Friday, April 6, 2018

Happy Birthday, Kristy J. Manhattan

It has been said it takes a village to raise a child. It takes a team to produce a book too. My beloved husband challenged me to finish my first book and encourages me to keep writing. Friends like my dear Marissa celebrate successes and commiserate failures. But through each book, through every plot, every good and bad cover, every praising or complaining review, there has been one person who has always been by my side.

Kristy J. Manhattan.

I call Kris my critique partner, but that isn’t a very good description of the many ways she influences my books. For one thing, she rarely asks me to critique her work even though she is a talented writer herself. (She wrote 1,000 words yesterday. I cheered.)

For another thing, she does far more than critique. She serves as a sounding board for plots and characters, helps me think through issues, and offers advice about career plans and hopes. She was my guide the first time I went to England (she’d been there before--that's her outside the assembly rooms in Bath). She read every book aloud to me while I checked the text back in the day when we had to hand proof (as in the publisher would send a manuscript that had been rekeyed and the author was responsible for ensuring that every letter had been transferred over correctly). And she serves as my first reader, the one who lets me know when I get it right and when I might have gotten it wrong.

She pointed out when my heroine’s eyes inexplicably changed color in the middle of the story.

She noticed when my characters bought two horses and somehow rode away on three.

She catches typos, grammatical errors, and plot holes (though I try to give her very few of any of these).

Because of her love of cats, she’s coaching me through my upcoming series that features a mysterious employment agency owner and her matchmaking feline Fortune.

Her support gives me confidence to send my books to a publisher and to let them loose into the world through self-publishing.

If you enjoyed any of my stories, chances are Kris helped make it that polished jewel.

Today is her birthday. I wrote this post to let her know how much I value and appreciate all her efforts on my behalf over the years. Here’s to many more stories to come, Kristy J. Much love.