Wednesday, November 21, 2018

1 WoW: Cheyanne Young on Giving Thanks to the Writing Community

For those who celebrate the U.S. holiday of Thanksgiving, this is often the time of year when we spend a little bit of time counting our blessings. Today, I'm thrilled to have Cheyanne Young, author of THE LAST WISH OF SASHA CADE (now available) with a special guest post on giving thanks to the writing community. Stay tuned after the post for more about Cheyanne and her book. Enjoy the guest post and if you're celebrating this week, Happy Thanksgiving!

Giving Thanks to the Writing Community
By Cheyanne Young

In its simplest form, writing is just pen and paper. Keyboard and an empty document. But in reality, writing is more than that. It comes with a whole stack of exciting things and stressful things, and it can often be hard to handle it all alone. From rejections and bad reviews, to agent calls and book deals, it’s vital that we have a support system we can turn to to celebrate and commiserate everything in our writing career.

I’m lucky to have a great family, and a couple of best friends in real life. They’re all here for me, but they just don’t “get it.” Every writer I talk to knows what I mean by this. Friends and family may love you and support you, but if they’re not a writer, they won’t ever fully grasp what it means to have reached your 100thquery rejection. Or your first book deal. Or selling foreign rights. Or getting that terrible trade review.

This is where the writing community comes in. In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I’d to share my most sincere gratitude for everyone in the writing community. Because even though a book can be written by just one person sitting alone in a room, it really does take an entire village to make that book come alive.

Thank you to the Beta Readers and Critique Partners!
I have a friend who reads every chapter of every manuscript I write immediately after I write it. It might sound weird, and it is, but I email her all of my chapters just to get some quick fun beta feedback. She’s my best friend, and she’s not writer, so she blindly loves it all. I strongly encourage writers to have beta readers like this, ones who will encourage and gush over your work. You know it’ll need a heck of a lot of revising, and maybe there are some plot holes, but hey, you’re writing. That should be celebrated.

My crit partner is a close writer friend who helps me pick apart those plot holes and strengthen my story. She’s also kind and amazing, but she isn’t afraid to be tough with me if something isn’t working. She’s a treasure and I’m so glad I have her. If you are a new writer, I strongly suggest that you reach out into the writing community and find some crit partners and beta readers. You will often build lasting friendships that follow you throughout your career.

Thank you to the Bloggers!
Book bloggers! Bookstagrammers! Seriously, where would we be without you? These bloggers have a heart for reading and sharing their love of books and often dedicate hours a day to the task. They take beautiful photos, write up glowing book reviews, and maintain friendships with authors on social media. Nothing makes my day more than seeing a new post about my book from a blogger. They do all of this hard work for free, just because they love books, and they are the glue that holds the book community together.

Thank you to the librarians!
When I was a kid I wanted to be a librarian because I thought the card catalogue system was just so cool and I thought that’s all librarians did all day. I was so, so wrong. Librarians are outstandingly smart people whose entire job is dedicated to books. They recommend books to their community, to young readers and old readers, and new readers, and reluctant readers. They support authors and hold library events. They share their favorite books with each other, and they make the world a much better place.

Thank you to the literary agents! (And my agent in particular)
It is my opinion that agents don’t get paid nearly enough. Agents work tirelessly for an author’s career. They negotiate better book deals, help you navigate the complex world of publishing, help you set your path to where it needs to be, and save you from mental breakdowns when the stress gets too much.

And finally, thank you to the readers!
Without you, books would just be words. You give the characters a home and bring the story to life. No part of an author’s career would be possible without you.

About Cheyanne Young
Cheyanne Young is a native Texan with a fear of cold weather and a coffee addiction that probably needs an intervention. She lives near the beach with her family, one spoiled rotten puppy, and a cat that is most likely plotting to take over the world. Her newest book about a girl whose dying best friend leaves her a to-do list, The Last Wish of Sasha Cade, is available now.

The day Raquel has been dreading for months has finally arrived. Sasha, her best friend in the whole world -- the best friend in the whole world -- has died of cancer. Raquel can’t imagine life without her. She’s overwhelmed and brokenhearted.

And then a letter from Sasha arrives. Has she somehow found a way to communicate from the afterlife?

In fact, Sasha has planned an elaborate scavenger hunt for Raquel, and when she follows the instructions to return to Sasha’s grave, a mysterious stranger with striking eyes is waiting for her. There’s a secret attached to this boy that only Sasha—and now Raquel—knows.

This boy, Elijah, might be just what Raquel needs to move on from her terrible loss. But can Raquel remain true to herself while also honoring her friend’s final wish?

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