I belong to a writers’ critique group called The Penny Dreadfuls. As far as I can recall, way back in history certain writers would pen stories and sell them for a penny. Most of them must have been dreadful, thus the name. They are an outstanding group of writers and they understand the components of a good story.

We act as fresh eyes and minds when taking turns reading our work. At yesterday’s meeting the Pennies ripped apart Diego’s third fantasy dragons book. I mean from the definition of the word “beam” all the way to who conquered the Aztec nation, Cortés or Pizarro, and how that can be incorporated into the strength of the story.

I sat on a panel last Spring with a fairly well known author. The subject was editing your work, and as moderator, I steered the discussion toward critique groups. The author in question demonstrably condemned such groups, giving an example of shouting at the audience member that their work was crappy and they’ll never be a good writer. I was shocked, but if fairness, there probably are such groups. It makes me humbly appreciative that I fell into the Penny Dreadfuls. I’ve been with them for two or three years and my work has vastly improved because of it.

Google “writers’ groups” in your city. Find a good one and see if you can get accepted. Your books will thank you.

A testimonial:

“I am so very impressed. I remember the darkness from the third book more than anything, although the second book had such cool fight scenes and characters. This story is pure pleasure for me, I think because it was quite visual and exciting, but also very tender. The ending was absolutely amazing, it evoked all the feelings you would expect from an extremely well-written fantasy.” – Karen – Tierrasanta, California


Kevin Gerard
Diego’s Dragon
Conor and the Crossworlds