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Our September Author Interviews--9/6 Kathleen Valenti, 9/13 David Burnsworth, 9/20 Jeri Westerson, 9/27 Frances Brody. Please join us in welcoming these authors to WWK.
September Saturday Guest Bloggers: 9/2--Anne Bannon, 9/9 WWK Bloggers, 9/16 Margaret S. Hamilton, 9/23 Kait Carson, and on 9/30 Trixie Stiletto.
“May 16, 2017 – The Women’s Fiction Writers Association (WFWA) today announced the finalists of the second annual Star Award, given to authors of published women’s fiction. Six finalists were chosen in two categories, General and Outstanding Debut. The winners of the Star Award will be announced at the WFWA Retreat in Albuquerque, New Mexico on September 23, 2017.” In the general category, WWK’s Carla Damron was one of three finalist for her novel, The Stone Necklace. Go to Carladamron.com for more information. Congratulations, Carla!
Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:
Warren Bull's new Lincoln mystery, Abraham Lincoln In Court & Campaign has been released. Look for the Kindle version on February 3.
Shari Randall's "Pets" will be included in Chesapeake Crimes: Fur, Feathers, and Felonies anthology, which will be published in 2018. In the same anthology "Rasputin," KM Rockwood's short story, will also be published. Her short story "Goldie" will be published in the Busted anthology, which will be released by Level Best Books on April 25th.
In addition, our prolific KM will have the following shorts published as well: "Sight Unseen" in Fish Out of Water, Guppie (SinC) anthology, just released, and "Making Tracks" in Passport to Murder, Bouchercon anthology, October 2017.
Margaret S. Hamilton's short story, "Once a Kappa" was published as a finalist in the Southern Writer's Magazine annual short story contest issue. Mysterical-E published her "Double Crust Corpse" in the Fall 2016 issue. "Baby Killer" will appear in the 2017 solar eclipse anthology Day of the Dark to be published this summer prior to the eclipse in August.
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Suppose I enjoy writing because I can withdraw to a space of my own and work free of office politics and free of having to pay attention to information that bores me. Okay, so that gets the first draft done but I'd better learn about the politics of agents and publishing houses, and I'd better pay attention to what captures public attention.
If the energy that drives my writing comes from a desire for revenge or to express my anger without being arrested, then, no matter how well I disguise these desires, someone will ask me about them.
Writing is private but, if I want to make my work public, it seems I have to pay attention to a whole lot of rules. It's unlikely I'll get away with breaking every rule.
If I want an agent, I should include a hook within the first one or two pages. My protagonist needs to be larger than life. I should write line after line of brilliant prose in a unique voice. Okay, did that!
Do I have an internet presence? Can I name specific groups who'll be interested in my work? For instance, if my main character is a landscaper, gardeners will be interested. If my protagonist is a cook, anyone who cooks at home or for a living could be interested. Some writers feature cats. Some writers become known for the area about which they write whether it's a city or a state. What groups do I belong to--a doctor has colleagues, a member of Sisters in Crime has a network of reader-writers.
When a my writing is accepted for publication, the importance of being out there and having a recognizable name becomes even more vital. Can I get a copy to a reviewer--preferably one who's going to give me a great review? Now is the time to remind all the groups I've been cultivating that they want to buy my book.
Once my book is published, I'll stagger from bookstore to bookstore with copies that I'll sign for whoever shows up to listen to me talk about something I've worked on for one, five, ten years. Writers have bookmarks and postcards printed to advertise their work. Writers with a book that features a landscaper protagonist might hand out a bag containing a miniature set of garden tools. Any publicity is good publicity. Maybe I could arrange to participate in a sex scandal or a messy divorce--just kidding.
I've known midlist authors who do research and put a tremendous effort into the writing of their novels who are dropped by their publishers because they don't sell enough copies. They're never going to be bestsellers like John Grisham. So how can I increase the number of people reading my books?
I could make myself a brand. Janet Evanovich has Stephanie Plum. (Evanovich if a memorable last name). Agatha Christie had Hercule Poirot and Miss Marples. I learned in a business class for medical personnel that brands come from companies that meet expectations. A customer goes to McDonalds expecting a cheeseburger and that's what they get with the taste they recognize from the thousands of other cheeseburgers they've consumed. From a medical standpoint, I guess that means if I go into hospital to have my appendix out, that's what I expect. I don't want a savvy resident to recognize that I have a brain tumor and remove that as well. It is possible for a business person to exceed expectations but that's tricky. Consumers know the brand and they're not sure if change is good. For many people food just doesn't taste the same without the triglycerides.
I don't like the idea of becoming a salesperson. I'd probably have a problem selling water to someone lost in the desert. However, I've heard of authors of several published books talk about taking over their product. They decide how their latest book is to be published and they resurrect all their books that are out of print. Then, they market their books to loyal readers and to new readers they catch at conferences, bookstores, through the web, and by any other means that draws attention to their name and product. They are entrepreneurs.
To be an entrepreneur, that's something I wouldn't mind achieving. Entrepreneurs have moved society from banging out hieroglyphics on pieces of stone to printing to downloading on kindle. I just hope I can keep up with where story-telling is going.