Tuesday, June 19, 2018


We first met Claire Crafts when she was eight-years-old. Her younger brother broke a window in our house, and his dad brought him and his sisters to the house. In Claire, I recognized a kindred spirit. Thereafter, whenever I saw her, we had long discussions about writing.

When she was ten, she joined our critique group. Being surrounded by published adult writers did not intimidate her, and we made no exceptions when critiquing her work. Because several of our authors were writing young adult novels, Claire’s input became invaluable.

At first, she wrote historical short stories, ala Little House on the Prairie. (All her young heroines were named “Millie,” and all the fathers were dead in her families. Her own father started to wonder about this particular plotline.)

As she progressed, she decided to write a novel. She started several, but never completed them. Part of the problem was she tried to write from an adult point-of-view. She also attempted to write about places and events about which she had little knowledge.

Finally, last summer when she was fifteen, she not only began but completed a lovely coming-of-age romance novel. She shared it with the group and received positive feedback.

On April 30, her sixteenth birthday, her novel, Trust the Wind was published on Amazon.com. She took the cover photo, and Larry did the design and layout.

So far, she has earned more royalties in six weeks than any of the adults in our group has ever earned in the same period!
Claire has several more books in her queue, including a book of poetry.

Encouraging the creativity of this very talented young lady has been a joy for all of us.
We have just helped our grand-niece complete her first fantasy novel. Savannah is only eleven, and she is also exceptionally talented.
Her mother told us about the book last Thanksgiving, and she sent it to me. Imagine my surprise when I read it and found it was better than some submissions I have received from the adults for whom I edit.

Savannah understands how to tell a story, how to create a story arc, character arcs, tension, and suspense. She has an impressive grasp of language and understands the value of dialogue. We went through the manuscript and identified a few issues, but overall, it was well done.

We promised her as part of her Christmas present we would help her publish it. We intend to keep our promise.

Larry created a wonderful cover, and the final edit is completed.
As soon as we work out the financial details, we’ll publish this one as well.

Like Claire, Savannah has more books planned.

Seeing the enthusiasm and talent of these young writers brings us a great deal of satisfaction.

Another young lady of fourteen has just joined out critique group. We’re anxious to see what she produces.

Have you ever had the experience of mentoring someone? Did you have mentors? How much difference did they make?

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