Writing: The Writing Life as seen through the eyes of Patricia Guthrie
Photo of me at a writer’s conference in 2008. I forget where.
My writing life, now, is dedicated to finishing the re-edits of LEGACY OF DANGER, updating and finding neat things to put into the blog and content, reading/reviewing and constantly upgrading my technical skills. (oh yes, also finding my creative spirit, which seems to escape me from time-to-time.) And, another creepy task: MARKETING. GASP! I’m horrible at that.
I have found some resources for marketing. My website is on WordPress–and I use Blue Host to host all my hosting needs. (do you hear an echo?) I should also mention RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB a delightful group of some 500 authors with numerous programs, conferences, blog radio, contests and promotional opportunities.
Here’s their website: https://ravereviewsbynonniejules.wordpress.com/ I’ll be listing other sources on my homepage soon.
Here’s my thoughts on getting established.
When I ask friends, relatives strangers what they’re reading I get the big names. “Did you read Patterson’s latest?” “I’m reading ….” (fill in the blanks.) “Have you read Patricia Guthrie’s latest novel? Answer (if it’s not a friend or relative “Who’s that?” Hmm. Or if it is a friend or relative. “How did you like WATERLILIES OVER MY GRAVE?” Answer–body language, shuffling of feet, looking away, clearing of throat, “Oh, er . . . I bought your book, but I’ve been so busy, I haven’t had time to look at it. Besides I have to finish Stephen King’s ZOO. Have you read that? You really should.” I walk off with a stomach full of disappointment and discouragement. They’ve had my book for a month. They bought ZOO yesterday. I Probably won’t write today. Sad, but there it is.
When you’re unknown, how can you make anyone understand that your story might–just might–be a hell of a good read? They may fall in love with you (as an author, that is) your characters, plot, setting and so forth. In fact, they might be missing a whole world of literature. So there! I’ve said it. I gave up at least once on writing–but writing never gave up on me. There’s something in my nature that tells me to “write the next one.” Was that my brain or my publisher speaking? So with feet planted firmly on the ground and getting pulled by my temperament I forge ahead. Again. As to this blog, I’ll be updating my promotional efforts. From what I’ve learned, you need to make a LOT of contacts on social media, work your way through writing groups and websites and maybe get some professional help. There are many companies out there that will create a website for you, then launch your site and promote it. Be careful though. Online, you never know whether you’re talking to an profession/established group, or someone who hung their online shingle up yesterday. Their prices vary, so check as many as you can. You can do it alone, but the name of the game is getting your names and books out there. Do you have as many contacts as the pro’s? Or more? I sure don’t.
So, what’s next? LEGACY OF DANGER needs re-editing. I took it off Amazon (temporarily.) That’s one stumbling block that happens often. I’ve read authors whose work could have been great, but it was hard reading it for all the technical errors. That includes me. I’m grateful to my publisher for allowing the book to be pulled. Sometimes, the story might be good (or not) but the editing sucks.
So, next? I’m thinking about writing about episodes in a retirement home. That sounds like fun and I might just end up there after this is finished. If anyone has any comments, I’d love to hear them. Please leave a comment. If you notice any glaring mistakes, I’d like to know that too. I can correct them. Thank you.
NOTE: GO VOTE. IT’S ALMOST THAT TIME.