Social Media and Today’s Author

Social Media set-up. Wow! It’s a ton of work.

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I’m working on a new novel, The Fifth Day. I’ll publish this work under the pen name LJ Bethmann as it falls into the Adult Fiction Romance Genre. Writing, editing and publishing a novel is work enough, but add in all the social media set up and I’m in for it. I wrote and published the Emily Series from 2009 to 2012 and set up all of the respective websites and social media accounts. It’s safe to say I’ve forgotten the magnitude of work. Between Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Instagram, Amazon, Create Space, Kobo, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords and so on, it’s daunting. Let’s not forget the design, hosting and launch of my new author website: ljbethmann.com.

So if you’re looking for advice, keep looking. Just kidding! It’s one step at a time for me. And keep in mind there most definitely avenues not mentioned here that I have yet to learn about. But I will. Ask the right people the right questions and boom; the perfect hook-up.

Check back here for updates and directions to the new websites.

Best, as always,

Laura

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It’s Not You…It’s Me!

I have been a remiss blogger. I know. I hang my head in shame.

To update you, The Emily Series is still my first love, but life has thrown me some curve-balls as of late, and I have been focusing on a new job. I love it, but it takes most of my time and all of the energy that I would otherwise give The Emily Series and subsequent novels.

But hey, it’s summer and when I think of warm summers and long ago loves, I think of Meet Emily. If you haven’t read the final novel in The Emily Series, now’s the time. Here’s a little teaser:

When Emily Parker returns to her hometown after several years, she’s reminded of the rolling hills and captivating quiet, the fond memories of growing up and one lost love. Years of relationships falling short behind her, she’s finally happy on her own. So why when she makes the turn into her hometown does she think of that one boy, that one relationship that only lasted the span of a summer but stayed on her mind over the years? Why have all other relationships paled in comparison?

Two Rivers

Introducing  Christian

   I was impressed, but he brushed it off as if it was no great feat. We laughed and talked about so many things, yet really nothing at all. We stood by the water and skipped rocks, counting how many skips the rocks made.

“So these are two separate rivers?” he asked.

“Yeah. See over there?” I pointed. “See where they come together?”

He leaned in closer to me and looked down my arm. “Oh, Yeah I see it,” he replied stepping back just a half step. “But then …”

I looked over my shoulder at him knowing what he was seeing. “Then they separate. I know.”

“So they don’t meet up again?” he asked.

“No, they only come together here.” I dusted my hands off against my legs and moved away from the water’s edge. I sat back against a tree and crossed my legs. He moved in beside me.

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For You Locals – The Emily Series Available at Wildflower

For all of you Auburn folks The Emily Series is now in stores. OK, a store, let’s not nit pick. Wildflower in downtown Auburn now carries Call Me Emily, Emily Calls It, Emily’s Calling and Meet Emily. My teen fiction series is perfect for anyone, but that special teen in your life that is just about to embark on one of the most tumultuous and exciting times in their lives – College – would love the Emily Series.
Wildflower is located in downtown Auburn at 809 Lincoln Way.

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Meet Emily: Get Your Copy April 30th

Book Four • The Emily Series

Meet Emily

To be released April 30, 2013

The fourth and final teen fiction book in the Emily Series Meet Emily will be available in paperback and e-book versions.

Meet Emily, Book Four – The Emily Series, starts with Emily’s return to her hometown of Two Rivers. She’s settled now, past the drama of college and that first year entrenched in her career.

An unexpected invitation comes in the mail bringing her back to her hometown and the memories she’s long forgotten.

She finds herself slipping back into those last summer months and remembering her town, her friends, her family, and one long lost love. A man she’s thought of through the years and compared everyone to.

Will she see him again? Is that even a possibility?
Read Meet Emily and find out.

Meet Emily is the forth book to be published in a four book series. Call Me Emily, Emily Calls It, and Emily’s Calling.

Released in paperback and Kindle on Amazon.com
http://www.amazon.com/Meet-Emily-The-Series-ebook/dp/B00CGPVJSE/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1366739234&sr=8-3&keywords=Laura+Albright
Barnes & Noble for Nook:
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/meet-emily-laura-albright/1115161453?ean=2940016667027
Smashwords for all other digital downloads including HTML, .pdf and iPad:
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/305843

Kobo Books:

http://www.kobobooks.com/ebook/Meet-Emily/book-lml2sx_W3k6vqcaxLfcijg/page1.html?s=Ad4KiT-bDUW5yedsNMms9Q&r=1

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Meet Emily: Available April 30th

That’s right, Meet Emily, the fourth and final book in the Emily Series will be published in both print and electronic versions April 30th.

Just visit Amazon, Barnes&Noble Smashwords or Kobo.

And don’t forget to pick up the first three to complete the set: Call Me Emily, Emily Calls It and Emily’s Calling.

 Meet Emily

When Emily Parker returns to her hometown after several years, she’s reminded of the rolling hills and captivating quiet, the fond memories of growing up and one lost love. Years of relationships falling short behind her, she’s finally happy on her own. So why when she makes the turn into her hometown does she think of that one boy, that one relationship that only lasted the span of a summer but stayed on her mind over the years? Why have all other relationships paled in comparison?

 

 

 

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Character Introduction #7: Christian

My final character introduction for the first book, Call Me Emily is Christian. He is a phantom character in Call Me Emily, but important none-the-less. Christian is by far the most interesting character to talk about. At least I think so. And probably not for the reasons you’d assume. He is Emily’s first love.  She meets him the summer before she leaves for college. Just when she’s mentally dismissed her home town and is ready for a new life, Christian enters bringing love and wonder. He’s articulate, sweet, well traveled and passionate.  And behind his eyes lives a world of possibility she never knew existed.

So, who is Christian to me? What’s most interesting  is that Christian represents a place. A place that has, and always will live inside me. A place that fills me with something I can’t really even describe. But, then again, can be perfectly described with one word – love.

I refer to Emily’s home town as  “Two Rivers.” I describe it in Call Me Emily “I grew up here.  In this small northern California valley, where the livestock and grape vine counts exceeded the population by thousands.” I absolutely base Two Rivers on my home town Potter Valley. When I lived there, from the time I was in second grade through high school, I  accepted it as the jail that kept me limited and behind the times. I longed for the day when I would see the welcome sign in my rear view mirror for the last time. To get out and experience life, that’s what I wished for.

When I left, The Valley didn’t take offense or even hiccup. It stayed, just as it had been, perfect and magical simply waiting for my return. It never judged me, nor did it try to lead me in a direction it thought best for me. Instead, it observed my trials and tribulations hoping that someday I’d find myself and consequently find it again.

During my personal journey of thirty nine years I have fallen in love with my home town again. It happened recently at my reunion. I always knew it was a beautiful place, but I never remembered its beauty the way I do now.  I don’t hang my hat there anymore, but I know when I visit it welcomes me with open arms and reserves a place on the coat rack for whatever I choose to leave there.

Emily stays away from her home town for years, returning in the final book, Meet Emily. Upon that return she feels a new connection with her town and the memories of the time she spent there take on a new light. And we wonder after such an up and down journey, has she found love? A true love without conditions and judgments. And who is that love?

Here is an excerpt from Meet Emily:

I was impressed, but he brushed it off as if it was no great feat. We laughed and talked about so many things, yet really nothing at all. When we reached the water’s edge we both dipped and scooped a handful of rocks as if we knew the others plans. He skipped one across the surface and I looked on surprised because it was my intention to do the same all along. I counted my skips under my breath and he heard me. His crooked smile said it. He pointed toward the water with a handful of rocks still rattling around in his palm.

“So these are two separate rivers?”
“Yeah. See over there?” I pointed. “See where they come together?”
He leaned in closer to me and looked down my arm. “Oh, yeah.” he replied stepping back just a half step. “But then …?” His eyes narrowed.
I looked over my shoulder at him knowing what he was seeing. “Then they separate again. I know.” My words were laced with sadness and I didn’t really know why.
“So they don’t meet up again?” he asked.
“No, they only come together here.” I dusted my hands off against my legs and moved away from the water’s edge. I sat back against a near tree and crossed my legs. He moved in beside me.

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Character Introduction #6 Jessica and Shayla

This character introduction might be the most fun I’ve had telling all of you about my characters.  Shayla and Jessica are ever present in the whole Emily series as it spans the four books.

Jessica is Emily’s best friend from way back. They’ve known each other since grammar school, so to them it feels like sisterhood. Jessica is a soft and sweet soul. She’s the friend that is always there even when she’s not. Much time can pass and Emily and Jessica hardly skip a beat; jumping right back into conversation as if the phone was never hung up. Jessica goes to college in Washington State, miles away from Emily, but during the summer break they meet back in their home town and mischievous events occur.

Speaking of mischievous. Shayla fits into that word like a hand does to a glove. For as far back as anyone can remember, Emily, Jessica and Shayla were inseparable. Jessica the calm and Shayla the instigator. If you ever need a laugh, a lift or a smile, Shayla is your girl. She’s fun to the core, and you can’t help but unconditionally love her – although you wish for conditions every moment you are around her. Emily considers herself the buffer between Jessica and Shayla, but no buffer is every really needed. The dynamic between the three of them is priceless and beautiful.

And now comes the part of the post when I tell you what these characters mean to me.  As I have mentioned in past character introductions, many of my characters have no basis in my reality. They are fiction through and through. I’d be lying if I told you Jessica and Shayla fell into that category.

Jessica is based upon my friend Larise. A truly wonderful person who spends her days enlightening the minds of second graders and her nights tending to her beautiful family. She lives far away and we rarely are able to talk, but when I hear her voice or see her handwriting I can’t help but be pulled from whatever I’m doing and placed smack back into the last time we communicated; as if no time had passed at all.

Shayla is based upon my friend Shannon. Shannon is another truly amazing person who has the power and energy of a small child yet she’s perfectly evolved.  She’s funny. – I mean really funny, but soulful at the same time. She’s almost hard to describe, but to really nail it I’d have to quote the reaction everyone has to her. It goes something like this: “I just love that girl.” and “You can’t help but love Shannon.”

What’s been amazing about the writing process is that even though I have been apart from these two amazing women for far too long, I felt like I saw them every day while I brought my stories to life. We recently reunited, and when I finally pulled them into my arms and gave them a well deserved hug, I felt like I missed them less than I would have had they not lived in the pages I spent the last few years writing.

So, thank you Larise and Shannon for being at my side while I rounded out this story of love and friendship. Because you both are truly my love and my friendship.

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Character Introduction #2: Allison

Week two of my introduction of characters continues with Allison. Allison is a sweet girl. Coy and almost meek.  On the surface she seems like the kind of girl that doesn’t really get it. She’s shy, impressionable and a little behind the times. But realizing that first impressions are not always correct, Emily’s opinion of Allison changes over time.

Allison comes from a tight knit family in the Midwest. She lives on campus, but takes an interest in the Greek system almost immediately. She’s petite, with small doll-like features and chin length blond curly hair. She befriends Emily the first day of school without judgment or agenda. And, as time passes, her warmth and caring nature shine through any preconceived notions Emily may have had.

To say that I based Allison on any one individual would be like saying I only like one brand of chocolate. How is that even possible? When I started writing Allison’s character I pictured her as an average college student. Then as time passed, she grew into an amazing woman and friend to Emily. And I must admit, I’ve met girls like Allison who later evolved into incredible women. And I’m fortunate to call those women my friends today.

Allison is Emily’s support system. It’s no secret that I’m aiming the book’s theme at young women. And I often think we devalue the importance of friendship and support, especially at that age.  Emily goes through a great deal during her journey through young adulthood, and the support of her friends is a large part of why she is able to carry on. Allison is the backbone of that support. Allison is friendship.

Below is an excerpt from Call Me Emily.

Allison and I met for coffee bright and early Monday morning. Our Bistro was bustling with college students. I got there before her and grabbed a table in the back. Although I had met a few people, I didn’t see anyone I knew. I tapped my fingernails on the table and sipped my coffee as I watched people walk by and waited for Allison. She arrived without Melinda and Heather, which was what I was hoping for. They were nice girls, but seemed very self-involve.

“So what have you been up to?” she asked, or shall I say accused. I called you a couple of times this weekend; what’s up?”

“Oh it’s been crazy with this new job,” I said and she nodded. “Oh, and I went out on a couple of dates.” I looked down at my feet and smiled.  “Other than that, I was around. I didn’t have a message from you.”

“What? Who?” Allison prodded. “Don’t tell me, that guy from the club?” she asked and I nodded.

“So, What’s going on there?” she continued,  taking a sip of her coffee.

“Just a couple of dates, Allison. He’s fun.”

“Huh. And hot!” She made an attempt to wink at me. I thought it was cute. I shrugged my shoulders in agreement.  “So Spanish Girl, do you want to go shopping with me this afternoon?”

“Totally, but you can stop calling me Spanish Girl; Graham has.”

“Really, how did that come about? My guess is …well, never mind … you tell,” she said taking another sip of her coffee.

“You know, just spending time together.” Allison didn’t buy it, but I thought I’d try to sell it.

“So have you?”

“Allison!” I was surprised she was so forward. I guessed her association with Melinda and Heather was changing her a bit. Not quite the awkward and quiet Michigan girl anymore. “No, we haven’t. So far just a couple of amazing kisses.” I looked at the ceiling when I said “amazing” hoping she would get the point.

“That’s what I was thinking actually. That good huh?”

I sighed. “That good.” We both sipped our coffee at the same time. I had a hard time creating a seal with my lips due to the large smile I had plastered across them.

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The One-Sentence Summary

I recently was challenged to write a one-sentence summary of my books. I say that I was “challenged”, making it sound like a live person came to me and actually challenged me, but that wasn’t really the case.  I was reading a blog I often frequent by Rachelle Gardner.  She’s a literary agent that offers some of the best literary advice I’ve found on this huge thing we call “the internet.” On this particular day in May, her post offered a contest to see who could come up with the best one-sentence summary, also known as a logline, hook or pitch. She asked that it be around 25 words (but not more than 45) that capture your novel; almost like a snapshot.  So I thought, humm, how hard can that be? Then I started.

The guidelines asked that I include a character, their conflict, what’s at stake, and the action.  I started with my first book, Call Me Emily. It was about 9:00 in the evening. Then it was 11:00. If I were some mad writer with a typewriter, there would have been crumpled paper everywhere and my head smashing the keys so loudly that I would have woken up my husband. But my little laptop is surprisingly quiet, and even pounding the delete key over and over didn’t wake him. Finally, the next day,  I bounced a couple of my ideas off some friends, but came up empty again. I skipped over Call Me Emily and went on to write pitches for Emily Calls It and Meet Emily. And those one-sentence summaries only took me about twenty minutes to write.

So what this exercise taught me, is that you can’t write a one-sentence summary if you are at all conflicted about the story you are trying to pitch. I took a closer look at Call Me Emily, evaluated my story, and made some changes. Once I gave myself permission to really dig into the story and change things up, the summary practically wrote itself. Well not exactly, but you get the picture.

So here are my one-sentence summaries:

Call Me Emily

When Emily leaves her small town for a big city college, she thinks she’s got it all figured out, but when manipulation, vanity and pleasure enter her life (AKA Graham), she must decide if she can stay true to herself.

Emily Calls It

Emily continues on her path, returning to her home town seeking solace and clarity, but encounters more romantic drama making finding herself a challenge.

Meet Emily

When Emily returns to her home town years later for an event, it doesn’t occur to her who might be in attendance, and how Christian might lead her to question all of her past decisions.

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