Like, I know this writer who just sold a novel to a major publisher.

Her name's Krista Van Dolzer. She has a ridiculously popular blog. And she's a fantastic writer.

You might think that's why she just sold a novel. Being a fantastic writer, I mean.

I like to think it's because of me.

Yep. I critiqued that novel she just sold. Like, two years ago.

I read what you might call an early draft, though it certainly wasn't the first draft. I offered vague direction about what didn't seem quite right and helpful suggestions like, "Gee, I've got nothing to say about this chapter. It's really good."

Since then, Krista's written two more novels, and each one makes me feel less useful as a critique partner.

But here's what I get to brag about: I got to read this book several years before the rest of you will. Also, you'll never read the version I read.

Sure, what comes out in print will be even better, but still. It's like Michelangelo came over to practice on the ceiling of my closet.

Congratulations, Krista. Remember, I taught you everything you know.


  1. What lovely things to say, Ben. I really appreciate this. And you certainly taught me at least some of the things I know:)

  2. And I taught her everything else! (Just kidding, of course.) Big congratulations to Krista! Eeeeek! I wonder if the version you read was the same version I read.... Hmmmm. :)

  3. I love this post! You guys are all so funny, because we all know I taught her everything she knows:)

    Kidding. Really. You guys taught me everything I know. :)


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