Friday, September 17, 2010
Today at 9:50 a.m. sharp (PST), I called the phone number to the BlogTalkRadio switchboard and was connected to Nanci Arvizu, who hosts the internet radio program Page Readers.
She let me know when we'd go live, while using the remainder of the time to clarify information regarding my website and books. I perused the list of questions she'd sent earlier in the week, which helped me organize my thoughts. At the correct time, we were broadcast live and away we went.
The interview lasted about 30 minutes and allowed me to not only plug and read from my novel, THE WIND THIEF, but also to talk about the novel I'm working on and my upcoming online class, The Art of Rewriting.
If you get a chance, take a listen. Feel free to offer feedback.
And if you arrange an interview for yourself, let me know. I'll be happy to listen.
Thursday, September 16, 2010
At 10 a.m. PST (noon Central and 1 p.m. on the East Coast) tomorrow, Fri., Sept. 17, I'll be interviewed talking about my literary novel, THE WIND THIEF, with Nanci Arvizu from Scottsdale, AZ, who hosts an author interview program called Page Readers.
The internet radio program is aired live via BlogTalkRadio, after which the interview is available as a podcast.
I'm telling you this, because this is a gig all you other writers can create for yourself, just as I did when a fellow writer and GGW member Joylene Nowell Butler sent me information about her interview with Nanci.
This Gig is Great Because...
• The interview is free.
• Nanci allows you to read a portion of your work.
• She's open to both traditionally-published and self-published books.
• You can provide a link to the interview on your website/blog.
• The opportunity gives you a great chance to practice your public speaking.
Here's How the Gig Works
1. Contact Nanci via the Page Readers homepage.
2. Choose a time and date to be interviewed. She offers a calendar with available slots.
3. Send her a bio, a JPG of your book cover and any pertinent links (website, blog, GoodReads, Facebook Fan Page, etc.), which she'll post in advance.
4. About a week before the interview, she'll send you a basic list of questions she'll be asking, which gives you the opportunity to prepare your answers.
5. She also gives you the chance to plug upcoming events, such as the publication of a forthcoming book, a reading you'll be doing, etc.
6. The day of the interview, you call the phone number she gives you about 10 minutes before the start time. You'll get on the line together and when the time comes, go live. Anyone listening can then call in with questions.
Has anyone else done this?
If you haven't, give it a try and let the rest of know what you think. Next week I'll give you skinny on my experience.
And if you're available tomorrow and can listen to my interview and call in, please do.
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
In October I'll start The Art of Rewriting, an 8-lesson online class hosted through Savvy Authors.
In preparation, Sharon Pickrel, who's in charge of Savvy Authors workshops, asked me to guest blog about the subject of rewriting. So I wrote about not just a shack, but the shack, the one we create the first time we write a book.
Please stop by Stripping Down: The Rewrite Challenge, and then if you're like all the rest of us shack-builders, join the class ($20 for premium members, $30 for basic and non-members).
Monday, September 13, 2010
Karen from Silicon Valley emailed an interesting question today:
I'm about to begin the 2nd draft of my romance novel... I've been reading (E. L.) Doctorow and (John) Updike, and I see that they do a lot of narrative.
That means, she wrote, that John Updike's books, which are considered to be literary, often have 3 - 4 pages of writing that's largely description, explanation and internal thought, followed by 4 -5 sentences of dialogue. Which leads to Karen's question:
Would it be all right, and acceptable, for me to write my chapters in that style?
Why We Need Models to Follow
It's a great idea for us writers to look for published books we can use to help guide us in how to write our stories. Doing so gives us important information about:
1. what topics publishers are looking for
2. manuscript length
3. the structure and format, which tend to go in and out of fashion, i.e., short chapters, multiple segments within each chapter, stories with first-person narrators, multiple points-of-view, etc.
Apples to Apples
When choosing books to emulate, however, writers should choose stories like their own.
For example, if Karen is writing a romance, rather than choosing to emulate books by literary authors, I'd suggest she visit the Romance Writers of America website, which explains the various types of romances that make up the romance writing market along with links to publishers that print romances. Those publishers usually list their submission guidelines, which give a lot of helpful information regarding manuscript word counts, subjects, writing styles, etc.
Then I'd suggest that Karen choose a romance printed by one of those publishers, and particularly, a story like her own. That will tell her what her future audience wants.
Romance writers, for example, tend to appreciate stories that:
• have a very clear writing style that does not require much analysis to understand
• introduces the main character and his/her future love interest, along with the main character's basic dilemma, within the first chapter
• chapters that are relatively short and include a lot of dialogue
The last answers Karen's question: pages of narrative with little dialogue are probably not appropriate for a romance audience.
Generally, if we love certain types of books — thrillers, romances, memoirs, literary like those people read in book clubs, etc. — we should seriously consider writing in that vein. The type of books we like to read indicate the way our brains work. If we write the type of books we like to read, we're much more likely to write stories that appeal to those audiences, meaning people like us!
If Karen likes literary books, she could, for example, decide to make her book a literary love story along the lines of Cold Mountain.
Lastly, choose books that have been published recently, because those are the ones that reflect what publishers want now, as opposed to what they wanted three years ago, 10 years ago, decades ago, etc.
Thanks for the question, Karen.