Since I started the whole "kindle-aholic likes to review and talk about books" thing a couple of years ago, I've been truly privileged to make friends with some very talented writers. Some go the traditional pub route, some are self-pubbed, but we all share a love of reading and writing. Recently one of them got some very big news...
I started out on Amazon, chatting about kickass Urban Fantasy in the forums. There I met Amanda Carlson. It turned out that we liked a lot of the same books and shared recommendations. Then one day she asked if I would mind taking a look at something she was working on. I quickly agreed, and soon I became one of her beta readers.
What does that mean? I read whatever she sends me and then say what I like/don't like, what I think works, what might be confusing and needs more explanation, and so on. It also means that I leave any spellchecking, grammar checking, etc at the door (I think this is easier said than done for a lot of folks). It means giving your opinion, but also backing away and not taking it personally if your comments aren't used (after all - it's not your story). More than that, I get to see a book come together. It's fantastic to see the first rough drafts, then see how things start coming together after some re-writes (and re-writes, cause that's what writing is). I have to say - Amanda is one talented writer and she tells a helluva good story. She's also a great writing buddy and I learn a lot from her critiques.
I also got to follow along as Amanda sent out her query letters (check out her website for query help - good stuff), her first interactions with potential agents, getting an agent (Nicole Resciniti!), and then meeting with editors. The whole ride was so exciting for ME, and I was just cheering from the sidelines.
I was so unbelievably excited when I read the news from Orbit that not only did Amanda get a book deal, she got a THREE BOOK DEAL, working with editor Devi Pillai (an awesome editor who has worked on some of my favorite books). From the press release: "Her three novels: FULL BLOODED, HOT BLOODED, and COLD BLOODED will be out in September 2012, March 2013 and August 2013 respectively. Jessica is the only female werewolf born to a race of males. And prophecy claims that her birth will signal the end of their race. Who said it was easy being a girl?"
So keep an eye out for more from Amanda Carlson!