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Showing posts from February, 2014

Spring clean

The spring isn’t here yet, not in my country anyway, but we have had such a lousy winter that I decided to start the spring clean early. I have revamped my blog. It was due sooner or later, but now it serves the purpose of countering the mud and rain too.

The blog has a new theme, for one; a beautiful, wintry landscape, maybe from Japan. I liked the picture, but if I had known how difficult it would be to find a font colour for the title and description lines that actually shows, I would have reconsidered. As it is, I hope the text is legible.
A bigger change is the name of the blog. It has been called Writer’s Block from the beginning, which I used to find amusing, but have since grown bored with. So now the name is Susanna Writes. I’m not entirely happy with that either, but I thought Susanna Shore Author would be too stiff. The name change follows the similar move I made on my reading blog last week. It’s now called Susanna Reads. I’m consistent, if nothing else. 
I still have one gre…

Experimenting

Part of being an independent author is trying to figure out how to best sell books. Since I’m not a marketing genius, I tend to go with what others have already proven effective. It may work – or not. It’s all about experimenting.
My latest experiment is to bundle in one volume the first books of the Two-Natured London series. I now have three books in the series out so it made sense to put the first two together and charge a little less for it than what the two would cost separately. Many indie authors have spoken favourably about that tactic, and as a reader and consumer, I like the chance to save a few cents when I can.
I have seen larger bundles on sale too, but I didn’t want to do that. It would have made too large a file for one, and the price would have been higher than I suspect an average reader is willing to pay. That, or I would have had to price it much lower than I wanted to. I priced the bundle at $4.99, which I think is reasonable. The two separately cost a dollar more.

On stereotypes

“Ours is a culture that prefers to make our identities static and confine them to categories, often diametrically opposed to one another” (Maria Popova)Do you struggle to make your characters believable when they aren’t your own gender, or are otherwise different than you? Many of us do. It’s difficult enough to understand one’s own self well enough, let alone the other, which is why we so often resort to stereotypes. In a couple of characteristics, we can draw characters that are easily recognisable to all.
Not only are stereotypical characters easier to write, they tend to be well received by the readers too. This is especially true with the ‘heroes’ of genre literature. Readers associate themselves with characters that meet their ideals. Most often these include “the values associated with youth and with masculinity … anything else is taken to be at least less worthwhile or inferior,” as Susan Sontag has noted. Heroes, whoever they might be, often fit this ideal.
Last week, in his c…