Today the Femmes welcome NANCY J. COHEN, a multi-talented author known for her excellent mystery, romance and sci-fi/fantasy books. I met Nancy many years ago at my first Malice Domestic convention and have enjoyed her books ever since.
So glad to have you here, Nancy!
Giving Back to the Writing Community
During a recent weekend, my husband and I drove to a hazardous waste disposal site to get rid of a box full of household cleaners and other chemical agents. We were told our city no longer had a contract there, and to go to another depot that wouldn't open again until August.
Our good intentions foiled, we landed at a restaurant and ate a late breakfast. Our stomachs got the toxic waste instead of the disposal site. Goodbye to my diet plan for the day and my good intentions to eat only healthy foods.
How does this relate to writing? In our careers, we have many opportunities for doing good. Our best intentions might get shuffled aside under external pressure, but we shouldn't lose sight of our altruistic goals.
Ask yourself, which will be more lasting in the long run -- your books or the influence you have on others? You may leave them both behind someday, but the effects you've had on other people in your life might create ripples that turn into streams. So what can you do to help others in a good way?
- Give workshops so other writers can benefit from your expertise. Learn how to teach and use your skills to imbue new writers with the techniques they need to improve their writing.
- Act as a mentor. Take a fledgling writer under your wing, or offer advice to a more experienced colleague who needs career guidance. Be realistic but encouraging. Your feedback and valued opinions will be appreciated.
- If you see a need, fulfill it. This is what let me to write Writing the Cozy Mystery.
No one had specifically addressed this genre in a how-to guide before. Everyone seemed afraid of the label. Not me! I'm proud of what I write. My mysteries are humorous whodunits with a romantic subplot. I even had the nerve to marry off my main characters.
Hanging by a Hair is the eleventh book in the series and the first book following the happy couple's nuptials. My years of workshops on writing mysteries are in this little gem of an instructional guidebook. Believe it or not, this nonfiction title has received more reviews than any of my novels. Who would have thought?
- Reward your readers. Run contests, offer giveaways, reveal new cover art and excerpts. Make your readers feel connected to you by sharing aspects of your life. Show them you appreciate their loyalty. We write for our audience. Always keep them in mind and give back whenever possible. Offer prize drawings for blog commenters and random giveaways on your Facebook page. Hold a new release party and give away swag related to your book. Ask your readers what they like to win and follow through. If you're really ambitious and have enough of a following, consider starting a street team. Again, reward your loyal followers for their efforts in your behalf.
- Support your local libraries. Offer to do writing workshops at your local library or contact the Friends of the Library and let them know you're available for book and author events.
- Promote an indie bookstore. If you have an indie bookstore in your locale, support it by frequenting events there, buying books, and mentioning signed copies of your titles are available there to readers along with a link on your website.
- Help your colleagues by commenting on their blogs, sharing their posts, retweeting their messages, and highlighting their new releases. Spread the word about their work to your readers. Post reviews of their books and consider giving one as a gift.
- Volunteer to assist at a writer's conference or at your local writing group.Step forward and take on a responsibility. You'll make new friends while generating good will.
By doing all or some of these items, you'll feel better about yourself while supporting your writing community. Giving back is one way of showing gratitude for your good fortune. Do some good out there, and it might follow you home.
Hanging By A Hair, a Bad Hair Day Mystery by Nancy J. Cohen
Marla's joyous move to a new house with her husband, Detective Dalton
Vail, is marred by their next-door neighbor who erects an illegal fence
between their properties. When Dalton reminds the man of the local
permitting laws, tempers flare -- and worse, the neighbor is found
dead the following day. Dismayed when Dalton is removed from the
case due to a conflice of interest, Marla decides it's up to her to find
the killer. Can the intrepid hairstylist untangle the clues and pin down
the culprit before he strikes again?
Nancy J. Cohen writes the humorous Bad Hair Day mystery series featuring
hairdresser Marla Shore. Several of these titles have made the Independent
Mystery Booksellers Association bestseller list. Nancy is also the author of
Writing the Cozy Mystery, a valuable instructional guide for writers on how to
write a winning whodunit. Her imaginative romances have proven popular with
fans as well. Her titles in this genre have won the HOLT Medallion and Best
Book in Romantic SciFi/Fantasy at The Romance Reviews. A speaker at
conferences, libraries, and community events, Nancy is listed in Contemporary
Authors, Poets & Writers, and Who's Who in U.S. Writers, Editors, & Poets.
Currently, Nancy is President of Mystery Writers of America Florida Chapter.
Follow Nancy Online
Linked In: http://www.linkedin.com/in/nancyjcohen
Google Plus: https://google.com/+NancyJCohen