Today, I’m cheating and letting you plot my blog!
I’ve been writing novels for ten years, have written 10 complete manuscripts, rewritten some of those so extensively that they could scarcely be called the same book, have 5 books traditionally published (4 category romantic suspense, 1 trade book mystery) and have 5 more books contracted.
So… I’ve learned some stuff about writing (particularly writing romantic suspense and mysteries for the Christian market).
And… I’d be happy to answer any questions you might have (if I can) about getting started or where do you go from here or just because you’re curious.
Your Turn: The floor is yours. Ask away.
Click here to visit me at Elaine Stock’s blog for an interview and giveaway op for my latest Love Inspired Suspense, Fatal Inheritance. (or one of my earlier LIS books if you already have the newest 😉 )
Empower image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Hi, Sandra! Congrats on your success. I’ll be heading to my first ACFW conference this week. Got any good advice for a first-timer? Any advice on pitching to editors?
You will have a blast. Relax and enjoy yourself. Don’t sweat over your appointments. Or get frustrated if you don’t get appointments with who you most wanted. God will give you divine appointments with the people you most need to talk to whether at a meal of after a class or in the elevator. 🙂
Be excited about your story. Editors are wonderful people and they truly want to hear about your story and go out of their way to make you feel comfortable. You’re enthusiasm about your story will be contagious. And in my opinion is more memorable than a polished pitch. Don’t go into minute detail, just tell them what your hero’s external goal is, why and what’s in his way, and how he needs to change before he can reach it (and get the woman 😉 ).
Bring earplugs if you’re sharing a room. Maybe a sleep aid if you have difficulty sleeping when excited (as long as it won’t knock you out for the next day). Sleep is often pretty elusive at conferences. But late night chats are some of the best memories I have from conferences. 🙂 On the other hand, sometimes you can feel alone among all those people. It might seem that everyone else has someone to chat with, or hang with, or knows everybody and you feel on the outside. Find someone who’s looking the same and ask them what they write, make connections. You might cheer them, and yourself, up at the same time.
Wish I could be there! Have a great time!
Hey Sandra, thanks for this! Here’s a question: How do you balance writing time with marketing/social media/platform-building? That’s a question I feel like I’m continuing to battle with myself…figuring out what works and what doesn’t. So I LOVE hearing other writers’ take on what works for them. 🙂
That’s a great question! I think it’s something we all continuously struggle with. When I go to bed thinking about my next FB post, I know I’m off balance! LOL
For me focusing on doing a few things well, rather than trying to be on everything has kept me sane. I blog once a week. So Mondays are a little more intensive on the connecting side, than getting writing done. Around the time of a book’s release, and periodically at other times, I do guest posts on other blogs as a way to introduce myself and my books to audiences I don’t currently cross paths with in cyber space. These can be quite time-consuming both in writing and in responding to comments, so I try to schedule slots of time to focus on that, between chunks of writing time, but as you’ve no doubt experienced, time can quickly get away from you. But to me, building a readership is about really connecting with people, so I want to answer those questions, and I hope a few at least, check back to read the answers. 🙂
I post to FB daily, and always at the very least “like” any comments left, and respond individually to most. I invite people who want to be notified of new releases to subscribe to my newsletter, which I send out quarterly or around the time of a new release. And most importantly, I respond to readers emails as soon as possible (ideally same day). (Unfortunately, I don’t always know if they see my response, or if it ended up in their spam folder, unless they reply back.)
I am trying to discipline myself (with the exception of blogging days) to not check emails until noon. So that I get a good chunk of writing done before my mind is distracted.