As some of you may know, I frequent, and even recommend the site, Scribophile for writers interested in networking and getting feedback on work from other writers. If you find you are searching for a good critique site, that is the one to use (in my humble opinion).
Anyway, some time ago, I started a writer's circle on the site called "Sisterhood of the Travelling Pens" and invited some female writers I knew and had critiqued before to join. My motive at the time was purely selfish, as I found it hard to keep track of new works posted for these writers that I enjoyed reading and interacting with.
What started for my own selfish organizational gain has become one of my greatest writing inspirations. As it turns out, 3 of the members of our little circle are enjoying the hustle and bustle of debut novels being published. The first two of them are now out in print and e-book, while the third is due for release in October 2011.
Shout out here for: Darkness and Light (Review below) by J.A Belfield, Little White Lies (reading now, review to come) by Aimee Laine and The Glass Man by Jocelyn Adams (coming in October). -- [all three books are being released by J. Taylor Publishing]
At first, seeing the three of them go though the process of doing book blurbs, getting galley copies, cover art, book trailers, etc made me spike with jealousy. Having short stories published is one thing -- but a whole book. Something with just one author's name. WOW.
My first reaction -- I wanna play, too! But you have to complete a novel to submit one, and I haven't managed that yet.
But the thing that I have learned, above all, from their wonderful and exciting news is this.
Each and every one of their successes inspires me to do more, try harder, and put my nose to the grindstone. If they can do it, if the dream can come true for people I know and ones I call friends, people with jobs, kids and busy lives like mine -- then it is possible for me as well.
Besides, what better than having good books written by your friends for your summer and fall reading lists? Not much, that I can tell ya.