Promoting Other Authors

Author, blogger, reviewer Sheila Deeth, interviewed me for her blog, and here is one of the questions she asked, followed by my response:

You are always such an encouragement to other writers, posting excerpts, interviews, character interviews, offering advice, sharing experiences. . . . What do you think drives your generosity?

I don’t consider such online activities as generosity, just part of the internet experience. I never quite knew what to do on Facebook, for example — I don’t like games or sharing cute animal photos or any of the other things that clog the news feed — so I built up a couple of discussion groups. It gave me a way of interacting with people and besides, I love talking about the whole writing process. As for the interviews and such. Well, that was a fluke. My personal blog is blue, but I figured out how to change the color, so just for fun, I did an orange blog, a green one, a red one, a purple one, and then I had to figure out what to do with all of them. A book blog and an interview blog seemed the obvious use for two of them since I came in contact with so many authors. The interview blog especially has a fairly good rating, and it seems a waste if I don’t have an interview to post, so I keep promoting it.

In the back of my mind, I hoped that all the author karma I’m building up would somehow help catapult my books to stardom, but so far, it hasn’t happened. But that was never the point of promoting authors on my blogs. As I said, that was mostly a fluke.

(You can find the rest of the interview here: My thanks to author Pat Bertram)

That is only part of why I promote other authors on my blogs. The truth is even less altruistic than I made it sound. I’ve had those two author blogs for several years and just posted sporadically until a couple of years ago. After the death of my life mate/soul mate, I got addicted to a few of the games on my computer — Spider Solitaire, Mahjong Titans, and FreeCell. I so desperately needed for something to work out, I kept playing the games over and over until I won. I couldn’t redo my life, so there was some sort of comfort in redoing something — anything — until it came out right. And the games were a way of taking a vacation from the pain that all but consumed me at times.

When I realized how obsessed I had become, I decided to go cold turkey and give up the games, but I still needed something to do to break the hold of grief when it got too much for me to handle, so I substituted blogging — posting excerpts and author interviews to promote other authors in addition to daily blogging here on Bertram’s Blog. I figured that at least I would be doing some good with my online activities, which is something that cannot be said about computer games.

As for why I keep up with promoting other authors now that my grief is dissipating . . . well, it’s the right thing to do. If you want me to interview you, you can find the questions and instructions here: Author Questionnaire

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Pat Bertram is the author of the conspiracy novels Light Bringer, More Deaths Than One, A Spark of Heavenly Fire, and Daughter Am I. Bertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.” Connect with Pat on Google+

Introduction to Beth Groundwater, Author of “A Real Basket Case”

When I first joined Facebook, like many new members, I hadn’t a clue what to do, so I became a moderator of an almost defunct writing group called the Suspense/Thriller Writers. Sounds ho-hum, doesn’t it? But it was that simple. I was trolling around the site, looking for groups that might interest me, and I stumbled on that particular group. It had eight members at the time. On the right sideboard was a button that said, “become a moderator of this group.” I was curious what becoming a moderator would entail, so I clicked the button. And that’s how I became the moderator of the group. To make it a viable group, rather than a typical Facebook group where people just posted book covers and other promotional bits, I decided to have weekly discussions.

Brazen me, I picked people from the group at random (after an active membership drive I had over 1,500 members because those were the days authors were signing up for facebook  in droves. Or do I mean signing up in murders — you know, like a murder of crows. What else do you call a convocation of mystery writers?) and asked if they’d like to host a discussion. That was my introduction to Beth Groundwater. Three years ago — November 13, to be exact — I asked if she’d host a discussion, and she said yes. (One of the many strangenesses of Facebook is that the email discussion about the discussion is archived for all times, which is how I know the date, but the discussion itself, which took place on November 18, 2008, has disappeared into the great maw of Facebook’s yesteryear.)

It was an apropos discussion, too, considering all the changes Facebook has made. To lead off her discussion, Beth said, “I’d like to see the members of this group help each other figure out how to effectively use the features of Facebook to promote themselves and their books without turning off members of the network.” Today, without the discussion board and the help we offered each other, any serious discussions rapidly disappear beneath the steady stream of self-promotion. So all we can do is post information about our books, probably turning off the members of the network in the process.

The discussions may have disappeared from the group, but Beth is still there and still a class act.

The title of this post is Introduction to Beth Groundwater, Author of “A Real Basket Case,” but all I did was natter on about me and my running battle with Facebook. So, I’ll tell you what — if you click the link below, it will take you to my other blog where I am interviewing Beth. And that interview is all about her. I promise.

Click here for an interview with: Beth Groundwater, Author of “A Real Basket Case”