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So I thought I'd tell you about some of the suggestions I made and some ideas on how to fill those blank spaces titled 'anything you want to write about'.
1. For my own tour, I offered the host a choice of interview, review (nerve-racking, I know, but you have to start somewhere), guest post on a topic of their choice (see 2), or an excerpt. Of course, interviews and excerpts are the easy (or easier) options, but trying to make interview answers sound fresh and interesting when it might be the third, fourth, fifth etc time you've answered a particular question does get harder. I'm not naturally funny, but I try to be. >.<
Also, I try to make excerpts exclusive (and some host sites will insist that it *is* exclusive) which gets harder the more you do. I don't want to give too much of the story away, and publishers often put a limit on how much of your work you can use for promo (sometimes the first one or three chapters, or so many words or a percentage, so watch how much you use). But someone following your tour will soon switch off and lose interest if it's the same excerpt every time.
2. Guest posts. Now, one thing I did while writing or editing over the past year is actually write a few potential blog posts as I went along, as thoughts occurred to me. It could be your struggles with a particular scene, an interesting bit of research you came across, why you added/deleted something (BTW, deleted scenes and/or maybe a scene you thought of for a sequel/spin off could make a good post. For Tethered, I had a potential opening scene for a follow on book which I was able to use as an exclusive for one host site). Maybe a particular song you were listening to that helped with a section you were stuck on or inspired a character. Anything like that, while the event is fresh in your mind.
I've also done some Five Things - five music tracks connected to the story, five facts about the story itself or something in it (eg for my zombie story Restless In Peaceville I have facts about zombies, and my paranormal short has five facts about redheads), five heroines from SciFi who inspired mine, and so on. Or you could do your five favourite bands, films, food, characters - anything like that, and just a little explanation about each. One of my author friends suggested ten things I need to write (thank you, Starla Huchton!). Sometimes breaking something down into points/facts works better than just trying to work from scratch. Also, some bloggers did give me topics they wanted. These might be tricky, but having SOMETHING can spark a post better than nothing. When all else fails, ask for suggestions or Google blog idea generators.
3. I generally make playlists for my stories as I write them, but oddly Tethered never got one. But those playlists can make for a good post (and you can use widgets from something like Grooveshark to actually include the tracks in your post). You can talk about how and why you chose the music, what influence it had, what it means to you. Music is such a huge part of my inspiration.
4. Image inspiration. As a break from writing, I often look up images either to spark a story or go with it, or to mock up covers for them. I'm no graphic designer, but sometimes it helps me focus on the main elements in the story and fine tune how characters look. But sharing those also make for a good blog post and maybe help explain your creative process.
5. Talking about writing. I don't know about you, but this is THE hardest topic for me. My process is chaotic and nonlinear. About the only helpful advice I can give aspiring authors is NOT to write like me. So here I tend to focus on the importance of research and talk over what I looked up, what I struggled with, what really interested me, and what resources I used.
So there you go. Maybe if you have some ideas you could add them in the comments. :)
With all my upcoming releases, I don't expect to have anything new to announce before the end of 2014, other than an official re-release date for Keir (fingers crossed). I'm currently trying to finish an angel story (futuristic UF before you think I've forsaken SF permanently for the supernatural) for a submission call, a zombie short for an open call with Lycaon Press (who are publishing Restless In Peaceville), and possibly other short stories as yet incomplete, as part of Camp NaNoWriMo. The angel story has to be in by the end of July though, and if accepted would be released in December. SIX titles in six months? Could be a title too far...
Right now my schedule looks like this -
21st-30th Tethered tour with Breathless Press
21st - You Gotta Read
22nd - Love Romance Passion
23rd - Romance Reviews Today, Ezrabet's Enchantments
24th - Books and More, Sizzling Hot Books, Breathless Blog, Savvy Authors
25th - release day Tethered, spotlight at - Karenna's Blog,Pamaceeve's Blog, Nanee McGee,
28th - Urban Fantasy
29th - Literary Lagniappe (plus giveaway), Katie Babbles
30th - spotlight at Book Infatuation
8th-22nd - tour for Tethered
8th - Cate Peace
9th - Liza O'Connor
10th - Karen Y Bynum, Liana Brooks
11th - Melisse Aires
12th - Patty Hammond
13th - Celia Breslin, Samantha Holt
14th - Mark of the Stars
15th - My Creative Desk, Elle Clouse
17th - Pam Mandingo
18th - Cassandra Page
20th - Layna Pimental
20th - Release day for Restless In Peaceville
21st - Winter Bayne
22nd - Sonya Clark
25th - Veronica Scott