New Focused on Murder Q & A

My dear friend Julie Williams did a Q&A with me about Focused on Murder over at her site.

I hope you’ll check out Julie’s lively and colorful blog site, and info about her new novel. I answer questions about why I write what I write and whether my protagonist is like me.

Do you and your protagonist have similar qualities, quirks?

It’s Still a Writer’s Journey

My first blog post was January 31, 2012. The blog was titled, A Writer’s Journey. It was about why I started a blog, and this is part of what I said:

“Over the years I’ve attended writer’s conferences, workshops and countless author readings. I’ve read a library of books and many blogs on the art and craft of writing. Some of the most insightful and helpful ideas about writing have come to me through the generosity of others who shared what they picked up along the way.

I started this blog to continue that tradition and to cast my net in hopes that writers attracted to this site would find something useful that might help with their own journeys.”

I’ve recently published my first book—a good time to take stock of what I now want the blog to be about. It’s still about my journey, and I’m writing book two in the series, but my focus has grown to include the business of self-publishing and promotion. Except the word “business” stopped me in my tracks and made my journey more like an obstacle course of frustration and anxiety.

Yes, it’s a business, I’ve always understood that, but to me, it has to be about the joy of connecting with readers the same way writing is about the joy of writing. And one thing that brings me joy is writing about subjects that help others, either in writing, publishing or promoting.

Tips

In an earlier post, I promised tips on publishing and promoting as I navigated through the process:

My best tip is to attend writers’ conferences whenever possible. I just returned from Left Coast Crime in Monterey, and basked in the spirit of generosity that permeated every interaction with organizers, authors and readers. That trumped everything.

Jane Friedman’s blog, The E-book Market + Big Five Survival, about what’s happening in the publishing world is a must read. The blog doesn’t have answers; it’s all about the questions.

I hope you’ll stop by again. As before, this blog will also include my short poetic pieces from my writing group and other works in progress.

The Bone Cairn

The trail rises, higher and higher.

A left foot lifts and slaps down,
bringing along a skyscraper of bones, stacked
helter skelter above its webbed base.

A right foot lifts, the skeleton rises and falls,
rotates, twists, strains upward, off balance
As a rickety shack, almost toppling,
But not quite.

At the summit, the bones settle to the ground,
elbows propped above raised knees, hands folded,
spine rests in a gentle curve, head tilts back. Still.

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It’s Okay to Run Away

Two days after publishing my debut mystery, I did the unthinkable. Instead of following all the advice in workshops, blogs, newsletters and books about how crucial the first few weeks are to get your book noticed by undertaking a huge promotion blitz, I flew 2,458 miles to visit my daughter.

I didn’t take my laptop and hardly looked at emails.

Every time I started to panic about what I should be doing to get the word out about my book, I looked at my daughter and knew this was exactly where I needed to be. I’d just finished with a lot of activities that were out of my comfort zone and a big learning curve for me, and I needed to allow time to feel good about the big step I’d just taken—especially since it was a long time coming. Being with my daughter reminded me of what is as important in my life as achieving goals—spending time with family and friends and allowing myself to enjoy each step of my own journey.

How do you maintain your equanimity when taking big steps in your life?

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Going Live!

mystery, novel, fiction, self-published, self-publishing, Linda TownsdinI’m pleased to announce that Focused on Murder—A Spirit Lake Mystery is now available on Amazon. For more info about the book, check out my Books page.

“Britt Johansson, a kickass photojournalist with a big heart and bad social skills follows a coed’s murder to the wilds of the US/Canadian border and lands in the crosshairs of an international crime ring…
Only this time she’s in way over her head.”

It Takes a Community

As in most new ventures in life, each step in the self-publishing process that seemed so daunting in the beginning has turned out to be not nearly as difficult as I imagined. That’s probably thanks to my supportive friends, who have offered advice and even sat next to me at my laptop encouraging me to push that button and go live. I am grateful for their help.

Now that my debut novel is out there, I hope you will read it and if you like it, post your review on Amazon.

In my next posts, I intend to share some of what I’ve learned about how the self-publishing process is working for me, such as:
• Tricks I’ve used to tame the fear and keep everything in perspective
• Tips on how to use the CreateSpace site
• Reminders to tackle everything at your own pace
• How to know the difference between resistance and the importance of doing what feels comfortable to you

Thank you!