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Archive for September, 2013

 

What do I want to be when I grow up? When I was a little girl I was asked this question and usually replied with a host of different occupations~~depending on the age at the time and the current vogue occupations. What did I want to be?

As a little girl I can remember having the same dreams most little girls had. I wanted to be a dancer or an actress or a singer and make movies and be on television. I also wanted to be a mommy with a big house and a beautiful yard…very much a fulltime job on its own. Sometimes I wanted to be a cowgirl and sometimes I wanted to be other people…guess this would go under the actress category!

I wanted to be an airline stewardess throughout most of my teen years. The thought of traveling to distant lands and exploring our country appealed to me and I knew as a stewardess I would spend endless hours traveling as my job but I’d also have access to great benefits which included air travel for little or no expense! It was the time of the great international airlines, Pan Am was my airline of choice…Delta was my national airline of choice. Unfortunate for me, the minimum age requirement was far above the 17 years old that I had been at graduation. And as I grew older I developed a fear of heights…not a great way to start a career flying the skies!

I considered law enforcement. My family for generations had law officers in one capacity or another. My father had been a cop, my great-grandfather¬†had been a jailer, my uncle had formed a K-9 unit for a large city, more family than I can recount had positions on forces locally and away…I loved the investigative nature of the job and I had always felt a strong connection to these roots. Unfortunately, yet again, that didn’t seem feasible with my aversion to the drama and the seriousness of the scenes that I would have seen. Nope, not for me.

My vocation for many years dealt with accounting and bookkeeping…lots and lots of numbers! I was good at it, but it had never been my first choice as a career. There came a time when I knew this, too, was not a career for me. I could fill a book with advice on the detrimental stress and anxiety of working in a field that you shouldn’t be in. But that is an entirely different story.

My point is, throughout all these years I loved to write. As a child I would keep diaries, as a teen I’d write stories, as a young adult I kept journals and wrote long flowing letters and dreamed of the characters I’d see forming in my imagination. As a mother I took pride in the creativeness of my children and, perhaps because of my interest in writing, encouraged them to seek creative outlets. I continued to love novels, especially romantic novels, and to dream of a future…perhaps as an author.

Today, I write. I follow that elusive dream of being an author. I have kept my eyes open and learned about how to structure my stories, how to bring not only my characters but the places they reside to life, how to use social networking, about how to submit manuscripts and to write queries. I have even submitted work before…and I continue to imagine worlds of characters. Deep within, I believe this is what I was meant to be. I’ve learned that I am not the first in my family…going back many generations…to love to write. I doubt I will be the last.

Never give up on your aspirations!

Just being me,

KW

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One question that is heard these days around the writing circuit is, “What is your brand?”

At first I felt the question needed a question from me. “Brand? My shoes?” Maybe they recognized the clothing I wore, maybe they just were dying to have a pair of jeans like those I wore, or maybe even they admired a piece of jewelry. No…these days I hear more about branding even though I had always felt it was more obvious what type writer was, well, what.

I know one writer whose brand is vampires. She writes romances based in the world of vampires and sorcery. That’s cool. Another writer I know is marketing to young adult readers. She writes books of romances mainly between couples in their really early twenties. I’ve even seen some young adult romances with characters in their late teens. And yes, I know authors who love to write erotic romances as well.

Brands are definitely¬†important, I suppose, if you meet a group of writers and want to establish exactly what each author writes. Do they write Regency, Victorian, Westerns, contemporary? Do they write about vampires or zombies, do they write about high society Regency couples or modern couples in middle class America? Perhaps they write strictly about a certain part of the country or a certain sub-genre. Maybe their work is sweet, perhaps it is a bit spicy…perhaps it is incredibly erotic.

I’d grouped writers into categories most of my life…never realizing I was actually branding them in my head. But, to be honest, knowing the brand you represent and the way you market your books based on that knowledge gives you an idea of what you will do once your book is ready for the public. At conferences I’ve seen authors wearing clothing that defines their work…many are often in character for dinners or events. Victorian dresses, vampire teeth, boas or supernatural characters are not that unusual. It definitely shows me what books these authors write. I love how easily I recognize their brands!

Yes, I am beginning to see the way branding works for writers. As in any other profession…it is good to know how to market your work and to whom. By identifying your specific brand you are able to reach the right demographic for your book.

I’m still learning about how to build my brand…

What is yours?

KW

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Atlanta is an amazing city for writers. I recently attended the 2013 Romance Writers of America convention there and I must say this city is not only filled with amazing romance authors but is an inspirational part of our country for someone like me.

To see the home that Margaret Mitchell, author of Gone With The Wind, lived in and to imagine the history that took place among the hills that surround the city…it boggles the mind.

It was such an honor to get to see and hear many of today’s successful authors. The workshops were not only informative but were great places to bond with others in the writing field.

Look for my blog to post more often (had you noticed I’ve been MIA for a few months?) and for my webpages to get a slight overhaul. It is good to be back online and getting my writing organized once again after a few months’ absence to take care of things I’d let pile up during this busy year.

What’s been happening in your world while I’ve been busy elsewhere…

KW

 

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