Beta Readers Wanted

Guess what! Guess what! Guess what!

No. I didn’t get a pony, though that would be pretty cool.

But I did finish the second draft to One Last Wish a few moments ago and now I’m searching for THREE beta readers to read the book (set up like a PDF ebook*) and then email me thoughts, concerns, comments, suggestions, etc. that you may have.

*please excuse the generic About the Author, Acknowledgements, blank pages, etc. Those are going to be filled in when I finalize the book. So please just ignore those and focus on the book.

Why am I doing this?

When I finished writing Shadows last year, I hesitantly made the decision to do this exact thing. In the end, I decided it was the best idea I ever had. I received pages upon pages of useful feedback. I don’t expect pages, but I do hope you won’t hold back for fear of offending me. I’m pretty hard to offend and I’d rather you tell me something sucks before I publish the book.

The reason why I don’t just ask my friends and family for feedback is because I don’t think I’d get unbiased criticism. Don’t get me wrong, I love my friends and family. They’re super supportive of my writing, they’re my biggest fans, but they also see me on a regular basis.

By asking for three perfect strangers to read this is like handing it to my fans and asking them to tell me what they think. Whether you’re a fan of mine or not, I hope you give me honest criticism (be nice about it and I won’t be offended. If you email me saying my plot line sucks, my writing sucks, and there’s nothing that can make it better, then I’ll be upset.) because you’re entitled to your opinion.

If you’re interested, I’m requesting you email me at authornicolebelanger@gmail.com and I will send you a sneak peak of One Last Wish.  I also request you tell me a little about yourself and why you think I should choose you as a beta reader. Once all three have been chosen, I will email the PDF.

I will only be giving 2 weeks to read/email me your feedback. If this is not enough time and you need an extension, please let me know. I might be able to work something out.

Last year I gave my Beta readers an autographed copy of Shadows when it was released. I can only do this for US residents. If you’re outside of the US, we can work something else out.

I look forward to hearing from you!

Editing Day 3

4 Stages Of Writing, by Debbie Ridpath Ohi

 

The editing process is a long one. It’s well worth it, of course, but man my hands are tired! I swear I’m going to get carpel tunnel by the time I’m twenty-three.

I’m only about 20,500 words in, so still got a ways to go, but I can not wait to be done editing!

Whew! I guess I should stop distracting myself and get back to wrok! Literally. I’m at the hospital right now, with four and a half hours left until my shift ends, then half hour to hang around before my meeting. Lucky me, right?

Are you as excited as I am for Shadows!?

Shadows Prologue

He was breathing heavily. Not because he’d been exercising, but rather because he was nervous. The anxiety crept through him as a cold chill ran across his body. Today was the day.

It started like any other day: go in to work, smiling at the familiar faces, and slip hastily into his office. But today would be different; he knew that. What he didn’t know was whether his plan would work. He’d spent the past year trying to fathom what’d happened. How did he lose his only son?

Surely he wasn’t there when it occurred. He’d left him with a trusted companion; one who’d promised to watch over and protect him. She’d let him down, much like anyone else had. Why hadn’t he been surprised when he returned home to an empty house and a note?

There was an accident,” it read, “on my way to the hospital with Calvin.

It must not be too serious, he thought. She’d had enough time to leave a message, but why hadn’t she called him? He would spend the next year creating scenarios in his head, each with a potential solution to what had gone wrong.

They say Calvin had been running out by the pool, unsupervised, and when he slipped, he splashed into the water, striking his head on the concrete. There was no way of knowing what had truly caused his death, there’d been too many factors that came into play.

Calvin’s father knew better. He knew there’d been a reason this had happened and he’d been determined to find the cause. He never did, though, and this caused him even more anguish. He became friends with the shadows, hoping their company would distract him from the pain. But the desire for revenge strengthened in the darkness, and today it overwhelmed him.

Editing Day One

After finally finishing my homework for the day, I decided to start editing Shadows. As exciting as that sounds, it’s just as scary. Editing is a crucial part to the story making process, standing between an author and success. I want Shadows to succeed, so I have to choose wisely when revising it. 

My first step of the day was to go through all the notes I’ve made, get them in order, make sure I have my character list handy, and neatly lay out each vital detail where I can easily get to it. The second step? Coffee. I had been up all night working, so after taking a four hour nap and doing my homework, coffee was the essential detail to making sure I was awake enough.

So far, I’ve only written the Prologue, and I’m actually quite excited about it! I’m hoping it leaves you all wondering what will happen as you start reading. I’ve sent it off to my Beta Readers, so stay tuned for another sneak peak of Shadows.

COVER CONTEST DEADLINE IS MAY 4: 
https://nlbelanger.wordpress.com/2014/03/28/shadows-cover-contest/

Beta Readers

Something I didn’t do when I published Lost Voice was give it a chance to bake a little bit. The excitement caused me to rush into publishing and before I knew it, before it was truly ready to be put out there, Lost Voice was in circulation.

Now, don’t get me wrong: I don’t regret it. Publishing my first novel at such a young age gave me the ability to be something. To do something with my writing. But it wasn’t ready. The book wasn’t ready and I reflect back on it now, three years later, with a heavy heart. Lost Voice took me two years to write, so you can imagine my excitement when I finally finished it. I should have given it time to be edited and really made it good. And before you go telling me “you were published at seventeen, that’s impressive enough” or “It is a good book, I enjoyed it” hear me out.

Here’s the thing. I have been able to look back and really see what I did wrong in terms of a lot of things. I’m proud of my first novel, as every writer should be. I have been able to use it as a platform to see what I should and shouldn’t do this time around.

A week ago I did something that I never thought I’d do before: I sent the file for Shadows to three beta readers. My hands were shaking before I even began typing out the email, and I hesitated before pressing send. I finally did it, and then the nerves ran through my body. What if they don’t like it? What if it’s terrible? What if the plot is aweful? But I let it be, knowing that I would embrace the feedback and use it to my advantage.

I wanted to say thank you to Nate Auron, Chris VanderReyden and P.G Shriver for taking the time to not only read through the skeletal copy of Shadows but for also carefully laying out your feedback with honesty, suggestions, comments and concerns. I truly believe with your feedback I’ll be able to make it even better. I look forward to sharing it with all of you.

As a thank you, I would like to present each of you with a free autographed copy of Shadows this summer when it’s released. If you could each email me an address that I can send your copy to, I would greatly appreciate it.

Anyone else, please check out and enter the Shadows Cover Contest. Deadline is May 4, 2014
https://nlbelanger.wordpress.com/2014/03/28/shadows-cover-contest/