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Newsletter Dated: 2/29/2008 9:18:41 PM
Subject: Andrea Campbell*s Soup*s On
Andrea Campbell’s Newsletter
*** Greetings! ***
This newsletter is being sent to you because you are a writer, professional friend of Andrea*s, or a fan and reader of her books. If you are new to the list, welcome. There are a ton of newsletters and e-zines out there to read, thanks for requesting and reading mine.
*** New! We are now going to accept writing-related or book debut advertising. The ads will be limited in number, minimal, and inexpensive. Please contact: email@example.com for more information and rates.
In this issue:
• From the Author*s Desk
• Elizabeth Zelvin Interview
• Top Ten Telephone Tips
*** From The Author*s Desk ***
Looking for a fresh take on crime and media issues? Women in Crime Ink brings you a different take than what’s dramatized on TV, though you could probably recognize us from a lineup of media outlets. On this blog, you’ll find true-crime authors, print and broadcast journalists, producers for CNN and CBS News, television personalities, and criminal justice professionals—including a forensic artist, a criminal profiler, a prosecutor, and a private investigator.
We debut this March!
March 5, 12 pm PST this modern girl will make contact in Second Life, a 3D virtual world! I have an avatar and will be chatting about Ziggy and Love Monkey.
For more information contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
March 10th, my e-course Publish That Book: How to Write a Nonfiction Book Proposal That Sells is back for another session. If you’ve wanted to write that book but can’t seem to get it together, this e-class is your solution. Students are already on board! Check it out at: http://www.absoluteclasses.com/Campbell/publish.htm
Love Monkey is here; you can see a few of the characters, download a sell sheet, pick-up free Author’s Notes or buy a copy securely with PayPal. Love Monkey is whacked, sure, (because the characters are monkeys) but the story is right-on and the book pictures are a hoot! Great for gifts for the romance or mystery friend. Take a look: http://www.monkeyromance.com
April 29 find me at: Conscious Discussions blogtalk radio. Conscious Discussions airs Live at 10:00 AM (PST) Tuesday, April 29
*** Death Will Get You Sober ***
Interview with Elizabeth Zelvin, author of Death Will Get You Sober
Q.: Elizabeth, for Soup's On readers who do not know you, can you talk a little about your education and writing background?
A.: I recently found a good way to put it when applying to give a talk at a rather intellectual bookstore in a university town: I’m an old English major who jumped the wall and ran off with genre fiction years ago. I read voraciously as a kid and studied all the English and American literary classics. Jane Austen and George Eliot were my favorites. Then, right after college, someone recommended Dorothy L. Sayers’s Murder Must Advertise—I was working in advertising at the time—and I was lost, happily, I must say.
Q.: Were you a member of Guppies? and what is it?
A.: I was and am a member of Guppies, the online chapter of Sisters in Crime devoted to the Great UnPublished—and increasingly, to emerging writers who don’t want to leave our sisters behind when we get published. It’s the first mystery writing network I joined when I completed Death Will Get You Sober and a remarkably supportive group. I learned much of what I know about the craft of writing—slowly, it was hard to “kill my darlings”—from the Guppies.
Q.: How has your education informed your writing?
A.: Stephen King and other highly successful and respected writers say if you want to write, “Read, read, read. Write, write, write.” My education let me do that from a very early age. What I write about, though, is not the stuff you learn in school. It took age and experience to give me something to say.
Q.: What was your main focus when you created your protagonist? And do you find it difficult to write as Bruce Kohler?
A.: Originally, I had two first-person protagonists: Bruce and his best friend’s girlfriend Barbara, the raging codependent. In Bruce, I wanted to create a character who was not at all like me. Barbara, like me, is a nice Jewish girl from Queens who loves to help others—but I took her over the top. The first editor at St. Martin’s who saw my work advised me to move Barbara back into a sidekick position. He said Bruce has a terrific voice. I didn’t do it—he just came out of me. Bruce talks to me all the time. If I’m lucky enough to keep the series going, I know Bruce won’t run out of things to say.
Q.: How have you managed to balance this serious subject with humor?
A.: As an addiction treatment professional with 25 years in the field, I know that that’s the way recovery is.
I didn’t manage it at all. One of the things that surprises alcoholics who hit bottom and go kicking and screaming to their first AA meeting is how much laughter there is. Recovery—like any path to mental health and emotional maturity—is all about learning to laugh at yourself and identify with others who share your experience, especially those who have made the same mistakes.
Q.: Your character dialogue has been called, "snappy"
- - Do you have tips for writing dialogue?
A.: Nope. It just comes out of me. One of the reasons it was so hard to “kill my darlings” as I made the early revisions, especially the jokes and witticisms that I felt particularly fond of, was that I was always afraid the well was going to dry up at any moment. That doesn’t worry me any more. Bruce tells me he’ll keep the quips coming. Maybe I do have a tip: don’t censor yourself. Bruce takes my ironic tendencies, which I may have to temper to be considered a nice person, and takes them over the top.
Q.: You wrote other books while waiting for publication? Can you talk about how you managed your time, etc.?
A.: I have two careers—an online therapy practice and the mystery writing—about which everybody says, “Don’t give up your day job.” I had the title and idea for Death Will Get You Sober, but I don’t think I’d have written it if I hadn’t left my day job unexpectedly. A wonderful boss died, things changed, and I left. So my time is completely my own. I find my energy is highest in the morning, so whatever I do first gets my best work. When I’m working on a first draft, I try to put the writing first. Depending on what else is going on, I might not be able to do that every day. Sometimes clients come first. If I’m really cooking in terms of creativity, or have any kind of deadline, I can write no matter what time of day it is. Unstructured time can be scary, but I like the flexibility. I try not to burn up much time and energy on things like housework. I do exercise an hour almost every day, either running three miles or so—very slowly—or dancing.
Q.: Who is your publisher? Any comments or cautions? Was the money what you expected?
A.: I am lucky to have St. Martin’s, the premier publisher of mysteries and one of the few houses that still nurtures newcomers. It took talent, persistence, and luck; it always does. I got a drop of luck in a sea of persistence. The money was as expected, because I had acquired realistic expectations by the time it happened.
Q.: What will you be doing for promotion and how much of it is your doing?
A.: Self-promotion is essential today unless you’re a bestseller or a celebrity. I belong to a lot of e-lists, and I participate actively: not to plug the book, but to be part of those communities. I’ve made a lot of friends on MySpace. I’m planning a 2-month book tour when Death Will Get You Sober comes out and a virtual tour right around the time of publication. I’m inviting everyone I’ve ever known to my launch party at the Mysterious Bookshop in New York on April 15. I’ve given out thousands of bookmarks, attended giant library events, and go regularly to the New York chapters of Sisters in Crime and Mystery Writers of America, which are both great resources. I’ve hired a wonderful publicist to give me the guidance I need, but I’m working closely with her and doing a lot of the bookings myself. And I have good relationships with the people at St. Martin’s who get my books into the hands of booksellers and librarians.
Elizabeth Zelvin is a New York City psychotherapist who has directed alcohol programs, including one on the Bowery, and has written and lectured extensively on addictions, codependency, and online mental health. She currently does online therapy at LZcybershrink.com. Publications include two books of poetry and a book on gender and addictions. Death Will Get You Sober is her first mystery. You can visit Liz on her author website at www.elizabethzelvin.com.
Congrats to Liz, her short story: Death Will Clean Your Closet has been nominated for an Agatha for Best Short Story.
*** Top Ten Telephone Tips ***
Top 10 Telephone Tips to Make Your Radio Talk Show Pay Off Handsomely -- a gift from Joe Sabah
More valuable tips and info at: http://www.sabahradioshows.com
1. Have a glass of water handy (room temperature). When your throat is lubricated it's easier to talk. Plus the water serves as a "cough button" if needed.
2. Stand while speaking. Pretend you're presenting a seminar. Your voice will carry further. And you'll sound more animated.
3. Have a copy of their state map on your wall. Refer to cities in the radio station's surrounding area. This helps make you feel like you are "one of them." I once made the mistake of referring to South Bend as "South Bend, Indiana." The host reminded me that I was talking on a radio station in South Bend, Wisconsin. Oops!
4. Listen to their weather and traffic report. This allows you to personalize your presentation. For example: When I was being interviewed on WHIO in Dayton, Ohio I noticed during the breaks they were referring to their metro area as "the Miami Valley."
So it became a natural for me to say "I believe we can help some folks in "the Miami Valley" get their perfect job this afternoon." What a difference the right words make.
5. Get your listeners involved. For example, before the last commercial break. I ask them to get pencil and paper to write down the three tips I guarantee will turn every job interview into a job offer. Then they have pencil and paper ready when I later give out my 800-number.
6. For those who are driving around without writing tools handy, ask your host if the listeners can call the station for the 800-number. As soon as you're off the air, you call the station's receptionist and give her or him your 800-number plus the title of your book.
7. Give the host some quotes from your book to use as segues. I offer quotes like: "Are You Singing The Song You Came To Sing?" And "If You Do What You've Always Done, You'll Get What You've Always Gotten. Is That Enough?"
8. After the host uses these Inspirational Postcard Quotes on the air, I also offer them to listeners who order my book. Another bonus to increase orders.
9. Always thank both the host and the producer for the good job they are doing. After the show, also send each of them a handwritten note of thanks and an offer "Let's do it again."
10. You may also want to record your show by using a device available at most phone center stores, that will record both sides of the interview. Then listen to your show to see how you can improve the next one. Keep on learning.
Joe Sabah author of How to Get On Radio Talk Shows All Across America: Without Leaving Your Home or Office
*** Future Newsletters ***
In upcoming newsletters we will share a new interview or two, talk more about publishing, and provide additional writer’s tips. If there is any area you would like to discuss, just send me a note. Thanks for the read.
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Copyright©2008 Andrea Campbell If you wish to quote from here, fine, just attribute it to me and my web site.