Friday, February 26, 2010

today's blog tour: the evolution of a character, Devin-style

Please join me at Romantic Journey. Last week I took you through the evolution of Andi. Today I tell the story of Devin. Special thanks to Jennifer for hosting me!

Meanwhile, the winner of the Fresh Fiction Junior's cheesecake sampler giveaway emailed me yesterday to let me know that said sampler arrived, right on time, and she's enjoying every last bite. Makes me want to order one for myself...

Monday marks the last day of the tour, and I'll do my magic trick of being in two places at once. After that, I'll resume my regular routine of blog posting here about writers, writing, and those seemingly mindless things that manage to bring me so much simple pleasure.


Monday, February 22, 2010

blog tour: final week!

Happy Monday, friends and readers! We're in the final week of the blog tour. Today I'm appearing at Bleeding Espresso (yikes!) and once again show my optimism for a world in which print books and e-books can peacefully (and profitably) co-exist. Thanks so much to Michelle Fabio for hosting me.

Next week I'll resume my regular posts here. Thanks so much to my "tour groupies", especially to those who have left comments, re-tweeted or shared links to their followers on Twitter and/or Facebook, and supported me in so many other ways. There is no way I could have come this far without you.

Have a great day!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

today's blog tour appearance, and an new promotion idea

Today I'm at Check it out! It's a nice interview. Thanks to Cathy for hosting me!

Meanwhile, the cheesecake giveaway was such a hit that I've been brainstorming Junior's-Faking It promotions. Such as "post a photo of you reading my book at Junior's" on the Facebook Faking It Fans page (or Twitter, or this blog), or just holding my book outside of Junior's! For that matter, post a photo of yourself on with my book wherever you are!

Anyone else have similar ideas? Please share them!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

today's appearance: A Book Blogger's Diary

This has been a busy week for the blog tour! I'm fulfilling what I suspect is every mother's dream by being in several places as once (if only I could do that for grading papers...)

Today I'm appearing at A Book Blogger's Diary. Once again I'm touting my optimism for the peaceful (and profitable) co-existence of e-books and print books. Special thanks to my gracious host, Rashmi!

I also wanted to publically thank my good friend Rob for his glowing review of Faking It -- he has lit a fire under me to start paying these kindnesses forward and post some reviews of my own for these fab indie authors.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

today's blog tour appearance

The response at Fresh Fiction was fantastic! It turns out that cheesecake is a wonderful inducement, but of course I already knew that...

Today I'm at, where I discuss the evolution of my protagonist Andi's character. So many people ask if Andi is really me, and I explain the reason for the similarities between us despite us being different people. Thank you, Meryl K. Evans, for graciously hosting me!

There is one disclaimer I have to make, and that is regarding the accompanying bio that has been circulating the blog tour. One part describes me as a manicurist "exercising her gossiping skills" -- this line makes me cringe every time I read it. It portrays me as someone shallow and catty. (And perhaps I was in my early 20s, which is why I cringe the way I do.) Most days I enjoyed being a manicurist, and while there was gossip (mostly about Amy Fisher and OJ Simpson), when I wasn't with a client I was either writing in a notebook or reading a book or a newspaper. My co-workers voted me "Most Likely to Start and Hold a Conversation with Anyone". I suppose this is really my ego at work. I want to be liked, and I want to be viewed a certain way, as do many. Or maybe I just want to forget my early 20s. Regardless, I've come a long way from those days, for better and/or for worse.

Monday, February 15, 2010

today's blog tour stop: Fresh Fiction, and a chance to win a Junior's cheesecake sampler!

Today I'm at Fresh Fiction talking about what it's like to be a twin. Of course, this is not a new topic for me (or my loyal blog followers), but I rarely think about the influence being a twin has on my writing. My wombmate definitely plays a role in my writing, despite the fact that we have such different writing styles and literary interests.

Did I mention the cheesecake? Post a comment to be automatically entered to win a Junior's Cheesecake Sampler!

The formatting is a little off, but I hope that doesn't stop you from reading and posting a comment!

A shout-out to my Canadian friends, who have been walking around with goofy grins ever since the Olympics began. Congrats on the Gold!

Friday, February 12, 2010

writers inspired

Today I'm back at Mary Jo Campbell's Writer's Inspired, discussing how I was able to mix comedy with grief -- not an easy thing to do in writing (or in life!). I'm also giving away a signed copy of Ordinary World, so leave a comment and enter to win.

Mary Jo has been a big supporter this last year and has an excellent site. Go for my post, but stay for her blog!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

today's blog appearance, and a birthday message

Today I'm at discussing the topic of loss, the prominent theme in Ordinary World. Stop by and leave a comment. Thank you, Jerri Ann, for hosting me!

I've been getting emails, messages, and posts from my readers, and they blow me away every time. I can't tell me how much I appreciate your willingness to open up to me and tell me your stories, and I'm always fascinated by what parts of the story or which characters resonate with you (or don't) and why. I try to respond to all of them, so if you'd like to send a message, please do.

On a personal aside, my dearest friend is 40 today. We've known each other since the ol' play-pen days. She lived down the street from me, and we were inseparable until her parents divorced and her mom moved the family further north. That didn't stop us. For years we wrote letters, exchanged photos and pin-ups of our teenage heart-throbs, and even got to spend a day together every few years. I even got to be in her wedding.

Happy Birthday, dear friend. I can't wait to celebrate!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

blog tour: tips for successful bookstore readings

Today's blog tour appearance is at Hell or High Water, with thanks to Beth Morrissey for hosting me.

Ok, so you've scheduled that bookstore reading. Now what do you do? I provide some tips to make your readings a success. Blog tours are great, but personal appearances are still key to getting the word out about your book.


Tuesday, February 9, 2010

today's blog tour appearance

Today I'm at Writer Unboxed discussing my recent writing partnership. There are a lot of differences between writing solo and writing with a partner who is also a friend.

Thanks to Therese Walsh for hosting me!

Also, thanks to all my Aaron Sorkin friends who took the time to leave a comment, whether it was here or on Facebook, publicly or privately. I'm touched by the way it touched you.

Monday, February 8, 2010

fade to black

The Aaron Sorkin and the Facebook Movie page is gone. Don't try to look for it.

I came to the "Questions for me" discussion board about a year ago when I found out that Aaron Sorkin had a Facebook page. My first post was to tell him that I had included him in my acknowledgments for Faking It. Oh yeah, and I also asked him a question. Something really stupid in which I was trying way too hard to impress him.

He replied to my post. Said he was flattered to be included, and asked for a copy of my book.

Imagine being a musician and Paul McCartney asking for a copy of your album. Yeah, it's a little like that.

Every now and then, I think the regulars who returned to that discussion board day after day occasionally wondered if it really was Aaron Sorkin answering our questions. It wasn't so much cynicism as just wondering if life really was this good. If we were being deluded, then we were more than happy to be part of the hoax. Because it wasn't just the thrill of getting a response from our favorite writer, a man who has given us hours and hours of nourishment to make up for The Bachelor. He gave us writing advice. He gave us moral support. He joined our banter, made us laugh, made us think, and told us the best behind-the-scenes stories ever.

He let us play in his sandbox.

But here's the real gift that came out of it. "Questions for me" became "Conversations among friends." Or perhaps more like a happy, albeit occasionally dysfunctional family. When we weren't asking Aaron questions, and when he was busy attending to important matters, we carried on the conversation without him. Whether it was a spirited discussion about cake, or a debate about language, health care, or religion, we all talked. And we listened. And we agreed and disagreed. And we became friends. And we supported one another. We bought each other's books. We watched each other's shows. We offered support, comfort, and encouragement when needed.

We understood that all good things must pass; we just wish it didn't have to pass so soon.

On the final night, we all stayed together in the forum, as long as we could, waiting for the ship to go down. We kept talking, joking, asking questions, telling stories. But we mostly thanked Aaron Sorkin for being so gracious, such a good host for the last 18 months. It was only then that we had no words at all.

Once again, Aaron Sorkin touched me with his words. One of the last things he said, directed at the writers, was "I expect great things from you."

I just hope I don't let you down.

Friday, February 5, 2010

today's appearance

Today I'm at The Urban Muse, offering an answer to the question: Can print books and e-books co-exist?

Thanks to Susan Johnston and The Urban Muse for hosting me!

The blog tour isn't even a week old and already I'm getting a great response. Thanks, everyone!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

today's blog tour appearance, and a giveaway

Today I'm back at Misadventures With Andi talking about an unlikely subject-- collecting! Stop by and join in on the fun.

Andi's also doing a giveaway -- a randomly selected winner will receive a signed copy of Faking It and Ordinary World. Huzzah!!!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

a Valentine's Day gift suggestion

Hey guys:

We all know that books make great gifts, right? Well, how 'bout giving your honey a paperback copy of Faking It.

Don't let the title fool ya.

Faking It is actually the perfect Valentine's Day gift. Girl meets handsome escort. Girl exchanges lessons in writing for lessons in sex. Contract forbids girl and guy from becoming friends. Girl and guy become friends. Uh-oh.

Faking It also has champagne and strawberries, cheesecake, and an occasional slice of New York pizza. What more could a girl want?

"Faking It is about relationships, writing, and getting real."

Here's the best part. Now at, Faking It is available at a new low price -- $11.99! Order today and it'll arrive by Valentine's Day!

Still not sure? Check out some of these reviews.

Gals, pass this on to all the guys you know!

She'll love you. She'll kiss you. She'll... well, you get the idea. $11.99. That's cute.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

blog tour tips, and today's appearances

Today I'm making two appearances at once -- magic!!

The first is Shelly Burns' blog Write for a Reader as part of her "Because of a Book" series. There I talk about three authors whose books influenced me as a writer. They are, by no means, the only three! The second is Misadventures With Andi (love her name!), who interviewed me and reviewed Ordinary World.

Thank you so much for hosting me, Shelly and Andi!

This month I'm really not going to do much posting here other than directing you to tour locations and schedules. Why? Because there's no need! I've already written something -- you just have to go somewhere else to read it! Yay blog tour!

For those of you who've never heard of it, a blog tour is a great way to promote your book without having to leave your home. This is not an issue of laziness but of cost. I organized my first tour back in June to promote Faking It for summer reading season. Thanks to my generous friends who hosted me, I was able to get the word out -- all the better when word of mouth leads to sales!

This time around, I enlisted the help of Jodi, organizer extraordinare, who hooked me up with bloggers, reviewers, and lots of topics to blog about.

If you're thinking about putting together a blog tour, here are a few things to keep in mind:

Know the readership and interests of the host blog. If it's a blog about writers and writing, then write about the evolution of a character or how to overcome writer's blog. If it's a blog about travel, then feature some of the locations in your novel. Back in June, when I appeared on my friend Mitt's blog, I appealed to her love of cooking by featuring "The foods of Faking It" -- it went over great (and made me hungry)! Try to find blogs that match your book/novel subject. You'll likely appeal to more readers that way.

In the case of this tour, many host bloggers gave me a specific topic to write about. This was actually very helpful to me to know the topic in advance. It also gave me a chance to check out the blog site and see the kinds of posts other guest bloggers have done. Very important to one's rhetorical situation!

Some authors do one blog post and send it to every blog. That is certainly one method, but in my opinion it's not a very effective one. Just as you wouldn't send out a generic cover letter or query letter, why be so informal with a generic blog post?

Focus more on planting seeds and less on selling. When I worked in retail as a sales associate, my first goal was not to make the sale but to meet the customer's needs. Often times that involved sending them to another store, offering advice, or just leaving them alone. I wanted my customers to trust me, trust my judgment. If they didn't buy from me today, they would come back another day, or they would tell their friends.

If you are a published author, traditionally or independently, then you are also a bookseller. More and more authors are taking responsibility for their own marketing and promotion because they have to. Plant seeds and you'll get your readers thinking about it, then asking about it, then buying it, then talking about it.

Give away free copies. I'm offering either print or electronic copies of Ordinary World (and even a couple of Faking It) on this tour. For indie authors, budgets could be really tight, but if you can pull it off, then do so. It draws more readers to the sight and elicits more comments (usually the winner is selected randomly from those who left comments).

Stay in touch. Check in to the host blog on the day your post is featured. Answer questions that readers ask, respond to comments, and be sure to post a comment of "thank you". Personal involvement makes all the difference to a reader.

Prepare. Write your posts at least two weeks before its scheduled post-date, and be sure to send any links to your books, blog or website, bios, photos, cover art, etc.

And, as always, Have fun!

Monday, February 1, 2010

blog tour kickoff!!

The Super Bowl isn't the only kickoff in February. My blog tour kicks off today on WOW -- Women on Writing blog. I am indebted to Jodi for putting this whole tour together for me. Jodi, I predict sweet things all around for the month of February!

Also, thank you everyone for your kind birthday wishes last week, and for all your support this past month. Faking It and Ordinary World had their most successful run ever, totaling over 10,000 Kindle downloads combined in one week and remaining on the Kindle Top 100 Best Sellers list (Faking It is currently holding at #10, while Ordinary World fell to #58). Both are still on the Top 10 Contemporary Romance Best Seller's list in the Kindle Store.

Tomorrow I will post my dates and blog appearances, but you can go to WOW (either link above) for a glance at the schedule.

Yay yay yay! Go Me! Go Jodi! Go WOW! Go writers! Go readers!