My friend Laura just showed me the new-new-new-new-new beginning for her YA novel Bone Temple. It’s the result of much soul-searching (and head-banging?) after reviewers at the Pikes Peak Writers Conference pronounced the old opening unsatisfactory. (I disagreed :).)
The new opening—the one I didn’t think she needed to write—is magical. It’s engaging, curiosity-inspiring, and absolutely perfect.
Laura is one of my favorite YA fantasy writers, which is unfortunate for most of the world because she hasn’t yet “broken into” the YA publishing scene. Luckily for me (and my kids, who occasionally kidnap her manuscripts when I bring them home for critique), I’m in her critique group and get to enjoy her stories. I’ve gotten to watch over the years as her writing—always very good—deepened and became more magical.
In case you haven’t guessed it yet, I’m an avid Laura fan. If her books were in print, I’d own every single one…and this latest surpasses them all, with words, character, setting, and story twining together like strands in a cord. It’s the kind of book that makes your heart ache with both sympathy and joy, the kind of book that takes you for a gripping ride and ultimately satisfies.
Laura exemplifies the many reasons that my writing friends are so dear to me. It’s not just that we get each other (which we do) or that we’re crazy in many of the same ways (which we are); it’s also that, as I watch Laura’s writing journey, her ups and downs along the way and her amazing growth as a writer—it gives me hope as I travel my own writing path.