Posted by Lizzie Lamb
Isabella, could you tell us a little about yourself and why you created your wonderful blog, Chick Lit Goddess
In 2009, I created Chick Lit Goddess. While I planned to use it as a personal blog, it quickly turned it into more than that. With inspiration of my favorite website, Chick Lit Plus, I started featuring reviews, authors, and their books of the following genres: Chick Lit, Contemporary Romance, Romance, Romantic Comedies, and Women’s Fiction! To this day, I’m overwhelmed by the love and support of my of my Chick Lit Goddess site. When I created the name CLG, I didn’t know at the time that I’d created a brand for my books and myself. My other website www.IsabellaLouiseAnderson.com is under construction and I’m planning to launch it soon!
What is a typical writing day for you:
I really wish I could say that I have a “typical writing day”, but I don’t. Since I’ve been editing for what seems like forever, the last time I really wrote anything was in November, during NaNoWriMo. I missed it so much, so I took full advantage of it. While I wrote my next book in seventeen days, which for now is titled “Cards from Khloe’s Flower Shop”, sitting down and actually doing the work was what I needed for me to see how my “typical day” could be if I really focus.
How the writing process works for you. Plotster or panster?
Before I wrote “Cards from Khloe’s Flower Shop”, I was a panster who really had no process. I’d simply just sit in my chair and wait for something to come to my mind. Often, it was stressful, but I managed to do it. However, that changed in November when participated in NaNoWriMo. I never outlined anything, nor had I really had an idea of where my story lines were going, but on November 1st, I started outlining and it changed my life as a writer. I bought a lot of lined paper, colourful pens and tabs, and started jotting characters and ideas down. It was an amazing experience, and who knew I could love office products to much?!
Social Networking – a help or a hindrance?
Both! While it can be helpful to gain fans and help promote, social networking is also a huge distraction for a writer.
Some advice for fledgling authors, please:
I used to think that when someone would say to “just write”, they were crazy. It turns out that they weren’t. It’s true…all you have to do is write your first draft.
What are your top five writing tips?
- Use a timer! To cut back on distractions from my phone and computer, I bought a cheap timer at the grocery store and set it in 35-minute increments, dedicating myself to my WIP. I use it so that there’s no Facebook, Twiter, or any type of distraction. I love it!
- Talk about your books! I’m a shy person, so this is hard for me to do, but the more and more you discuss it with someone, the more you feel like a writer/author. Most of the time, you’ll end up getting more ideas, too.
- Take it one day at a time! Accept that there are going to be bad days. Your writing might not be good, but being a writer isn’t easy. Just knowing that tomorrow is another day can help lighten the weight of stress.
- Read! For me, reading a good book by your favorite author can help inspire you. Before you know it, you’ll be saying, “Hey, I can write, too!”
- Do not let your writing consume you! Everyone needs to go out with friends and make new memories. You might tell yourself that you can’t go out and play because you have a book to write, but don’t. Instead, pretend you’re going out to do research for a character or storyline. Oh, and have fun, too! ☺
Who has inspired you the most?
I have so many people who have inspired me, but I’d have to say my parents.
If not a writer – then what?
Geez, this is a tough one. I guess that if I had to pick to be anything other than a writer, I’d be an editor of a magazine.
Blurb and link(s) to your current book
Blurb: Interior designer Carrie Newman’s day starts out perfectly. For their sixth anniversary, her boyfriend, Roger, gives her diamond earrings, but the sparkle is lost later that same day when she catches him in the act with another woman. Heartbroken and in disarray, Carrie chooses to leave the past behind, possibly forever. She lands in ritzy Palm Beach, Florida where a new job and new client leave her wondering if THE RIGHT DESIGN for her life has finally been found.
Some reviews of your work (if you don’t have any, as yet, please tell us what YOU look for in a great book)
I don’t have any reviews yet but the one thing I look for in a great book is the happy ending. While I do care about how the story line gets to the ending, after it’s over, I (the reader) want to know that the characters are happy. Years later, I want to be able to look back and know that the Hero and Heroine are still together, living a wonderful life together.
Links to your blog etc
Facebook – Fan Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Isabella-Louise-Anderson-Author/253277964716883
Twitter – Chick Lit Goddess: https://twitter.com/ChickLitGoddess
Finally – what are you working on ATM?
I’m about to start working on the next draft of “Cards from Khloe’s Flower Shop”. I’m very eager to get back to it.
Isabella grew up with a book in her hand, and to this day nothing has changed. She is a member of the Romance Writers of America and has been featured on several blogs. While Isabella doesn’t blog a lot, she focuses her time on featuring other writers, along with writing and editing.
She lives in Dallas with her husband and cat. She enjoys spicy Mexican food and drinking margaritas, and can be found spending time with family and friends, cheering on the Texas Rangers, and reading.
Isabella’s short story, Meet Me Under the Mistletoe, was featured in Simon & Fig’s Christmas anthology, Merry & Bright, in November 2013.
The Right Design will be her first novel.
Posted by Lizzie Lamb
My social networking regime . . .
Recently, I attended a Self Publishing Conference at Leicester University where having a social networking presence was stressed. A number of attendees protested that they didn’t want to join Facebook or Twitter, the reply was blunt and to the point: no online presence = fewer book sales. Does tweeting, Facebook etc actually sell books? Is it worth the effort? The smart money says it is, but who knows.
Here’s my social networking regime and how it works for me.
First thing, I go through my iPhone, read and delete hotmail messages. After breakfast I migrate over to Facebook and post a personal status – with a photo if possible as I find that gets the most response. Then I go over to News Feed, check who’s on, leave a few comments and “share” any posts/ blog links I find interesting. Over the course of the day/week I check into the various Facebook groups I belong to: Write On Girls, Writers on the Same Page, Chick Lit Goddesses, Famous Five – join in conversations and leave a comment if possible.
Later it’s over to TWITTER where I follow back new followers, retweet those who’ve retweeted me and go into my ‘hashtag’ groups and retweet there – FFP, ASMSG, BYNR and so on. Next, I put up three posts about my book which other tweeps can find and retweet easily. I usually leave a status about my writing or what I’m doing that day to give it a personal touch, using hashtags such as #romance #amwriting #amreading #debutnovel #fridayreads etc. It’s important to have those posts at the ‘top’ of one’s profile, otherwise tweeps lwill RT the first message they find and that might not be about me, or #Tall,DarkandKilted.
After lunch I return to Facebook where I put a brief message on my author page and reply to anyone who’s commented on my status. Every couple of days I do the same on the New Romantic 4’s author page – again, with a photo if possible. And in the evenings I check on @newromantics4 twitter page on my iPhone or iPad and respond whilst watching TV.
The New Romantics 4 have recently had a blog created for by Nettie Thomson (firstname.lastname@example.org). It’s the responsibility of each member to keep their author page updated and, once a month, to post a blog about their writing. That makes it manageable. Nettie is also building a website for me which links into the NR4 blog; it includes a personal blog which will enable me to take part in events like THE GREAT BRITISH BLOG / NEXT BIG READ etc.
Last, but not least, I generally go over to Pinterest in the evenings and add photos to my various boards; other pinners follow and re-pin my photos. That means that they see my ‘writing boards’ which contain pictures and other themes relating to Tall, Dark and Kilted and my WIP.
And that’s it. It might not work for you but it works for me. The secret I think is to have a clear routine and ‘bit and bob’ as the day goes round. I usually write in the very early morning, meet friends for lunch or coffee and then back to it in the afternoons. Having a smart phone (and a stock of photos on it) and an iPad makes all this so much easier as I can leave them set up for social networking while my WIP stays on the PC.