Tuesday, October 22, 2013
In celebration of the release of her novel SAVING SAM, JL Campbell is hosting the WHO'S YOUR HERO blogfest. Joy requests: Write a maximum of 300 words in which you talk about someone who's encouraged or inspired you in some way. It may be a spouse, writing buddy, teacher, one of your kids or none of the above. You get the gist." She is also hosting a "word art write up that can be shared via twitter. Leading up to the release of Saving Sam, I've discounted Christine's Odyssey to $0.99, so get your copy if you haven't read it as yet."
My writing hero is a group of people known as Critique Partners. I've had loads of help along my writing/publishing journey, and the people who most deserve the credit belong to Chico Writers Group.
I joined Chico Writers Group about five years ago, after an internet search for a local writing group. That was probably the best writing advice I've ever received, and as luck would have it for this glass-half-empty-girl, my first exposure turned out to be the only place for me. I was so nervous my first meeting, and for about a year after that. Every time I offered feedback I expected the group to laugh at me, berate me for my lack of writing credentials, even toss me out.
But they let me in, valued my insights - sometimes called opinions - and took off the kid gloves when it came to critting my own submissions. Over the years the members changed, and eventually dwindled to the point we disbanded. One person especially went out of her way to get to know my writing style, and to encourage my journey with book recommendations,web sites to follow, and of course her writing insights and feedback. The group leader and I are still close friends, and we still exchange writing info and critiques.
Without this varied group, and my special friend in particular, none of my writings would be published.
Over the last few years I've also had several bloggy buddies that have become valued critique partners. Y'all know who are :) Thank you JL Campbell, for this opportunity to shout out a special group of heroes in my writing life.
A young boy's future hangs in the balance when those sworn to protect him become abusers.
A tragic domestic dispute between his parents lands eleven-year-old Samuel Simms and his siblings in the Downswell Place of Safety. The challenges come hard and fast, but the one thing Sam doesn't count on is being left behind in the children’s home. Angry and disillusioned, he gives up hope of adoption.
A ray of light comes in the form of a foster family, but everything is not what it seems in the Miller household. After a harrowing five-month stint, Sam runs away. A victim of child abuse, he's determined not to repeat his mistake and opts to remain a ward of the Jamaican government until he’s eighteen. The burden of secrecy is more than he can bear and Sam's hair-trigger temper makes him disruptive.
Under pressure from his aunt, Sam caves in and shares a tale of horror surrounding his foster parents. With his ordeal exposed, Sam must make life-changing choices. He can continue to be brainwashed by his abuser or face his nemesis in a court of law and stop a habitual predator from harming other children.
Saving Sam is a moving coming-of-age story that explores relationships, the abuse of trust and the ease with which evil can hide under the guise of Christianity and philanthropy.
JL Campbell is an award-winning writer who lives is sunny Jamaica. She's always on the lookout for story-making material and can be found lollygagging on her blogs at The Character Depot or Snippets and Splashes, and Jamaican Kid Lit.