World's Oldest Fledgling

The blog of Stephanie Wardrop, Y A Author

Pinterest for Writers

Image I discovered Pinterest a little over a year ago, and already I don’t know how I lived without it. Really. I have been rescued from all the little piles of recipes and brilliant ideas I clipped out of magazines and left in strategic (?) parts of the house, only to forget about them and never try them. Sure, half of the brilliant ideas I now cull from Pinterest I am never going to try (like the do-it-yourself garden fountain, or anything else that requires a power drill) but at least now all of these potentially genius projects are neatly stored in one place – and almost invisibly. And I do try out at least one of my many recipe pins every week. I love to cook and I hate being bored, so Pinterest is a great way to gather new recipes to try every single day, all in one place.

The problem was, Pinterest, like most internet destinations, can become a dangerous timesuck, a vortex you enter with the best of intentions to spend just five minutes there and then get to writing, only to emerge hours later with a hundred new recipes, style tips, Grumpy Cat memes, and a word count of zero. I had to find a way to make my Pinterest habit compatible with my writing time.

So I did what many other writers have done before me: I set up a Pinterest account for my writing self and began pinning things related to my books, of interest to other writers, and a few other topics I liked that might interest someone else who had read or wanted to read my books. Some of it is posted in the interest of book marketing and some of it is more an extension of my author platform/social media presence. Within a few hours (literally) of creating my first boards, I had hundreds of repins and within a week a surprising number of followers, and it grows every time I do it. Bonus: it’s a lot of fun.

I started with boards related to my e-novellas series Snark and Circumstance. I posted on the Snark and Circumstance boards some bits of inspiration, like clothing I thought a character would wear; images of people who look like my characters; locations similar to those in the book; teasers about the plot in books to come; and a link to buy the book. Since the main character, Georgia, is a lone vegan in a town and family of carnivorous types, I also created Georgia’s Vegan Eats to collect and share some great vegan recipes — that board took off right away. Most popular right now is my board Writing on which I pin great quotes and inspiration from writers. I swear I pin anything to that board and it gets about 100 repins right away. I also have boards about works in progress, music I listen to when I write, writers with their pets, and Cool People Read, which features everyone from Malala Yousafrai to Betty White to Kurt Cobain (and proves even Johnny Depp looks smexier with his face in a book).  You can follow all or one of them to see new pins. I try to keep them updated all the time, especially Georgia’s Vegan Eats and Writing. Once you have followers, you need to provide continual content and Pinterest is a bottomless treasure chest of content waiting to be plucked and repinned.

Have the boards sold a lot of books? Honestly, I doubt it. But it has connected me to more readers and writers and librarians (especially through boards like Writing or Great YA Novels or Settings for YA Novels). And I know that looking at other writers’ boards has made me really curious about their upcoming books. So many of the pins on the Indie Ignites board, for example, make me so  eager to read their books when they come out, and generating interest in your work is what it’s all about.

Other writers, designers, and publicists agree. Alicia Kat Vancil of Kat_Girl Studios hosted a great Twitter chat about author pages that urged us all to provide links to our pinterest pages right on our blogs. As you can see, I did.

Swoon Romance and Month 9 Books encourage all of their writers to have Pinterest pages, so I asked Jolene, our pinner extraordinaire, to offer a little advice to writers who are Pinterest newbies:

As for advice for writers trying to market their work using Pinterest, Pinterest is an awesome tool to use! There are a myriad of ways to use it to your advantage.

1. Published authors: Make a board solely for your published works. This way people can check out all of your titles. Don’t forget to “edit” the image so that when people click on it, it takes them straight to either your site, the book on Goodreads, or where they can buy it (Amazon, Barnes and Noble, etc.)

2. Published or soon to be published authors: Make a board with a specific theme like new adult 2013 releases or YA Romance (whatever your book genre is). Include big name books in that genre and don’t forget yours. It will definitely help you gain exposure. Don’t forget to link your book there too via the “edit image” button and include an accurate description with keywords that will ensure people will find it.

3. Interactive: Start a Pinterest board for each WIP or book. Include your dream casting of your characters, setting, love interest, clothes your MC would wear, etc. Readers will love the extra insight to your book and it will help you get focused on your book if you’re stuck or blocked. This is also a place where you should make sure you  use the accurate keywords and hashtags for your book to be searchable and make sure you link each picture to the appropriate site (ie picture of your book cover linked to your book’s Amazon page for purchase OR picture of an actress who you would love to play your MC linked to your dream cast blog post).

So if you’re not pinning, it’s time to get started. And if you are, take Dorie’s advice: JUST KEEP PINNING.

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Leigh T Moore’s UNDERTOW Release and a Giveaway

Undertow, the shocking sequel to Dragonfly, is OUT NOW!

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Early Readers are saying…

“An incredibly powerful sequel to Dragonfly. I found myself riveted to the last page by the depth of feeling, loss, tragedy, and love in this gorgeously woven story. A definite must-read.” –Jolene Perry, author of Out of Play

 

“As far as a second book for a series goes, Undertow knocked it out of the park.” –Jessica, Bend in the Binding reviews

 

“My God I am so emotional! I have to give a huge KUDOS to Leigh because she knows how to write a story like no one’s business!” –Tee, Diary of a Book Addict reviews

 

Undertow pulled me under and left me gasping for air and wanting so much more. I couldn’t stop thinking about these characters, and now I’ll never be able to get a shirtless Bill Kyser out of my head.” –Magan Vernon, bestselling author of The Only Exception

 

Amazing! The characters are lovely, but they’re also flawed–that sort of ‘realness’ and honesty breathes life into them and is truly refreshing to come across as a reader. A fantastic story with a unique execution.” –Kristin, Goodreads reviewer

 

Undertow

Book 2 in the Dragonfly series

by Leigh Talbert Moore

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On Amazon

Falling in love will pull you under…  Image

 

-Bill Kyser has a plan to take the sandy farms of his hometown and turn them into a world-class tourist destination–and become a billionaire in the process. 

-Alexandra “Lexy” LaSalle has a plan to change her life by becoming a world-famous artist. 

-Meg Weaver has a plan to hold onto Bill no matter what she has to do.

 

Three friends, three dreams.

One fatal decision will change all their lives forever.

 

In Dragonfly, Bill Kyser gave Anna the three journals that held the story behind the powerful developer’s seclusion and the damaged lives of his family members. 

 

Anna hopes to find a way for Julian to know the truth, but as she digs deeper into the tragic events of the past, she realizes silence could be the only option. 

 

Now she’s in an alliance with the man she formerly feared. And if Julian finds out what she knows, she could lose for good the boy she’s starting to love.

 

Get Undertow TODAY! 

 

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes | Kobo


(Print copies available on Amazon | Createspace)


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Missed DragonflyGet it TODAY for only 99 cents (limited time)!

 

“The characters were intriguing, the mystery and story were interesting, and definitely have ME WANTING MORE!!!!!!!” –Mandy, The Romance Bookie

 

“Great book to dive into poolside, but I will warn you may get so swept up in it you may end up with some sun burn so I STRONGLY suggest you invest in some sunscreen as well as a copy of Dragonfly.” —Nichole, Book Addicts Not So Anonymous


“Gossip Girl meets VC Andrews in this contemporary family saga. Love, lies, and betrayal become the new normal when Anna enters the world of Jack and Lucy Kyser.” –Magan Vernon, international bestselling author of The Only Exception

 

 

On Amazon

Dragonfly

by Leigh Talbert Moore

 

Three bad things I learned this year:

-People you trust lie, even parents. 

-That hot guy, the one who’s totally into you, he might not be the one. 

-Things are not always how they appear.

 

Three good things I learned this year:

-Best friends are always there for you, even when they’re far away. 

-That other hot guy, the one who remembers your birthday, he just might be the one. 

-Oh, and things are not always how they appear.

 

Anna Sanders expected an anonymous (and uneventful) senior year until she crossed paths with rich-and-sexy Jack Kyser and his twin sister Lucy.

 

Pulling Anna into their extravagant lifestyle on the Gulf Coast, Lucy pushed Anna outside her comfort zone, and Jack showed her feelings she’d never experienced… Until he mysteriously withdrew.

 

Anna turned to her internship at the city paper and to her old attraction for Julian, a handsome local artist and rising star, for distraction. But both led to her discovery of a decades-old secret closely guarded by the twins’ distant, single father. 

 

A secret that could permanently change all their lives.

 

Get Dragonfly for just 99 cents (limited time):

 

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes | Kobo

 

(Print copies available on Amazon | Createspace)


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As a special, THANK YOU! enter for your chance to #WIN signed copies of BOTH books, your own private journal, and fun swag~

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

****Rafflecopter link:

 

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/share-code/MTIzOGQyZDgyNjkwZGYzODJmYjM4NzI0MDEzMDRiOjU=/

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Twitter chats: why I’m a believer

Thanks to #Indiechat on Twitter and the advice of Alicia Kat Vancil of Kat Girl Studio. If you haven’t checked out any of the YA and NA writing chats on Twitter, you should! Here are some highlights from this week alone:

  • On Tuesday, @KatGirl_Studio hosted #indiechat and discussed the best features and look for your author blog, an essential part of your “brand” and author platform. Image
  • On Wednesday, #YAlitchat, hosted by @GeorgiaMcBride, talked about all kinds of relevant and interesting stuff, like what to Tweet as a writer to build your fan base (hints: don’t just push your book, know your readers, and tweet fun stuff about yourself. I need to do more of the latter, as soon as I get some fun stuff to Tweet ;)) Image
  • And tonight, #K8chat, hosted by Kate Tilton will be talking book boyfriends!Image

There are usually so many excited and informative participants that it’s sometimes hard to keep up with the feed but it is so worth it. On Tuesday I learned how to add a link to follow me on Pinterest and about Feedly last night. If you don’t get into the mix in the allotted chat hour, most hosts stick around for awhile after to take questions when it’s less frantic. And if you don’t want to tweet a comment or a question, just lurk and you’ll learn something. But if you do participate, you’ll find yourself with new friends and followers among your present (or future) colleagues.

Chats are usually scheduled for 9:00 PM Eastern Standard Time. You can see the “transcript” a record of what was said, any time by searching for the term as a hashtag (ie #YAlitchat). And if you do tweet a comment or question, don’t forget to hashtag after the comment or it will get lost in the general conversation on Twitter.

I was a reluctant Tweep myself. I couldn’t imagine tweeting my mundane daily activities. “Made a cup of tea.” Who the frack cares? Unless I “made a cup of tea and fed it to Johnny Depp”, maybe. But aside from the aforementioned awesomeness of the chats, Twitter has also connected me with other writers, now friends, that I would never have met otherwise. We review and promote each other’s books, commiserate, and cheer each other on. And on an isolated day of writing, check in for a moment’s break with the hashtag #amwriting and you will know you’re not alone.

So check out #k8chat tonight and chat with me at @s_wardrop. As my Twitter profile says, I retweet like a boss! Got to go. There are 68 new tweets to check since I started this post.

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Get Your Gargoyle On: A Review of LOUISE GORNALL’S IN STONE

Image I’ve always liked gargoyles, so when I heard that there was a YA romance out there about a human(ish) gargoyle, I knew I had to read it. (In fact, I had the main characters from IN STONE meet Georgia and Michael from SNARK, which you can read here). And if you read that post, you’ll know that Jack is a pretty sweet gargoyle boy. Blond, silver-eyed, charming – I’m pretty sure my daughter would see all kinds of Niall Horan in him. Image But what makes Jack more intriguing than Niall Horan, with all apologies to my daughter, is that he has a sad and mysterious past that I look forward to hearing about in sequels. (I’ll just say here that it involves Purgatory. And a way out). Plus he’s a GARGOYLE, which means he can fly and scale buildings like a gecko and he has a tail. Oh, and he’s about to save the world from destruction, with the help of human(ish) Beau Bailey. Beau’s a trickier character and Gornall does a nice job with her. She’s snarky and not entirely likable, but there’s a reason for that, which I won’t even tell you because you have to find out for yourself.  Let’s just say that the last three chapters are almost too hectic in their emotional switches and revelations. You won’t want to miss them.

There’s suspense throughout as they team up in small town America, and then Bulgaria, and then . . .Wait. I don’t want to spoil it.  But there’s fighting and tension and narrow escapes enough for anyone who can’t wait for the release of the third installment of the DIVERGENT series.

So check out IN STONE from Entranced at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Goodreads. It’s a great summer read.

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Representing Massachusetts on the Reading Road Trip! Holla!

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Georgia Barrett, the main character in my series of e-novellas, Snark and Cirumstance, is a recent transplant to Massachusetts, just like me.  And, just like me, she had to learn some of the lingo – after having to learn how to spell the name of the state (two S’s then 1 S then 2 T’s).

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See if you can translate this:

It’s Patriot’s Day and my boss wouldn’t let me off ‘cause he’s a pissah, so I decide to bang out and go visit my friend at Zoomass (1).  Before I book it on the Pike, I stop by Cumby’s for a coffee, but the line was wicked long, so I banged a U-ie and hit Dunkie’s (2). Problem is, you can’t do that on Comm. Ave. and a statie with a wicked wiffie pulls me over.  I almost mess my dungarees but I keep my cool because, hey, it’s Assachusetts, what are ya gonna do?  I’m not gonna get bagged just for drivin’, ya-huh (3).  Statie lets me go so I decide to pull into the nearest packie and get some lunch, quahogs, a frappe, a grinder, and an ice cream with jimmies ‘cause I was wicked hungry by then (4).

(1) Patriot’s Day is held on the third Monday of April and marks not just the first shots of the American Revolution but also the Boston Marathon.  (The last one was pretty awful, so I’m not going to joke about that).  If your boss is a “pissah” he’s a jerk; a bad day, a bad haircut, a bad clam (or quahog) can also be pissahs.  “Banging out” means calling in sick when you’re not. “Zoomass” is the University of Massachusetts, UMass, a fine school despite its packing so many students into “the Towers” dorm complex that it has a population density that rivals Tokyo, which might be why it seems “zoo-like” to some.

(2) If you “book it to the Pike”, you’re quickly heading to Route 90 or the Massachusetts Turnpike, and if you stop at Cumby’s, you’re going to Cumberland Farms, a beloved “packie”, or package store (like a 7-11).  And if you find that the line at the register is too long, you might try going to Dunkin’ Donuts instead, but Massholes like us love our Dunkies so much there is always a line there, too, even though there is a Dunkies for every five feet of paved road around here. And somehow they’re all packed with coffee and doughnut junkies.

(3) I don’t live in Boston, but I am pretty sure you should not make a U-turn on Commonwealth Avenue, and if you do, a state trooper with a buzzcut will probably pull you over.  Then, you’ll need to pull your license out of your “pocketbook”, a term I thought only old ladies used for purses, but so do folks from the Bay State.  But don’t be so scared that you soil your jeans (dungarees) even if you are fed up with the laws and government of the state that some who feel likewise refer to as “Assachusetts.”

(4) You don’t want to be arrested, or “bagged”, and not just because it could build up a huge appetite, enough to eat a platter of fried clams (quahogs, so now you also get the joke of the town name on Family Guy); a milkshake-type beverage; a sandwich that would elsewhere be called a “sub” or a “hero”; and an ice cream cone (probably Hood’s or Friendly’s) with sprinkles.

However, in truth, Georgia and I rarely hear these expressions because we live in the forgotten part of the state, the West.  We do not think the world revolves around Boston.  We do not pahk our cahr in Hahvahd Yahd.  And some of our neighbors even have the temerity to root for the Yankees.  We believe that Western Mass deserves more attention because there’s some really great stuff here.

SPRINGFIELD has the Basketball Hall of Fame and the Museum Quadrangle, which features sculptures of local hero Theodore Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss. Here are the Grinch and Max Image courtesy of http://www.catinthehat.org/memorial.htm.

NORTHAMPTON AND HAMPSHIRE COUNTY, AKA “THE HAPPY VALLEY” have five colleges (UMass, Hampshire, Mt. Holyoke, Smith, and Amherst), great college towns with bookstores and excellent restaurants (including great vegan food at Café Evolution and Bela in Noho (Northampton)), plus some beautiful farmland and countryside. It also features the best ice cream anywhere at Herrell’s in Northampton Image

The BERKSHIRES is almost unmatched for beauty: mountains, lakes, streams, and wildlife.  Plus lots of great little towns and small cities, Tanglewood’s famous outdoor concerts, hiking and skiing, museums in Pittsfield and North Adams, and Lenox has the home of one of my favorite writers, Edith Wharton’s The Mount, pictured here.  Image

Out here in the west, we may not get as much attention as Boston and the east, but it’s a great place to live.

ENTER HERE AT RAFFLECOPTER TO WIN THE FIRST TWO BOOKS IN THE SNARK AND CIRCUMSTANCE E-NOVELLA SERIES.  SEND ME YOUR TWO FAVORITE BITS OF LINGO FROM WHERE YOU LIVE AND YOU COULD WIN!
a Rafflecopter giveaway Or just leave a comment here, on my Twitter page (@s_wardrop) or at the blogs of our awesome reading road trip tour guides, @Hafsah of http://www.iceybooks.com and Britta of http://www.ilikethesebooks.com/ .  Thanks for including me on the road trip, ladies, and happy reading and good luck to all who enter!

 

Here’s more about the SNARK series from Swoon:

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One superior smirk from Michael Endicott convinces sixteen-year-old Georgia Barrett that the Devil wears Polo. His family may have founded the postcard-perfect New England town they live in, but Georgia’s not impressed. Even if he is smart, good looking, and can return Georgia’s barbs as deftly as he returns serves on his family’s tennis courts. After all, if Michael actually thinks she refuses to participate in lab dissections just to mess with his grade, he’s a little too sure that he’s the center of the universe. Could there be more to Michael Endicott than smirks and sarcasm? If Georgia can cut the snark long enough, she just might find out.

20803_10151569047132556_705085876_nSixteen-year-old Georgia Barrett is no expert on guys. Her bio-class partner is harder to dissect than anything on their lab tray. He’s smart, almost as sarcastic as she is, and can’t refuse a date with her fast enough. So why does he seem so upset when a senior hottie takes an interest in her? Could his game of playing hard to get have just backfired?

Why wait to win? They’re 99 cents each this week at Amazon! And if you’re a Nook chick like me, they’re at Barnes and Noble, too.

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It’s Time to Vote!

Vote Ull in the NA Crush Tourney at NA Alley blog. Round one begins at midnight on July 2d.

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As if you need a fifth reason. . .

As if you need a fifth reason. . .

But if you do RAGNAROCK’N’ROLL, BABY! You want this man on your side when the dark forces come to destroy humanity. So vote #TeamUll Tuesday in Round One of the #NACrushTourney at NA Alley. Don’t let the dark elves win.

P.S. He’s the only Norse god on Twitter @ullmyrh. So that’s a sixth reason.

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All together now: 5 Reasons to Vote for Ull Today

Godspeed you to the NA Alley on July 2 to vote a Norse god to victory in round one of the NA Crush Tournament! Thor’s too busy swinging his hammer and Loki’s just a conceited ass with daddy issues. Look to the God of Winter for love, ladies – though he’s already chosen someone to share his life (and Ragnarock) with. Check him out in ST Bende’s Elsker Saga and GO VOTE!

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Indie-pendence Day Giveaway! Leigh T. Moore’s Dragonfly

Indie-pendence Day Giveaway! Leigh T. Moore's Dragonfly

Leigh T. Moore’s DRAGONFLY is a romantic tale, and, as you can probably tell by the excerpt here, all kinds of steamy. So, to celebrate INDIEpendence Day with the good folks at The Indelibles Blog*, Leigh is giving away one signed paperback copy of Dragonfly (US only) and one ebook (international). Just leave a comment below telling me about a memorable experience you had in a car (it does NOT have to be steamy — no letters to Penthouse, please.). Maybe it was a rockin’ road trip or a first kiss. Share in the comments and win a great book!

*http://indeliblewriters.blogspot.com/2013/06/indiependence-day-2013.html

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