Feel free to stay awhile and explore!
I am so grateful for the genius, artistry, and patience of my designer, Madeira James, along with her team at xuni.com. This is the fourth iteration of my website in our 11 years of working together, and recently I confessed to Maddee that I know myself better with each version. Thanks to Launch Bloggers conferences and creative coaches like Marisa Mohi, I’ve also learned how to better brand myself as a writer.
(Which is not to say that I’m GREAT at branding myself! I’m just striving to be more conscious of how to articulate my brand, verbally and visually.)
Most writers have experienced that *gulp* moment when someone asks “so what do you write about?” My tendency was always to start a long explanation of my latest book–and I am TERRIBLE at explaining my stories–only to see the other person’s eyes glaze over as I forgot what I was talking about in the first place.
I know what I like reading and what I feel most passionate about writing, but there’s not one word for it. I love horror, but nothing TOO horrific. I love mysteries, but nothing too procedural. I love romance, but not as the entire focus of a story. And I really like all the cosy trappings of fictional elderly English ladies–tea, scones, knitting, gossip, keeping an eye on the neighbors, solving murders… you know what I mean. But how do I convey this in a sentence?
I googled and searched and cogitated for a long time. Here’s a portion of the email I sent to Maddee James:
I’ve been brainstorming a “brand” for myself for ages. I really wanted some combination of “cosy” (English spelling, of course) and “eerie.” After googling and searching and going a little crazy I found a link to a TripAdvisor review of a Latvian bar titled “Cosy, Eerie and Splendid Atmosphere” and I thought A-HA! My website title (& brand) could be “Cosy, Eerie and Splendid.” What do you think?
Reader, she liked it!
That said, when somebody asks what I write, I won’t say “Cosy, eerie, and splendid.” That would be weird. But I might say that I write “eerie Gothic mysteries with cosy and romantic elements.” I’m still working on it! The main thing is IT’S ONE SENTENCE and quite an improvement on my usual ramble that trails off into awkward silence.
Changes at the blog — to make things simpler all around, comments are closed. Please feel free to reach me at Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram. Those are the places where you will see notifications about new posts, so it’s always great to drop a comment there.