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Archive for August, 2013

 Codi Gary     Things Good Girls Don't Do

Codi Gary                    Things Good Girls Don’t Do

Me: Codi, it’s so nice to finally have you with us on my blog, The Write Stuff.Me. You and I have been following each other, but I’m looking forward to learning a little more about you, your writing, and your passions. *smiles*

 

 Let me start by welcoming you and our audience.

 

Tell me a little bit about yourself, to give everyone an idea of just who Codi Gary is:

 

Codi: Well let’s see. I’m a mother and wife, and I stay home with my kids right now. I grew up in two small towns in Northern California before moving to the city for three years (hated it!) and now I live in Southern Idaho. I love animals (I worked as a Vet Tech for almost seven years) and have a little zoo at my house. J I enjoy reading, writing, TV shows (to the point of obsession), movies, and scrapbooking.

 

Me: That’s terrific, now perhaps you could fill us in on your writing work. What have you written, and what genre would you put it in?

 

Codi: I write small town contemporary romance. My first novella, The Trouble with Sexy, was included in Kiss Me: An Avon Valentine’s Day Anthology and Things Good Girls Don’t Do is my first full length novel releasing this month.

 

Me: That’s fantastic Codi! As a relatively new writer, what obstacles have you had to overcome to becoming a published author?

 

Codi: I am not good at pumping myself (or my work) up because I don’t want people to think I’m pushy or conceited. I’ve had to put that aside to put my books out there because if I don’t brag and talk about them, then how will people find them to read?

 

Me: What are your thoughts on today’s publishing industry, for example, traditional publishing vs self-publishing?

 

Codi: Honestly, Self Publishing Peeps are Rock Stars. They’ve got no one backing them or marketing for them, they do it all themselves! I don’t know if I could do that. I have only ever traditionally published though, and I have to say, I love it. I love having a team of people who know what works and what they’re doing to help me navigate.

 

Me: One of the most frequent questions I get at public appearances is; how did you land a publisher, and did you get many rejections first? You are currently published by Avon Impulse, how did you land them as your publisher, and how has the experience with them been so far? Did you query other publishers or agents, and if so, tell us about it?

 

Codi: Well, with my original book (which will never see the light of day) I queried 8 agents and received 7 rejections. When Avon Impulse put out an open call for Valentine’s Day novellas, I wrote and edited The Trouble with Sexy in three weeks and got the acceptance email in ten days. The experience has been phenomenal. My editor is very supportive and the whole team at Avon are there to help and answer my questions.

 

Me: Don’t you love it when things come together so nicely? Lol What would you say has been your greatest moment of triumph with your writing career so far, and what surprises have you encountered, either good or bad?

 

Codi: Going to RWA and meeting people I have admired for years was amazing, but it was the signing that really made my trip. I got to meet so many people who were so nice and who loved romance with all their heart, and there were even a few excited about Things Good Girls Don’t Do and to me, that was crazy exciting.

 

Me: I guess it would be. What a fantastic experience for a new writer!

 

Another hot industry topic is print vs ebooks, what is your take on these two venues; pros and cons for each?

 

Codi: Okay, I love ebook pricing, I love that I can get it in two seconds if I want it, and I love that it doesn’t clutter my house. However, for books I want to read over and over that I love, I want a print version in my hands. I love skipping ahead to my favorite parts and that’s just easier on a print book. Plus they smell wonderful and I can take them into the bath without being afraid of dropping them and having them ruined (that’s what they make blow dryers for right?)

 

Me: Lol, I get you on that one. What I’m hearing, generally, is that most people who own an ereader, also still tend to gravitate to print books at times, probably for many of the reasons you just gave.

 

Many new writers, including myself, find marketing and promotion one of the most difficult and surprising aspects to becoming a published writer, and sustaining that momentum. What do you do to help promote your work?

 

Codi: I started Have You Read Her to help promote other authors, but also, to help reach other readers as well. I ask advise from authors who have a lot more experience than me, and I am on a lot of social media platforms…some I am addicted to and others are kind of eh for me. Honestly, I have no good answer besides that, I just do what other people say works for them.

 

Me: When you contacted me to participate as an interviewee on Have You Read Her, I was thrilled. It’s great fun and is yet another avenue writers can use to attract new readers, while connecting with other writers.

 

We met through social media, Facebook, Goodreads, Twitter, etc., so obviously you are very comfortable with that technology, as am I, yet I still hear so many new writers say they don’t want to participate in these on-line forums. What words of advice would you give to them regarding social media.

 

Codi: I understand people not wanting to get into social media for personal reasons (privacy) and because it can be overwhelming(headaches galore). However, I just wrote a guest blog post on Social Media and Making connections because honestly, I have found a wonderful community of writers, bloggers, and readers through these platforms and the support is amazing! I love my Twitter/Facebook friends because it doesn’t matter who your publisher is or what you write or if you are still waiting for the call, we share, retweet and bask in each other’s accomplishments. Why wouldn’t you want to get in on that?

 

Me: I couldn’t agree more. I used to be leery of all the social media stuff, especially Twitter, but now I embrace it and, like you, have found some remarkable to connect with I wouldn’t have otherwise.

 

Recently you attended the RWA in Atlanta, how was that experience for you and what did you take away from it? Would you attend again, and why?

 

Codi: I loved RWA and yes I would definitely go back. I loved fangirling my favorite authors and getting to know new ones. It’s interesting to meet the person behind the books. And the readers I met at the Literacy Signing and the other two house signings I attended, they were all so nice and took a chance on a newb author. It was fantastic!

 

Me: I think, no, I know I’m jealous. Lol. Maybe someday I’ll get there.

 

I didn’t start writing until recently, long after my own children had grown and gone from the family nest. I can’t even imagine tackling such a demanding undertaking as writing and attempting to get published while raising young children. How do you balance a young, very active family, and your writing?

 

Codi: Some days it’s tough, not going to lie. Usually I try to get a lot done during my daughter’s nap time, putting a video in for my son, and on Sundays I try to escape for a few hours at my local coffee shop to write in peace. If worse comes to worse, I just tell them “mommy has to work guys” and they watch Netflix in the living room with me as I type. Or there’s the late nights where my husband keeps asking, “Are you coming to bed soon?”

 

Me: That’s amazing, I don’t think I could be that organized or disciplined! Can you give us a little insight into any new releases or upcoming projects underway?

 

Codi: I’m done with my next Rock Canyon Romance and am working on a Matchmaking series. I have a couple of other books begging to be written, but I like to do things in order.

 

Me: Sounds intriguing. I can’t wait to see what you put out there next! What final piece of advice would you give to anyone just starting down this path to becoming a published author?

 

Codi: Take advice from others you trust, get yourself some support (critique group, brainstorming buddy, or beta readers), and go for it! There are so many publishers and opportunities out there, seize the day!

 

Me: Codi, thank you so much for joining us today. It’s been such a pleasure to finally “meet” you and share some of your background with those just discovering you and your work.

 

For those who’ve read this interview, please do take a moment and let Codi and I know your comments or post a question for either of us.

 

To learn more, Codi Gary can be found here:

 www.codigarysbooks.com     

www.facebook.com/codigarysbooks

www.twitter.com/codigary

http://www.avonromance.com/book/codi-gary-things-good-girls-dont-do

http://www.amazon.com/Things-Good-Girls-Dont-ebook/dp/B00BW3AYAU/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1376410945&sr=1-1&keywords=codi+gary

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/things-good-girls-dont-do-codi-gary/1114853858?ean=9780062292926

 

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Modern Technology

Modern Technology

I’d never heard of Podcasting, and YouTube was something I watched, but didn’t really understand. Anyone who knows me, knows I’m no techie. I say it all the time, and it’s true. My hubby is my go-to guy for all things technical, from the computer, television, to the family car. Needless to say, when I was contacted by Adam Scull, the host of the Eat, Sleep, Write, a podcast dedicated to writers and readers, I had to ask the question, “What’s a podcast?”.  Adam went on to explain that a podcast is essentially similar to a radio broadcast, except the podcast is done via Skype and sent over the internet. Once live, it can be downloaded directly from his website, iTunes, or a host of other sites ESW is featured on. I was intrigued and excited to participate, but nervous too.

That initial contact resulted in me once again stepping outside my comfort zone. I’ve talked about this before, and as the old adage warns, “nothing ventured, nothing gained”. So, I was ready to veture forth yet again and try out this podcasting thing.

To prepare, I listened to about three or four different podcasts with other writers, I wrote down some of the questions I heard Adam ask others, and in addition to the few questions he asked me to provide him, compiled a few answers. Yep, I’m a planner and researcher. I don’t like going into things blind, so I prepare as much as possible. When it came time to record the podcast, I’d already had a brief testing with Adam via Skype, which went a long way to easing my anxieties about putting myself, and my voice, out there. We chatted about how the interview would go, and generally got to know each other a little better.

On The Air

On The Air

The morning of the taping, I took Adam’s suggestion and “dressed for radio”, which means dressing for business, even though I knew no one other than Adam would actually see me. I already knew that being in the right state of mind often includes looking the part, smiling into the phone, or in this case, the microphone and computer screen, and relaxing. It went remarkably easy and I found the whole experience fun and exciting. It took Adam about a week to edit the podcast and download it to go live. I gotta tell you, when he emailed me to say our session was now live on the website and iTunes, I was nervous as heck. I’ve heard my voice on family video recordings, and never like the sound of it – it doesn’t sound like I hear it in my own head, but I hear that’s normal.

We happened to be visiting my son and his girlfriend, so they listened to the podcast with me and my husband. At the end, my son looked at me and said, “Wow mom, you sounded pretty good!” I was relieved, giddy, and excited, although I still didn’t like the sound of my own voice. I honestly don’t think I really took in much of anything, other than listening to make sure I didn’t sound completely ridiculous. In the end, I was pleased with the finished product, and was proud of myself for having taken another step outside that comfort zone.

When Adam asked me to facilitate a  second podcast that would be a roundtable discussion with two other writers in the paranormal mystery genre of my choosing, I was thrilled. This would be even more fun, since I’d get a chance to introduce a couple of other writers I’d been followng on social media for several months. I felt both women would be great additions to the discussion, and chose to reach out to Karen Perkins of LionheART Galleries in the UK, and Tonya Kappes in the US. My thinking was to introduce a “global village” aspect, with writers from three separate countries who are all writing in the same genre, but with vastly different takes on what that means.

Last Thursday, August 8th we “met” on Skype for the first time for the podcast taping with Adam. Once again he made everyone feel relaxed and at ease with the questions he lobbed at us, encouraging us to interact. It was fun, informative, and another great experience for us all. Of course this podcasting thing is also a fantastic marketing and promo vehicle for each of us, and I believe helps in our individual branding. There is talk that that last podcast may be done as a YouTube video as well, depending on how the finished product looks, but even as an audio podcast, I’d be more than happy. Of course if he uses the video, there’s the personal anxiety of how I look, not just sound, to the general public, but I felt it was a great success and so did Karen and Tonya. Apparently Adam thought so too, since he invited us all back for a second roundtable discussion on a date tbd in October, 2013, with new topics. It certainly didn’t take any cajoling to convince the three of us to agree to participate.

Together

Together

To me, the podcasting/iTunes/YouTube thing I embarked on wasn’t just about marketing and promotion, although of course that’s a large component. It’s also about connecting with readers on a different level, branding, and also about reaching out to other writers and inviting them in to participate. It’s about sharing the experiences and learning from one another. That’s one of those bonuses we so seldom get to see, but can create, if we choose.  It’s also about extending yourself and accepting new challenges. From these two recent experiences I’ve learned that I enjoy public speaking, that others who’ve listened to the first taping enjoy it, and that I have a lot to learn from others, like Karen, Tonya and Adam, who are walking the same road I am. I like that.

If you get a chance, please do pop over to www.eatsleepwrite.net and/or iTunes to check out the podcasts and other great information Adam is sharing there, then take a few more moments and leave comments and share the information with your own circles of people who might be interested in these podcasts. For my own direct podcast, go to my website at www.damcclure.com and click on the “Author Podcast Interview” link.

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