Wednesday, 31 August 2016

A very successful talk yesterday at the Greenmount Library. It was booked out in advance with a long waiting list so I have arranged with the Library to give it again, probably early next year. I talked about my book and my career as a writer and then went into what I had learned about techniques that can be used to keep readers turning the pages. Things like setting lots of questions in the opening chapters, placing hooks at the beginnings and ends of chapters, and the importance of having a consistent voice and delivering what the blurb says the book will deliver. From the number of questions and the animated discussion that followed it was well received. Several of the audience were writers and said I had given them some new ideas to work with. I have another talk today to a very different audience in Rockingham. Looking forward to seeing what response I get there,

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Fresh ideas from author branding course

I've been attending an author branding course with Natasha Lester and it has been a revelation and an inspiration.
I've always seen myself as a writer in the most general sense - I can write anything - and the novels I have written reflect that. A spy novel, a romance, a thriller, a children's story, a crime novel. I tried it all without ever defining the sort of writer I was. What I was doing was casting a wide net to see which publisher it would catch. Only one of my novels expressed something of my own thinking and philosophy and that was the one I self-published, A New Era For Manny Youngman. I wanted people to read that not just because it showed I could write but because it said something I wanted to say.
Now Natasha has challenged me to define the sort of author I am, the sort of story readers can expect if they read a book I have written.
I find it exciting. It offers a new direction.
One part of the process is to develop a "strapline" which summarises that idea. I've come up with "A male view of human relationships" and it's now the heading on my web page.
The next steps are to redesign the page, and my blog page and Facebook page, to fit that image.
Then I start a programme of writing posts that reflect a male view of human relationships and work social media to attract traffic to those posts.
Meanwhile I continue writing my next book.
I feel as though its coming together as a whole. I can begin to see who my ideal readers are and target my book and my posts towards them. It will also add a new focus for my author talks.
The course is continuing and I'm looking forward to the next session with a lot more optimism and enthusiasm than I had at the start. Thanks Natasha.

Monday, 22 August 2016

It's been a long time since my last post, mainly because I dried up. For whatever reason, when I came back from Badja I didn't feel like writing and in fact questioned whether I ever wanted to write again. I've spent months pondering this and still haven't reached a conclusion. Partly I feel I had grown tired of the Grey Nomad series I was working on, although I have one book completed and it could stand alone. Also, having A New Era For MannyYoungman published I felt I had created an author brand I ought to continue rather that divert to a crime series. I'm still leaning towards the latter and I'm tempted to return to The Man Who Disliked People which I have half written. Part of my current problem I think is that in looking for an author identity to follow I have gone too far towards men's issues when what I am really writing about is how some men think. I believe I have to consolidate my ideas on this before I will be able to go forward and start writing again.