Back in September, I sent Dani an email saying that Angst 3 would be done and ready for her to edit in Mid-October. In that time I started a cool new day job, went on vacation with my wife (it’s been 14 years since the last one!), and waited for feedback from the Alpha team! The wait was worth it!
If you follow any of my older posts, you are familiar with my Alpha team.
The Alpha team is a well trained group of hardened mercenaries who live in the shadows to deliver justice in an unjust world and...oh, wait, that’s the other group! This Alpha team is a group of my closest friends who take their time to read, edit, and critique my drunken mess of chapters as I deliver them in painfully short bursts. It’s a significant commitment. They get the entirety of my novels over the course of 12-15 months, and throughout that time I often make changes that requires re-reads. They are patient, thoughtful, and provide amazing feedback!
I actually sent the completed rough to my Alpha team at the end of October, days before going on vacation. Everyone on the team has busy lives, and not everyone lives in Kansas City. Usually I receive feedback via email or over lunch, but my dear friend, Becky, was going to be visiting from Wisconsin toward the end of November. It was a rare opportunity to get the whole team in one room to discuss the book at length, so we waited. It was so worth it!
The gathering was originally planned to be a LAN party, so everyone was a few drinks into the day and nothing was held back – which is exactly what I wanted. After pointing out some of the more obvious flaws, and some things that weren’t so obvious, we discussed the ending. I wrote the original ending for Drowning in Angst over 3 years ago, and was pretty set on it until I came up with an idea weeks before this gathering.
It was one of my favorite moments working on this book. Everyone was convinced to go with the original ending. I left to use the restroom, and the conversation got busy. They were talking over each other, arguing the options, and by the time I got back they had collectively changed their opinion to go with the revised ending. Not only was I excited they had come to the same conclusion I did without my prompting, I was moved by the fact that they were so vested in the story that the conversation had become so passionate.
I’ll never be able to say thanks enough, and would like to introduce my team. Becky, Matt, Angie, Cristi, Mike and Marina. Great friends, an amazing Alpha team, and my novels wouldn't be nearly as good without them.