Angst

I wonder if I’m too old or too dumb to understand all the stuff I need to know to get my author website up and running. The website is there, it’s just missing important stuff and even after a thorough and wonderful tutorial from one of the smartest guys I know, I feel like I’m trying to put together a 500 piece puzzle in which more than half the pieces are missing.

Things I need:

1) A Reader Magnet—that’s a free story offered to folks who sign up for my newsletter.

2) An Automated Onboarding Process—these are the emails that are generated automatically when someone signs up to receive my newsletter.

3) A Newsletter—exclusive information about my books delivered at regular intervals to those subscribing.

Now, I can write that darned newsletter, but I’m struggling with the reader magnet and the onboarding process. The reader magnet needs to be a peek inside my stories. Maybe a tale told from the perspective of a character other than my main protagonist. Or maybe a prequel to the whole series, say, perhaps a look back at my characters during their teenaged years. I’m told it can even be an outtake—a scene I cut from the published book. I’m wrestling with this mightily, y’all.

And once I have it written, then what? Do I save it as a word document? Do I publish it and make it available for free to my subscribers? Do I send up smoke signals? At this point, option three sounds simplest, and I’d need to learn how to make smoke signals.

But that’s nothing compared to my angst over the automated onboarding. I took copious notes during a tutorial session. I’ve watched multiple YouTube videos. And yet, I’ve still got next to nothing. I am clueless; hear me sob. I think I need to hire someone to come sit beside me as I learn how to complete the task.

In the meantime, I’m going to continue working on that reader magnet. Maybe Paula and Cassie as cave people? Circus performers? Heh. Maybe not. But just in case you’re wondering who Paula and Cassie are, check out my Happy Valley series on Amazon.

Peace, people.

Swiss Cheese

I woke up at 3 a.m. I’d say it was exactly 3 a.m., but Studly Doright’s clock runs fast, so it was likely only 2:57. At any rate, it was early.

Of course I’d gone to bed around seven last night because I hadn’t been able to sleep at all the night before. Do I lead an exciting life or what?

My brain and I have been having some intense discussions lately. The old girl just isn’t as sharp as she used to be. I always dreamed of being one of those elderly women that people would describe as being sharp as a tack. Instead, I fear they’ll compare my mental capacity to a slice of Swiss cheese or worse, a dull knife.

And as they carry me away to the memory care center, I’ll protest that I once was able to memorize Shakespearean soliloquies with the greatest of ease. And they’ll ask, “Did you say Swiss cheese?”

Peace, people.

About Last Night

James Patterson and Mike Lupica stopped by Tallahassee to promote their newest collaboration, House of Wolves, last night. And even on a cold, blustery January evening, folks left the comfort of their homes to hear what these two accomplished gentlemen had to say.

I think it’s safe to note that most were there because of Mr. Patterson’s hugely popular body of work. The woman beside me had talked her unenthusiastic husband into bringing her from Orange Beach to Tallahassee for her birthday so she could see her favorite author in person. I told her husband he’d gained sainthood and set a new bar for all spouses.

Now, as a long time fan of the ESPN show, The Sports Reporters, I was equally excited to see Mike Lupica in person. His wit and wisdom on that talk show always made it a favorite for me. I cried when it ended in 2017.

He and Patterson were terrific last night. Lupica is hilarious and Patterson has a dry delivery that makes them the perfect duo.

When it was over I turned to the saintly husband and asked what he’d thought. “I didn’t realize Mike Lupica was going to be here! He’s great!”

I imagine there were quite a few pleasantly surprised husbands in the audience.

Peace, people!

I’m Glad You Asked

Friday night I’m going to an event hosted by Midtown Reader, Tallahassee’s lovely independent bookstore, where authors James Patterson and Mike Lupica will be talking about their newest collaboration.

I had the opportunity to meet Mr. Patterson several years ago, and I asked him a question that was the equivalent of “how does your main character like his eggs?” I don’t recall the actual question, just that it resulted in a bewildered look on the author’s face.

And that might be why there will be no author signings this go around.

I’ve never been asked to do a book signing, but if I ever am, I’ll be able to answer even the dumbest question. Take that, Mr. Patterson. (He was very gracious, by the way. Just perplexed.)

Peace, people!

Not In Kansas Anymore

Remember when Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz learned she’d had the power all along to return to Kansas? All she had to do was click her heels together and say, “There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home.”

So, I’ve been fortunate enough to have a mentor who’s been helping me create an author website. We’ve had numerous zoom calls in which he’s guided me, with patience and humor, through all the pieces and parts and today I said, “Okay, I think I’m ready to take the wheel.”

“Okay…”

“So right now, I can view the website, I just don’t know to get in and make changes.”

“Um, sign into Squarespace and…”

And just like Dorothy, I realized I’d had the power all along. I am such an idiot. Someone should drop a house on me and be done with it.

Peace, people.

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