I laughed when I read AB Plum’s recent post about unhooking from the virtual world. It has been a long time since I didn’t enhance my RL (real life) experience with some sort of virtual interaction. Photos on Facebook, the occasional witty comment on twitter, blogs and websites, they are all part of my life. Partially this is simply a function of my life and jobs. As a graphic designer and a writer, social networking is part of the must do list. As a designer, it’s important that I be able to design ads for Facebook and other social media platforms and understand how the platforms function. As a writer, it’s important that I use those platforms to reach an audience.
Which is not to say that I’m an expert. As a designer, I get to create content and simply walk away. The writer half of me definitely has it harder. I have to remember to post (you wouldn’t think this was hard, but…), to come up with valuable and interesting content, and then not waste all of my writing time on marketing and social media. On the other hand, for the last six months I’ve been swinging very much the other way. I have not been doing a lot of marketing. I have in fact been writing. A lot. A ton. Lots of tons. So much so that I’ve planned out my releases for 2018 and 2019.
So, stay tuned for tons of updates later this summer. Crime, sci-fi, a touch of fairy tales, and of course more than a little bit of romance are heading your way. And strangely, I can’t wait to start marketing ALL of it. If you want to get in on early give-aways (print and digital!) and announcements, join my mailing list at: bethanymaines.com/contact
ORIGINALLY POSTED ON THE STILETTO GANG 6.14.17
by Bethany Maines
On Monday night fellow Stiletto author J.M. Phillippe (visiting from Brooklyn) and I attended the local open mic night from Creative Colloquy. The evening celebrated Creative Colloquy’s third anniversary and featured the Washington State poet laureate Dr. Tod Marshall. Creative Colloquy’s mission is to connect writers with their community and celebrate their works. And in keeping with that mission, Dr. Marshall reminded us in the audience to both battle for the arts and to rejoice in our creative communities.
As with every time I go to a reading event I’m struck by what different skills reading and writing are. It’s difficult to differentiate the presentation from the work being presented. For every rushed reading, there’s one that gives space for the audience to savor the moment. For every mumbled poem, there’s one that echoes from the rafters. For every awkward and misplaced laugh in the middle of a story, there’s one that ought to be a comedy special. Delivery, timing, and pronunciation, all take a reading from blah to amazing. Or at least important enough to make people stop talking to their friends at the table. Are the amazing readings better? Or just benefitting from better delivery?
It makes me wonder: what could I be doing to present my own work better in live readings? Should we authors all be forced to take public speaking classes? Improv classes? Should we be forced to listen to recordings of ourselves (God nooooooooooo!!!)? Is there a secret trick that I could be using? What if I just I hire an actor to read for me? In all probability I shall simply have to rely on the very exclusive, top secret trick of practice and repetition. As long as no one makes me watch a recording of it, that will probably be fine.
I watched Buffy the Vampire Slayer when it was first on television. It was the first time I’d watched a show that combined the episodic weekly tale with a long-form, season long story arc. Whether or not you enjoy fantasy and teenagers killing things, the inclusion of a “big bad” (Buffy slang for the seasons main villain) made Buffy a tremendous innovator in TV.
It was an innovation that impressed and continues to impress me. The ability of the writers to maintain the critical pacing of the weeks mystery, while at the same time building a seasonal arc that culminates at the right point is a difficult writing feat. Most stories require that a character to fulfill a certain role to advance the story. But with multiple stories playing out at the same time the characters actions must serve several different purposes at once. Accomplishing these goals at all, let alone well, is something I aspire to. And while I have experimented with this type of writing before in my Tales from the City of Destiny, I have never tried to do a true over-arcing long form story across multiple novels. That is until now.
Starting last December, I have gone headlong into plotting and writing a new five book crime series. I’ll be excited when I can finally share more details about the series. But until then, I’m asking for inspiration to help keep my creative juices flowing. What TV shows do you love that combine short and long form elements and crime or action?