Friday, December 10, 2010

Tough Love

Another reason I love to come to Chicago and visit my sister is because Mary gives it to me straight.  While my mother has loved every story I've ever written since the fifth grade, my sister isn't  afraid to tell me something is boring, ho-hum, or just plain stinks.

Since being back, I've been telling her about my latest novel.  She's a great one to bounce off ideas and read the first few chapters just to see if a book has enough hook.  She's also kind of partial to historicals and young adult novels too, so she's thrilled I'm working on another one, this time involving an Apache legend that I think is super-cool.  I feed her bits and pieces of it when we go for walks every day.  When she tells me, "What happens next?" or "Hurry up and give me another chapter!" I know I'm at least going in a positive direction.  Mary is also great for pitching book titles.  She came up with RUN FOR YOUR LIFE, my second book with Carina Press.

Although I have great critique partners in Phoenix, I always value my sister's input.  She's been more helpful and motivating to me than she even realizes. 

Okay, I'm getting all choked up as I type this so I'll stop now and get to work on my current WIP because I'm woefully behind and Mary is telling me to quit slacking off and get it in gear.  Sisters can be like that.

Do you have someone who's painfully honest with you?


Maria Zannini said...

Ref; Do you have someone who's painfully honest with you?

My husband. Though I'm not sure that's always a good thing. LOL.

I still love my devil's advocate though. It's his forthright nature that attracted me. That and the way he filled out his jeans. :-)

Sherri said...


My sister and BFF are more cheerleader than painfully honest. Though my BFF is awesome to bounce ideas off. She always manages to see things I've completely missed.

Angelina Rain said...

You’re lucky to have a sister like that. I’m an only child and believe me, it gets lonely.

As for a painfully honest person; my mother. She’s a very critical person so for her to like something it has to be good. She doesn’t read what I write as she’s rather a prude and some of my sex scenes will make her poke her eyes out, but I do run my idea’s by her and she tells me if she would ever read it or not.

Unknown said...

Aw, that's so sweet. And when I get stuck for a title - which I always do - I'll know where to come. :)

My husband can be honest although he tries to make it as painless as possible. He'll read something of mine and tell me it's good. A few minutes later, he'll start with "I wonder if that needs changing" or "Perhaps you need to up the tempo in that chapter a bit" or "Do you *really* think that character would act in such a way?" LOL.

Joanna St. James said...

that is nice! and yes Maria lol
Liz I'm thinking you should write a YA about sisters next.
I forgot but I told Lia - Now Angelina Rain that I would donate you to help with her book trailer cos you did such a great job with the one with your nephew
Like I own you eh?

Elana Johnson said...

What a great tribute post to your sister. And yes, we all have to have the people who are brutally honest with us.

Liz Fichera said...

Maria, You are so lucky! And a nice pair of jeans also helps. ;-)

Sherri, Glad to hear you have that kind of sis too. It makes life a little sweeter.

Angelina, Your mother is way more honest with you than mine. You are lucky!

Shirley, Same with mine! He always knows how to soften the blow. But sometimes I need someone more upfront--that's where Mary comes in. Wish you lived closer! :-)

Joanna, Funny you should mention that--I did write a novel about twin sisters. It still sits in my computer, in need of much overhauling. Thanks for the confidence on book trailers. I do enjoy making them. It's the whole package--sound, text, story, visuals. Love them!

Elana, Thanks! And I couldn't agree more.

Karen Jones Gowen said...

It's so awesome that you have a sister who can critique you so well and you're both still friends! I'd have to say it's my daughters who do that for me. And yes, we are friends despite it!

Marianne Arkins said...

The person I trust most is my business partner at LASR/WC, Judy.

She tells it like it is -- but always keeps it pleasant. I think that's a product of her southern raising... you know: "She's a little crazy in the head, bless her heart."

Susan said...

Years ago, I had very long pretty wavy hair - lots of work. I had it cut very short - too short and it looked awful. Everybody at work complemented me and I knew they were lying and just trying to be nice. That evening, when my son saw it, he said "Oh Mom, what did you do to your hair? It looks terrible." I said "Thank you John, you are the only honest person I have met all day". He said "No problem, SUCKS."

Liz Fichera said...

Karen, So glad you have such nice daughters! What treasures.

Marianne, You know what?! I didn't know you were affiliated with LASR/WC. Doh on me!! How nice to have a friend like that you can count on.

Susan, Your son is wonderful. You are very lucky. :-)

Julie Musil said...

That's amazing! My husband is very honest with me, and helps me work through plot problems. He's not even a big reader, but he's a great sounding board. And my critique partners are great.

Liz Fichera said...

Hi Julie! My hubs does read my books and he's pretty honest, mostly. He's not a huge fan of women's fiction, though. He's more of a Tom Clancy/James Patterson/Insert Spy Novel Here kind of guy.