Let me start by saying how much I love my critique group! We are all so different in personality and style but there isn't one of us I'd trade.
Shannon is a middle school English teacher. Her ideas are fantastic and she knows all the 'rules' which I appreciate. She also has a vast knowledge of teens which I find priceless since I write YA. More than once she has steered me back on track as far as what kids think and do. I love to read her ms and can't wait for the next ten pages. She writes for women. Chic-lit and the like.
Brock is her husband. He's funny, silly, deep, serious, and amazes me with how effortlessly he comes up with ideas. We spend half our time together laughing and giggling. He's one of my favorite people alive. It couldn't be that we went to high school together and that I love him like a brother, but maybe it is. He writes dark, edgy historical/religious stories. He has a book being reviewed at the University of Utah.
Renae is my neighbor and someone I would never had dreamed would become such a close friend. We are as different as night and day, and yet I love her and her critiques, her ideas, and her open opinions that she isn't afraid to voice. She's always kind and works hard to develop her craft. She is a stable pillar in our group. Her first manuscript is being reviewed at an LDS publisher. She writes religious/ancient historical books. (Book of Mormon time period)
Then there's me. I write YA, some fantasy, and some paranormal.
We've had a couple of other people come and go, but they haven't stuck around with the same commitment the rest of us have. We did have someone new visit last night, so maybe we'll see him again. We'd like to have one more permanent member. I hope he comes back. I really liked him and his work.
Last night one of the things we discussed was the new book I started. These awesome friends of mine gave the best advice on what to do to make it better. Things I'd never thought of. Shannon said she'd never read anything like it, that this story may be the first out there with this premise. How's that for freakin' fantastic? And she would know. She's read a lot of YA.
Thank you, my friends, for making me a better writer. For making me grow, and helping me see further and deeper than I ever could have on my own. Thank you for accepting me as I am and for being the best Thursday night dates I've ever had! =) Here's to years more!