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Danielle Ackley-McPhail, Yesterday's Dreams, Author

11/25/09 - Writing Words of Wisdom - Connecting with Fans

I once saw a squirrel purposely do back flips in an effort to part me from a portion of my lunch. He would flip, stop expectantly, then flip again, gradually getting a little closer. It worked (though I have to admit, he was not much pleased with what I had to offer. He frankly looked a little disgusted that he had gone through such effort.)

I often feel like that squirrel (the flipping part, not the disgust ;).

As authors, our words seem only to mean half as much until they are read and appreciated by others. Achieving that can require more effort than the writing itself. It really can. But you know what, if you want more than just a book on the shelf, you have to put out that effort. Now I know this can be difficult given that I know more introverted authors than extraverted, but getting out from behind your keyboard and into the public eye is a necessary step to bringing attention to your work.

For about nine years now I have been driving up and down the East Coast on the convention circuit and to various author events I have arranged. I can’t tell you how many more friends I have, let alone fans of my work due to these efforts. But don’t mistake me. This isn’t just about waving your work around until someone buys it, author events (well, the successful ones, anyway) go a long way to revitalizing your passion as a writer. At least it does for me. Whether I spend a few minutes or a few hours talking to one person or a room of people about my process and various works I walk away with an energy boost like you wouldn’t believe. Some of my best writing is done after such events.

It’s about reconnecting with yourself, your passion, and your audience. It is often mistakenly construed that writing is a solitary venture. In truth, the real life of your writing is found in your interactions with others. I get a little scary, I think, when I am talking to a writer just getting started about how and why I did various things in my stories. I have benefited by the reminder alone of why I love what I do. Sometimes we forget what it’s all about…until we see our excitement reflected in the eyes of our readers.

Some authors forget this. Some get caught up in their own importance, distancing themselves from their audience, alienating others in the profession. I strive to remember that the only measure of my success is how connected I am with the reader. The only place prima donnas belong is ballet.

For more wisdom on writing, please visit the blog of my friend and co-editor, L. Jagi Lamplighter at http://arhyalon.livejournal.com.

Promotional News:

Danielle Ackley-McPhail and Neal Levin of Dark Quest Books featured in Publisher's Weekly Article:


TODAY’S QUESTION: What are you grateful for?

I am grateful for all the many ways God has blessed me: my health, my family, for some measure of success as an author. For the safety and security I enjoy each day. That I have a job that allows me to provide for my family.


:::blushes::: ditto, lady, ditto :)
I don't think it's a matter of being caught up in my own importance. It's that my importance is caught up in me.

~sniffs snootily and sends the butler off to fetch another bottle of Henri IV Dudognon Heritage~
Um...yeah...is that what they are calling NightTrain now?
Another excellent post!

It was great to see you and Mike again at the weekend.

Thanks for sharing :)

Danielle Ackley-McPhail, Yesterday's Dreams, Author

December 2014



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