Friday, November 16, 2012

Happy Anniversary Day #14

Hi, folks! A reminder that today's prize is a trilogy of YA paranormal ebooks donated by Ali Cross. Click here to learn more about them.

It's time for another round of "Let's Ask Tristi Our Questions!"

Andrea asked: What's the best part of being a mother AND an author?

I answered: The best part is that I get to do what I love and to stay home while I do it. The kids can come up to me at any time and get what they need, and they get to see me doing something that taps into my talents. Because of this, they all believe that they can make their own dreams come true, and they know it will take hard work and determination to bring it about. But they aren't scared of it because they've seen it work. 

Nanette asked: Which authors inspired you?  What novels do you recommend?

I answered: I was inspired by Dean Hughes and Ann Rinaldi for my historicals, Dee Henderson and Terri Blackstock for my romantic suspense, and Dorothy Gilman, Diane Mott Davidson, Ann George, and Selma Eichler for my cozy mysteries. Any of their novels are very enjoyable reads. I also love Leif Enger's richness of language.

Robin asked: How do you handle it when you get a beta reader or an editor who has terrible bedside manner and is just plain mean in their critiques?

I answered: This is something an author will go through a lot - having to deal with someone who doesn't know how to share their thoughts tactfully. If it's a beta reader or an editor you hired yourself, you don't have to go back to them in the future. Just thank them for their thoughts and move on to someone else. 

Every piece of critique will have something in it you can use. I've never seen a critique that was 100% useless. Set their comments aside for a little and do something else to clear your mind, and then come back to it and be objective. Casting the mean tone aside, which of their comments make sense? Then incorporate those, be grateful for them, and throw the rest out.

If you're assigned to a cranky editor at your publishing house, which is something you have less control over, you may have to just smile and do the best you can. Choose your battles and stick to your guns, professionally, when you know for certain that you are right. Be willing to take counsel if there are things you need to learn.  

I wrote an article on choosing an editor and another on working with an editor. I hope these are helpful.

Amber asked: Which character have you enjoyed writing the most?

I answered: Hands down, the trifecta of Ida Mae, Tansy, and Arlette in the Secret Sisters Mysteries. I can't really mention one of them without also mentioning the others. They are so fun, quirky, and alive - I have fun every time I write them. 

Okay, folks -  leave your comments here by midnight tonight to enter to win Ali's trilogy, and keep in mind that every entry also goes toward the grand prize at the end of the month. And if you have any questions you'd like me to answer, leave them in this comment trail as well.


Amber Lynae said...

I live reading your answers. And I completely agree that it is very rare for a critique to have no value. Unfortunately, not every person presents their helpful input in an easy to swallow pill, but if you can get past the sting there is something to be learned.

Thanks Tristi.

Andrea said...

I love Ida Mae, Tansy, and Arlette. They're some of my most favorite fictional characters. I'm glad you created them.

andreal said...

What a blessing to be able to work from home.

Tamera Westhoff said...

I love that you consider the three "sisters" as one character!

Miranda D Nelson said...

Thanks for the tips on working with editors, I appreciated those.

Laura Josephsen said...

It's so cool that your kids get to see you using your talents and doing what you're good at (and what you love doing).

You have such a great attitude about working with editors/authors. (And really great advice.) Thanks!

Anna Maria Junus said...

Great post, and I love Dorothy Gilman too. Mrs. Pollifax is a hoot and I can see the influence with your secret sisters (which I enjoyed by the way).

I know that as a reviewer you want to give good reviews because you want to like the books, especially if you're an author as well. But I also hate giving fake reviews. I can't say I loved a book if I didn't. So if I've read a book that has a lot of holes, or the writing has something to be desired, I try and find good things to say about the book and then I try and be honest without being damaging. Trouble is, that's hard to do. And it's not easy as an author to read something critical.

Tamee said...

I hate it when I get mean spirited reviews! Critiques don't need to hurt!

Janet Kay Jensen said...

Thought-provoking post, Tristi. I read it too late to enter the contest, but what the heck. I'm glad I hopped on over to your blog anyway.

Beckey said...

Thanks for sharing the informative and enjoyable post.

Mary Preston said...

Writing must be a continual learning experience. I like how you said that no critique is 100% useless. It's what we take away from the less positives that can help us most sometimes.


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