Meet my Critique Partner Connie Queen

When I first started my writing journey seven years ago, I was completely lost and had absolutely no clue what I was doing. I joined an online writer’s group and fumbled along for about six months. Then one day I received a message from Connie Queen asking if I’d like to be critique partners. She would read my manuscript and offer advice and tips, and I’d read hers and do the same. I had attempted critiquing as part of a small group with three other writers, but it hadn’t really worked out very well. I was hesitant to try again, but I needed someone to look at my writing who could be objective and honest. So, I agreed to give it a go, and boy am I glad I did.

Connie and I just seemed to click. We discovered that we had a lot in common, and neither one of us minded if the other was a bit…how shall I say…um…blunt when there was something about the other’s manuscript that we weren’t one-hundred percent sold on. I’ve never been a fan of “tiptoeing around” and neither was Connie. This suited me just fine. The number one goal reason to have a critique partner is to have someone help you figure out how to polish your manuscript so it will sell. I wanted someone who wouldn’t just put smiley faces on the cute parts of a story but would be honest with me, even if they didn’t think I’d like what they had to say. Connie was the perfect fit. I had found my first real, honest to goodness, wanted-to-help-me-get-published critique partner. Fortunately for me, Connie wasn’t my last “good-fit-for-me” critique partner, but she was my first.

Over the next five years we both had ups and downs in our publishing pursuits. Revision requests and rejections became the norm. I’ll admit it, two years ago I hit a slump and wasn’t sure if could keep writing just to receive rejections, but Connie stayed strong and kept saying “If they [editors] don’t like this story, I’ll just write another one.” Her example taught me not to take rejections so personally.

Fast forward to 2019. Our dream publisher (Harlequin’s Love Inspired Suspense) was doing another author search. We’d entered the last three, so of course we had to enter this time, too. When I told Mountain Man that we were entering the contest, he said he was praying Connie and I would both sell this time. He said it only seemed fitting since we’d worked so hard through the years critiquing for each other.

I couldn’t have agreed more. And I was beyond thrilled when, at the end of the contest, Connie and I had both sold our manuscripts!

Let me introduce you to Connie’s debut novel, Justice Undercover, which released this month!

Keeping her true identity a secret is the only way to stay alive.

Going undercover as a nanny brings presumed-dead ex-US Marshal Kylie Stone closer to catching the man who murdered the witness in her protection—and also killed Texas Ranger Luke Dryden’s sister. When someone tries to kidnap the twins in her care, Kylie must tell their uncle the truth…and convince Luke to help her. But will revealing her identity put all their lives at stake?

Don’t you just love that cover!?! And let me tell you, if you want to read a book full of suspense and romance, you really need to read Justice Undercover. I mean, you can’t go wrong when there’s a handsome Texas Ranger and two adorable twins…right?

Connie Queen spent her life in Texas where she met and married her high-school sweetheart. Married for 34 years, they’ve raised eight children and are enjoying their grandchildren. As a child, Connie remembers her mom and sisters reading, but she preferred to be outside. It wasn’t until later, she found the joy of being whisked away into another world. Today she resides in Nebraska with her husband, and Nash, her Great Dane, where she’s working on her next suspense.