Wednesday, July 13, 2011

What's the Best Writerly Advice You'd Give Your Younger Self - Carrie Harris

Today's guest post is with another one of my wonderful critique buddies, Carrie Harris, who's hysterically funny zombie novel is out in the world! Bad Taste in Boys is one of those books you don't want to read on a crowded train because you will be laughing so hard you will either cough up a lung or pee your pants. Either way, you want to avoid doing this in public.



Carrie also has one of the best author's websites out there and get a load of her eye-catching cover!


I'm so excited to bring you Carrie's guest post on the best writerly advice she'd give her younger self. And at the end of the post, I'll give you a chance to win a copy of her fabulous new book!

Carrie Harris:

If I had a time machine (and I want one really badly if you happen to know of one for sale), I’d definitely want to sit younger me down for a talk. And the thing I’d tell me is pretty plain and simple.

“Young Me,” I’d say, “JUST SAY NO.”

I think this advice is all-purpose. It can refer to dating the guy who got the cue ball stuck in his mouth and that time I cut my hair inadvisedly short. But it can also be something a little more serious too. Because way back in the pre-publication days, I’d hear about published authors turning down guest posts and promotional opportunities, and I’d wonder if they were certifiably insane. WHO IN THEIR RIGHT MIND WOULD TURN DOWN FREE PUBLICITY? From people who are really excited to help promote their book? Not me. I vowed that I’d be the one who said yes to every marketing request I got, because every little bit helps.

And it does. It’s fun and effective and makes you feel cool even if you aren’t. But there may come a point when the interviews take up so much time that you’re not writing books, and you’re not trying to break into the interview business, Young Me. You’re trying to break into the book business. And saying no to those people doesn’t mean that you don’t appreciate what they’re doing. Offer them bookmarks. Ask if you can visit their website another month. Be honest—tell them that you’re overextended and you really want to write them a guest post/visit their two-person book group/attend their live action performance of your book/whatever, but you’ve got to set some limits.

And if they can’t be flexible, it does not make you the bad guy to sometimes say NO. NO is a great word. It’s easy to pronounce. It’s not like you’ve got to say “kartoffelsalat,” unless you happen to be in Germany and jonesing for some potato salad.

Give it a try. Just say NO. And when you’re done, I need that time machine back.

*****

Thanks Carrie for your fabulous advice! And now here's the chance to win a Bad Taste in Zombies book! Just link this post on facebook, twitter, google+, your blog and just let me know you did it here in the comments section! And if you don't have any of the above, just leave me a comment letting me know you really, really, really want this book, and I'll still include you because I know you'll go out and talk up this book to your friends verbally! I'm gonna trust you all because I know you want to win this hysterically funny book and I know you want to help spread the word about Carrie's fabulous debut! So start now! I'll pick a winner randomly from the comments section by next week! Contest is open internationally so good luck!

11 comments:

Charles Gramlich said...

A zombie novel loose in the world. No doubt it is crying out for "readers, readers" instead of "brains, brains." :)

Erin Bowman said...

Love this post. Thank you, Carrie, for sharing. Kiersten White blogged similar thoughts recently as well, and I couldn't help thinking about how I'm currently in the former camp, saying yes to everything. I'll have to return to these posts when things start to catch up with me and I need time to, you know, write!

Kelly said...

Congrats to Carrie! I know this book is going to be a riot! I tweeted!!

RK Charron said...

Hello :)

Thank you for having Carrie here & thanks to Carrie for the interesting & fun post and saying "Yes" to coming here.

All the best,
RKCharron

jonathan said...

Another zombie book? Excellent! (I tweeted about it, too.)

Samantha VĂ©rant said...

Yay! I'm so excited for Carrie's book! Awesome post.

Now I need some "wine, wine, wine." I think Zombies drink wine?

p.s. Tell Carrie I'm working on that time machine, seeing I'm married to a rocket scientist. He'll figure it out. Or else.

Tasnim said...

I tweeted about this contest, i would love to win a copy of this :)

tasnim-sheikh(AT)hotmail(DOT)com

Bisi Adjapon said...

Funny, and so true. Thanks a lot!

Bisi

Precie said...

Does retweeting your tweet on this count? :)

Plus, Carrie, thanks for the words of advice...totally applicable in lots of practical ways. Best of luck with your release!

Precie said...

I blogged about the giveaway too, just in case a retweet was insufficient. :)

word ver: parti
Seriously.

Larissa said...

I love Carrie SO STINKIN MUCH! I retweeted a tweet. :)

lchardesty at yahoo dot com

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