I am excited to have Leah Cypress on the blog today as part of her blog tour. You can see the full list of stops and dates ->HERE<*shudders at the memory*
About Leah Cypress:
About Leah Cypress:
I wrote my first story in first grade. The narrator was an ice-cream cone in the process of being eaten. In fourth grade, I wrote my first book, about a girl who gets shipwrecked on a desert island with her faithful and heroic dog (a rip-off of both The Black Stallion and all the Lassie movies, very impressive).I first discovered critique groups in law school. Until then, I wrote my stories and/or books, read them over several times myself, occasionally had my sister read them, and then sent them off to editors.
*taken from authors blog*
Apparently, this wasn’t all that terrible – I did get a few non-critiqued short stories published, and even got my first encouraging rejections letters (the ones with a scribbled "send me more" at the top). But once I discovered critique groups, I could never go back. All it took was once instance of seven different readers thinking my main male character was female, or mentioning that I had forgotten to mention a crucial plot point, to make me swear by them.
But while I’m solidly behind the critique group concept, I’m also aware of the dangers. Critique groups can be a crutch; you can have something critiqued over and over again, trying to make it everything to everyone, and scrub out your own unique vision. The worst mistake you can make, when going through critique, is thinking you have to get everyone in your group to love your manuscript.
When I sent one of the earlier drafts of Mistwood to my critique group, one critiquer wrote to me to say that she was going to have to withdraw because she couldn’t finish the manuscript; she disliked my main character too much. Needless to say, this was a confidence-shattering moment for me, especially since the critiques I’d been getting until then were all glowing. But now that the book has been published, I realize that she wasn’t wrong; she represented a sample of readers who do dislike Isabel. No character is going to be universally liked, just as no person in real life is universally liked. No story is for everyone. It is really important to winnow out the critiques from people who are simply not the story’s audience, and – not to put too fine a point on it – ignore everything they say. They’re not bad or wrong, they’re just not useful.
Sometimes you have to ignore the critiquers and follow your own muse; it’s important to distinguish "I didn’t get this concept across on the page" from "these critiquers are in disagreement with the concept." You also have to guard against laziness; sometimes, it’s easier to throw your manuscript out to the wolves than to figure out what’s wrong with it yourself. Books are not written by committee.
I know some writers who gave up on critique groups after getting published; deadline pressure makes it a lot harder to work in time for that process, and in the end, the best critiques will come from your editor. But for me, they are a necessary part of my revising process, and I don’t see myself going it alone any time soon.
Nightspell (Mistwood, 2) by Leah Cypress, 2011. Published by HarperCollins.
Open to residents of the US (sorry international followers, but I can only ship within the US).
A stand-alone companion novel to the much-acclaimed MISTWOOD. When Darri rides into Ghostland, a country where the living walk with the dead, she has only one goal: to rescue her younger sister Callie, who was sent to Ghostland as a hostage four years ago. But Callie has changed in those four years, and now has secrets of her own. In her quest to save her sister from herself, Darri will be forced to outmaneuver a handsome ghost prince, an ancient sorcerer, and a manipulative tribal warrior (who happens to be her brother). When Darri discovers the source of the spell that has kept the dead in Ghostland chained to this earth, she faces a decision that will force her to reexamine beliefs she has never before questioned - and lead her into the heart of a conspiracy that threatens the very balance of power between the living and the dead.Okay, the Raffl;ecopter form is now working. =)
December 19 (the end of the tour).
Winners will have 48 hours after being contacted to reply.
Fill Out Rafflecopter form to enter.