The Making of a Novel: Other People's Writing Success

Beth Kephart is one of my best writer-friends. I have known her for many years, but have only met her once -- when my family was driving across the country and we showed up at her front door, sweaty and tired, and she fed us. We keep in touch via email, and via our websites and blogs. We talk to each other about the early days of our book ideas, cheer each other through the lonely middle days, and help each other understand our changing industry.

A few days ago on her blog, Beth wrote about holding her twelfth book in her hands. It's such a lovely post -- so full of hope and joy -- that I'd like to share it with all of you.2010-07-31-dangerousneighbors27.jpg

I'm struggling to get to page 50 on my new novel. I'm wondering if my idea is any good, if my opening is any good, if my characters are any good. And here comes Beth with a brand new book, all shiny and clean, with the most beautiful cover you've ever seen. You would think this would make me cower with jealousy, or curse Beth's productivity, or at least go to the freezer and demolish a quart or two of ice cream. But my reaction is the opposite.

The success of one writer is good for all writers. The more books Beth sells, the more we can all sell. I'm so proud of her. And so back I go to my fledgling pages....