A little story about my critique partner

Around this time last year, an agent blogged about the importance of critique partners – having one, finding one that matched your needs and gave the type of feedback you required, was honest and trustworthy, etc, etc. The agent then graciously invited people in need of a critique partner to post their book blurbs, their critique needs, and contact info in the comments.

I had just finished my third or fourth revision of LAICOS. It was in decent shape, but I desperately needed some honest, constructive, top-level feedback. I posted a comment.

A few hours later, I got an email from a YA writer saying she thought our critique needs might be in-line. We exchanged our first chapters to feel things out.

Her writing was brilliant, and gorgeous, and so unique. I gave her some feedback, and she gave me some, and we said, “What the heck, let’s swap complete MSs.”

What followed was an endless flurry of emails…about the industry, the business of writing, the art of writing, books, blogging, food, puppies, and our shared love of autumn. She gave me some superb advice regarding LAICOS and helped me whip it into query-ready shape. Working together was just so easy. It felt like we’d been critiquing for each other for years.

Truthfully, I can’t believe how lucky I got with this critique partner. She has helped me so much. She is largely responsible for LAICOS being a manuscript that agents cared to read. She kept me sane while on submission. She continues to answer my emails at all hours of the day.

While I went through all the craziness with LAICOS (snagging an agent, getting a book deal, plowing through my revisions), she kept writing. She stayed focused, and positive, and supportive, and generally awesome.

And today, she’s on Publishers Marketplace:

April Tucholke’s debut BETWEEN THE DEVIL AND THE DEEP BLUE SEA, pitched as Stephen King meets IMAGINARY GIRLS, in which a 16-year-old allows a crooked-smiling liar with sweet eyes and a mysterious past to board at her family’s crumbling estate and finds herself pulled between love and fear as strange events grip her town, to Jessica Garrison at Dial Children’s, in a pre-empt, by Joanna Volpe at Nancy Coffey Literary & Media Representation (World English).

And let me tell you, it is just as good as it sounds. Better, even. This is one heck of a book!

Congratulations, April! I am so, so happy for you! Thank you for reaching out to me over a year ago and being the best critique partner around. Being on this journey with you has been simply incredible, and I can not wait to see DEVIL on my book shelf.

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