Before I send any of my works in progress off to my editor, before I begin sharing titles and plot details, before I even finish the manuscript, I send the project, chapter by chapter to one person. My sister. She is the only person who gets to read everything I write, no matter what. That’s because she’s basically the only person in the world I trust to be completely honest with me. She’s not going to look me in the eye and tell me that a book is good when it, in fact, is not. She tells me what works and what doesn’t work, if something fits a character, if the plot is just totally and completely useless, etc… It takes a good friend to tell you that they love your writing. It takes a sister to tell you the truth.
I know I can trust her, not only because she’s my sister and I know she’s not afraid to be honest with me, but because she’s an even bigger reader than I am. Seriously. I read a lot. KJ devours books. She is the ultimate book consumer. This is why she is always my primary reader. She doesn’t edit. She just reads.
Last night, we were texting about a lot of different things and all of a sudden, she says to me, “Not gonna lie, but I think the reason I like <Current Work in Progress Title> so much is because it’s the greatest source of wish fulfillment I have ever read. Don’t get me wrong, I love Cemetery Tours, but you are an amazing YA author. Like, if I was fifteen and you weren’t my sister and I found this in a store, I would eat it up. And I’m not just saying that because it’s wish fulfillment. I’m saying that as someone who literally went to the library every day in 7th grade and read every YA book there.”
Can I just tell you that is the best compliment I have ever received from anyone?! Especially my sister. She and I are always supportive of one another, but neither one of us are the type to say something like that unless we really mean it. It meant more coming from her than it would anyone else because I know she hates phony compliments as much as I do. I really didn’t know what to say! I can tell you right now, however, that she’s got me so, so, so excited to keep writing this book and to finish it hopefully this month so I can get it out ASAP! Don’t worry, I’m not going to rush it or put out a book that’s low quality just because I’m eager to share it. But I am so, so, so excited about it now! Her words totally and completely made my whole day.
Cemetery Tours 3 is still definitely on its way, and so is the new series I’ve been talking about. That’s what I want to do with my life. I’m telling you, I want to be Meg Cabot who has like, a million different series. I’m just interested in so many different things and types of stories. I used to think that my addictive personality was something of a curse. I love the ocean and I love Scotland and I love ghost stories and I love boy bands and I love fantasy and I love magic and I love forests and I love chick lit and I love folklore… I used to wonder what I was going to do with myself with so many different interests… Interests that really have absolutely nothing to do with one another.
I can’t believe it took me so long to figure out the answer was writing.