Enter the Village

Greetings, All! Here is a little bit more on the Happenings that have been Happening, as referenced a few posts ago.

I’m a huge NFL football fan as many of you know. Football has been called “the ultimate team sport” because success is so tightly bound to the interplay of all teammates. I love watching that process work on the flat screen every fall weekend, but far too often I have skipped the “team” part of the plan when operating in real life.

A few weeks ago I was introduced, through a friend of my GeniusWife, to an author who lives here in the Cincinnati metro area. But not just an author; a NY Times and USA Today Bestselling author, who writes YA fantasy, and who attends the same church as my wife’s friend. Her name is Carey Corp. Within moments of our introduction, she invited me to join her writer’s group/social club that meets in northern Kentucky every month. I was blown away! I had not been to an in-person writer’s group of any kind since around 2011. At the first meeting, I was further blown away. There was so much encouragement, such great advice, and a genuine desire to help new and unpublished authors such as myself.

But it got better.

Carey is “The Query Whisperer”. She is really, really good at writing query letters to agents, and has a great track record of helping others improve their queries and thereby their positive response rates. She offered to review my query (which I always liked, but which has a TERRIBLE positive response rate. Like, 2% terrible) and provide feedback. Incredible. A bestselling author in my genre willing to help me get an agent. Umm… yes, please!

But it got better. 

She also offered to review my first chapter and give feedback, since most queries include the first few pages or chapter for review by agents. Her comments were stellar. Suddenly I had an improved first chapter and a shiny, crisp new query letter to go with it. 

So why did Carey give me all of this help? When I asked her, she said “it takes a village” to get published. Which is to say, it takes a team. For example, she is great at writing queries but hates writing synopses. She goes to a friend for help when a synopsis is required. Moreover, she said she loves to work with aspiring authors. But I strongly suspect that this is also a God thing; it has His fingerprints all over it. Getting Carey’s help was grace – undeserved favor – being poured all over my publishing dreams. Incredible. Is it a coincidence that once again something amazing has come through my GenuisWife’s connections? Connections that tie directly to her new role as a ministry leader? No, I don’t think so.

What’s next? I have no idea. My new query is out there now, and I am expecting positive results. In the meantime I am conducting a round of edits to the rest of the book that echo the improvements Carey recommended for chapter 1. And I have started book 2 after finally deciding where the story begins (true to form, it starts with Kir’Ana in mid-air). 

Finally, if you love YA fantasy-romance, I have a must-read series recommendation. Carey Corp and Lorie Langdon’s DOON series is excellent! I knew nothing of fantasy romance novels until I read DOON and DESTINED FOR DOON a few weeks ago, but they are just great reads! Book 3, Shades of Doon, was released just days ago and is exciting from page 1. Super-highly recommended for anyone who loves Broadway showtunes, Scottish fiction (Outlander!), or just good YA fantasy. And if you’re like me and have never read anything like this genre, I promise you won’t regret it. I am a total fan now.

More to come!

~Kevin

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