Engaging April Fools Day

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In a relationship with B.J. Quinlan.

In a relationship with B.J. Quinlan.

Yesterday I participated in a Facebook April Fools Day prank inspired by B.J. Quinlan, a man with whom I am now sharing a wonderful relationship. Although we’ve known each other for two years, it was only recently that things became romantic — mostly because of me. Although I’d acknowledged his interest in me a long time ago, for a variety of reasons having nothing to do with him, I hadn’t been ready to explore the possibilities.

Previously on Facebook (and everywhere else online), I’d kept my personal relationship status to myself. Even after it was apparent that B.J. and I had serious potential, I preferred to keep our budding relationship to myself (at least on the internet) for a while.

That is, until he approached me with an idea to have a little fun with an April Fools prank: announce our engagement on Facebook. At first I hesitated because I did not want to hurt my family and friends who are incredibly encouraging but finally — on the condition that I alert my mother ahead of time — I decided to go for it. Real friends and family would understand and get the joke.

What I wasn’t prepared for was the amazing outpouring of sincere joy and congratulations during the hours people actually believed we were officially engaged. Most got a big chuckle out of our joke and understood that we used April Fools as a vehicle to announce our relationship. Many thanks to all who commented and messaged me — your interest means more than I could ever adequately express.

And for the first time in my nearly seven years on Facebook, I have a public status that states: “In a relationship.”

Very exciting!

 

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Happy Anniversary CLFA!

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Just over a year ago, my friend and fabulous writer/author Jamie Wilson added me to a new Facebook group –  Conservative Libertarian Fiction Alliance. And I am so thankful she did because I’ve not only developed wonderful friendships but also discovered a wealth of creative talent to interview on Writestream Tuesday. Eventually, my involvement in the CLFA led to a great new segment in the show’s second hour – Right Wing Riot – Public Service Satire featuring Scary Smart, Ms. Always Right, and The Prince of Whitebread.

And on Tuesday, December 16, I’ll welcome one of CLFA’s founders, Marina Fontaine, to the program to share her thoughts about the CLFA’s  purpose, growth, and goals for 2015. We’ll also delve into universal challenges facing independent authors like choosing the right platform for you book, managing expectations, and using social media for success. Other topics to be discussed include how to write an honest but constructively critical review for fellow indy authors, and how CLFA members manage to remain friends even when passionate thread topics become….well, passionate.

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During the live show, we may even add to some of the gift-giving suggestions from the December 2 episode and welcome calls from CLFA members and Writestream listeners at (347) 945-7246.  After the first hour, stay tuned for the Right Wing Riot with Scary Smart, Ms. Always Right, and The Prince of Whitebread!

To listen via computer, click on this link to Blog Talk Radio, Writestream Tuesday: Happy Anniversary CLFA! Or to listen by phone, dial (347) 945-7246.

 

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The Snobby Girl Cancer Club

Announcing the formation of a new, private Facebook group for women dealing with cancer and those who love them: Snobby Girl Cancer Club.

Snobby Girl Cancer Club with Lucy

 

Meet Lucy. Lucy is our Snobby Girl mascot representing Lady Cancer Awareness.

Lucy is stepping out in her finest to promote the awareness of breast, endometrial, uterine, cervical and ovarian cancer.

You are cordially invited to become of member of the Snobby Girl Club. Our club is exclusive as we are not soliciting members but alas, they will find us. You see, our girls have all dealt with cancer whether as a Fighter, NED (No Evidence of Disease), Survivor, or Caregiver. Lucy is our symbol of beauty and hope for a cure.

We will be offering a line of clothing with Lucy and Ovarian Cancer Awareness. She will sport a sassy little ribbon off of her tail. As of now, this ribbon is teal; however, we have plans to incorporate other colors.

Maureen and I have several plans in the works for full line of Snobby Girl apparel and other items, so stay tuned to her Maureen Miles Bucci Author Page for breaking news. See you in the Snobby Girl Club! ;)

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Social Media, Book Sales and Managing Expectations

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Although I originally broadcast this episode back in 2011, the advice is still relevant. It’s a delicate balance between budget, time, and expectations but if you’re going to make an impression and sell books as an independent author, social media is a necessary tool (in addition to “traditional” events like local speaking engagements). As someone who manages social media for individuals and businesses, it’s always a challenge to help authors understand its value when all they can see is the bottom line. I get it. You have limited resources and need to see a return on your investment asap. I wish we lived in a world where there was a direct correlation between effort (e.g. an appearance on a Blog Talk Radio show) and results (immediately following your interview you sell 100 books). Sadly, we don’t.

Then again, with traditional print advertising, there’s never been a guarantee that an ad costing X amount of dollars would directly result in X amount of sales. Either way, it’s a time commitment for the social media consultant hired to manage your blog and/or platforms so you can concentrate on the other more important obligations in your life — such as family and day job.

Anyway, I happened across the archived episode back when I was in a different business partnership. I hope it’s helpful for anyone curious about using social media platforms for success as an independent author. And let me close by adding I am very grateful to be in business with Lisa Tarves now!

Check Out Business Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with InspireMeChat on BlogTalkRadio

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Writestream Tuesday welcomes ‘Amy Lynn’ author Jack July – UPDATED with Archive

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AmyLynnNext week’s Writestream Tuesday resumes interviews with the talented authors of the CLFA on Facebook. I’m thrilled to welcome Jack July, author of the exceptional novel Amy Lynn, to the show on March 18 at 1 p.m. Eastern:

Come fall in love with a little Southern Christian Girl as well as her eclectic family as she grows into a woman, a very special woman with very special skills. Life is a journey, Amy Lynn takes a wild one. The violence and sexuality of this book make it inappropriate for those under 16 years of age.

July’s book enjoys an amazing five-star rating with 52 reviews on Amazon like this one:

I originally bought this book as an act of charity. The author participates on a blog that I frequent, he mentioned a few months ago that he had written a book. “Good for you” I thought, and then moved on. In the weeks following, I noticed a few people commenting how much they liked the book. This plus the fact that I had always liked Jack’s posts on the blog led me to but the book. I figured, “Hey, he seems like a nice guy, I’ll throw him a buck or two in royalties”.

Boy, am I glad that I did. What Mr. July has done here is commit a wanton act of storytelling. The book reads like a tale told by a much loved older relative, the kind of thing that keeps kids spellbound on the porch of the family home as a perfect summer evening darkens to night. At times while I was reading it I almost expected to see the wink of a firefly in my peripheral vision or to hear the whine of a mosquito as settled onto my neck for a late evening snack. That’s the world Mr. July takes you to, and the prose is so brisk and compelling that it almost seems that, to steal a line from the newsreels, “YOU ARE THERE!”.

Amy Lynn is a delightfully charming coming of age story that should replace the putrid A Separate Peace in middle school classrooms across the nation (God DAMN you John Knowles, 30+ years later and I still keenly feel the loss of however many hours I wasted on your excrement). If I had one complaint it’s that the author seems to slightly overuse the deus ex machina plot device, but it’s always in the service of moving the story forward and can be forgiven. If Mr. July continues to write stories, however, he might want to keep a close eye on this tendency. Late in the book, as the story of a simple hillbilly girl has widened onto the world stage, the President of the United States appears. I laughed out loud with glee when I realized that what Mr. July had done, giving me at least in fiction something I had devoutly hoped for in real life. Thanks for that Mr. July, I loved it.

In short, buy this book. If you don’t want to, buy it anyway, it’s just that good.

I cannot wait to interview Jack July on Writestream Tuesday on March 18 at 1 p.m. Eastern. As always, we welcome your calls at 347-945-7246 and your participation in the live chat!

 

UPDATE: Did you miss it live? Click below to listen.

More Writing Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with Writestream on BlogTalkRadio
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