Writing Journey: Part XXI
So last time I was left with a book coming out in March (Tower of Strength), a YA fantasy based on a Finnish folktale I'd written because, well, I felt driven to, and now needed to shop around nationally, and I was on the LDStorymakers Conference committee and the Whitney Awards committee.
And of course, throughout all this, I'm always doing editing and magazine writing stuff.
Nope. Not busy or anything.
Right around the new year, Covenant sent out an e-mail to their authors requesting submissions for a compilation of true Christmas stories they'd be putting out for the holiday. My gut reaction was sort of, yeah, right, like I can put one more thing on my plate.
But immediately following that came a memory of a really amazing Christmas experience I'd had nearly twenty years prior. Plus, if I'm given the chance to submit something, even if I don't know if it'll be accepted, I'll usually take it. I'm nuts that way.
So I wrote the story up. Technically, I'd already written it many, many years before when Covenant had a Christmas short story contest for a similar compilation of new authors. That contest was for short stories, fiction. I didn't make it. (One more of my many rejections.)
This time I went back to that version and kinda cringed. It wasn't that bad, but I could see why they didn't want it: the piece really wasn't written that well. Man, I'd come a long way in ten or so years.
I used very little of the original and pretty much rewrote the whole thing from scratch. About the only thing I kept was the fake names for some of the people involved, because the story is real, very personal, and in some spots, painful, and I don't want the real people to be easily identified.
I submitted it and almost forgot about it because my plate was so stinkin' full. (For the sake of brevity, I'm going to finish up this story quickly: my true Christmas story was accepted a few months later and will be out this fall in the compilation. Yay!)
Now I had my blog tour to coordinate. With my first five books, I'd never done one. Of course, with my first book in 2002, blogs pretty much didn't exist, so neither did blog tours.
The summer before Tower came out, I saw a debate on a blog about whether blog tours were effective. One person said that no, they weren't, that all the tours they'd seen were, to use their term, "incestuous," meaning that the same five or ten people blogged about each other's books, so the exact same readers saw the book over and over again. The person also said that Mormon blog tours would be pointless because Mormon readers aren't online reading blogs.
One commenter disagreed, especially when referring to Mormon women. She said that there's a HUGE female Mormon blogger community, if you just know where to look. It's the new Mormon scrapbooking, she said. And so, yes, they're online, and a writer could have a very effective tour if they knew where to do it.
My eyebrows went up. I'd been blogging for some time by that point, but I still had no inkling about this huge Mormon women blogger world OR where to find it. I tend to be clueless that way.
So I decided to ask her to find out.