Publicity Tip #25
The Blog Hop – A Virtual Marketing Dance ~
As you may have noticed, this is an unusual post for Monday morning. I’m flipping my editing and publicity tips this week as I’ve been invited to take part in a “My Writing Process” blog tour, which takes place on writers’ blogs every Monday. It’s a day where you can discover more about an author’s writing process: How they come up with their ideas, created their characters, and crafted their stories – from there, you can explore their publications and find new books to tantalize your reading appetite.
Whether you decide to create your own virtual book/author tour, or hire a professional to help you, the exposure gained is priceless.
I was invited to take part in this tour by author Lisa M. Green, who posted her process last Monday on her official author website http://lisamgreen.com/my-writing-process/. Lisa writes paranormal and mythic fantasy and she is an English teacher, like me, working hard to make her writing dream a reality. Thanks for the invite, Lisa!
So, what am I working on right now?
Occasionally you’ll learn little snippets about me and my writing in the various short article or rants I produce, but this website is not about me as a writer – its about what I as a writer have learned and discovered on the path to making real my own dreams. Needless to say I’m either writing, developing, or searching for content on a daily basis for Infinite Pathways.
As a freelance writer, each month I submit an article or two to Authors Publish Magazine. In Issue #47 I talk about what it means to be successful as an indie author. Currently I’m working on an article about Navigating Assisted Publishing, or as you may know it: Vanity or Subsidy Publishing. It’s that option many authors take when they don’t have the time to commit to DIY self-publishing but they’ve received enough rejection letters to know that going the traditional route might not be the best course. A lot of advice regarding this kind of publishing is biased – either from the publishing company or the people who’ve used the services, good or bad. My goal is to simply tell the truth about this aspect of the industry and educate aspiring writers without bias.
I am also waiting to hear back from a small publisher about my science fiction manuscript The Chronicles of Xannia: Time’s Tempest. Whether or not the book is accepted, I know I will have to do the bulk of the marketing and publicity myself. That being said I have developed what I call “Lost Chapters.” The concept sprung from a short prequel e-book I reviewed a couple of months ago. These lost chapters are episodes of back story that only claim a sentence or two of space in the actual novel, but contain concepts and stories that extend a reader’s understanding of the characters and the plot. I have four chapters planned; I’ve written one and I’m 1/4 of the way through the second. I plan to release these lost chapters as free e-book teasers leading up to the publication of the main book (the first in a trilogy/quadrilogy – it depends on sales at that point but the potential for 4 books is there). I have hired an illustrator to create the covers for each of the four chapters and I’m waiting with bated breath to see how they turn out.
How does my work differ from others of its genre?
Cross-genre books or genre-blending is one of this century’s (the 2000’s) big experiments. Time’s Tempest is at heart an adventure story, it just happens to take place on another planet. That being said, the core structure of the epic quest is essential to the foundation of my science-fiction story. There’s a smattering of politics (I really can’t stand them but they tend to weasel their way in whether you want them to or not), a romantic element, and the idea of historical significance and cyclical tendencies. But really, the technology that is causing the disruption of daily life on the planet Xannia is unique, but if I told you what it was, I’d have to kill you (for it would spoil the ending). I’d like to say I take the best parts of my favourite genres and blend them into one seamless offering. It tends to make marketing a b***h but there is usually one dominant genre I can cling to for support.
Why do I write what I do?
Indiana Jones was my idol as a child. When I grew old enough to know better, that transitioned to George Lucas. The books I most enjoyed reading were full of adventure, excitement, and the promise of romance. C. S. Lewis, Madeleine L’Engle, William Goldman, and Carolyn Keene expanded my imagination and showed me strong female protagonists who made a difference. I’d like to stay that my writing is not confined by any one genre. I write contemporary, fantasy, and science-fiction but the core of every story is that of adventure or questing. And because I read to ‘escape from’ and not to ‘escape to’ (as J.R.R. Tolkien outlines the difference of in his essays in the book Tree by Leaf), I go to a place where my spirit is allowed to soar and where I can become one with the characters and their experiences – just leave the crap of everyday for when I open my eyes in the morning. I think I should lose my mind if I read/wrote horror, and my upbringing was so naive that to this day a passionate sex scene still makes me blush – kudos to those of you who have tempered these genres and others like them.
How does my writing process work?
Dreams and dreaming are the foundation of my stories. I have two nearly full dream journals bursting with ideas in various stages of development. Some are short stories, a few are one-act plays, but most of them are full-length novels (or series) waiting to be written. My dreams come to me like movies on the big screen – I may only catch a glimpse of one or two really great scenes but my mind instantly knows the back story and, more often than not, the ending. If it’s the middle of the night or 5 min before the alarm goes off in the morning, I have to write out what I dreamed – be it one page or twelve.
Occasionally, an idea comes to me from another source. Time’s Tempest was inspired by my husband (boyfriend at the time) at the cusp of Y2K. He said something that night that made my dreams follow a path they had never taken before – into the realm of science-fiction and political undercurrents. Most recently I visited a fellow author’s blog; she creates title generators. Based on certain personal information, you are able to develop the title for a story in one of three genres (currently). The idea is that this random title can inspire the story that goes along with it. My thriller/crime title was “The Hollow Kiss” and I haven’t stopped plotting since I learned it! This will be my project for NaNoWriMo this year.
Finally, let’s just say I’m a planner. I love dramatic improvisation and tend to wing-it when I’m MC-ing or public speaking (almost to the point of insanity sometimes) but when it comes to writing, my formal training throughout all of my schooling and beyond has made me more than a little OCD on this front. I will diagram out all of my ideas on a flow-chart, allow myself to daydream about the story whenever I can get away with it, and then fill in the missing pieces until a solid structure is within my grasp. Now, I don’t always follow this framework exactly. Sometimes a character does something out of sequence – but everything ends up where it needs to be in the end. If I don’t know where I’m going when I write, I’ll never put pen to page. After that, it’s revise, edit, edit, edit, and edit again with a bunch of beta readers tossed in for good measure.
Well, that’s a glimpse of my writing process. I’m sure it’s far more revealing than even I realize, but I don’t intend to hide behind some figment of my imagination… not literally anyway 😉
Next week you can discover the writing process of some friends of mine:
Jim Scott’s writings span over 40 years of experiential travel throughout much of the planet culminating in his Wanderings and Sojourns series of books.
Nanci M. Pattenden is an emerging fiction writer of Canadian Victorian murder mysteries.
Mark Koning, The most imaginative quiet writer; author of Chronicles of a Girl.
The links to these Writing Process Blogs will be active on Monday March 24th, 2014.
I would like to thank Lisa M. Green once again for inviting me along on this tour, and I encourage anyone who is ready to publicize themselves to utilize this and other virtual book/author tours.
May the dance go on….