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Interview with Becoming Hero’s Author, Jen Finelli


Becoming Hero by Jen Fenelli

Becoming Hero by Jen Fenelli

“Interview with Becoming Hero’s Author, Jen Finelli” (Giveaway details below)

Today, I am delighted to interview Jen Finelli, author of soon to be released Becoming Hero

Hi, Jen. So good to have you as our honored guest today. I know our readers are going to enjoy learning about you. You are clever and fun. I’ve rolled out the red carpet for you.

Thank you, Joan for having me here. Let’s get going.

  1. Where were you born?
    Washington, DC!
  1. Where was your favorite place to live as a child? Why?
    Germany was wonderful, but my heart’s in Paraguay. You know how some folks have that Grandma’s house out in the country or something they went to over the summer? My “summer” place was Paraguay…the verdant home to thousands of undiscovered bird species, the largest waterfall in the world, and people who will offer you tea and next thing you know is that you’re part of their family. That’s where I’m going to live when I grow up: I’m spending the next ten years saving up money to build a clinic in the jungle there.
  1. Did you have a favorite place to read a book as a child? Where and why?
    What’s comfier than a bed, am I right?
  1. Where is your favorite place to read now? Why?
    Ha, I don’t grow up. That’s why on Twitter they call me Petr3Pan! I’m still in the same place.
  1. How do you keep yourself physically fit?
    I cry a lot, and that doesn’t seem to be working. It’s great, I stay the same size all the time! I’m big enough for my husband to write words on and hide them in the folds. In all seriousness, there are some awesome apps people should check out if they want to get fit. I’m trying to do this 100 push-ups app, and learn Bellydancing. Zombies Run looks awesome. I used to be a black belt who ran three miles every morning, taught martial arts classes, AND swam competitively, so I do like exercise. It just doesn’t like me.
  1. If you go to an amusement park, which ride do you go to first? Which ride do you ignore at all costs?
    Not a huge fan of spinning things. Love the Apollo’s Chariot at Bush Gardens, Williamsburg, Va. I want to fly, so anything that makes me feel like I’m flying is a go.
  2. What is your favorite genre? Why?
    Sci-Fi! Because it’s the best one! You can say anything about the future, the past, the now, and you can explore the edges of human innovation and maybe even influence some real scientists. Nothing’s better than that!
  1. What’s your favorite book that you’ve ever read? Why?
    Either Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie or The Space Trilogy by C.S. Lewis. The Space Trilogy is a great example of anthropological philosophy, and he spends a lot of time thinking about what cultures might be like on other planets in a very mystical, beautiful way. Much more lit than his Narnia trilogy.
  1. Where is your favorite place to visit? Why?
    Wherever my husband is.
  1. When did you decide to become a writer?
    Six year old me: grubby, shower-less little kid who exclusively spoke in words she’d read in the dictionary. Hated writing, but I wrote an essay about a salmon that included the sentence “she swam far far far far far far far far far far far far” and it won an award, so my fate was sealed. I might still hate writing, who knows.

But the fact is I’m good at written storytelling, and as my writing career began to build (despite my attempts to do other things like medicine) I realized I was born for this. I quit a pharmacy tech position and began writing full-time. I—no joke—heard God telling me it’s my calling to write.

*Ding ding ding crazy!* I know you’re all thinking it, so it’s okay, I’ll go ahead and say it. But you know, I’m a multiple published Codex member now with over a hundred pieces over my belt, so I don’t think I’m one of these people who says God told them to write and then sends you the scary manifesto they wrote in blood on toilet paper.

I’m more like one of those people who says God told them to write and sends you a frikkin’ awesome zombie story in a popular anthology. (I’m saving my bloody toilet paper manifesto for when Vermin Supreme becomes president = P)

  1. Who or what has inspired you the most to write?
    I have no idea! When I was nine I loved something by Lynne Reid Banks so much I decided to write my own magical world about an Easter Egg. I always wanted to be the next C.S. Lewis. If I can learn to be the best me, that would be a good start.
  1. What has been the most exhilarating moment as a writer?
    When I stopped thinking I knew how to write, and started taking advice. That’s when my career took off. I threw away a 500,000 word novel, people.
  1. What are your top ten tips for writers to help them in writing a best seller?
  • Don’t be lazy.
  • Be patient.
  • Realize your work isn’t perfect, that’s not a personal flaw, and you can take steps to get better. You don’t have to kill all your Darlings, but you do have to kill your ego.

These three things will help you deal with rejection and improve your writing more than anything else will. You also need to avoid the use of “was,” use strong words instead of adverbs, stop being pretentious and writerly (stop saying utilize instead of use), and read both Grammar Girl and Strunk and White. (I need to do those things, too) Ten tips is more than I’m qualified to give in one post, but I do have a place on my site where I drop writing tips I’ve learned from others. I believe you’ll think it’s worth checking out.

  1. How did you find the illustrator for your comic book?
    That’s a bit of a secret, since we have a big reveal coming up, but suffice it to say: online! People who are looking for artists should follow them on Twitter, go to ComicCons, hang out on DeviantArt, and generally try to think like artists.

Paying money helps, which is why I ran this awesome campaign to pay my artist AND give my fans cool inexpensive pre-orders! At the $1 level peeps get a $17 audiobook!

  1. What are three things that you do to entice readers to read to the very last page of your book?
    Pray. Eat. Love. Or something like that. No, for real! Prayer helps get my mind focused, I need to eat or I can’t write, and if you don’t love your readers they can feel it. That’s something Dale Carnegie said once.

On a more practical note, keep secrets (but don’t lie to your readers, they hate that)—every character should have one secret trait you never tell your readers, and one secret that affects the book in some way. Cock Chekhov’s gun: let readers see the rifle lying in the room before it becomes important. Just kind of mention it, and then later when it’s important they’re like OH SNAP I REMEMBER THAT THERE WAS A GUN IN THE ROOM!

And finally, have an outline that flows.

  1. As I understand it, when you were writing a cartoon, you had one of your characters rebel against the situations you put him in? How do you feel about this?
    Well it’s not actually me that Skye’s shooting—he’s inside a comic book INSIDE the novel, so his author lives in the novel, and I’m his author’s author. Like his grand-author. Thankfully, he doesn’t know I exist.

In all seriousness, writing something this meta can mess with your head a little bit. I’m writing about tropes I think comic authors should stop using, and about how ridiculous it gets when major franchises get dragged on and on and on…and I’m employing the same tropes I’m talking about because otherwise it’s tell not show. So like…if Skye were real somewhere…am I a huge jerk, or am I doing this because I’m trying to make a hero out of him? Would he hate me, or thank me for bringing him to become the person he’s meant to be?

I try to write all my characters, even the bad guys, as if I love them very much. I want to see them shine, so each one needs to have his moment, and each one needs a deep reason for why he does what he does. But who knows…Skye might still find me worthy of a bullet in the brain.

  1. This question is for Skye, the main character in your new book, Becoming Hero.
    Hello, Skye from Becoming Hero. Why are you so upset?
Becoming Hero by Jen Fenelli

Becoming Hero by Jen Finelli

Skye speaking:

“To quote Batman: how many girlfriends died in your hands?

You know what’s really sad about it? They’re fading in my head, ’til they’re almost not people anymore—just plot points, meant to drive me on, and I can feel that drive, that spiked wheel turning in my rib cage and churning all the meat in there like a blender, I feel how it’s supposed to warp me and turn me in to a dark and cool mysterious brooding guy with a past, and I don’t want it, I don’t, that’s not who I am.

Before you know it, well, here I am. Dark and brooding guy with a past. I even use guns now. I’ve got nothing but Natasha’s name on my lips and her ring around my neck, because her personality, her well-rounded human self disappeared every time she stepped into a panel and became “the girlfriend.” Because I’m the main character, everyone exists around me. Which means everyone around me has to suffer, but I can never, never die.

This is what the SAT calls egomania. This is what the author in the comic is doing to me.

You know it’s the worst thing ever when you know what’s happening to you, and you can’t stop it?

If there were one person in your life who was responsible for all the suffering of everyone you loved—your parents, your best friend, that special person who makes you blush like a dummy—would you take it lying down?

Or would you take them out?”

For more information about me, Skye from Jen Finelli’s new book, Becoming Hero, check out the website: http://becominghero.ninja

Thanks for taking the time to answer my question, Skye.

GIVEAWAY

 

Jen Fenelli, Author of Becoming Hero

Jen Fenelli, Author of Becoming Hero

Jen Finelli’s Short Bio

If you’re looking for sentient cockroaches, angry superheroes, zombies or fairies, offensive gods, and anything else just plain different, Jen Finelli probably writes what you want. She’s a world-traveling sci-fi writer with a knack for making people feel things. (Rage, mostly, but that’s a feeling, right?) So far she’s gotten locked in a German nunnery, fired by a secret news organization, lost in an underground tunnel network, and wind-whipped in a tropical monsoon while riding a motorcycle, so she thinks she’s doing something right. Her comic book character wants to kill his author in Becoming Hero, coming in 2017.

Jen invites you to go here to get a $17 audiobook for $1, watch a silly movie (cool video with Jen telling about her book), and get an early Valentine’s Day gift for you loved one!

Jen’s websites:

byjenfinelli.com (I live here)

petrepan.blogspot.com (Free nightmares and ponies here)

http://becominghero.ninja (I make comics here)

mysweetaffair.com (I wrote a movie!)

Connect with Jen Finelli on Social Media: 

Facebook: http://facebook.com/becomingherocomic
Twitter: twitter.com/petr3pan
Google Plus: https://plus.google.com/u/0/118054993565539554359
Pinterest: pinterest.com/petr3pan
Instagram: instagram.com/becominghero
Stumbleupon: stumbleupon.com/petrepan (please like/stumble my things!)

Thank you, Jen for a fun interview. I wish you the best of luck with your launch of Becoming Hero.

Pre-order now!

Thank you for reading my blog. I am very blessed to see you here.

Winner of the Giveaway Contest. I appreciate the three people who were kind enough to leave a comment on this blog post between January 19th and midnight, January 28, 2017.

  1. Linda Andersen
  2. Kathleen Burkinshaw
  3. Cat Michaels

I had random.org choose the winner. The lucky winner of Jen Finelli’s short story, Minnie: The Curse of Sentience is Linda Andersen. Congratulations, Linda. I hope you enjoy it. I’ll send it to you by email.

To leave a comment please click below and scroll down to the bottom:

COMMENT

Never Give Up
Live with Enthusiasm
Celebrate Each Step You Take

Joan Y. Edwards
Copyright © 2017 Joan Y. Edwards

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Contest to Win a Mentorship from Author or Agent of Picture Books – Sponsored by Tara Cattie Lubbe


Copyright Jami Gigot

Copyright © Jami Gigot

 

Contest to Win a Mentorship from Author or Agent of Picture Books – Sponsored by Tara Cattie Luebbe

Tara Cattie Luebbe’s announced a Writing with the Stars Mentor Contest January 13-midnight January 16 EDT, 2017. It is for authors and illustrators of picture books. To find out more about it, visit the following links:

  1. Jonell DeWitt’s Blog: Interview with New Author Tara Cattie Luebbe and Mentor Contest Announced
  2. Becky Shillington’s blog about Tara’s contest: Poetry Friday: Holiday Math Poetry and a New Contest for PB Writers
  3. Check out Tara’s website: Contest Details on Tara’s website 

Good luck to all who enter the contest.

Thanks Tara for paying it forward after Stacy McAnulty gave you a mentorship! Congratulations on landing an agent and a three-book contract!

Click on comment and scroll down to the bottom of the page.

COMMENT

Never Give Up
Live with Enthusiasm
Celebrate Each Step You Take

Joan Y. Edwards
Copyright © 2016 Joan Y. Edwards

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  1. Never Give Up image
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Happy 7th Blogaversary, Never Give Up Blog


Happy 7th Blogaversary

Happy 7th Blogaversary

“Happy 7th Blogaversary, Never Give Up Blog” by Joan Y. Edwards

Giveaway: Details at end of post.

Today marks the 7th Blogaversary for my Never Give Up Blog! I started this blog on October 9, 2009. Here are the number of views on October 31st each year (This year’s is for October 9th):

Number of Views on October 31st

2009            113

2010        3,631 

2011      14,857 

2012     34,940 

2013     78,500 

2014   174,960

2015   285,384

October 9, 2016   385,573

Thank you for reading my blog posts. Thank you for sharing them in emails, Facebook, and Twitter. Thank you to the 367 email subscribers! Thank you to those who leave comments. Since 2009, there have been over 3,000 comments from you. I treasure those of you who leave comments. You fill my heart with joy and provide readers with great ideas and information. Thank you to the following people who left the most comments of the last 1,000 comments: Linda Martin Andersen, Carol Baldwin, Kathleen Burkinshaw, Sandra Warren, Joan Reid, and June Phyllis Baker. I sent each of them a free “You are Amazing” image.

The top 16 posts on my blog since 2009 are:
1. 40 Publishers Who Accept Unsolicited Manuscripts
2. 
22 Literary Agents Who Are Looking for You
3. Home page / Archives
4. How Many Words Should Your Sentences Contain?
5. 7 Questions to Make Sure Your Plot Has Believable Consequences
6. Family Sewing Projects – Jedi Robes and Princess Leia Ponchos
7. What Is the Purpose of Dialogue in Your Story?
8. Put Universal Conflict, Theme, and Emotions in Your Story
9. What Is Your Story’s Premise? Editors Want to Know
10. What Are Easy Readers?
11. Twelve Ways to Get Over Disappointment
12. About Me
13. 17 Days to Repaint a Wooden French Provincial Bed
14. Wonderfully Funny Analogies and Metaphors

15. Week 1
16. Pub Subbers

I interviewed many people on my blog and I reblogged articles from blogs I knew you’d want to see.

GIVEAWAY went to Maureen Crites. Congratulations.

As a way to celebrate the 7th Blogaversary, I offered a free paperback copy of Writing the Breakout Novel by Donald Maass and the Workbook to accompany it to one of the people who left a comment on my blog between October 9, 2016 and midnight on October 20, 2016.

Here are the names of the five people who left comments and wanted to be included for the contest. Carol Baldwin left a comment but didn’t want to be included because she already has a copy.

  1. Joan Reid
  2. Karen Tomas
  3. Maureen Crites
  4. Sandra Warren
  5. Megan Vance

Random.org chose number 3, so hip hip hooray, Maureen Crites is the winner. Maureen, send me your snail mail address to joanyedwards1@gmail.com so I can send you the book and workbook. I hope you’ll enjoy reading it.

To leave a comment, click on comment and scroll down to the bottom of the page.

COMMENT

Never Give Up
Live with Enthusiasm
Celebrate Each Step You Take

Joan Y. Edwards
Copyright © 2016 Joan Y. Edwards

***************************************************

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join over 360 Valued Subscribers and receive entertaining, encouraging posts PLUS 3 free gifts:

  1. Never Give Up image
  2. 20 Affirmations for Writers
  3. Ten Time Savers for Writers and Illustrators

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Kathleen Burkinshaw Won a Free Critique


 

man smiling listening on cell phone to his ear

The Winner Is image Copyright 2016 Joan Y. Edwards

“Kathleen Burkinshaw Won a Free Critique” by Joan Y. Edwards

Winner:
Thank you to Dr. Bob Rich, Linda Andersen, and Kathleen Burkinshaw for leaving a comment before midnight, September 9, 2016 on  Questions to Ask Before You Sign a Contract with a Publisher/.

Random.org chose number 3 as the winner of the Givewawy. The winner of a free 1,000 word critique is Kathleen Burkinshaw.

Congratulations, Kathleen. Please send me 1000 words of the manuscript you’d like for me to critique for you to joanyedwards1@gmail.com

Thank you to all of you who read my blog. I appreciate you.

Never Give Up
Joan

Alana Mautone Won a Copy of New Leaf for Lyle by Holly Jahangiri


And the Winner Is...

Copyright © 2014 Joan Y. Edwards

Thank you to the seven people who left a comment. I appreciate you very much. You make my blog come to life.
1.    Carol Baldwin
2.    Kristen Duisky
3.    Sandra Warren
4.    Linda Andersen
5.    Ann Eisenstein
6.    Cat Michaels
7.    Alana Mautone

It is with pleasure that I announce that Random.org chose number 7 as the winner.

Alana Mautone, you won a free autographed paperback copy of Holly Jahangiri’s book, New Leaf for Lyle. Please send me your snail mail address so that Holly can send it to you (joanyedwards1@gmail.com)

Thank you, Holly Jahangiri for being a guest on my blog and for offering the free copy of your wonderful book and sharing your expertise with social media.

COMMENT

Never Give Up
Live with Enthusiasm
Celebrate Each Step You Take

Joan Y. Edwards
Copyright © 2016 Joan Y. Edwards

***************************************************

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.


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1. Never Give Up image
2. 20 Affirmations for Writers
3. Ten Time Savers for Writers and Illustrators

Save

Interview and Top Ten Social Media Tips with Holly Jahangiri


Holly Johangiri profile-backyard-instagram2-100315sm

Holly Jahangiri, Author and Social Media Guru

“Interview and Top Ten Social Media Tips with Holly Jahangiri” by Joan Y. Edwards

Today I am very excited to share Holly Jahangiri’s Top Ten Social Media Tips. I met her at the Oklahoma Writers  Federation Incorporated conference in May, 2016 where I celebrated the release of Joan’s Elder Care Guide. She is also a published author with 4RV Publishing. She presented a workshop on Social Media. I was amazed at her clever ways of using Social Media and asked if she would be a guest on my blog.

Thank you, Holly for being a guest on my blog. My readers are going to be amazed!

You’re welcome, Joan. It’s wonderful to be here. I’m ready for your questions. Let’s get started.

By the way, Holly is giving away an autographed copy of A New Leaf for Lyle for one lucky person. GIVEAWAY CONTEST Details on how to win at the end.

About Holly Jahangiri

  1. Where were you born?

I was born across the street from the Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida. You see? I come by my “lead foot” naturally!

  1. Where was your favorite place to live as a child? Why?

Silver Lake, Ohio. It was the town my mom grew up in, and she knew it was a great place to raise a child. Many of her friends had stayed or moved back, and had children my age. We lived right around the corner – or two back yards and a couple of hedges – away from the elementary school. There was a little lake with a tiny island where we could swim in summer and ice skate in winter. There were no fences; good manners were the only fences we needed as we played in the neighbors’ yards, careful not to trample their flower beds or break their hedges or peer into their windows. Only one or two older people in the whole neighborhood were the “Get off my lawn!” types. The rest looked out for us and called our parents if we got into trouble or did something they considered dangerous.

  1. Where is your favorite place to live now? Why?

Right now, I call Houston, Texas, home. And it’s a very good place to live and work and raise a family. It’s cosmopolitan and diverse, with top-notch schools and universities, parks, theaters, a symphony, a ballet, an opera house – and it’s very near the Johnson Space Center and Galveston Beach. The most surprising thing to people who visit Houston for the first time is that it isn’t dry, brown, and full of tumbleweeds. Houston is in the tropics – we have seven-story-tall pine trees next to magnolias and palm trees and hibiscus. It’s hot, but it’s also quite humid. You may have heard we had some flooding, a while back? I now understand what my grandmother meant when she’d say things like, “See you next year, God willin’ an’ the creek don’t rise.”

  1. Did you ever want to hide when you were a child?

From what? Seriously, my favorite game was “Hide and Seek.” I was a master at it. My favorite places were the closets under the stairs, the top of my grandparents’ “Climbing Tree” (who ever thinks to look UP during a game of “Hide and Seek”?), and the third attic in my grandparents’ house. You got to it through a walk-in closet. Along one wall of the closet, there was a bookshelf, and behind that, a hidden door. Enter the door, then turn around – to the left of that door, there was another door. Their house was just made for hiding!

  1. What are your 3 favorite places to read a book?

In a tree. On a window seat. In bed. But really, a book transports me to so many places – by the time I’m immersed in reading one, I can imagine that I am anywhere I want to be.

  1. What is your favorite ride at an amusement park? Why?

The roller-coaster! Why? Like life, it has its ups and downs. There’s the delicious anticipation – that sense of adventure mixed with excitement and dread in almost equal measure – that moment as the car crests the first incline, when you think to yourself, “Oh, dear God, what have I done?” followed by that sense of joyful flying as it races downhill and turns sideways or rises for a loop-de-loop. It’s over too fast, but you can always do it again!

  1. What ride do you avoid at all costs?

The Viking Ship. Nothing is more guaranteed to make me toss my cookies than The Viking Ship or its variations, especially if it’s a hot day. I used to love rides like The Octopus, but there came a point where that was more nausea- and headache-inducing than it was fun. When I was a kid, I loved all rides – the wilder, the better. I may have been the only child disappointed in Disney World, because it was more “theme” than ride. Cedar Point rules! I haven’t been there since I was a tween, but I can still remember being turned loose with the all-you-can-ride wristband, a watch, and a list of times and places to “check in” with the grown-ups. Those were the days!

  1. What’s the funniest thing that has ever happened to you?

Gosh, I don’t remember – so many funny things have happened to me, but no big one stands out!

  1. How did you do in English in high school?

Wonderfully well! English was my favorite class – an easy A.

  1. When and why did you decide to become an author?

I think it was in 5th or 6th grade. We were learning to write essays. I got mine back – I think the grade was an A, but what I remember was all the comments in red pen up the margins. Reactions to something I wrote, plus suggestions for improvement.And that started my love of the red pen. Others see it as criticism; I see it as, “Oh! Someone really read what I wrote and thought about it!” It was the start of a conversation. I wrote more essays – unassigned, and looking back, probably dreaded by the teacher. But she read them all, and she filled them all with red ink and thoughtful suggestions for improvement. Mrs. T. created a monster.

  1. What got you interested in social media?

Boredom and curiosity. Isn’t that something all writers have in common? We all write to entertain ourselves, eventually, when we run out of books we want to read. But I’ve never written “just for me.” It was that conversation – started with my English teacher, back in middle school – that had me hooked on writing. Writing is a meeting of the minds, but blogging and social media makes it a two-way street. I’m more comfortable communicating through my writing than I am in speaking – though I did enjoy speaking at the 2016 OWFI Conference! Social media gives me a chance to read what others are thinking and to have those two-way exchanges of ideas that so hooked me on writing in the first place.

  1. Do you do “work for hire?”

I don’t. I have a full-time job and too little time for my own writing, these days, as it is! But thanks!

Holly’s Top Ten Tips for Social Media

  1. Always be aware that the Internet is forever. What you say now will still be there – to haunt you or to do you proud – in twenty years. Assume that nothing you post is truly private; it could be shared by the original recipient or it could be one server admin’s “oops!” away from being public.
  2. Claim your social media space before someone else does, and tell your story better than anyone else can. Make sure that you are the online authority on you. If you have a blog, cross-link it to and from all your social media profiles.
  3. If it’s not fun, and it’s not absolutely necessary, don’t do it. I think this applies to more than social media, doesn’t it? We tend to do well what we enjoy doing. When we try to do things we think are a chore, others can tell we’re just “phoning it in.” What’s the point? Someone says, “You have to have a Facebook Page!” and your first reaction is “Why?” then ask. Make them convince you of its value and worth to you. Set a limit for how much time you spend on social media – don’t let it keep you from living, work, and your own writing.
  4. If you try out a social media site and decide it’s not for you, close your account. Don’t leave abandoned sites all over the Internet. Someone’s likely to find them, some day, and conclude that you died five years ago when you stopped updating them.
  5. People generally prefer sincerity over whatever façade we think we have to show the world. This, of course, assumes that you are not a malicious, hateful troll.
  6. If there are two ways to interpret how something is said, assume the other person meant it the nicer way. Not everyone is a masterful communicator. Some people aren’t very good at recognizing sarcasm in writing. Sometimes, people are dealing with difficult things offline, and they take out their own hurt and frustration on the nameless, faceless “Internet.” Respond with compassion, and you may make a friend instead of an enemy.
  7. If someone harasses you, stalks you, threatens or cyberbullies you – don’t engage. You’ll often hear the advice, “Don’t feed the trolls.” We all have a little troll inside us, just itching to come out and play, some days. But there are a few – blessedly, very few – real trolls, and they can be quite malicious. Keep a careful record of it (use screenshots, document times and dates), and call the police. The motive is almost always to unsettle, intimidate, and upset you emotionally. Why give anyone that satisfaction?
  8. Record your username and password for each site in a safe place (offline, preferably in a password-protected OneNote file on your PC, or in a hardcopy notebook). Use different passwords for each site. For any accounts that link to banking, domain ownership, or that have the ability to request password resets, use very strong passwords and dual-authentication. If you write these things down, lock up the notebook or encode the information in a way that only you can read it. It’s a pain, when you forget your own password, but it makes it much harder for thieves to access your important accounts or for scam artists and identity thieves to impersonate you. Phrases like this are easier for you to remember, and are also quite “strong” passwords: I<3turnips+COFFEE!
  9. Look at your own profile the way others see it. Log out of the social media site completely, then visit your link. If you were a stranger to you, what would your first impression be?
  10. Don’t be afraid to jump in and try new things. Experiment. Have fun. The world will not explode if you press the wrong key, I promise.

 

Social Media Tips

for Those with Published Books!

  • Blog. Your blog should be the hub of all your social media activities. Link from your blog, outward, to all your active social media profiles. Link inward, from all your active social media profiles, to your blog.
  • Follow the 90/10 rule: 90% of what you post should be for others – entertaining, informative, fun, and engaging. 10-20% can be “shamelessly self-promotional.” After all, people appreciate your making it easy for them to find and buy your books, once you’ve given them a reason to be interested. But 100 tweets of your book cover with the words “buy my book!” won’t accomplish anything good! See #9, above – look at your own profiles, all of them, the way a stranger would.
  • Read this post for more: http://jahangiri.us/2013/author-blog-holodeck-for-the-authors-brain/

 

Social Media Tips

for Those Hoping to Get a Book Contract!

Your blog and your social media profiles serve two important purposes:

  • They are an online portfolio – a sample of your writing.
  • They serve as “social proof” and give a publisher an idea of whether you will be an active and engaging participant in any marketing activities for your books.

Keeping that in mind, you want to carefully proofread your posts and build a solid network of followers – not 10,000 followers for just $14.97, but real people. Readers, librarians, indie bookstore owners, friends, fellow authors, experts in the field you’re writing about (if you’re writing non-fiction), and interesting people who are actively engaging with other interesting people in social media. That takes a bit of time and effort, so it’s never too early to start. I’d suggest building the blog and the social media profiles first – make sure there’s some interesting content there that makes clear who you are and why anyone might want to follow you – then start finding followers.

 

Vanity Surfing – Google Alerts and TalkWalker Alerts

You should search for your own name – and all its variants – periodically, to see what the first three to five pages of search results contain. Most people never really look past the first three pages of results, but you want to be sure those three are a good reflection of you and what you’re all about. It’s also a good idea to set up alerts on Google and on Talkwalker – think of this as the lazy man’s way of vanity surfing.

First, go to www.google.com/alerts.

In the box where it says “Create an alert about” type your name in quotation marks. You can also type something like this:

“ann smith” OR “anne smith” OR “anne w. smith” OR “anne wilson smith” OR “annie the cat whisperer” – listing all common permutations of your name and pseudonyms.

Click Show options.

Choose how often you want to receive alerts; from which sources (hold CTRL while clicking to select multiple sources, or choose Automatic for all); language; region; all or “only the best”; and enter the email address to send them to.

Click Create Alert.

Next, go to http://www.talkwalker.com/alerts. Fill in the blanks as described above (they are essentially the same as Google Alerts). Preview and Create Alert.

The results are similar, but there are some differences between the two and it may be worth monitoring both. Create alerts for your book titles, as well.

Social media should be fun. It can also be an excellent marketing tool for writers. If you follow my tips, you can avoid headaches, heartaches, and undue stress. You’ll find more tips on my blog: It’s All a Matter of Perspective. I also wrote a number of posts specifically on social media strategy for writers. Come on over and don’t be shy – I love comments!

For more, read: http://jahangiri.us/2013/category/no-niche/social-media/social-strategy-for-writers/

 

Biography

Holly Jahangiri is the author of Trockle; A Puppy, Not a Guppy; and A New Leaf for Lyle. She draws inspiration from her family, from her own childhood adventures (some of which only happened in her overactive imagination), and from readers both young and young at heart. She lives in Houston, Texas, with her husband, J.J., whose love and encouragement make writing books twice the fun.

More about Holly: http://jahangiri.us/2013/holly-jahangiri/

Where to Connect with her online: http://jahangiri.us/2013/holly-jahangiri/where-to-find-me/

Buy Trockle: https://www.amazon.com/Trockle-Holly-Jahangiri/dp/0979751322/ref

Buy A Puppy, Not a Guppy: https://www.amazon.com/Puppy-Not-Guppy-Holly-Jahangiri/dp/0984070850/ref

 

Buy A New Leaf for Lyle: https://www.amazon.com/New-Leaf-Lyle-Holly-Jahangiri-ebook/dp/B00K1TW6DY/ref

Where to buy her books

  1. Amazon Smile where a portion of sales goes to charity: http://jahangiri.us/amazon
  2. Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Holly-Jahangiri/e/B002BMEYUC/

Thank you for sharing your tips about social media and about your life, Holly. 

If you’d like to ask Holly a question or leave a message for her, please click comment below and scroll to the bottom of the page.

GIVEAWAY CONTEST: Everyone who leaves a comment between now and midnight on Monday, August 15, 2016 will have his/her name put in a hat. Random.org will choose the winner. I will announce the winner in a new post that day.

COMMENT

Never Give Up
Live with Enthusiasm
Celebrate Each Step You Take

Joan Y. Edwards
Copyright © 2016 Joan Y. Edwards

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And the Winners Are: Aidana WillowRaven, Andrea Ball, Marcia Ann Radaker Collins, and Niki Masse Schoenfeldt


“And the Winners Are: Aidana WillowRaven, Andrea Ball, Marcia Ann Radaker Collins, and Niki Masse Schoenfeldt” by Joan Y. Edwards

Between April 19, 2016 and May 31, 2016 I compiled a list of people who helped spread the word on Facebook, Twitter, in person, on blogs and websites about Joan’s Elder Care Guide: Empowering You and Your Elder to Survive:

Great Readers, Reviewers, Authors, Illustrators, Websites, and Blogs

Here is a list an alphabetical listing of those I know shared with others.

1.    Aidana WillowRaven
2.    Andrea Ball
3.    Andrea Dawn Brummett
4.    Ann Eisenstein
5.    Barbara Lunow
6.    Bonnie Bartel Latino
7.    Carol Baldwin
8.    Catherine H. Armstrong
9.    Cynthia Vestal
10.    Dana Roberts
11.    Deborah Allmand
12.    Deb Hockenberry
13.    David Lee Bragg
14.    Emma Shipes
15.    Gretchen Griffith
16.    Janet Meyer
17.    Janet K. Brown
18.    Janis Silverman
19.    Jennifer Jordan
20.    Joan B. Reid
21.    John Magoteaux
22.    John Snow
23.    J.Q. Rose
24.    Karen Tomas
25.    Kathleen Burkinshaw
24.    Kathy Kusior
25.    Kim Kilbarger
26.    Kristina Stanley
27.    Linda Andersen
28.    Linda Collier
29.    Linda Vigen Phillips
30.    Lorrie York Hackett
31.    Louise Bradford Blanks
32.    Marcia Ann Radaker Collins
33.    Marie Lunow
34.    Megan Vance
35.    Melanie Robertson-King
36.    Mimi Milford
37.    Mollie E. Chewning
38.    Niki Masse Schoenfeldt
39.    Roy L. Vestal
40.   Sabrina Campbell Colvin
41.    Sandra Warren
42.    Shawn Simon
43.    Sheri S. Levy
44.    Susan Bergdorf Magoteaux
45.    Susan Hornbach
46.    Tracy Campbell
47.    Vivian Zabel
48.    Woody Schlier

I told you I was going to choose one winner. I couldn’t do that. There are so many of you who have helped me that I asked Random.org to choose 4 winners. Here they are:

First was #1 Aidana Willow-Raven
Second was #32 Marsha Ann Radaker Collins
Third was #38 Niki Masse Schoenfeldt
Fourth was #4 Andrea Ball

Each of these four people won a 1000 word manuscript critique, an interview on my blog, or a 15 minute phone call to talk about life goals and brainstorm ways to reach them.

Congratulations to all the winners. May God bless each of you who have helped spread the word about Joan’s Elder Care Guide.May God also bless each person who has bought a copy of the book! I hope it helps each caregiver who reads it to remember to take care of themselves, too.

Do something fun to celebrate you!
Never Give Up
Joan Y. Edwards

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