I am heartened by the support I get as a writer. My friends and family are my cheerleaders. They know me and understand how important writing is to me, so their encouragement makes sense.
But what about the strangers who step in to do some heavy lifting for me, often providing more time, effort and input than anyone who knows me? I call them Author Samaritans, without whom my books would suffer from subjectivity, authenticity, and flat out fakery. Mistakes. Illogical plot. Superficial characters. Samaritans save me from laughing-stock-status with every page.
And some of these Samaritans request to remain anonymous. All that hard work and valuable input, never acknowledged. Amazing!
One such expert was an FBI agent who clarified chain-of-command issues for me. A loop writer heard my plea and offered up her FBI husband to give me advice. He did, then backed away behind a curtain of anonymity.
For my new book, FIRE IS NICE, one of my golf friends heard me talking about its Sequoia setting and my need to consult with rangers. She connected me up with a golfing friend who was a high level Fish and Game Warden. I gave him my manuscript without having the chance to meet him. To this day, I haven’t met the guy, even if I’ve e-mail chatted with him many times. The feedback he gave me was detailed and nuanced, complete with pages of information (some redacted) from primary sources. From all he said, he enjoyed the chance to help refine my story.
Gems. Treasures. Grist for this author. Expertise I couldn't possibly glean from Google.
So let's celebrate our heroes. Who was your most recent Author Samaritan?
Note: Relatives and friends can offer extraordinary expertise, as well. My geologist brother’s knowledge brings rock solid detail in BAD LIES http://a.co/1N5RAAL Take a look!
Web and Blog: