To be or not to be online: Views of a new author

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I am a bit schizophrenic concerning the virtue of being online as an author. I just completed my first mystery novel; created and published electronically, resulting in a print and kindle version. This experience was vastly different from two other books I published over fifteen years ago using traditional publishers. This is what I have learned.

 

  • You are part of a 24/7 author cafe. I like to imagine that I am sitting at a table drinking coffee in a cafe in Paris. By using social media (twitter, Pinetrist, FB, Instagram, etc.) I can connect wicanstockphoto31004877th fellow authors all over the world. These new friends inspire, motivate, teach, and nurture me and my fellow authors, as we move through the different phases of writing our novels.

 

  • You can redefine and banish “writer’s block.” I have a personal strategy that removes the notion of “writer’s block” from my consciousness. When I sit at the computer to write, and find myself stopping or slowing down–I open several other windows and research various aspects of my novel. For example, with just a click, I can find information on places, people, current events, and how to murder someone without being caught. These productive distractions keep me focused on the task of thinking and writing.

 

  • You have a buffet of canstockphoto2882699
    Personal Professors
    at your fingertips. Authors are constantly trying to perfect their craft. Through website tutorials, newsletters, blogs, and messaging, I have the ability to access a range of information and feedback. This provides the ongoing support that enhances my ability to learn about the art of writing and telling stories.

 

  • You are the mistress of your own product. Self-publishing has given me control over the pacing, publishing, and creative aspects of my novel. I am in charge of marketing, which has forced me to become intimate with the plethora of amazing tools available to promote my book.

 

This leads to some of the challenges of being an author online.
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  • Learning to manage all of the bright, shiny distractions. Being connected to the world of authors, and author promoters, and readers expands my universe but it also means that every second I can be distracted by a new tweet, post, blog, etc. Learning to dedicate uninterrupted time for writing (without checking email, twitter, & FB) is essential and a discipline I am still learning.

 

  • The age conundrum. If you are older than 30, it is likely you have wisdom, and years of interesting experiences and stories to feed your creative muse. On the other hand, you are likely to be at the end of the licanstockphoto17004389ne when it comes to mastering the “newest” technologies that multiply like rabbits. My strategy is to have a few “young” friends, who can guide m
    e through this maze, and help me prioritize my usage of technology, while patiently assisting me in realizing my limitations. I cannot master everything, so I must make strategic decisions about the technologies that fit me, and the people that are likely to read my novel.

 

  • Relationship, relationship, relationship. Writing and telling stories is based on observing people and incidents, and becoming intimate with the ways humans relate to one another.   Keeping my eyes and ears open, and venturing away from my computer is just as essential as the Internet resources that are so abundant. If I am not meeting new people, experiencing new activities, and traveling to new places I am starving my muse, and I know she will wither and die. So I have learned to love this new world of exploding technological possibilities as well as to cherish living fully.

  

 

Celebrate the New Year with Dr. Stubbs

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Dr. Stubbs, the famous mystery cat invites you to subscribe to Karla’s Mysteries Website. Do this before midnight, New Years Eve and you will be eligible to win a $5 Amazon gift card!

  • Go to menu in the upper right hand corner of the site.
  • Click on contact Karla, and Send your New Year’s greeting to Dr. Stubbs!
  • Once you do this, you will be subscribed to the website and get occasional updates on new posts, advanced notice about drawings, and other goodies. (you can unsubscribe at any time by sending me an email).
  • The first person who signs up will get a gift card and every fifth person who signs up will also receive a card. Share this with your friends on FB, twitter, and other social media sites.

Looking forward to connecting with you in 2016!

Holiday Treat for Mystery Lovers

canstockphoto2882699.jpgThere is nothing better than reading a great mystery novel during the holidays! The kindle version of  The Grievance Collectors: A Sip of Death is on SALE at Amazon for .99 cents  From Dec. 16-23!

You don’t have to own a kindle to take advantage of this ebook special. Download a FREE kindle app to your phone, notebook, computer or I-pad and you can read the kindle version.

Click this link for a quick 45 second video preview of The Grievance Collectors: A Sip of Death  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E0rBRZgpjBc

The book is also available in paperback format.

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Violence on Campus

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The Grievance Collectors: A Sip of Death is the first book in a mystery series that explores the chilling reality that university campuses are not safe havens. This should come as no surprise with recent deadly events on college campuses.

According to Inside Higher Education, the mass shooting at Umpqua Community College in Oregon is the third deadliest campus shooting, followed by Virginia Tech in 2007 and the 1966 shootings at the University of Texas in Austin.

We continue to see our college campuses being targeted and at the same time there is an increased interest in  introducing bills that would allow guns on campuses. Many gun owners suggest this would keep our campuses safer while others are adamantly opposed to allowing people to carry guns  at a university. In 2012, several  university presidents formed a group, College Presidents for Gun Safety, and created a petition to ban guns from campus.

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In my book, A Sip of Death, Dr. Bridget O’Leary, provost at the university, ends up in the hospital when an active shooter drill is highjacked by someone pretending to be a police officer. By the end of the book, Bridget makes a decision to use the gun given to  her by her murdered husband.

The book is fiction but the events in the book mirror reality. What do you think? Should professors and students be allowed to carry guns on campus?