Tag Archives: Pinterest

What do you click on? #MFRWauthor week 43

The prompt for this week’s blog is MY FAVORITE APP.

Until about 4 years ago I didn’t even know what an app was. I thought it was an abbreviation all the cool kids were using for appetizer or appointment. No lie!

Now I know what it means ( I think!) so I really am in with the cool kids. I will admit I had to email my daughter before writing this blog just to make sure I was getting the APP definition correct.

Hi. My name is Peggy and I’m tech-NO-savvy.

If you’ve ever read my blog posts – not just the MFRWAuthor ones on Fridays – you know I typically sign off with a cutsie saying and then this:

Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// BookMe // Monkey me //Watch me

I feel like I need a self-help group when I say that.
Me: Hi. My name is Peggy and I’m a Pinner. 
The group: Hi Peggy!
Hee hee.
Truly though, there is nothing more fun for me to do when I want to waste ( not a good word choice, peeps) an hour trolling through all kinds of celebrity pix, holiday themed gifts, DYI stuff, even book recommendations.  Recently, I took my mother to the hospital to have her first cataract surgery and I brought my iPad with me because I knew I had a couple of hours of waiting ahead of me. The entire time she was in pre-op holding, through the surgery, and until her ophthalmologist came and brought me to her room, I was pinning.
Here’s a secret – and I’m totally outing myself here: while I was writing this blog piece, I was scrolling through Pinterest boards looking for cute apron sayings for an upcoming book about a an InnKeeper. This is the board I was saving everything to: Maureen’s Aprons.
Maybe I really do need a support group: P.A. (Pinners Anonymous)
Hee hee
Let’s see what favorite apps the other bloggers in the group like best: MFRWauthor
And at the chance of being redundant: When I’m not pinning you can find me here: Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// BookMe // Monkey me //Watch me
Hee. Hee.
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Why I love #Pinterest

When someone says they are obsessed with something I always take it to be a little over the top as a way of describing how much they like something. The word has been given a Kardashian-elevation in our current pop culture and like literally was a few years ago, the word has become cliched and, in my opinion,  annoying to hear.

The true definition of obsession states: an idea or thought that continually preoccupies or intrudes on a person’s mind.

Well…I’m going to eat that proverbial crow here because there really is no other word that can adequately describe how I feel about my Pinterest page. I am, ( sorry, peeps!) obsessed with it.

I discovered Pinterest a few years ago when I was looking for pictures to give an actual face to my characters. In the past I’d torn-up fashion and celebrity magazines in my attempt to find the perfect depiction for the  fictional person I was creating. I had scores of notebooks with taped-in cut outs from those mags filling my office. Along came Pinterest and my cutting-taping-hoarding ways were finished!

I’ve made Pinterest boards for all the books I’ve written since I discovered this gem of a site. For the three books coming out between 11.5 and 12.12.18, I’ve been going hog-wild with pins. Here are a few you can click on to see what I mean:

HOPE’S DREAM Vermont Series

DEARLY BELOVED ( this book has quite a few boards attached to it:) Izzy’s Shower  // Nanny Fee // O’Dowd

CHRISTMAS AND CANNOLIS Baked with Love

I was talking to someone the other day about microwaves ( weird segue, I know, but hear me out) and what we did before we had them, like putting a pot on the stove with water to heat a baby’s bottle, for instance, or to actually turn on the oven to reheat leftovers for dinner. With the advent of the microwave,  heating and reheating got so much easier, that now I wonder how we ever actually survived with out it.

I think the same way about Pinterest. It’s made creating vision boards so much easier. Yes, they are virtual vision boards, not the old fashioned 3-D ones that we made from cutting and taping, but they’re so much easier to create now. And they take up no space in your office at all anymore since they are on the computer.

So…

My apologies to all those people I silently made fun of and gave an-in-my-head-eyeroll to when they said the word obsessed. I understand what you mean when you say it about something now.

I really do.

You can visit my Pinterest page and all my other obsessive sites here:

Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// BookMe // Monkey me //Watch me

 

 

 

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Social Media and the Quest for Name Recognition…

That’s a wordy title, but it’s an accurate one for what I’ve been mulling over lately.

I’m a household name. In MY household…no other. This is tantamount to the Kiss of Death for a writer, because no one is going to read your books if they don’t know who the heck you are.

True ‘dat, right?

In the past, publishers have had entire teams of people who diligently took steps to make sure their writers’ names were recognized easily. Marketing campaigns, publicity tours, multi-city book signings. Any and every effort the team could get the author’s name to be recognized by the general book reading public was made. With the advent of less traditional publishing avenues, most of the tried and true publishers now are only moving their advertising dollars toward their already recognizable, big-name, authors.

What’s the relatively unknown writer to do?

I’m traditionally published by two presses, Kensington/Lyrical Shine and The Wild Rose Press. Both love their authors, make no mistake about that. They are in the business of selling books and they need authors to  achieve their goal. But taking a chance on a relatively new author  – and by chance I mean throwing advertising and marketing dollars  behind them to promote them – is something both of them are reluctant to do. In the WRP case, they do minimal to no marketing for their authors – the authors and the other writers associated with the company do the bulk share of getting the word out  about a new book release. Lyrical Shine has a marketing department, but with so many authors on their docket, those dollars are stretched thin.

So, what’s an author like me – unknown, no advertising or marketing background – to do, you ask?
Well, of course I’ll tell ya.

When my first book was scheduled for publication I frantically tried to learn whatever I could about marketing and how to promote myself on a nearly non-existent budget. It was hard, peeps. Real hard.

I joined TWITTER, had my best friend set-up my WEBSITE, and made a Facebook Professional Page. I didn’t go out and employ any book-tour companies via the web because I didn’t know they existed back then!!! I garnered several hundred new followers from all this, but it wasn’t enough to make me more well known as an author ( and you know that ultimately means – no sales!)

When the second and third books rolled around and were ready to be published, I had discovered on-line book tours, PINTEREST, and INSTAGRAM, and Goodreads.

I got even more followers and saw a tiny uptick in sales, so a good thing, but still, my name is not showing up on any bestseller lists, or on any “Watch for the next book from this fab author” lists.

By the time I got my Lyrical contract, I had joined Triberr, BookBub,  and  Google + and started entering more and more contests. My thought was if I finaled in any of them, that will introduce my name to more people. If I, GOD-PLEASE! – won any of them,  my name and my work would be more accessible and known.

Haven’t won any yet, but have finaled in a bunch, so that’s a positive thing, right?

My first book was published in 2015. Since then, 3 years later, I’ve got 2,260 Twitter followers, 1343 people on my FB author account, on Triberr I have a personal reach of 183K and on BookBub I have 281 followers.

Now, those numbers are…okay. But they need to be waaaaaaaaaaay more to have any kind of impact on the romance reading world.

So…

I have a favor to ask ( you saw that coming, didn’t you?!)

If you aren’t already following me across my media, please take this opportunity to do so. At the end of most of my blog pieces I usually list all my Social Media sites and beg, er, ask you to find me. Well, please continue to do that, but could you also please follow me? Here’s the list:Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// BookMe

And if you are already following me across my SM sites – #BLESSYOU and #ILOVEYOU

It’s so humbling to beg!

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Filed under Author, Author Branding, author promotion, Kensington Publishers, Lyrical Author, Romance, Romance Books, The Wild Rose Press

Social Media is here to stay…. #MFRWauthor

Another Friday, another blog challenge topic from MFRWauthor. Heehee. This one’s another easy peasy one to write.

Up until I had my first book published, the only Social Media platform I used was Facebook. It kept me in touch with my daughter who’d been in college, and I had fun seeing the posts from all her friends.

Fast forward to June 2014. I signed my first book contract and was told by the publisher that I needed to have a social media presence in order to garner readers and followers. I think the first thing I said was “no.” All I wanted to do was write, not be on-line with strangers all the time talking myself and my book up. That thought went the way of the dinosaur when I found out how effective a marketing tool being on social media sites can be, and in reality, is.

With my daughter’s and my best friend’s help – both of whom are techy and marketing gurus, I started this website, joined Twitter, found Pinterest and Instagram, and became a Goodreads “author.” In addition, I developed a FB following on my author page.

By the time my second book was released, I was proficient in all these sites.

And every time I thought I was done, another “must be seen on” social media site emerged. Book Bub, Triberr, Tumbler, Linked-In came along and with them, my participation.

But this is a blog about our favorite SM platforms, so to be true to the challenge, my absolute favorite it TRIBERR. The reasons vary, but the main one is REACH,  a term that gives new meaning to what you really think it mean.

On TRIBERR I follow many book-, romance-book, and writing web-blogs. Each site has at least a reach of a minimum of 2000 readers. A few have hundreds of thousands. What that means is, if I a member of that TRIBE, ( and yes, that’s what it’s called!) and I post a new blog, the potential for people who don’t know me from Adam to see it is huge. Really huge. Of course, there is reciprocity involved in all this. If I want my blog posts to be seen, I need to publicize other blogs as well. Tit for tat; or in this case, blog for blog. Every morning I log onto my Triberr account and then scroll through the Tribes I am a member of. When I see interesting posts, or posts I feel will be beneficial for my followers, I schedule them on my Twitter feed. That way, my 2000+ Twitter followers, get to read things by people whom they do not ordinarily follow.

Get it?

If you’re a blogger, Triberr is a great place to garner new readership, so that’s why it is my current favorite SM site.

And you can follow me on Tribber ( and all my other sites) here:Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// Book Me

Now, since this is a blog challenge and hop, visit the other authors here to find out what their favorite social media platforms are and why.

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Filed under #Mfrwauthors, Author, Author Branding, branding, Romance, Romance Books

Research is spelled P-I-N-T-E-R-E-S-T!

This is a funfunfun topic for me. I sincerely don’t know what writers did before PINTEREST came along. The first time I was ever told about the site and then visited it, I was addicted. For Life. Seriously.

You all know I’m a huge plotter when it comes to my books. I have everything lined up, plotted out, and squared off before I ever start writing because I’m so anal. It’s that damn scientific background – I always need to know where I’m going. In the past I’d look for pictures of my characters or places or settings in magazines. Being able to visibly “see” how I wanted someone to look made it waaaaay easier for me to write about them. With the advent of Google, I tossed the mags and started trolling celebrity sites – because back in the day they were the only pictures you could really find.

It’s a new day, people. We don’t need google images anymore -we’ve got PINTEREST. Anyone can upload a picture of pretty much anything ( legal, that is!) From the moment I used Pinterest to categorize and help me plot/storyboard my books, my life got sosososos much easier. I had more time to write because I didn’t need to troll endlessly looking for images thru mags anymore. I simply plugged in something like “guys, 30’s black hair, green eyes” and 9,000,000 PINS instantly popped up for me to choose from.

Score!

So, for the first time, I’m giving you a little glimpse into how I storyboard my characters on Pinterest. The links below are to my Will Cook For Love Series books. These Pins/pictures are how I “saw” the books when I was writing them. (A few of the books haven’t been published yet so this is like a little teaser!)  Let me know your thoughts.

Will Cook for Love

A shot at Love/Gemma

Melora and Riley

Abby and Rick

Ellie and Sloan

And I even have an alternative, breakout, spinoff series to Cooking with Kandy called Bros, Inc.

You’re welcome for that last one!

When I’m not doing RESEARCH ( wink wink) you can find me here: Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// Book Me

 

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Filed under Alpha Hero, Alpha Male, Author, Characters, Contemporary Romance, Cooking, Food lover, Foodie, Kensington Publishers, love, Lyrical Author, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women, The Laine Women

Facebook….turns out, it’s a good thing

Yesterday I extolled some of the wisdom Jane Friedman imparted last weekend at Fiction Fest 2017 in her master class. One of the biggest takeaways from the workshop for me was how powerful Facebook can be for an author.

When I first began my journey as a published author in 2015 I had the typical Facebook page where I trolled the news feed for posted info on family and friends. It was my then-editor who suggested I make myself a professional FB page for my author career. The thought of now having to manage and keep track of 2 things on FB, not to mention Twitter, Pinterest, my website, my Amazon page,  yada yada yada was a little daunting and a whole lot of nauseating.

But I heeded her advice and did it. The one thing I was adamant about though, was that the professional author page was  going to be for anybody who wanted to follow me as an author. I was going to keep my personal page just that – private. The reason was an easy one for me because I have small children in my family and friends circle and their parents post pictures of them frequently. I didn’t want some wackjob creepy person to see those pictures. There are a lot of undesirables on the Internet, hunting for innocent prey. And I know that sounds dramatic, but have you read the news lately??? Not dramatic at all.. simply proactive.

So. Two pages. Two separate entities. Double the work. More to keep track of. But you know what? it was a good thing. I have waaaaaaay more “friends” on my professional page than my personal one. I don’t post anything on the professional page I wouldn’t want everyone in the cyber world to see, but I’m able to keep private what needs to be kept private on the personal page. One of the good things about Facebook is that you can set up protection and privacy settings on posts.

Jane is a big proponent of reader and follower engagement on her FB page. She uses her page as a tool to interact with readers, answer questions, make announcements, show her blog postings. She feels authors should use the Professional page as their number one tool for marketing and acquiring new followers who then become readers. I always felt that Twitter gave me my biggest bang for engagement, and in reality, I have more twitter followers than I do FB followers (not many more, but a few). One of the drawbacks, Jane says about Twitter, is that it is very much a right here- right now thing. In other words, once you post something you have about 17 minutes or so for people to see it. After that, it gets lost in the quagmire of a hundred billion other tweets and the scroll shoves you waaaaaaay down low. Makes sense. On Facebook, your postings get added to the newsfeed, your followers get notified you’ve posted something, and if you come back to the post a few hours later and simply “like” it, it brings it back up in the current scroll. That’s genius in my mind. Plus, everytime someone likes or comments on your post you get a notification and respond in kind.

Facebook parties are a fabulous markteting tool for new readers and engagement as well. Facebook ads can be a tool to drive people to your page, but be careful. Don’t go crazy and spend more than you think you really need on an ad.

So. Facebook. I will now be using it a great deal more than Twitter. Still love to tweet though!

When I’m not Facebook-ing or Tweeting, you can find me here:Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triberr

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Filed under Author, Author Branding, branding, Contemporary Romance, Life challenges, research, Romance Books

Why I need to see my characters before I write, part 2

So yesterday I showed you how my mind works. Get your own minds out of the gutter! I meant visually, that’s how!

I see things way before I ever type a single word of my manuscripts. My characters, my settings, the clothes people wear, the weather, everything, really, must be visual to me first.  I have stacks of current magazines in my office that I comb through frequently. Fashion mags, exercise, mags, home improvement ones, even travel issues. I’ll flip through the pages, see an interesting face, or place, or image, and rip it out, storing it in a big box on one of my library shelves.

I troll through Pinterest periodically as well, typing in search words for images I want, such as brown eyed and blonde hair women, or green eyed men.

When I see images that gel with what I’ve been seeing in my mind, I pin them to storyboards in my Pinterest site and sometimes even print them out for inclusion on my visualization board. You may think a great deal of this is redundant, but just having them loaded in a computer file isn’t enough for me. I need to actually see them every day while I’m writing my story.

As I’ve gotten older, I tend to forget little details that are important for my characters and stories. It’s not because I’ve got any kind of creeping dementia or cognitive memory loss. It’s more that there is so much going on in my life in one single day, that remembering what color eyes I gave my hero six weeks ago in chapter one, tends to be difficult if I don’t have the actual picture of the guy close by. A few months ago I was writing my soon-to-be-released 5th book in my Wild Rose Press series of the MacQuire Women, PASSION’S PALETTE,  and one of the characters had  chin length snow-blond hair initially, and the next time we meet her, it’s turned strawberry blonde and is down the middle of her back – three days later! I wasn’t paying attention to my vision board very well during those days, but luckily I caught a glimpse of it one day before submitting the story and fixed the mistake! So that’s all the proof I need to tell me making my vision boards is a worthwhile way to spend some of my creative time.

I’m just gonna throw this out there and say story boarding and plot visualization are as old as civilization. Didn’t primitive cave-people and early societies leave cave and cliff drawings, depicting their ways of life? Their history? Sounds to me an awful lot like storyboarding. Just saying….

So. Hope this helps you understand the way this writer’s brain and creative process works. I don’t think I’m alone in my storyboarding, either. I tend to think since the advent of Pinterest, more writers work this way, simply because it’s so easy to.

When I’m not storyboarding, you can find me here: Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triberr

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Filed under Author, Characters, Contemporary Romance, Life challenges, love, research, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women

I #write words, but I see images; #Pinterest

Strange blog title, I know. It  kinda reminds me of “I see dead people.LOL But there’s a reason behind it, so let me ‘esplain it to, Lucy.

lucy

I’m a very visual person. I’m one of those people who sometimes think their dreams are real and have actually happened because they are so vivid and fully detailed. (I’m sure a psychiatrist would have a field day with that statement, but I digress.)

lucy

I was actually that (weird) kid who enjoyed going to art museums. I could spend hours – and did – strolling along hallways and chambers chock full of art from every time period, decade, and century. The colors, the way light was used, or the absence of it; the way the artist positioned a hand in a portrait, or the background in a scene. Just looking at those beautiful portrayals and representations of life was awe-inspiring for me. And got my creative storytelling mind revving.

art

Images help my writing in ways that are too numerous to describe. Suffice it to say, I see a book in my head before I ever type a word into my laptop. If I wrote science fiction my world-building would the size of a dictionary before I ever got to the plot. So, because I’m such a visual person,  I love PINTEREST. 

pinterest-logo

Really, what did we ever do before Pinterest? I do remember saving fashion magazines for months on end when I was working on a story just so I could troll through the pages to find perfect depictions and portraits for my characters and settings. Other than that, I had no place to search.

Pinterest is to a visual person what words are to writers. Both are necessary for creativity to blossom and grow. And you can find anything on Pinterest. Anything.

I use it as a shorthand form of a storyboard for each of my books. Seeing what my hero and heroine, plus the ancillary characters look like, helps me describe them better in the story. I usually have several pictures of my h/h in various setting and with different expressions, just so I can write them vividly enough that you can see them clearly in your reading mind. I do the same thing with settings, buildings, even rooms.

Check out my newest board, Rick and Abby. I’m currently adding to it daily, so it’ll get filled up fairly soon, but I’ve got a good idea of Rick ( boy do I!) and I’m working on Abby. This is a wonderful way for me to make my characters come to life in my mind and on the page. Again, a shrink would go to town with that last statement, but you know what I mean.

freud

If you don’t know Pinterest, you should. Especially if you’re a writer.

‘Nuff said. Gotta go pinning….

When I’m not trolling through Pinterest, you can find me here: Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me//

And just to see who really reads my posts: The first person to tell me in a comment here who the guy in this picture is will win an e-copy of one of my books of your choice. This should be illuminating…

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Filed under Alpha Hero, Author, Characters, Contemporary Romance, Literary characters, research, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women

On #Pinterest, #IceCream and #epicfails….

pinterest-logo-tag-cloud1

I lovelovelove Pinterest.  For a writer who plots ( like moi) it’s a visual dream come true. If you click on my personal link in the previous sentence,   you’ll see I use it for characterization, writing tips, plotting, and info I need for books about stuff I don’t know about, but that I want to use in the plot/story.

I also troll through recipes and how-to videos. I’m a kinesthetic learner, which means I learn how to do stuff by actually doing it. My husband and daughter can read a manual and put a truck together – or take it apart. I need to be shown how to do it because trying to follow instructional steps has never been my strong suit. I tell you this because I want to explain the title of this blog: EPIC FAILS.

I don’t drink coffee in the morning. I drink decaf tea at night in a ridiculous attempt to help dietdewme sleep. It hasn’t so far, but I digress…..

I don’t drink coffee for my caffeine jolt in the morning, I drink DIET MOUNTAIN DEW.  I know…don’t judge me! SO when I spotted a video how-to the other day about making Mountain Dew Ice cream, well, I simply lost my mind and knew -KNEW- I had to make it.

There were 4 ingredients: Heavy whipping cream, evaporated milk, DMD and food coloring.

Here are a few snaps of the process I took as I performed them according to the video.

dmd1dmd2\

dmd5

 

After the requisite 4-6 hours in the freezer, I tried a sample:

dme4

 

I truly wish someone had been home with me to video my reaction when I tasted it. This is as close as I can come to thinking what I must have looked like:

dmd6

No lie…..

Le sigh.

Now I know why there is an official website called PINTEREST FAILS! Think I should upload mine to their site???

When I’m not attempting to try things NOT in my purview, you can usually find me here:Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me//

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Filed under Author, Contemporary Romance, Cooking, Life challenges, research, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women

NANOWRIMO 2016… Day 1

November has rolled back again – just as it does every year around this time! – and in addition to Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and snowstorms, November brings with it NANOWRIMO, or for those of you who don’t know what the initials represent, National Novel Writing Month.

nanowrimo

NANOWRIMO is a challenge  for writers across the globe  to compose a 50,000 word novel  ( or greater than 50,000 words, if you are so inclined) from 11/1- until 11/30. You catalog your daily word count on the NaNo site and  once the end of the month comes, your total is tallied and, if you reach the 50,000 words, you “Win” the challenge.

This will be my fourth year participating in the challenge and this year is somewhat special for me for a few reasons.

One, I am my RWA New Hampshire chapters’ leader in the NANOWRIMO RWA WORD WARS challenge for this year. Last year, the NHRWA chapter won word wars and I intend to keep our streak going this year for my chapter. I may not have been a cheerleader in school ( too fat, too shy) but I am a totally enthusiastic and encouraging sort and I will do my utmost best to make sure my chapter-mates feel my support!

Two, the past three years I have participated, the novels I wrote for NANO went on to be published. I know! The novel I’m writing this year has already been contracted for Kensington/Lyrical and is due out sometime in 2017/18 so I have plenty of time for edits. HaHa. This challenge is getting my writing butt in gear.

The last reason this year is so special to me is a purely selfish one. People who know me know I love an individual challenge. I’m not into team sports, don’t like to compete with others for anything. I would be one of those who would be voted off the island first! But when the challenge is just between me and myself, well, then I say, “bring it on!”

In preparation this year in my capacity as Chapter Word War Leader, I made a PINTEREST board especially for NaNoWriMo, listing motivations for writers, articles on how to proceed, writing tips and little sayings to keep us all – myself included – up for the challenge. Click on the link and see if any of the boards speak to you.

So, here’s to day 1……..

Do you NaNo? Let’s discuss…

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Filed under #RWA16, Author, Contemporary Romance, Kensington Publishers, Life challenges, Literary characters, love, Lyrical Author, NaNoWriMo, New Hampshire, NHRWA, Romance, Romance Books, RWA