Linda Sands Forgets to Plead the 5th!

9:51 AM Elizabeth Seckman 14 Comments


I’d really like for the world to put my friends on shelves…or in Nooks…or Kindles...

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First up…Ms. Linda Sands author of “Not Waving, Drowning”…which is an awesome read. I loved it and I think you should love it too. Linda has a way with characters and a way with prose that makes me green with envy. My only complaint is her stories always end too soon.

A few years ago, I googled cheap Halloween costumes and found Linda!

Okay, so I really found Linda’s blog, "Another Good Thing". Well, there are many, many good things to read on her blog, so I spent my morning reading and giggling…and then I just HAD to look her up. I found her on Facebook and long story short…I just love this lady! In a very non-romantic, non-stalkerish, just a professional respect sort of way!

Linda is talented; she is spunky; and she truly is a talented writer.
I asked Linda not to plead the 5th and share her secrets here- well the ones that pertain to writing!
Unless…
No, no…stay on track Elizabeth…Here's Linda! 

All right, all right. I will now give you the secrets to the Universe. Well, my Universe, anyway. (see how I was all sneaky-like and changed my font & color so the world wouldn’t think you have a split personality?) (uh, the jury is still out on that one)

 THE QUESTIONS:

1.       Networking- thoughts? Favorite “home”? Facebook, blog, website? Where’s the best place to find readers?   I always thought that MORE was better for marketing, you know, the whole numbers game and spreading oneself wide, like a fishing net thrown across multiple channels—which might sound biblical—or whorish, depending on which angle you're coming at it from... and maybe that worked in the beginning, for me. Because you can find me just about everywhere, and now, I think I need to focus more. From Facebook (3 pages, plus one original one that FB shut down- don't ask) to LinkedIn (what is this, really?) (dunno) to GoodReads (where I am so behind on listing my library, I feel like a loser every time I log in) (same here), to 4 blogs, 2 websites and a now defunct and lost forever literary magazine. (thank you web server doofus). I joked the other day that I am the most majorly marketed, minorly published author out there. sigh  But if I had to choose one? Put it this way, you can't go wrong marketing yourself on your own website, and you can't be censored. Add a twitter link there and go at it. Twitter is the most fun you can have with your pants on.(you got a Twitter guidebook? I’m so lost there, google earth can’t find me!)

   Future of publishing, especially for the upstarts…how are we going to knock the dinosaurs off the top ten list (yes, I DID just steal that from your post!)?         Hah hah! Ah, young grasshopper, those dinosaurs? They will be with us always... just like the poor and really crappy domestic beer. What we have to do, is be another kind of gigantic, scaly creature in the woods of publishing, one preferably with regular-sized arms, not those tiny T-Rex things, I mean really?? This new creature will appeal to the masses, not because everyone has heard of the author before, or seen them on TV, or read their name on a list, but because that is a freaking fantastic book, that breaks boundaries, or stays with you well after the last page is turned, (like Not Waving, Drowning…still can’t believe she ate a chunk of hair!!...read the book people, I won’t explain) or maybe even, it changed your life. A little side note... When I got started writing, for real, not just playing around, I was told to brand myself, to build a platform. That was what would sell books, that was how to get an agent and a book deal and all that came with it. And because I come to things from a wonky direction, I built myself into a brand, and failed to do so with books.... until now. Instead of writing the story that came to me, I finally feel like I am writing the books I was meant to write, with this new mystery series. (Yay you! Add me to the mailing list!)

3.       Write by the Water…I know it looks like a writer’s retreat where you work, but honestly, is it really just the party I think it is?  Hey, writing is hard work. We all need some downtime, cabana boys and vodka, right? (now it’s in print, my husband will veto for sure) So, in my desire to give back, I decided to create Write By The Water and offer up both an educational getaway and a place of solitude—with a few writers hanging around banging on their keyboards and making you think you need to write more, or faster, or better—and later, we pour wine and bitch about the sucky life we've chosen, while watching the sunset over a dark ocean—at least until the masseuse asks us to flip over.

4.       Scratch…you have an online magazine too, right? How do you do it all? Ah..scratch, sigh. I'm going to try not to cry as I type this. Scratch was born out of desperation. You know how you read the magazine call-outs to contributors, and it says: send in your stories here... if you've been published (I’ve never heard that…maybe it’s just you? HAH!). Such a Catch-22 situation. How does one get ahead, if no one gives you the first chance? If no one believes in you? I saw establishing scratch as an online contest, a way for me to open the door for writers, and a way for me to get to know editors and other publishers. I made killer connections and am proud to say I started a few folks down the path to publication. (In fact, a few of them now have book deals, and I don't. I love that.) Now, comes the sad part. We were online from 2008-2011, and put out three printed anthologies. I put scratch on hiatus in late November 2011 when my daughter was hospitalized and two months later, the whole site crashed. We were unable to restore any of the data. Sad day for me and all the fantastic contributors and judges. I miss it and yet, I'm finally okay with it, as now I have much more time for "research." (which in Linda-speak is shop for vintage cars I will never own and befriend crazy characters on Facebook that I will turn into characters in the next book.(ooh-ooh, I’ll be that insane woman whose kids drive her insane and she starts driving them to school in her pj’s?)

5.       Best advice to a fellow writer… Three things. Number One: Learn everything you can about every aspect of writing, including marketing. Two: Don't ever give up, and Three: Don't hate the lucky ones—you know them, the ones who had no idea what they were doing when they queried a book they hadn't even finished, the ones with big author relatives or lit agent lunch pals, the ones who got in under the wire before the publishing world took a nose dive, before vampires were passé—nope, those are the writers you need to watch and learn from. Those are the authors you should befriend, because when you finally publish and your tough love story of perseverance, dedication and hard work comes out, they will admire you. (Face it, everyone loves the underdog, right? It's even one of the most popular plot lines in history. I'm banking on it, anyway.)

Bonus Question! How do you stay so freaking skinny when you obviously work 20 hours a day?
Oh, honey, you know no woman ever thinks she’s pretty enough, tan enough or skinny enough. ;)  That said, I'll admit, I'm a gym rat with a healthy amount of vanity and a tiny budget for clothing. Though as I approach the mid-century mark, the old tricks don't seem to work the same. (Damn you, Belgium beer and pretzels!), So, I started a very low carb diet last month and installed an elliptical machine under my desk. It's crazy but it works.

*An elliptical machine under the desk! Now that tip is worth its weight in gold.
But then with gold being at what it is…maybe we’ll say aluminum.
                Thanks for stopping by Linda. Now, you people…GO...Buy the book!

14 comments:

  1. I can always count on you for a great post! I grew up by the sea, and after living inland for five years, I think I'm going stir crazy. Typing with my toes in the sand sounds like a dream. (Convincing my husband to keep the kids while I run off on a vacation by myself to lay on the beach seems impossible though :)

    I enjoyed reading about Linda. I don't know how she does it all, I can barely keep up with a blog!

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    1. Thanks Amber!
      I'm with you about the ocean...I love it! But I'm landlocked too :(

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  2. Fabulous interview!!! Linda was so funny, I'm going to have to check out her book. And I've been Tweeting WITHOUT pants...now I'm embarrassed!

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  3. HELLO GIRLS!! Amber, don't think of WBTW are a VACATION. It's WORK. HARD work. And never, ever really tell the hubby all the details of writing escapes. Generally I start by boring him to death with literary terms, a list of dead writers names and then whine about how old and stuffy they all are. (Gee, wonder why he never wants to accompany me?)
    and Angela? I hope you own a lot of skirts... just saying. If you have an e-reader, drop me a line at sands.linda@gmail.com , or at twitter @lindasands and I'll send you a free e-book of Not Waving, Drowning. ;)
    Linda Sands

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  4. Great interview, although I feel like I'm been driven at top speed through wind-tunnel!

    I have this novel on my TBR list, I think I first learnt of it through a previous post of yours Elizabeth.

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    1. Doesn't Linda just exude energy? I need half her get up and go!

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  5. Outstanding Interview indeed! I enjoyed reading about Linda. She was so funny. I don't know how she does it all, I can barely keep up with a blog!
    online contest

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    1. I hear ya!!! I've been trying to be more diligent and I'm still way behind!

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  6. First off, I love that her last name is Sands, and that her picture is her on the sand. Fabulous!

    And that's some great advice there. Fun interview!

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    1. I agree Peggy! And cool that her writing retreats are all in beach locations. How's that for branding?

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    2. And I must add...love your blog. Just the title alone makes me a fan!

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