I finally completed the rough draft of Drowning in Angst, the third novel in my Angst fantasy series. I was waiting for feedback from my Alpha Team before sending it to my editor, Danielle Fine when I got an idea. This idea was significant and would completely change the ending of my novel. I couldn’t decide what I wanted to do, but I was in luck. My Alpha Team was available to meet and I knew they would save the day.

Angie David and Giant Sword

Who is Alpha Team?

Cristi and David with giant sword

The Alpha Team is a well trained group of hardened mercenaries who live in the shadows to deliver justice in an unjust world and…oh, wait, that’s the other group! The Angst Alpha Team is a group of my closest friends who take their time to read, edit, and critique my drunken mess of chapters as I deliver them in painfully short bursts. It’s a significant commitment. They get the entirety of my novels over the course of 12-15 months, and throughout that time I often make changes that requires re-reads. They are patient, thoughtful, and provide amazing feedback!

A Rare Gathering

I actually sent the completed rough to my Alpha Team at the end of October. Everyone on the team has busy lives, and not everyone lives in Kansas City. Usually I receive feedback via email or over lunch, but my dear friend, Becky, was going to be visiting from Wisconsin toward the end of November. It was a rare opportunity to get the whole team in one room to discuss the book at length, so we waited. It was so worth the wait!

Becky David and Giant Sword

A Surprise For My Team

Matt David and Giant Sword

The gathering was originally planned to be a LAN party, so everyone was a few drinks into the day when I shared the new ending. I wrote the original ending for Drowning in Angst over 3 years ago, and was pretty set on it. So were they.  No one had expected this, so I explained why I wanted to make the change, and why I was hesitant.

A Great Moment

It was one of my favorite moments working on this book. Everyone was convinced to go with the original ending. I left to use the restroom, and the conversation got busy. They were talking over each other, arguing the options, and by the time I got back they had collectively changed their opinion to go with the revised ending. Not only was I excited they had come to the same conclusion I did without my prompting, I was moved by how vested they were in the story and that the conversation had become so passionate.

Mike David and Giant Sword

Alpha Team Saves The Day

Alpha Team

I’ll never be able to say thanks enough, and would like to introduce my team. Becky, Matt, Angie, Cristi, Mike and Marina. Great friends, an amazing Alpha Team, and my novels wouldn’t be nearly as good without them.

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