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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Using Social Media and Other Tips On Writing from Author, Christie A. Glucker

What made you decide to take the plunge and write a novel? How many rewrites did you do on it? I had a story in my head and it just persisted in telling me it wanted to be written. A few friends said to get it on fanfiction and write and see how it went. So I took my story, changed the names so they fit in Fanfiction and began writing.

How does Fanfiction Work?
Fanfiction is where you write a story but use characters from another book or movie. I used Twilight. There are a NUMBER of very popular authors out there who started as Twilight fanfiction authors.

How long did it take you to write the first book?
The Cliff is 50 chapters and 500 pages long. It took me six months to write it. I only did one rewrite on The Cliff and that was to change the names back to my original characters.

Could you give me a short synopsis on the novel, The Cliff for my readers?
Can a childhood pact affect the lives of three adults? Love and betrayal surrounds the lives of lifelong friends Lanie Rhodes, Grant Bennett, and Dane Voight. Years ago, they made a pact to remain together as friends forever.  The boys also made another secret pact that same day—to never vie for Lanie’s love.

Grant and Lanie have secretly been pining for one another since they were children. Now grown up, they finally admit their feelings for each other and what ensues is a twisted tale of deception as Dane does everything he can to stop them. The story weaves around this uneven love triangle. What will happen to the pact? Will friendships be destroyed? Will lovers emerge?

How would you define the difference between chick lit and romance writing?
Personally I think that chick lit is just slang for what people believe to be "women only" books. I don't think that all romance novels are chick lit, at least not my books. My husband reads everything I write and he loves them - and not because he has too. LOL I have quite a few male readers. I have something in my books for everyone.

How did you go about finding a publisher?
I did the mainstream procedure for sending to publishers. I first did a search to find literary agencies and they wouldn't even talk to me because I was a first time writer. So I continued on with my research to find the best publisher for my type of work. I also reached out to other authors to see if there was someone they recommended. It was important to me that the book was in print, not just eBook, so that narrowed down my search quite a bit. Then I just followed all the different submission guidelines set up for each publisher: query letter, formatting, bio, and synopsis, and sent away to as many as I possibly could.

I ended up with 10 rejections over about a 3 week period, and then finally received my contract with an indie publisher, who then, closed overnight about 3 months before the book release. So off I went to start the process all over again. I got two offers the next day and ended up choosing Pagan Writers Press. They are fantastic and I am so glad I went with them. 

How do you write? Did you do an outline first? Did you do individual character development before doing the full plot?
I write in a strange way, not like many other authors. My stories start telling themselves to me. They nag and nag until I sit down and pay attention to them. So basically my characters tell me they want their story told. At that point the story has been rolling around in my head for a bit so I have an idea of where it should go but getting there is a completely different thing. I just sit and let my brain and hands work in tandem and watch the story write. Sometimes I'm even amazed at where it goes. So no, no outline or character development. It just seems to come.

What type of publicity do you do to promote your book?
I am a HUGE social media girl. So I gave spent a lot of time building up followers on Twitter as those are worldwide, as well as Facebook where just my family and friends are. I have also reached out to local newspapers and bloggers and honestly libraries and book stores by sending out press releases. I'm working a little differently for The Purple Heart and teaming up with some military organizations - also doing this for my third novel Pacifically You which releases in August 2013. I find that if you can find groups that relate to your subject matter, they are great for spreading via word of mouth as well as their social media. My publisher is great and they have set up various blog tours as well.

What do you know now about writing/publishing now that you wished you had known sooner?
 I just wish I had known more about how to get into the large mainstream publishers. Honestly, they don't want to even talk to you if you don't have a literary agent. But they have the PR and the money backing the PR that you'll need to get yourself out there. I don't have the funds to hire a PR firm but they can get your name out there in so many ways for you. 

Are both these books stand alone books or are you planning a sequel or prequel for any of your characters? 
As of now, both my books are stand alone. I could write more either prequel or sequel but the other stories are knocking and they want to be told.

What is the best advice you’ve been given about writing or that you’ve learned that you would like to pass along? 
Just write. Be confident and try. This was not something I had even planned on doing and look at me now? Three novels and two short stories later. You never know unless you try.

If you would like to learn more about Christie and her writing, her are some ways to do that…

Twitter: @ChristieAGucker    Facebook page         Amazon Page     Website

Lastly, here's an interesting link for any author. It 's called AUTHORSdB . It's a FREE database of authors, including social media, book listings and much more, for today's mind-field of thousands of aspiring and established writers. Here's Christie's link to it. 

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