“Back in my day” is my new go to phrase because back in my day things were different. Internet famous before social media was even really a thing. Readers all around the world logging in to check for the next installment of the original versions of Wildfire, Wounded, and the slew of other fictional pieces that were vastly left unwritten. Back then the pool was large but now it is an ocean. You didn’t have to tweet and subtweet, tag and hashtag, or mention to share. You just kind of showed up and hung your hat and if you were good at what you did your name would be added to the wall.
The thing that has always stood the test of time is that I am extra. I’ve never wanted to present something that was basic. I’m anti.basic. So when I created a website [TastingEden.Com] it was multipurpose. It wasn’t just a fan fiction site it was a resource for other writers and a hot spot for readers. It had the looks of a gotta-catch-em-all Pokemon of authors collection but that wasn’t my intent. I showcased and gave a home to other authors that I absolutely adored for their writing skills. I felt like ALL of our writing was so much bigger than the niche that we were pretty darn popular in. So not only did you have great writers with their own subsites on board but you also had author interviews (that was new back then), book trailers, writer/web-designer challenges and contests. WE accomplished so much as kids and I look back on it all like how did I ever have the time in the day to write, design, code, network, and be SUCCESSFUL at it? (Side note: I don’t remember the complicated coding or FLASH anymore…*deep sigh*)
As an adult I can say that I am proud of the fangirl that I was because it allowed me to exercise a creativity that I probably wouldn’t have had any other outlet for back then. It also gave me a means to hone my craft. My writing as a teenager already catered to an audience. An audience with instant gratification, instant reviews, instant feedback. What feels like a million years later, it is difficult not to want that again. You read it, where is my review? What were your thoughts? What did you love and what left you with a sour taste in your mouth? I miss that INSTANT high, that close connection to my readers that seemed closer than that of other people seated in the room next to me. Back in my day, we were connected…
I’m an old dog now and I’m learning new tricks. I’m learning that I have to tweet and mention and tag and post regularly to keep the conversation going. I have to build and honestly the building part sucks for me. It’s not because it’s work. I’m all about the work. Just imagine what it’s like to be a goddamn rockstar that bows out gracefully but then ten years later is like, let me pick this mic back up. Nobody knows who you are anymore but YOU know who you WERE and it’s hard to separate that. You have to build a new fan base and try not to stalk your old one — lol hey remember me? — which is another reason why I chose to re-release a second edition of WOUNDED. That story was published ten years ago but I could still read it now and find it just as relevant now as it was then. It definitely needed some tweaking but when I got started with the editing there wasn’t much to alter on the back-end. It is a nod to my original readers and an introduction to the new ones.
The biggest learning curve for me right now is marketing and promoting because times have changed. I’ve done book signings seated behind a table feeling awkward while people ask me questions. I’m anti.social too. Go figure. I’d rather the writing speak for itself as opposed to me speaking on it. One interesting thing that I am about to try out now though is a book blog tour. I can answer questions from within the comfort of my home while sipping spiked coffee and tapping my toes in fuzzy pink bunny slippers.
In the meantime I will be glued to my phone studying marketing, seeing how my ads are performing, connecting to other authors and readers, plotting out my hostile takeover. Let us not forget – I’M EXTRA!