As an author, I don’t necessarily interact a lot with the world at large. Oftentimes, we authors don’t even get out of our pajamas on a daily basis (*ahem* like today, she said with undue shame). But, there is a great deal of emotional, intellectual, and research needs that need to be filled. Therefore, we authors turn to the internet.
The internet is a glorious world, where need only click to find people of like minds, who are fascinated by every word that drops from your fingertips. But once you’re done with Twitter, the internet is also an incredibly valuable resource. It’s also a place where one can keep tabs on the industry, research your genre, and find advice on the lonely, weird, exhausting, crazy, stupefying life of being a profeshunul writer.
Thus I give you, Five of my Favorite Sites as an Author!
I’ve divided this list into three categories: romance industry sites, writer advice sites, and research sites. There are other more standard sites that inform my writing (Wikipedia, Dictionary.com, heck, even IMDB when I need to find an actor’s photo to inspire my hero) but these five are a little more out of the ordinary, and therefore hopefully a lot more interesting to you.
This site is run by Sarah Wendell, who is incredibly knowledgeable about everything romance (she’s even written a couple books on the subject.) All aspects of the Romance writing industry are covered on this site – from what people are reading that they like, to in depth discussions on the ever-evolving e-book industry to the cultural influences that shape romance novels and how they are a reflection on the era in which they are written. And, they’ve read The Windflower. A lot.
Sarah Wendell, along with Jane Litte over at Dear Author (another Romance site I frequent, but they have a lot of overlap with Smart Bitches in terms of content, so I decided to mention them in the same breath here) even has a weekly podcast, talking about all things interesting in the romance novel world.
I wasn’t always a writer of romance novels – like most of us I started out as a fan of the genre. And I still am. I like to know what’s worth reading out there (and what’s worth avoiding), and All About Romance is the gold standard of romance review sites. They review hundreds of titles a month, and have an A-F grading system to make choices easy. They also maintain two blogs, and a massive database of reviews that make them an excellent resource for any reading need.
Writer Advice Sites:
John August is a screenwriter. He has written such films as Big Fish, Go, and The Nines. It’s a tough thing to become a working screenwriter, and so for every film he’s had produced, there are probably a half dozen completed stories that were dropped somewhere in the production stream.
Even though he’s never written a romance novel (to my knowledge) I find a great deal of his advice practical to any writer in any genre or field. Even though romance novelists may not need to know the best way to format a script, we do very much need to know how to break down a story into its parts, how to effectively use dialogue, how to be mete out description and action in creating the world we want our characters to inhabit. Fiction is fiction, whether it plays to a local book club or to a hundred million people on screen.
(note: John August also has a podcast, called Scriptnotes. Worth listening to if you are ever curious about the crazy way Hollywood works.)
A reality of the modern author is that they have to take charge of most of their own publicity. And one of the most effective ways an author can reach a vast number of people is online. Even before I had hired them to do my website, I was turning to WaxCreative, trying to glean as much information as I could about creating a smart online presence for my romance novels.
They create beautiful web pages (as evidenced here) and are incredibly smart about how to take advantage of social media, especially for romance authors. They maintain a blog all about design and the latest advantages and ways to get one’s voice out there.
This is strictly for the Regency Author out there. Prolific author Candice Hern has compiled a massive amount of Regency Era resources and material at Candice Hern’s Regency World. Whatever she doesn’t know herself, she links to other sites that provide the wealth of information she doesn’t have. Whenever I need to know something Regency, I go here first. (It’s even made me discover mistakes – some of which could not be solved – especially relating to the weather in The Summer of You.)
That’s all for this week! The April 3rd release of If I Fall is getting closer and closer! Read an exclusive sneak peek, and then don’t forget to enter the contest! Winner gets an Amazon gift card… which, if you want, can be used to pre-order some If I Fall goodness.
Also, I’m in the middle of planning my blog tour, so if you are a reviewer/blogger and wouldn’t mind a visit from a crazy blonde anglophile this spring, contact me!
Until next week, kids, Happy Reading!