Multiple Projects, E-Readers, and Struggles: The Emphera of a Winter’s Day

I have a bunch of ideas for things to write about today, and not one of them is substantive enough to sustain an entire post. And so it’s time for me to do one of my miscellanea posts. A paragraph or two about several things. Feel free to comment or ask about any one of them.

Are you working on a book right now? People here in my little town ask me this all the time. They know that I write for a living. They know that I write full-time. But they don’t really understand what this means. My standard answer now is “Yes, I’m pretty much ALWAYS working on a book.” But even that isn’t accurate, because the truth is I’m always working on several books. For the past couple of months I’ve been writing the fourth Thieftaker book, Dead Man’s Reach. I hope to finish my first draft […]

Continue reading Multiple Projects, E-Readers, and Struggles: The Emphera of a Winter’s Day

On Publishing and Publicity: Setting Up a Blog Tour

In response to Faith’s wonderful post from last week, and her promise of more PR posts to come, I thought I would put in my $.02 by outlining what I did in setting up the Thieftaker and Thieves’ Quarry Blog Tours during the summers of 2012 and 2013. This is one of those PR activities that I never even dreamed of doing when I first broke into the business, because there were no such things as blogs. Today I can say without exaggeration that my blog tours have been the single most important publicity tool I have had in gaining readership for the Thieftaker books. Whether you’re an aspiring writer trying to figure out how to pump up the volume for your very first release, or an established professional looking to kick off a new project, I cannot recommend this strategy enough.

Let’s start with the obvious question: What […]

Continue reading On Publishing and Publicity: Setting Up a Blog Tour

On Writing: Outlining Vs. Pantsing Revisited

This week I will begin writing Dead Man’s Reach, the fourth book in the Thieftaker Chronicles. For those of you who are fans of the series, don’t panic. Book three, A Plunder of Souls, is not yet out and won’t be for close to a year. Authors are almost always at least a full book ahead of the publication schedule. On the other hand, if you haven’t yet read book two, Thieves’ Quarry, all I can say is what the hell are you waiting for…?

I spent part of last week outlining the book, and thought that I would return to the subject of outlines and pantsing, since it is something that still comes up quite a bit on this site and also in panels. I know that we talk about there being no single right way to do any of this, and I still believe that. But in this […]

Continue reading On Writing: Outlining Vs. Pantsing Revisited

Anatomy of a Signing Tour

Misty, David, Faith, and John at the BooKnack in Rock Hill, SC, during Faith and David’s signing.

I have just returned from what I billed as the Summer 2013 Thieves’ Quarry Signing Tour, which is a somewhat overblown and pompous way of saying that I spent the week doing signings across a small section of the Southeast. It was a great week — fun, exciting, exhausting, and ultimately, I think, pretty successful.

I signed in a variety of bookstores. Three were independents: Fountain Bookstore in Richmond, Virginia; The BooKnack in Faith and Misty’s home town of Rock Hill, South Carolina; and Malaprops Bookstore in Asheville, North Carolina. Another specialized in used books — Oakley’s Gently Used Books, on the pedestrian mall in Charlottesville, Virginia. And one was a Books-A-Million in Gastonia, North Carolina, just outside of Charlotte.

Each had something to recommend it. The three indies were marvelous places […]

Continue reading Anatomy of a Signing Tour

When Networking and PR Turn into Something Else Entirely.

Finding that creative spark all alone is hard enough, especially that spark that says, “I can write a *whole* book on this!” But finding that same creative spark with another person is really difficult. It doesn’t usually happen fast and the transition from solo writing to team writing can be a bumpy one.

I wrote my first two book with a cowriter, and I know how hard it can be. Gary Leveille and had our difficult moments—not in how we’d divide up that work, but in getting him to find time to write. You see, I think he had a life. I was pretty much free all the time, working only two days a week at the lab, (two, 17 hour days, but who’s counting?) and with a hubby who worked 14 hour days, five days a week. I had a lot of writing time back then. Gary didn’t.

As […]

Continue reading When Networking and PR Turn into Something Else Entirely.

Does This Book Make Me Look Fat?

When I worked in the middle school library, one of my patrons was a young girl who loved books…even though she didn’t actually read them. She would come in once every other week, check out three or four Harry Potter books, and then carry them around so that other students could see her with them. Along the way she picked up the basics of the stories, and eventually she did read them herself, but it always amused me to watch her using the books as attention-getting props.

We talk all the time about books we wouldn’t be caught dead reading in public. Twilight and its sequels, the 50 Shades books, The Da Vinci Code (well, anything by Dan Brown, really)… all of these are books that sold millions, and are regularly checked out from the library every week. Still, we insist we would never allow a copy in our […]

Continue reading Does This Book Make Me Look Fat?

Release Day Fun!!

Release day for the hardcover of Thieves’ Quarry and the paperback edition of Thieftaker is tomorrow, July 2. This will be my fourteenth release day of an original title (I’ve had somewhere in the mid-twenties if you include all the paperback editions), and I have to admit to being every bit as nervous and excited about this one as I have been about all the others. The excitement never really gets old, and the fear never ever goes away.

As part of my ongoing Thieves’ Quarry Blog Tour, I have two posts up today in addition to this one. I am at Aidan Moher’s “A Dribble of Ink” with a post about ideology and writing, which expands on a post I wrote here several weeks back. I am also interviewed at the blog of friend-of-MW, Alethea Kontis. I hope you will check out both posts.

I am too frazzled/psyched/terrified to […]

Continue reading Release Day Fun!!