I wanted to share the story of how I found my amazing critique partner, because it's a great story. Out of Her League was the first book I ever wrote, and I hired a professional freelance editor to go through it. Fast forward a year after completion to when I'd re-written it for the third time (yeah, really), and I thought about taking the plunge into the publishing world. I entered the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest, and somehow semi-finaled. Whoa. Maybe I could get this thing published someday.
Fast forward again to me stumbling upon The Wild Rose Press, and lo and behold they accepted it. Before I signed the contract I bought a few of their romantic suspense stories to see what they were like (quality, etc), and while most of them were okay, one was so good I immediately breathed a sigh of relief. The book was City of Secrets, and right from page one I thought Now THIS is a writer. I'd be proud to be published alongside someone like that. So I accepted the offered contract and e-mailed the author to let them know I thought their work was awesome.
A day or two later she replied thanking me for my kind words, and said she'd look for my book. I never thought she'd actually read the thing, but to my surprise I got an e-mail a few weeks later from her saying how much she loved OOHL. I was tickled pink, to say the least, but then she said, "You know, I think I remember seeing this story before". Turns out she had seen it in the Amazon contest. Small world, right?
I went back and looked through the comments people had left during the voting portion of the contest. Sure enough, there was my future CP listed with a glowing review of my opening pages. Unbelievable! Anyway, I kind of fell in love with her just because she's so freaking talented, but also because she's such a sweetie. We hooked up as CPs last year, and not only has she been an invaluable resource for my writing, she's saved my sanity a hundred times over. Without her encouragement, I might have stopped writing a few months back. She's the reason I'm still plugging away, and I can't thank her enough.
So here's to you, hon! You know who you are :) (*waving and blowing kisses*)
You never know who you'll meet out there in cyberspace, so Saranna's earlier post holds a very important lesson. Always be professional and treat others with respect, because the publishing (and especially e-publishing) industry is shrinking all the time. And who knows, you just might make some of the best friends you'll ever have.