The Third Stop On My Podcast Tour

The third and (possibly) final stop on my world podcast tour took me to SLMA Radio. We had a nice chat about content marketing, what it means, what the challenges are, and why journalists are best-suited to tell your story.

https://www.podbean.com/media/player/dasq6-61180e

In other news: It seems this podcast tour has been paying off. Last week I noticed that Amazon said they only had 11 copies of ICM in stock. This week, there are only 4! Hurry up and order yours!

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I’m On a World Podcast Tour!

I’m embarking on a bit of a book tour–by which I mean I have just kicked off a “tour” of podcasts! I have to say, I love being able to do publicity from the comfort of my home office instead of spending weeks on the road. I’m sure, somewhere, there’s an old-timey author lamenting the state of book marketing but as a homebody, I love it.

My first interview was with Byron at WriterAccess. We had a great chat about Inside Content Marketing, the future of the discipline, and more! Take a few minutes to listen (and hopefully learn).

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NaNoWriMo: 3 Tips For Writing a Novel in a Month

Shield-Nano-Side-Blue-Brown-RGB-HiRes 4At the end of last month I decided to use this year’s NaNoWriMo as an impetus to finish the romance I’ve been working on — or at least make some decent progress on it. Before National Novel Writing Month even got underway I ran into a snag. I heard back from my editor about another book, and he needed me to go over a few small queries within a few days, and I happened to be going away for the weekend. I managed to get the queries answered in time, but over the past week I’ve developed a few practical tips for actually getting a significant amount of writing done.

  • Leave the House–When I was writing the aforementioned book (you know, the one I had to answer queries about) I would try to work at home, which has a dedicated office. But it just wasn’t working for me. I needed to get away from the house. Away from the cats who want to lay on my keyboard, and the dog who seems to be able to tell time and stares at me with a look that says, “It’s after 5 o’clock, time to call it quits!” So, I would head out to a coffee shop (usually the one in my local book store), order a chai latte, and sit down to work. My most successful NaNoWriMo moments have been in that same coffee shop.
  • Don’t Forget to Charge Your Battery–This is not a metaphor. I am not going to suggest you do some yoga to get your creative juices flowing (though, walking has been shown to enhance creativity). If you aren’t going to be working at home, where you have exclusive claim to all the outlets, you need to remember to charge your laptop battery before you head out. There were at least a few times where I did not, and I have been sorry.
  • Don’t Edit–I don’t always follow my own advice. I edit all day, it’s hard to stop. When I’m stuck in my own writing, I go back and start adding, subtracting, and rewriting. But if you actually expect to finish a novel in an entire month, there’s just no way you can waste time on editing. Besides, editing is not really the point of NaNoWriMo, right? Just get the words on the page. You can spend December editing.

These tips can only help set you up for success. The truth is, writing an entire novel in a month is not easy. At times it will feel practically impossible. The only way to make it happen, is to just do it.

The Road to Romance

I’ve always thought it would be fun to write a romance novel. I don’t really read these books, but something about them makes me think I could learn a lot from writing one. They are notoriously formulaic, and writers have to adhere to very strict standards in order to be successful. Something about writing a book “by the numbers” seem like an exercise in discipline.

I have a tendency to “wing it” when I’m writing. I get a spark of an idea and I just go from there without any kind of roadmap–which leads to a lot of dead ends. If I was going to embark on this project, I thought, I should make it as structured as possible. To that end, I started a blog about it: The Road to RomanceContinue reading

On Writing ‘n Stuff

Not my desk, or my photo.

Not my desk, or my photo. (Nancy L. Stockdale, Flickr Creative Commons)

You may recall that my cat was diagnosed with gallstones. I spent a month fearing that without surgical intervention my cat would get sick again as soon as she went off her meds. I didn’t know what to do. Then, one night, as I sat on my couch editing a book for a freelance project, I came up with an idea. I needed to write a book, get an advance, and use it to pay for the cat’s surgery.

I know that sounds like a bad plan, and it would be except that I work for a publishing company with a book wing — and the publisher had been trying to get me to write a book for years. We just hadn’t been able to come up with a subject that interested us both. But I’d recently been toying with an idea that I thought would work. So I quickly shot off an email and asked if it would be of interest.

It was.  Continue reading

The Tao of Theresa

Fresh eggs make me feel very zen.

I feel a special kind of satisfaction when someone blares their horn at me for no reason–usually at a stop light–and then has to follow me for a few miles. It’s even better when they blare their horn again before turning. I mean, it’s a little mean-spirited but I can’t help smiling at the knowledge that someone is fuming–however temporarily–over something so small, while I continue on my merry way. I leave feeling like I’ve just given someone a little lesson in not sweating the small stuff.

I found myself in front of an angry driver on my way home from the grocery store this evening, and I started thinking about it in a new way because, last night before bed, I started reading The Tao of Pooh. My Kindle needed charging, and so I picked up the book that was laying on my nightstand, waiting for me to finish Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk (which is taking me awhile because of the less than page-turning plot).

I instantly connected with the Taoist philosophy (as explained through Winnie the Pooh) in a way I didn’t expect. I don’t consider myself a religious–or even particularly spiritual–person. If I had to pick something I’d probably become a Wiccan (because I’d get to dress like Stevie Nicks and celebrate the solstice and whatnot). This sounds like a pretty good philosophy, right: “Harmony and balance encourage to neither be too good nor too bad, but to find the balance in our lives.” Sounds to me like if we could all take a lesson from the Wiccans, the world would be a much better place. But Pooh has his own wisdom to share.

“We don’t need to shift our responsibilities onto the shoulders of some deified Spiritual Superman, or sit around and wait for Fate to come knocking at the door. We simply need to believe in the power that’s within us, and use it. When we do that, and stop imitating others and competing against them, things begin to work for us.”

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Why Bustle Isn’t Going to Win the Hearts and Minds of Women

A while back Bleacher Report founder Bryan Goldberg found himself in a bit of a PR nightmare when he announced he would be revolutionizing women’s media by creating a site that *gasp* put politics and hard news alongside beauty tips and fashion advice. Mostly people just laughed at him because clearly he hadn’t done any homework before launching Bustle.com, which would have shown the many thriving websites aimed at women. Among his competition is Jezebel. I’d forgotten all about Bustle because, well, I read Jezebel, Rookie, XOJane, Slate’s XX blog, and any number of other lady-focused sites. Today I confirmed that I was right to stay away. Continue reading

Writing Exercise: Absent

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The assignment: Absent. Construct a character who is not present. You have many options here: people may talk about this character before meeting him, or after meeting her; you might choose to examine what this character owns, how he or she lives, under what conditions; you might use indirect approaches, like letters or documents that attest to the existence but not presence of the person. How do we know of people? Examine the ways we build characters in our minds and in our social environments before and after we meet them.

Continue reading