Critique Partner Guest Post: Rachel Harris

Originally posted January 11, 2012

Today we’re welcoming author Rachel Harris (whose own book, My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century debuts this year) to Basia’s Bookshelf to chat a little bit about her critique partner
Trisha Wolfe, whose book Destiny’s Fire debuted on Tuesday.

Rachel HarrisWriting can be such a lonely, scary thing. When I first decided to try this ‘writing for publication thing’ for real, I didn’t know any other writers. Luckily, I did get involved with a local MG/YA writer’s group and made some amazing friends, but finding critique partners is a whole other animal. I exchanged manuscripts with a few people and got great feedback—but finding a true CP who tells it to you straight, gets your voice, and truly challenges you to be the best writer you can be? Yeah, that’s freaking impossible.

The last week of January 2011 was a landmark week because that was when Trisha Wolfe and I first exchanged manuscripts for critique. Despite the five states keeping me from pounding on her door day and night, somehow we managed to find each other on Twitter. Unfortunately for the world at large, neither of those manuscripts have plans to see the light of day. But, later that month, we each got hit by the idea fairy, and began tossing around ideas for new projects. By mid-February, we fell into our now established rhythm of writing a chapter, polishing it, sending it, and then waiting ever so patiently (ahem, not) to get the critique back. I still have the email from February 15th saved when Trisha sent the first chapter of White Flame . . . now titled DESTINY’S FIRE. To say I fell in love at first word would be putting it mildly. Very, very, very mildly.

Trisha Wolfe knows how to bring the STEAMY!!!

In fact, Ms. Wolfe knows how to write just about anything. She paints with words and her imagery flat out gives me chills. Her action scenes kick major butt, her hotties are smoking, and the witty banter just makes me smile like an idiot. Her heroines refuse to take crap from anyone . . . kinda like Trisha herself.  She knows what she likes to read, and infuses every page of her own writing with her passion. As a CP, Trish isn’t afraid to bring that same level of passion, not holding back to tell me what doesn’t work for her, right along with the fun, cheerleading comments that give me confidence that I am actually a quasi-decent writer.

If it wasn’t for our friendship—because that’s what our critique relationship has become, a true friendship—I honestly don’t think I’d have my own debut coming out in the fall. Her never failing support of my work, her belief in my characters and my story, her praise when I felt down, and her tough love when I needed it, all gave me self-assurance to query widely and proudly. When dream agents gave feedback I didn’t agree with, her belief gave me the gumption not to change the story I wanted to tell. Honestly, a work in progress never feels real or complete until Trisha has read the latest chapter and given her stamp of approval. I value her opinion that much.

For all these reasons and more, I’m grateful for the chance to sing the praises of my writing/agent/bloggy sister, and scream from the rooftops that you must read DESTINY’S FIRE. It’s guaranteed to entertain, thrill, and inspire you—I know it did for me. And as for Reese and Jace? Those boys are gonna rock your world.

Trisha WolfeNote from Trish: Wow. I can’t believe it’s been a year! And Pfft. Thank you for the high praise, Rach, but DF wouldn’t be out there right now if not for your awesomeness. That’s a fact. You’ve taught me so much, and now I can’t wait to shout to the world how fantastic MY SUPER SWEET SIXTEENTH CENTURY is when it releases! You guys better follow this chick. She’s going to blow up. I’ll just be sitting back saying, I remember when . . .

About the author:

Trisha Wolfe is the author of the YA Steampunk/Paranormal Romance DESTINY’S FIRE. Her published short stories have appeared in YA literary journals and Fantasy magazines. UNVEILED is her first novelette and part of a Dystopian series releasing TBA. She’s written four books in the past two years, and is currently working on the sequel to DF and a new project. She’s represented by Lauren Hammond of ADA Management.



Destiny's FireDestiny’s Fire
By Trisha Wolfe

Publisher: Omnific Publishing
Publication Date: January 10, 2010
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal Steampunk

It’s the year 2040, and sixteen-year-old Dez Harkly is one of the last of her kind—part of a nearly extinct race of shape-shifters descended from guardians to the Egyptian pharaohs. Her home and her secret are threatened when the Council lowers the barrier, allowing the enemy race to enter the Shythe haven.

As the Narcolym airships approach, Dez and her friends rebel against their Council and secretly train for battle. Not only is Dez wary of war and her growing affection for her best friend Jace, but she fears the change her birthday will bring. When Dez’s newfound power rockets out of control, it’s a Narcolym who could change her fate… if she can trust him.

Dez’s guarded world crumbles when she discovers why the Narcos have really come to Haven Falls, and she’s forced to choose between the race who raised her and the enemy she’s feared her whole life.


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