Thursday, May 24, 2012

VBTC: Mistakes of Beginner Writers - Guest Post with Deidre Havrelock

What are the mistakes you see in beginner writers?

Ha! I guess we should start with the ones I made: sending material out before it’s done, lack of proofreading, lack of patience. Patience is the big one, though. Writing takes time. You have to re-write and edit. You have to read things over and over. You have to be sure about what you’re trying to say.

I originally sold my book Saving Mary: The Possession (under a different title) to a large publishing house (back in 2002/03). Looking back, I see that I had originally sold a first draft; and as the publishing process chugged along, I became more and more uncomfortable about my book being released. It simply wasn’t finished, at least not in the way I meant for it to be done. My lack of focus (I personally think) transferred to the publishing house and I was soon faced with a problem: what I had meant to be a “personal memoir” had somehow turned into “Christian fiction.” Eventually I was allowed out of my contract so that I could rework the book as true memoir. You see, I had changed my name (and the names of most people in the book) simply because I was uncomfortable with being in a book (I figured other people might be just as uncomfortable). I didn’t think this would be a problem since “A rose is a rose, by any other name.” But it was. First of all, you simply can’t be uncomfortable with being in a book if you want to write a memoir. You just have to get over yourself. This is your life: your experiences, your friends, your view. You have to own it. The second problem was that the author of A Million Little Pieces had just been scolded by Oprah for not sticking to the rules of memoir. My publisher wanted to take no chances and so they switched my book to “fiction.” Without consulting me. So, with all this being said, make sure you finish your book, staying true to the vision you see and hear in your head.

The other big mistake I see writers making is showing their work to the wrong people. Not everyone should critique your work. Not everyone believes you can succeed as a writer. And too many opinions can confuse a new writer. Figure out what you want to say and then work at saying it as best you can.

Deidre D Havrelock grew up in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada where she eventually met her husband to be, DJ. It was DJ who initially noticed Deidre’s dark state and worked to seek out someone willing to perform her exorcism. Eventually, the newlyweds found their way to the southern hot spot of Brooks, AB where Deidre began writing. From there the family trekked across eastern Canada to Moncton, NB where they learned to love French fries with cheese curds and gravy. Currently nestled in the hills of Kennewick, Washington, Deidre has two horses, one dog, three cats and too many rabbits…and let’s not forget her wonderful husband and three energetic daughters. Her memoir, Saving Mary: The Possession chronicles her dark childhood and the path that led to her demonic possession. She is currently working to finish book two of her spiritual memoir, Saving Mary: The Deliverance. You can find her at

If you’re a fan of supernatural fiction then you will be captivated by this true story about a spiritually sensitive girl and the path that led to her possession. Part one of a two-part series, Saving Mary is the story of a modern-day Mary Magdalene—the woman from whom Jesus cast out seven demons.

Deidre Daily is drawn to anything seemingly spiritual, desperately seeking a spiritual existence. But inside this vibrant girl hides a terrified child who sincerely believes she has married the devil. Through a series of spiritual encounters her fear turns into reality, and she ends up possessed.

Deidre’s fascinating spiritual memoir relays her story from childhood to adolescence: invisible eyes leering at her from the corner of her bedroom, horrible nightmares tormenting her, and her desperate attempt to find God—only to end up possessed. It is a candid account of possession from a first-person perspective. This dark memoir brings to light an intricate world of deceitful spirits hell-bent on manipulating and damaging an innocent girl’s life, not only through her dreams, but also through seemingly every-day encounters.


Excerpt :

Chapter Four

Me and Kelly, we make plans for sleepovers all the time. We don’t ever sleep at my house. We sleep at her house. I sleep over at Kelly’s a lot ‘cause I know there’s no little eyes or ghosts creepin’ around at her house.
At Kelly’s house we play in her playhouse. We sit on neatly stacked bricks, pretending they’re chairs. She’s writing the rules for our new club. I’m colorin’ the membership cards, tellin’ her about the little eyes in my house. She calls me a freak. I then decide to tell her about a dream I had. The one she was in.
“It’s dark outside. And quiet. The leaves in the trees aren’t moving, that ugly ol’ Fort Road is empty and the street lights—they’re dim. Only the moon gives light. It all looks like one of those old pictures, you know, shadowy and still. The only sound comes from Angie’s shiny black tap shoes as she moves down the sidewalk. They’re all, clippity-clop, clippity-clop, CLIPpITY-CLOP, clippity-clop ’cause of the echo. Angie isn’t dancing though. She’s just walking, wishin’ her shoes would shut up. We’re all wishin’ her stupid shoes would shut up. You turn to Angie with your eyebrows pointing to your nose. The way you do when you’re mad … ”
I tell Kelly about the church and about the robbers and about how she hid and how I didn’t hide very good. She says, “That figures.” And we laugh. Then I say how I was pulled to the altar, how I was made to get married and how I was kicking and screamin’.
“But nobody even cared,” I say. I take a yellow crayon, start colorin’ a picture of a bee. Then I tell her how I pulled the robber’s mask off.
“It’s hanging from my hand, his mask. And I don’t know what to do now, and I’m wishin’ I hadn’t done it at all. I look around for you, hoping you might come out from hiding, but you don’t.”
“What’s he look like?” asks Kelly.
“He’s cute,” I say. “With short brown hair. He smiles at me, shaking his head a little like he’s saying, ‘You know, you shouldn’t have done that’—pulled his mask off he means. He feels weird.”
“Yeah,” I go. “Weird. Nothin’ about him feels right. He’s all wrong. And he’s got these black eyes that look and pull all at the same time, so I wanna run away but I can’t.”
“So what do you do?”
“I smile, just a little, to say sorry. But I don’t think he cares ’cause he doesn’t smile back. Then I spy around for you. I’m still hoping you might come out and do somethin’. That’s when he starts laughing.”
“Why’s he laughing?”
“’Cause he knows you aren’t coming, and even if someone did come—it’s too late. We’re already married. He laughs harder and harder ’til the laughing changes him.”
“Changes him?”
“Yeah, his hair—it starts going all creepy. It’s red now.”
“What’s creepy about red?”
So I tell her how his hair’s turned into red-hot flames. How he’s laughing with his head tilted back. His hair swishin’ and glowin’, all on fire.
“Does he do anything else?”
“He smiles at me—big, really big.”
“‘Cause he knows I’m scared and he thinks it’s funny. Then his face also starts changing. Like it’s made of Play-Doh.”
“Yeah, like when he smiles the smile changes. It keeps twistin’ itself up all screwy-like.”
“That’s more like Silly Putty,” says Kelly.
“Sure,” I say, “like Silly Putty.”
“Man, I wouldn’t’ve hid. I woulda beat the crap outta him.”
“I know you woulda.”
“Geez, Dede. You married the Devil.”
I nod. “I know,” I whisper. Then I say, “Kelly, can you divorce the Devil?”
“Don’t know,” says Kelly. “I guess you’d hafta find God for that.”
I put down the yellow crayon, pick up a black one and write ‘Busy Bee Club’ at the top of the membership card. I’ve got a heaviness on me now. Like when something’s gone wrong and it’s got to be made right. Just then Kelly goes, whack! hitting me right in the shoulder; she tells me to get up.
“Let’s walk to your house, so you can get some clothes for the sleepover,” she says. Down the alley we go where two big kids stop us and ask if we want a knuckle sandwich. Kelly pulls her eyebrows down, says, “No!”
I say, “Yes.”
They punch Kelly in the face.

Deidre will be giving away an ebook copy of Saving Mary during her tour, you can follow her tour HERE, and leave a comment for a chance to win.


Bk Walker

Funny thing Deidre, I did the exact same thing to my first book as well. It's all a learning process. :). Now we just need to keep teaching newbies along the way so they don't repeat our mistakes.

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