Friday, February 24, 2012

Follow Friday -- Saundra Mitchell

Today's Follow Friday is a screenwriter, author and blogger who consistently makes my day.  I love the intriguing things she posts on her blog, her sunny disposition on Twitter and the lovely prose of her novels.

Recently, I've been visiting Saundra Mitchell's blog for her posts on marketing and self-promotion.  She offers up specific and digestible chunks of advice and backs it all up with why and how it works.  Every time I go to her blog for information, I feel better as I speed toward the debut of GILT.  Marketing is scary for introverted writers, and Saundra just makes it seem a little more doable.

I also love Saundra for her continuing and enthusiastic support of all things authorly and debut authors in particular.  She knows how hard it is and she extends a helping hand, a kind word and promotion with her 9 Spot Interviews.

Basically, I want to be Saundra Mitchell when I grow up.  And I hope I can be as inspiring as she is.

Find Saundra at her website.
On her blog.
On Twitter.

And in bookstores!  Her novel THE VESPERTINE is in stores now and THE SPRINGSWEET will be available April 17.  I was lucky enough to pick up an ARC at the NCIBA trade show and am only willing to part with it because I can buy a copy in April.

Heartbroken over the tragic death of her fiancĂ©, seventeen-year-old Zora Stewart leavesBaltimore for the frontier town of West Glory, Oklahoma, to help her young widowedaunt keep her homestead going. There she discovers that she possesses the astonishingability to sense water under the parched earth. When her aunt hires her out as a“springsweet” to advise other settlers where to dig their wells, Zora feels the burden ofholding the key to something so essential to survival in this unforgiving land.Even more, she finds herself longing for love the way the prairie thirsts for water.Maybe, in the wildness of the territories, Zora can finally move beyond simply survivingand start living. (from Goodreads)

All you have to do is tweet this:

Want a chance to win an ARC of THE SPRINGSWEET by @SaundraMitchell?  Find out why @KALongshore is following her:

And/or leave a comment below.

This contest is open internationally and ends at 12 pm EST on Monday, February 20.  I will announce the winner Monday afternoon.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

New Design!

While I've been hard at work on Book 2, my brilliant web designer, Madeira James at Xuni has been hard at work designing the perfect backdrop for not only my blog, but also my soon-to-be revealed website.  Because of timing issues, the blog gets the makeover first, and I am so excited to share it with you!  What do you think?

When the website does go live, I'll have a little party and give away an ARC of GILT and maybe some GILT-related items, so stay tuned...

Monday, February 20, 2012

Message in a Bottle

Anybody out there ever listen to the Police?  I had a thing about Sting in my twenties and seriously had a crush on a guy, despite his lack of interest or even knowledge of my existence, because someone once said he had Sting's nose.  Shallow much?  Fortunately, I've matured.

That said, I still love the music.  The references to Greek mythology and Nabokov.  The vaguely misogynistic creepiness of it all.  The cheerfulness with which they approach such heavy topics as suicide and pedophilia.

Lately, I've been thinking about "Message in a Bottle".  You know how it goes.

Just a castaway, an island lost at sea-oh,
Another lonely day, no one here but me-oh.

Sometimes social networking can feel like this.  Like every Facebook update, every tweet, every blog post is really that message in a bottle, sent out into the void.  Looking for some kind of response.

Woke up this morning, don't believe what I saw,
A hundred million bottles, washed up on the shore.

All those people out there tweeting and blogging and tumbling their little hearts out.  Dick Costolo, CEO of Twitter, reported in June that 100 million people use Twitter every day.  A hundred million bottles, my friends.  All trying to reach someone.

Why do I bring this up?  Because in a way, a novel is like a big note in a slightly bigger bottle in that ocean.  We all write for the same reasons, whether our messages contain 140 characters or 82,000 words.  We write to be read.  Not just to hear ourselves talk.  (though that can be fun, too, sometimes).  Because any kind of message can be scary to send out there into the world.  Whether you're posting photos of your cat or commenting on the guy next to you on the bus or sticking poems into the fork of a tree branch like Lennie in THE SKY IS EVERYWHERE.  Because you never know what's going to happen when that bottle reaches the sand.

So cheers to all you fearless people out there, sending out your thoughts and feelings and daily cravings.  Sting says, "Seems I'm not alone in being alone."  And I, for one, am glad of it.

Thank you all so much for your comments, for your follows, for your views and your silent readings.  For taking away whatever you find here, whether I know it or not.  But most of all, thank you for your support and enthusiasm for GILT.  That bottle seems like it is such a fragile thing for something that holds my heart and dreams.