Pull back the curtain and see how a suspense writer puts the thrills and chills together.


Dear Readers,

I recently enrolled in an online course to learn how to better promote myself through social networks: Facebook, Twitter, and the like. One of the first assignments is to create a Facebook Fan Page for our writing, whether or not we’re published. I’m struggling with this.

Maybe it’s that good ol’ humility Canadians are so famous for, but won’t it seem conceited of me to start up a Fan Page before my novel gets published? Fan Pages are for celebrities, aren’t they? (Well, celebrities and ridiculous causes like ‘become of a fan of I Hate It When I Wake Up in the Morning and Can’t Remember My Own Name.) In that case, maybe the idea isn’t quite so ridiculous after all.

I have published thousands of articles, but so have many journalists, and I don’t see them starting up Fan Pages. I have this blog, but there are millions of bloggers without Fan Pages. However, as my instructor says, “it’s never too early to start promoting your own work”.

Do you agree? What’s your stance on this? Would you sign up to be a Fan of mine, or would you think I’ve gotten a little too big for my britches, so to speak? I’m a bit afraid of backlash, especially from the local writing community. I can imagine a lot of “who does she think she is?” sniping going on. That said, I do have a few exciting projects coming up, and it would be nice to have one central point to let my friends know about them.

I’m eager for your opinion. What’s your view of the Fan Page?

Watched the first episode of Jillian Michaels’ new show, Losing It, last night and was a little disappointed. It was just too short, and the pressure on her to change a family’s life in one week is a bit much. Still, there was one thing she said on the show that really inspired me–I think it’s so true. Jillian kept pushing one woman to work out harder, and the woman whined “I’m trying!” Jillian replied

“Trying is just planning to fail.”
So true! Are there any areas in your life where you’re trying when you should be kicking butt?Exercise: Did the Jillian Making the Cut workout, ate healthfully
To bed at: 11:30 p.m.
Awake at: 6:30 a.m.

Novel pages written: Four. I have now written over fifty pages since I began this blog project!

Thanks for reading!
1 part newsletter, 1 part unnerving updates,
2 parts sneak peeks of new projects.


  1. Scott

    See, there’s your problem – thinking that Facebook and the real world share the same rules. Facebook is a way for people to avoid reality -therefore the rules of reality do not apply. People on Facebook accept invites to events in other countries that they have no intention of attending, they support causes that they would hang up on a telemarketer for, and essentially behave like sociopathic lying ego maniacs.

    Would it be arragont to show up in a bookstore and offer to sign autographed copies of your non-existant book? Yes. Would it be arrogant to have a Facebook fan page for said same book? Not at all – it’s a great idea.

  2. Story Teller

    Aww, thanks, Scott! So true. And very wise, as always.

    I had no idea you read my blog. Thanks for being here. Hugs!

  3. Anonymous

    An interesting question without a yes or no answer. We both know publishing is a Catch-22, you need fans to want your stuff, but unless people know your stuff exists they can’t want it. So, as someone who is worse at self-promotion than you are, here’s my take on stuff.

    You can commit an infamous crime, release a sex tape, or ride the coat tails of rich and famous family or friends. If these aren’t an option, then you do what you have to to let the world know you exist and want to connect with them.

    Will it work? Who knows. Will it offend some people? Who cares. Those who are interested in your work will delve deeper. Those who are put off at the outset are probably not the type who will enjoy your flavor of fiction anyway.

    Bottom line: What have you got to lose? The worst/best thing that could happen is that so many people are offended by your efforts that the whole thing goes viral – in which case publishers will be knocking on your door.

    BTW – I didn’t know about the Muay Thai. Very cool. I, on the other hand, have been delving into photography again – http://www.flickr.com/photos/xlipxtream (Hmm, is that shameless self-promotion 🙂

    Seriously, take a chance. Send out the “like” invitations. Spread the word. Enlist your legions. Even those of use who dislike Facebook will find a way to respond 🙂


  4. Margo Dill

    Well, HOlli, you know my opinion, but I thought I’d tell you–nice blog, good job with the fan page, and I love the pic you have on this post. 🙂


  5. Story Teller

    Hey Jax, long time no talk! Thanks very much for your insightful comments. I figure the Fan page was worth it if it got you to come out of hiding. 🙂 Are you going to SIWC this year?

    And Margo, thanks very much for the kind comments and support. It’s all appreciated!

  6. Jocé

    Hey Holli, I’ve been a fan of yours since Whodunit? Writing Group days. Who couldn’t like being your fan – is what I say. 🙂 As to worrying about what people are going to think (which is one of my problems too) I take comfort from the 4 Toltec Agreements, #2:”don’t take things personally,” and #3 “don’t make assumptions.” Be happy. Write Away.
    PS. I really like your friend Scott’s take on it.

  7. Anonymous

    Hello Holli = just a question – when your agent moved to England, could she have taken you there as a writer? And they will get published – don’t worry!! Bonnie B.

  8. Story Teller

    @ Jocelyn, that’s so, so sweet of you to say! You know I’m a fan of yours, too. Your writing is so good it almost makes me want to give up. 🙂 Thanks for the advice. It’s definitely something I have to keep in mind. And yes, Scott is a brilliant man. Whenever I come to him for advice, I am never disappointed. I am lucky to work with him!

    @ Bonnie – Welcome to the blog! It was my choice to leave my agent. She’s a lovely woman, but she’d just had two kids and was still working as an editor. I didn’t feel she had enough time to concentrate on being an agent as it was, and then the move to England and starting up another branch of Folio – that would have just caused more delays. After spending four years rewriting for her, with no results and no action, I decided it was time to call it quits.


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