Holiday Signings and News

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Seasons Greetings!

It’s hard to believe the holidays are nearly upon us. I have news, updates, and upcoming signing information to share. I hope to see you in the coming weeks, and wish all of you a healthy, peaceful holiday season.

  • If you need a hostess and/or holiday gift, I’ll be signing books at the following events:
    • Thursday, November 17th, 6-9 PM, Girls’ Night Out. Turn the Page Bookstore (Nora Roberts’ Shop), Boonsboro, MD. Free champagne. Do you need any other reason to attend?
    • Saturday, November 26th, 11 AM-1 PM, Small Business Saturday. Annapolis Bookstore, 53 Maryland Avenue, Annapolis, MD. (*New store location.*)
  • If you are not local to Maryland, I’m happy to send signed bookplates. Email me at info [at] erikarobuck [dot] com with your mailing address and what you’d like inscribed. (US & Canada only, please.)
  • On November 1st, AUTHOR IN PROGRESS—an essay collection for writers to which I contributed—was published by Writer’s Digest Books. It debuted as a #1 new release in Fiction Writing Reference on Amazon! If you have a writer in your life who needs empowerment, encouragement, and practical advice, I highly recommend it.
  • Book Clubs: My kids’ busy schedules make participation in person difficult these days, but it’s always worth a try. At the very least, I might be able to FaceTime your book club. Email me at info [at] erikarobuck [dot] com if you’d like to schedule an in-person or virtual visit with your book club.
  • Finally, if you are so inclined, please consider leaving an online review of one or more of my books. And please feel free to share this post with the book lovers in your life.

Happy Holidays!

Erika

Pinterest for Writers

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I am a visual person. To write something well, I have to visit as many places in my books as possible. I spend hours scouring archives–in person and online–to find photographs of my subjects, their settings, their muses. Before I write I “cast” my books with living actors. Even when I read, I underline, scribble notes, highlight, draw pictures. I have to be able to see what it is I’m trying to capture with words.

Even if you are a writer who does not need much visual stimulation, you might consider your reader. Pinterest can be a powerful tool for helping her to see your characters, your settings, and your time period. It can supplement a work in a powerful way that continues the conversation even after the last pages are turned. Whether viewed before reading or after, your pin boards can enrich the entire story experience.

Here is a screenshot of my Pinterest page:

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You’ll find images associated with each of my books, day trips to my book settings, tidbits for readers, casting for movies (HELLO GEORGE CLOONEY WITH A MUSTACHE AS HEMINGWAY!) Lower down the page are boards for my own interests–house projects, decor, etc. Make sure the boards you want to share with the public are featured first.

Starting a Pinterest page is simple, and once you have an account set up, the red Pinterest icon will appear on the upper right side of your browser menu:

Screen Shot 2016-02-12 at 8.16.50 AMTo add photos from pages you search to your boards, simple click the icon at any website you visit. It will arrange a screen of images that may be pinned. Screen Shot 2016-02-12 at 8.19.57 AM

Click on the image you want to pin, and a menu will pop up asking which Pinterest board you’d like to add it to, or you may create a new board. Add a description, hit enter, and voila!

Warning: Pinterest is addictive. You will find friends there. They will have great boards. Three hours will pass and you will find yourself scouring hundreds of images for brunch recipes, book recommendations, window treatment options, fantasy vacations, and cutest cat breeds–and you might not even like cats! Consider setting a timer to pull yourself out of the vortex of distraction.

Finally, consider sharing your boards. Post a couple times a month on your blogs and social media accounts with boards that have to do with your books. This will give you a chance to engage your readers and continue bringing your work to life.

Some excellent author Pinterest pages:

Tatiana de Rosnay

Karen White

Ariel Lawhon

Marianne O’Hara

Beth Hoffman

David Abrams

Who are your favorite authors on Pinterest? Are you on Pinterest? Do you have any helpful tips for making Pinterest meaningful to your readers? Happy Pinning!

FALLEN BEAUTY Trailer and Giveaway

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I am thrilled that there is only one month until the publication of my novel, FALLEN BEAUTY. My publisher has put together a trailer/interview about the novel, to let readers know more about the subject of the book, poet Edna St. Vincent Millay. Her writing and her life are fascinating, and I found her a captivating and challenging voice to capture.

I am excited to get the word out about FALLEN BEAUTY, and I  have 2 advanced reader copies to give away. If you would like to enter for a chance to win (US residents only), please share this post on social media by Thursday, February 6th at 9 PM EST, and comment on your favorite Millay poem, or if you would simply like to know more about her. (Brace yourself: she is a wild one!)

Without further ado, let me tell you more about FALLEN BEAUTY…

Book Trailers and Updates

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When Penguin asked if I’d like to film a book trailer for HEMINGWAY’S GIRL, I eagerly accepted; first, because I’d have to go to Key West to film it, and second, because in our media-rich environment of social networking, I could see how a visual share could help promote a book.

Every aspect of that experience was a treat, so I was thrilled when Penguin offered to produce another book trailer for my forthcoming novel, CALL ME ZELDA. I again had the pleasure of working with the talented husband and wife team, David and Kathryn Seay, of David Seay Productions.

I am so pleased with the trailer, and I am delighted to present it to you. Please let me know what you think.

Author Photo Outtakes

Earlier this week at the fabulous Debutante Ball Blog, Erika Marks ruminated on the dreaded author photo–that terrifying and stressful bit of awkwardness that has to go on the published book. In a very unscientific poll, I found out that nine out of ten authors would rather write a synopsis than take an author photo. But there are so many bad author photos out there, how bad can yours actually be? If you simply select one of the categories of author photo cliches, at least you’ll know you’re not alone. For your amusement (and because Erika Marks double-dog-dared me) I’ve dedicated this post to author photo cliches and outtakes. I hope you enjoy it.

When I self-published my first novel, I scoured book jackets and author websites to see how writers posed. I found that the overwhelming majority of them stood by trees with their arms crossed, so that’s what I did.

What you don’t see in this picture are my three boys running around the yard like savages while I swat them away between takes. This picture worked well enough for my indie endeavor, but for my new novel (HEMINGWAY’S GIRL) with a traditional publisher, I wanted a new picture. The only thing I was sure about was that I didn’t want my face on my hand, because if an author isn’t standing next to a tree with her arms crossed, it’s likely that she’ll have her face on her hand.

I considered reaching back a bit in time to when my hair didn’t need chemical assistance to lighten it, and my skin glowed without make up. I worried, however, that people would be disappointed if they showed up for a signing and I didn’t look like this anymore.

Then I considered the on location, research with Hemingway shot, but truth be told, Hemingway looked a little creepy in this picture.

Then I thought about going for something a little more edgy. After all, writers from the past often posed with cigarettes. For obvious reasons, however, I vetoed these.

 

I even wondered if I should go for the truly authentic author photo–the one that captures the day-to-day life of the writer in the reading chair, with the dog, in PJs.

But, no. Just no.

Ultimately, I went to my hometown of Annapolis, Maryland with my friend and photographer Catherine Pelura. We walked the streets, chatted, and snapped photos as we went. Some of my favorite shots were the intense, thinking, gazing off into the distance photos.

I also liked the super-approachable, relaxed garden shot.

I sent several pictures to my publisher and told them to choose. And after all of that, guess which one they picked–the hand on the face shot.

I’m already thinking ahead to my next novel’s author photo. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald are characters, and Zelda was known for jumping in fountains, so maybe I’ll use something like this:

Or we’ll walk the streets of Baltimore, where the book is mostly set, and snap pictures at the old Fitzgerald haunts around town. I’ve already prepared myself that of the fifty photos Catherine will take, I’ll end up picking the one of my hand holding up my head.

Now that I’ve humiliated myself with some of these pictures, I dare YOU (writer, yes you) to blog on some of your author photo ideas and outtakes.

2011 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Syndey Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 13,000 times in 2011. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 5 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.