This Week's YA Highway Road Trip Topic:
Who has helped you on your reading/writing/publishing journey?
It definitely takes a village to raise an author...or, more like an Internet.
Still, in my pre-online days, one Junior High turned High School teacher (I was lucky to have her at both levels) influenced my writing the most: Mrs. Wilson. The ten comma rules, a preposition song sang to the tune of Yankee Doodle (If, on, for, after, at, by, in...), diagramming sentences and "How long does our paper have to be?" Her answer: "As long as it needs to be."...these were just a few of her gems. But, more precious than diamonds, was her red pen bleeding all over my papers with the big 87-89s plastered at the top...I rarely got an A from her, but thanks to her I got A's from everyone else.
Other teachers inspired my reading, writing and acting (which does help with writing fiction): Mr. Hoke, Mr. McIntire, Mr. Kinsey, Mr. Hurber...wow, we really did have a great English Department in High School.
Okay, so fast forward many, many years. I did get an English Degree with a Theatre minor from Indiana University, which helped with my reading, writing and acting, but no specific teachers come to mind there.
Then I wrote my first book...a six-week rough draft...one raging hot mess. My first big helpers in revising were: Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne and Dave King, Write Tight by William Brohaugh, and The First Five Pages by Noah Lukeman (though, thanks to this last one, I went a little "rule" crazy for a while).
Then, I have to thank my mother-in law for being one of my first brave readers. Other friends and family members also braved the murky waters of my first efforts. Then came Doreen Height, a friend-of-a-friend published author who I linked up with online. She became my first critique partner.
After that came Critique Circle, a wonderful online critique site. Through them, I met Laura Pauling, Shana Silver, Denise Jaden, Pendred Noyce, Arlene Webb, Eric, Elle Strauss, and many others. What help! I learned so much from all of them!
So much that I landed my wonderful agent, Suzie Townsend. She got me a deal with Coliloquy. From there I met my editor, Emily Schultz, who's holding my hand through my first efforts at writing different plot pathways for a story...thank goodness, because it's way more overwhelming than I first would have thought.
Last but not least, all my blogging buddies who help keep me sane.
Thank you, thank you, thank you all!
What about you? Who goes in your acknowledgements?