Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Planning my Virtual Book/Blog Tour

So, it’s finally here!  My publisher (Summertime Publishing) and I have chosen a launch date for my book, @Home in Dubai… Getting Connected Online and on the Ground.  We’re fleshing out the marketing plan, which includes (drumroll, please) a Virtual Book and Blog Tour!  It’s all very exciting as I enter this realm with wide-eyed, newbie wonder. I’m lucky to be following in Jo Parfitt’s very successful footsteps (she is my publisher and a prolific author as well). She just completed a successful blog tour for her first work of fiction, Sunshine Soup - nourishing the global soul,which I watched in admiration and took lots of notes.


Learning and Sharing
I’m learning so many amazing new things in this process.  What blows me away is how helpful other authors are who have gone before and how willing they are to share their experiences to give you a hand up.  Jo’s expertise is invaluable and I’ve been following others as well. I happened on a great teleseminar on setting up a virtual book tour by D’Vorah Lansky recently. It ran last night but you can get the replay on her website… great reference!

I’ve been in marketing and PR for years (I started when media tours meant you were going on a 'road trip'... for real, not virtually) and can obviously put that experience into action, but there’s always something new to learn.  I’m approaching this, not only as a marketer, but also as a new author (same game, different ball park).  As I add this new area of expertise to my repertoire, I will certainly ‘pay it forward’ and continue to share my thoughts and never-ending advice and words of wisdom!

Oh…the book launch is Dec. 12 and the Virtual Book/Blog tour is Dec. 12 – 17.  If you’d like to participate, leave a comment or send me a note to anne@globalwritingsolutionsonline.com.



Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Writing Between Genres


I’ve been reading a lot lately about transitioning from one genre of writing to another.  Seems that there are those out there who feel like it’s either or.  What if, in the middle of a transition, you find that halfway through is a great place to be?  I’ve found a very happy place part way between corporate copy writing and book writing (both fiction and non-fiction). The latter is a very new development for me (my first book is coming out in December) and I’ve found the process very stimulating.

I was preparing for a blog interview with my publisher (who wrote a great blog recently about Crossing Genres) and she asked if the process of writing a book had helped with my business. Well, since my ‘business’ is copy writing my answer was a resounding YES! It’s okay to have a niche, or an area of expertise but I am finding that breaking out of that mould every once in a while energises the creative juices and injects a whole new perspective into your writing when you switch back.  Even when writing for corporate communications, it’s important to shake it up every once in a while.

As I work on the marketing plan for my book (@Home in Dubai) that is launching next month and simultaneously juggle my copy writing clients and peck away at my first novel with National Novel WritingMonth (NaNoWriMo), one of the NaNo cheerleaders gave some great advice – just keep writing!  And, that’s what I intend to do.

Anyone else out there found a halfway happy place? How is it working out?  Or, is it?



Thursday, 10 November 2011

Moving to a new country? Get to know the dangers… big and small!


I’m happy to say that we are getting nicely settled into our lives in Thailand.   We miss our friends in Dubai but it’s on to another adventure, right?  I’m still happily writing away – copy writing for clients, getting ready to launch my first book, @Home in Dubai… Getting Connected Online and on the Ground, AND participating in NaNoWriMo for the first time (yes, I’m a little crazy but happy – I’m writing! And that’s what counts).

So, back to the topic of this post… we had visited Thailand several times while we were living in Dubai and fell in love with it on the first landing.  It was decided early on that it would be where Doug would like to retire.  Our comfort level with the place was truly at a 10 out of 10. Any of the small irritants of settling into a new place were easily overcome because of the huge number of positives – like the food, the amazing people, the gorgeous beach, lush greenery, cheap cost of living and so on.  BUT, I forgot to also pay attention to the possible dangers of living here (no, I’m not talking floods, but that would be a good guess considering what’s been going on in northern Thailand and parts of Bankok)… I’m talking about creatures, big and small, that you have to look out for.

Creatures BIG
The other day, I was sitting in my office, working away, minding my own business, when I caught Zorro, my cat, out of the corner of my eye.  He was the perfect depiction of a Halloween cat and he was fuzzed out so much, he looked twice his large, 15-pound kitty frame.  Alarmed, I went out to investigate.  He was looking over the back wall and was obviously petrified.  I tried to coax him down but he was frozen in place.  I went out the front door, around to the back of the villa to investigate what was freaking him out.  I know, I know.  You’re thinking, what the hell was I doing? It’s like in those horror movies when the stupid moron goes into the house that’s oozing blood from the windows, right?  Well, I rounded the corner and just about stepped on a very large (I’d say he was about a four-footer), shiny, black snake.  Holy Crap!  The good thing is that, it seems that what they say is true, they’re more scared of you than you are of them.  He immediately slithered away up a banana tree and over the neighbor’s wall.  My heart was in my throat but both Zorro and I were untouched.  Phew!
Photo kindly provided by www.thailandsnakes.com

Creatures Small
A smaller beast that I forgot to beware of and that had a much more uncomfortable impact on me than the snake encounter, was the very nasty, intestinal parasite.  Microscopic, yet deadly.  Again, my comfort was my downfall.  I puff out my chest and say confidently, “I live here now. I can eat anything and everything, just like the locals.”  Well, my somewhat virgin intestines had a different take on the new situation.  The locals have had their whole lives to develop a tolerance to these little beasts.  Me… not so much.  I always claim to be an adventurous eater and the first few weeks we were here, we ate from every little hole in the wall and sidewalk vendor we happened upon when we were hungry.  My reward… five days of fever and chills, headache, cramps and… well, you know what comes with that.

Lessons learned:
  1. No walking around barefoot (especially at night) and make lots of noise as you’re coming around corners.
  2. Ease yourself into the local food, carry anti-bacterial hand wash at all times, and don’t put fingers in mouth until thoroughly sanitized.
  3. Always have a back-up supply of anti-biotics.  You can get them over the counter here!
 

Monday, 7 November 2011

Book Review - A Pirate Looks at Fifty by Jimmy Buffet


I’ve just finished reading Jimmy Buffet’s A Pirate Looks at Fiftyand I want to read it all over again!  I don’t say that about too many books but this one had me grinning, nodding and laughing out loud from the first page.  I’ve always been a Jimmy Buffet fan and have listened to his music for hours on end on many a sailing trip and while sipping Margaritas in so many Tiki bars throughout the Caribbean, I’ve lost count.  After reading this book (he has others but this is the first one I’ve read), his Joie de Vivre is palpable.  It’s no wonder he writes such wonderful music.  He’s had a life full of crazy adventure and experiences that are hard to believe (some of them aren’t so hard to believe for me as many of his stories of flying into remote island airports and dropping anchor in beautiful bays brought back some great memories of our travels).

Story Telling Wrapped in Good Advice
If you like to get lost in stories of adventure, with colorful characters, this is the book for you.  Buffet also intersperses his skilful storytelling with little nuggets of advice for world travelers… like this little gem: “I learned a long time ago to leave my Yankee bravado at home when I travel.  The best way for an American to get around the world is not to act like you saved it or own it.”  Good advice.  He also gives great relationship advice.  I’ve always believed that if you want to test the mettle of a relationship, do some traveling together.  

Traveling in Pairs
My husband and I love to travel and we’re very well-suited.  I think that bodes well for a relationship (and it’s served us well for over 20 years).  Buffet shares the highs and lows of his marriage (which broke down once but they reconciled and are still going strong).  He ponders that, “We have learned through experience that it’s okay to not like some things that your spouse likes to do, and it’s better to make it known rather than go along.”  Again, a brilliant insight that more couples would be wise to heed.

You’ll hold your breath as he tries to clear his airplane (and family) through customs in Bogal, Columbia after being diverted from his planned landing in Cartagena; and you’ll laugh along with him as he’s constantly entertained by his two pre-school aged children.

He’s a world traveler, avid angler, aviator, world famous musician and devout family man and he’s opened his heart and soul to his fans in this great memoir chronicling some special highlights from his life’s journey.