Wednesday, May 18, 2011

My Awesome Friend & Critique Partner: Kasie West

As you may have heard... my friend and kick-butt crit partner, Kasie West, just signed a two-book deal with HarperTeen. Can I get a HOLY CRAP, THAT'S SO WONDERFUL?

Because... it SO is! My examples for you are many. Please allow me to present them:

She's awesome (for being... herself... hello? have you met her? SHE ROCKS!). Her agent is awesome (for being a killer advocate). Her new editor is awesome (for recognizing genius when she sees it)... and yeah...

I think the whole thing is FREAKIN' FANTASTIC! Beyond all measurable amounts of FANTASTICNESS!!!

Now after all of these excited words, I understand you may doubt me. So I feel I have no choice but to provide you proof.

Kasie's Maddeningly Unhelpful Advice

Here are a few examples from her epic Monday posts. From Kasie, you can learn:

~ How to be extremely unproductive--warning plants and/or zombies may or may not be involved.

~ How to traumatize your children--no ducks were harmed (at least not mortally-wounded) in the making of this post.

~ How to clean your house--her rule on cleaning up toys = golden.

~ She leads the charge to ban the use of elbows--A brave and unexpected move. I choose to believe her that the lighting diminished the true carnage of the elbow bruise.

~ How to Quit Eating Chocolate-- of course, I don't think Junior Mints count, which is a massive relief

Kasie's Critique Partner Advice

Here are some words directly from her critiques. Bask in the genius:

~ "I think the paragraph I would eliminate is the one that starts with 'he held the pillow over her head...' " --This is always a good recommendation.

~ "What the???... Well, pooey and lots of ice cream... (Apparently my feelings hold no merit whatsoever) " -- in response to my e-mail about an agent rejection on a full from over a year ago... like I said, she's a genius.

~ "This is just my opinion.  I like it better than the previous version, but I think you could take it one step further.  Whatever you do, of course, stay true to your story and your gut.  :)  You're awesome." -- take notes. THIS is a good crit partner. Gives me her opinion, recognizes that it's my decision, and tells me the good with the bad. 

~ "The words "Blah, blah, blah-di-blah-blah" are acceptable fill-ins for pretty much anything in a first draft."-- 'Nuff said.

Kasie's Helpful Moves

~ She gives me a list of reasons NOT to go to the gym.

~ How NOT to write a query.

~ How to move past cool and into... Coolio.

If you haven't figured it out yet... she's beyond hilarious. She can always make me laugh and just seeing her number on my caller ID makes me smile. More than anything though, she is a good person, an incredible friend, and I wouldn't be the writer I am today without her.

I love you, Kasie. You deserve this and so much more. I am so excited to know that the world will now get to read your incredible books.

Now... we party! :)


  1. LOL Wow, I don't even remember saying any of those things on your ms. Ha! But they sound like they were written by a crazy person. Why do you trust that person? :)

    I'm so glad you did all this research for me. It's like a guide to my blog. I love it.

    And of course, you made me get all teary. Why am I so close to tears lately and why are you people making them want to come out so much??

    I love your guts to death. Thank you soooo much. I wouldn't be where I am today without *you*. :)

  2. Kasie! Look at you, all up and stringing logical words together this early in the morning. I'm so impressed! :) I'm glad you liked my post. I was cracking up the entire time I did my research. :) Thanks for providing such great material!

  3. This post is epically excellent! I was laughing the whole way through. It has Kasie written all over it (literally). She is that hilarious. You two are the best and I don't know where I would be without you guys!!

  4. Candi - I'm so glad you were so entertained! You're wonderful, too. I can't wait to do a post like this for you featuring your um... art! ;-)

  5. Kasie is hilarious! :) And Jenn, you are too, finding all of this stuff to spotlight her! Ha ha! ;) So excited for Kasie. I'm sure you'll be next, Jenn!

  6. Wow, Kasie. Congrats! And Jenn, congrats to you, too, for scoring such a great critter and pal and being one in return. :)

  7. I love this post. And all those blog links: fabulous. All were reasons why I knew I had to be friends with Kasie. And, like you, I couldn't be happier for her and the world that gets to know her (at least her work... because be honest, we don't want her draining her funny well and not having any left for us!). :)

  8. How did I miss the news about the two book deal? That's awesome, Kasie! Congratulations. I love her Unhelpful Advice posts too. Thanks, Jenn.

  9. Chantele - Thanks! It was so fun looking through all her stuff. :)

    Anita - Thank you! We're both lucky! :)

    Donna - I know, isn't it?

    Julie - I'm so glad you liked it. It's so easy to see the coolness that is Kasie when it's all lumped together like this, isn't it? And agreed... draining her funny is no good. We can't have that.

    Angie - I don't know! But now you're all caught up. Isn't she awesome!? Yay!