Your Novel is Gonna Knock the Slouch Socks off Your Readers
(No Expresso Spiked Margaritas Required*)
*Unless you really love those. Then, by all means, drink up!
Writing a Novel is HARD
It’s herding one thousand invisible kittens into a dozen disappearing bags while bouncing on a pogo stick hard.
It’s harder than folding a fitted sheet.
Look… a great book takes time to craft. It takes deep thinking. It takes focused attention. And a healthy cocktail of denial and chutzpah.
With a HEAP of tenacity.
But right now, your cocktail is a jumbled mix of…
Is what I’ve written so far even good? You write and rewrite (cursing at all the wasted time). You send precious pages to friends and critique partners and beta readers. You take all the advice and spend a good deal of time in revision hell. And you still don’t know if it’s any good.
All this writing advice is confusing, right? Every writing workshop, lecture, and craft book promises you the secret formula for success, but the whole process makes you want to set these secret formulas on fire. (Fahrenheit 451 is the temp at which paper burns, right?)
When I reread my work, something is missing. Your prose is a bit flat. The story is episodic. And something is just missing. The trouble is… you really don’t know what that something is.
Don’t great authors work alone? Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, and Thomas Wolfe had the great Max Perkins! Stephen King has Philippa Pride. The list goes on and on. These editors look at big-picture stuff. Story stuff. They provide accountability and help writers find their mojo when it’s missing. Ahem a book coach.
But the good news (better than finding out Suzanne Collins has released a new book in the Hunger Games series) is you can write and publish a badass page-turner.
It’s not magic. It’s all about learning the necessary story elements & craft techniques and having a skilled mentor to help you interpret them the right way.
Enters the coffee shop and waves hello
Heather Davis: Certified Author Accelerator book coach, copy editor, storyteller, writer, author platform aficionada, and iced mocha connoisseur (my recipe puts coffee shops to shame).
WHO IS THIS STANFORD CERTIFIED WRITER?
And How Can You Help Me Get My Book Done & Dusted?
A long, long time ago in a small(ish) town on the East coast, there was a young girl (me) who wanted to be the next Stephen King.
I studied his books like some people study the stars or the stock market. But, unfortunately, when I went to college, there was no “writing and publishing” degree out there to be obtained (at least none that inexperienced little old me could find!). So I settled for something sensible: science.
And I just kept sciencing my way through degrees until I got my PhD. And that was cool. Research was fun most days. Teaching was rewarding most days. But something was missing.
What was that something? The words! The stories!
So, as I skated unenthusiastically into my 30s (wasn’t I supposed to be the next Stephen King by now?) I did the only rational thing: I pivoted and wrapped my life around writing.
I joined a critique group, I hired a book coach, I got certified in a bunch of writing related stuff, and I got SERIOUS. Why?
Because I knew I needed to wake up my Panic Monster, tame my Instant Gratification Monkey, and invite my Rational Decision Maker to take the wheel if I was EVER going to write a book worth reading.
Now I help writers bring their beloved books to life thanks to these four qualifications:
- PhD in molecular and cellular biology: I learned how to figure out confusing stuff and handle tough projects with tight deadlines. (Here’s a secret: it’s not about being utterly brilliant, it’s about being super organized and tenacious.)
- 10 years in the classroom: I learned a lot about how people learn new information and how they tackle big projects. I learned how to break new skills down into easy and understandable steps. I also learned how to help motivate people so they can stay on track and get things done!
- I’ve studied with great story mentors: I’ve learned from a lot of great storytellers over the years (Jessica Brody, Jenny Nash, etc.), but my number one mentor is my own book coach Lisa Cron (Wired for Story, Story Genius, Story or Die). I’ve been mentoring with her for years, and I’ve learned so much about storytelling that it literally boggles my mind!
- I’m a certified Author Accelerator book coach and a certified copy editor: That means I didn’t just decide to call myself a book coach one day and put out a shingle. I studied and I worked with professionals to learn the ropes. And now? I’m in a community of brilliant book coaches who continually learn from each other and constantly share valuable experiences and tools. This helps me give my writers 110% support during their journey.
May I just say, I have not been this happy and fulfilled in many years? The past few years have been extremely difficult on every level, and I never thought I would ever feel happy again. But here I am as happy as a pig in mud. You have no idea what this means to me! I'm so excited that I battle to fall asleep.
The Super Profesh Bio
Dr. Heather Davis is a storyteller, Author Accelerator certified book coach, developmental editor, and author platform expert. She has a B.S. in biology from Salisbury University, a PhD in molecular and cellular biology from the University of Maryland, Baltimore, and has spent over 14 years as a teacher. Heather has trained with story experts such as Lisa Cron, Jessica Brody, Jenny Nash, and Ben Frahm and surrounds herself with a brilliant community of book coaches, authors, and publishing experts. She loves helping passionate writers make the life-changing leap from dreamer to published author.
When Heather isn't writing or book coaching, she loves running in the woods, playing Minecraft with her children, listening to 80s power ballads, and drinking too many iced mocha lattes (with a dollop of whipped cream, of course).
Heather is 110% committed to promoting diversity, and she works primarily with writers whose stories contribute to that goal.