Social Media is a Waste of Time for Writers—Hmmm, Think Again

I love this blog! There are social media lessons I need to learn from this post. Do you have any advice for a debut author? If so leave a comment. Thank you Warrior Writers for so many great posts.

Kristen Lamb's Blog

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We’ve been talking a lot about social media lately and I am always grateful for your comments and thoughts. This kind of feedback not only helps me improve my blog, but my also books, because I get a glimpse of your worries, weaknesses, fears, loves, and strengths.

As a teacher/mentor/expert, it’s my job to address those fears and put you at ease or reinforce when you’re headed the right direction and give you tools and tips to take what you’re doing to another level.

There’ve been some comments that have piqued my attention lately. Namely this notion to give up on social media completely to write more books (out of vexation for the medium and the task).


Social Media is a TOTAL Waste of Time

Write more books instead of tweeting or blogging. Social media is a giant time-suck better spent writing great books.

I don’t know how to…

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Time to move on to a more permanent location.

Window At Chawton

Window At Chawton

Things change. Thank God!

I thought I’d close out the old year on this site and open 2015 on my new website:

I’m so excited. My first book in the Fairy Wish Series set in Beetham is being released by Lyrical/Kensington in October 2015. I’ve setup a new website that will better handle a newsletter, blog, static pages, and other things I’ll need as a published author.

I hope you’ll follow me over there as I’ll be posting covers, announcements, and other tidbits of what I’m working on to the new site.  This site will be shutdown, but I’ve moved all the old blog posts to the new site.

So stop on by the new site and let me know what you think.

Happy New Year!

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When Poetry is the only way to say it

Goals and Tasks: Planning for SuccessWhen did we become so quick to hate? Race, religion, political disagreement, economic differences. It doesn’t seem to matter.  We even threaten others when they don’t end a series the way we thought it should. It’s all made easy and impersonal by social media.

I had an English teacher in high school, Mr. White. This was in the 70’s when race riots were happening on a regular basis. He asked a white kid, what color is your blood. He asked the same question of a black kid. Both answered red. He looked at the class and said “Then, where’s the difference?”

That has stayed with me my entire life. Racism is another form of hate.

Hate is not genetic. It’s taught. It’s taught from the moment we bring our innocent baby into this world. By our examples. By our reactions to the people around us.

When my feelings about something run deep, only poetry allows me to express it. I wrote this a few weeks ago.  So much hate and anger on the news, boiling over into our day-to-day activities. Both sides of the argument were more intent on expressing anger than empowering change. Only when we see our similarities with kindness and empathy will we be able to be the change.

When you strip away race, religion, sexual preference, political beliefs,  how different are we really?

What color is your blood? Mine is red.

Why do you hate me so?
We are mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters
We get up in the morning, work
Take care of families.
Wipe noses, comfort children.
Why do you hate me so?
The same sun rises in the morning
The moon at night.
We share the night sky in all its beauty.
The same earth beneath our feet.
Why do you hate me so?
We want the same things.
Peace. Love. Joy.
A better life for our children.
A home of our own.
Why do you hate me so?
Our blood flows red when cut
Our lungs fill with air, exhale
Our hearts beat fast in fear
And flutter in love.
Why do you hate me so?
We birth children
We suffer sorrow.
We laugh
We cry
We bleed
Feel pain
Are we so different?
Why do you hate me so?

Thanks for indulging me….

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Reaping the Benefits of RWA National Conference

photoRomance Writers of America National Conference ended last night in San Antonio, TX. I did not get to go this year, but I was able to grab nuggets from some of the workshops via Twitter live Feeds.


Thanks to many generous and social media savvy authors attending the conference, I was able to pick up notes from several workshops on promo, conflict, and world building.  Of course, it meant watching the feed for an hour but looking at what I gathered! It was worth it.

I favorited those really choice tweets that I wanted to review time and time again, but for the most part, I just jotted down notes by topic, date and time. Once the recordings are available, I’ll purchase those recordings to complete the topics and catch what I miss.

Here are some of the  notes I gathered from Rita Award Winning Author Sarah MacLean’s workshop on conflict:

  • Conflict drives the romance by keeping the hero and heroine together, but also apart.
  • Take out any conflict that doesn’t bring the H/H together.
  • Insurmountable odds  are those moments that make your reader breathless.
  • Every resolution of the conflict (in the middle) creates further complications.

Here are some of the notes from the Promo workshop by Catherine Bybee:

  • Keep yourself visible without being spam. You can talk about reviews, cross promote with other authors.
  • Don’t let a week go by without being online some way, some how.
  • Sell yourself and your voice
  • Think outside the box and use your writing talent.

Here’s some notes from the world building workshop by Louisa Edwards:

  • Be judicious in seeding details for future books/characters in the series.
  • Start a series bible with the first book.
  • Plot points in earlier books become world rules in later books. Be aware of this
  • If you must info dump, have the most humorous characters convey the information.

Those are just a few examples.  The beauty of twitter is you can go back and look things up by hashtags and users for the most part. Sarah’s workshop had the hashtags #conflict #rwa14. Catharine’s had #promo #rwa14.  I also added Catharine’s name to the search to screen out actual promo.

It doesn’t replace being there. It brings out my inner geekness, but at least for one hour on a Saturday I was able to get a good jolt of craft information to fuel my writing.

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Locating Jane Austen: The Author’s Influence Upon the English Tourism Business

Every Woman Dreams...

Recently, I partook of a short 4-day bus tour of the home of American Presidents in Virginia. Living in neighboring state of North Carolina, the trip was not exhausting, and so on the first day (before we settled in our hotel for the evening) we visited the home of the 5th President, James Monroe. Ash Lawn-Highland is billed as a “place of comfort and hospitality.” On the succeeding days we traveled to George Washington’s Mount Vernon, James Madison’s Montpelier, Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, and Woodrow Wilson’s Library and Museum. At each there were the typical tour guides, brochures, souvenirs, and period pieces, some reconstructed and some simply spoken of.

Like any serious writer, I carried my trusty laptop and spiral notebooks with me. Those who know me well know I am likely to carry my notebook to the physician’s office and write while I wait, so naturally, the tendency to write…

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The Call – Finally!

Every writer dreams of getting the call. That one-in-a-million call from a 212 area code (aka NYC). After about seven years of trying, my day came last month, quite unexpectedly. But isn’t that always the way?

The cell rang at 3pm on a Tuesday afternoon. It was a boring day at work. No afternoon meetings. Lots of people out. I glanced at the cell. Saw the 212 area code and thought, “Wonder who from my old job is calling me?”

My friends at my previous job sometimes called asking for references, checking in. Though rare, it wasn’t surprising. That it was an editor at Kensington was surprising.

Shock. Total and complete shock. Numb, I took the call outside, in the summer heat, where I could pace away the nerves.  They didn’t just want one book, they wanted the series. My response: “Seriously? You read it, right?”

My next thought was “Holy crap I have to write two more books and they are Regency historicals!”

I had switched genres. I set this project aside and started a contemporary series. I dropped out of the regency RWA chapter thinking writing Regency historicals wasn’t working for me. My voice was too contemporary. I am a walking, talking testament to Murphy’s Law.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s so exciting. I have a book coming out next year. It’s an ebook, but I don’t care. It’s a foot in the door. Once your foot is in, the rest of you follows.

Now I’m plotting. I don’t want to be a one-book-wonder. My next one has to be better than the first. Of course that’s not saying much. It needs some serious work. Not to mention all the mistakes I found while researching to prepare for Book Two.  Be careful what you wish for…. no seriously that’s the by-line I’m thinking of using.

The best part? The best part about the whole thing was sharing it with my writing friends. I love being part of such a group where we celebrate our successes.

I couldn’t get this far on the journey without them. I hope they feel the same.

The numbness has worn off. The work is beginning. Deadlines have a whole new meaning and I have a whole new name.

Let me introduce you to Eileen Richards, Romance Writer. Two words that are easy to pronounce. (Not like Pfaff).  I have a new look to the website, a facebook page, and updated twitter.

I’m Sandy Bruney reunion picstill little old me, just with a different name. If I don’t answer please be patient. I’m still trying to get used to someone calling my mother’s name.

Speaking of fabulous writing friends, thank you to Sandy Bruney for allowing me to participate in her blog tour.  She is a special lady and a gifted writer. Check out her website and her books.

Amy… oops! I mean Eileen


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Eye Strain Reducing Editing for Writers – #amediting #amwriting

And I’ll be trying this.

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