It was my pleasure to provide a guest post on Linda Hall’s blog (lrhallbooks.blogspot.com) this summer about writing short stories. Today, she is on our blog and I thought it might be interesting to talk to her about how she developed her ideas for a summer full of guest posts by short story writers.
How do you develop the blog themes? What made you choose short stories?
I love short stories, love reading them, love writing them. But let me back up a bit. Since 1992 I’ve been traditionally published with eighteen mystery novels to my credit. This past spring I decided to begin a new journey for this stage of my life, and that is as an author/publisher or Indie Author. I decided that my first foray into the Indie field would be a collection of my short mystery stories. So, I hired a cover artist, had a few Beta reads, and put the whole thing out on my birthday in May.
For a while now I’ve been wanting to somehow feature author interviews on my blog. But in what form? A weekly feature? I decided that what I would do is feature authors on my blog every spring and summer and call them Seasons. So I called this past year, the summer of 2014 as “Season 1.”
Next spring will be Season 2.
Because my first Indie release was a book of short stories, I decided to feature Indie writers of short stories.
Night Watch, my first full-length entirely Indie mystery novel, was released last month and features Captain Em Ridge who is a boat delivery captain. In other words, her job has her delivering other people’s boats from Point A to Point B. Because it’s a novel about sailing, Season 2 is going to feature Indie authors of mysteries that have something to do with the water – ocean, lakes, even streams. It should be fun trying to find authors like that!
For the short story season, I asked on several mystery internet loops. That was all. And I had more authors than I could handle! I had to run twice a week in August just to interview them all.
Tips for someone wanting to do this?
The most important part of any networking plan is to be active on social media. Have not only a Facebook Profile (where you collect friends), but also a Facebook Page where you collect ‘likes.’ Be active on Twitter, write a blog and send out a newsletter. Also, to find authors to interview, hang out on online groups that feature the kind of writers who write the things you like to read. Ask questions. Offer to interview authors – or even prolific readers! I’m toying with the idea of featuring readers (not writers) in Season 3.
Come up with your own ideas. There are so many ways to structure this.
I have loved getting to know the writers I interviewed last summer. Some, I still keep in touch with. It’s a great way to network. It’s a great way to find ‘friends’ in this community. And then when you do go to a conference or two and you see a name badge of someone you interviewed, you’ll have an instant friendship!
For last summer’s posts requested in advance, it looked like you were traveling – how did you set those up – any special software or just using WordPress with a schedule publication date?
Yes, my husband and I are on our boat all summer and so I wanted to get these all set up ahead of time. I use Blogspot which allows me to pre-schedule my blogs. I believe WordPress is the same. It’s an easy matter to pre-schedule any number of blog posts. You can also schedule Facebook Page posts and Tweets. So, I would get the interview up there, and then head over to Facebook and Twitter and pre-schedule those as well.
Was the travel related to research for a book? if so, do you have a process for that? How much is too much or when do you stop?
Since Night Watch is set largely along the coast of Maine, I guess you could say it was research. We sail along the coast of Maine every summer. As for research, I generally don’t do a lot of specific research until the book is finished.
Thanks Linda. For more information about Night Watch or Linda, please see the following: