I’m delighted to welcome author Aimee Alexander to My Reading Corner. Aimee’s novel, The Accidental Life of Greg Millar was published in ebook and paperback on 26 April 2016 by Lake Union Publishing. I have a copy of this to read, just as soon as I can fit it in to my reading schedule and a review will follow. In the meantime, I have a guest post from Aimee which I hope you enjoy.
Should Readers Contact Authors?
When I started writing, social media didn’t exist. If a reader wanted to get in touch they had to write to me via my publisher. Needless to say, not many undertook this task. And to be honest, I didn’t expect them to.
I wrote four novels of women’s fiction. Then the characters coming to my mind changed. I began to hear the dialogue of teenagers. I began to feel their passion. So powerful were their voices that I had to stop what I was doing and pay attention. Without ever planning to, I found myself writing Young Adult fiction.
Social media had arrived by then and I took to Facebook and Twitter primarily to understand my new audience. I didn’t expect social media to change my writing career.
When And By The Way, the first of my YA trilogy, The Butterfly Novels, was published, readers began to react on social media. This was something entirely new and unexpected. Teenage girls were sharing the love either publicly or through direct messages.
They wanted to let me know how they had connected with the books, in particular with specific characters. Many asked if the novels were going to be made into movies and requested to act in them. But the most touching to me were the teenagers who said they learned how to deal with issues in their lives or the lives of their friends by reading how a character coped with the same situation in the book.
I cannot overemphasize how much this has meant to me, to hear the personal reaction of readers to my words. I write in a vacuum. I write what comes to me with no clue if anyone will want to read it or not. When people make the effort to get in touch to share their personal response, it reminds me of why I’m writing. If I can touch people, that is it.
I decided that young readers were the best audience in the world. Then, while continuing to write for them, I got the rights back to my women’s fiction novels. The self-publishing revolution was happening and, attracted by a global audience, I took the plunge.
I reinvented myself and began to self-publish under the name Aimee Alexander (my children’s names combined). That was when I learned that thanks to social media, adult readers can be just as responsive as teenage ones!
I had self-published three novels when Lake Union Publishing, an imprint of Amazon got in touch, last August. They had picked up on the popularity of the novels and were offering to publish one of them, The Accidental Life Of Greg Millar. Giving their clout as a publisher, I jumped at the offer. ‘Greg Millar’ as I affectionately call it has just been republished by them and is doing very nicely.
I would like to say that I have no doubt whatsoever that one of the reasons that Lake Union Publishing published ‘Greg Millar’ was because of reader response. How do I know this? Because they told me. The number of good reviews on Amazon prompted to them to read the book.
Reader response warms my heart. One – lovely – woman is in touch through DM on Twitter sharing her reaction to ‘Greg Millar’ – as she reads it. It is so wonderful being included in her predictions, her surprises, her personal response. It’s like going on a new delightful journey as a writer. I can see different ways the novel could have gone – a real Sliding Doors experience.
And so I would say to any reader thinking of getting in touch with an author, do it. You will probably thrill them, motivate them, inspire them. I’m sure there are authors out there who will prove an exception to that rule but that is their loss. As a guide, I imagine that any author on social media would welcome his or her readers getting in touch.
Personally, I would like to thank all the readers who have shared their response to my words both personally and via reviews on Amazon and Goodreads. It means so incredibly much – in so many ways. A gracious thank you to you all.
About the book:
Lucy Arigho’s first encounter with Greg Millar is far from promising, but she soon realises he possesses a charm that is impossible to resist. Just eight whirlwind weeks after their first meeting, level-headed career girl Lucy is seriously considering his pleas to marry him and asking herself if she could really be stepmother material.
But before Lucy can make a final decision about becoming part of Greg’s world, events plunge her right into it. On holiday in the South of France, things start to unravel. Her future stepchildren won’t accept her, the interfering nanny resents her, and they’re stuck in a heat wave that won’t let up. And then there’s Greg. His behaviour becomes increasingly bizarre and Lucy begins to wonder whether his larger-than-life personality hides something darker— and whether she knows him at all.
About the author:
Denise Deegan is a bestselling Irish author. She writes YA fiction under her own name and Women’s Fiction under the pen name Aimee Alexander. Her latest novel, The Accidental Life of Greg Millar is available from amazon.co.uk: http://amzn.to/24x3kGu and amazon.com: http://amzn.to/1STsRz4
Visit her blog on: https://aimeealexander.com/
|Denise with her agent, Deborah Warren, from the East West Literary Agency|