Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Publication Party! First session - author Christine Bell. Win her e-book or critique...

Welcome to the inaugural Publication Party! Grab yourself a glass of champers or non-alcoholic wine, or try the freshly-squeezed orange juice, some delicious nibblies, then settle back and enjoy! Today I welcome author Christine Bell, our first speaker. I can't wait to hear her journey to publication.

Firstly, a little information about Christine if you haven't already had the pleasure of meeting her:

Christine Bell is one half of the happiest couple in the world. She and her handsome hubby currently reside in Pennsylvania with a four-pack of teenage boys and their two dogs, Gimli and Pug. If she gets time off from her duties as maid, chef, chauffeur, or therapist, she can be found reading just about anything she can get her hands on, from Young Adult novels to books on poker theory. She doesn’ t like root beer, clowns or bugs (except ladybugs, on account of their cute outfits), but lurrves chocolate, going to the movies, the New York Giants and playing Texas Hold ‘ Em. Writing is her passion, but if she had to pick another occupation, she would be a pirate…or, like, a ninja maybe. She loves writing steamy romance stories under her own name and also under her pen name, Chloe Cole. One day she hopes to publish something her dad can read without wanting to dig his eyes out with a rusty spoon. Christine loves to hear from readers, so please contact her through her website,

Over to Christine.
First, thanks so much to Denise for inviting me to speak about my publishing journey today! Hopefully, you’ll find at least one worthwhile nugget in this post, and if not, we have a smashing contest running, (go here for further details) so *listening* to me blather for a few minutes can still pay off!

The most important thing I want you to know is that just six months ago, I was in the same place a lot of you are right now. Writing my ass off and biding my time, just waiting for a response that wasn’t a rejection. After the first three or four, you start to recognize them and just skim the first sentence for key words to put you out of your misery. If you’re an aspiring author who hasn’t submitted yet, I will share that list of words with you now, in no particular order, so that you will recognize the signs when you see them (and you will see them. I only personally know one author who sold to her first targeted publisher on her first try. I did the math and you have a better chance of seeing a unicorn. Granted, my math skills are dicey, but trust me on this: you will get rejected and if that’s something you want to avoid, find
another dream).

Okay, without further ado, list of words that tip you off to a rejection email/letter:

1. Regret
2. But
3. While
4. Whilst (then you know it's a rejection from across the pond)
5. Sorry
6. Unfortunately

Just to keep things even steven (cuz I am all about even steven) here is a list of words that tip you off to a contract:

1. Loved
2. Offer
3. Thrilled
4. Pleased
5. Excited
6. Happy
7. Enjoyed

SO, back to my original point. The one thing I want you to take with you from this is that I had gotten a pile of the former and none of the latter as of six months ago. Then, everything changed. To date, I have nine contracts with four publishers (Ellora’s Cave, Loose Id, Carina Press and Cobblestone Press). The only reason I don’t have more than nine is because I have sold everything I've written so far.

And you can do the same thing. You just have to figure out what needs to change, focus on your goal, and don’t quit. *Denise points to her motto at the top of her blog*. I don’t know what needs to change for you. I just know what worked for me.

The first turning point for me was when I got into a fab crit group. I realized that my writing was not where it needed to be. There was a kernel of something good in there, a knack for story telling maybe, and a voice, but I had a LOT of work to do on the craft. I’ll never forget opening my first crit and seeing all the red, highlights and comments, then emailing the most anal (in the best way) member of my crit group, who misses NOTHING (wave hello to all the nice people, Lisa!) and saying something like, “Wow. This is unbelievably on point. I don’t know how I missed all of this.” It was a total light-bulb moment for me.

Another game changer was an online workshop I took called Before You Hit Send by Angela James. It was really helpful and again, a turning point. I took all the stuff I learned from her and my CPs and applied it to my mss. Surprisingly, it worked and all the “meh” mss I had been churning out suddenly sparkled. Lucky for me, I had only shopped a few of them, and even those only to one publisher, so I still had a world of options opened to me.

I always knew I wanted to e-pub, mainly because I have no patience and the idea of waiting two+ years from query to shelf makes me break out in hives.

I targeted what I consider to be the best e-publishers. I read websites like Brenda Hyatt’s Show Me the Money, and Emily Veinglory’s EREC site, which are two of the few places you can get some actual info on royalties. I asked around to author friends I met on various sites, and then started submitting.

On July 5th I got my first offer, and they just kept coming. And one of the nicest things I’ve discovered so far is that, for me at least, the first one was the hardest. Once you get into the groove, understanding what they want, go through the editing process once (which is unbelievable, changes you as a writer), the writing gets easier. Also, once you can add that writing credit to your query, are invited to submit directly to an editor, or maybe contract on proposal, it becomes a much less arduous process.

SO, go forth, get thee a crit group, or at least a GOOD crit partner, take some workshops, get some books on craft. And above all, don’t quit. You might quit the day before you were about to submit the one ms that was going to crack the whole thing wide open for you, and wouldn’t that be the saddest thing ever…

Success continues for Christine. Today, January 12th, her latest book Naughty Godmother is released. Check it out here and here.

Thanks so much Christine! You had us all rivited! So many helpful links and such good advice. Now, to the prizes...

TODAY and for the next five days, everyone who comments and leaves their email address will be in the draw to win EITHER:
  • an e-book of your choice by Christine Bell
  • a first ten-pages critique by Christine. As Christine says: '...a good crit is worth its weight in gold and can often be a life changing moment for an aspiring author where all kinds of lightbulbs go off and you learn so much that you can apply to other works...'
Now I know not everyone wants to win an e-book or critique. In your comment tell us if you would like to enter to win today's prize. If you win the critique Christine would like (with your permission of course) to see it posted on this blog so everyone can see the process and learn from it. So, totally up to you. You'll need to say if you're happy to do this if you win the critique. You will still win either way if your name is drawn. (I've done this when I won a synopsis critique. The pain doesn't last long and it's a great thing to do to help everyone!)

So before you head out the door, please do the following:
  • leave a comment with your email address if you want to be in the draw for this week's prizes or the GRAND PRIZE and giveaway books at the end of the series (you must comment on each post to win, starting today)
  • tell us what you'd like to win today - e-book or critique
  • tell us if we can published Christine's critique here at a later date
  • ask Christine a question
  • something further - why not look out for each other and say if you'd like to find a Crit Partner. I know I'd like one. So contact like-minded souls and we may be able to help each other in this way too...
Thanks for coming everyone! Winners for this week will be posted next Tuesday (NY time). Don't forget you have until Monday 17 at 8 pm NY time to enter! (I'll try not to get bamboozled with this time zone thang.)

Don't forget, next Wednesday 19 January we have author and blogger extraordinare Clarissa Draper coming to our party. Don't miss what she has to say! I'm intrigued by this mysterious mystery author!

Denise :)


  1. Hi, Denise, and Hi, Christine...

    What a great post and interview... I was RIVETED!

    I would love to enter the contest. Here is my email

    mculi at aol dot com

    Good luck with your books Christine and Denise you always have something wonderful to read at your blog.


  2. Oooh I love the lists of words to look for - I'll be querying soon so I'll keep then in mind!

    I'd love to get an ebook!

    My email is writersblocknz at gmail dot com :)

  3. Awesome journey. Those buzz words are dead on.

    A tough choice between e-book and crit. But since I don't have an e-reader yet, and don't mind buying the book - it looks steamily enticing - I think I'd rather a critique. You're right, it is an invaluable resource. and I don't mind it being posted. I learn from reading other author's critiqued works too.

    My e-mail is donnahole at gmail dot com.

    Nice meeting you Christine. Have a good week Denise.


  4. So that is how you did it! 9 contracts to date that is awesome I would of course like the new book if I win, and then twist your busy arm into doing a crit for me when i have something worthy of a crit.
    joannastjames at gmail dot com

  5. Hi Denise, Hi Christine,

    What an inspiring story, it gives hope to us aspiring writers. And I started the same Self Edit workshop with Angela James on Savvy Authors.

    I would love to enter for the critique and I would love to find a critique partner as well.

    nas_dean@y mail .com

  6. Such lovely positive comments so far and so quickly! My internet went down soon after I posted and I'm so pleased it's back on for awhile.

    Thx for posting your emails and saying what you'd like to win! You all rock!

  7. Huzzah for the publication party! I won't enter this one, but I just wanted to cheer for the kick-off. Welcome to Christine and Denise, I'm really relieved to hear that you're fine--it's been awful to watch from down here. Stay safe.

  8. What a fantastic interview. I loved hearing Christine's journey to publication. Count me in for the contest, rachael[dot]harrie[at]gmail[dot]com. Think it will have to be the critique for me, my first chapter is tying my head in knots!!! :O


  9. Amie and Rachael: Oh you Aussies! It is fab that you came by!

  10. Congrats Christine

    And Denise - I hope you're surviving OK up there

  11. A great post and an excellent interview. Tell Christine good luck with her books, won't you. Carole.

  12. Loz: Thanks for coming and your good wishes.

    Carole Anne: I will...thanks for coming!

  13. Hello Denise, Hello Christine,
    Thank you so much for sharing the journey and many congratulations! I've definately taken more than just a nugget today. Here is my email and I'd love the book if I'm a lucky one.

    Thinking of you, Denise and all those caught up in the flooding. stay safe.

  14. Great interview and very interesting.

    Christine: First of all well done with your success. Your work sounds very compelling, and your advice seems very good. I am terrified of critiques, and for that reason I'll aim for that in the competition. Worse still would be having the critique online for everyone to see, so I'll take the plunge and agree to that as well.

    It would be great to find a crit partner. Someone who will be nice to me but still tell it how it is - a fine balance - and I'd do the same in return.

    Denise: I hope you're doing okay with the water! Glad to see you're getting chances to come to your blog while all that goes on.

  15. Better late than never. Wonderful post with very digestible information. Thanks Christine!

    A big thanks to you Denise for doing this. Can't wait for Clarissa :)
    Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

  16. First of all, love the series. Can't wait to hear all the stories. Yikes, so much pressure!

    Second, great interview. Christine is right. I agree that finding a fab crit group is so important. It changed my writing path as well.

    I don't need a critique currently so perhaps sign me up for the e-book, it looks fab!


  17. Oh, and thanks Jules! You're so sweet.


  18. Denise,
    I hope you are doing well, I didn't even think you'd be online today.

    I really enjoyed reading your fascinating tale of publication. Congrats on achieving so much! :)

  19. hi miss denise and miss christine! wowee that was lots of good stuff for sure. i love author iterviews cause they could give lot of how to do stuff and lots of hope. for sure i could wanna see a unicorn! :) i already got a cool cp and thats miss sharon at random thoughts. if i could win that critique for sure you could put it on your blog cause its not gonna hurt cause i could always like being a big help for others.
    ...hugs from lenny

  20. *'Lisa' waves* Great post Christine. I always love when I'm put on the spot. :-P~ What's next for you? I'll take a book (since I get crits from you already ;) and I love your books!!!). This is a great series. I'll be back as often as I can. Thank you for the op Denise!

  21. Thanks again for hosting this party, Denise! I would love the chance to win a critique.

    elizabethtwist at gmail dot com

  22. I never tire of reading other writer's journeys. It's always interesting to see what's the same and what's different.

    I do have a question for Christine: How long did it take you to hone your writing skill?

    I'd love to win an ebook (I'd also love the critique but I'm not brave enough to have it posted publically)
    lynfaw AT gmail DOT com

  23. What an informative, motivational interview! Best wishes to Christine with this book and all the rest! So funny that her dad can't read them :)

  24. Great interview. I am looking forward to more of these pub interviews and will have mine ready for Feb, 16, 2011. I don't have an e-reader yet, my computer will crash if I add any more has a back up problem. So I will pass on the book and I have two cri. groups as we speak. But what awesome giveaways. You go Denise and nice to meet you Christine.
    N. R. Williams, fantasy author

  25. DENISE ~ despite the puddles on the floor we're splashin' through, you throw a festive bash! When the Dom Perignon ran out and you were minglin' up a storm with the well-wishers, I made a few pitchers of pink lemonade and added vodka in one. Everyone seems happy and I was glad to add ritz to your razzamatazz.

    Oh - Hello there CHRISTINE the Giants fan -- This is Absolutely*Kate the "Steel Curtain is going to rise again" fan - pleased to hear(see) your gentle dash of wit and will go explore the steamy side of what your Dad cringes at. Best to happiest NewYear's possibilities turnin' prominence along their way.

    Oh sure, crit me - but with humour and dash, if you will ...

    ~ Absolutely*Kate
    AT THE BIJOU ~ where writers' raves become readers' faves

    And regarding those crit-quests?
    DENISE and TONY, would be my zing and pleasure to spark along with thee ... so that all our bests are yet to be.

    Loved the chocolate chip cookies!

    #1 - What's the best part of WritingWorld for you?

    #2 - Will you come centerstage some of your sexy writes under our spotlights AT THE BIJOU? (Folks are waitin' with hot buttered popcorn and sensuous smiles)

    #3 - Pittsburgh or those dirty Raven birds?

  26. This is a great interview and a fun way to host them. I love the party idea about it. And the list of words are very useful. I haven't even submitted novels and only one story a few places but can see how true they are.

    I'm a bit leery with critique groups just because it's really hard to find the right ones. I hear all the time from people who are published or just gained an agent and often they boast about their groups. However, last group I was in really ended bad. I do have beta readers now instead thanks to twitter. Just need to finish the novels.

    Do you have specific critique pals who look at copy edit type stuff and others that look at the big picture or are they all in one types? *curious*

    Nice offer. I once won a critique from a friend but nothing ever came from it (didn't get the critique back) but that would be fun to win. :-D


  27. Thanks so much for all the great comments and the warm welcome! So sorry I took so long to get back, I was on a plan en route to Florida, but we're here and I'm finally back online!

    Lynda- I have to say, I'm *still* honing my writing skills, but to get them to the point of publication took about six months of really intense work. Before that, I was an English major in college and worked on the newpaper writing editorials and also contributing to our schools creative writing anthology,so I've been writing a long time. I had a solid base to work off of, so the trick was to mold it to fit the genre and length I was hoping to kwrite. I say an *intense* six months because, while I'm a terrible multi-tasker, I'm extremely focused and goal oriented if I have a single task. My goal was the get published, my task was to get my writing up to par in order to do that. So I was sleeping maybe four hours a night so that I could put 8 hours into my day job, four hours into my family in the evenings and then another 6 on writing, workshops, critting etc. I think it's different for everyone, though. For some, they might be ready really quickly, others with young kids and less time, it might take years.

    Absolutely Kate- I love the support in the writing community. I have met the best people, so many authors who have gone out of there way to offer advice etc. It's been amazing. And, I would LOVE to come visit At the Bijou. Pop me an email through my website and we can set something up ASAP! Also, if you win the crit, I promise there will be smiles mixed in with the cringed ;op

    Dawn- All of of do a full crit, including line edits etc. BUT, the dynamic of our group is such that everyone has fallen neatly into a role by happy accident! Some of us are really good at grammar, some of us are really good at characterization or pacing etc. so at the end of the day, what one of us doesn't pick up on, one of the others will. I know how lucky I am. Most people don't meet and gel so well with their first group. I say keep trying!


  28. Hey guys! This was an awesome interview.

    I'd love to read her Ebook!

  29. PARTY !!!!!!!!

    Loved the interview - so true in so many aspects. I've learned a lot (!!!!) from having my books looked over by a pro editor. As I am currently looking for a publisher, I take Christine's advice with "don't give up" to heart. I'm sure one day it'll happen .... not just for me, but everyone else! Hang in there ...
    As for winning .... I'm always up for an interesting book, but if I were to win a critique .... perhaps a crit of my query letter would be nice - I reckon that needs LOTS of work :-)

    Denise - re the rain; hang in there, I'm glad you're ok so far. We're not bad, but I'd better get my gumboots out ....

    Thanks to both, Christine & Denise - great idea, with some great info !!!

    email is
    sweetdreamsmissengland (at)

    Good luck everyone !!!!

  30. Hi,

    Dropping by late as usual!

    Great Publication Party BTW. I thoroughly enjoyed Christine's write-up on journey to getting pubbed. Looking forward to Clarissa's bash. ;)

    Just sent an e-mail!

  31. What a lovely, encouraging interview. E-publishing does seem to offer a wider range of opportunities than I had realised.

    If I happen to win anything in your generous comp, then I'd prefer the e-book, as I don't have 10 pages of anything that's ready to face public scrutiny right now! joannefox three three 0 at googlemail dot com (I hope that makes sense!)

  32. Great guest post, Christine. And congratulations on doing so well in selling your work. It's awesome inspiring for so many writers who are struggling.

    I loved your advice on a critique group. My own critique group is invaluable to me, not just for advice but for the moral support. Writers need other writers.


  33. Denise - I'm SO glad you invited me to the party! What a fantastic interview! That was one of the most fantastic bios I've ever read! And I was feeling pretty down about rejections lately, so that was very encouraging for me.

    I'm an aspiring picture book person, so I'm not sure the critique would apply to me. But, I'll go for the book. If Christine's writing voice is half as good as her interview voice, it will be a treat!

    mkbickel at hotmail dot com

  34. I'm going to go on faith that the first is the hardest and it gets easier - especially as I'm frantically trying to finish and polish the sequel to my book! Unlike you, I hadn't planned beyond one book...

  35. Hi Denise - great party and I wore a pair of killer heels so I could really celebrate.

    Christine, loved the insight into your journey to publication and the keywords were fabulous.

    My current WIP isn't ready for a crit yet and I prefer to buy a real book to an e-book so I will sit this one out but look forward to reading the crit later.

    Nice nibblies btw!

  36. Thanks Denise for hosting this party, you're awesomesauce!

    Christine, congratulations on your success, and thank you for sharing your wisdom with us.

    I write literary short stories at the moment, do they qualify for crit?

    My email is meringue dot p at

    I would love to have a crit partner, as am also beginning work on a fantasy novel.

  37. Thank you Denise and Christine, what a delightful party and most excellent interview! So glad I dropped by. Christine, your journey to publication says three things to me: tenacity, determination, and flexibility. Regardless of what we bring to the table as writers, these three qualities are essential for success. You are an inspiration. Here's to even more success in your future! *lifts glass*

  38. Hi Denise, I'm here only for the champagne! Well, that's what I thought until you stopped by The Farm and gave me those ideas... So I'm persuaded to give them a try.

    Christine, I love the way you write - informative and fun to read. I would love to read your e-book.

    My question: is it easier or more difficult to get publishers for personal memoirs, compared to fiction, that you and most people here write? Can you provide a list of them?

    Thank you both.

    i_yusoff at yahoo dot com

  39. DENISE ~ What a bustling party of enthusiastic writer'folk you have here. Hardly anything broke in the kitchen when you heard that crash. (It had something to do with the way we gals were all admiring Elissa's killer heels. They rock.) -- "Elissa? Can you get those in teal??"

    Oh, sorry, I came here to wish you warm sunshine in Florida, CHRISTINE instead of the snow pileup you have waiting back home. Will be writing to you on your return for an AT THE BIJOU show and expect you would always have smiles in crit or wit when you're with fellow authors. It warmly shows. Best to your successes and all of Denise's mighty fine followers.

    "Elissa? Those heels? In teal?"
    ~ Absolutely*Kate

  40. I got more than my fair share of rejection letters last year. But I believe much of the reason was because my query letter was not edited. So I paid my editor to clean it up. What a difference. Like night and day. Cam't wait to start querying again this month.

    A ten page critique would be awesome! Pencil me in as I'm working on a manuscript. My email address is

    Thanks, and I'm looking forward to Clarissa Draper's post next week. She's guest blogged on my site and she's an awesome writer, researcher, blogger..

  41. This is beyond awesome Denise!! What a great bit of insight from Christine too. Wow. HOPE. I love hope from the almighty published ones out there.

    Wonderful. Simply wonderful!

    Yes, please enter me!

    ce dot murphy at yahoo dot com

  42. This was such an encouraging post. Yes, we should work to improve, and never give up. If we do, we'll always wonder 'what if.'

    I haven't had any books published YET, but I've had a magazine article published with Scholastic Math Magazine (OMG, so exciting when I got that yes). I've had another article accepted by HIGHLIGHTS FOR CHILDREN (an even bigger OMG moment for me). It helped me realize I'm not wasting my time. If I keep plugging along, I WILL get there.

    Christine, thanks for the inspiration!

  43. Sometimes I think I'm late for everything. My WIP isn't ready for outside eyes yet, and I don't have an e-reader. Thought Santa was bringing one, but he brought something better. Anyway...not sure if I need to enter now for the overall thing.

    email is tikihuttime at gmail dot com

    I write some form of romantic suspense and I'm interested in a critique partner that's heavy on romance.

  44. Hi, Denise,

    Hope you'r doing well. I forgot my email on my very first post. How fun to see me on the first and last post. lol

    mculi at aol dot com

  45. Thanks everyone for the lovely comments! I really appreciate you all taking the time to stop by and *meet* me!

    Damyanti- Short stories absolutely qualify, even though that's not my area of expertise. I LOVE reading them and have read a ton, so I think I still might be able to offer some advice. Two sets of eyes are always better than one!

    Grandpa- I am SO sorry to say that memoirs are a tough sell right now. Especially without an agent. Most publishers who are interested in memoirs don't take direct submissions. There may be some smaller pubs out there that do, so I would suggest you go to the bookstore and pick up the newest Writer's Market book which lists every publisher, their area of interest and some submission guidelines. My second suggestion would be to write your BEST pitch and start querying agents to represent you and your book. If you haven't written a query yet, let me know and I will post some great links to help. I write a pretty good one, so if you are so inclined, you can email me yours and I will read and offer suggestions.

  46. Hi y'all and Christine! I've been working through your posts setting out who wants to win what and who's looking for a critique partner. If you've forgotten to say which prize you want etc it's not to late!

    I realise not everyone has an e-reader. Never mind, there are paperbacks to win in future parties and at the end!

    Keep those comments coming!

    Denise :)

  47. Oh, and thank you to all my new followers since this Pub Party began: Christine, Calisa, Writing Nut, Dawn Embers, Deniz, Karen, Carol, Renee... Hope I didn't forget anyone. Sorry if I did. It is so lovely to have you on board. I think I've visited you all to say hello if there was a link that worked!

    Enjoy the Party and I hope you win a prize!

  48. What terrific comments. It felt like she was speaking to us as equals with potential to succeed as she has done rather than 'parenting' us from the lofty heights of one who knows best, so it really spoke to me and made me feel very positive and empowered. I would love a critique. Thanks for this post Denise,it's fab. :O)

  49. Oh and my email in madeleine dot maddocks at gmail dot com. :O)

  50. Hi Denise

    I hope you and yours are ok.

    There's a flash fiction submission call out for an antho that will raise funds for Queensland. I posted about it today.

    Take care,

  51. What a lovely and inspiring interview!!! Just found your blog as I was commenting on another for the Comment Challenge and have to say excellent work on this idea - I love it!

  52. Excellent post as always, Christine, and fantastic idea Denise! It is so, so, so important not to quit. If you don't believe your writing will get there, go back and read your first manuscript after a year or two. You'll shock yourself. All that wisdom/info you read/hear at writing conventions, online courses, blog posts etc...DOES get absorbed. Even if you're not consciously applying it, it'll come through in your writing.

  53. Hi Christine and Denise (waving from GA) What a wonderful post! You two rock. I'll enter the critique contest.

    zanmariess at gmail dot com

    Not stopping is the key, isn't it? I've got a book that's going well, but wanting a breather will get me every time. I also write devotionals and have two published.

  54. What a fantastic interview and kickoff to this series! Nine contracts - that is amazing. Thanks for the inspiration!

  55. Wonderful post - so inspiring! I agree 100 per cent with her words! I'm not entering the contest, but I wish everyone best of luck. Can't wait to see what Clarissa has to say. :)

  56. Loved the list of words that signal a rejection.

    I really enjoyed this interview.

    I'd like to enter the contest. My email is I supposed I'd like the ebook (always great to find new authors).

  57. I think this is a fantastic first author to have at your Publishing Party, L'Aussie! I couldn't agree more when it comes to having a great critique group. And they can be hard to come by. I'm not so much into e-pub, mainly because I've seen what gets published through e-pub (and no offense to anyone who does it) but my work almost never falls into the genres that get e-published. But that's okay. Every writer knows where they would fit in best. Thanks for sharing!

    ♥ Mary Mary

  58. Hi Denise and Christine. Thanks so much for doing this. All the best to you both. This is an awesome post and I love it to bits.

    I'd love a critique. My email is conversationswithlen at yahoo dot co dot uk.

    Thanks again, Denise for reminding me on my blog about the Publication Party! Hmmmm, thanks for the champagne, too, loved it! :)))

  59. Great post! For me, worse than getting rejections is the never hearing anything back. Silence and waiting is more painful than the form letter!

    I would love to be entered in the drawing for a critique. You can never get enough feedback! Thanks for hosting this! My email:

  60. This is a wonderful response from Christine. It is truly riveting. She's a great writer, and what an amazing route she traveled. More and more I am realizing that e-publishing is the way to go. Thanks, Denise, for reminding me to come over. I'll take some of the orange juice and nibblies!! And I look forward to reading all of the sessions. They're giving me ideas for mine! Thanks for putting me last!!!

    I'm so sorry, Denise, that you're in those floods. Every day I'm grateful that we're not. Don't know what I'd do with Jen in her wheelchair in flood waters. Maybe you'd better move to Harrisonburg, Virginia!!!

    p.s. I would love to win one of her e-books.

  61. Wow. Fantastic insights on your journey Christine - thank you so much for sharing. I find your words very reassuring. At the moment I'm in revisions and though I'm quite ready for a public critique but I would love a copy of your book if possible.

    My email add:

    And thank you Denise for hosting this wonderful party! *cheers* lovely! ;) x

  62. Opps - that should read, not quite ready for a public critique. ;) Cheers lovelies x

  63. The comments continue to be inspiring. Thanks for taking the time to respond so thoughtfully. I'm so excited at the response to Christine's post and can't wait to see who the lucky winners are for our prizes this week! Still got til Monday lovelies!

  64. Great post ladies!! :)

    I'd love to get an ebook - I'm loving my Kindle - and the book sounds terrific!

    my email is

    Thanks for the chance :)

  65. THIS was a superb interview. Thanks to you both. I'm in for a critique. I don't mind having my work ripped to shreds in public.
    :0) Thanks for the info and the chance for a critique.


  66. What a great party!
    Thanks Denise
    And thanks Christine!

  67. HI L.A W
    What a tits of a blog so informative and encouraging thank you both for you generousity.
    I would love (if it is not too late to enter the competition) a book.

    I hope you are well and safe so good to read your blog and your comment on mine the way I have just put a new blog on I was very flattered you where looking for more
    cheers and all the best darl

  68. What a great post. Christine, hearing your story was inspiring. Thank you. And thanks to Denise for this pretty cool idea.

    Count me in! Since I don't have a thing crit worthy yet *pouts* I'm in for the e-book.


    Thanks for a great party so far!

  69. ABSOLUTELY*KATE - *blushes* What these old things? No way to butter me up faster than to compliment my shoes so you're my new bestie. And they come in any colour you want! Any time you want me to go cyber-shoe shopping for you, just pop on over :)

  70. ELISSA! Well, I do declare (in my best Katie Scarlett O'Hara voice) that y'all are just the kindest of Aussie hospitality when it comes to offering cyber shoe graces.

    I've just checked out THE ARDENT WRITER and find you a lady who steps her words out with grace and style - as now a new follower too, I'll take you up on that shoe'invitation and we'll *clink* a glass to the class of lovely dames along the way. I thank you most kindly ... and of course Denise for the intro and Christine (who's rolling her eyes now) for being the guest of honour who brought forth such a bash of distinction. Hope everyone chips in to help Denise on this enormous bar bill. Folks are right celebratory when it comes to dancing with good words.

    ~ Absolutely*Kate

  71. I'm glad the comments continue to come. Great party. That Absolutely Kate was so generous with the pink lemonade and vodka. Thanks for the offer to chip in Absolutely Kate but the Brewery at Milton (nearby) was flooded so they were letting us keep the beer, wine and spirits that came floating by. Retrieval rights! Quite okay to drink though!

    I draw the prizes Monday night NY time, so it's not too late to win a prize this session!

  72. What a great post! It's exciting to know that everything can change in such a short period of time. I am currently querying and waiting on a response on a partial request, so I am in the thick of a lot of rejection.

    I loved the key words lists! I can definitely relate to the rejection ones. I learned that the tone of the response tells you right away - anything too formal is usually a form rejection. If it starts with 'thank you for submitting', I know it's all over!

    I would love to enter the contest for the critique. And *gulp* I suppose it could be published on this blog. My email is

  73. Thanks for hosting the publication party Denise.

    Christine, thank you for giving us an insight into your journey to publication. Nine contracts in six months is amazing!

    I'd love to enter the competition. It's a tough call but I think I'll have to go for the book... no the critique... no the book. I think.

    Thanks to both of you :)

  74. Wonderful post. Truly wonderful.

    Much food for thought here.

    Many thanks to Christine and Denise and of course, L'Aussie for being such a gracious host :)

  75. Hi all! Well it's closing time for this week's prizes, but you are welcome to comment to be in the draw for the Aussie goodies at the end of the series.

    Good luck. I'm off to

  76. A fascinating interview and inspirational story - thanks Denise and Christine!

  77. I thought I'd been here!!!! Sorry, it's been CRAZY.

    Anyway, fantastic advice. And I've read somewhere that it's a good idea to have some other things written and this just proves the point! In an amazing way, too.

    Another great example of the importance of crit groups, too.

    Congratulations and bravo for selling pretty much everything you have :)

    Do I post my email again?

  78. Hi Words Crafter. I did too. You've sent so many other comments by to my other posts but not this one! No, you don't have to resend email. I have it on your second one. So now you're in the running for prizes at the end as well! Yippee!

  79. Excellent post! I hope to see more words from the hopeful list in the responses I get from manuscripts.

  80. So late arriving to the party I must be the chauffeur! Great interview ladies!


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