Welcome to the Family

What can a new writer expect from a veteran?

Often, when newer writers come to a writing event, they’re fearful. They worry others will put them down, especially the pros.

Maybe a few established authors fear competition, but not the best ones. Instead, they offer advice, acceptance, and encouragement.

Mystery and adventure author Paul Keprecos, in a recent Facebook post, spoke about meeting bestselling novelist Sue Grafton:

I met Sue in 1992 at the Toronto Bouchercon [mystery writing convention] where she was announcing the winners of the Shamus award for the Private Eye Writers of America. My first book, Cool Blue Tomb, was in the running for best original paperback. As a brand-new writer I had more than the usual insecurities, so I almost fell out of the chair when Sue announced I’d won a Shamus.

I was wandering around in a daze when she came over to congratulate me. She shook my hand, gave me a warm smile, and then she winked at me. Sue. Grafton. Winked. At me! Not just a quick lid snap. A real eye squeeze. It was like a personal welcome into a fraternity of PI writers.

After reading [her] obituary, I went to look at the award plaque which hangs on a wall in the TV room. Much has happened in the 25 years since then. … But I will never, ever forget that wonderful wink.

Need affirmation and assistance for your writing? Join a writers group. Attend a conference. The real pros will offer their support.

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About Andy Scheer

With more than 30 years in publishing, Andy Scheer has provided freelance editorial services since 2010. He has edited fiction and nonfiction for publishers including Moody, WinePress, and BelieversPress, as well as for clients including Dirk Cussler, McNair Wilson, DiAnn Mills, Heather Day Gilbert, and Sammy Tippit.

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