On Breaking Habits, Managing Energy, and Extended Absences from Social Media

There’s a lot of discussion in the writerly blogosphere about the importance of social media, regardless of whether a writer is published. Much of the advice is valid: Social media is a great way of publicizing your work (books, blog, etc.), networking within the industry, and developing an audience. Personally, I’ve grown to appreciate Twitter, Goodreads, and Pinterest over the past couple years. They’ve either been instrumental with building the blog’s audience and driving more traffic, or helped me connect with other writers, bookworms, and SF&F fans. (In Twitter’s case, it’s been a blessing for both.)

So, why have I been absent from social media lately, apart from Goodreads? It’s not that I’ve given up on it. Rather, the absence began with an intention, then drew on longer for reasons I couldn’t pin down until recently, thanks to a book I’ve been reading and some recent reflection on the “energetic” toll this year has taken on me.
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Interview with Rachel E. Carter, Author of the Black Mage Series

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There are countless ways of discovering authors and their books online. In the past two years, my top three sources have been Twitter, blogs, and Goodreads. That last site is where I met YA fantasy author Rachel E. Carter. While her books are still on my TBR list, I’ve enjoyed reading her book reviews and watching her interact with fans there. She isn’t just an author who adores YA fantasy; she’s one who engages, encourages, and respects other readers, including those who review her work.

Today I’m thrilled to have Rachel here to talk about her Black Mage series, whose third installment Candidate comes out on Tuesday, October 27th. You’ll learn more about her love for kick-butt female protagonists and bad-boy love interests, how music influences her writing process, and her tips on writing and social media platforms. And maaaaybe some Harry Potter and Song of the Lioness fangirling – which I wholeheartedly approve of!

Also, if you like e-books, you can buy the debut Black Mage novel First Year for 99 cents from Kindle, Nook, iBooks / iTunes, and KOBO through October 31st! Look for the links at the end of this post. 😉

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Time Flies!: January 2015

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[EDIT: Somehow I forgot there were 31 days in January, so this is accidentally going up one day early. *oops*]

No, that’s not possible. Another month hasn’t gone by yet. I’m still trying to get used to writing 2015 instead of 2014!

That pretty much sums up how I feel as I write Time Flies!: January 2015. The first month of this year went by way too quickly – and it was an awfully stressful month offline, which stalled my blog-writing for a while. I was forced to put articles for this site on the backburner just so I could meet my deadlines for my outside columns. So… yeah, January 2015 was a blur. Things look like they’re starting to slow down, though, so I’ve been able to start catching up and cross off items on my “to-do” list.

Let’s be more positive from here on, starting with the past month’s updates: Continue reading

Looking for Recommendations for Fantasy Novels

Recently I posted two book recommendation requests at Goodreads. (Consider them part of my “market research” as a fantasy novelist. *wink*) I’ve gotten a few responses so far, but I thought I’d expand those requests to the blog. Feel free to post your suggestions in the Comments below or respond directly to the requests at Goodreads.

  1. Fairies in Fantasy Novels: I’m looking for fantasy novels (YA through adult) that feature fairy characters. The protagonist for my current WIP (YA fantasy) and some of her companions are Faeries, and I want to make sure my story offers something different compared to others that have been published. The only fairy book I remember reading is Jennifer Armintrout’s Queene of Light (which is part of a trilogy I’m not interested in continuing, since I didn’t care for Queene of Light).

Recommendations So Far: Holly Black’s Tithe, Laini Taylor’s Blackbringer, Herbie Brennan’s Faerie Wars, and Melissa Marr’s Wicked Lovely

  1. Mermaids in YA Fantasy Novels: I’m also looking for YA fantasy novels featuring mermaids, specifically a female mermaid as the protagonist. I have ideas for a future novel like this, but I want to check out the market so I know how I can set mine apart from what’s already out there.

Recommendations So Far: Kathryn Lasky’s Hannah

Thanks very much in advance! 🙂

Time to Play TBR Book Tag!

Since Anya at On Starships And Dragonwings and Molly Mortensen openly tagged readers on their TBR Book Tags, I thought I’d continue the chain! So, I combed through my physical bookshelves, took some photos, and (finally!) finished updating my “To-Read” shelf on Goodreads to include my home collection. Now I’m ready to play!

For anyone who’s not familiar with the acronym, TBR stands for “to be read.” Therefore, a TBR pile or TBR list consists of the books in your personal collection that you haven’t read yet.

Ready to explore my bookshelves and reading wishlists with me? 🙂   Continue reading

Now a Member of Goodreads, myWriteClub, and Steepster

Good news: You can now connect with me at three more social media sites! (You can already find me on Facebook, Twitter, and Amazon.) Here’s the low down on where you can find me and what you’ll find there.



I signed up for the book-cataloging site two years ago and neglected that account until last week. (Oops…) Now you’ll be able to follow my Recent Reads reviews there as well as here and on Amazon. You can also check out my bookshelf to see other books I’ve read as well as my reading wishlist.

Goodreads Main Page / My Profile Page


myWriteClub logo

Geared specifically toward writers, myWriteClub allows users to set deadlines for projects, then track their progress toward those goals. The site also generates real-time graphs to chart your progress visually. Neat, huh? myWriteClub also allows you to follow other writers, who can follow you in return, and then cheer them on for each project. That way, the site helps us find a supportive online writing community. Yay! myWriteClub is still in beta mode, so not all of the features have been rolled out yet. However, I’m excited to see what they have in store – and if you’re a writer, I encourage you to join! You can find me at SaraL_Writer there.

myWriteClub Main Page


Steepster logo

I just joined Steepster last week, so this site is still very new to me. It’s like Goodreads for tea aficianados. Users can keep a tealog to review teas, create a “cupboard” that reflects their personal stash, and connect with other tea lovers from all over the world. Right now I’m still exploring the site, but I’ve already started sharing my tea reviews from A Bibliophile’s Reverie there. And who knows? Maybe I’ll find some awesome vendors to query for future samples!

Steepster Main Page / My Profile Page

Are you a member of any of these sites? If you are, feel free to follow me. I always follow back! 😉