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Thursday, October 27, 2011

More Author Insight: The Public Eye

How do you balance life and writing and all the obligations that come with being an author?

"Just the idea that I'm 'out there' is enough to make me break out in hives. Again - shy little introvert, over here. The idea that people are talking about me and my work makes me very nervous, but I keep telling myself, "What other people think of you is none of your business." I'm slowly internalizing that." - Lia Habel, author of Dearly Departed.

"Not doing everything, because everything is too much.  If you lose energy for writing, your career is done, anyway.  I've had some tough times in the last year (my father died after a long illness) and I've had to say to myself on multiple occasions: slow down, stop worrying about every last detail, take a breath, go ahead and grieve, otherwise you'll lose the sweet mental space where you can actually write (I did lose it a few times)." - Geoff Herbach, author of Stupid Fast.

"All the lens solution that gets dumped on you every time the public eye needs to fix its contact. Seriously, the most difficult part is finding the right balance between the public activities (events, blogging, social media), writing, and one's personal life." - Sarah Beth Durst, author of Drink, Slay, Love.

"It requires a certain amount of bravado, I think, to assume that other people are interested in what you have to say. I don’t always feel terribly fascinating, or particularly qualified to give writing advice. I try to tweet or post about things that I think my friends would be interested in: cute dresses, amazing books I’m reading, how to juggle life with writing." - Jessica Spotswood, author of Born Wicked.

"I think, for me, the hardest part is self-promoting without feeling like I'm coming off as a 'Me! Me! Me!' person. I'll tweet links to interviews, but I've shied away from retweeting every time someone makes a positive mention of my book, or gives it a good review. I try to think about whether what I'm going to tweet (or post on Facebook) would actually be interesting to anyone but myself." - Marianna Baer, author of Frost.

"Learning that I must while knowing that many people hunger for the next new thing and probably aren’t paying attention. I am an intensely, almost painfully shy person, and uncomfortable with the whole lookit-me, lookit-me aspect of marketing and publicity. I find people who only tweet to pimp their stuff to be a little obnoxious. Like, fine, dude, chill; if it’s good, I’ll get to it. I understand that kind of marketing has to be done, but it feels so unnatural. That’s probably why I like the Midwest: everybody just does their job and if you happen to notice, that’s great. If you don’t, the cows still need milking, regardless.

One thing I have learned, though, is that books sometimes have a long life/tail you don’t expect. For example, my first YA, Draw the Dark, came out from Carolrhoda Lab last October. A Canadian friend sent me an article from The Vancouver Sun on recommended summer reading—and Draw was on the list." - Ilsa Bick, author of Ashes.  

"That it takes constant work and a presence online. If your publishing house doesn’t have a huge marketing push behind your novel, it’s very easy to get lost among the other, bigger titles. Coming up with creative ways to stay visible takes energy." - Angie Frazier, author of The Eternal Sea.

  "Making myself get out there. As I said, I believe in my books, but I was raised as a southern girl and taught that it was tacky for a woman to be too aggressive. I know that's BS now, but old habits die hard." - Stacey Jay, author of Juliet Immortal.
"It's exhausting. I've been lucky, to be honest. But it's still physically and mentally exhausting; it's impossible to keep up with every email and request, which fills me with guilt. I fantasize about escaping into remote, internetless, foreign locations." - Stephanie Perkins, author of Lola & the Boy Next Door.
"I’m not someone who generally loves to draw attention to myself. I was the kid in the corner with her nose in a book. Self-promotion takes some getting used to." - Amy Garvey, author of Cold Kiss.
"The hardest part for me is writing fast enough to keep new releases coming out.  I know that the author names I remember most are ones that continue to pop up in the new releases section.  So I'm always struggling to keep up with those super fast writers." - Gemma Halliday, author of Deadly Cool.

  "Trying to present your work professionally without looking too sales-y or pushy can be a fine tightrope balance. It helps if others promote what they love about your books for you and that’s always better received." - Brena Pandos, author of The Emerald Talisman.

"I never imagined myself to be in the public eye, as odd as that sounds.  I tend to write what is true or emotionally galvanizing for me, and I remain inside that vulnerable place right up until about four months ahead of publishing.  And then I realize:  Other people are going to be reading this.  I do not Google my own name, don’t look for news about myself.  That way I give readers their space to say whatever they wish to say, and I protect myself from anything that might be wounding to read.  This is not to say that I have not read and am not entirely grateful for the many kind words that have been written through the years, nor that I haven’t stumbled across some...difficult...commentary.  But I don’t seek those words out.  They tend to be brought to my attention." - Beth Kephart, author of You are My Only.

Come back Tuesday to find out what's the weirdest thing the authors have ever researched for a novel!


  1. Just want to say that I love this feature. Even though I rarely comment on it, I always read it with interest.

  2. oh, this is SUCH a cool idea!!! awesome to hear how they feel about it!

    here's my latest review if you want to stop by and leave the author some love!! http://lindsaycummingsblog.blogspot.com/2011/10/ashfall-review.html