Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The Slutty Idea

I was working with a high school creative writing class. A young man raised his hand and asked, “What do you do when you’re working on one story but then get an idea for another story?”

“Ah,” I said, “That’s what I like to call the slutty idea.**”

The class laughed and then I explained, “The slutty idea is that idea that shows up unexpectedly and says, ‘Hey there. Pay attention to me. I’m your best idea ever and I’ll be so easy to write. I promise. Forget that other story. I’m the one you want to work on.’” 

(I did this last part in my best-but-appropriate-for-the-audience sexy voice. I'm sure my son was thankful he wasn't in the classroom that day.) 

I told the kids that, in my own experience, the slutty idea likes to show right in the middle of a hard part. “It usually means I’m stuck and just need to keep pushing through on my current project,” I told them. 

I also told them that sometimes, if the slutty idea seems really interesting, I might take some time to write it down or jot a quick outline. That usually satisfies the itch, so to speak. 

Slutty ideas can be so tempting. It’s the whole “the grass is always greener” thing. But sometimes the grass really *is* greener. Right? How do we know when to abandon one idea for another? 

Ask yourself:

* Am I stuck/having trouble in my current work-in-progress? 

* Do I still believe in my current idea? Is it something that makes me happy, I’m passionate about or think is marketable?

* Have I invested a lot of time and energy in my current idea? Am I close to finishing? 

* Can the slutty idea wait? Meaning, the idea is really good but not necessarily a super time sensitive or “hot” genre/topic. 

If any of these answers are Yes, keep working on your current project and let that slutty idea simmer and see what happens. If, on the other hand, that other idea keeps calling and calling you and find that you can’t stop listening to it, then maybe take a break and explore it. 

How about you? Have you ever had a slutty idea? How did you handle it? 

**I’m sure I didn’t coin this phrase. But I can’t remember where I heard it first.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

After the Book Deal- Months 9-6

A while back I decided to do a blog series called After the Book Deal. These posts are meant to help writers navigate through the process of what to do after you get the book offer. If you're like me, you've been focusing on your craft of writing, but now it's so much more.

Here's the first post: After the Book Deal- The First Three Months

So what's next?

Brand Yourself
I know we are all creative people, but you need to think about these questions before you go any further:

1. Who do you want the world to see you as?
2. What is important to you?
3. What are you hoping to accomplish through your writing?
4. How do you want to reach your fans and to what extent?

Once you've made those decisions, you're ready for the next step.


Having swag can help promote your book in advance and provide ways to 'thank' those who supported your book by tweeting or blogging about your book.
  • Marissa Meyer has great ideas here.
  • For tattoos, I used this site.
  • For bookmarks and bookplates, I used this site.
  • For magnets and business cards, check out Vista Print because if you pay attention you can get great things for free from them.

Create an Author Facebook Page

Check out Nathan Bransford's post here. He has a blow by blow instructions on how to do it.

You'll need to decide if you should make up a page based on your book's title or on your author's name.

Check out my author Facebook page for ideas here.

Set Up a Website
There are a host of great web designers out there. I choose Biondo Studies because she's professional, her work is clean with excellent quality and she worked with me through the entire process. Here's my website.

Some things to consider when setting up your site:

1. This site should represent you and who you are.
2. Make sure it's easy to navigate and readers are able to find out where to order your book easily.
3. Create reasons why readers will want to go to your site. Do you offer something that is unique? Is your blog connected to your site.
4. Your site shouldn't be stagnant. It should constantly be changing and improving, always drawing readers to come to it.

Social Media

Pinterest, Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter. Make sure you have a reason for whatever social media you are using. If you don't have a reason, don't use that media source.

How about you, are there any other recommendations you have?

Christina Farley's debut YA, GILDED, releases spring 2014 by Skyscape Amazon Children's Publishing. She is represented by Jeff Ourvan of the Jennifer Lyons Literary Agency, LLC. She blogs and vlogs about writing and traveling, and is often found procrastinating on Twitter.