Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet
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Tuesday
Mar242015

Social media, it's not just for stalking anymore

Wowzers.

I just realized that I've had this blog-thing for ten years. That's kinda crazy, especially when you consider that I set up shop a few years before I ever finished, let alone SOLD a book. If you're curious what I was blathering on about in the dark ages, here ya go.

Nowadays, blogs are somewhat passe, especially with the ubiquity of social media (I'm looking at you Facebook). It seems that most of my online interactivity occurs in other venues, and interestingly enough, it's voiced in different ways. Sooooo...with that in mind, here's a thought-map of where I am, and what I'm up to.

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Facebook - For those that want to friend me (please do!), I post about my current work-in-progress, travel (personal and book events) and also the regular things normal people post--like my kids' concerts, shoes that my dogs have mangled, and adventures of the Books & Brews Book Club.

Facebook/AuthorPage - Yes, I have an author page. Authors are recommended to do this since a normal FB account maxes out at 5,000 friends, but these so-called fan pages allow for unlimited followers. On my author page I tend to post more authorly things (surprise), like book tour info, tips for writers, and generally stuff germane to readers, book clubs, bookstores, and librarians.

Twitter - I love Twitter. Not sure why. Probably has something to do with my short attention span. On Twitter I tend to post humorous stuff, but also things with an activist bent. Twitter is so immediate and hashtags work so well that it's really the perfect venue to voice opinions on current events. Also, with a limit of 140 characters no one can go bananapants with some political screed. Less, indeed, is more.

Instagram - I'm a believer that IG is best used as a window, not a mirror, so you won't find a gazillion selfies, nor photos of Starbucks cups. Instead it's just weird, "Day-in-the-life" stuff. Enjoy.

Google+ - This is total mystery to me. By that I mean, I have 250,000 followers on G+. THAT'S INSANE, especially when you consider I have about 8,000 Twitter followers and 2,500 Facebook friends. What gives, Google? And there's hardly any activity, but since I have so many followers I feel like I should post something, so this tends to by my own personal click-hole where I post cool links.

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I'm also on LinkedIn with a resume that goes all the way back to my paper route in the 6th grade, and I'm on Goodreads, but I don't do much on either venue, though this blog is aggregated to both places.

Which brings me to the big ol' WHAT WILL YOU BE USING THIS VENUE FOR?

I think this blog will become my home for long-winded responses to things in the author world. Stuff comes up that needs a full-explanation, like last year's spat between Hachette and Amazon, or a recent talk given at a major writers conference were authors were discouraged from voiceing opinions (I couldn't disagree more). That kind of thing. But also book updates, travel news, yada yada yada.

Speaking of, I really need to pack for Seattle. Emerald City Comic Con, here I come.

Wednesday
Mar182015

Congrats, you wrote a book. Now get back to work you lazy bum

Yes, every author is also a part-time fashion criminal. Hence, the Batman jammies. A lot of people wonder what it is that I do after completing a new book. Do I pour some scotch and smoke a single cigarette? Do I slice the neck of a bottle of Dom with a ceremonial broadsword (that would be kinda cool, actually). Do I run naked through my neighborhood screaming, “SUCK IT, FRANZEN!”?

None of the above.

What I actually do…wait for it…is clean my office.

I know. It’s all about the sexy up here in Bittersweet Productions.

Well, I do that for two reasons:

  1. My office is usually a neglected animal warren by the time I drag myself across the finish line of a new novel.
  2. I’m not really done yet.

Basically, I don’t celebrate anything until my editor gives the book her Papal blessing. Then I kinda celebrate, but it’s more like relief. But the work doesn’t really end, because at that point we start editing. Then copyediting. Then proofing. Then cover design. Then the riot of small things that go along with launching a book: questionnaires about the book for PR. Cover copy. Blurb requests (begging). Catalog copy. Submissions to foreign editors with notes, videos, thoughts, ideas.

And then before I have a moment to really reflect on this book, this 10 lb. baby that I’ve given birth to sideways (my wife is a Labor & Deliver nurse by the way, who always reminds me whenever I use that metaphor that one, that’s not physically possible, and B, I don’t have a uterus) my agent will ask, “whatcha working on now?”

Because with the ever-changing literary landscape (with eBooks, yo) I only do one-book deals. So she’s quick to point out that I should get under contract again.

So it’s DANCE, MONKEY DANCE all over again.

Which I’m happy to do. I have a LOT of ideas. Plus, if I ever run out, people always email me and say, “I have this great story about the time the police stole my bicycle.”

Okay, enough of this blogging nonsense. I’ve got work to do.

Friday
Mar062015

On the road again

As I'm winding down the new book, I'm winding up a bit of book travel, including a panel on diversity at Emerald City Comic Con, the latest stage adaptation of HOTEL at the CATS theater in Nevada City (directed by Annie Lareau), and even a high school commencement speech

(God help us all).

See you soon!

3/28/15

Literary Lions Gala
Hyatt Regency
Bellvue, WA
Black Tie Optional

6:00 pm
Fundraiser

 

3/29/15

Emerald City ComicCon
Washington Convention Ctr
Seattle, WA
emeraldcitycomicon.com

10:30 am
Panel Disc.

 

4/18/15

Southern KY Book Fest
Knicely Conf. Center
Bowling Green, KY
sokybookfest.org

10:00 am
Panel Disc.

 

4/25/15

CATS
Nevada Theatre
Nevada City, CA
Catsweb.org

7:00 pm
Stage Prod.

 

4/30/15

IHC Humanities Lecture
Turf Club
Twin Falls, ID
idahohumanities.org

6:00 pm
Talk & Signing

 

6/5/15

Great Falls High
GFHS
Great Falls, ID
Commencement

TBD
Speaker

 

Monday
Jan262015

What happens in East Texas stays in East Texas. Except for crazy photos. Those get shared on Facebook

Photo by Sarah Deutsche. A week ago I was in East Texas for the 15th Annual Pulpwood Queens Girlfriend Weekend, which is for authors, sort of like Coachella meets Burning Man with a little bit of Elvis thrown in for good measure.

In other words, you kinda have to be there to understand it.

The Pulpwood Queens began as one humble little book club founded in East Texas by Kathy Murphy, who once owned Beauty and the Book, a beauty salon/bookstore.

Now they number 600 affiliated book clubs all over the world. They wear tiaras, leopard print everything, and a LOT of pink!

And once a year they gather in Texas for a book love explosion of author panels, keynote talks, dancing, and costumes galore. (Oh, and Dreamworks Entertainment has optioned Kathy's life story for a movie!)

This year's theme was Around the World with Books so I went as a steampunked Phileas Fogg. This was my fourth year and I've learned that you can't overdo it when it comes to costumes. These ladies go all out. And I was also honored to be co-hosting, which meant I got to do a lot of the interviewing instead of being the interviewee, which was exhausting, exhilarating, and an all-around good time.

Plus, it's always nice to meet other authors, make new friends, and spend time with fellow travelers on this weird, magical writing journey. I got to rub elbows with a Pulitzer winner (Bill Dedman), a Nobel Prize finalist (Pat Montandon), and one of the ghost-writers for the Hardy Boys (Joe Holley).

Last, but not least, I was gobsmacked to learn that Songs of Willow Frost had been voted Fiction Book of the Year! Somewhere William and Willow are celebrating.

For more amazing portraits from this years event, clickety click here.