As many of my fellow Roses have written on these pages, one of the toughest parts of this writing job is grabbing readers’ attention. When I was first published in 2010, I was clueless (seriously, painfully clueless), but I figured that like anything, marketing can be taught. And even though I’m far from a natural at it, I can learn best practices. Right?
So I set out to learn everything I could. I studied the blogs and social media accounts of successful authors. I created my own accounts and tried to replicate their behavior. I’ve taken classes and spent hours experimenting on what “engages” readers.
Here’s what I’ve learned: Readers like personal tidbits they can relate to. Women especially like anecdotes and photos of young children or grandchildren, and young animals. Or animals of any age, actually. And pictures of hunky, bare-chested men. Some hobbies or expertise/interest in a particular subject matter can work as well.
So for these past six years or so, I’ve been bemoaning the fact that I don’t have young children, I don’t have grandchildren, and I don’t have pets. I love my "day job," but it's not unusual (and there's only so much I could share), and I don't have any fascinating hobbies. And as much as I personally love photos of hunky, bare-chested men, I can’t help seeing them as someone’s son and wondering what their mothers think seeing their sons plastered like that all over the web! (I know, I know...it’s a curse.)
But, hallelujah, today I have exciting news to share.
My older son (whom I refer to as on No. 1, because I’ve promised to never name or tag him online) has come home to live with hubby and me while he works on his Ph.D. dissertation. He had one request (other than living here): “So, yeah....uh...Mom, can I get a cat?”
“Cat?” My ears perked up, and I’m sure my face brightened. “Of course!” I said without even thinking of consulting hubby. We’ve had cats before. I love cats...hubby (a dog person) accepts cats. AND (let’s be real here) I NEEDED SOMETHING TO WRITE ABOUT ON MY FACEBOOK PAGE! My only condition was that Son No. 1 would be responsible for cleaning the litter, which he gladly agreed to.
I had mentioned this to a friend who’s a vet, and two days ago she emailed me. “I have a kitten,” she said. “He needs a good home. Take him.” The kitten was being “fostered” with a local groomer and was “ready to go.”
That night we hit up the local pet supply store and armed ourselves with food, dishes, a litter box and litter...and a cat carrier that will hopefully last for years....it cost enough. By the middle of the next day, we were proud kitten owners. Or, uh...Son No. 1 is a proud kitten owner. :-)
I know I’m just a tad biased, but if this isn’t the most adorable kitten ever born...I don’t know what. He’s a black tabby – looks all black from a distance, but up close you can see definite stripes. He has one tiny patch of white fur on his chest. He’s playful and fun and curious about every inch of our house. He purrs all the time and is really affectionate. (He’s sleeping at my feet as I write this..purring.) Even hubby has fallen in love with this kitten.
My son named him Hercules, a name I’m sure he’ll grow into, in a good way...I hope.
Hecules barely stops moving, but that hasn't stopped me from using up most of my phone's storage taking photos of him. My son said he spent about 30 minutes the first day shadow-boxing himself in a mirror. (But did he get video that I could share??? NO. Argh!)
Anyway, I’ve “talked” enough. Meet the cutest kitten ever born. Am I right?
|Sleeping behind my laptop. (Please disregard any dust you see.)|
|Peering out the window from my desk.|
|Another from my desk.|
|Sleeping behind my laptop...|
Can't have too many "at my desk/laptop" photos, right!?
|The eyes are the camera's and photographer's (my) fault, not Hercules'.|
Now...I'm off to post on Facebook! :-)
Leah writes stories of mystery and romance, good and evil, and the power of love. If you'd like to keep up with stories about Hercules, here's her Facebook page. She loves visitors!