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Author Blog Challenge – Day 15 Recap

The prompt for Day 15 was inspired by a recent conversation with my friend Steve. It occurred to me in talking with him that every author can probably learn something by going out and interviewing a REAL reader. I provided sample interview questions, and rather hoped the participants might make up some of their own or take this and really run with it. Ah, well. The answers to those who did interviews are interesting, nonetheless. And I thoroughly enjoyed writing my post!

Enjoy a few lines from several author interviews with readers, as well as posts on a lot of other interesting subjects, too!

Please click on the author’s name to read the full post.

TYLER HURST. Yes, I’m such a fucking nerd I hurt myself playing video games. While this certainly isn’t the first time — if your thumb wasn’t sore after Mike Tyson’s Punch Out or the first month you had a Wii I don’t want to know you — you’d think I would have been more careful to stay healthy. Funny, I can run four miles in the sun thanks to lots of stretching, water and practice, but I’m too dumb to realize that playing on iPhone while hunched over isn’t good for you. Left hand? Totally okay, but the right is all hunt and peck. Infuriating.

He’s working his ass off to catch up – so this is from Tyler’s Day 14 post.

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MELISSA KHALINSKY.
Q. How often do you attend signings/readings? What do you enjoy about them?

A. I haven’t attended any for fiction writers. Been to a couple signings for Cricketers. I loved getting the book autographed and getting my photo taken with them.

Q. If you could ask you favourite author any question, what would it be?

A. In your research, have you found some interesting facts that surprised you?

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ROBERT CHAZZ CHUTE. A lot can happen in twelve hours. Twelve hours ago I began work on formatting my debut crime novel, Bigger Than Jesus. I used Scrivener and I was feeling pretty optimistic that I could knock it out pretty quickly. I’ve formatted plenty before, but not with Scrivener. I’ve been writing with Scrivener, but today was the test to see if I could get the book over to Amazon in one day. Foolish pressure.

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DEE ANKARY. There are hundreds of thousands of books on offer at Amazon’s Kindle marketplace.  Best-seller lists not-with-standing, a self-published author needs to pay attention to how to get eyeballs to his or her book. Again, because of the sheer number of books on offer, and the overall distraction level of your average potential buyer, your book needs to stand out.

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LAURA ORSINI (aka MARCIE BROCK). A true sign of Steve’s friendship is that he has bought a book, read it very carefully so as not to make even the slightest crumple in a corner as he turned the pages, and then gifted it to you because you once mentioned it in passing. Almost as big a baseball fan as he is an avid reader, he’s probably got every baseball title ever printed. I always consider it a coup when I can alert him about a new baseball book or seminar before he’s heard of it.

Yes, even the host gets to promote her own posts once in a while.

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SANDI TUTTLE. In this part of the country, one of the rituals or expectations that the average prom girl or mother of the bride includes in her “to do” list is getting her makeup done. I found this out shortly before my daughter’s wedding, and it was definitely not something I had counted on. But numerous impeccable sources assured me that I had to do it. Not being an expert, I agreed to do what I was told was an absolute necessity, if not my divine right.

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SONJA HALLER. [Susan] Piver, a New York Times bestselling author who helps us all get a little clearer on meditation … linked writing and meditation… [If] you are writer, she says, you can only write one word at a time — word, word, word. Just like breath, breath, breath in meditation. “But at the same time you need a kind of panoramic awareness so you know what to say next. If you sit down already knowing what you want to say, you tend to end up with writing that’s not very good. But if you allow it to arrive in this sort of spacious way then it has a kind of life force.”

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REBECCA FYFE.
Q. What do you read?

A. Absolutely everything. If it’s well written and interesting, I read and enjoy, regardless of the genre.

Q. Who is your favorite author?

A. Some of my favorites are James Lee Burke – a poet disguised as a mystery novelist – Mary Balogh, historical romance, and Joe Hill is one of my most recent faves.

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DOUG TURNBULL. The science in [Farmer in the Sky] is prescient. Early in the novel we are introduced to a device Heinlein calls a “quickthaw” that prepares frozen meals in minutes. What Heinlein described of course, was a microwave oven, an invention not introduced as a household appliance until 25 years later. In addition, he gives detailed descriptions of the complexities associated with planetary ecology, again decades before the term ecology came into wide use. And, Heinlein gives us an introductory course in the concepts of free-fall, interplanetary orbits and the physics of atomic power. While the planetary science about Ganymede is dated, remember that what we believe to be true now will be dated soon as well, so don’t let those details get in the way of the story.

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TIA BACH. Marketing [has been challenging for me] because it’s been such a learning curve and I don’t consider myself a salesperson. Early on in my mommy career, I tried my hand at selling Pampered Chef. I enjoyed the products, but I quickly realized sales was not my future. Fast forward ten years, and I was faced with selling my book. I knew nothing about social media, building an author platform, or any other marketing trick. I threw myself into the world of marketing, but I wish I had done it all at least six months BEFORE the book came out instead of waiting until publication.

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JENNI PARRY. On a lot of the days doing this challenge, I have looked at the prompts and thought, That has no relevance to me. How in the world can I write anything about that? Yet I have stayed true to the prompts and pontificated on them and even surprised myself with the outcome.

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LIBERTY MONTANO. I’m not sure how Leonie will feel about being called a ‘weapon’, but I know this – her Goddess Circle was my secret weapon when I started my biz all those years ago. At first, I was drawn to her website for the Business Goddess E-Course. Then I noticed that for $20 more, I could get the whole shebang. I was nervous at first that her style was too ‘crunchy’ (even for me), but I took the plunge anyway. I was thrilled to discover how down to earth her program is. And the sheer mass of material is astounding. Her 100 ways to market list is worth the cost alone.

Thanks to all who posted!

Laura & Marcie

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The Author Blog Challenge is hosted by Laura Orsini and her alter ego, Marcie Brock, of the Marcie Brock – Book Marketing Maven blog. Please visit Marcie’s blog for loads of great info about low- to no-cost methods of marketing for self-publishing authors.

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