Writer, Interrupted

content warning: mentions of self-medication, psychiatric disability.

When Evolution Isn’t Always a Straight Line

I have a gap in my resume. It makes writing bios difficult, trying to cover a gap that yawns across the summer of 2006 to a January day in 2014. I didn’t go on a backpacking trip to Europe or volunteer with the peace corps or pursue personal enrichment. Well. I kinda did, but not in the fun drive a bus across the country sort of way.

I was institutionalized.

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#RWChat at RWA!

RWchat at RWA

The RWA national conference is in Orlando, FL, next week! From Wednesday, July 26th—Saturday, July 29th, a lot of #RWChat members will be there. Alexis Daria and Robin Lovett will be there, too. We’ve got FOUR #RWChat get-togethers planned so we can meet up and support each other. Big writing conferences can be exciting, yet daunting, experiences, so let’s help each other stay connected, inspired, and energized.

(For those of you who haven’t heard of the Romance Writers of America national conference, here’s the link if you’re interested in checking it out for next year.)

WEDNESDAY July 26th 8:00 P.M. Hang out! Come get your #RWChat BUTTON! We’ll be handing them out so we all know who our #RWChat friends are the whole conference. Location TBD—check Twitter! We’ll be in one of the restaurants/bars at the conference hotel.

RWchat buttons

#RWchat buttons!

THURSDAY July 27th 8:00 A.M. Wake up! Our first ever LIVE in-person #RWChat session. We’ll discuss how we set goals for the conference and how to stay focused and flexible when there’s so much to do. (Don’t worry, we’ll finish by 8:25 A.M.—in time for the 8:30 A.M. sessions to begin!) Location: Room Oceanic 4

FRIDAY July 28th 3:15 P.M. Check-in! We’ll meet and do a LIVE chat to assess how our conference goals are going so far and what plans we’d like to make for the final day. Location: Room Oceanic 4

SATURDAY July 29th 12:30 P.M. Wrap-up! We’ll chat about how to take everything you’ve learned at the conference and apply it at home. Location: Room Northern Hemisphere Salon E1

For those of you who will be there, we can’t wait to see you. For those of you staying home, we’ll be tweeting as much as we can to share it with you, and we’ll try to stream some of the live sessions. 🙂 Keep an eye on the RWchat Twitter and Facebook accounts!

 

 

Balancing the External Plot: Take the Lead

romance writers chat graphic what do they do besides kissThis week on #RWchat, we’re discussing the non-romance plots in our romance novels. In other words, what do the characters do other than kiss? Yesterday we heard from C.L. Polk about Witchmark. Today, Alexis Daria talks about the external plot in her upcoming debut, Take the Lead.

 

How did you come up with the non-romance plot?

I’m a huge fan of Dancing with the Stars, and I was originally inspired by some of the stories they tell through their dances. I made a list of routines like the one in the video below, with the intention of using them as writing prompts.

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Balancing the External Plot: Witchmark

romance writers chat graphic what do they do besides kissThis week on #RWchat, we’re discussing the non-romance plots in our romance novels. In other words, what do the characters do other than kiss? Author C.L. Polk talks about balancing a mystery plot, a fantasy world, and romance in her upcoming novel, Witchmark.

How did you come up with the non-romance plot?

I knew I wanted to write a romance plot, but I really wanted them to have an adventure while they fell in love even though Tristan and Miles are from very different worlds. It took a long time trying to put the pieces of the story together because it’s a mystery that reveals terrible secrets at the end. I had some images firmly in my mind, like Miles’ tiny office at work and Tristan’s townhouse full of mirrors. The story didn’t come together until I had a vision of Miles being horrified, watching his fellow soldiers marching in their victory parade. When I figured out why, all the pieces fell into place, and I was ready.

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ICYMI: Marketing Month Storify Links

launch and release day graphic

In case you missed the live chats during Marketing Month, C.L. Polk (Witchmark, Tor 2018) made Storify links.

Our first chat was about newsletters and author websites. We talked about building your email list, creating newsletter content, and what info to include on an author site.
Check out the Storify recap on Newsletters and Author Websites.

Our third chat discussed ARCs and reviews. We were lucky to have a number of bloggers, reviewers, and librarians in attendance! The conversation covered building genuine relationships with bloggers, utilizing FB reader groups, and the role of publishers in handling ARCs — and how that differs if you’re indie.
Check out the Storify recap on ARCs and Reviews.

Our final chat covered book launch and release day. We asked participants to wear both their reader and author hats while answering. The chat addressed everything from cover reveals to release day buzz, from pre-orders to backlist, and everything in-between.
Check out the Storify recap on Book Launch and Release Day.

Did you make any changes to your marketing after these chats?

If you’re looking for more information, check out our other Marketing Month posts, including a guest post from Kristan Higgins!

Got Promo?

RWchat giveaway and promo graphicMay is Marketing Month on RWchat, and this week we’re talking about giveaways and promo. Check out Kimberly Bell’s take on giveaways, and read on for promo tips compiled by Alexis Daria.

I’m kind of a conference junkie. It’s fun to hang out with other authors, readers, and industry professionals, swapping book recs and writing advice. But as much as I love the social aspect, that’s not the only reason why I’m there. I’m there to learn. My favorite thing about writing conferences is the opportunity to attend workshops and classes led by people who have built up a wealth of knowledge about all aspects of the life and business of being a writer, either through formal education or trial and error. Yes, a lot of this info can be found online, but there’s something special about being in the same room with an author whose career you admire, hearing them speak about their own experiences, and then getting to ask questions.

Before I attend a conference, I set a goal for what I want to learn. In March, I attended the Liberty States Fiction Writers’ “Create Something Magical” Conference with the goal of learning about marketing and promotion. The workshops did not disappoint. Last week, I posted what I learned about newsletters. This week, I’ve compiled some tips on promo from two workshops: “Buzzing Your Book & Building Your Brand,” led by Jillian Stein and Liz Berry (1001 Dark Nights), and “The Six Goals of Online Book Promotions (& the Tools to Achieve Them)” led by Laura Kaye (Raven Riders series).

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Me: Super Lazy. Giveaways: Super Cool.

As you may have heard, May is Marketing month here at #RWChat. We made it marketing month because none of us chat hosts are putting in the effort we ought to be with marketing, so it was time to group think this shit out and get motivated.

(There are a lot of chat topics that make the list because we personally need a push or some inspiration. #sorrynotsorry)

Of all of us, I have the most shame around my lack of book marketing. I have broken some serious records (and banked some serious dollars) in a previous career in e-commerce. I have been a social media consultant to some pretty big brands. And I currently work as the operations manager for an email marketing company.

My shame run so very, very deep.

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