Monday, May 14, 2012

When I joined my critique group…

…was the scariest thing I’ve done since finding out I was pregnant in my senior year of high school.

Joining a critique group is the number one answer to the interview question, “What advice do you have for aspiring writers?”  It was also the best thing I could have done.

It’s scary because I put myself out there for people I didn’t know to judge and offer advice on the story I spent eight months writing. A story I was proud of because I finished it, HEA (happily ever after) and all. But I got past my fear and joined Rom-Critters and posted my chapters. Let me tell you the pages came back colorful. J But the comments weren’t negative. They were informative and encouraging. Yes, there was a lot of “This is data dump, delete it.” I still data dump. Can’t help it, its part of my draft process. Oh and then there was telling verses showing. I was like WTF is that?  But everyone offered me suggestions that helped. They told me what worked and what didn’t.

I learned so much from my CPs and I’m still learning more every day I write or talk to other authors.  So if you’re hesitating about joining a group, don’t. Just jump in with both feet. And remember the ALL authors started know nothing to very little.

My crit group is also where I discovered Decadent Publishing’s 1Night Stand series. I started reading the stories in the multi-author series and wanted to write one.  

Ravished Before Sunrise
Lia Davis

Born with the unusual ability to see what truly lies in the shadows, Emalee Black is stuck between two worlds, the paranormal and the human. Neither one accepts or understands her and she's forced to live a quiet, boring life in hiding. When her best friend mentions 1Night Stand dating service, Ema chooses a role-playing adventure straight out of her romantic fantasies. She's to hunt her very own vampire and have her wicked way him.

Vampire Darian Wyman is surprised when his daughter signs him up for a one-night stand with an exclusive matching agency. At first he's appalled by the idea, but as he reads the details of the date he becomes intrigued. For one night he will get away from the life he has long grown tired of to be hunted and captured by a would-be huntress. But he has plans of his own for his little vixen.

However, when Darian discovers the truth about Ema's inhuman abilities, the date could end before it gets started.


Darian logged into his email account. An unusual message flashed in his inbox. Madame Eve with 1Night Stand. Why did that sound familiar?

A vague recollection of his daughter mentioning the dating service two weeks before came to mind and he growled. God, please tell me she didn’t. He skimmed through the email and snatched the phone from the desk.

“Hello, Father.” A sweet and cheerful female voice answered after one ring.

“Where are you?”

“Shopping. Is there a problem?”

“You know anything about why I would receive a message from 1Night Stand?” He tried to stay calm and not overreact. The email could be a mistake. Maybe Kat had nothing to do with it.

“Oh! She found a match so soon? That’s great. You’ll have fun.”

Fun? “Katrina, I didn’t request to be set up on a date. I can’t go meet a complete stranger and….” he scanned the email again. “…and spend the night with her?”

“Oh, Daddy, please. This is my gift to you. Now be the adult and have fun.” Her sweet tone did nothing to soothe his growing annoyance.


“I’m sick of you moping around the mansion. You need a change in your life. Besides, when was the last time you had sex?”

Now available at Decadent Publishing | Amazon | ARe

About Lia
Lia Davis is a mother to two young adults and two very special, equally different kitty cats. She’s a wife to her soul mate, who drives her crazy during editing/revisions. She and her family live in Northeast Florida battling hurricanes and very humid summers. But it’s her home and she loves it!

An accounting major, Lia has always been a dreamer with a very activity imagination. The wheels in her head never stop. She only recently became serious about publishing her work and loves it more than she imagined. Writing is a stress reliever that allows her to go off in her corner of the house and enter into another world she created, leaving the day job where it belongs.

Her favorite things are spending time with family, traveling, reading, writing, chocolate, coffee, nature and hanging out with her kitties.


Nikki said...

Crit groups are a great asset, but it iIS so scary putting yourself out there like that. but now look at you, published! Congrats! :)

Casea Major said...

You have come a long way, Lia, in such a short time! What a great testament you are to the power of good critique partners. Congratulations on your release!

christine warner said...

You got that right Lia...putting yourself out there is hard. I know I've learned a lot too from my cp's and from subbing to contests when I first started writing.

I remember getting back pages of my work with all those terms on that I had to google to find out what they meant.

There's a lot to learn!

Congrats on your release and putting yourself out there to reach your goals!

D'Ann said...

I don't post much on Critters anymore, only because I'm so busy. But they're best bunch around. I have some awesome CPs who have been through thick and thin with them.

Mart Ramirez said...

I HEART my CPS. What a great post!

Brenda said...

The scariest thing I've ever done was put up my work for critique. The first two crits I received made me cry, lol, but then they made me realize I had a ton to learn.

*raises a glass of ice-tea* To my CP's. May fame and fortune come to us all, LOL.

Melissa Limoges said...

That a great post! I completely agree, Brenda. I am so happy I joined a critique group, even happier I found an ace of a group as well. You ladies are fabulous and the advice I've been offered has been invaluable. Wishing the best luck with your release and many more, Lia!

Lia Davis said...

Thank you,everyone, for stopping by. Thanks, Brenda, for having me today.

CPs are great!

Sheri Fredricks said...

There are those who reject the idea of a critique group. Fine, but that's not me. I joined and have learned SO MUCH, made BEST FRIENDS, and finally got my book published.

Brendan, Bulldog, D'Ann - You all are wonderful. And the rest of the Rom-Critters - I'd be lonely without you!!!

Anonymous said...

Critique groups are invaluable! I love ours! If not for mine I don't think I'd be adding 'published' to my name! Great post! Love this story!

Anonymous said...

I LOVE this post! And I also agree with you, having a critique group has been invaluable and I haven't even started uploading chapters yet. The camaraderie with like-minded ladies has been a real treat, and Ravished Before Sunrise sounds fun and intriguing. I'll definitely be buying a copy! Plus I love being in bed with you and Carrie Ann (ha) *Grins*

Brenda said...

Lia, thank you so much for hanging with us.

To all who stopped by, I'd like to say a huge thank you! THANK YOU, lol.

Stacey Brutger said...

I don't use critique groups too much anymore (I really wish I had more time!), but they have helped me take myself out of the story and see it clearer.

All my CPs have helped me get a thick skin. It's the biggest gift they could've given me.

They pushed me for more and my stories are better for them.

Great post!