I almost didn't do it. In fact, I almost emailed her to say, Sorry, but you should find someone else. I mean, I'm not published. I don't have an agent yet. What made me think I was qualified to critique her book?
Of course, this was just that same old fear in a different form, the fear that I'm not good enough. I'm so glad I didn't listen to that nasty bugger because I totally enjoyed reading and commenting on her book.
And here's the thing with being a beta reader. The emphasis is on reader. The fact that I write makes me notice things the average reader might not key in on. But really, my job is to ask questions, to point out things that confuse me or just aren't logical for the character. And, like, if there's like, too many repeating words, I try to like highlight those.
I also try to point out things that make me smile or laugh out loud, and especially things that surprise me. I've read a lot of books. So there are certain plot points that I see coming a mile away. When a writer can surprise me with a twist that I didn't see coming, I'm in love. This writer surprised me, more than once. I am in awe.
So when she sent me this email, I almost cried:
Thank you SO much!
Seriously, I don't think I've ever read a crit that I agreed with EVERYTHING in... I seriously think I've only not done ONE thing you suggested so far, and it was something silly... like a comma somewhere or something...Qualified to read my little book HAHA! You caught things that BOTH of my agents have missed... that's pretty impressive if I do say so myself!
And bless her heart, she's offered to return the favor for me and my little book. Have I mentioned recently how much I love the blogging community?