I love interviews.

Just for the record. In case you were wondering if you could ask me questions. Because I actually love questions. Even my kids can only wear me down after asking the same question about ten times.

Seriously, though, interviews are fun. Like writing but you don’t have to come up with the idea yourself. I’ve done several interviews on my blog tour for Becoming Magic, and I’ve enjoyed all of them. Today I’m at the lovely Teresa Noel’s blog for another interview. You can find it here: T’s Stuff Interview.

One of the questions Teresa asked me was about my favorite part of the book. I had to think about it, and, I admit, I considered many different parts. I finally settled on one, but I won’t spoil it here. Go check out the interview!

TourBanner_BecomingMagic

When the creative flame burns low

lighted candle

Photo by Rahul on Pexels.com

It’s not writer’s block…exactly. I can still write. It’s just that the past few days have been very emotional in my family, and for the first time this summer, I actually don’t feel like writing.

My creative flame has turned from a roaring fire in my breast to a flickering candle flame. So I’m using the time as wisely as I know how. I’m proofreading and fixing what I wrote this summer while my fingers burned with creative fire. And every now and then, maybe I’ll dash off a poem if the spirit moves me.

And I’m promoting! Becoming Magic is making the rounds on the internet right now. I’m over at Lisa Haselton’s Reviews and Interviews today talking about what makes my hero Connor especially charming and what’s next in my “new kind of romance.” I hope you’ll join us and while you’re there, enter the drawing for the $50 gift card to Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

And no worries! The writing flame will get stoked at some point soon. And I’ll be off and writing in a mad dash once more. I just have to be patient and feed the tiny flame until then.

Seven Days to Becoming Magic: I miss the old days…

blur book stack books bookshelves

A book with no one to advocate for it gets shelved quickly in today’s overwhelmed literary market. I know that. And yet. Photo by Janko Ferlic on Pexels.com

Just a week away from the release of Becoming Magic, my new kind of romance in which I attempt to prove real heroes are not the dark, brooding macho men of old.

Just a week away from the part I hate—promotion. Literally, the worst part for someone like me. I’m a hermit. I live in my office with my little dog and my cats. It’s my happy place.

Cormac McCarthy sold books for forty years without ever doing a television interview. Emily Dickinson wrote her amazing body of poetry while secluded in her family home—literally lowering baskets from windows for packages and speaking to visitors through doors. Of course, the largest part of her work was discovered after her death…

And then there is William Faulkner, who famously shunned public speaking, but should have spoken out more, as evidenced by his Nobel Prize Speech:

The poet’s, the writer’s, duty is to write about these things. It is his privilege to help man endure by lifting his heart, by reminding him of the courage and honor and hope and pride and compassion and pity and sacrifice which have been the glory of his past.

Yes, writers are reclusive. We prefer to sit at our desks and tap away at our computers. But in today’s world of technology and television and Netflix, it’s up to us—the writers and poets—to seek out new ways to do what Faulkner charged us to do: To remind human beings that there is more to us than our exterior shells show—we have heart and soul and history to prove it. And that means promotion because like the proverbial tree with no listeners, there’s not much point to a book with no readers.

Being a writer

What’s it like to be a writer?

Here’s the truth. Being a writer sucks.

Being a writer is glorious. Being a writer is frustrating. In today’s world, it’s nearly impossible to be successful at being a writer. You spend half your time wishing you were something else.

But it’s not like you choose to be a writer. It’s something you’re born to be, some might say a “calling.” God puts a voice in your head and your heart and it haunts you until you do your best to translate it to the written word. Then you edit and hone and rewrite and, finally, you send it out into the world where it’s mostly ignored when it’s not published with a shiny hardback cover by a huge publisher that sends you on a world book tour with big posters and lots of bling to give away at ever stop.

And yet.

Being a writer is not something you choose, and it’s also not something you can deny. I love being a writer. I love my books that are a part of me and a pale echo of that voice God spoke to me. I know I didn’t get it right because I’m human, but I do my best, and I think I’m getting better at it with every try.

So I keep trying. I keep translating and honing and editing and rewriting. And publishing.

About a month and a half ago I sent one of my books, Movie Magic, out into the world. A few people have read it. One of them was kind enough to review it and tell me he liked it. He’s a fellow writer and a magician I’ve gotten to know through our mutual love of writing and magic. He gave it five stars and a glowing review I’m very proud of.

Tomorrow I begin a review tour. These will be strangers reviewing my book. I personally think Movie Magic is the best book I’ve written so far. I guess I’ll find out if others agree.

Until tomorrow.

 

 

Promotion: The dirty word of writing.

With the launch of Out of Time less than two months away, I’m throwing myself into the process of making certain readers know about the book. In other words, promotion.

Promotion. It’s not a four-letter word, but it might as well be. As writers, we want readers to read our books, but we would rather stay away from the actual hawking of said books. But if we don’t hawk the books, they don’t get read, and to get the books read, we have to sell them.

Hence, promotion.

I’ve never yet gotten a real handle on the promotion thing. I would love to be one of those writers who writes only and hires someone to do all the dirty work for her. Tweeting and Facebooking and advertising…everything short of standing on the corner of Main and Broad yelling, “Buy my book! You’ll love it!”

But that’s not really possible, is it? I have to promote my book, but why can’t I have fun with it? So I’ve decided on June 15, I’m going to host a big party here, complete with party favors (i.e. e-giveaways) and a grand door prize of a Kindle Fire. Please spread the word. Invite your friends. And here’s your invitation:img_3990

One last note, I’m running a campaign on Thunderclap to promote the launch party, too. If you’d like to support the campaign, here’s a link: Help Me Launch Out of Time. Remember, I’m promoting the launch party, which will hopefully promote the book, but no purchase is necessary to participate! Just come and join the fun, and maybe take home some goodies!

Let’s be honest: We can’t blame E.L. James.

So, E.L. James decides to try to do what many authors do. In an attempt at promoting her new book Grey, James went live on Twitter, allowing other Tweeters to ask her questions using #AskELJames. What ensued was…troubling. Tweeters used the opportunity to criticize James’s writing and to accuse her of everything from glorifying abuse to setting back women’s rights a good fifty years.

Now, I’m not a fan of 50 Shades. I read the first one, or at least started it, after hearing a great deal of buzz about it. I ended up skipping through a good bit of it, and when I reached the end, I was actually disappointed to learn that there were two sequels. I’m no fan of E.L. James, but I don’t blame her, and I certainly would never have participated in the monstrous activity that took place on Twitter.

E.L. James is a writer. Maybe not a great one, but she did write, as of last count, four enormously popular books. Is it her fault that a publisher chose to publish her books, a gazillion people chose to buy and read them, and a movie producer chose to make a movie—which another gazillion people went to see? Not really.

So who is there left to blame if the author is out of bounds? The publisher for pulling 50 Shades out of the slush pile and giving it the type of promotion that most authors can only dream of? Maybe, but publishers are, in the end, just salesmen. They see a need in the market and they try to be the first to fill it.

The troubling thing about the whole 50 Shades phenomenon is that, at the end of the day, there was a market for the book. In spite of its disturbing thematic material. In spite of its sub-par writing. In spite of the fact that “those type” of books (which have been around for many, many years) were once hidden at the back of the bookstore, not prominently displayed at the front door to greet me and my children when we go in looking for summer reading.

So don’t blame E.L. James for writing what a large part of our society now wants to read. Writers write. Publishers publish. Readers buy the books.