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.


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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.



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