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It Takes a Village to Write a Book

Okay. Maybe it doesn’t take a village to WRITE a book, but it sure does take one to make sure the book doesn’t suck. While I got tons of valuable feedback on my book (as well as lots of pretentious/elitist/ridiculous drivel), Jessie Powell saved my sanity.

At a pivotal moment, Jessie agreed to read my book and give me con crit. Few appreciate what a sacrifice of time she made for a fellow writer. She teaches English at the college level. She’s a swamped mom with two active, energetic, and at times challenging, kids. In fact, she was in the midst of something major with one of them when I approached her to read.

She said yes. Immediately. Even though we’d never met.

Jessie gave me enthusiastic notes of support, comprehensive explanations of what didn’t work and multiple ideas to fix holes in my manuscript. To Live Forever is a better book because of her selfless reading.

And, during my walk, I got to meet her. To give her a big hug. To sit and talk writing for several hours. She trekked from Montgomery, Alabama, and gave me one of the biggest gifts of my journey.

We form connections in The Great Blogosphere. Sometimes, we even call people we’ve never met friends. Jessie IS my friend, a dynamo whose voice I can now hear every time I read the words she writes.

Jessie has a book coming out this July, The Marriage at the Rue Morgue, from Five Star Press. I can’t wait to repay her for all the help she’s given me.


You KNOW you’re a WINNER! Tweet, Facebook, type and review your way to Charleston, South Carolina in the To Live Forever Journey to Charleston Contest. The more you enter, the better your chance to WIN. Click here to find out more: Support My Aching Feet.

Some people read my novel in a day. Beat me to the finish line. To Live Forever: An Afterlife Journey of Meriwether Lewis is available in paperback and e-book formats at these outlets: Click to Purchase To Live Forever.



25 Comments Post a comment
  1. The web has many bad points, but the new friends made far outweigh those.

    April 1, 2014
  2. Ah, I love Jessie! Isn’t it amazing the people we meet while blogging? I know I loved it when Tori and Lisa came to visit me in Lexington. I can only imagine the fun you all had together. So wish I could have been there!

    Hugs from Ecuador,

    April 1, 2014
  3. Kir Piccini #

    I love your book, I swear I tell one more person about it every day. I’ve kept us in Walmart lines and at birthday parties’ just 5minutes’longer.. To write down the book or who out my tablet to show them how to find/buy it.
    Over the weekend I read a paragraph to another mom and just sighed, ‘you have to read this book’.

    I am so jealous you got to meet Jessie. She is one of my favorite people on the planet and I can’t wait to do the same thing with her book this summer. I already heap praise on Divorce.. Whenever I can.

    It makes me happy that your paths crossed, what a wonderful meeting.

    April 1, 2014
  4. I am super envious! Jessie is a wonderful gift to everyone who gets to work with her, and you are lucky indeed.

    April 1, 2014
    • As are you! Bannerwing books is such an incredible undertaking. I’m excited to see it flourish. I remember wandering into your website by coincidence and falling in love (probably via Write on Edge). I downloaded Requiring of Care (and liked it so well that I remember the title still! That’s rare – I’m awful with names) and thought, “Holy shit, she’s one of the big dogs”. It means a lot that you feel like I’m running with you. 🙂

      April 1, 2014
  5. A book about a morgue…my kind of reading. I’ll watch out for it.

    April 1, 2014
  6. It sounds like you have made many new friends along this journey. I’m just glad to get to tag along.

    April 1, 2014
  7. God bless the editors. A good one is a treasure!

    April 1, 2014
  8. You have NO idea how much it meant to get to meet you, to have you totally willing to roll with Sam deciding to stick his smelly bare feet straight up in the air at lunch, and to make that physical connection in the blogosphere. The internet may be a huge place, but the writing community is surprisingly small. The meta message of To Live Forever that I enjoyed for every second I was reading was that we live forever in our writing. Merry lived forever (note how I avoided spelling his first name there) in his deeds, not his death, and we, as writers, live forever in our words. Your words are extraordinary ones, and they’re going to make a huge difference down the line.

    April 1, 2014
  9. And I ended the sentence before I was through typing, naturally, it should have said

    “down the line to everyone who reads it”

    April 1, 2014
  10. A good editor who can pick out what’s wrong or make suggestions without interfering with each individual writer’s uniqueness is like rubies!

    April 1, 2014
  11. You deserve every bit of good that has come your way, Andra.

    April 1, 2014
  12. It is true! We meet wonderful people through the Blogosphere! I met you! and my life is all the richer for it 🙂

    April 1, 2014
  13. A good editor is worth his/her weight in, um, . And please let me know if there’s anything I can do for Jessie, too.

    April 1, 2014
  14. “I value the friend who for me finds time on his calendar, but I cherish the friend who for me does not consult his calendar.” ~ Robert Brault

    I have “met” some lovely people thanks to reconnecting with you and reading your blog, Andra!

    April 1, 2014
  15. tarakianwarrior #

    Jessie – YOU are so awesome! Woohoo!

    April 1, 2014
  16. Heh. It also takes a Village to keep things cryptic:

    You’re almost at the end, Andra. Whereupon you wake up on that last day and realize you’re still home and haven’t set out yet… and Bob Newhart is sleeping next to you…

    April 1, 2014
  17. Oh, wow – another book to look forward to. Nice to meet you, Jessie.

    April 1, 2014
  18. What a pleasure to meet Jessie, and to realize what an inspiration and help she has been to you, Andra. Yes, a friend. It’s wonderful to realize that there are people who can be so unselfish with their time and talent! I will look forward to your book, too, Jessie.

    April 2, 2014
  19. Sounds like a wonderful meeting…it’s great to find kindred spirits.

    April 2, 2014
  20. It’s wonderful that you’re meeting some of your supporters for the first time on this trip. I too find it interesting how close I’ve come to feel toward people I only know through the blogosphere.

    April 2, 2014
  21. Congrats to Jessie on her upcoming book and to you for producing your wonderful book!!! I can’t wait till a producer options your book for the screen.

    April 2, 2014

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