It's a wonderful idea, but don't let anyone tell you it's easy.
I'm still breathing hard, trying to keep up with the tour for Tremolo: cry of the loon, recently released by Twilight Times Books.
Shelley Glodowski, senior reviewer for Midwest Book Review, says of Tremolo: "It's easy to see that Aaron Paul Lazar loves to write, as his style is lilting and beautiful. He weaves childhood memories of the lakes of Maine into a stylized whodunit that is original and breathtaking."
And Bob Williams, of Compulsivereader.com, wrote, "Tremolo is a monument to the enduring values of love, integrity, and bravery and has all the signs of persistent endurance."
I love those quotes. They make me feel validated as a writer, especially when my fickle ego starts to undermine my confidence. But you know, good reviews aren't all you need to sell books. You need constant exposure, and a virtual book tour is a good way to exponentially increase your internet presence .
The tour sure has taken a toll on my "real" writing time. I don't think I've written more than three chapters in my new book (#13) in over a month. That's very odd for me, as I usually like to write a chapter a day.
And answering all those interview questions and keeping up with the comments on everyone's blogs can be time consuming. But that's okay. Like I said before, "nobody ever bought a book they haven't heard about." So targeted promotion is a necessary part of this business, and it's often necessary tofunnel our energies into another branch of the field.
One little problem is that I received so much interest from folks to host the tour that it stretched from December through March. Phew. But it's been a blast! And now, as we round the corner into the last few days of February, I'm gearing up for the March group, which promises to be very exciting!
Here's a list of the tour stops to date - I've included links for those of you who might want to swing by and say hi to the hosts, or to comment on the reviews/interviews.
Lesia Valentine hosted the debut tour stop with a great review and interview. Here's a quote: "This book is so cool I could eat it like ice cream. I felt like rolling down a hill in a big refrigerator box when I read it, and you will too, because Tremolo by Aaron Paul Lazar, is a nostalgic and adventurous romp through summer camp." Isn't she a great writer? I'm going to invite her to do a guest blog for us.
Debbie G. - on Gather.com. Deb wrote a lyrical review and asked me some interesting questions about my deepest fears. Feel free to add your own questions if you'd like to comment. Joining Gather is free, and you can be assured to avoid any spam like comments or mail by clicking on the "guarded viewing" option. Here's an excerpt from her review: "Aaron Lazar's first line inTremolo, immediately transported me from my couch potato perch into danger, mystery and adventure. Young Gus, caretaker and protector of his grandfather's boat desperately pulls on the oars in an attempt to reach the safety of the shore before the thick fog descends. You hear the wooden paddles creak, and the lake slosh, and feel the fear as the three young friends hear a motorboat bear down on them. In that initial scene the reader loses real time and enters Gus Legarde's childhood, never to be disappointed."
Jane Corn - on Gather, blogspot, Amazon, Digg, and Associated Content. Jane asked some unique questions and posted a great review of Tremolo here. "This novel set off powerful waves of memories and pure nostalgia in me. I remembered those days when the Beatles were popular and Beatlemania was in full swing, when John Kennedy and Martin Luther King were well-known and children spent summers outside, not in front of video games."
Mayra Calvani - on the Dark Phantom Review, Blog Critics, and Gather. Mayra posted a wonderful series of questions and also gave me a chance to list a synopsis of all twelve books. Some are available now (http://www.legardemysteries.com/) and some are in the works. But it was fun to list them all together in one spot. ;o)
Elizabeth Evans ("Bob" or "Bobbi" for short) on Gather.com here and again, here.
It's amazing how unleashing others' creativity can open up a whole new way to review a book. Bob's cats and dog helped out with this one, which was hilarious! I loved getting to know Ophelia, Sophie, and Tuck even better than before. They are a great crew and keep their Mistress on her toes!
Flit (Lauralee B) from Gather, posted this lovely review, right smack dab in the middle of her insane college schedule. I don't know how she does it, but she wrote a great review. "Tremolo, like the other books I've read by Aaron Lazar, is a fast paced, easy, and enjoyable read. The characters are well-developed and very real, and consistently portrayed throughout the novels. And most importantly, of course, they are characters that it is easy to care about. You'll want to keep turning the pages because you will want to know what happens to them next."
April H conducted a long interview in two segments on Gather.com.
First half of interview
Second half of interview
She also posted excerpts from Tremolo: cry of the loon, all week as teasers to the reading community.
Beverly McClure asked some interesting interview questions in this post on Gather, too. Interview You can find out all about my "favorite" stuff in this one - including what time period I'd like to live in, if given the choice. LOL!
Beryl Singleton Bissell will be posting a new interview this week - and she asked some of the most stirring questions of all.
One final tip for those of you planning a tour - it's okay to plagiarize yourself and repeat similar answers on repeat interview questions! You don't have to beat yourself up to be clever each time, trying to top your own answers to "Why do you write?" or "When did you start writing?" I love answering the questions no matter what, especially when I get to talk about my characters in the LeGarde or Moore Mystery series. ;o)
Next stops on the tour include posts by Marci Baun (Wild Child Publishing), our own Murder by 4 hosts, Marta Stephens and Kim Smith, and the lovely Patry Francis, author of The Liar's Diary.
So - if you're not sick to death of reading all about me and my characters at this point, pick a few stops along the way to visit. And remember - write like the wind!
- Aaron Paul Lazar