. Of the secondary characters I love Brigid and Abel. But the best parts of Faolan is based on my husband, so clearly, he’s my favorite.

Wolf: It’s so hard to choose. What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

H. L.: I like to connect to other women writers. I started a book salon for women writers. I really love the idea of women supporting each other instead of tearing each other down. I couldn’t find a local writing group that was strictly for women so I started Women Authors of Maryland group on Facebook. Then shortly after I decided to create The Write Women Book Fest, which will be at Marietta House in September. Other than that, I like hanging with my sweetie, cooking, checking in with my kids, and fighting the patriarchy.

Wolf: If this question were any question in the world, what question would you want it to be and how would you answer it?

H. L.: Inception question! A mystery wrapped in a riddle. I think that it would ask me why I write. And the answer is, because I like making lemonade from lemons.

Wolf: Thanks for visiting. You can find H. L. Brooks on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook – @hlbrookswrites

Don’t miss out. Sign up for my newsletter.

Star Touched

Wolf Dawn

 

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Keep Writing!

A message to writers.

charles french words reading and writing

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(https://pixabay.com)

To all writers:

Please trust in yourselves, have faith in your voices, and tell the stories you want to tell.

Have confidence in your abilities, and keep going.

Remember that you can do this, that you can create your work, and that you are a writer.

Remember, success comes with the discipline to continue the work.

Pick up a pen, or sit at the keyboard, and write!

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(https://pixabay.com)

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The Write Women Book Fest – September 21, 2019

Meet authors, aritsans,  crafters, and more!

The Write Women Book Fest is a presentation by co-hosts Marietta House Museum & Women Authors of Maryland. it was created for women authors by women authors. It is intended to be diverse and welcoming to underrepresented groups. The 2019 The Write Woman Book Fest will be held outdoors at Marietta House Museum in Prince Georges County, Maryland. http://www.pgparks.com/3072/Marietta-House-Museum

There will be authors from every genre, artisans, crafters, and other literary-related businesses and organizations represented.

Attendance is free! Come do some holiday shopping.

September 21, 2019
10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Marietta Manor Historical Site
Glendale, Maryland

Star Touched

Startouched front cover2

Wolf Dawn

Wolf Dawn 13

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NEVER FORGET 9-11-01

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