conference prep promo

Hi, everyone! Conference season is upon us, and it’s time to finalize your promotional materials!

To give back to the writing community that has blessed me so much, I’m running a Conference Prep Promo from now until September 22.

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Here are the details:

{$40} One-sheet consultation: I will help you refine your one-sheet, including back cover summary, author bio, formatting, and minor graphic design assistance.

{$25} Short Summary / Tagline / Hook: For $25, I will help you develop your 1-2 sentence hook, short book summary, or elevator pitch. 

{Price negotiable} Synopsis / Proposal: If you’d like a critique of your synopsis, proposal, or more in-depth help with your project, please email me at laurie {at} laurietomlinson {dot} com for pricing or use the contact form below!

{10% discount}: I will offer a 10% discount for each paying client you refer to this promo, so be sure to have your friends tell me who sent ’em! 🙂

I’d love to let my seven years of experience in book publicity help you present your manuscript in the best possible way so it can grab the attention it deserves from editors and agents. If you have any questions at all, feel free to check out my business page or contact me directly. I look forward to hearing about your project!

 

 

 

laryngitis of the writing variety

I was talking with my writer friend Kathleen yesterday about things that can derail one’s writing. There are small, insignificant distractions like mouths to feed and children to shepherd. No big deal.

Then there are uncooperative characters, half-filled screens, and frozen fingers. They usually occur during large blocks of time you’ve designated for writing, days before looming deadlines, in the middle of important scenes, or any other time you think you know what’s going on with your story. They’re like the mutant version of writer’s block because you know where you’re going. You have a direction. And then your characters become toddlers in the middle of the store on the last errand of the day: thrashing, protesting, planking, deadweights.

Not that we have any experience with this or anything.

If you’re not a writer, you’re probably going to look at me like I’m waving my hand over a crystal ball, trying to examine your aura or something, but fellow writers will know exactly what I’m talking about.

Emma Thompson as Prof. Trelawney in Harry Potter and the Prizoner of Azkaban

Sometimes when your characters are staring you down, challenging you to a duel of sorts, it may be indicative of a more serious problem. You may be suffering from laryngitis of the writer variety, the kind that has nothing to do with the vocal cords (That condition might actually be welcome to a writer, as a matter of fact) and everything to do with the invisible force that propels words from a writer’s brain or muse, if I want to sound even creepier to my non-writer friends, through his or her fingertips.

I’m here to tell you that when a writer loses touch with his or her voice, it’s not permanent. And it’s not the end of the world.

Laryngitis happens to the best of writers and affects fiction and nonfiction writers alike. Everyone copes with it differently. Sometimes a small break is all that’s needed (if you do this, make sure you set a firm date for when you’re going to come back to your project). A change in scenery, particularly people-watching, can serve as a distraction and get those subconscious wheels back in motion. Or some quality brainstorming, talking to other writers or friends can release the floodgate.

But the number one thing that helps me in this situation, whether I’m writing press releases or working on a manuscript, is reading. I pack a book or two in my writing bag at all times or take a break while working to read a few good quality journalists when I need an intervention — not to steal ideas or imitate them, but to simply be reminded of what complete, well-constructed sentences look like in succession on the page.

Once my muse has had a little exercise, usually my voice whirrs back to life and my characters begin cooperating again. And then we have a little moment and all is right in the world.

How do you deal with laryngitis/writer’s block?

the formula for success

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scenes from my very first story – “David’s First Bike”

First of all, thanks so much for the encouragement regarding my new adventure! It not only is a huge boost in the confidence department, but a good reminder that I’m doing exactly what I need to be doing!

Those who have known me for a little while know that this website isn’t my first shooting match. Over the last 10+ years, I’ve staked my claim on several little patches of the Internet expanse, evolving from my first, angst-filled LiveJournal my senior year of high school to a healthy living-mommy blog hybrid.

While my content has been changing according to what’s going on in my life, the World Wide Web has done just a little transformation of its own since 2002. Now, pretty much everyone has a website (and I love that!) but there seems to be a certain formula to standing out among the crowd.

Let’s assume, just for giggles, that you’re not a celebrity. You have to work hard to prove that you’re knowledgeable, fresh, relevant, and most importantly, engaging about your subject matter, whether that’s documenting life as a stay-at-home mom, writing recipes, or breaking life changing news. But again, there are also some rules to follow — or at least a prescription for success.

When I first got the idea to start this website, I became hyper-vigilant of this formula. I studied other writers’ websites and read articles about platforms and niches and areas of expertise. A lot of this I already knew because of my experience as a book publicist. But to establish myself as a credible source with industry professionals, other writers, and perhaps someday, even my readers, would I have to stop using words like “doneski” and “wowsers” in civilized conversation? Would I have to limit the number of baby pictures with which I was inundating my Twitter feed?

Then there’s my whole hang-up with expertise. If I limited myself to writing about what I fully know, this website would be a whole lot of books, random sports trivia, and some Harry Potter and Madea movie quotes thrown in for good measure.

Let me just say this up front because it will be better for everyone involved: I don’t claim to be an expert about anything. But if I had to choose, and I will, it would be books–particularly stories, both to be specific and to provide a broader spectrum. I’ve been writing stories since I was a little kid (see image above for proof), have read more books than is probably healthy, studied literature in college, and promote books for a living. Besides that, I feel the number one perk about getting older has been the ability to truly appreciate the stories that are taking place all around me. The redemption and beauty God has written and orchestrated in my own friends’ lives.

So while I’m not an expert about anything, maybe you can find out something about life and books and grace alongside me as I learn. And I’ll do my best to be myself: genuine, evolving, and hopefully unapologetic. To me, that’s the most important formula for success on this adventure.

No promises about the Madea movies, though.

a blank page

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photo by RoccoMathijn

When I finished my manuscript’s first draft a few months ago, the first order of celebration was to buy my name as a domain. Fortunately, I’m the first Laurie Tomlinson in this whole wide world to have such an inclination. As an avid book industry nerd and PR professional, I knew that if I was going to build my platform as an author (am I even allowed to call myself that yet?), this was the first logical step.

Then I asked my friend Josh to build a website for me, which I think looks pretty fantastic if I do say so myself. I compiled a website “prospectus” and started a list of article ideas.

But the website collected dust for months.

I stared at the cursor like the surface of the swimming pool from the edge of the high dive, waiting to make the big leap. I’m not sure what took me so long to write this first post, but I’m here now, and that’s what matters.

First of all, this website isn’t meant to replace The Corner Slice blog. There, I’ll still be writing (hopefully more regularly) about motherhood, intentional living, recipes, and daily adventures.

So, what are we doing here?

If you’re reading this, I assume you’re 1) my husband, 2) my mother, or 3) a friend from Facebook or Twitter. But if not, you can find out more about me by clicking here.

On this website, I plan to be writing about:

  • The writing process: my experience with writing and hopefully getting published
  • The book industry: publishing news, publicity tips, industry trends
  • Real-life character profiles: stories about people I know, love, and respect
  • Book reviews

I can tell you I’m no expert, there will be lots of trial and error involved, and my content and direction will change probably dramatically as I grow. But it’s time to stop second-guessing and overanalyzing and trying to figure things out.

It’s time to start writing. And from the girl who could revise and revise forever, it’s especially time to hit publish.