Monday, July 06, 2009

Blog Book Tour: Dawn Maria

Dawn Maria asks:

1. You've managed to create a very successful blog without major ads and pop-ups distracting your readers. So, how did you get noticed by a publisher without Google AdSense?em>

Candidly, you get noticed because you are a former child actor. I follow all sorts of bloggers who should have had a book deal before I did, but selling the book begins at the moment of conception and Marketing believes there is selling value in "Where are they now?" Not fair, not just, but there you are.

2. Most emerging writers are bombarded with advice about self-promotion, branding and the all-important platform. What do you think about all that?

I think it's a no-win situation by this point. You can't not shout, because everyone is shouting to be noticed and if you don't shout you'll slip quietly under the waves and drown. But since everyone is shouting, statistically there's a snowball's chance your shout will be heard. I know that if I write about anything which doesn't matter to me, my writing is hollow. I think if you write about what's important to you, people will respond to the passion, even if it isn't their passion. Writers build an audience by clearly saying "This is important and here's why." I can't imagine faking a stance for attention ultimately does any good.

3. What kind of writing schedule do you follow?

Schedule? What is this thing you call a schedule? Seriously, I try to put up a new blog every Tuesday. For the first two years, I wrote a blog every other day but it started to compromise my promise to keep the kid's life reasonably untainted. Sometimes I do something idiotic and the blog writes itself. Sometimes, I remember something idiotic and the blog writes itself. If I've somehow managed to avoid doing something stupid, sometimes I think up a sentence I like and then I wait around to see if it draws a few more sentences. If it grows into a paragraph, then there's a decent chance it's a blog, if I sit there long enough. Those are dark weeks for the family. But at least I do every single monotonous chore in the house to avoid writing.

4. Who are your favorite writers?

Bill Bryson, Anne Lamott, Jean Kerr, Sarah Vowell, David Sedaris, David Rackoff, whoever wrote the last book I read. Eighteen people I'll think of just as soon as I put this answer on line.

5. What has been the most surprising aspect of blogging?>

The pleasure I take in people writing in and saying "OMG, I thought I was the only one!" You're not. I'm not. We may be an unsightly group, but there are quite a few of us.


Blogger Dawn Maria said...

Wow- you're fast! Thanks for the great answers. Anytime you'd like to do an email Q&A interview, I'd be happy to post it on my blog. Enjoy your book launch, I hope it's the first of many.


8:38 PM  
Blogger Dawn Maria said...

PS- Had to laugh , Where Are They Now? is the title of my book, which does feature former child stars. Yes, it's fiction, I'm trying to make something useful come from all my Entertainment Tonight viewing! =)

8:40 PM  
Blogger Leta said...

Jean Kerr is one of my favorites as well and I can quote reasonably large chunks of her work. Because I found her at a young age, I also owe some of my turn of phrase to her.

5:53 AM  
Blogger Melissa @ I Pick Pretty said...

I really appreciate your candor in these answers, particularly about the "getting noticed" bit. Easy to lose track of that.

I'm still laboring over questions worthy of your time; will send them merrily along if I can just come up with something.

8:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"We may be an unsightly group, but there are quite a few of us."
Yes, there are (fortunately or unfortunately I am never quite sure). The tea in church experience and the dawning sense of horror as you realize what you have done is the experience that you blogged about which I most identify with....

8:55 AM  
Anonymous spleeness said...

What a wonderful, warm interview, I really enjoyed reading it. The favorite writers question was great. I haven't heard of David Rackoff or Jean Kerr before, will check them out. (Don't worry, you can add more later! :)

10:02 AM  
Blogger carrie said...

Thanks for sharing! I'm so glad I found you! :)

5:20 PM  

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