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Critique Circle: The Birthplace of my Novels -- by Rachelle Ayala


Critique Circle is the birthplace of my first three novels, all published within one year. I can honestly say that without the wonderful writers at Critique Circle, I would still be sitting at my engineering job churning code and going over build results and bug counts.

I was introduced to Critique Circle by Victorine Lieske. It was Feb 2011 and I had a draft of Michal’s Window. My daughter had read it. I had also sent chapters to a friend who said it was good. But in reality, it stunk. I had no clue what I should do next. Write query letters? Find an editor? All seemed so daunting and unapproachable.

That’s when I sent a note to Victorine on kindleboards. I asked her how she prepared her blockbuster novel for publication. She pointed me to Critique Circle and changed my life.

I must have rewritten Michal’s Window over thirty times. Many, many people had a hand in critiquing it, from the truly awful prologue I had where she’s breaking a vase and bloodying her hands pounding on a door, to the final published hand-chopping scene that starts the story in David’s point of view. Several loyal critters went through multiple plot changes, character changes, POV changes, sex scenes both over the top and deleted, to get me to the final draft.

I learned what purple prose was from a grumpy bearish critic, argued whether internal monologue was telling or showing, altered David from the real mensch he was to the more caring appealing-to-females hero, strengthened Michal, and probably frustrated every red-blooded woman by not letting her have Ittai. Whew! And when all was said and done, I could never have hit the publish button had I not learned from the many friends I’ve made here.

I published Michal’s Window February 2012, Broken Build September 2012 [critiqued entirely in the public queue], and Hidden Under Her Heart January 2013. I have enjoyed every minute of critiquing others’ works and brainstorming with them over their plots and characters. I have also watched with great pride the successes of Critique Circle authors during and after their book launches.

Critique Circle is truly the birthplace of a entire new generation of novels. I am happy and excited to be a part of the new renaissance of literacy. But most of all, I credit the many wonderful authors and friends for always striving to put their best work forward and caring enough about others to give the best critiques they can.

Michal's Window Cover

Michal’s Window (A Novel: King David’s First Wife) is a powerful and emotional journey as lived through the eyes of Princess Michal, King David’s first wife. Married as a prize, abandoned as a wife, Michal fights to claim her rightful spot next to King David, the man she loves with all her heart.

You can find out more about Michal’s Window and read the reviews at:

If you want to contact me or appear on my blog, please go to and fill in the contact form, or send me a message here at Critique Circle

Tiaclare, aka Rachelle Ayala

Posted by Rachelle Ayala 18 Mar 2013 at 07:30
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