The Purity of Blood Novels

31 July 2015: Purity Lost … a whole new look

In my journey to upgrade the look and feel of my series, The Purity of Blood, I recrafted the cover of book two, Purity Lost.  Here’s the new and improved cover:

Purity Lost

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As opposed to the old cover:

Book 2 Final Cover Updated

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This cover had potential, but the typography were weak.  Let’s face it, you just can’t read it.  So I punched up the title, made my author name more prominent, gave the smoke a bit of a twist and for a bit of continuity, I added in the same red hair in the background that I used as a major part of the book one cover.

Is this going to be the final cover?  Probably not.  As I grow as an author/publisher/marketer, so are my cover designs.

So, do you every upgrade your book covers?

-Jennifer

Jennifer Geoghan, author of The Purity of Blood novel series and If Love is a Lie: Finding and Losing Love Online.

23 July 2015: A Media Kit? What for?

As I mentioned last week, in an attempt to create a more professional “Jennifer Geoghan Novels,” one of my current projects has been to create a media kit to have as a page on my blog.

What’s a Media Kit you ask???

Well, from what research I’ve done, a media kit is designed specifically for members of the media (reporters, bloggers, etc.) It should contain more detailed information than the basic “about me” content on a website as well as have more thorough contact information. Your media kit should provide the media with what they’ll need to do a story on you. Kinda like an interview without the interview.  It should include things like:

  • Author Bios
  • High res photos of the Author
  • Jpgs images of Book Covers
  • Contact Info
  • List of all books (with ISBNs, length, links to where to buy, etc.)
  • Synopsis of books
  • Frequently asked questions & suggested interview questions (Questions and answers listed)
  • Excerpts from your book/sample chapters
  • Excerpts from reviews of your books
  • Awards you’ve won
  • Past press mentions of you and your works

At first I started working on this as sort of an exercise. I knew I wanted to tune up my Author Bio (the one I had on my Amazon Author page and a few other places) But I have to say that working on this project has been very helpful to me. How helpful it will be to the media … well, that remains to be seen.

It was suggested that you have four different author bios.

  • One that is 140 characters or less (tweet-able)
  • A Short Bio (50 words)
  • A Medium Bio (100 words)
  • A Long Bio (400 to 600 words)

Personally, I started with the long one and then shortened it down to the shorter versions. While rewriting my bio, I finally understood what a few sources had said about media kits, that’s it’s really about creating a unified message, and directing that message in the way you want the media to present you to the world.   Working on my bios made me take long look at another thing I’ve read along that way, and that is that as an Indi Author, I AM MY BRAND.  My bio is the description of the Jennifer Geoghan Novels brand.   If you’d like to read the new long version bio, click on the About Me tab here on my blog. I’ve updated it. See, my media kit is already coming in handy!

I’ve also been picking out photos of me that represent me as a brand. I’m a romance writer, so I’m thinking they need to have a somewhat romantic feel about them.  Am I a single gal who lives alone?  Yes, but my brand needs to read a little differently than that.  What I write is romance with a twist, unconventional love stories.   Not only that, but I firmly believe that romance comes in all shapes, sizes and forms.  This is why I like to have two different versions of my novels.  So the same story can be enjoyed by folks who enjoy different forms of romance.  This is my brand!  Yay, know I know how to sell myself!

Right now I’m working on reworking my book blurbs. They’re what I have pasted in my kit so far for a book synopsis, but again, you’re supposed to have a short and long version description of each book. Why? I’m thinking it’s so that a journalist who only wants a two sentence description of the book won’t just take the first two sentences of the long description of your book (you know chopping off the good stuff.) Again, it’s about controlling your message.

Lord, I wish I’d done this so long ago. So that’s my word of advice for today. Start to think about your message, your brand, and how you can use your blog, your Facebook page, your novels, Goodreads, Pinterest, twitter, in short everything to help mold and shape the perception of your brand image as a writer. I guess I knew this on some basic level when I first started publishing, but it wasn’t until I started this media kit exercise that I really saw the big picture come together.

So do you have a media kit?  Have you found uses for it?  I’d love to hear from you!

-Jennifer

Jennifer Geoghan, Author of The Purity of Blood novels and If Love is a Lie: Finding and Losing Love Online.

Caveman Novel

20 July 2015: Do We Really Need Book Covers?

Gee, I haven’t heard from Jennifer in a few days.  I wonder what she’s been up to?

BOOK COVER HELL!!!!

I finally finished my quick rewrite of my first book in The Purity of Blood series.  I want to do a relaunch for it and send it out to some reviewers.  That said, I want her spiffied up and ready to shine like the glorious masterpiece she is.   Sometimes you have to rip the band-aid off and toss out your stubborn notions.  I’ve been doing that these past few days which is what consigned me to Book Cover Hell, a place of torment and suffering for those who strive for nothing but perfection.

Why don’t you just hire someone to do your covers?

Well, in a perfect world, I could consign someone else to book cover hell, but alas, old Jennifer has a hard time letting go of control (and money) when it comes to covers.

So what’s the problem?

The problem is, I want a cover that will SELL BOOKS!  I know, I’m now on my way to writer hell for profaning my work with a cover that will …. help sell the book more than be a representation of the inner workings of my masterpiece.  This is where the tossing of my notions comes in.  When I designed the cover for this book (about two years ago) I had in mind to do the single item sort of cover (think Twilight and 50 shades book covers)  But in hindsight, I’m thinking that if you’re not a known author, that may not be the best way to go.

Sex Sells!

Yes, this is true, but true as it may be, I may profane my masterpiece with a cover that sells, but AS God AS MY WITNESS, A half-naked man (or woman) will never grace the cover of a Jennifer Geoghan novel.  Don’t get me wrong, I love a half-naked man as much as the next red-blooded American gal, but let’s face it, they don’t exactly scream good literature.  My books may be romance inspired novels, but I do my best to create artful literature as well.

So whatch gonna do now?

I’m glad you asked.  I … dropped the lion.  God, it was soooo hard.  I really love my lion.  It has real meaning in the novel too.  Not only that … I dropped the DNA strand.  Gees …. I’m dying here.  Someone open a window, I think I’m getting the vapers.   Yes, the lion and the DNA strand were the band-aids I ripped off like a virgin running out of a whorehouse.

So what evolved out of my weekend in book cover hell.  This:

New Cover Test 4

Why the red hair?  My protagonist, Sara, has a flaming head of red hair.  It’s also feminine and lends towards a bit more of an air of romance than my trusty old lion.  For comparison’s sake, here’ what I’m currently using as a cover:

Reimagined Cover Design

Reimagined Cover Design

So, what do you think????  Will my new cover attract more sales?

Thoughts?  Predictions?  Let’s hear em’!!

-Jennifer

Jennifer Geoghan, Author of The Purity of Blood novels and If Love is a Lie: Finding and Losing Love Online.

16 July 2015: A Mother Shouldn’t Have Favorites

Just like a mother shouldn’t have favorites, I sometimes feel as an author, I shouldn’t think of one of my characters as a favorite.  After all, my characters are my children.  I gave birth to them.

I shouldn’t … but I do …

When I say favorite, what I’m really talking about is my favorite to write for.  When asked which is my favorite of my novels, I always answer The Blood That Binds (The Purity of Blood Volume III)  It’s my favorite for a few reasons, but one is that it has my favorite characters to write for.  Now you’d think my favs would include the Big Three (Sara, Daniel and Ben) but actually it doesn’t.  Don’t get me wrong, I love all my children, but some are just more fun to write.

As I’ve said a few times, when I write, I feel as if I’m really just taking dictation.  I can literally hear the voices of my characters chattering away in my head as I type.  My favorite voices belong to Roger, Lauri and Mason. Roger is Sara’s(my protagonist) brother. He’s a very marginal character until book three when Sara goes to spend the summer living with him and his wife Lauri. Highly intelligent, Roger is a bumbling professor sort, whose clothing always needs ironing. But there’s a lot more to Roger than meets the eye.  Like Sara, he’s a man with a past. Lauri, his floral dress and single strand of pearls wearing wife, is a housewife pulled straight out of the 1950’s.  Her exterior is pure June Cleaver with a sexy twist.  She’s a mother to two small children, a loving and supportive wife.  But put these two love birds together and they’re a 1920’s his/hers comedy act full of one liners that zing back and forth like crazy.  Lauri is continually frustrated at how her husband gives no thought to walking around town looking like a frumpy professor, but despite that is madly in love with him and wouldn’t have him any other way. Roger’s new job as curator of the Lighthouse Museum in Stonington, CT is a dream job and as much as he loves his wife and kids, he could spend all day at work. Together, Lauri and Roger are a joy to write for. Here’s a sample of some of their antics:

I found her in our bedroom in front of a pile of dresses on the bed. Hands on her hips, she stared down at them in nothing but her lacy pink bra and matching panties.

“I can’t decide what to wear,” she lamented with a hint of frustration in her voice.

Walking past her into the closet to change, I said “I think what you have on now is just fine.”

She slapped me on the backside as I passed her by.

“Smart-aleck. Now I know where your son gets it from.”

I started rummaging through my clothes to find something suitable to wear, and after picking something out, walked back in the bedroom.

As she picked up a dress off the bed, Lauri turned and looked at me.

“No. You’re not wearing that in public.”

“What’s wrong with it?” I asked, taking a second look at the decision I was holding in my hands.

With pursed lips, all she could do is shake her head at me like she did with the kids when she was at a loss for words.

“There.”

She pointed to a pair of pants and a shirt hanging on the back of the bathroom door. “And please try not to get too wrinkly before we arrive at the picnic. I just ironed them.”

Knowing there was no point in doing anything other than what she said, I headed for the bathroom.

And then there’s good old Mason …

Ahh, Mason.  He’s Roger’s new boss, and another one of my favorites.  SPOILER ALERT!!!!  Mason’s the bad guy of Book three. Up until book three, all my bad guys had been vampires, but Mason is a lowly human.  A lowly, sexy, devil-may-care, evil to the core, lecherous, rich, philanthropic, vampire killing, caring, conniving man.  He’s Roger’s boss, but he’s chasing after Roger’s little sister … Sara, and with dishonorable intentions and honorable motivations.   He’s a riddle.  He’s a man you love to hate.  I believe a truly good villain must have a duality about him.  You have to hate him, but at the same time sympathize with him. After all, that’s life. There are no thoroughly evil people in this world. We all have darkness and light in us. Who we are is a result of the ration of light to dark. Sara is our heroine, but eve she has great darkness that hides in her light. She’s far from perfect.  In  truth, Mason is a shadowy reflection of her. He has great light that hides in his darkness. Because of this, he’s a lot of fun to write for.  He wants Sara because of her light, be he’s equally attracted to her darkness because in her he sees a kindred spirit. For Sara, in Mason she finds a man who perhaps might be the only man who could accept her darker side, a man who would embrace her whole. But she also knows he’s not a good person. Yet that desire to be accepted is very strong in us as humans. It can over right our better judgment, blur our sense of right and wrong, goodness and evil.

Here’s an excerpt from a chapter Mason is given the narration of:

Walking out on the back door, I stood on the edge of the patio and gazed down on my sailboat tied up at the dock below. Sara was my only concern. It was her safety and the puzzling mystery of how a vampire had managed to break through our lines only to end up in her bedroom that had plagued my thoughts all day. I couldn’t get the image of her ripe young body lying peacefully on her bed as she slept.   Suddenly the curtains parted. As they shifted, the vampire silently crawled in her window and crept over to stare down at her perfect breasts as they rose and fell with her every breath. Perhaps he’d run his hand up her shapely legs, all the way from her ankle to her hip before he sunk his teeth into her elegant alabaster neck. I shuddered at the waste, at the death of such a creature as Sara. So much potential, so close to being snuffed out. We had to catch this vamp and kill it quickly. Besides the safety concerns for the Donnellys, it was bad for morale and that was almost as important to my overall plans at this critical juncture as Sara and Roger were.

I remembered how I’d felt when Sara had thrown me to the floor like a school boy that morning in the lighthouse, how I’d stared up that sexy leg into her big brown eyes while her shoe pressed down on my jugular.   For an instant I’d seen something there. It was dark, very dark, and I had to admit I’d been incredibly turned on by it. I’d fantasized more than a few times about what could have happened if Roger hadn’t walked in. How I’d have loved to have bent her over the table and shown her what it was like to be a real woman. She’d have liked that, I could tell. She’d beg for more like they all did. Yes, I thought to myself, I was looking forward to this. Swirling the last of the scotch around in my glass, I smiled. Yes, this was going to be a pleasure.

Well, I hope you enjoyed a little of my favs.

-Jennifer

Jennifer Geoghan, Author of If Love is a lie: Finding and Losing Love Online and The Purity of Blood Novels.

14 July 2015: The Virtue of Patience

Because I’ve been giving book one of my series a little extra polish, I’ve had some time to reflect on the virtues of waiting to publish the first book in the series until after you’re written the last book.   To be honest, this would have been a lot harder to do if I’d had in mind to publish them when I first started writing.  But in truth, when I created my series, I had no intention of doing that.  I just started it as a challenge to myself to see if I could actually sit down and write a book.  I was half way through book three when I sat up and said “Hey, these are really good.  I should be publishing these!”

And so an Indie Author was born …

Now onto the virtues of patience.

productmockup

This week while rereading and polishing book one in my series, I came across a little something I added in AFTER I WROTE BOOK FIVE!  Yes, four books later, I went back and inserted this scene into book one as foreshadowing.  I actually wrote all five books, then went back and re-edited them and after I finished the edits published them one at a time.  This requires a lot of patience, but in the long run, it’s totally worth it.   When in book five I finally revealed so much of the mysteries that had persisted throughout the first four books, going back to book one gave me the opportunity to reinvigorate that first book with a few interesting tidbits that a reader wouldn’t really understand the full meaning of until the finished reading five and then went back to reread the series from book one.

In book five, one character describes how in reaction to something the protagonist did in book one, he leaves the house, goes out back and makes a phone call.  It’s a Very Important phone call, game changing really.  My protagonist, Emily, is shocked by this revelation!  Well, when I went back and re-edited book one, I was able to write in how Emily sees him standing outside arguing on the phone but has no idea who he’s talking to or about what.  If only she knew …..  It’s what you’d call a toss away phrase that in and of itself is meaningless in the grand scheme of book one, but I designed the books to be like peeling away the layers of an onion. Once you read book two, you should go back and reread book one because you’ll understand more.  After reading five, you can go back to one and be like …

“No way!  That’s who he was calling?!?!?”

There’s another insertion into book one.  In a lecture Emily is in, her first class at college, her Art History professor shows a few slides of paintings.  The paintings are actually pictures that foreshadow things that happen in book five.  A woman in a champagne colored gown in the woods, a white sailboat with billowing sails on a blue-green sea.  It’s very subtle, but I’m a big fan of subtlety.

Again, most books that are part of a series are written one and published one at a time, but if you really want to have the intricate web of threads weaving them all together like I do, I’m not sure if you can do the one and publish, two and publish way of things.  In the end, I’m thankful I decided to wait and hold off hitting the publish button.  So much of the artistry of my novels would have been lost if I had.

So what do you think? 

Would you be willing to write close to a million words and five novels before you published the first one.  And yes, all five books together are just shy of one million words.

-Jennifer

9 July 2015: …. So Now What?

So I launched my latest project last week, If Love is a Lie.  Sigh … always a big weight off your shoulders when you reach that point where you can’t tinker with the book anymore.  And if I’m anything, it’s a tinkerer.

So what’s next?

A good question.  Right now I’ve got a couple of things going on.  First off, I decided to put a hold on starting to pound out my next novel.  Instead I wanted to concentrate on the first book in my series, The Purity of Blood.  As stated above, I’m a tinkerer, and of all my books, the first one seems to need a little tune up the most.  Besides retooling the cover, I wanted to make sure the book was a tight as possible, because …. I want to try to get it reviewed.  I have to say I’ve never tried to get any of my books reviewed before, and since I’ve changed my mind-set to a business oriented one when it comes to my writing career, it’s time to kick up my game to the next level.

On that train of thought, my other project is putting a media kit together.  A media kit is meant to provide the media, bloggers, or anyone else interested with the basic at a glance facts of your life, career, novels, etc..   Sounds easy enough to put together, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.   I started working on it last night and I’m sure will be doing a few blog posts on my progress.

So … do you have a media kit?  Do you find it helpful?  I’d love to hear anyone’s opinions on the subject.

-Jennifer

Don’t forget to check out my latest novel, If Love is a lie, now available on Amazon.  Click on the image below for a link to the novel on Amazon.

If Love is a Lie: Finding and Losing Love Online, by Jennifer Geoghan

If Love is a Lie: Finding and Losing Love Online, by Jennifer Geoghan

7 July 2015: Opinions Wanted

So in keeping with the idea that I want to rebrand my book series, I’ve been tinkering with new book covers.  It’s funny when you first start and you’re all proud of your first cover you create … and then you get some experience under your belt and you’re like UGGG! What was I thinking!!

I can’t beat myself up too much.  I was really going for that Twilight/50 Shades simplistic look, a single object to represent the story.  That’s all well and good … but, it sucked.

So, with that in mind, I spent some time today rethinking the cover design.  I still wanted the lion as it’s very representative of the book, just as I still wanted it to have a DNA strand.

So, Here’s the old cover:

The Purity of Blood - Volume I

Original Cover Design

And here’s what I just came up with:

Reimagined Cover Design

Reimagined Cover Design

Because it always helps to have an idea what the book is about …..
Sara Donnelly was completely unprepared for what she found when she arrived at New Paltz University. Leaving her parents behind to start a new chapter of her life in New Paltz, a small college town nestled in the Catskills of New York State; she hoped to escape the horrors of her past in the unfamiliar surroundings of her new life as a college student. Little does she know that shortly after her arrival she’ll not only be forced to confront the horrors of her childhood, but everything she’s ever believed about the world she lives in as well.
Through her relationships with her mysterious professor Jonathan Walker and his teaching assistant Daniel Simmons, she discovers that her family’s ancient past is the future that’s awaited her in New Paltz all along, causing both men to unexpectedly find their way into her heart, but for very different reasons.
With a fiery temperament and spirit to match her red hair, Sara discovers her family history colliding with her present day in ways that even a genealogist such as herself could never have imagined. After all, who could possibly imagine vampires walking out of the pages of fantasy and into your present day?

So, what do you think of the new cover?  I really want to hear some opinions, suggestions, etc..

Thanks,

Jennifer

6 July 2015: Randall Wells: Making a Fictional Character out of a Real Person

Yesterday I talked about how I used my family tree on Ancestry.com to promote my book series.  Today I thought I’d talk about exactly how you take a person long dead and gone and pull them into the living.  No, I’m not making zombies in my spare time, I’m too busy writing for that nonsense.

Zombies?  Who’s got time to fiddle with that?

In my book series, The Purity of Blood, the general gist is that Sara, my protagonist, is a pure.  A pure is someone whose blood is especially appealing to vampires because of the lack of genetic impurities in  their blood.  This makes them tastier than your average human.  Because they’re pure, people in these families enjoy exceptionally good health, actually they never get sick at all and usually only die of old age.   I go into this more in the books, but suffice it to say, Sara’s family is one of these rare families.

because I’m a genealogist on the side, I love to study the members of my family tree in detail.  It was that dream of meeting some of my long dead ancestors that inspired me to write my novels to begin with.  Problem is, how do you talk to someone who died well over a hundred years ago???  Easy, make them a vampire.  🙂  So in my novels, I give Sara my exact family tree.  Same names, same dates, same everything.  I only changed the names of my actual parents, but other than that, everything I mention in my novels if pretty close to all the research I’ve done on my family tree for the last 25 years.

Exactly how do you do that?

So when I started creating the ideas that would be the crux of my novels, Randall Wells and his wife Lois Maxson were at the heart of it all.  Randall and Lois are my 4th Great-Grandparents.  For unknown reasons, I’ve always had a fondness for them.  Maybe it’s because the house that Randle built still exists today.  Maybe it’s because he’s a patriot ancestor of mine.  Who knows, but for whatever reason, if I could meet any of my ancestors face to face to have a sit down and get the real story of their lives, it would be Randall and Lois.

So enter The Purity of Blood novels …

The Purity of Blood - Volume I

How do you take real people like Randall and Lois and make them believable characters in a novel?  I mean, what do I really know about who they were as people?  These are the things that puzzle me, that I ponder when I work on my family tree.  Were my ancestors good and kind people?  Were they jerks?  Were they good husbands and wives?

Well, to start with, you start at the beginning, what we know for fact.

Randall Wells Sr.:  Born 30 Sept 1747 In Hopkinton, RI … Died the Fall of 1821 in Hopkinton, RI … Married Lois Maxson (1748-1819) in 1770.  Randall was the son of Edward Wells and Elizabeth Randall, also of Hopkinton for many generations.  Lois and Randall had 6 children.  History books of the area list Randall as a successful farmer with at least 148 acres.  He served in the Rhode Island assembly for a few years and was the Hopkinton Town Treasurer as well as a Justice of the Peace.  Military records show he served many years in the Hopkinton Militia during the Revolutionary War rising at least to the rank of Captain. In his will, he remembers all his children.

But there are more interesting facts that have made their way through time as well. Hopkinton town records books also say that “Voted that Randall Wells have License to sell all sorts of spiritous liquors in his now dwelling house for the space of 6 months from this day (November 1, 1773)”  Him and some other also formed the “Hopkinton Horse Insurance Company,” where you could insure your horse for $1 against theft.  I’m guessing that was the car insurance of the day.

So when I sat down and wondered how all this could tell me what kind of a man Randall was, I took into account the legacy of what he left behind with his children.   The most direct account I have of the legacy Randall left behind is from my Great Aunt Dot.  In here memoirs, she writes of her grandfather Jonathan Wells, who was Randall’s grandson.  She writes Jonathan was a kind considerate courageous man from my father’s point of view and judging from the strict way my father brought us up, yet tender and loving and full of care especially to the ill or competent.”  I like to think that since this tradition of child rearing was passed down to me through my mother and she was a Wells, that perhaps this was how Randall raised his children.  Is this true?  How’s to say, but I chose to believe so and made Randall that way in my novels.

So in my novels, Randall is a young man growing up in Hopkinton.  His father and brothers are all in the farming trade.  The same with Lois’ family.  But how would they have met?  Well, Hopkinton is a small town and probably would have been a small town back then.  However, they were a religious bunch and I have to assume probably didn’t socialize much with the neighboring families outside of church functions.   With this in mind, I wrote it that Randall had only been formally introduced to Lois on one occasion, but that he’d had a crush on her for years.  When he was old enough to marry, he and his father rode over in their carriage to the Maxson house and his father proposed the idea of an arranged marriage between Lois and Randall to Mr. Maxson.  Lois agrees, but she’s not in love with Randall.  She thinks Randall’s very handsome and a man with good prospects, but she only agrees to marry him because it’s a good match for her and she thinks Randall will be good to her.  Love?  Did too many folks marry for love back then?  I don’t know, but I have to imagine that many married in a small town like Hopkinton because it was a “good match.”  Besides, it makes for a better story if the learn to love each other.  Well, in this case, if Lois learns to love Randall, because he’s already head over heals for her.

In my novels, I try to progress the back story of Randall and Lois a little in each book.  When we first meet them, they have a strained and somewhat bizarre relationship.  How did they get this way?  What happened since they met, married, died, became vampires, and the next couple hundred years?  This is what you slowly find out.

What was the hardest part of writing the truth into the books?  Truthfully, it was writing around the fact that Lois dies first!   I hadn’t factored that into my original outline, but if I wanted to be faithful to the realities of their real lives, I had to do some creative thinking.  I have to say, given what I had to work with, I came up with some great reasons why the family WOULD THINK … Lois died first.  But did she???    Actually, in my books, Randall died and became a vampire before Lois did, but the family never knew it.

I really loved how I wrote scenes where Randall would reminisce for his fourth great-granddaughter about live in Hopkinton back in the late 1700’s/early 1800’s.  He tells stories about fighting in the Revolution,  about what life was like on the farm with Lois.  Lois tells the story of how she agreed to marry Randall and how she eventually fell in love with him.  She talks about raising their children and watching them grow, seeing them die, and then watching the next and the next generation of progeny bloom and wither.  Until she’s there talking to Sara, her 4th great-granddaughter.  What would that do to a person, to experience the joy of birth and to know you’d see that baby die?  That would have to take an emotional toll on even a vampire.

So these are some of the thing I thought about when brining Lois and Randall to life.  It’s a lot to consider and I pray that I did them justice.

-Jennifer

The Purity of Blood, Vol One by Jennifer Geoghan

The Purity of Blood, Vol One by Jennifer Geoghan

 

5 July 2015: Ancestry.com to promote a book? Huh?

Really this post is about thinking about thinking outside the box when it comes to book promotion.  With that in mind, read on …

So I was combing through some old emails I hadn’t gotten to yet when I found one from Ancestry.com saying I had some “Hints,” or possible record matches for some folks in the family tree I built on their site.   It was when I clicked on the link and started looking the hints (or leaves as the refer to them on their TV commercials) that it suddenly dawned on me … there was room here to promote my book.

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I bet you’re scratching your head over that one …

Yeah, I’d never thought of “advertising” on Ancestry.com … until I remembered that I based two of the main characters of my book series, The Purity of Blood, on my real life ancestors (my 4th great grandparents in this case).  Same names, same facts of their birth, death, marriage, etc. I just fashioned those facts into real people that I brought of the 19th century into today.

How’d I do that?  Vampires, or course, Silly!

So on Ancestry, you can write a story about your ancestors, things like items you can’t list with a simple date and place. In the case of my grandparents, I attached a story to their profiles telling that I’d written them into my novels and that if you were reading this, you were my cousin and might enjoy reading more about how I envisioned those grandparents would be as living, breathing characters in my novels. And, oh yeah, they’re available for sale on Amazon. I don’t feel bad about doing this seeing as I really do think they are my target demographic for my books.  Anyone who shares Randall and Lois as ancestors I’m sure would really enjoy how I took the time to as accurately as possible pull them from the pages of history books into a story with heart.

By the way, when I posted that item on their profiles in my family tree, a little “Leaf” popped up on everyone on Ancestry.com with my grandparents in their tree as well. It’s a link to that story I wrote …. Talk about direct marketing!

Hint

I’m telling you this story because it was an unusual promotion platform.

THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX!

We all have Facebook. We all have Goodreads, blogs or websites …

But what makes your story, your book special and unique?  For my novel series, it was the real life ancestors I wrote into my fictional story.  I’d love to hear from you about unusual ways you’ve found to promote your books.

-Jennifer

PS: Don’t forget my latest novel, If Love is a Lie, Finding and Losing Love Online, hit Amazon just this weekend!  Check it out:

If Love is a Lie: Finding and Losing Love Online, by Jennifer Geoghan

If Love is a Lie: Finding and Losing Love Online, by Jennifer Geoghan

17 May 2015: I’m a murderer :-)

It was (probably) William Faulkner that said “In writing, you must kill your darlings.”

Since then it has become an expression meaning not to hold on to things in your writing for sentimental reasons, reasons that have nothing to do with creating the best story you can craft with your words.

This week in my editing process, I got up to what I call the Kill Your Darlings phase.  It’s when I read through and edit my book while taking no prisoners, impartially crossing out with my big red pen all that can be pulled to streamline the story as best I can.  IT’S TOUGH!!!  I’m a killer, a killer of some darling lines and paragraphs that had to go.

So why not just keep them in if they’re so darling?  Because we all like to expound on the things we like best.  But that doesn’t make the best story, as a matter of fact, it can detract from the story you’re trying to tell.  In this book I’m working on, it was pairing down on the multitude of emails and texts that predominate the first half of my book.  It’s just too much to expect a reader to patiently wade through.  I needed to just get down to the basics of the story, just enough to allow the reader to understand how the relationship develops, but not enough to beat a dead horse.

So do you have a point in your writing/editing process where you purposefully seek out that which needs to be killed?

-Jennifer

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