Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Introducing Author Guest Blogs

Those who have followed me for a bit know I am willing to try experiments, adopt them long-term if they work, and abandon them if they don’t.

What is it?

Coming soon (maybe as soon as next Tuesday?) I will start sharing guest blogs of other authors. I thought of calling the day “Tell-all Tuesday.” While a titillating title, that wasn’t exactly accurate since my guest authors will be responding to a menu of questions. I thought about “Tenpenny Tuesday.” Surely if what I had to say was worth two cents, guest blogs would be worth at least a dime. Or maybe a title promising quality, such as “Tip-top Tuesday.” Maybe “Take-out Tuesday” to reflect the guest blog nature of the endeavor. I’m open to suggestions, and look forward to them in the comments.

I enjoy learning personal bits about authors. While I don’t mind a short blurb about their most recent or upcoming book (in fact I’ll request that and a headshot and a book cover), other blogs do the pure promotion thing already. I chose a Chinese menu approach to presenting questions, which will allow lots of flexibility but maintain consistency.

Every author will have two required questions limited to pithy five-word answers. I’ll use those ten words in the author’s intro.

Required Questions

(1) Five words to describe your writing (no elaboration, just the words)
(2) Five words to describe you (no elaboration, just the words)

And then each guest will choose eight questions (some have multiple parts) to answer, four from column A and four from column B. They may answer the eight questions in any order that makes sense to them.

Choice Questions

Column A

(A) You have a table for four at your favorite restaurant and can invite any three people, living, dead or fictional. Who are your guests (and why) and where are you eating (and why)?

(B) Describe your most productive writing venue. What makes it best for you?

(C) What makes a great short story?

(D) What is your most productive time of the day (and do you need caffeine)?

(E) How many books do you read in a typical month? Do you read in your genre while you are writing? What’s your most recent “great” book?

(F) Name three not well-known authors you would recommend and tell us what you like about their writing.

Column B

(A) What themes do you regularly employ in your writing?

(B) What is the most challenging area for you as a writer? What are you doing to address the issue?

(C) What motivates you to write?

(D) How did you develop the idea for your most recent work?

(E) What motivates your protagonist (if not a series, then use the protagonist of your most recent novel)? What influenced who they are today?

(F) Name three writers from whom you have drawn inspiration and tell us why.

(G) What was the best piece of writing advice you ever received and why was it so valuable?

What’s Next?

That’s the theory; we’ll see how it works in practice. If it has worked well for a year or so, I’ll change the questions to allow repeat appearances.

Are You Interested?

Interested or intrigued authors can get more information by sending me an email at blog@jamesmjackson.com Note this is not my regular email. I have a separate mailbox to keep the blog stuff all in one spot to make sure I don’t lose anything.

I’m open to start a week from today if anyone is interested, and hopefully by then I’ll have settled on a catchy name for the occasion.

~ Jim

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