Donna Fletcher Crow, Novelist of British History, has written more than 50 books specializing in British Christianity. These books include: The Monastery Murders, clerical mysteries; Lord Danvers Investigates, Victorian true-crime; The Elizabeth and Richard series, literary suspense; and Glastonbury, The Novel of Christian England. She loves research and sharing you-are-there experiences with her readers.
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Donna Fletcher Crow, Novelist of British History
A traveling researcher engages people and places from Britain's past and present, drawing comparisons and contrasts between past and present for today's reader.
By Donna Fletcher Crow ~ September 15, 2010
We have had a string of delightful guests recently on Deeds of Darkness; Deeds of Light, and today I bring you another one. Marian Allen and I have become friends through the wonders of virtual communication. I especially admire her Flash Fiction— telling a short story in two or three sentences— because I am incredibly long-winded. If you ash Marian about it below, I'm sure she will tell you how to get it on your Ereader for free.
I have also come to admire Marian as one of the most technologically savvy people I know, so today I've asked her to tell us what she learned in a course she took this summer about blogging. I think all of us who write and read in the blogosphere will find this illuminating.
But first, real all about marian's exciting book giveaway:
Everyone who leaves a comment on my blog book tour posts AND mentions EEL'S REVERENCE will be entered. Anyone who buys the book and posts a review anywhere and includes the link to the review as a comment to any of those posts will be entered five times. All entries will be numbered and the winning numbers will be chosen by random number generator. Only one prize per entrant. First winner gets first choice of prize.
- Free copy of EEL'S REVERENCE or FORCE OF HABIT, my upcoming sf/farce. (2 separate prizes-1 of each)
- Free softback copy of SWORD AND SORCERESS XXIII, with my story "Undivided" in it.
- Free softback copy of DYING IN A WINTER WONDERLAND, with my story "Team Player" in it.
- Your name in the story I'm going to write to promote FORCE OF HABIT.
What I Learned On My Summer Vacation
I was lucky enough to take a blog book tour class from Dani Greer this summer. The class was great. Dani, her helpers and my fellow classmates were all informative, supportive and inspirational.
The first thing we did was set up blogs or get our existing blogs in shape. We learned that we needed blogs that were easy to navigate and clear.
Our addresses and blog names should match, to make it easy for readers to find us. If your name is Johnny Writer and your book's name is Strike Out and your blog's name is Hit Me With Your Best Shot and the address is http://howmuchwood.blogger.whatever, you're confusing the issue!
Dani recommended we top the sidebar with a brief introduction to our work and/or book and the focus of the blog, along with a headshot. Also in the sidebar, she recommended links to ways readers could connect to us: Twitter and FaceBook links, Networked Blogs and Google Friend Connect.
A search bar is nice, and so is a drop-down menu for archived posts.
Posts can be sorted into categories, and a drop-down menu of categories on the sidebar enables readers to look at just the posts that interest them most. Some of mine are Food, Writing, and Guest Posters.
The blogroll is important. It links a blog to other blogs and web sites and, if the list is sorted, it can give readers more information about you. Some of my link list labels are Blog Book Tour 2010 Classmates, Blogs Where I...Blog, Useful And/Or Amusing and Snort Coffee Out Your Nose. Your book or books should be on your sidebar.
Dani recommends a stat counter, showing the number of visitors you've had to your blog, and she recommends putting it at the bottom of the sidebar or the bottom of the page of posts.
Posting at least three times a week is a must for someone serious about using a blog to reach readers. Content should be fairly consistent with the purpose of the blog as stated in that sidebar introduction. My blog focusus on the writing process, the writing life, my writing in particular--and food. I also welcome guest posters (usually other writers). Monday is about writing, Tuesday I post at Fatal Foodies (a group blog about mysteries and food), Wednesday is food day at my blog, Friday is Grab Bag, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday I write about whatever comes up or don't post at all.
If your blogging service allows pages in addition to the main one, use them to post, for example, your bio, reviews of your book or books, credits and awards, excerpts, pictures of your pets--whatever.
This is just a taste of What I Learned. If you're interested in a Blog Book Tour class, visit http://blogbooktours.blogspot.com to find out more. I believe Dani is now charging $30 for the course. Trust me--it's worth every cent!
When elderly priest of Micah, "Aunt" Libby, goes on a Final Wandering, she's accosted and then befriended by an amphibious mugger. The area known as The Eel is infested with worse than minor criminals--it's under the thumbs of a coalition of greedy, brutal priests. Aunt Libby is a frail barrier to stand between peace and violence, and the worst violence may not come from her enemies...but from her friends.
EEL'S REVERENCE is available from OmniLit at http://is.gd/ewSRX and at Amazon's Kindle Store at http://is.gd/exnHl
For as long as Marian Allen can remember, she's loved telling and being told stories. She enjoys connecting and reconnecting with people, meeting new friends and keeping in touch with the friends she already has.
Her writing reflects this love of network. No one exists in total isolation, but in a web of connections to family, friends, colleagues, self at former stages of maturity, perceptions and self-images. Most of her work is fantasy, science fiction and/or mystery, though she writes horror, humor, romance, mainstream or anything else that suits the story and character.
Professionally, she's a member of Southern Indiana Writers, Writing and Promotion (WRaP), and Green River Writers.
Her web site is http://MarianAllen.com
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