Sunday, June 27, 2010
I love writing men.
Um... I am sure you are going "What????" This is a girl power blog. And it is. Sorta.
I tend to write a lot of action with, you know bullets and blood flying around (even my romance is using taking place in some dark warehouse and someone's got a machete).
And I am going to say something that I am sure is going to piss off some people off (especially women) that men are simply SO much easier to write for action.
Even male reluctant heroes are usually bursting at the seam with testosterone. You know they are going to open up a can of whoop ass at some point.
But writing strong, independent women? Wow. So much harder. Because just like in life, they tend to come off as sharp, brittle, and well, let's just say it... bitchy.
Plus I like to write as real and grounded of characters as possible. Which means that in reality there are far fewer female cops than male cops and well... again I've got to say it, they tend to come off as masculine or bitchy.
So what to do? I like my female characters living in their feminine energy. I also like them all the stronger for it.
Which means writing a little on a tightrope. I need them gutsy but vulnerable. I want them tough but supportive.
Hopefully in Plain Jane, with Detective Nicole Usher I have succeeded in at the least capturing some of the essence of a not just a cop but of a women, as complicated as she would be in real life :-)
#ornot #Iamokaywiththattoo :-)
Intrigued? Read 25% of Plain Jane for free at smashwords.com: http://bit.ly/b60jVe and just for being a sport and reading this blog let me give you a 50% off coupon! RH88E (enter at checkout)
Thanks again, and I'd love to get feedback so leave a comment :-)
Sunday, June 20, 2010
He is definitely not one of my exs. #ok #fine #Kentisamashup
It is funny sometimes I get readers who say "there's no way anyone is that arrogant."
Um, wow, I actually toned DOWN the arrogance of my ex's for Kent.
I also love it when readers say "There is no way someone as professional as Nicole would fall for someone as arrogant as Kent."
Um, again, wow, I am a post-doctoral college graduate and trust me I've fallen for plenty of Kent-esque men.
I think women who pride themselves on their intellect are even more susceptible to the likes of the Kent types.
To meet someone who is not just your match in the brains department but can school you?
Oh, how I hate to admit it, but that is a rush like none other.
Now just BEING arrogance doesn't cut it for me. You have to be able to back up your strutting. If you act all that then can't deliver, I'm out of there (as would be Nicole).
But if you can talk the talk, then walk the walk? It is like heroin in my veins.
So for the record, Kent is completely fictional. I just had a lot of real life inspiration for him! #lotsandlots
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Since I love cross-promotion so much and I love blogs so much, I thought, what the heck, let's do a blog about cross-promotions!
If you are reading this then more than likely we are in contact regarding cross-promoting our novels. Which sounds great in theory, but how do we put that in practice and make the most out of our social media connections?
First off, a little about me. I do social media professionally and have over 12,000 followers across my own accounts (which I can promote whatever the heck I want). If you add in clients streams that ups the number to over 50,000 (for these accounts to promote your novel, the book must be a good fit and my client must approve the promotion ahead of time).
So even though @cristynwest (and @thrillersrock which I will describe in a minute) are little, tiny 'baby' accounts, they will not be small for long, plus they have their bigger sister accounts @craftycmc, @writingnodrama, @zerotosold to expand their influence to promote both "Plain Jane" and your novel :-)
@Thrillersrock (right now, it may still be under @Rollinsrocks but it will convert soon) was started as a fan site for James Rollins, but I got so many people asking for referrals to other thriller writers, I converted it to @ThrillersRock where I will be reviewing both established and up and coming thriller novelists and actively promoting on the stream those 'lesser' known authors to a very active buying stream.
Ok, but what does this mean to you?
If we decide to cross-promote, these are my general ideas on how I can help you...
Once I have a copy of your book in hand I will...
Immediately announce (very excitedly of course #becausethatishowIroll) on @cristynwest and @thrillersrock that I have the book and I am going to read and hopefully review it.
Your book will go into the 'que' for the larger accounts and be announced when I have a promo slot is open (@craftycmc, @writingnodrama, @zerotosold)
I will present your book to my clients and if they accept, you book will go into their 'que' as well to promo when a slot is open.
If you are on GoodReads I will immediately friend or fan you and put your book into my 'to be read' list and give a little excited promo note. (I try to stay active on this site and be a 'trusted' source so that people check out my stream frequently).
If you are on smashwords, I will download either a sample or if you give me a 100% coupon, I will download from there even if I have a copy already just to help your numbers go up. I will also leave a note about how excited I am to try your novel.
If you have other sites in which you wish me to promote, let me know and I will try and accommodate.
I will add you to my website's 'What I am Reading" page as well.
Once I have read your book I will...
Let you know what I thought. If I don't feel I can give it 3 stars or more, I will simply make an announcement through @cristynwest and @thrillersrock that I read it and encourage others to as well. I will also mark the book as read on GoodReads and leave it at that.
However, if I like it well enough to give it 3 stars or more (which I hope every book falls into that category :-), I will basically do all of the above again, but this time with snippets of my reviews.
I will post my review through @Thrillersrock and to any other site you would like (in addition to Smashwords and Goodreads which automatically go up).
Also during this process...
I am completely open to guest blogging, give-aways and promotions. I have a variety of coupons that you could add to any review of my work to give your followers added value :-)
Hopefully if we are cross-promoting you will do some or all of the above for me!
Thanks so much for your time and I am so excited to have the opportunity to cross-promote with you!!!! #toldyou #thatishowIroll :-)
Here is my smashwords link: http://bit.ly/b60jVe
Here is the reviewer's 100% off coupon: ZQ53W
Here is my GoodReads link: http://bit.ly/adBugf
Sunday, June 13, 2010
The short answer? Um...Why wouldn't I be?
The longer answer is that my Mother was fascinated by them. But then the question becomes why was she fascinated?
Then the larger picture kicks in, why, as a society, are we fascinated by them?
The answer is as simple as would you rather watch a deer play or a lion hunt. It appears our Neanderthal brain is wired to pay attention to the predator.
The deer might feed up but the lion might eat us so we pay particular attention to the one higher up the food chain then we are.
Serial killers are like sharks, usually smart, driven, meticulous sharks. If they didn't, you know, kill people we would value their work ethic.
Then to vicariously be able to feel empowered enough to catch one of these uber predators?
You can see how easily the serial killer thriller got such a strong foothold in the American psyche.
My hope is that "Plain Jane" honors the Pattersons and the Harris yet takes readers to an even deeper, more terrifying place.
For my new readers here is the code to my Smashwords page where you can read over 25% of the novel for free: http://bit.ly/b60jVe
Along with a coupon for a dollar off bringing the price down to 1.99 for the whole novel: TF93S
And lastly a humble request if you do read the novel if you could please review it on Amazon, Smashwords, and GoodReads!
Anyone who posts to all 3 sites will get a full 50% coupon for my next novel "Betrayed" out next month!
Thursday, June 10, 2010
CreateSpace, Kindle and other on-line eBook distributors have blown wide open the Indie Book Market. Now you don't need a publishing house to get your book into print or into the on-line stream.
Great! Perfect! Now you can sell to your heart's desire...
Umm... Well... The only problem with that is how are people going to find your book (now that they can buy it and all?)
That's where the Marketing Collective comes in.
To begin, my vision is to gather 10 dedicated, on-it, promotion-minded indie authors and form a marketing collective.
How would this work? By cross promotion. Across Twitter, Facebook, GoodReads, Smashwords, blogs, etc. We would coordinate with one another and rotate which book was 'featured' every day (or week).
I got the idea after forming a 'blog tribe' to help drive up our blog numbers and comments and it has worked great. The only problem is, none of my tribe has a book (yet) so that we could move to the next level together.
I thought after this initial collective worked out all the kinks, we would each branch out and form new individual collectives while still being connected through our 'super collective.' Then once that collective is cohesive, we branch again. Building influence in an ever-growing outward network.
I am basing this model after my successful "BlogTribe" on my personal account @craftycmc. Feel free to contact anyone on the blogtribe list to see how it feels to be part of the tribe :-)
Here are a few parameters I was thinking of...
You must solemnly swear that you are up to no good -- Oh... wait... wrong pledge.
The Indie Book Marketing Collective Pledge:
I commit to growing my Twitter account by at least 500 followers/month (preferably 750--if you don't know how to do that, I can help. My company does Twitter workshops all the time and I extend free workshops to anyone active within the tribe to give them the Twitter tools they need to grow their accounts and would extend the same to the collective :-) )
I commit to write at least one blog a week (ok, maybe you get a week off if you break your arm, or space aliens land, but it better be a good excuse!).
I commit to RTing everyone in the collective's #MentionMonday once each week (we will limit the collective to 10 so we don't exhaust our non-blog/book followers and you should space out your RTs so it isn't a cluster-f :-) ).
I commit to review each member's book on Amazon, goodreads, smashwords, (up to 5 sites and yes, you can use the same review for each site).
I commit to providing each member of the collective a free download of my book for review and understand the review is not guaranteed to be positive (although, of course, respectful).
I commit also to growing my GoodRead friends by at least 25 per week.
If these terms sound completely awesome to you, then leave your vow of chastity... oops... wrong pledge again...
Leave a comment below, DM me at @writingnodrama or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Crap, I always hate when I think of something uber important AFTER I put in a great ending!
But, in case you don't know what #MentionMonday is, here is the link to the primer :-)
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
Ah, another day, another blog.
I really hate it when I have to follow my own advice.
An author needs a blog. According to me, apparently completely separate from her other kick-ass blogs.
So here I am starting from zero #again.
But for such a good cause. Plain Jane.
A thriller that well, is pretty damn thrilling. (a NTY Top 10 Best Seller said so).
In future blogs I will talk about how Plain Jane came to be, why I wrote her, why I self-published, and then decided to 'go for it.'
Here is the Smashwords page: http://bit.ly/b60jVe where you can read over 25% of the book for free!
Below is the book trailer.
If you were looking for my funnier side, check me out on Twitter @craftycmc, and for writing advice @writingnodrama and lastly for marketing @zerotosold
Thanks for stopping by and can't wait to talk all Plain Jane, all of the time (that is until Betrayed comes out :-)