Wednesday, May 21, 2014

The Angel Room - Readers' Circle



We had our readers' circle for The Angel Room (working title) on the 16th at the Gardeas' house in San Tan Valley, so nearly everyone had a long drive to get there. Except for Laura, she Skyped in. Thank you so much Jon and Rachel for hosting our circle!

Before the circle, Rachel helped me put out a display of book related items.



Slurpees, Skittles, books, crayon drawings, popcorn, cookies, a typewriter with Eleanor's story just started, and a horse wall. The horse wall was what actually made me the most excited. It just started coming to life for me then, having her belongings sort of materialize in front of me.


I tried drawing the pictures with my non-dominant hand, but I'm mildly ambidextrous, so they're weren't as primitive as I would have liked.



We started at the beginning of the book and worked our way through, discussing any issues that anyone had with the manuscript. A few readers did line edits, but in the circle, we talked about characterization, plot, themes, motivation, etc. There were a few moments when members of the circle discuss things pretty strongly and I wasn't even talking. It was awesome, because they were invested in the characters, in the story, and in the message of the book.

I received amazing feedback and everyone expressed their admiration that I wrote a whole. entire. book. It was great to hear everyone talk about the main character and how much they identified with her and her journey. It was especially great (in the week before the circle) to get texts and emails when people were finishing up the manuscript telling me that they were in tears, or how much they loved it.

So I have started the 2nd draft. It's going to take a lot longer than I thought to go through the first round of edits, but I feel like there's a light at the end of the tunnel and I can't wait to take it to WIFYR.

Thank you to all of my readers so far: Katherine Anderson, Laura Platt, Brenda Evans, Kenna Rieske,
Rachel Gardea, Jon Gardea, Kilee Luthi, Ben Luthi, Rebekah Bales-Dunford, John Hill, Catherine Hess, Bill Smith, Jillian Young, Renee Klug, and Alisha Geary.



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