Although Calmer Girls is a fictional tale, its Canadian setting certainly isn’t.
It was fun writing a pair of novels set in my birthplace of St. John’s, Newfoundland, and perhaps the following pictorial will better explain why it had inspired me. After all, as they say, a picture is worth a thousand words!
All of these locations are featured in scenes throughout the first novel. Calmer Cove is not included as it is semi-fictional.
Samantha and her sister took their first ride in Ben Swift’s T-bird to Signal Hill and along the harbourfront. Later, Samantha took pictures of a cruise ship in the Narrows.
Thanks for visiting my hometown, which is, in my opinion,
one of the most vibrant and colourful places on earth.
Photo sources: NL Tourism, Government sites, Wikipedia, Google (public domain)
Come back next time for Part 2: Calmer Secrets Setting
Along with another local author, I was invited to do a reading at the Memorial Public Library in Lewisporte Wednesday night. It was my first time in this Newfoundland community and I had hoped to take some scenery pics there, but the weather was dull, grey and snowy so I didn’t get the opportunity.
I have fellow WordPress blogger, Brenda, to thank for the invitation. Brenda lives in Lewisporte, and we connected a while back through her cat blog featuring Buddy. After she read Calmer Girls, she suggested the reading idea to her library, and voila!
I am so grateful for the many likeminded connections and new friends I’ve made through blogging and writing. Brenda also invited Paul and me to dinner and an overnight stay in her home. Aren’t people wonderful?
Something that struck me recently is how many wonderful women are behind the promotion of libraries, book clubs, and our community of writers and readers. Making connections with these women have enriched my life, which is another reason I’m glad I got involved in writing – and blogging too!
Does your local library host author events? What does your community do to promote all things literary?
This is the last day to enter the Goodreads Giveaway of 5 signed paperbacks of Calmer Girls. Click here to enter.
If you sign up to my email list before the February newsletter is issued, you will receive a 4-page sneak peek of the Calmer Girls sequel, Calmer Secrets, being released March 21. Add yourself here.
Jill Weatherholt started her blog as a way to share her “journey toward publication and to create a community for other new writers.” Her first book, SECOND CHANCE ROMANCE, will release in March 2017 and is now available for pre-order on Amazon.
From her About page:
My name is Jill Weatherholt and I’m a writer. I have a full time job, but at night and on the weekend, I pursue my passion, writing. I write modern stories about love, friendship and forgiveness.”
Besides the fact that Jill and I have writerly interests in common – we both started blogs to focus on our writing and to meet other writers, and we both have books coming out next month – Jill also blogged about the colour Yellow, as I did recently.
Her post reinforces the lesson taught to her by her mother: “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”
The cover of Calmer Secrets is finally unveiled, and I’m thrilled to share it with you. Check it out:
About Calmer Secrets:
This New Adult novel is the sequel and conclusion of the Calmer Girls Series. Samantha and the other teens you met and got to know in the Young Adult novel Calmer Girls are now twenty years old and older.
Social media is here to stay, and cannot be ignored as a way to network. By connecting you with millions of users around the world, it is the perfect marketing tool – although many of us are still working out how to get the most out of it.
For blogging, it is one of the best tools you can use to increase your readership. Share your blog posts on Facebook and Twitter and you’ll immediately notice the increase in visitors – but that’s only the first step to using social media to boost your blog. By using social media to its full potential, you can transform your small, seldom-visited site into a buzzing blog with an avid community of readers.
Which types of Social Media are best suited to you?
There are many social networks, to all of which you can sign up, although in most cases certain ones will be better suited to the theme of your blog – the ones where you should put the bulk of your focus.
No blog can do harm from having a Facebook and Twitter page. These are the biggest social networks, appealing to almost every audience. You can create a Facebook and a Twitter page separate from your personal pages – and invite all your friends and family to like and follow.
Other social networks may be better suited to specific kinds of blogs. If you own a cookery blog, Instagram could be a great way to share pictures of your foodie creations, although not so suitable if you own a business advice blog (for this kind of blog, a site like LinkedIn would be more appropriate for promotion).
Automate Content Sharing
Once you have social media pages, the best practice is to automate your blog posts so that as soon as you publish them, they automatically share on social media (easier than having to manually post them each time). There are many social media automation programsthat can do this, although WordPress users can use its built-in automation tool.
Add Social Media Sharing Buttons
Next, you should add social media sharing buttons to your blog, so that people who stumble across your posts can become regular followers. You can get sharing buttons for Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus. These require you to embed a code into your blog – there are sites that tell how to do this if you are unsure. Make sure that the share button is somewhere clear where readers can see it, such as the top of your blog’s homepage.
Build up Likes and Follows
As already discussed, you should invite your friends and family to like and follow your social media pages. The more likes and follows you have, the more official your blog will appear. If you have a music blog that reviews bands, or a make-up blog that reviews cosmetics, contact the artists and brands that you positively review and get them to like and share. You can also join community groups and forums to gain followers.
On top of this, there is always the option of paying for likes and followers. I have never done this personally, but there are sites that will help you get automatic Instagram views, just as you can pay for LinkedIn endorsements.
Hashtags were made popular on Twitter, but have recently moved onto Facebook and Instagram. On Twitter and Instagram, you can use them to relate your posts to a theme so that others searching that theme will find your posts. It’s a great way of connecting to trends such as #catsofinstagram or #photooftheday or #music, although in each case your hashtag should relate to the post and not merely be annoying spam.
You can also use hashtags to create your own trending topics and to categorize posts. A music blog might create a #newmusicfriday hashtag to make people aware that it blogs about new music every Friday. If your blog covers multiple themes, you could separate each post with an easily identifiable label in the form of a hashtag, such as #travel or #tech. Note that tweets with hashtags ordinarily earn twice as many likes as those without, although more than two hashtags can have the opposite effect (lesson to self)!
You can run an ad on Facebook for your page or for an individual post. The promotional ad will appear on timelines around the world, alerting other Facebook accounts to your blog. Ads can also be run on other social media sites. You will often be asked about the demographic in which you wish to target your ad, so make sure that it is one that is likely to engage with the content of your blog.
Network with other Blog Owners
The best bloggers read other people’s blogs. Find a blog that you like and become a familiar reader by following their social media pages and regularly liking and sharing. You can also use social media to directly message other blog owners and offer the opportunity of cross-promotion. You could write guest blogs on one another’s blogs, share each other’s social media pages or endorse each other on LinkedIn. With many blog owners already doing it, don’t be afraid to reach out and ask.
Don’t just post new content – give new readers a chance to see your old content too, by reposting it on social media. You can use automation tools to do this or manually choose and repost yourself at your leisure. Sometimes an old post may link in with a current trend. For example, a political or social issue that you blogged about might suddenly link in with current news events, or a product you reviewed may have suddenly found mass attention somewhere. Seasonal posts related to Christmas, Valentine’s day or Halloween can be reposted year-in-year-out, as they will always be relevant. Obviously, the more content you have, the more you have to repost.
Bloggers: do you have any other tips and tricks for boosting your blog?
I have several book-related announcements this week you may be interested in.
1. Calmer Secrets Cover Reveal – Tuesday, January 24
On January 24th, two weeks from today, the cover for my new book, Calmer Secrets, will be unveiled here on my Author Website/Blog. This title is Book Two in the Calmer Girls series.*
The Cover Reveal will also include a teaser from the back cover blurb. I can’t wait to share it with you! UPDATE: I will be sharing the entire back cover blurb on Cover Reveal Day.
2. Calmer SecretsBook Release– Tuesday, March 21
On Tuesday, March 21st, Calmer Secrets will be released on Amazon as an e-book and in paperback form. Find out what happens to all the characters you met and got to know in Book One!
Check back here on my blog for a special promotional price on the e-book for the first week, or subscribe here to have that announcement delivered to your inbox.
3. If you haven’t read the first book yet:
Enter the new Goodreads Giveaway for a chance to win one of FIVE signed paperbackeditions of CALMER GIRLS. This giveaway is open to residents of Canada and the United States only at this time. Goodreads collects the info and sends me the names and addresses of the five winners. To enter, click on the link below.
In this modern-day world of widespread social media and information overload, it seems everyone professes to be an expert on something. This, of course, includes the “rules” for writing novels and memoirs.
I have to make a confession. I’m sharing the following link from writer Anne R. Allen’s blog for my benefit as well as yours. Thankfully, I haven’t been taken in by most of the “stupid writing rules” listed, but I’ve also bookmarked it to refer to the many helpful links she shares throughout the post.
If you are a new or aspiring novelist, you would be wise to give it a read. Above all, make sure you get your writing advice from a reliable source.