Thursday, August 23, 2007

A Note from Susan Grant

Susan Grant wrote in to say:

I was so happy to see “ET” listed as a top 10 read from the boards this past week in the newsletter! I popped over and saw a few of the comments on different boards. It was great to see that so many had invested in these characters and were expressing hope that I’m continuing the series.

I wanted to let everyone know that I am! Moonstruck comes out next June, and kicks off the Borderlands series, which is a richer, somewhat darker, more emotional spin-off of the Otherworldly Men series. It centers around the Drakken, the Coalition, and Earth, all former enemies who must now learn to work together in peacetime.

In that book--which I feel is one of the very best I have ever written--I pair up Admiral Brit Bandar, the Coalition’s greatest war hero and Drakken hunter with a former Drakken pirate known as “the Scourge of the Borderlands” as her (forced) second-in-command. Then I toss in an undeniable attraction too powerful to ignore. Heh, heh. I’m so mean to my characters!

Two months later The Warlord's Daughter (tentative title) comes out in August. In that book we’ll see Ellen, Evie’s teenage daughter, who’s spending her summer aboard a starship as part of an internship before she becomes a cadet at the Royal Galactic Military Academy. In true hell-on-wheels Ellen fashion, she will have her adventures as a secondary character! Yes, she’ll have her own book once I grow her up a bit more.

All the best,

Susan Grant

Isabel adds that How to Lose an Extraterrestrial in 10 Days is out now, along with My Favorite Earthling and Your Planet or Mine?.

If you'd like an update on Susan's day job, check out Susan Grant's Come Fly With Me Blog.

Isn't the Internet amazing? As a reader, I would just stand in front of the bookshelves and ask these questions into the stratosphere: "Why don't you write a sequel?"

And then be filled with dread that even if great minds thought alike and my words of wisdom took root and would I ever even know, except by the merest chance, or a lucky break, or obsessive haunting of bookstores and used bookstores (knowing I'd likely miss it when it first come out).

Now we have RSS, links, blogs, searches and multiple opportunities to connect and communicate. I am glad to do my small part to share info and spread the word into this new cyber universe we call home.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Does Blogging Make a Difference for an Author?

Suzanne McMinn, author and one of my fairy blogmothers, (see prior post) just sent me a comment one of her readers sent to her.

Suzanne wrote: Hi, Isabel! We talked some time ago about blogging, particularly in relation to how it can help authors. I know it's been helpful for me in drawing readers, though I don't often get direct confirmation.

Given the general lack of hard 'evidence,' I wanted to share an email I recently received that I thought was very well-expressed. It came from a reader about how my blog specifically caused her to buy my latest book.

I thought you might find it interesting and would enjoy seeing it in the reader's own words, about her view of the effectiveness of an author's blog in relation to sales. (She says she doesn't think she expresses it well, but I think she does.) Her email attached below:

Suzanne McMinn

Available Now: SECRETS RISING, July 2007, Silhouette Romantic Suspense

Reader Letter

Subj: Your Blog/Web Site
Date: 8/1/2007 11:51:02 AM


I wanted to mention that when I first found your web site, I had just finished reading "Deep Blue." I Googled your name, found your site and have been visiting every week day since. That's what? About a month or six weeks ago?

I know I stated in one of my comments how impressed I am with your site, how much discipline you do have to update it and make it so fun. I wanted you to know that your web site and blog are the reasons I ordered "Secrets Rising," and will continue to order and read your books. Not that I didn't enjoy the Pax books; I did! I just meant that your site is very effective, in my opinion, in garnering readers/fans. I love the personal touch and that makes *me* want to keep coming back again and again.

I'm probably not expressing myself well enough--a health professional told me yesterday to give up coffee and I'm fuzzy-headed at the moment. LOL. The bottom line is that I think your web site is a very effective marketing/promotional tool and I hope you are able to continue to make such successful use of it.

All the best.

Kim of Kingston, Ontario, Canada

Isabel wrote: I don't think blogging is for everyone, but I think it is one way to connect with readers and for some authors and some readers, or even a particular project, that can be a valued opportunity.

Here, I think the reader really articulated her position and thoughts well. She expressed the desire and comfort of getting to know the artist & of feeling connected/respectful/interested in the mind that was creating the stories she is immersing herself in, the characters she is caring about, the worlds she is stepping into.

It makes a lot of sense to me, especially in this day and age of spin, denial, and the fact that for many, truthfulness has been replaced by "truthiness" and for some, that just isn't appealing. Finding a place where the words and the music are in harmony is a beautiful thing.

Many people, especially romance and women's fiction readers, repond to sincerity--that's what we talk about when we say, "Write from the heart." Sounds like you deliver!