Tag Archive: Authors


Social Media and Writers

OMG I can’t believe that happened.

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No this isn’t about Deadpool, by I needed a pic to show how some things make me feel.

Social media has made some amazing things possible. I was feeling frustrated and angry one day so I went to a writer whose work I love and asked for advice. Part of me didn’t expect a response but they got back to me, I may have squee’d. Today I thanked a writer for the gift their books gave me and they got back to me with thanks.

This post isn’t going to be about how to use social media to promote your author platform, this is about using it for interaction with others and how some authors do it right.

When I was growing up you could join fan clubs for popular kids books, you could even try to write to writers through publishers, there was no guarantee that your letter would get to them, though many did get responses.

Times have changed. Some say social media is bad, it causes isolation and negatively impacts people’s ability to interact one on one. Yes it can certainly do that. It can give you the feeling of interacting when in fact you are building a wall around the real you, a false persona to project to the world at large. It can also be a very useful tool.

When I was still involved in children’s bookselling, I used social media to connect to people in the publishing industry and authors. I built a network, and it is a network that still serves me well even though my career trajectory is very different and books (writing and reading) no longer provide my primary income.

Authors, or at least some, are quite willing to interact with readers.

With all the rigmarole that went on regarding my publisher I reached out one day to a favourite author. Now I was down and desperate, I just wanted to get it out of my system to someone who I thought would understand my frustration. Sure I hoped for a response but there was a part of me who realistically believed that would never happen. She did, and Tamora Pierce you have no idea what a boost it was to me to read your considered response of advice and encouragement.

I have favourite books, yes that is plural and I cannot nor would I want to, make that list down to one. One of these books is Kenny and the Dragon by Tony DiTerlizzi. I love this book so much I have an image from it inked onto my skin.

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I shared the above pic with Tony and he liked it. That wasn’t the only interaction I’ve had with him. One day I messaged saying I knew he sold prints of some of his work and I wondered if he could tell me where I might be able to buy one from Kenny. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine what would happen next. He asked me my address and sent me this ink sketch. It holds pride of place in my office. It to offers incredible inspiration, on those dark days I can look of it and hold onto the thought ‘never abandon imagination.’

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These are not my only interactions. Marianne DePierres had a small afternoon tea with some fans one afternoon that I was invited to, and I went out for a catch up with Michael Pryor when he was in town doing signings and school talks. Both of these authors were more than willing to listen and offer snippets of advice and encouragement.

Today I felt the need to thank Raymond E Feist. I was thinking of doing something really silly, and even as I thought of it I knew it was silly. Authors don’t really want you hitting them up on social media to read your book or promote your work. Think about it. What an imposition. It puts them in an awkward position. How do they let you down without in some way coming across as a dick? So I talked myself out of such a stupid action and instead thanked him for his influence on my life. He responded, immediately. I was kind of gobsmacked.

Here is the thing though. Here is where social media gets tricky. These people you look up to, do not know you. For the most part any way. Sometimes you get lucky and actually strike up a relationship, friendship or mentorship. Mostly though they are just words sent in response to something. Oh I wish I was friends with any number of these people but they have their lives and I have mine. I’d like to think though that knowing they have done something that has helped or been memorable to an aspiring author and fan, would be a positive thing.

 

Supernova 2012

This was the post I did just after Supernova a couple of weekends ago, for my review site. I wanted to add a bit to give it a little more relevance for this blog.

I learnt a little something at Supernova. One: that Matthew Reilly’s fans kicked ass over Christopher Paolini’s. Two: Duncan Lay is an incredible example of how to sell your own books – don’t just sit behind the table but get out and approach people, he made so many sales that way. Three: don’t underestimate the power of the fan or an appearance – some people bought entire backlists to get signed even though they already owned copies.

The other thing is – HOW COOL WOULD IT BEE TO BE SITTING WITH THOSE AUTHORS AND MEETING FANS!!!!! Yes I know all caps is like shouting but if you are a writer you know exactly where I am coming from.

So now that is done with I’ll let you get on with the rest of the post.

PS. Before I do that I’d just like to send out a shout out to all Supernova goers because this year broke loads of records.

Okay the thing is I am a fan girl, actors/authors/characters, and I love it. I am totally unashamed of this part of my personality. A great thing about being me is I know plenty of others who indulge in geekdom and fandom as well. I was not alone this weekend, in fact SuperNova Perth had it’s biggest weekend there ever. It was huge and so much fun.

Why am I posting this you may wonder? Well because the sci-fi/fantasy fans are the best. We are avid and passionate. For many of us it starts at a young age, books/comics we love it and we devour it.

This weekend I saw cartoon characters, movie characters, comic book characters, tv show characters, game characters and book characters. Now is the time I will point out that a great many of these characters come from written word formats in one way or another. If you have kids who are avid readers and you want something to challenge them but will not have inappropriate themes, then often fantasy is a good place to go (not George RR Martin though). If you have reluctant readers give them a comic book. Reading is reading, and that is a good thing, and conventions are a great place to realise just how great it can be to escape for just a little while.

I have friends who dressed up as manga characters (they cosplay regularly). They were a huge hit over the weekend and spent much time being photographed by complete strangers. [Manga is something that can be read not just watched – for those of you out of the loop.]

A convention is also a great place to meet authors and get your favourite book/s signed and even find some new authors to try.

JB Thomas, Duncan Lay, Juliet Marillier, Bevan McGuiness, Marianne dePierres, Matthew Reilly, Christopher Paolini

Or see illustrators/artists in action.

The wonderful Marc McBride painting up a storm

One of my highlights was meeting Noah Hathaway who played Atreyu in the film version of one of my fave books as a kid The NeverEnding Story.

My signed pic…I totally geeked out over this.

We who are prepared to geek out salute you!!!

Jack West is an Aussie.

Today will be a few random thoughts.

We all know filmmakers sometimes use books as source material and avid readers can have very mixed reactions to this, sometimes the book transitions well and other times it is tragic. I’m sure we all have films that we think suck but we loved the books. I’m not about to begrudge authors, particularly favourite ones, an extra income stream, in fact I’m all for it.

Sometimes the problem is in the way the screen writers change the source material, for me the first time I realised this happened was when I went and saw The Neverending Story, it was one of my favourite books and I have very clear memories of walking out of the cinema complaining to my mother that certain things were wrong.

Sometimes the problem lies in the casting. The thing with a book is that when you read it you create an image of the characters and when someone else’e image isn’t the same as yours it can be quite off putting. I won’t get started on this, though Katherine H as Stephanie Plum well… no further comment.

Why am I thinking about this. I had a conversation with one of my favourite authors once about the wonderful news that book rights had been sold for a film. I would really like to see this happen but for me the casting of this is a big issue.

So right now I just want to put something out there. Matthew Reilly’s Jack West books have been optioned and Jack West is an Australian, I think it would be totally terrible for this character to be played by an American when we have so many wonderful local actors. My vote for Jack West is Sam Worthington. He had proved he has depth, he has also proved himself in action. Let’s keep this plum role with the locals. Oh how I would love to see these books on the big screen. I really would but please, please. please cast an Aussie in an Aussie role.

Sam Worthington for Jack West.

That is all.