Friday, July 17, 2009

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.


Heffalump said...

Haha! Interestingly enough, most of the blogs I read are written by LDS women. There are only a few that aren't. It just seems like I stumbled on to one, and from there, found many other blogs. For some it took me a while to figure out they were members. Last year I went to a Bloggy meet up attended by 15 bloggers. I was kind of nervous about it, and some were bloggers I had never read. So, I looked at each of their blogs and it turned out that all 15 of them were LDS!

Kimberly Vanderhorst said...

My experience has been much the same as Heffalump's - too funny. And I absolutely adore reading blog tours and have bought many books because of them.

Unknown said...

I have never heard of a blog tour before, but it is a cool idea.

It is true that Mormon women have really caught hold of the mom-blog community. I think that mom blogging gives us a sense of sisterhood that we sometimes lack in our more fragmented modern world!

Rebecca Irvine said...

I have not been to any blogger meet ups yet, but most of the blogs I read are written by women who openly indicate they are LDS. It is a huge community out there and I tend to think blog tours are worthwhile. Not that I have done one yet... but, ya know. Maybe this fall with the release of my second book.

Kaylynn said...

I enjoyed your blog tour--you found great people to post reviews. Can't wait to see the compilation of Christmas stories--I love those types of things!

Lara Neves said...

I am seriously excited for the Christmas book. I love compilations like that.

I was blogging for nearly 3 years before I discovered the amazing LDS presence in the blogging world. Since then, I've just been sucked right many wonderful blogs, so many wonderful LDS writers out there. Hard to know where to draw the line!

hi, it's me! melissa c said...

It won't be hard to find those Mormon blogging women. I'm one of them. I have a few on my blog roll. Just check them out. They will lead to even more.

That is how I started. I love reading blogs of other women who are so much like me.

Congrats on your story! That is so awesome!

Mikki said...

That Christmas book sounds great! Keep us informed about when it comes out, I'd love to get my hands on it!!
I pretty much started blogging BECAUSE of the other LDS bloggers in my ward, and they're pretty much the only blogs I read currently. I probably should expand my horizons a bit more though.

Anonymous said...

Master of the cliffhanger! I swear, I fall for it every time. I get invested in the story, can't wait to hear more, and then--WAM! Over. =[ But I'll forgive you. =]

I had this same conversation with someone recently about blog tours. I'm interested to hear your take on it.


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