Tag Archive: Tony DiTerlizzi


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.

 

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What A Week

So it’s that time of year. Time to get that Christmas list out and buy. Well it is for me. I love Christmas and I love giving gifts. This year though it has had an added bonus.

Hubby has been thinking outside the box again for my prezzie, and as such it has forced me to think more deeply about my central character Evayn. I’ve always been able to picture her in my head; taller than me, dark hair (various lengths at different times), golden tan skin like a native American, lean and strong, and plenty of tattoos. I even had a special harness for her throwing knives. Now I’ve had to reevaluate and this is not a bad thing. I now have adjusted her weapons to better suit her, we’ve custom designed a special rig for them (which I am going to actually make a mock up of).

This of course is possibly stuff I should have been able to see clearly before but truthfully, with the way the first book was originally written the details in my head were sufficient. Now I realise just how two dimensional she was. Now it’s like I have a three dimensional holographic model spinning around in my head, you know the thing I mean one where you can programme different outfits and accessories on just to see what they look like.

(Of for the day that technology is available to authors, it would be so cool.)
The problem with this is now I have to tweak some things. Whereas before it was believable that she could just find something and purchase it, now it is more I need to find a place to perhaps have it custom made. This could be considered a big pain in the butt, it’s not though, not really because all these little details are what make for a richer story, a richer environment.

So it has a been a productive week for creativity, not so much for word count though. As a side note I acquired an original ink drawing of one of my fave all time characters (Grahame – the dragon from Kenny and the Dragon by Tony DiTerlizzi).
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Also Matt Reilly was in town for signings and when I went to get my book signed he did a double take and asked if I’d been to some before. Matt Reilly remembered me – SQEEE!!!
All in all a particularly great booky week.