Monday, January 14, 2008

How does being an author affect the way in which I view and interact with the world, the way in which the world looks at me? I’ve been thinking about this for a little while because of the happy-daunting-exciting-terrifying circumstances in which I find myself.

What kind of creature is an author in the eyes of the world? I’ve heard many compare an author to his or her work. I mean, wouldn’t you be surprised to find that your favourite writer of sweet inspirational romances is a whiskey swilling, black leather, motorcycle mama with a tattoo that promises that White Snake is forever? But our own minds can trick us. An author is never so simply a reflection of their work. Their work is but a part of the whole—which includes experiences that aren’t reflected in the book, a wife or husband, children, a nagging mother-in-law, perhaps another job that pays those pesky bills, an unholy passion for shoes, or a troublesome habit they’ve been trying to kick.

When I have ‘met’ other authors—whether it is because they are on tv and Oprah is making them supremely famous in the span of a 10 minute segment, in a book store signing copies of their latest release, or more likely, as an online presence promoting their work—my experience has often been very good. These are fabulous people. Charismatic and friendly and relaxed. I had to wonder how they do it. I can easily imagine how hard it is.

How do you go from working day in and day out at a job that is unarguably one of the most solitary endeavours known to man, and then magically become a social butterfly when called upon? Whether you are writing for publication or not, the act of writing is a very private thing that comes from deep inside, and those words are hard to share in any other way than on the white page. I’ve known many authors who have said that their writing is their social expression, and they find it hard to communicate as effectively in person—they are tongue-tied in public, shy, withdrawn.

But in the world of publication, an author cannot avoid the task of marketing if they want their books to sell. And so he or she must venture out of that safety zone. Out of the place that they know—their own mind, LOL. There are of course, many authors that don’t have this problem and I wish they would write a book on that. But for the others—those who sometimes have difficulty going to a public venue where they may have to stand and say something to a group, or who find themselves meeting more and more people online as they try and promote their work—overcoming the anxiety becomes a task just as daunting as completing that first novel, or waiting expectantly for that first rejection letter.

It takes a lot of work to go against something so ingrained, and you’ve really got to hand it to the authors in this business today. Internet has made things so very different than it used to be—an online presence is almost a physical thing, much more so than the odd book signing. In many ways it’s more intimidating and scary—a blog interview can reach thousands and thousands of people in the blink of an eye across the entire world. But at the same time promotion online can also be so much easier. You can technically keep your writing hat on since it is still only your words that people are seeing (and maybe a very nice back cover photograph that has been digitally shopped to get rid of that pesky pimple that showed up just in time for the photo shoot).

So what has gotten me started thinking of all of this? Well, my happy news is that my Immortals series has been picked up by Linden Bay Romance and the first book, My Immortal will be available in May, 2008!!

Come along for the ride with me!

I need all of your support in this brand new journey. I need your help to venture from my world of bold, tormented Immortals, brave, feisty women and evil demons, for long enough to tell you all about them!

J.K. Coi
Immortals to die for