Jacqueline Winspear, author of the Maisie Dobbs series
When I first met Adair, I wasn’t at all sure where I ultimately wanted to go as a writer – although I did, and still do, harbor a deep wish to be an Adair Lara. Joining her personal essay workshops opened so many avenues of possibility, although Adair kept suggesting I try my hand at fiction. Eventually, I took the leap, sharing the first chapter of my novel, Maisie Dobbs with Adair, who pushed me to continue. Without her insightful guidance and encouragement, Maisie Dobbs might be just a couple of chapters collecting dust in a drawer.”
John Brooks The Girl Behind the Door (Simon & Shuster 2016)
In the Acknowledgments:
This story began as a 450-page saga about a grieving father until I met Adair Lara. She saw the story I had completely missed in my search for answers to my daughter’s suicide, opening up an entirely different journey into attachment disorders in children who had suffered early life trauma. I owe her a debt of gratitude for her vision and her literary guidance.
Sunshine Mugrabi author of My Boyfriend is a Girl
Based on your suggestions. I’ve cut the manuscript by about 20,000 words and three chapters. It’s down to about 93,000 words, 35 chapters. I’ve cut pocket bios, tightened dialog, looked for inconsistencies, listened for clinkers, tried to strip out redundancy and make the narrative taut and linear, while retaining the lyricism and improving pacing and rhythm.
Your critique really helped me see how to cut and focus. I’ve carried your printed suggestions around for the past three months, the pages now tattered and coffee stained. I’m grateful for your thought- provoking suggestions and encouragement.
Lolly Winston, author of Good Grief
This was my first writing workshop and it snowballed on me. First you talked about needing conflict/struggle in your story and I thought, “Well, crap. There goes my non-fiction piece about living in an RV for ten years. No conflict. Won’t work.” (I know – these are my thoughts and they’re supposed to be italicized but the email font won’t do it!) After the first day I was thinking maybe I should just try essays and forget my project. Then, on the second day, you honed in on specifics and I got inspired. I’m just going to write. I don’t care if it gets published. I’ll have my story and it will be mine to keep. Thank you for your humor, your insight, your warmth and your knowledge of writing which you so willingly
David Gottfried, author of “Greed to Green”
Without Adair’s guidance, sharp wit, coaching, seasoned interviewing skills, succinct editing and experienced counsel, there is no way that my memoir would ever have been published.
Mary Patrick, author of Family Plots
Adair’s keen editorial eye and sharp sense of story arc helped me pare a 500-page manuscript into a tighter, plot driven read. Her coaching and enthusiasm opened doors to locating an agent that had previously been bolted.
Susan Biggar author of Upside of Down
The Upside of Down — will be published in September by a Melbourne publisher called Transit Lounge. Adair, I would not be in this position were it not for you. Your support, comments, feedback and encouragement were critical and came at a time when I was wondering why I was staying up late at night working on this book.
Studying with you got me writing. Some of my clips are on my website http://www. musicandes.com. My first novel, Panpipes for Peace, will be published soon.