Built in Betas

So, when I first started getting used to the idea of potentially marketing myself and my writing I began to scramble for betas to read some of my novels. The lovely blogging friends I had made at the time proved to be valuable betas. They critiqued my work honestly and made fabulous suggestions to improve on the pieces I had them reading. But…they were not my target audience.

I write young adult novels and needed some young adult betas to get a more accurate feel of the appeal of my work. I had friends and relatives with bookworm children living in their houses who were willing to help out. I seized up though, cold feet got the better of me. I never passed anything on for them to read because I couldn’t bare the thought of someone who knew me or knew of me personally reading and hating my work.

Flash forward many years. I have in my own house two of my own children who have over the years watched me write with great curiosity but never were old enough to read my work, until now. Tonight I passed my laptop first to my son and then to my eldest daughter and asked them to read just the first five pages. Why? Because that is what the agent I am getting ready to send my query off to requires. I wanted their impression. Did it hold their interest? Did it flow? What is good/bad about it?

My son gave it a thumbs up and asked if he could read more. I took that as a good sign as he is hit or miss with what books hold his attention. He is very diplomatic though and would not give any negative comments.

My daughter is always very direct and does not share her brother’s diplomatic filter. She immediately told me which parts she liked, what part she found confusing and what she wants to know more about. 

I feel quite pleased about sharing my work with them and will be less hesitant in the future.

Who do you use as your betas (if anyone)? Do you try to use different types of betas to gain different insights?

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Genre Decisions 

I have written many novels now over the years and although they all fit into the young adult market they are not all in the same genre. I have a range including science fiction, dystopian, high fantasy, ordinary fantasy and even one plain old fiction. It’s only recently that I’ve decided that I may need to start to focus on one style and hone my skills in that one area. Obviously, when and if I present one of my novels to an agent/publisher and they enjoy it, they would reasonably expect to see the other novels I have written or will write be similar to the one they are buying into. That is just common branding and increases overall marketability. The tough part for me now is choosing. Writing in the young adult market was not a choice, it just is the area that comes most natural to me so I never have to even consider my target audience. My genre focus is not as easy. I guess I will have to spend time looking back at all the things I’ve written including my novels, short stories and poems to see if there is an overall theme that I am not aware of. I will keep you all posted as to how I get on.

How did you choose your main genre? What are your thoughts on focusing on just one genre or do you prefer to be eclectic in your writing?

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Resurrection Day

So here I am couple months into the year 2017 and so far it is proving to be an okay year for me. I have come out of the woods so to speak and am ready to once again walk in the sun. I am eating healthy, exercising regularly, I have started a gratitude journal, I am feeding my brain novels again and slowly my muse has started to return so I am trying to recommit to writing regularly. For me, trying to resurrect my blog is one way to do that.

I have not got a game plan. I’m not sure if I will relaunch any regular themed posts, post short stories or just babble but I am at least going to try to recommit to blogging regularly. I look forward to reconnecting with old blogger friends and gain some new ones along the way. So stay tuned and see how well I fair this time.

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A plump dose of being insecure,

devouring everything,

anything but still left wanting more.


The sting of the world leaves you to weep,

you end up smothering yourself,

all you do is sleep.


Your first new steps are tentative and demure,

still you stand a little taller,

you are feeling much more sure.


Drips of life start filling up your well,

your soul becomes aware,

it is perfect in any shell.


Springing off the edge,

time to take flight,

leave behind the night and learn to bask in the light.

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Rainy Pain

I weep silently to myself.
I will never share my pain.
My triggers include frivolous things.
A dropped spoon, torn paper, a passerby who smiles, a pile of dirty socks, an empty bed, a lone shoe and toothpaste smashed on the sink.
The sky knows my pain.
It shares it with you for me.
The clues are in the rain.
I wish you were more clever.

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Voice 5 – Voice Week 2014

We are getting reports that a young female dressed in a St Augustine’s uniform has stabbed a young male multiple times in the chest. The incident occurred on one of the downtown buses just moments ago. Eyewitnesses at the scene have been calling in and sending messages to the studio. From what we have been told police and paramedics have yet to arrive. It appears a few of the other passengers have subdued the suspect and are awaiting assistance from the authorities.

At this time we cannot rule out that this incident is related to the story we brought you earlier where four City High youths were arrested at St Augustine High School this morning. The police were acting on an anonymous tip that the four youths allegedly carried firearms and intended on discharging them on St Augustine’s school grounds. News 10 will bring you updates on both stories as they unfold throughout the day.

And there it is, the final voice for voice week 2014. I hope it fills in the blanks the other voices left. I have enjoyed writing these voices and want to thank all of you that took the time to read them and comment on them. I look forward to next year already.

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Voice 4 – Voice Week 2014

That guy is getting what he has coming today. Study partners. Yeah right.

I admit I lost my cool a bit with Maria. I wanted to scare her. I pushed her too hard. Her lip is healing now. Most of the bruising has gone. Stitches have mostly dissolved. She’ll be pretty again soon.

Look at how she looks at me. She adores me really. I’m so afraid of losing her. She makes me go crazy sometimes.



“Help me. Someone please help me.”

This is my fourth post for voice week. Just one more left. I have enjoyed reading all the other writer’s entries into voice week too. If you have a bit of time go check them out. If you want to participate or read any of the other participants work you can head over to voice week head quarters and find out more there.

As always comments are appreciated.

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