Wednesday, October 30, 2013

#WriterlyWisdomWednesday: Val Clarizio on Finding a Critique Partner #WritersLife

I have Val Clarizio - hunter, fisherwoman, and romance author, here to share a bit on the importance of writing groups & critiquing partners.

Be sure to check out her newest release, Covert Exposure!


The Importance and Value of Joining Your Local Writers Group and Finding a Great Critique Partner

Five and one-half years ago I began my quest to become a published author.  After receiving enough rejection letters to wallpaper my house, with little to no constructive criticism, I began to doubt my ability to obtain my goal of becoming a published author.  I’d read books on the craft of fiction writing covering POV, dialogue, setting scenes, characterization, etc., but was still getting nowhere.  I’d just about given up when a wonderful lady, and experienced writer, answered my call for a critique partner.  It wasn’t until Virginia dissected one of my manuscripts, specifically pointing out the areas of issue, that I finally understood, and was able to hone my skills on the different “craft” components of fiction writing.  And voila, after just a few short months of working with my critique partner, I made my first sale to a publisher! 

Okay, so I finally made a sale and couldn’t have been more thrilled, but I quickly learned that my work wasn’t done yet.  In fact, not even close.  Outside of the edits, I had to approve a book cover, blurb, bio, and dedication.  And then….the promo.  How was I going to promote my book?  Facebook, Twitter, blog hopping, author interviews, etc.  Honestly, I didn’t know where to begin so I turned to my local writers group where I found a wonderful, knowledgeable, and supportive network.  They guided me through the processes and now here I am, my second book was just released, and I have two releases scheduled for 2014. 

Needless to say, my journey to publication has been interesting.  Looking back, I think some of the most valuable pieces of advice I received along the way were to join my local writers group and find a dedicated critique partner.  There is no doubt in my mind that without these people I would not be where I am today,            

Covert Exposure, A Nick Spinelli Mystery (Novella #1 in the Nick Spinelli Mystery Series)

Detective Spinelli’s life is tossed sideways when he is reassigned from the Homicide division to assist in the Child Services division of the Social Services Department for the holiday season.  From the beginning, Spinelli and Caseworker Shannon O’Hara generate their own kind of fireworks, causing more than the normal workplace stress.  They both have their own philosophies for dealing with the clientele.  However, the forces of nature have their own plan for Spinelli and Shannon.

Shannon moonlights as Santa Claus’ little helper at the mall, and when Santa and an elf turn up dead Shannon appears to be next on the killer’s list. Spinelli is placed back on homicide and goes undercover as Santa to help capture the killer.  He catches a great deal of grief along the way but will he capture the heart of his little Santa’s helper as well?

Purchase Links:


A little bit about Valerie:

Valerie Clarizio lives in beautiful Door County Wisconsin with her husband and extremely spoiled cat. She loves to read, write, and spend time at her cabin in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. She's lived her life surrounded by men, three brothers, a husband, and a male Siamese cat who required his own instruction manual. Keeping up with all the men in her life has turned her into a successful hunter and fisherwoman.

Valerie is a member of Romance Writers of America and the Wisconsin Romance Writers of America. Additionally, she was a finalist in the 2011 Celtic Hearts Romance Writers, Novellas Need Love, Too! Contest.

Visit Valerie online at:

Twitter:  @VClarizio


  1. I have awesome critique partners and a lot of writer friends online that have helped.
    And Terri, you win for most energetic comment of the day at my place!

    1. Fellow authors always seem so willing to help out and share their experiences.

    2. Fellow authors always seem so willing to help out and share their experiences.

    3. Fellow authors always seem so willing to help out and share their experiences.

    4. Fellow authors always seem so willing to help out and share their experiences.

  2. Alex, isn't it great how other authors always seem so willing to help out and share their experiences.

  3. CP's are invaluable. I would never have made it to publication if it weren't for my CP's. I'm glad you found yours and wish you much success Val.