Quote of the Weekend

There is so much I’m not getting to do this Christmas that are normally part of my Holiday Spirit. But, this quote sums up how I feel. I get to be with my family. I am loved. I have so many people I love. Christmas will be a happy time even if all the packages and bows aren’t here.

Merry Christmas!

(Don’t forget! Come January 1st all my content will move to my new blog: Faerie-Stories.com. Make sure you hop over there and follow so you don’t miss any of my upcoming articles!)

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If you’ve been following me for any amount of time, you have survived several changes. I’ve been writing since 2000, and blogging for almost 10 years. My first blog shared my vampire thrillers as a series, writing lessons, and general thoughts on a wide range of topics. By choice, I kept my religious beliefs in the background, wanting to appeal to as many readers as I could. I wanted my writing to be good writing, not Christian writing…if that makes sense.

About four years ago, I made the choice to step away from my thrillers and my blog. I made the choice to take my writing in a different direction. You can read about that here.

This year, I had my first story published in something that I can hold in my hand. I have submitted stories to publishers and to magazines. I have had another story rejected by a magazine, but shared on their blog. One of my pastors has asked me to write a story for the children of our church. I’ve been working with an illustrator. I’ve submitted a fairy tale to a writing contest. One of my nieces keeps up a constant hue and cry for book 2 of my YA Series: The Artists Return. I wrote ten children’s stories this year for my little nieces and nephews. I had a blog post shared on the blog of an artist I admire very much. I wrote the rough draft of a novel in about three weeks that solidified a story motif in my mind that I want to run with: Huntsmen and HearthKeepers. And, last but not least, my brother-in-law wants me to do some writing for him for his Home Owner’s association. I’ll actually get paid to write on a regular basis. All this means two things:

One, more publicity.

Two, less time.

And I’m still doing all of this, except the writing for my brother-in-law, in a 40-minutes-to-an-hour-and-a-half-per-day window of writing time. I pretty much only write early in the morning before my day starts which is limited by how I’m feeling. Sometimes, I can write during lunch at work, but it’s not much. See, writing isn’t my career or my focus in life and it never will be. My home and my church are my focus. Writing is a way to serve both. I would love to supplement our income. I want to encourage my church. But, it isn’t the be all, end all of my life. 

Faced with many projects and limited flex time, l approached a tech savvy friend and asked for help!! We both agreed that as my writing goes more public it’s important that my social media presences is more unified. I have half my accounts as personal and half as public, and none of them have the same name. My blog sounds like a blog of a woman who is only going to talk about homemaking, not a homemaker who is talking about everything from theology, to movie reviews, to WW2, to how abortion has shaped her stories.

At first, I wanted to call all my accounts Warrior Stories. This is the heart of who and what I am and what I write, but almost every time I looked up the name for a username it was taken. The names started getting stranger and more disconnected the more I tried to hold onto the Warrior Stories. After consulting my tech savvy friend who knows my writing heart almost as well as I do, we decided on this:

Faerie Stories: Warrior Stories for the Brave

(Stories let us practice being brave before we have to be.)

The name ‘Faerie Stories’ allows me to communicate the child/YA aspect of my writing. It catches the eye with the alternate version, the one Tolkien used, to spell Fairy. And it was available across the board.

Over the next few weeks you will start to see @faeriestories pop up here and there. Go ahead and follow me. I don’t have much content yet, but I’m working on it. I hope to launch a new everything with the New Year. My goal is to make it look polished, professional, and me.

I want to communicate the way westerns, redemption, mythology, and steampunk combine in my imagination to create a unique cocktail. I want to show that I write a range of stories from Children’s Picture Book stories, to YA Fantasy, with some Christian allegory on the side. I want my Christianity to stand in a forest of good writing. I hope that by reading my blog, following my FB, Twitter, Instagram, Spotify, and Pinterest you will get an idea of who I am and what I write. I hope that you will see that I write from a Reformed Baptist perspective, a Texan perspective, and a warrior perspective.

As I pull myself together on social media, I hope to gain followers, readers, and fans. I don’t think my style lends to an easy gathering of readers, but it does appeal to a wide range of readers. With all this in place, when I submit work to be published, a publisher or magazine can see that I’m active and engaged and ready to help put the word out. I hope it will make it easy for fans to find me across the board, and connect in a way that is meaningful for them. And, I hope to save myself some time by getting on a consistent, manageable schedule.

Right now, I’m looking at one blog post a month, one Instagram post a week. I haven’t decided yet on how many tweets or FB posts. I don’t interact with Twitter much, but I need to start. My FB post will be informative, but also interactive so that readers can give me feedback. I’ll share links as I get things published, and probably excerpts of what I’m working on. As this gets going, please let me know what you think.

I’m excited! This last year my writing has been pretty spastic, flitting from thing to thing. But, it’s also been a year of huge leaps forward. My writing is getting noticed, my YA voice is finding itself, and my collection of children’s stories is growing. I’ve submitted like crazy. Now, it’s time focus.

So, what do you look for in an author’s social interactions? Do you have any authors you follow regularly? What’s your favorite type of content?

Stories let us practice