Pinterest: A New Leg in the Writer’s Platform

Pinterest LogoPinterest is a social media site that has taken the web by storm. It is now considered the third most popular social media site right after Facebook and Twitter. Pinterest is a simple idea. As you surf the net and spot photos that interest you, you can copy and paste these images to your pinterest “boards” and share them with your friends. The images that you pin automatically link back to the original page where the image was posted from and you also have the option of sharing not only on Pinterest, but on Facebook or Twitter at the same time if you choose to. A “board” is a sort of photo gallery where you group your pinterest images by a subject category of your choosing. People that use Pinterest are known as “Pinners” and people that follow your boards can either “like” or comment on your pins.

One of the aspects of Pinterest that I find interesting is that it has become more of a woman-centric social media hub where men are few and far between. Reported figures put the females at anywhere from 60% to 80% of its users. It is also a media that attracts people who are more visual in their thought processes than analytical. If you have a book that appeals to the female demographic, utilizing Pinterest becomes even more important as part of your writing platform.

If Pinterest is all about images, how can I use it as a writer?

As a former filmmaker and now a writer, I find that images are at the heart of the scenes and characters that I create. Visual thinking is a natural part of the process of what I do as a storyteller. One of the first ways that I used Pinterest is to gather images that would help to inspire the locations, objects and clothing of the characters in my books. I’m currently working on a steampunk science fiction themed novel. In my Pinterest account I have a steampunk board where I pin all images of a steampunk nature that I gather from the web. Not only is this board a place for my personal inspiration of costumes, buildings and motor cars, but it also allows my readers to get an insight of where my stories are percolating from.

I’ve created a board featuring the book covers of my favorite novels that I gathered from Amazon. I’ve written the title and authors with the Pin. I sometimes like to Pin images of my favorite authors in my Writing board along with images of writing tools, famous quotes by authors and other writing related images.

Developing Your Pinterest Writing Platform

Remember, Pinterest is a visual way to link to a website. The goal is to draw in people to your website via your boards. Share your images so that the pictures with the corresponding links will spread out in a viral manner. Not only should you gather images from other sources, you must include images from your own website pages in order to draw click-throughs to your books.

Boards should not only be about you and your book. You want the boards to be a reflection of you as a person. Imbed the image links to your website among other interesting and visually stimulating images from other sources. Good places to find such images are other Pinterest boards, websites, blogs, DeviantArt and photo gallery sites. If you know who created the image, make every attempt to give the artist credit. If you have the skill, create images to Pin. Create boards with descriptive titles and place them in the proper Pinterest categories. Make it easy for your readers to find you. If you have published books, make a board for them and feature it among your other boards.

One of the time honored ways of drawing traffic to your website is to read other blogs and leave comments. You should do the same strategy with Pinterest by leaving comments on other people’s pins or pressing the like button. If you spot an image that would work well on one of your boards, re-pin it and gain attention from the original poster that way. Follow the boards of other writers that inspire you. You do not need to follow all their boards, simply pick the ones that interest you. Incorporate Pinterest into the rest of your writing platform on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ by providing links or shoutouts to boards you find to be excellent. The point is to make as many connections as you can and to spread the love.

I am growing rather addicted to Pinterest and I find that its value to me as a writer is increasing, both as a traffic builder and as a place to gather inspiration for my writing.

WENDY VAN CAMP ON PINTEREST

Author Interview: Rosemary Lynch

Sometimes the cover art of a book catches the eye and it was certainly the case with me when I first saw Rose’s novel. After we chatted for a time on twitter, I invited her here to No Wasted Ink for an interview.

Author Rosemary LynchHi my name is Rosemary Lynch (Rose). I was born on 14th August 1970 in Merton, England. I am married to Paul, have three lovely children. Charlotte, Melissa and Jake. Two dogs, Max and Arweyn, one cat Maggie, three chickens Bluebell, Lavender and Meadow. I write epic fantasy. My first book Kainan, is a magical romantic adventure. The first book in the Deragan Sword Trilogy. The second book, ‘Meladrom’ is out on the 14th August this year and the conclusion book three, ‘Annalise’ is due out Decemer 2012. I love to write and I love art, especially painting in acrylic. I love to paint dragons!

When and why did you begin writing?

I began writing in May 2009, whilst off work due to an injury.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

When Kainan was read for the first time last year. Up to then it had been my private hobby. I was nagged by colleagues at work to let them read it, so I had ten proof books printed. I was overwhelmed by the response so I decided I would have Kainan published.

Can you share a little about your current book with us?

Kainan is a magical romantic adventure fantasy. It is the story of a young man whose life is dramatically changed overnight when his village is attacked by the evil Gozars. He is forced into stealing a magical crystal from the world of Malgar, which unbenown to him, is the lifeforce of their world. Left for dead by the Gorzars, his life is saved by a young groundling woman, Arweyn. Together they discover the truth about his heritage and set in play an ancient prophecy. They head out on a quest to return the Ardor Crystal to the world of Malgar and stop the return of the Gorzar Empire. Along the way they face treachery, many mystical creatures, and fall in love.

What inspired you to write this book?

I had a dream and that dream was my first book ‘Kainan’. It all started from there and I haven’t stopped since.

Do you have a specific writing style?

I like to write quite fast paced with lots of action.

How did you come up with the title of this book?

This book had many titles before I settled on Kainan, as did the hero’s name. I wanted a strong, stand alone title. I discovered the name Kainan and as soon as I heard it, I knew immediately that it fitted his character perfectly.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

Never to give up hope. Even when life is at rock bottom.

Are experiences in this book based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

I think there is probably some of my husband within Kainan’s character! His querky sense of humour and practical jokes for a start!

What authors have most influenced your life?

When I was young it was Enid Blyton, I spent hours in one of her books, sat up a tree in the garden. Now I love Terry Brooks, and Terry Goodkind.

If you had to choose, is there a writer would you consider a mentor?

Terry Brooks

Who designed the cover of your book? Why did you select this illustrator?

Aidana Willow Raven. I sent out a tweet saying I was looking for an illustrator. She contacted me and the minute I saw her work I new she was the one to produce my cover. Her work is amazing.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Just follow your heart and enjoy what you do. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

Firstly I want to thank them for buying my book! I love Kainan, even though I have written it, I still enjoy reading it! It is an easy book to read, and it takes you right into their world. You feel their pain, their passion, their drive. You find yourself wanting to turn the next page to see what happens to them.

Deragan Sword Prophecy - Kainan book coverRosemary Lynch
Wiltshire, England. UK

Illustrator: Aidana Willow Raven

SMASHWORDS
AMAZON USA
AMAZON UK

No Wasted Ink Writer’s Links

The Monday writer links are more focused on the art of writing this week. I hope you’ll find them as interesting as I did.



Docx to Pages

Ten Steps to Writing While Raising Young Children

Good Writing, Good Blogging

Writing and publishing is all about teamwork

How to Write Better: 7 Instant Fixes

Where to Find Ideas for Writing a Story

Build a Better Author Bio for Twitter

Pros and Cons of Small Presses

Breaking The Curse: Making Myth Our Own

3 Do-at-Your-Desk Exercises to Avoid Becoming Chair Shaped

Writing Space: Wendy Van Camp

As the creator of No Wasted Ink, I often take a back seat and feature other writers here on the blog. After all, it is rather difficult to interview oneself! I thought that instead I might do a writing space post to give you all a glimpse of where the posts of this blog are created.

“Intrepid” Young Filmmaker Wendy Van Camp with her Super 8 Camera
I’ve always been a writer and a storyteller, although I haven’t always told my stories with words. I wrote my first novel at the tender age of four years, all handwritten on wide ruled school paper in child’s scrawl. All three revisions of it! I still keep it as a memento, but it is locked away where no one can see. My second novel was written during my mid-teen years on a broken Selectric typewriter. The carrier return had to be pushed with my right hand while I typed with my left. I clearly remember the scent of whiteout and being painstakingly careful about typos as I wrote. I did several revisions of this novel over a two or three year time span and learned to type as fast with just my left hand as with both. For some reason, my parents never saw fit to fix the typewriter for me.

In college I discovered filmmaking and shifted my focus from the written word to telling stories with a script and a camera. I remained happy with this medium for a good fifteen years of my life. I’ve produced and directed feature length projects, more talk shows than I can remember, parades, city council meetings, and toy commercials. As time went on, I developed a small artisan jewelry business and gradually, as television and film work moved overseas, I focused more on creating beautiful items for women to wear and learned to love the freedom that the lifestyle of an artist offers. I did not return to writing stories seriously until 2010 when the idea for a novel burst into my mind and would not let me go. I have been writing novels, articles and short stories ever since. No Wasted Ink was started New Year’s Day 2012 and is now my writing home on the web.

Wendy Van Camp's Writing Space and Studio
Wendy Van Camp’s Writing Space and Studio
These days, I have a dedicated writing space in my home. No more broken Selectric typewriter on the kitchen table for me! A room in my house is my “creative studio” with a lovely view of our lemon tree and my rose garden just outside the window. Here you will find my jeweler’s bench, workbench, shelves of supplies, a comfortable plush chair to relax in, and my trusty desktop computer and desk. I write most of the short fiction, articles and the blog posts on the desktop using my Scrivener program. The large monitor is an asset to me as it allows me to blow up the text large enough to be seen even with my aging eyesight. I love my studio and spend most of my day there, either working on jewelry to create stock for my jewelry business, writing or just enjoying the Internet during my off time. My dog has a certain spot behind my chair and she keeps me company during the day. So far, the hammering, sawing, or intense concentration to my computer doesn’t bother her. That is loyalty.

Alphasmart Neo and Samsonite Shuttle Case
Alphasmart Neo
I use other tools in my writing. An Alphasmart Neo is my drafting machine of choice and you will see me with it out in the coffeehouses when I am drafting a new story. The small screen and distraction free writing helps me focus on my work. I credit using the Alphasmart for helping me win the 50K goal at NaNoWriMo for the first time. When I need research information I refer to my filofax writing binder where I keep character sketches, notes and other information about my novel, or in a pinch I will call up information on my ipod touch. I also use a NEC Mobilepro 900 that I have souped up by flashing it with upgraded software. It is what I use for revisions since it allows me to see more of the text than the Neo.

Book Review: Robinson Crusoe

Book Name: Robinson Crusoe
Author: Daniel Defoe
First Published: 1719

Daniel Defoe might be considered the father of journalism itself as he was one of the more prolific journalists of the eighteenth century. During his career as a pamphleteer and writer, he published around 370 works on a wide variety of topics, the majority of which were political in nature. The content of his seditious writing landed him in prison, but he gained his release by agreeing to be an intelligence agent for the Tories. The rumor and eventual confirmation of his spying eroded his reputation as a writer and a gentleman and thus he was looked down upon by his contemporaries such as Jonathan Swift, Sir Walter Scott, and Alexander Pope.

Defoe worked hard to create the impression that he was a gentleman, although he was not born so, being the son of a butcher and presbyterian dissenter. In order to create the illusion of gentility, he added the suffix “de” to his real family name of Foe. He was known to have purchased crests to place on his carriage to further the idea that he was a gentleman born. Defoe was constantly in debt and landed in debtors prison, but eventually through his business connections managed to find many jobs from being a tax collector to a merchant of hosiery, general woolen goods and wine. He also received a sizable dowry when he wed Mary Tuffley, the daughter of a London merchant. Eventually, he was able to purchase a country estate and a ship that he used in his merchant business to gain the status that he longed for, but it is thought that due to his constantly being in debt and the trouble with his seditious pamphlets, his life with Mary and their six surviving children was a troubled one.

Defoe came to novel writing late in his life, penning his first book Robinson Crusoe when he was sixty years of age. The success of his first novel helped to redeem his writing reputation. The book went on to be translated into several languages, became the inspiration for many other novels and in our century for many films. He has gained worldwide and critical acclaim as a novelist starting in the twentieth century and beyond.

Robinson Crusoe is about an Englishman who is stranded on a deserted island for 28 years. With the supplies he’s able to salvage from the ship that was lost during a violent storm, Crusoe eventually builds a fort for a home and then creates for himself a mini-paradise by his own labor and effort in taming animals, gathering fruit, growing crops, and hunting. He recreates a civilization, with all its comforts and economy, except lacking in human companionship. It is a time of hardship and of learning to have faith in god for Crusoe as he examines the beliefs he has been raised with.

After living alone for twenty years, Crusoe spies a human footprint in the sand and soon encounters a tribe of cannibals. During his encounter with the fierce warriors, he rescues a black man who would have been put to death by them. Crusoe names this man Friday and treats him as a servant at first due to the color of his skin. A common view of imperial England at the time. What makes the story more interesting is that Defoe the author treats Friday and the other “savages” as true human beings, although coached in the cultural views of the time. At the end of the story, Crusoe makes his escape from the island when a ship of mutineers sail to its shore. He helps the British captain take back control of his ship and in exchange for his service, Crusoe is given transport back to England.

Does anyone not know about the novel Robinson Crusoe? It has entered our culture on so many levels and has been celebrated time and again in books, movies and plays that the very idea of a man living alone against the elements all returns us back to this original tale. Or was it really original? There are those that say that Daniel Defoe based his novel on the true story of Scottish sailor Alexander Selkirk, who was rescued in 1709 by Woodes Rogers’ expedition after four years on an uninhabited island off the Chilean coast.

A 21st century author, Tim Severin, postulates that Crusoe is based on the castaway surgeon Henry Pitman as the most likely inspirational candidate. Pitman wrote a short book about his escape from a Caribbean penal colony, which was followed by a shipwrecking and misadventures on a deserted island. This book was published by J. Taylor of Paternoster Row, London. His son, William Taylor later published Defoe’s novel. Pitman appears to have been living in the lodgings above the publishing house and it is likely that Defoe may have met Pitman in person and learned of his experiences first hand or perhaps could have read a draft of his book via the publishing house.

Robinson Crusoe is considered to be one of the first novels ever written in English. It reads as a classic adventure novel, indeed it is the prototype of such novels, but as you peer deeper into its theme you see thoughts on the importance of civilization, of faith, and of friendship. It is a worthwhile book to read and I highly recommend adding it to your reading list. As writers, I feel that it is important to have a good understanding of the classics. For how can we go forward without knowing what went on behind us? Not to mention, why miss out on novels that have stood the test of time?

Robinson Crusoe book coverYou can find Robinson Crusoe to read for free at Project Gutenberg.

List of Daniel Defoe Novels:

    Robinson Crusoe (1719)
    The Farther Adventures of Robinson Crusoe (1719)
    Serious reflections during the life and surprising adventures of Robinson Crusoe: with his Vision of the Angelick World (1720)
    Captain Singleton (1720)
    A Journal of the Plague Year (1722)
    Colonel Jack (1722)
    Moll Flanders (1722)
    Roxana (1724)