December 15th, 2017

How to Get to Carnegie Hall

James Preston

There’s an old joke about a tourist in New York who asks a native, “How do I get to Carnegie Hall.”

They say to lead off with a joke, right? Well, I’ll lead off with half of a joke that’s older than many of the Writers in the Storm readers. (And notice I did not say, “Stop me if you’ve heard this one.”)

When I was in junior high my parents wanted to encourage me to do arty things. After all, Maggie Preston, one of my aunts on my father’s side, was a well-known painter. Well, I’m not. There was a brief spate of clarinet lessons and after a lot of work I got it to make a noise like a duck. Nobody was sorry when I switched to piano. Which leads me to an anecdote about a concert pianist who said, “If I miss a day of practice I can tell. If I miss two days my coach can tell, and if I miss three my audience can tell.”

I recently launched two novellas called Crashpad and Buzzkill. (Insert high-priced commercial here.) I talked about them at some length at a signing at a great independent bookstore in Orange, California called Book Carnival. I talked a bit, read an excerpt and answered a lot of questions, some of which were about the background (they are period pieces set in the 1960’s on a college campus), and a few questions were on how to do it because, as with any audience, some of the listeners wanted to write.

Well, I’ve studied, of course. But mostly I’ve written. Words on paper. You’d think that was obvious, right? Maybe not so much. The point is that all of those folks who tell you to write every day are right. However . . . Not even Stephen King gets up every morning and knows exactly where the next scene is going. At least, I don’t think he does. But he writes every day, oh, yes, he’s there at the typewriter or the word processor or with a notepad putting one word after another, because that’s what writers do. They write.

Is all of it deathless prose that jumps from his page to the New York Times list? Of course not. Ray Bradbury says he wrote every day for sixty-nine years. Writing every day does not have to mean a new chapter in your novel, though that would be nice. 

I had a writing teacher and reviewer named Paul Bishop. Paul is a now-retired LAPD officer and talented writer. Look for books like Citadel Run and Tequila Sunrise. He told me a story about a writing class he taught and a woman who came up to him afterward, thanked him, and said, “Now I’m almost ready to start, just as soon as I know exactly what the entrance to the FBI building in Washington DC looks like.”  My guess is she’s still waiting. 

So, you think, “Write every day,” and you get up one morning and Urk! no ideas, the old brain is thinking about breakfast or does the car need gas. So what? That concert pianist does not play Bela Bartok every morning first thing. No, she runs scales. (During my piano lessons I got to where I could do that and I’ll bet if I sat down today with only a little fumbling around I could do it again. Muscle memory. Your writing muscle is like that.)

Here are some ways to write every day even when your muse is off shopping.

Much of the following is based on writing prompts developed for the State of California by, among others, my wife Nancy and Fae Rowen (yes, the Fae Rowen who is one of the founders of the blog you are reading now). 

Write a letter from your main character to you. Mine might go like this: “Hey, James, this is Jane. How’s it going? I got all my classes for once and didn’t have to stand in line very long to register. I’m taking Psych 101, and . . .” 

Write a paragraph about your character’s life before the event that started the story. Alternatively write a paragraph in which one of your  characters describes their life before this initiating event. My hero is a man named T. R. Macdonald, a guy who was a very successful broker/analyst in New York until, well, here’s what he would say about his life “before”: Mostly I’m a technical analyst, or I guess I should say I was. Anyway, I was at my station on the trading floor watching three screens and talking in the phone when Bernice, my boss’s Executive Assistant pushed her way through the crowd and pointed urgently at the blinking light on my phone. Until then I’d been a winner: Trader of the Year, fat bonus, Porsche Carrera (provided by a grateful company), stuff like that and it seemed to matter, you know. All it once it changed like a dip in a candlestick chart when somebody unloads a big block. Bernice told me my wife, who I’d left behind in California, had been hospitalized with a drug o.d. You know, I looked at the screens and I couldn’t remember the names of the equities or the client. 

Whoa, when I wrote that I learned something about how Mac felt. Ok, it’s not deathless prose, but I got in touch with him in a new way. 

Write — from a character’s viewpoint — what happened after that event. For me, this might be the reaction of Walter Dalrymple to Macdonald’s return to California. (Side Note: Walter takes center stage in the novella Crashpad.)

Will these exercises find their way into a final draft? Probably not, but so what? I doubt there are recordings of Jascha Heifetz tuning his violin. It flexes the writing muscle. 

So you sit down and your mind is as blank as the page. Write, “I can’t think of anything to say. Why is that?”

Shaquille O’Neal accepted the NBA’s Most Valuable Player award in 2000, he quoted Aristotle: ‘Excellence is not a singular act, but a habit. You are what you repeatedly do.’ Classicists might quibble with Shaq’s translation of The Nicomachean Ethics, but in our view he was right on the money.” (Excerpt from What the Numbers Say by Derrick Niederman & David Boyum

There are many ways to practice. I have listed only a few.

Share some of yours. If you have none, take a stab at one of these and tell us about it.

Writing that blog response is, after all, practice. 

 

So the other half of the joke: “How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice, practice, practice.”

 

James R. Preston is the author of the Surf City Mysteries. This October he launched Crashpad and Buzzkill, two novellas set on a college campus in the 1960’s.

December 13th, 2017

Great Writing Is Like a Great Strip Tease

Christopher Lentz

It came to me as I watched the musical Gypsy, the story about Gypsy Rose Lee, the top stripper of her day: great writing is a lot like a great strip tease. Before you think I’m vulgar or just plain creepy, think about it. The stories you love best—and your best stories—do an outstanding job of deconstructing and delayering the main characters. Strategically. Methodically. Sensually.

Photo credit: Warner Bros.

In the film and Broadway-stage musical versions of Gypsy, three stage-weary strippers give their hard-learned advice to a girl who’s about to strip for the first time. They explain the secret of their art as they sing You Gotta Have a Gimmick. The point of the song is that in stripping (and in writing) you need something special to stand out and be memorable. You need a gimmick, often called a hook. (To watch and listen, go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_wErVF7QwIY)

We know readers like tropes. But they love tropes with a twist. And to twist a trope, we need to tease and tantalize our audience.

A well-choreographed strip tease—and a well-revealed main character—is all about making the audience want more and then not giving it to them. At least not in a rush…or a story-stopping data dump. That simply would be exhibitionism, and few people like flashers.

Using those three ladies and their gimmicks, let’s see what this means for us:

  • Miss Mazeppa bumps it with a trumpet. Miss Mazeppa strips while wearing a gladiator outfit and blowing a horn. It’s hard not to notice her. If you want your main character to be noticed and empathetic, she must be heard and must stand out from the other characters. It’s your mandate to make your readers care about her and root for her. You need to make her relevant and relatable, but not always likeable.
  • Miss Electra makes it sparkle. It may not be as easy as flipping a switch, but making your main character shine despite the conflicts and obstacles you bombard her with is your job. You must do your best to make her not just electrifying, but more and more electrifying as you reveal her backstory and push her to her black moment. Electra has twinkling lights embedded in her costume. Your main character’s sparkle can be in her voice, her eyes and, most importantly, in her heart. Turn up her wattage as her story progresses.
  • Tessie Tura does it with finesse. Tessie claims to be a trained ballerina who’s hit hard times and slid down the show-biz ladder from vaudeville to burlesque. It’s her grace and poise that set her apart. As a writer, what makes you stand out? You only have 26 letters to work with (if you write in English). The words you pick, the analogies and metaphors you employ, and the word-pictures you paint separate you from every other author. So, write freely but edit wisely.

Now let’s talk about Magic Mike. It’s also about the beauty of bodies in motion, but the roles are reversed: men exist to be looked at and women—for the most part—do the looking.

Photo credit: Warner Bros.

Like their female counterparts in Gypsy, the male strippers use gimmicks too. There are glitter-covered raincoats, cowboy outfits with check-baring chaps and convincing police-officer uniforms. And there’s the young virginal ingénue too.

Just like the heroes you write, these strippers are the husbands your readers never had and the dream-boat guys who never came along. They are THE fantasy…on the stage, in a world of blinding spotlights and pounding music. And that’s the ultimate tease, isn’t it? They cannot be touched. That’s usually the rule. But there are usually a lot of rule breakers in a strip club—and in our novels.

As you flesh out your heroes, they become more than flashy facades. They have scars. They have hopes. They want a happy ending. And usually, they have hearts of gold.

Ensuring that you have a gimmick, a hook or a trope twist is good for your stories and good for your entrepreneurial writing business. It’s just like what those three Gypsy strippers sing about (music by Jule Styne and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim):

You’re more than a mimic
When you got a gimmick
Take a look at how different we are 

If you wanna make it
Twinkle while you shake it
If you wanna grind it
Wait till you refined it 

If you want to pump it
Pump it with a trumpet
Get yourself a gimmick
And you too can be a star

 

Yes, you too can be a star. Strip your main characters down. Peel away their layers. Tease and taunt your audience. Heck, go ahead and strut down that runway and show your readers what you’ve got.

 

Do we push our characters out on an imaginary burlesque stage? Do we make them bump and grind as they reveal their true selves…dreams and motivations and all?  

*  *  *  *  *  *

About Christopher

Christopher Lentz is a matchmaker, midwife and murderer…when he’s writing historical and contemporary romances. His stories are about second chances, misfits who find ways to fit in, and how love changes everything.

Lentz made his mark as a corporate-marketing executive before penning the Blossom Trilogy (the first two installments are available at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00W2I61PQ and https://www.amzn.com/1548539945). Please visit www.christopherlentz.org.

December 11th, 2017

Winning the Anxiety War

Piper Bayard

First, I will speak as a writer . . .

I know I’m not alone when I say I’ve done it. I started out thinking, “I’ll just pop onto Facebook for a few minutes before I hit the WIP.” Then one post leads to another, which leads to an article, which leads to another, and before I know it, I’m locked in an ideological battle with a troll, gnashing away at each other’s perceptions of reality, while anxiety savages me like a rag doll in the mouth of a pit bull. Half my day is gone, and I’m on the phone the other half saying, “You won’t believe what this idiot said! . . .” . . . Anxiety 10, Me and WIP 0.

 

Actual photo of writer beaten down by anxiety after a morning online.

 

As writers, we are anxiety-driven on the best of days.

Even if we aren’t in the throes of our own internal angst, we are seeking to provoke anxiety in others. We do everything we can to infuse our works with conflict and tension. Why? Because we all want to write that story that has people screaming at the characters and staying up all night turning pages. We know the power of anxiety.

If our readers are anxious, they are ours.

Now, I will speak as a writer who has worked daily for a decade with a forty-year combat and intelligence veteran who is a senior member of the intelligence community . . .

Writers aren’t the only people who know the great, pervasive psychological power of anxiety. Anxiety opens the door to subversion. Anxiety opens the door to control.

Journalists know the power of anxiety. Businessmen know the power of anxiety. Politicians know the power of anxiety. Big Media is Big Business, and Big Business is inextricably intertwined with Big Politics. Put it all together in the big picture, and we see Big Media, Big Business, and Big Politics wed to each other in their motives to keep us anxious and, therefore, keep us coming back.

It’s no secret that the days of Walter Cronkite are over.

Virtually extinct is the journalist who puts out dry facts, devoid of their own voice, and leaves it to others to spin, comment, and opine. In fact, journalists are now celebrities, with their voices and opinions being the spearhead of their drive to build audiences. Like all good writers and storytellers, they hold their audiences with tension and conflict. They create and maintain anxiety to keep people coming back for more. We can’t look away.

 

 

But who are the players behind the journalists? Surely they just want to make money by bringing us the truth, right?

Well . . . Umm . . . No.

Many of us think of media in terms of “American” media or “Western” media. That may have been true at one time, but now “American” and “Western” media outlets have international owners, many of whom are not American or even Western.

For example, the primary shareholder of Class A stock in The New York Times Company is Mexican billionaire tycoon Carlos Slim. Saudi Prince Alwaleed was a co-owner of 21st Century Fox until he sold his stake to an unidentified buyer last month. Foreign billionaire felon George Soros has his fingers in over thirty mainstream media pies. And CNN? It’s founder, Ted Turner, also founded Russia’s Channel 6. Media is a global enterprise with no loyalty or interest in any single country. This global enterprise generates revenue by generating anxiety in our society to serve the goals and objectives of players both domestic and foreign.

Social media, with no obligation or pretense of being unbiased, is also rife with foreign influence.

Saudi’s Alwaleed holds a 35% interest in Twitter. Teams of professional trolls from Russia, Iran, North Korea, China, and countless other countries daily work the internet, manipulating information fed to the West for their own agendas. And proving nationality is no indicator of loyalties, we also have the recent confessions of Mark Zuckerberg that he sold ad space on Facebook to Russia for the purpose of influencing last year’s American election. Social media is a mosh pit, where we who enter are slammed with anxieties, both real and invented, for ultimate purposes that we are not in a position to know.

What does all of this add up to?

Media is a battleground. Messages are the weapons. Our anxiety is the prize.

He who holds our anxieties, holds us.

 

 

How do we protect ourselves from psychologically aggressive media?

As writers, we can’t avoid the need for a platform any more than we can avoid the need for coffee. So how do we win the Anxiety War and protect ourselves from those who would manipulate us through our fears?

When it comes to wars, I ask a warrior. According to my writing partner, warrior Jay Holmes, the best mental defense is compartmentalization. That is the art of leaving the battle on the battlefield.

Three Elements of Compartmentalization

  1. Decision

We must decide and commit up front to leaving the battle on the battlefield. This decision happens before we ever enter the arena.

For an author, this can be a moment to pause and think before we open our computers.

  • Why are we going online?

Remember the writer’s goals of an online platform—to build audience, to network, and to sell books. If we are on social media for other purposes, we can generally find better uses for our time.

  • What will we post, and where?

Have a plan for a tweet, a Facebook status, an Instagram, or a blog post before logging onto the platform. Stick to that plan.

  • How long do we have to post and interact with others?

Set a timer and/or state our time limit to a friend who will check us if we stray behind anxiety lines. Honor that limit religiously.

 

 

  • How can we avoid Anxiety Bombs while we are online?
    • Unfriend trolls. — We owe trolls nothing.
    • Discreetly unfollow friends who batter us with their ideals. — It’s a positive thing when people disagree with us for thoughtful reasons, but when people club us over the head with their own anxieties in the form of post after post of their opinions and beliefs, it creates anxiety for us. We have no obligation to subject ourselves to that, and there is no productive reason to do so.
    • Either avoid headlines, or commit to digging past the headlines. — Headlines are the Hellfire Missiles of the Media Battleground. They explode their Anxiety Bombs across social media, going viral because people react without ever understanding the essence of the stories. To avoid this, commit to reading before retweeting and giving equal, open-minded time to opposing opinions.
  1. Have a Transition Ritual

Warriors have rituals that help them transition from the battlefield back to home. For example, when Holmes travels home from an overseas mission, he schedules in a few hours in a city with a first class art museum, where he immerses himself in high concepts and beauty. It anchors him to the home world and helps wash away the anxieties of the battlefield.

For a writer leaving the battleground of media behind, this ritual can take almost any form as long as it helps transition the mind from the anxieties of media to the business of the day.

  • Log off and read a good book for fifteen minutes.

Reading focuses our minds away from media anxieties so that when we put down our books, we can choose what we will think about next.

  • Meditate.

“All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.” ~ Blaise Pascal

Sit in a room alone, and focus on breathing, banishing all other thoughts for a few minutes. Let the mind relax and refocus.

  • Do a few yoga poses.

As writers, this has the dual benefit of stretching our bodies while focusing our minds so that we don’t get sore sitting at our desks.

  • Walk the dog.

Hard to beat the power of a walk outside for refocusing our energy. Our dogs will thank us, too.

  • Wash your hands.

This was a ritual I used myself when I was a hospice volunteer. After I visited my patients, I washed my hands as my symbolic way of saying to my mind and soul that I had done all I could do that day, and I needed to focus on my own life again.

Which brings us to . . .

 

Actual photo of a writer with a life, in control of his anxieties.

 

  1. Have a Life

It’s impossible to transition from battlefield mode to normal life mode if we have no life outside of social media. Social media friends and colleagues are priceless, but nothing replaces face time. No matter what our platform, we still need our work, our families, our pets, our IRL friends, and our homes if we are to derive any deep satisfaction from life and give us a refuge from those who would battle for our anxieties.

Sometimes, compartmentalization is not enough to tame our anxieties and allow us to make each day productive. One reason for that is because anxiety is an addiction. Like drugs or alcohol, immersion in our anxieties can take over our lives and leave us craving for more.

For those of us who find ourselves in an addictive relationship with anxiety, there are numerous apps and programs that allow us to schedule tweets, statuses, blog posts, etc., in advance so that we don’t have to log on every day. We can also hire others to handle our social media platforms altogether. Many authors find these tools to be an effective way to minimize the power of anxiety to eat away at their time and their sanity.

 

 

We do not need to be cannon fodder in the Anxiety War to accomplish our own goals as writers building platforms. If we armor ourselves and use our weapons, we can protect ourselves from the unseen enemies who would use our anxieties against us for their own purposes. We will be able to keep manufactured anxiety where it belongs . . . On the pages of our books.

What are your weapons in the war to dominate your anxieties? What tools do you use to keep your anxieties in check?

Related Articles

Analyzing News: Considering the Source

Is Anxiety an Addiction?

Addiction to Anxiety: Steps to Recovery

 

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

Jay Holmes is a veteran field operative and a senior member of the intelligence community. His writing partner, Piper Bayard, is the public face of their partnership.

To follow Bayard & Holmes, sign up for the Bayard & Holmes Covert Briefing, or find them at their site, Bayard & Holmes. You may contact them in blog comments at their site, on Twitter at @piperbayard, on Facebook at Bayard & Holmes, or by email at BH@bayardandholmes.com.

December 8th, 2017

What Motivates You to Finish?

The blank page doesn’t scare me. I’m one of those writers who has dozens of story ideas, plenty of partially written projects, and fully drafted manuscripts in various stages of editing.

However, the daunting task of getting a book all the way to “done!” is more frightening than a weekend marathon of Wes Craven movies.

Maybe you can relate.

Unfortunately, my fear doesn’t motivate me to finish.

In Finish: Give Yourself the Gift of Done, author Jon Acuff speaks about how those of us who are great at starting projects can actually manage to complete what we start. As I listened to the book (yes, listened), one particular point struck me: that we are primarily motivated either by fear or reward. Knowing which category appeals to you, and then figuring a specific incentive within that category, can spur you forward—all the way to the finish line.

Now we might all think that reward sounds much better than fear. But fear is a very useful tool for many. Here are some ways that fear could be a worthwhile motivator for writers.

  • You finish writing the chapter before critique group, because you fear the disappointment or judgment of your fellow critique partners.
  • You push yourself to meet your novel deadline with your editor, because you fear that poor performance will affect future contract opportunities.
  • You finally finish and publish your book, because you fear not having anything to report in your annual What’s Up with Us holiday letter.

Fear here doesn’t mean you’re cowering under your office desk or making the Edvard Munch scream face. Rather, you’re motivated to avoid a negative consequence.

I’m sure you can think of times in your life that fear has proved to be a very effective motivator—whether it was studying like crazy for a final exam so you wouldn’t fail a class or rehearsing what you’d say before asking someone on a date so you wouldn’t come across like an idiot. If the end result was a good one, the fear worked. It did its job in motivating you.

But as I said, while fear motivates me in other areas of life, it doesn’t get me to finish novels. If that’s you, then maybe you’re more inclined toward reward. How does reward work for writers?

  • You finish writing the chapter through a series of group writing sprints, where word counts are rewarded with encouragement and congratulations.
  • You push yourself to turn in your novel to your editor, and reward yourself with a night out to celebrate meeting your deadline.
  • You finally finish and publish your book, and experience the reward of sending your family and friends copies as holiday gifts.

Most of us are probably motivated by a combination of fear and reward.

Once you set up incentives that work for you, you can break those down even further into smaller goals and smaller incentives.

It can be something as small as not allowing yourself to watch a TV show tonight unless and until you finish the chapter (fear). Or keeping candy bars in your desk to enjoy each time you complete writing a scene (reward).

Maybe you’re like me and just happen to have a Wonder Woman cape in your closet, and you reward yourself by putting it on after every finished scene.

The point is to think about your personal history of when you’ve finished tasks. What motivated you to finish? Was it a fear? Was it a reward? Was it a combination? What kind of fear or reward?

And then re-create that approach with your writing.

But since a lot of what I’m talking about here comes from Finish: Give Yourself the Gift of Done, let me add another important point from the book: You won’t finish unless there’s a fun factor in there somewhere.

Yeah, we’re all supposed to say that writing is the fun part. But while writing can certainly be fun (or we wouldn’t do it), it can also be grueling.

I don’t know why. Perhaps once it’s the task you should be doing, it loses a little of its spit-shined gloss.

But I do know that wearing a Wonder Woman cape while writing makes it a little more fun. (Seriously, am I the only one?)

What’s your fun factor? It could be connecting with other writers and getting to share your story with them. It could be writing a few random scenes that will never show up in your final book but are a blast to pen. It could be reading your current chapter aloud to yourself in a foreign accent. It could be getting a cover designed before you finish the book, so you can imagine what it will look like when you’re done.

Be intentional in contemplating what incentives you can apply that will prod you toward completion and success.

As for me, I just finished this whole post, and I feel a reward coming on. Excuse me while I go locate my Wonder Woman cape.

What motivates you to finish? Fear? Reward? And what’s your fun factor?

*  *  *  *  *  *

About Julie

Julie Glover writes cozy mysteries and young adult fiction. Her YA contemporary novel, SHARING HUNTER, finaled in the 2015 RWA® Golden Heart®. When not writing, she collects boots, practices rampant sarcasm, and advocates for good grammar and the addition of the interrobang as a much-needed punctuation mark.

Julie is represented by Louise Fury of The Bent Agency. You can visit her website here and also follow her on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

December 6th, 2017

Debut Party Ideas

Little did I suspect that texting a non-writing work friend of mine the first pictures of P.R.I.S.M. arriving on my doorstep would start a wonderful
cascade of events.

She was at a birthday party for one of our colleagues when she looked at the text. She started squealing and people wanted to know what was going on. She was one of only two people “on the job” who knew I wrote books (other than math textbooks) and was getting ready to publish one of them.  She shared the pictures and everyone wanted to congratulate me-and see the book. She decided to have a “Congratulations, you published a book” party for me. 

We set a date—a month out—so I could order books and she could give lots of notice for people to attend. It seemed like a long time…until the week before. We talked and firmed up the details. We agreed on appetizers and wine, and split the cooking prep. She wanted to give me a champagne toast and have me read something from the book. She also wanted me to talk about writing the book. I wanted to give everyone one of the cards that I make and have books to sell, if my self-professed non-reading co-workers wanted to buy a book. I wanted to show my book trailer. But I didn’t want to read to my friends. 

Instead, I choose a short part from four different scenes starting at page 6 through page 258. I printed up a six-page, 1.5 spaced handout for everyone. I thought it would be fun to ask questions about what they read and give prizes, so I came up with eight questions and eight prizes. I asked my friend who has been helping me with my social media to come be in charge of selling the books and taking pictures (thanks Aleida!) so I could just enjoy the party and send people her way to pick out their “party favor” card and buy books.

Twelve colleagues-and two spouses-attended. After the champagne toast (I brought my favorite bubbly) we watched the trailer. They were very impressed with it. (I’m lucky, a friend made it for me for free!)Then they read (and read and read) the handout. I almost felt guilty at the length. But the prizes were very well received: two free e-books, a free paperback book, a small stuffed animal representing the only animal on Prism, a packet of ten handmade cards and the favorites: supply the first name of a female character in P.R.I.S.M. 2, the first name of a male character, and the last name of a character. Because there is a Convict Town on Prism, prizes could be stolen. After having her prize stolen twice, the third time one of the young teachers won a prize, she refused to say what it was because she wanted to keep what turned out to be one of the free e-books.

After the party, I’d sold four books, which was a bonus, because I hadn’t thought of it as a signing party. Turns out, although everyone of the guests has my signature on something work-related, they still wanted a book signed to them by the author.  One even bought an extra book for a Christmas present for a friend. I felt honored. I’d hidden my secret well. No one had known I wrote novels. I have no idea about the conversations that took place in the work pods on Friday. But one of the English teachers came up to me at the party and said that the book was surprisingly well written. High fives to the math teacher! I told her I’d had a lot of help from critique partners and my editor.

Someone asked if I would speak at her Rotary Club meeting next month. Of course I can talk about writing the book. Who knows what that meeting will bring?

Thank you, Debbie, for a great pre-Christmas present!

 

What fun ways have you promoted your debut? Do you have tips for successful author interactions with readers?

 

ABOUT FAE:

Fae Rowen discovered the romance genre after years as a science fiction freak. Writing futuristics and medieval paranormals, she jokes  that she can live anywhere but the present. As a mathematician, she knows life’s a lot more fun when you get to define your world and its rules.

Punished, oh-no, that’s published as a co-author of a math textbook, she yearns to hear personal stories about finding love from those who read her books, rather than the horrors of calculus lessons gone wrong.  She is grateful for good friends who remind her to do the practical things in life like grocery shop, show up at the airport for a flight and pay bills.

A “hard” scientist who avoided writing classes like the plague, she now shares her brain with characters who demand that their stories be told.  Amazing, gifted critique partners keep her on the straight and narrow. Feedback from readers keeps her fingers on the keyboard.

P.R.I.S.M., a young adult science fiction romance story of survival, betrayal, resolve, deceit, lies, and love.

When she’s not hanging out at Writers in the Storm, you can visit Fae at http://faerowen.com  or www.facebook.com/fae.rowen