Elizabeth May

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October 2011

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Elizabeth May is the author of the YA fantasy trilogy The Falconer (The Falconer, The Vanishing Throne, The Fallen Kingdom), and short fiction published in the anthology Toil & Trouble. She was born and raised in California before moving to Scotland, where she earned her PhD at the University of St Andrews. She currently resides in Edinburgh, Scotland, with her husband and two cats.

Elizabeth May writes romance under the pen name Katrina Kendrick.

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Elizabeth May Thank you so much for the lovely message. It's always wonderful to hear from writers, so hello!! :)

While I'd definitely advise you to focus first on…more
Thank you so much for the lovely message. It's always wonderful to hear from writers, so hello!! :)

While I'd definitely advise you to focus first on finishing a manuscript (which is always the hard part -- at least, it is for me!), making goals and plans for your writing/books is always a great, great thing. I'm glad you're asking about it!

Here are a few things to consider for when you finish:

1. Take a bit of time to polish the manuscript. If one of your goals is to have someone read your work, then editing is key.

For me, when I write the words "The End" on a manuscript, that very first draft -- for the most part -- isn't all that readable. I shorthand a lot of scenes; the sentences are messy; sometimes I have scenes where a character shows up and then I decide, "Oh, this person doesn't work here," and so I drop them completely to finish out that section. The first draft is all about feeling your way through a manuscript, seeing what works, and being OK with making mistakes.

So during the polishing stage, I go back through the manuscript and sand away all the rough edges. I do this before anyone sees the book and before it goes into edits with my publisher. So this is where those shorthand scenes become extended; where the messy sentences are fixed; and where Suddenly Dropped Character Who Wasn't Working is taken out completely to make the scene more coherent.

The book may still need work after this (which is when I do edits with my publisher), but all of this makes for less work later. Polishing puts your book in shape to be read by someone else.



2. Consider finding a critique partner (or several!). A critique partner (CP) is someone who not only takes the time to read and critique your work, but also someone whose work YOU read and critique in return. (Some people have non-writing CPs, but I find that it feels more reciprocal when I can say, "Please send me your work, too!" Personal preference, here.)

An ideal CP relationship involves trust. This person should be your biggest cheerleader. When they love your work, they email you and say, "I love this! This is AMAZING and wonderful and fantastic and here are all the things I like about it and also a few things that could use a bit more work, but I still love it!"

However, KEY: they are also someone who can be completely honest with you and tell you when something (sometimes even a whole manuscript) isn't working. And if you trust them (here's where trust is vital), you know they're right and listen to their suggestions on what you can do to fix it.

Finding this wonderful person (or persons!) can be a bit challenging. Sometimes you go through a lot of people before connecting with someone whose critique style suits your needs. One of my critique partnerships has lasted about 15 years (with fellow author Tess Sharpe), but I also had others who -- for whatever reason -- just didn't work out. It happens.

To connect with people for reading and critiquing your work, I recommend:

http://critique.org/ - This site has been around since the internet's baby years (1995!), and yesyesyes absolutely I was a member in my early writing days. It's where I got my first critiques.

http://absolutewrite.com/forums/forum... - also fantastic for connecting with other writers and asking craft questions.

http://www.wattpad.com - is a really popular website to post your writing and to read other works. This is a great place for teen writers in particular.

Maggie Stiefvater also does a Critique Partner Love Connection around the beginning of every year, which is definitely worth waiting for.


3. The first 2 steps I would consider vital for any writer once they finish work and want to share it. But what you do next depends on your personal goals.

Some writers continue polishing their manuscript and make it better based on feedback.

My choice was to use the critiques I received to write new manuscripts. I read a lot; I wrote a lot. I found my authorial voice. I completed a lot of manuscripts before trying to get one published. It was many years of work, but I lovedlovedloved writing.

So basically this point is: see how you feel after/during feedback. Consider whether you'd like to continue working on the manuscript you have, or maybe by then you'll have another book idea that you want to try.

Either way, keep writing! Keep enjoying the process! Whatever you decide will be the right choice for you.

And, of course, happy writing! :)(less)
Average rating: 3.92 · 21,306 ratings · 3,442 reviews · 6 distinct worksSimilar authors
The Falconer (The Falconer,...

3.76 avg rating — 13,428 ratings — published 2013 — 26 editions
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The Vanishing Throne (The F...

4.16 avg rating — 4,694 ratings — published 2015 — 12 editions
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The Fallen Kingdom (The Fal...

4.27 avg rating — 3,181 ratings — published 2017 — 6 editions
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Untitled (Seven Devils, #2)

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2.50 avg rating — 2 ratings
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Toil & Trouble: 15 Tales of...

3.70 avg rating — 2,036 ratings — published 2018 — 7 editions
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Seven Devils (Seven Devils,...

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it was amazing 5.00 avg rating — 1 rating — expected publication 2020 — 2 editions
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More books by Elizabeth May…
The Falconer The Vanishing Throne The Fallen Kingdom
(3 books)
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3.92 avg rating — 21,296 ratings

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More of Elizabeth's books…
“You know my mother thinks the waltz is indecent."

"Your mother would find the sight of a chair leg indecent.”
Elizabeth May, The Falconer

“I'm like him. I'm a monster, too.”
Elizabeth May, The Falconer

“Time won’t fix me. Time allows me to become more skillful at hiding how much I hurt inside. Time makes me a great liar. Because when it comes to grief, we all like to pretend.”
Elizabeth May, The Falconer

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Topics Mentioning This Author

topics posts views last activity  
Steampunk, New We...: This topic has been closed to new comments. The Falconer By Elizabeth May 10 58 Apr 19, 2014 12:35AM  
Addicted to YA: This topic has been closed to new comments. June 2014- Theme: Spies & Assassins 21 375 May 09, 2014 10:42PM  
Nothing But Readi...: Team Terminator 489 237 Aug 31, 2014 05:00PM  
The Seasonal Read...: This topic has been closed to new comments. Fall 2014 Completed Tasks: Do Not Delete Posts 4668 1101 Dec 01, 2014 08:53AM  
Crazy for Young A...: 2014 Year In Review 23 100 Jan 04, 2015 11:18AM  
Nothing But Readi...: New 2 U Authors: 2014 345 710 Jan 11, 2015 09:29AM  
Goodreads Reviewe...: This topic has been closed to new comments. Cora's Reviews 2014 40 111 Feb 24, 2015 02:49PM  
Romance Readers R...: 2015 May Pick-It-For-Me Challenge 265 401 Jun 06, 2015 06:50AM  
“We ignore the blackness of outer space and pay attention to the stars, especially if they seem to order themselves into constellations. “Common as the air” meant something worthless, but Hackworth knew that every breath of air that Fiona drew, lying in her little bed at night, just a silver flow in the moonlight, was used by her body to make skin and hair and bones. The air became Fiona, and deserving—no, demanding—of love. Ordering matter was the sole endeavor of Life, whether it was a jumble of self-replicating molecules in the primordial ocean, or a steam-powered English mill turning weeds into clothing, or Fiona lying in her bed turning air into Fiona.”
Neal Stephenson, The Diamond Age: Or, A Young Lady's Illustrated Primer

“When we hold each other, in the darkness, it doesn't make the darkness go away. The bad things are still out there. The nightmares still walking. When we hold each other we feel not safe, but better. "It's all right" we whisper, "I'm here, I love you." and we lie: "I'll never leave you." For just a moment or two the darkness doesn't seem so bad.”
Neil Gaiman, Neil Gaiman's Midnight Days

“She says nothing at all, but simply stares upward into the dark sky and watches, with sad eyes, the slow dance of the infinite stars.”
Neil Gaiman, Stardust

“But a knife ain't just a thing, is it? It's a choice, it's something you do. A knife says yes or no, cut or not, die or don't. A knife takes a decision out of your hand and puts it in the world and it never goes back again. ”
Patrick Ness, The Knife of Never Letting Go

“Bod said, 'I want to see life. I want to hold it in my hands. I want to leave a footprint on the sand of a desert island. I want to play football with people. I want,' he said, and then he paused and he thought. 'I want everything.”
Neil Gaiman, The Graveyard Book

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Comments (showing 1-15)    post a comment »
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Katherine Thanks for accepting my friend request! Can't wait to read and get my hands on The Vanishing Throne! One of my favorite series.


message 14: by Nafeeza

Nafeeza Thank you for accepting my friend request! I loved your book- devoured it in a day. Except for that ending, can't wait to get my hands on the sequel...


message 13: by Mada

Mada Happy Easter!
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message 12: by Mada

Mada Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.
I hope Santa will bring you many presents :)

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Jasmine (Spanish Rose) Thanks for approving the friendship add. Excited to read your book!


Alexandra Shostak Thanks for accepting my friend request. Garth Nix influence is AWESOME.


message 9: by Sam

Sam Thanks for the add!:D
Looking forward to THE FALCONER!


Emilija Wow, that's so cool! I wasn't so sure so I asked. :)


shady boots | #WatchPOSE Whoa whoa whoa, hold on HOLD ON. YOU WERE THE COVER MODEL FOR THE UK COVERS OF THE DEMON TRAPPERS SERIES?

O_O Mind = blown.


Emilija Hey Elizabeth! Thanks for accepting the friend request! You know, you look a lot like the cover model for Forgiven (The Demon Trappers, #3) by Jana Oliver, it wouldn't happen to be you on the cover would it? :)

P.S. Looking forward to the release of The Falconer.


message 5: by shady boots | #WatchPOSE (last edited Sep 01, 2012 07:04AM)

shady boots | #WatchPOSE Okay, I am a homosexual male, but dear God, you are so unearthly beautiful, it's terrifying. You're like a faerie. O_O I'm not kidding. That new picture of you is amazing.


Matthew White thanks for accepting the friend request! I'm looking forward to your book :)xx


message 3: by Steph

Steph Sinclair That's so weird. I thought we were already friends too! Well, now we're official!


message 2: by Dawn

Dawn Kurtagich Can't believe you're reading A Long, Long Sleep. I just finished it! Ha. Great minds ;)


message 1: by Dawn

Dawn Kurtagich SQUEE for The Falconer :D


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