Writing Update: The Search for Reviewers

800px-Great_Aletsch_Glacier

I’m expecting the links to Advanced Reader Copies of my book to arrive someday soon so I’ve started looking for ways to find reviewers – lists of blogs that review paranormal romance and Amazon reviewers who read in that genre, as well as avenues suggested by my friends and publisher. Then there’s writing a letter to entice the reviewer to give my book a chance.

It’s a little overwhelming.

So, just to throw it out there, if anyone reads paranormal romance and would be willing to put up a short review for a free copy – let me know!

There’s more to do in every area, all the time. I have a basic web site up but it needs some work. My fellow writer, Christy Jackson Nicholas, kindly shared with her list of things that she does when she gets her Advanced Reader Copies.

Nowhere on the list does it include writing.

It’s as if this book promotion is a whole other job!

Yup, that’s exactly what it is. With good things, come new responsibilities. It’s going to take work, but when you want something in life, you have to be willing to do what it takes to get there.

(Oh, great. Now I have “Climb Ev’ry Mountain” from The Sound of Music playing in my head. Well, when you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. “Climb every mountain / Ford every stream / Follow every rainbow / Till you find your dream . . . .)

 

Advertisements

Writing Life Update: Looking Up

KeepLookingUp

This past weekend, my husband and I went away on a 27 ½ hour vacation for our 9th wedding anniversary. I only took a few pictures, but they seemed to have the theme of “looking up.” (We had breakfast on Sunday in a bistro with a stained glass ceiling and then took a walk.)
 
I had a realization about my writing with the same theme.
 
I “owned” the term writer a long time ago. I write, therefore I am a writer.
 
Poet has been a little more difficult to own. I’ve self-published a book of poetry, but to be honest, the fact that it is SELF published reduces the legitimacy in my own mind. The two things that have helped me get there are acceptance by other poets and having had one poem chosen through a blind jury process for a collection. So, I’m a poet.
 
It suddenly occurred to me this weekend, though, that with the imminent release of a novel through Tirgearr Publishing, I can legitimately say I am a poet and a novelist.
 
It was a bit mind-boggling. I’m still reveling in that that.
 
Now, time to get back to writing.

Writing Update: Posting Poems on Facebook

GridImage

Really exciting news — I have cover art for Earthbound!

But I can’t share it with you . . . yet.

In the meantime, I thought I’d share something I’ve learned recently.

I’ve been really frustrated with Facebook’s unwillingness to promote some of my poems. I set up a promotion and they accept it, but then they send me an email saying that there is too much text in the image so my promotion isn’t performing the way it should. They recommend I go edit the promotion to remove some text.

Well, it’s a poem. Removing words from an edited poem is not so easy. But Facebook doesn’t allow for such differentiation. There’s no little box to check telling them, “I’m trying to share a poem!”

I’ve looked at other poets who share on Facebook and they do tend to share short poems or excerpts. How are they delivering it to their followers or new people? Is it just because the poems are short? Are they spending a lot of money on it?

I did a little research. It turns out the number of words is not really the problem. The problem is the percentage of the image covered by text.

Facebook has, simply put, a 20% rule. They figure images that have text over more than 20% of image aren’t going to perform well and they don’t want to fill people’s feed with that.

I’ve been filling images with larger text so people can see it better. Wrong direction. In the future you’ll be seeing smaller text with a large margin.

I’ll let you know how that goes.

Writerly Update: I’ve got a web site!

I will be developing the site and adding material as time goes on, but my web site is now live! Take a look and let me know what you think. Are there things I should add that you’ve seen on other author’s pages? Thanks for looking in!

“LIFE IS STRANGE, AND SO WE WRITE” ~ MELORA JOHNSON

Coffee

Writerly Update: BIG News!

good news, hands holding paper with text concept, positive media

I have BIG news to share! I was offered a contract for my first paranormal romance, “Earthbound,” by a publishing house!

It was a little mind-blowing to receive that e-mail; took several hours to realign my mind so it worked properly.

As I gathered up information this weekend to fill out forms for the publisher, I found the work I’ve already been doing in figuring out how to describe my book and developing media channels made it a MUCH less onerous process. This is the business of writing.

At the same time, my brain wants to be creating. I have one short story in the works set during the U.S. storming of Iwo Jima. The Japanese defense involved miles and miles of tunnels – very fertile ground for a story.

Then there’s the follow-up to “Earthbound,” – lines pop into my head at any time.

It’s great to be a writer – but very time-consuming.

Weekly Writing Update: Nah.

TimeTouristOutfitters

Summer reading started today at my library and I am wiped out so instead of talking about my own writing this week, I’d like to turn you on to a fantastic deal. Time Tourist Outfitters Ltd. by Christy Jackson Nicholas is on pre-order for just 99 cents. I’ve already read the book and it is a hoot! From the irrascible Wilda and her unique store that outfits people for time travel to her own travels back in time to the court of Mansa Musa and beyond, this is well worth your time. You’re welcome.

(I am working on my next paranormal romance but apparently it’s kind of tricky describing a character who your main character can’t see or hear in the first act. Who knew? I’ve gone back to character sheets to help me move forward.)

Weekly Writing Update: Sharing Stories

0617191456a

I currently have five short stories and a novel submitted to potential publishers, and two more short stories I need to pick potential homes for.

It’s a little like holding a lottery ticket. You want to find out whether you won or not but the anticipation is wonderful fun as well. Schroedinger’s cat is still alive! Yes, there’s fun in both creating and sharing. That sharing can take a multitude of forms. There’s at least one story that I’ve shared with my writer’s group which I may never send out, but it was cathartic just writing it and sharing it with them.

Yesterday, I sent a copy of my poetry book to Brené Brown on a whim. I recently read her book, Braving the Wilderness, and so many things she said resonated with poems in my book that I wanted to share it with her. She may never read it, may never even see it if someone opens her mail for her, but I sent it.

Making connections, sharing who we are, is a big part of why we’re here. Sometimes I see memes that say things like “I should just keep quiet, nobody cares.” Bullshit. I care, I’m interested in people’s stories and what they think, and I’ve found over time that whatever it is I think or feel, there are plenty of people out there who feel the same way.

So, keep on sharing your story. Somebody may be waiting to hear it.

Moments of Joy: Reading Out Loud

54785631_l.jpg

I had a blast being the M.C. for the readings at Riverrow Books in Owego last Friday night. I got to listen to some great readings from fellow authors and read the titular poem from my collection, A Sanctuary Built of Words. (That can be found in my poems here.) At the end I think I heard someone sob slightly, either that or they yawned loudly. 😊

I also read a story I call “Drying Up.” It intersperses the last few hours of a woman’s life in Hospice care with memories from her life that brought her to that point and the peace she has made with people in her life.

I felt that poem and story exemplified my belief about why we come together to read out loud. Research Professor Brené Brown refers to it as experiencing our inextricable connection through collective experiences of joy and pain. It’s a wonderful feeling, that connection.

I think it also has something to do with Bibliotherapy, a term I first learned about during my college years. Merriam-Webster defines bibliotherapy as “the use of reading material for help in solving personal problems or for psychiatric therapy, also: the reading material so used.”

I know I’ve found comfort and knowledge in books that lead to personal growth my entire life.

I believe books and stories can be a place of escape, refuge, connection, and offer hope to help people deal with reality. That is what I’ve experienced through reading and what I hope to offer with my writing.

Author Reading in Owego, NY

AuthorReadings

How 2 Delays = Perfect Timing

2Delays

How 2 Delays = Perfect Timing (or) A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Coffee Shop

I was sitting at the traffic light on Friday when it turned yellow. Have I been sitting at a green light? I stepped on the gas and glanced in the rearview mirror.

At least three cars were lined up behind me but not one of them had honked. I could hear the questions now.

“Is someone crossing the street?”

“Maybe it’s a cat.”

Perhaps there was a moth, but I didn’t see it.

Neither did my friend in the passenger seat (who shall remain nameless) and who didn’t say anything about the green light either.

We arrived at the coffee shop and there was a free space right in front of the Tioga Arts Council. I attempted to parallel park but the alignment seemed, uncharacteristically, to be eluding me until the third try.

We got out of the car and a woman stopped on the sidewalk. “I love your bumper sticker! Are you a writer?”

I thought for a minute. She must be talking about my Got Writing? decal in the window.

“Um, yes. Yes, I am.”

We chatted a few minutes and she suggested I talk to the Director of the Arts Council because they needed authors for a reading at Riverrow Books in Owego, New York, during the First Friday Arts Crawl.

Long story short, I’m dragging along several from my writer’s group and acting as the M.C..

And that is how two delays can equal perfect timing. 😊

More information about who all will be there and when later today.

« Older entries