Building a Dream Team

My awesome agent, Rachelle Gardner, had a post earlier this week called “The Myth of the Lone Ranger Author” in which she talked about the many people at a publishing company who help get a book on the shelf. Having worked for a small textbook publisher as an assistant editor, I’ve seen firsthand all that’s involved. Plenty.

I’ve yet to go through the editorial phase for my debut novel, but I’m looking forward to it. I have, however, gone through the years of preparation that went into getting my first publishing contract.

I learned that a writer doesn’t make it to that milestone alone.

I wouldn’t be where I am today with a book in production if it weren’t for my Dream Team, those wonderful people who are my cheerleaders. Who are they?

My supportive husband and daughter
My extended family
My church family
My face-to-face friends
My online friends
My talented critique partners Anne Barton and Jody Hedlund
My awesome agent Rachelle Gardner

I’ve yet to meet the editorial team at Barbour, with the exception of editorial assistant Linda Hang, who’s been super to work with, but I’ve heard wonderful things about them. They will be the next additions to my Dream Team.

Just as it takes a host of people to prepare a child for adulthood, it takes many people to help us reach our dreams, be they dreams of publication, dreams of completing a marathon, or dreams of becoming a gourmet chef. (And no, I’m not into running or cooking. Those might be others’ dreams, but they’re not mine. :-))

I’m beyond grateful for the many people who have supported and encouraged me, taught me, and pushed me to do more than I ever imagined I could. You rock!

• • •

What are your dreams?

Who are the members of your Dream Team?


About Keli Gwyn

I'm an award-winning author of inspirational historical romance smitten with the Victorian Era. I'm currently writing for Harlequin's Love Inspired Historical line of wholesome, faith-filled romances. My debut novel, A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado, California, was released July 1, 2012. I'm represented by Rachelle Gardner of Book & Such Literary. I live in a Gold Rush-era town at the foot of the majestic Sierras. My favorite places to visit are my fictional worlds, other Gold Country towns and historical museums. When I'm not writing I enjoy taking walks, working out at Curves™ and reading.
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23 Responses to Building a Dream Team

  1. Wendy says:

    There are folks on my list who might be surprised to be there…college profs, online friends, mentors, etc. I’ve been building my team for a long, long time. I think I just like to spend time with each brick as I build. But I am really excited to see what the finally structure will look like.

    Cool post, Keli!
    ~ Wendy

  2. So glad you have a wonderful and supportive dream team. Friends along the way make all the difference.

  3. Erica Vetsch says:

    I love working with Barbour, and I’m excited that we’ll have some of the same Dream Team members. 🙂

    I know I wouldn’t be able to do this whole writer thing without my support system.

  4. IF it’s the Lord’s will, I’d love to be published one day. 🙂 But if not, I have been (and continue to) thoroughly enjoy this writing journey. However, as far as the writing goes, I HAVE been trying to “go it alone” and am realizing now I DO need feedback. So, when I received my GENESIS entry with judges comments, it was a huge help. And who knows…I may even end up getting critique partners one day! ~ At this point my support system is my family, best friends, and wonderful accountability partner Sandra Orchard. 🙂 Even though these awesome folks don’t actually read my writing, they are a tremendous support for me.

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Patti Jo, I’m glad you found the feedback on your Genesis entry helpful. I learned heaps from my contest judges and am grateful to them for their generosity, helpfulness, and encouragement. How nice that you have Sandra as a partner. I trust the Lord will bring just the right CPs into your life. Mine are a tremendous blessing to me.

  5. Rita Garcia says:

    Fantastic post, Keli! Dream teams on each path of the adventure are sure important.

  6. I dream of a time that I add even more people to that very important list. For now, my husband and children, my church family, my friends – online and otherwise – are the members I cherrish.

  7. Julie Nilson says:

    So far, my experiences with my critique group have been positive, and have made my writing better. There’s a big difference between having your non-writer friends read your work and having writers/editors read it, so I think that if I get the right publishing team when the time comes, it will be a good experience overall.

    I hope. 🙂

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Julie, I’m glad you’ve got such a helpful and supportive critique group. I’ve been sooo blessed by my CPs. I wouldn’t be where I am today without them.

  8. Hello Keli … Loved this post. My dream is similar to yours and knowing that you and so many of the women you feature on “Journey” are making their dreams come true, I feel encouraged. It’s good to know people who have gone through the process and can shine the light at the end of the tunnel for us 🙂

  9. cynthiaherron says:

    Some of my dream team are the ones you included, Keli. I wanted to add my high school journalism teacher to that, as well. Mrs. Ellis led us to believe we could be anything we wanted to be. That mindset propelled me forward.

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Cynthia, as a high school teacher’s wife I love that you include your journalism teacher when you list your Dream Team. Like you, I’ve been blessed by many teachers who not only educated me but instilled a life-long love of learning.

  10. Tana Adams says:

    I love the term dream team. And for sure the lone ranger is bound to suffer from not having one. I have so many the list seems endless. I love the thoughtfulness of this post. Thank you for reminding me to treasure the team. =) God has really used you in my writing life.

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Tana, I know you have a very supportive Dream Team. I also know from visiting your blog today that you have some BIG news coming soon. Can’t wait until you’re at liberty to share it.

  11. Brandi says:

    My dream team is my husband, my father, stepmother, and best friend in New York. These four individuals have ceaselessly offered encouragement and support of my writing goals. I thank God for them every day.

    I’m also happy to have found a supportive community online consisting of Christian authors. It’s been a great journey so far, learning from them and praying with them.

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Brandi, it sounds like you’ve got a wonderful Dream Team in place. Aren’t writers some of the most generous, encouraging, and supportive people you’ve ever met?

  12. I don’t have a book in production yet, but I’m very aware of the people who have influenced and encouraged me during my current journey. Writing a book is definitely a collaborative project! When I consider my writing cyberfriendships, I’m surprised at how many of them are represented by the agents I most admire. I suppose that says something about the kind of books we all write, but I think it also says we’ve done our homework and we realize the importance of having the right people on our dream team.

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