A new author is warned that publicity will be a significant part of her responsibilities post-publication, and a website is one of the cornerstones of that publicity. I’m not a cyberphobe, but I’m not a techie, either.
And I am a Warp Nine introvert, the same as most other writers. I crave long solitudinous hours filled with only the sounds of my fingers tapping on the keyboard and my bull mastiff snoring contentedly at my feet. This business of building a website loomed for months as the nearest thing to housework: Necessary and a relief to get done, but hardly satisfying.
It will astound you to know my prognostication was wrong.
Having the talented ladies at Waxcreative, Inc., develop a website for me has meant I had to take a look at my author bios, and tell the thumbnail version of the Story of Me yet again in a way that might connect with readers. It means I’ve had to go sifting through my first two books looking for those few paragraphs that will best grab the reader, those snippets of dialogue that surprised me when I first reread them because, what do you know, they’re good.
This is like looking at baby pictures with a younger version of me as a writer in the background. It shouldn’t be fascinating, but to me it is.
I’ve had to look at the earliest versions of my books for the scenes I deleted, some because they just didn’t propel the book forward, others had to be cut to make the almighty word count. The whole time I was on a scene-cutting revision—killing my darlings!—in the back of my mind, I consoled myself with the thought: I’ll have plenty of material for the website this way.
And of course, some of the scenes I had to cut felt as well written as anything elsewhere in the books. I loved those scenes and cutting them was painful.
Then too, I like websites with interesting little quotes sprinkled around on them, so I pawed through my Bartlett’s, hunting for the perfect words from the great and powerful, and what writer would not enjoy that exercise?
With my website up and running (soon!) I’m going to have my own blog again (to wit), and that means hunting up books to blog about. There is so much good writing out there, so much creativity and graciousness…. With my nose buried in a WIP, I forget about the pleasure of browsing among the websites of the authors who’ve comforted and inspired me as a writer.
And if that’s not enough to change my mind about the fun of developing a website, I hear from other authors how nice it is to be so directly accessible to readers. To get those encouraging emails and to be able to respond, almost real time, with the dog still snoring contentedly at my feet.
Hmm. Suppose I’ll go goggle at the pages under construction. I’ve done enough on the WIP for today and nobody is going to steal my dust woofies. What a wonderful thing it is to have a site under construction.
And how wonderful too, to be so pleasantly surprised by life, once again. To inaugurate the re-emergence of Her Grace Notes from developmental hiatus, I’ll give away a signed copy of “Lady Sophie’s Christmas Wish” to one person commenting on this blog. Just leave some version of your email, and I’ll contact you for more information within the next week if you’re our winner.
The website looks wonderful!
Grace love the website the blog is great! finished Lady Sophie’s Christmas wish waiting on Val’s story. As I have said before keep up the great writing!
Thanks for stopping by ladies–you’re my trailblazers on the new site, and I’m soooo pleased to be showing it off.
Just finished ‘Lady’s Sophie’s Christmas Wish’ and LOVED it. When I read ‘The Heir’ I wouldn’t have believed I could fall so in love with the cranky Duke and his wonderful Duchess. Some day we need their story. In the meantime the new look for your website is spectacular, but could I suggest a Windham family tree? I can’t remember if Rose was Victor’s daughter or stepdaughter.
Anne, thanks for those kind words! A Windham family tree is on the list of additions to make to the site once we’ve gotten “The Virtuoso” launched next month. Whether Rose is Victor’s love child, legitimate child, or something in between (hmmm?) plays a significant role in Douglas and Gwen’s story, which I hope to have out on ebook early next year. The newsletter and the website will provide updates on that project.
I think Esther and Percy need a story too, though it would be my first Georgian, and that would be a challenge in addition to the challenge of coming up with a tale worthy of Their Graces.
Glad you like the site–I LOVE it!
Grace: Thought you might like to know that there has been a discussion thread started on Amazon regarding Rose’s father:
Explanation of Backstory-Who is Rose’s Dad?
There are also some, actually a lot, of wonderful reviews for The Heir there that I hope you have enjoyed reading!!!
As one who’s been comforted and inspired by you, I’d like to compliment your web designers on a fitting tribute to your marvelous books. The colors and tone are nearly magical and fit you perfectly.
It’s so pretty!
Yeah–What Diane said!
Marley, I’ll pass along the kudos to the web weenies. They pulled a wonderful bunny out of the magic hat for me and my books.
Love the new site! They did a great job showing off your beautiful covers 🙂 I’m looking forward to the family tree, that’s just what I came looking for 🙂 🙂
I look forward to each of your books Grace, with much anticipation. You have a real gift and give such pleasure to all your readers. More please!!
Love your website, Grace. Aren’t the gals at Waxcreative wonderful to work with?
They are the best, and the sites they do are the best. I found Wax in part by browsing the sites I really like–yours, Julia Quinn’s, Eloisa James’–and, lo, the same talents lie behind all three.
I love the website! Also I loved the Heir, but especially the Soilder! I love the relationship between the brothers! So wonderful!
I was a little confused in the Christmas Wish because the story kept referring to Val’s wife. But that book is not out til the 11/1 right? Sorry if you explained this already!
We’re all a little confused to have Valentine missing his lady in Sophie’s book, but a virtuoso can get married off the page if he pleases–and Lord Valentine is very pleased with his Ellen.
The rest of the story is that I didn’t realize when I wrote a Christmas story just HOW early it would come out. I knew Val was scheduled for a “fall” release, but didn’t figure “Fall” could come after “Christmas.” Silly me!
I found your book The Heir quite by accident when Border’s was going out of business. I bought it and read it that same day. I quickly bought the ebook version of the soldier for my nook and will be buying the virtusio on my next payday! I am so glad I found that first book. I love your voice and am looking forward to more in teh Wyndham series! I’ve recommended your books to other readers of historical romance.
Snookie, you will be pleased to see all three brothers barging into “Lady Sophie’s Christmas Wish,” from the east, bearing gifts. They’re popping up in subsequent sisters’ books too, which the sisters all say isn’t quite cricket…. I expect there will revenge taken somehow.
I really liked the Heir, and the Soldier, but have absolutely fallen in love with Lady Sophie – much like she did with Kit. You have a great voice when telling stories and I am looking forward to the Virtuoso. I will be sharing your books with my sisters who are always looking for new authors. I will say you have moved into my list of top 5 authors.
Thanks, Martha! The Christmas story is all about a baby, and there were other tidbits too delectable to resist: no room at the end, wise men from the east, Harrads vs Herod, etc. Sophie’s book has been the most fun to write so far, and that’s saying a LOT.
LoL your blog us witty & funny! I’m glad you have full website now! While it was quite straightforward before, it’s nice to see some content! I really really like your books! I like you write interesting, likable well thoughtful characters. You really have a knack for sucking readers in with the story and peppering in funny parts to the story. I also really like that the characters and what they are pretty believable. I have read many romance novel where I think no one would ever say that. I’m looking forward to reading your newest with Valentine on my kindle!
your book is beautiful like as your cover book Grace =D
Grace: I just finished ‘Virtuoso’ and BRAVO is all I can say.
I do have a little question that doesn’t relate to this book but goes back to ‘Heir’. Will we ever learn more about Morgan? I found her character so unusal and the relationship between the sister just as appealing as the one between the Windham brothers. I would love to know where her story went after Gayle and Anna married.
Anne, I realized I’d created some reader expectations for Morgan when I started getting emails asking when “Valentine and Morgan’s book” was coming out. Yikes!
BUT, fear not. Morgan gets her HEA, and with a gentleman exactly suited to appreciating her unique gifts. We’re planning to release her story as an e-novella around the time that “Lady Maggie’s Secret Scandal” comes out in May. It’s a little too soon to spill many beans, but when you read Maggie and Benjamin’s story, keep an eye on that Archer Portmaine fellow. It’s the quiet ones you have to watch.
Grace: Excellent. Morgan deserves her own HEA.
You are the only writer I have on ‘auto buy’ with Amazon and with good reason!!! Your love for the characters you create make both you and your books very special. As a life long reader I appreciate the fact that you care enough about your fans to respond to our questions. Thank you!
Anne, I think it’s in the book “Aging Well” where I came across the term “integrative career” or something like that. It stands for the notion that as we mature optimally, we find work that draws on a lot of our previous identities and experiences. Is there any better way to do that than writing? I am having the best time imaginable. Ask all the questions you want.
Grace: I couldn’t find the old post where I requested a ‘Family Tree’ but I noticed today there now is one. So I’m posting a big THANK YOU here.
Studying it I wanted to suggest a 10th book — of course the 9th would be the story of the Duke and Duchess everyone wants to read. For the 10th I would like to see Victor’s story which, of course, would include Guinevere, Douglas and little Rose. Obviously I can’t get enough of the Windhams! Perhaps that one could catch us up with the entire family, maybe (hint, hint) at Christmas?
Anne, of the prescient mind, that book is written, for Gwen, Douglas, Rose and Victor, and it’s called, “The Proper Peer,” for now. I’m hopeful that we’ll see it at least in ebook/POD form sometime in 2012. If you’d like an excerpt of Peer, or of Their Graces Novella (how’s that for a non-working title?), send me an email at [email protected].
This inutedrcos a pleasingly rational point of view.