Category Archives: blogs

October writing

In case anyone here was following my mystery, A Baker’s Dozen, written chapter by chapter on my webpage, I put up the last chapter today.

Next week, I want to start writing an experimental story a week to put up.  I like to read C. S. Boyack’s blog, and he’s posting a story once a week for October on his blog.  He’s a darned good writer.  So you might want to check them out.    https://coldhandboyack.wordpress.com/2018/10/02/macabre-macaroni/

Teri Polen is doing a special October blog, too, Bad Moon Rising, interviewing authors about the supernatural and paranormal.   And yes, ouija boards scare me.  https://teripolen.com/2018/10/03/badmoonrising-cusp-of-night-by-mae-clair-supernatural-suspense/   If you scroll down, you’ll see more authors’ answers, including Staci Troilo’s.

But a while ago, Craig (C. S. Boyack) wrote a blog for Story Empire about writing out of your comfort zone, and he asked what authors would write if they decided to let their fingers wander out of their usual writing zone.  https://coldhandboyack.wordpress.com/2018/08/31/friday-group-post-questing-beasts/

I put down short stories I’d like to try:  an alternate history, magic realism (if I can ever nail what I really think it is–but I have an idea), something creepy, and the genre I almost ALWAYS fail at–horror.  I’d like to write the scariest, baddest short story I’ve ever written.  Which might still be too upbeat, knowing me.  Aargh!

Anyway, I hope you have a perfectly wonderful time writing this month.  And if black cats and witches wander onto your pages, so much the better:)

 

2017: Nothing to Brag About

I’ve worked hard on my writing for the last few years.  The first year I signed with Kensington, I had three romances come out.  Three more came out in 2017.  When I finished the last romance, I wrote a mystery and turned it in.  The Body in the Attic will come out in November 2018.

Nothing I’ve tried, so far, has worked the way I thought it would.  Way back when I got my agent–who’s with a great agency and really good–I thought I’d sell books and start being more successful.  But I was writing urban fantasy back then, and the market was glutted, so she let me put up digital books (the agency did that for me), and I marketed them myself as Judith Post.  I did EVERYTHING wrong, because I didn’t know any better, but I learned a lot, so I was feeling pretty good about myself.

Then my agent suggested that I write romances, because there was a market for those.  I’m not suggesting that writers should chase markets.  But my particular market was almost impossible to break into at the time, so I was willing to try something new.  And I found out I liked writing romances.  And Kensington offered me a contract for three e-books.  My agent really liked the romance I’d sent her.  My editor really liked all of my romances, so I was feeling pretty successful.  But I took a mis-step on that, too.  Kensington did a beautiful job of promoting my first Mill Pond romance, so I assumed they’d do the same for the rest of the books.  Not so.  My second book came out, sat around for a while, and then fell.  I meant to pay for a blog tour for my third book, but my publicist said that she’d already signed me up for one.  It used the same excerpt and blurb for each stop and didn’t do much.  My fourth book came and went, and I finally paid for advertising and promotion for my fifth and sixth books, but I did too little, too late.  I was hoping romances and a publisher would jump start my career, but not so much.  I hope my mysteries start out stronger.

I thought when I got a publisher, I’d sell more books.  Not really.  I should have hit the ground running, promoting myself more, but I didn’t.  Marketing, for me, is as tricky as always.  I’ve been happy with the blog tours I did with Gallagher Author Services and The Goddess Fish promotions.  I chose tours that offered unique material for each stop.  They’re more work, but I think they’re worth it.  The first Facebook ad that I placed did well, but the second wasn’t as effective.  Not sure why.  I tried Tweet ads, but they didn’t work for me.  The truth?  No marketing has made a big difference in sales except Book Bub, and it’s a miracle if they accept new authors anymore.  So I feel stymied with markets, too.  I know I need to promote myself, but it’s a crap shoot if whatever I choose works or not.

I write a blog once a week, I put something new on my webpage once or twice a week, and I tweet, but I’m not sure that any of that leads to sales either.  I enjoy sharing and staying in touch with fellow writers and readers, but I can’t really call it marketing.

For the first time, I joined a group author giveaway during December as an experiment.  B. L. Blair organized it and did all the hard work, spoonfeeding the authors who signed up for it.  She’s wonderful to work with and is starting to look for fellow mystery writers.  Here’s her blog:  http://www.blblair.com/blog.html.

With the giveaway, I got a lot of e-mails that I can add to a mailing list (if I ever get off my duff and start a newsletter).  And the giveaway was a great experience, but I have to be honest.  Most of the authors took their turn on the giveaway and then didn’t support any of  the other authors.  That confused me.  I thought the whole purpose of joining together was to WORK together.  I tried to retweet each of my fellow writers, but only a few of them retweeted each other.

To wrap up, I accomplished a lot this year, but I’m ending 2017 with more questions than answers.  Maybe 2018 will be the year when everything comes together.  I hope 2018’s a great year for you–and happy writing!

 

Webpage:  http://www.judithpostswritingmusings.com/

Author Facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/JudiLynnwrites/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel

Twitter:  @judypost

Not one, but two . . .

I’ve been trying not to drown everyone with marketing, but I’m a part of two promotion blogs right now.  So it would be easy to fill my content with stuff about ME, ME, ME.  Except that it’s so nice to work with other wonderful writers and bloggers.  Kensington set up a book tour with Silver Dagger Book Tours for SPECIAL DELIVERY that stops at a different blog every day from Nov. 21 to Dec. 21.  That’s a lot of blogs.  It’s awesome!  And even though I don’t put every single stop on my blog or webpage, I do make an effort to retweet them and leave a comment.  After all, some nice, compassionate blogger took the time to host my book, and I appreciate it.  They deserve a little spotlight on them, too.

At the same time, I signed up to join with some fellow awesome writers to do a December giveaway.  Two Fort Wayne writers are part of it, along with me:  M. L. Rigdon (aka Julia Donner) and Kyra Jacobs.

Avenue to Heaven cover-Julia DonnerHer Unexpected DetourCoockingupTrouble

 

Here’s more information, available on B. L. Blair’s blog: http://blblair100.blogspot.com/2017/12/the-12-days-of-christmas-giveaways-day-1_2.html

Giveaway for Dec.

At the end of the author giveaways is a drawing for a $100 Amazon gift card:

$100 Amazon Gift Card

 

If you follow the giveaways, good luck to you!  And there, my shameless plug is finished for the moment.  Have a great December!

I’m on not one, but TWO blogs today!

Hi!  I’m halfway through the blog tour for SPICING THINGS UP.  This is the book where I decided to use two POVs to tell the story instead of single POV, and including Tyne’s thoughts made the book a lot more fun to write.

You can find me at It’s Raining Books today, telling you five things about myself.  https://its-raining-books.blogspot.com/

I’m also at Sharing Links and Wisdom, answering questions about my book and writing. It’s an X-rated site, but–alas–my interview and answers are very tame:)

https://sharinglinksandwisdom.blogspot.com/

Have a great week…and happy writing!

The Last Chapter of Bruin’s Orphans

I put the last chapter of Bruin’s Orphans on my webpage.  http://www.judithpostswritingmusings.com/

I wrote the book for my two daughters when they were young.  It’s a bit on the bleak side and has a folktale feel, but Robyn loved a book of fairytales that were a little dark.  She read Stephen King’s SILVER BULLET when she was in second grade and wrote to him, and he wrote back!  Both girls loved Greek myths, and those aren’t always cheerful.  When they asked me to scare them, this is what I came up with.  Just a series of little scares:)

When I first wrote this, I had an old model computer that stored writing on little, hard, square disks that I can’t use anymore.  Luckily, I had a paper copy, so I could type each chapter into my current computer so that I could share it.  Boy, am I not good at just plain typing!  Anyway, now I have it again for the girls.  They asked about it, and I had to dig around to find it.  I wrote a myth-type story for them that year, too, but it’s going to stay in the box for a while.  Typing isn’t my strong point:)

Also, just to let you know, tomorrow I’m starting a blog tour.  I’ll visit a different blog every Tuesday for eight weeks.  Each stop is unique with something new on each one. Answering all of the questions the bloggers sent was fun.  I’ll share the link here each Tuesday, and I hope you’ll check them out.

 

 

 

When is it too much?

I’ve listened to some of my friends when they first get Netflix or Hulu or find a new author.  They binge on a series they’ve found that knocks their socks off.  Sometimes, they watch or read the new show/author back to back until they’re caught up.  I’m not so good at that.  If I read an author’s books one after another, pretty soon I fizzle, no matter how good they are.  And then it’s time for me to mix it up and read other voices, other genres for a while.

It’s made me think about timing.  It’s a tricky thing, at least, for me.  One of my friends had a favorite blog, but the writer put up something new every day, and she finally felt overwhelmed and quit reading it.  We’re all busy.  We have to fit things into the few small empty spaces we have in our days.  When is too much…too much?  I follow a blog every day, but the posts are so short, I read them when I first hit my computer to wake my brain up.  They’re my alarm clock for writing.  Then there are people who post so seldomly that I forget to look for them, to make time for them.  Even when they do post, I’ve lost the flow and don’t always read them.  For me, as a reader, I think a new post once a week works about the best.

Timing even matters for books by my favorite authors.  If they write shorter books (50,000 to 70,000 words), I look forward to something by them a few times a year.  If they write tomes like Elizabeth George or J.K. Rowling, once a year fills my need to hear their voice, read their words.  But if I’m reading a series and it’s two or more years between book five and book six, the tension for the next book evaporates and even when it comes out, I might not rush to buy it.

I’m putting a second free book up on my webpage now, chapter by chapter, and I debated on how to load them–once a week?  Once a day?  I wasn’t sure, but the chapters are short, so I decided to go with once a day.  They won’t take much time to read, and hopefully, they’ll build momentum.  But I’m not sure.  Maybe that’s too much. So far, according to my stats, readers are sticking with them.  We’ll see as I go.  Wish me luck.

Happy reading and writing to all of you!

Webpage:  http://www.judithpostswritingmusings.com/

Author Facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/JudiLynnwrites/

Twitter:  @judypost

 

 

 

 

I’m torn

Way back, when I first got Lauren Abramo as my agent and she accepted my novel FABRIC OF LIFE, she told me that she wouldn’t have Dystel & Goderich publish it online until I had posted a few blogs, had 50 followers on twitter, and had an author’s page on Facebook.  Lauren, I’ve learned, is ALWAYS right, but I’d never done any of those things, and they looked really intimidating.  Then I read that if an author had a blog AND a webpage, it gave them more coverage, the chance to reach more people.  I didn’t know squat, but that sounded good, so I decided since I had to jump into the unknown, I might as well do both.  Now, I’m not so sure I made the right choice.

If I have a webpage, I have to post something on it.  If I have a blog, I have to write something for it.  And I’ve been trying to keep them each unique, putting snippets and free stories on my webpage and posting writing info on my blog.  And I’m not sure that the two attract the same readers.  I get that.  I only have so much free time, and I can only read so many posts a week.  Every one else is busy, too.  So, I’m wondering if I should combine the blog and the webpage into one thing to make life easier for myself and anyone who might want to read what I post.  I’m torn, so if anyone has any insights or opinions, I’d love to hear them.  In the meantime, for those of you who’ve never looked at my webpage (and I completely understand that), I’m sharing a short Mill Pond story that I wrote just for the page.  And as always, happy writing!

Loretta

A Mill Pond Romance

Mom was having another bad day.  I turned her every morning and every night, like the doctor told me, but she was still getting a bed sore on her bottom.  I noticed it when I changed her diaper before breakfast.  Her skin was so thin, her body so fragile.

After I fed her, I plumped her pillow and put her favorite musical in the DVD player.  We talked while I started a roast in the Crock Pot and straightened up the house.  Noah came over in the afternoon and lifted her into her wheel chair, so I could push her onto the front porch, and the three of us could sit outside, inhaling the freshness of a mild spring.  A breeze drifted off of Mill Pond’s lake, and two ducks flew overhead.  Mom usually noticed, commented.  Today, she didn’t.

I sat on the porch swing with Mom’s chair pulled close beside me.  Noah sat in the rocker across from us.  He took a sip of the lemonade I’d brought him, sat the glass on the wicker table, then wiped his hands on his worn jeans.

“It was mighty nice of you to invite me over for supper tonight, Loretta,” he said.

“Without your help, I couldn’t get Mom in and out of bed.”  I reached across to pat his knee.  “Supper’s a small thanks for all you do for us.”

“I’d help you anyway.  You know that.”  He would, too.  There was no more thoughtful man than my neighbor.  After he’d lost his wife four years ago, I’d taken to having him come for supper.  When he retired two years ago, he’d taken to helping me with Mom.  Just having him around, in the house, gave me a sense of comfort.  We often sat on the porch on warm afternoons, enjoying a midday break.

I raised my voice so Mom could hear me.  “The daffodils you planted sure look pretty this year.”  They bobbed their heads in the flower bed nestled under the pink crabapple tree.

Mom glanced their way and nodded.  She shivered a little, and I pulled the blanket higher on her lap and buttoned her heavy sweater.  Then she raised her arm and pointed to the end of the sidewalk.  In a shaky voice, she said, “Look, Loretta.  Lou got out of work early.”  Her lips curled in a smile.  “What are you doin’ home so soon, hon?”

I exchanged a glance with Noah.  My dad had passed twenty years ago.  Up ‘til now, Mom’s body had failed her, but her mind was sharp.  I’d considered that a blessing.  I reached over to touch her.  “Are you doin’ okay?”

Mom gave a peaceful sigh.  “I’m tired.  I need to rest.  Your dad and I are taking a trip soon.”

Goosebumps rose on my arms.  When I stood, Noah rolled Mom’s wheel chair back inside the house, and I helped him get her into bed, then fiddled with her blankets and pillows until she was comfortable.  She closed her eyes briefly, then blinked them open.  She reached out and patted Noah.  “Lou gave you his approval.  You and Loretta will make each other happy.”  Then she shooed us out of her room.

Noah looked at me and blinked.  I felt restless, not sure what to think, how to feel.  I went to the kitchen and pulled my apron over my head.  “I’m in the mood for a pie.”

Dad had always loved lemon meringue pie.  I found myself rolling out dough and whipping egg whites.  Noah stirred the lemon filling.  After we took the pie out of the oven and placed it on the wide window ledge to cool, we went to check on Mom.

I knew she was gone the minute I looked at her.  A body isn’t the same once the soul leaves it.  I remembered staring down at Dad in his coffin.  A body, nothing more.

Noah came to stand beside me and reached for my hand.  We stood there, looking down at her, and a ray of sunshine burst through the window, engulfing us in light.  Noah gave my fingers a squeeze.  “I’m glad your dad approves.”

I smiled.  Mom and Dad would be happy now, and so would Noah and I.

 

My webpage:  http://www.judithpostswritingmusings.com/

My author’s Facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/JudiLynnwrites/

Twitter:  @judypost