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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Don’t Forget to Write the Movie Version

I finally had the chance to watch the “Hollywood” release of the big screen adaptation of 50 Shades of Grey. I didn’t rush to the theater upon it’s much anticipated release like most of my demographic; instead I waited in fear for the DVD release. I say “in fear” because like most readers I’m often disappointed when I see a movie following a particularly poignant read. I was disappointed for various reasons, but most importantly it made me think about writing in a different way. As I watched I started checking off a list of things I would have done differently and my mind went to my novels. The reason I turned the pages of that particular book was two-fold. One obvious answer and one maybe not so obvious. First, it was the first book I’d read at that point that introduced a love scene on almost every page and second, the inter dialogue of the protagonist and her inherent struggle was interesting. Those two qualities failed in the movie.

As I take away those observations I wonder how many authors think about the movie version of their work. Not who will be cast, but how it will translate mediums. We’re writing in an age where most everyone watches movies. Often when we read we imagine the Hollywood version. At least I do.

My next challenge – and I’m always looking for one – is to circle back to my works in progress and evaluate at a deeper level if I’m really creating not only a scene but an experience that allows the reader to transfer the written word into a screen adaptation in their mind. I think this exercise will uncover any weak areas where I haven’t portrayed a “GMC” (Goal, Motivation, Conflict) well enough. One of my ongoing works, The Fifth Day, has given me a bit of run for my money in this area, and I think this new outlook could help me turn this work around. Let’s see what I can do. Check back.

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To Share or Not to Share Via FanFiction

This is a questions I’ve been asking myself recently. I’ve written a new novel; The Fifth Day. Actually, I finished it last summer, but between working for a living and digesting review comments, I was at a standstill. Now I’m refreshed and no longer paralyzed at the thought of a rewrite.
So my question is, once I’m ready to share, should I post on a FanFiction site or two?May authors have gained traction this way, but is it safe? How is it regarded among authors, editors, agents and publishers? I’ve heard Fifty Shades of Grey got started this way. Hmm. The prospect has me thinking. Let me know your thoughts. Would love to get feedback.

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Thinking Like a Guy

As a fun, little treat for my readers, I’m writing a Call Me Emily spin-off. Meet Colin is the story of Colin Ryan, his life and perspective as he meets and develops a friendship with Emily. Colin is a young, part-time instructor at Cal West University. Emily is a freshman at Cal West and immediately takes to Colin as a mentor and friend. He keeps his distance, making sure he is professional at all times. But circumstances change, and soon Emily and Colin are dealt a new hand. One with a few more possibilities.

Call Me Emily deals with these scenarios from Emily’s perspective. And how fun it’s been to write Emily’s life  through her eyes. But wouldn’t it be interesting to write from another character’s perspective? Wouldn’t it be cool to meet Emily and interact with her from a guy’s perspective?

So given that you all said YES and jumped up and down with enthusiasm,  I will soon bring you Meet Colin. It may simply be a piece of writing or a short story – I don’t know yet. But I do know I’m having a good time writing it.

I noticed a few things when I started with Colin’s perspective. I’m in a sense writing a snapshot of the male psyche. With each word I feel a shift in language, attitude and even posture. Yes…posture. I know it seems crazy. It surprised me too. But I felt my shoulders relax and my ankles uncross. The dialog is different, of course it is, but I also found the narration to be characteristically different than my usual voice. It’s almost as if, when I’m writing, I have a different personality.

So in the next few weeks I’ll be transported back to southern California at Cal West University, but not as a female student, instead as a male professor. I’ll interact with Colin’s friends and colleagues and get an idea where he comes from, what his family is like, and what stamp past relationships have left on him.

To wet your appetite, here’s the introduction:

Meet Colin

“You’re doing what?”

“You heard me.” Luke. The one who couldn’t wait to get out of college and now I’m going back. Well, not really the way it sounds. I’m going back to teach.

“They approached me, Luke.” I shrugged, as if that was it. It wasn’t. I wanted to be a part of the education system again. I wanted to make a difference in some way, give back. Why was it so hard to understand?

“I’m just sayin’, Colin, it’s weird. You’re finally free and now you want to go back to Cal West. I don’t know. Sounds crazy to me.” Luke took his last swig of beer, bringing the bottle down on the bar with a thud.

“We didn’t just graduate, Luke. It’s been a few years. And anyway…I’m looking forward to it.”

“I’m sure you are.” Luke made a face and turned on his bar stool. “Why do you like this place anyway? It’s practically falling down, there are no chicks, and where’s the damn bartender?”

I didn’t bother answering him. Instead I pushed a few dollars across the bar and finished my beer. I guess not everyone got the cool vibe I did from this old clam shack. I didn’t care. He didn’t need to love this place and he didn’t need to be excited about my new teaching gig. I was. And that was enough.

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The Path to Published

Sometimes It’s the small steps that count the most.

On my “path to published” I push on day by day, submitting queries and refining my writing skills.

But back to the small steps. I’ve talked so much about how writing fiction has changed my life. The creativity, the love of my characters, the evolution of my writing. All those things have fed my soul to a degree that’s hard to explain – but I’ll try. I love it. There’s something about crawling into the pages of my books and living with all of the characters that have somehow become my friends. What I didn’t expect is how another kind of writing would grow out of my love for fiction writing.

Recently I got up enough nerve to approach the editor of the Auburn Journal. The Journal is Auburn’s local newspaper. The editor and I talked at our local coffee shop for a total of about ten seconds and then I followed up with several emails. At first he seemed perplexed. Why is Laura contacting me? She wants to what? But I explained.

I want to write. I want to write. I want to write.

A few weeks passed and I received my first assignment. I was nervous as hell but I went for it and…they liked my article enough to publish it. So on Wednesday, June 8th the article I wrote about a new business in town had some seriously good real estate as the top story in the Auburn Journal business section.

So it’s official. I’m published! Maybe not the Emily Series yet, but that’s next. In the meantime I have two more stories for the Home and Garden section of the Journal to write this weekend. The first should run next Thursday the 23rd. Look for my name – Laura Albright Journal Correspondent.

Wish me luck!

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