Saturday, February 28, 2009

One bathroom fitting too far? Not.

Some of us push the envelope... Some of us push it one bathroom fitting too far, no doubt.

I've just read JA Konrath's short story S.A which begins with a most unhappy --but healthy-- gentleman crossing a snowy parking lot, carrying a semi-see-through, blue plastic box containing a large stool sample. In fact, it's not a sample. It's the whole enchilada.

He's taking this vigorous specimen to his doctor because there's something unusual about it. There are coins in it. Now, it's nothing like that health insurance advert where the patient has money coming out of the wazoo, as the amazed ER surgeon explained when making one of those mandatory predetermination phone calls.

The coins are small change. The doctor's advice about unhealthy midnight snacks is... priceless.

After a thorough rectal exam which brings to light many strange things and leads to some unpalatable conclusions in the mind of our hero, he waddles off to search the internet for clues as to whom he's been eating when the moon is full.

Just when I thought I'd read every dragonish permutation of bad people tasting good (or bad), or good people tasting bad (or good), JA Konrath comes up with a fresh twist.

This story is a riot. I laughed out loud three times in the first three pages. Of course, there are certain bathroom words that will make me laugh out loud. One of them is poop.

The would-be sci-fi writer in me appreciated the elegance of JA Konrath's solution as regards mass. The hero has a mind-boggling telephone conversation with a were-squirrel... who collects nuts... and he asks both questions that spring to mind, much to this reader's delight.

I'm not going to tell you what "S.A." means, because I enjoyed guessing.

"S.A." can be found in the anthology "Wolfsbane and Mistletoe"

As a matter of Craft, poop struck me as a brilliant place to start, when one is creating a convincing introduction to a bewildered werewolf's world. Done right, starting with the scat is an excellent short cut to world-building.

I'm not a gentle reader. I don't suspend disbelief easily. I'm not programmed to trust my author, no matter how outrageously funny he is. Not at first, anyway.

I can give a turd the benefit of the doubt for several reasons. For a start, the narrator is embarrassed about it. That's believable. He's also frightened. He's not Mike Rowe (of Dirty Jobs), so he's probably not inclined to put it through a sieve. A few details suffice.

If there are bits of teeth, chips of bone, coins, buttons, a crucifix, a clump of dead man's beard... I get the picture. I don't worry about the force of a werewolf's bite, or his stomach capacity, or the inhuman speed of his digestive processes whereby the indigestible evidence of his midnight feast ends up in his morning toilet bowl.

There are a lot of ways you could go with an opening premise such as J A Konrath's. Much would depend on your editor, your length, your genre. If the requirements are heart pounding, action packed Horror, for instance, there is a limit to how many Tom Clancy-like factual briefings can be included.

I love those things!

The werewolf hero's search of the Internet was absolutely convincing to me. As I read (and this might not be such a good thing) I visualized Joe (J is for Joe) googling as if he were his own werewolf. That's the sort of thing I do.

JA Konrath and his new persona Jack Kilborn aren't my only guests this coming Tuesday. I shall also be joined by Lori Soard who has at least seven books in four genres in print, and several more books that are out of print. Also, visiting will be Michelle Pillow, who writes in almost every genre under the Paranormal umbrella.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

LibraryThing giveaway

There are dozens of books being offered to readers/reviewers on but my own modest giveaway of 3 trade paperback quality ARCs of Knight's Fork ends tomorrow, Friday.

Blazing Trailers

I love clever puns, and sharing a great resource with my author friends. Blazing Trailers is all that.

Knight's Fork page

For much more than what to do with "Horny Berries" check out Insufficient Mating Material Insufficient Mating Material video promoting Djetth and Princess Marsh's love story!

The trouble started here, when an ambitious young princess cast out her lures with unwise abandon Mating Net video for Mating Net, prequel to Forced Mate, Insufficient Mating Material, and Knight's Fork!
Best wishes,

Rowena Cherry

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Press Releases and book giveaways

I'm giving away three review copies of Knight's Fork on where there is a new giveaway program.

I'm also participating in a month long extravaganza on the Metonia Book Club on Facebook, where authors post excerpts, answer questions, and play around with vignettes.

I just met Bill on Twitter. Amazing info.

Best wishes,

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Penny says....

When Penny Sansevieri's newsletter hits my inbox, I panic. So much to do! So much to learn. So many handy, tempting live links that if I open Penny's newsletter, I know that I'll spend the rest of the day clicking and doing.

Sometimes I do. Sometimes I store the great tips in my "Absolutely Must Do For Promo" file. I have a lot of "Absolutely" files.

I'm procrastinating. I'm taking a moment to share the Tips for Using Twitter.

Please note, Penny Sansevieri encourages her audience to forward her newsletter, as long as Penny and Author Marketing Experts are given the full credit they deserve.

Tips For Using Twitter
If you've pondered using Twitter, but aren't sure how to use it effectively or if you've been on Twitter for a while and aren't sure if you're maximizing it as you should be, here are some quick tips to give you some great twittering-ideas:

· Teach stuff - teach a little mini-lesson on Twitter. Delve into your area of expertise or just talk about book publishing and how to get published.
· Share sites or blogs that your followers would be interested in. Be their "filter" to new and exciting information.
· Use to post tweets to your account for later posting so you don't have to be sitting on top of Twitter every minute of the day.
· Use Twitter as a news source: you can easily announce news both from your world (as long as it relates to your topic) and from the world of your expertise. So for example I've done tweets on book industry stuff, breaking news, etc.
· Widen your network - follow other Twitter folk, this will not only give you some ideas for your own "tweets" but it's a great way to network with other writers or professionals.
· Offer advice: use or Twitter Search ( to see who's asking for info on your area of expertise and then offer them some help/insight. This is a great way to build relationships.
· It's ok to market yourself but be careful about pimping your stuff too much.
· Be Original, useful and helpful.
· If you're on tour with your book or doing an event, tweet on that and invite your local followers to attend.
· Tweet any good reviews your book gets, it's always fun to share the good stuff!
· Every Tweet counts (don't tell people you're washing your cat) don't just tweet on useless stuff or you'll lose followers.
· It's not all about you (again, back to the cat) people want to know useful stuff, I know, it's getting repetitive but there's a reason: it's important.
· Promote your Twitter account in your email signature line and on your blog.
· Network: don't expect your followers to grow if you're not following other people. Network, search for others in your area and follow them.
· Personal is ok. Even though I said not to post useless information it's still not a bad idea to (from time to time) post a personal Tweet or two. Provide value and twitter-followers will beat a path to your door.
· Follow everyone who follows you. You can use sites like and to autofollow everyone who follows you. These services can also send a nice welcome message to your new followers.
· There is a lot of noise on Twitter, the sooner you get comfortable with that the better. It's like being at one massive cocktail party, you have to find ways to filter out the noise. Sites like Tweetlater can help you do that.
· Embed a link or some other sign up in your welcome message, this is another great way to capture emails for your newsletter (assuming you have one).
· Use sites like Tweetlater or Twitter Search to see who's talking about you and then follow them too or comment on their tweet.
· It's ok to repeat your tweets. With the volume of messages people get your followers will often miss some of your posts.
· Feed your blog through Twitter using
· Join Help a Reporter out @skydiver for tweets on media leads (it's a great service!).
· Don't feel like you have to respond to every tweet, but I generally try to respond to all tweets that are replies to mine (you can find these under @replies on your Twitter home page).

· Want to stay on top of your market and find stuff to Tweet about? Then go to and search for your category. There are thousands of them up there. Here are a few to consider:, and
· Review a product or book on Twitter.
· Follow big names in your market on Twitter: this will often bring in their followers too and you want to see what the "big guys" are up to.
· Get a good picture: don't leave your avatar blank. Personalize your page if you can but a good Twitter picture is a must.
· is a lot like Google alerts. You can plug in your keywords and you're pinged each time they are used.
· Are you ready to add pictures to your Tweets? Then head on over to, this site will let you upload pictures and tweet to them.
· Videos can also be shared on Twitter and is a great way to record a video (12 seconds long, hence the name) and share it with your followers.
· Music on Twitter is also possible thanks to TwittyTunes: This site is great for sharing music and it has a simple Firefox add-in that lets you Twitter on music you're currently listening to!
· Keep Twittering, followers will come if you keep updating your Twitter account.

For more info visit

Author Marketing Experts, Inc. is a full-service book marketing, promotion, and publicity company. We serve authors at all stages of marketing and promotion. We offer a full range of packages and services to choose from.

To see a price list or schedule a free consultation, send your e-mail to with the subject line "Author Services Info." You can also visit our Web site at

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Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Hero allsorts

What better time than Valentines Day to take a good book to bed?

With that in mind, my Crazy Tuesday show yesterday was intended to focus on heroes. Indeed, an eclectic group of authors did call in to talk about heroes light and dark, and one who was over five hundred magical years old who visibly aged when angry! (But only by about 20 years. His appearance range was 30-50.)

Mark Terence Chapman, science fiction author, brought his hard-bitten, futuristic Humphrey Bogart-like sleuth to the table, complete with email installed in his head.

Brenna Lyons went one better, with a Tyger hero who could hack his enemies minds! Brenna can be quite dark.

Kellyann Zuzulo gave us a glimpse of her genie in the House of Saud. Zubis Rises... to any appropriate occasion. He is a politically savvy djinn.

Emily Bryan was wickedly funny, and shared how a courtesan’s diary led to vexation for a virgin viscount.

Paranormal tween sleuth author, Lillian Cauldwell, teased us with insights into young hero Raoul Garcia, but suggested that his friend Malcolm was the lad most likely to draw cartoons of sex positions… I do that when trying to keep body parts in the right places while crafting a scene!

Sara Taney Humphreys called in with a very sexy hero and a heroine who turns into a wolf at a most disconcerting moment, and you wouldn't believe where she was sitting when she read her steamy excerpt!

What fun!

Rowena Cherry