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Sunday, January 24, 2021

The step writers need courage to take

 cj Sez:  And I don't mean the great step into indie-publishing. Pat Conroy, the beloved author of The Great Santini, The Lords of Discipline, and The Prince of Tides, credited his English teachers . . . no, make that: he lauded the “genius of” his English teachers for instilling in him a love of the English language. 

   Conroy is quoted on Goodreads saying: “I've been in ten thousand cities and have introduced myself to a hundred thousand strangers in my exuberant reading career, all because I listened to my fabulous English teachers and soaked up every single thing those magnificent men and women had to give. I cherish and praise them and thank them for finding me when I was a boy and presenting me with the precious gift of the English language. ” (Goodreads has collected many of Mr. Conroy’s meaningful thoughts. )

 Me? I was too business-oriented to get that inspired by my high school and college English teachers (who were nonetheless wonderful). Despite my apparent lack of interest in writing during those years, I am fascinated with words and syntax. I love, love, love the task of putting words together in just the right order to create a story so full of pictures and emotions that readers can see and feel what I do when I’m writing.

   But what really draws me to quote Mr. Conroy today is something he wrote in his memoir My Losing Season: A Memoir: 

   “Do you think that Hemingway knew he was a writer at twenty years old? No, he did not. Or Fitzgerald, or Wolfe. This is a difficult concept to grasp.  . . .  But they had to take the first step. They had to call themselves writers. That is the first revolutionary act a writer has to make. It takes courage. But it's necessary.” 

   That’s what it’s all about. We have to learn to call ourselves “writers.” That’s a grand title I long hesitated to give myself despite having been published in several genres (and been paid for it) over several years. Now that I’ve done it, guess what? It feels good and natural. Try it. Celebrate it. Say it: “I am a writer!” I bet you’ll like it too.

   How and when did you decide it was time for you take ownership of the title you earned?


Marketing your indie-published book

   I attended a webinar this past week hosted by the Central Virginia Chapter of Sisters in Crime. Their guest speaker, Alex Newton of K-lytics, presented a comprehensive lecture on the analytics of trending popular genres and keywords and the sales they can generate. He also gave us the following freebie … data on 2020 Christmas book sales. Maybe you'll find a useful nugget of info in there. 

K-lytics, ebook marketing intelligence for success


 That’s it for today’s post. You-all guys keep on keeping on, and I’ll try to do the same.


P.S.  My stand-alone novels (suspense with a touch of romance) are out of print on Amazon, but The Haunted Bookshop has signed copies in stock. The store has re-opened to limited hours, so if you’re in the Mobile area, you can stop and shop, too.

   TO ORDER my autographed books or any book of your choice on-line from a favorite, indie bookstore, contact The Haunted Bookshop here: 

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