Writers need people. Many thanks to mine.

Destiny RewrittenUntil last week, I’d never ordered a book online just because I liked its cover.

I had, of course, ordered lots of books online.  In fact, the UPS delivery folks and the postal people are probably gathering right now to talk about how to best stage an intervention regarding the number of book-filled boxes and envelopes they regularly deliver to my door. My husband might be participating as well.

But usually, I order books because I’ve heard good buzz about them. Or I know the author. Or I’m intrigued by the topic or concept.

But in the case of DESTINY, REWRITTEN by Kathryn Fitzmaurice, I saw the cover and instantly clicked “Add to cart.”

Why? Just look at it. There’s a tween girl surrounded by books with a cat by her side. Put a pair of glasses on her and that could have been me when I was 12.

I guess I just knew I’d like it. And I wasn’t wrong, I read it in a single sitting and was enchanted by Emily’s quest to find her father and figure out whether fate or free will would determine her purpose in life. Besides, how many times have you seen Emily Dickenson and Danielle Steele held up as equally inspiring literary figures in the same book?

But the reason I decided to blog about this book on EMU’S DEBUTS is because of one line on page 254:

Everyone nodded and sighed, and a quiet but peaceful feeling came over us, the kind that makes you feel connected to each other just because you know the same thing.

I liked this so much I turned down the corner of the page.

And creased it.

No matter what you’re passionate about — Accounting! Gardening! Minecraft! — you’ve probably had moments like this. Where you find yourself with a group of like-minded people who all know the same things you do. They get you. You get them. You don’t have to explain why you like what you like or how it works or why you spend so much time at it. No one makes dismissive remarks about your hobby, and you don’t have to spend lots of time explaining it to well-meaning but clueless people.

Writing is a lot more fun when you have others who know the same things as you. You can find people like that in critique groups (like Emily does in DESTINY, REWRITTEN) at conferences, online or even in a literary agency like everyone blogging here.

Now I’m quite a large introvert. I am not one to reach out to people I don’t know. I don’t mingle. I run from cocktail parties. At my first Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators conference, I skulked around in back rows and corners, afraid someone would tell me I didn’t belong. But then I learned the lesson from this book. Most of the people there liked the same things as I did.

I could make a joke about Tiny Cooper hating “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” and people would laugh, not look at me oddly. I could say, “Some days are like that, even in Australia” and everyone would nod knowingly.

So if you’re a writer or a reader, I hope you find your groups of people too. Heck, if you’re a plumber, I think you should do the same. Because, let’s face it, talking about air admittance valves with me just isn’t going to be as satisfying.

With all this in mind, I want to thank my people. My two critique groups — Jill Esbaum, Lisa Morlock and Norene Paulson — and Pat Lessie, Chris Miles, Cathy Stefanec Ogren and Eve Robillard. And my fellow EMU Debuters — Carol Brendler, Laurie Boyle Crompton, Melanie Crowder, Tara Dairman, Tara Lazar, Joshua McClune, Adi Rule and Laurie Ann Thompson. My agent, Ammi-Joan Paquette. And lots of other writing friends too numerous to name.

They’ve all made my journey to debut author more enjoyable. And I know they’ll tackle the UPS and postal representatives if they even think of executing a book-buying intervention for me.

Who are your people? Feel free to thank them in the comments below.

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19 Comments

Filed under Colleagues, cover art, Thankfulness

19 responses to “Writers need people. Many thanks to mine.

  1. YOU ARE MY PEOPLE!!!!! ❤ to you, Pat, and this post.

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  2. Great post and so true!

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  3. I SO wish I’d written this post. It’s so true, Pat. I’m turning down the corner of this post so that I can come back to it frequently! Thank you.

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  4. lindsayeland

    Wonderful post! I am reading Destiny, Rewritten right now and am loving it!

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  5. It must be one of life’s great tragedies to never connect with someone in the way that children’s writers do. I hope every plumber meets a kindred spirit.

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  6. Terrific post, Pat. Indeed, YOU are one of my people (one of my faves, actually). But–

    air admittance valves *scratches head*

    Please tell me you had to look that up.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. That’s exactly how I felt at the first EMLA retreat. “These people get it!” Thanks for the post (and the book recommendation)!
    Cindy

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  8. Awesome post! I can’t survive without the members of my critique group!

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  9. My critique group keeps me accountable and sane. The community of writers on-line keeps me believing that it’s possible. How else would we go on? Thanks for this wonderful post! 🙂

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  10. Norene

    Great post, Pat! I’m proud to be one of your people. I wouldn’t trade our critique group for anything because you all are what keeps me going…:)

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  11. Fortunately, my people know that a book-buying intervention would be utterly useless. Which is why I love my people. I also love this post. And your review of Destiny was so intoxicating I went strait to my closest online book store and bought it. Thanks for enabling my addiction, Pat!! 😉

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  12. Thank you for such a nice post about this book. (And I want to tell you that the line you picked out might be my very favorite…and I think this is amazing that you somehow knew this, and we have never met.)

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  13. Pat, I am honored to be included in this lovely post and blessed to have YOU as one of my people. *feeling all warm and fuzzy now*

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  14. Pingback: The Upward Spiral | EMU's Debuts

  15. Two heads are better than one, so the saying goes and so true when it comes to critique groups. Let’s create or join. Happy writing!

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  16. Rebecca Van Slyke

    Pat, were your ears burning yesterday? Stephanie Pitts gave a wonderful talk at our WWA SCBWI conference about Writing Irresistible Picture Books, using SOPHIE’S SQUASH as an example of a great PB character.
    LOVE being among my tribe here!

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