18 June 2012

Blogging Mentor Monday: So, You're a Writer...

Soon after I asked Carrie Butler to participate in my Blogging Mentor Mondays, Sapphire Publishing offered her a contract for her YA paranormal romance STRENGTH. Congrats, Carrie! So listen up, blogger folks: Carrie's not only a great writer, she's a primo blogger, and she's gotta thing or two to teach us today.

Thank you for having me over, Empress King! :)

I'm glad you're here! So, when and why did you start your blog?
I started my blog in May of 2011, after two things happened:
  1. I experienced my first “So, you’re a writer…” conversation. Mind you, I’d been writing long before that. I had just finally admitted how seriously I intended to pursue my dream. To myself, and then others. Of course, all it took was one condescending jerkwad for the doubts to creep in. I needed to surround myself with people who got it. People who were going through what I was going through and felt the way I felt.
  2. I got tired of lurking. The next logical step in my ‘writing career’ was to jump in. Why not get it over with? Let me tell you, once I got past the whole talking-to-yourself feeling, I was hooked. This community rocks!

That's a wonderful "So, you're a writer..." story.

You’re a champ at replying to comments. You even return to blogs you commented on to reply to the blogger’s reply to you (confused yet?). Why do you think replying to comments is important?
Well, unfortunately, it’s easy for bloggers to get into the habit of leaving “paper route” comments. They pedal along and chuck absentminded words like it’s their job. Like it’s another thing to cross off their obligatory social networking list. That’s not what this is about.
Instead, I like to think of the blogosphere as a neighborhood block party. I mingle, get wrapped up in a few discussions, sneak some cookies into my purse, and then mingle some more. It’s all about sharing and interacting. I’m here because I want to be.
Besides, we have awesome conversations. ;)
P.S. I wish I really were a champ at replying to comments. I’d run around in one of those big wrestling belts!

I'll get you a belt like Superwoman's. :)

What is your blogging schedule, and how did you decide upon it?
As sad as it is, I actually put a lot of thought into my blogging schedule. I read studies, observed the activity in my feed, and did a few experimental posts to make notes on the traffic. What can I say? My background is in marketing. I’m a research-geek. ;) Finally, I determined a “twice a week” commitment worked best for me.
  • Unless I’m participating in a blog hop or hosting a stop on someone’s tour, I post at SYAW on Mondays
  • Thursday—which sees my second most hits—is spent at my personal blog. (Crazy random stuff happens there.)
You've got it all figured out, don't you? I'm having blogger envy.

What is your most memorable blogging experience to date?
Probably Casting Call. I’d only been blogging for a few months when Melodie Wright approached me about co-hosting a ‘hop with her and Lisa Regan. She called me a ‘comment magnet’ and asked if I wanted to host the sign-ups. I cannot tell you how cool that was! For the first time since I’d joined the writing/blogging community, I felt like I truly belonged.
Anyway, the blog hop was a hit, and everyone had a good time. Did I mention how supportive this community is? ;)

Aw, that feeling of belonging is like no other.

Random Question: What is the theme song for your current WiP?
Oh man. This is so the wrong thing to ask me right now. *Grins* I’m juggling three WiPs, waiting for one to take over.  I guess that means I owe you three answers. ;) 
  1. Untitled Sequel to Strength (Paranormal Romance) – ‘I Miss You’ by Incubus
  2. Untitled Project 2 (YA Paranormal Romance) – ‘Magic’ by Colbie Caillat
  3. Untitled Project 3 (Romantic Suspense) – ‘Kuvera’ by E.S. Posthumus
As you can see/hear, we have three very different vibes going on with these WIPs. I’m excited! :)

Carrie Butler's WIP Songs by Emily Rittel-King on Grooveshark

SQUEAL! 'I Miss You' is one of the songs from my current WIP! I added the acoustic version for your listening pleasure. :)

Thank you for your bloggerly advice, Carrie! And again, congrats on your contract. I can't wait to read STRENGTH!


jaybird said...

I love the "so you're a writer" story. I think we all can relate to that. I know I certainly can!
Blogging has meant the world to me when it comes to writing support. And I have to agree, this community as a whole is beyond amazing. Nice to get to know you better Carrie!

And P.S., to Em- I'm loving the jeweled background today!

Donna K. Weaver said...

Great interview. Carrie rocks. I do the same thing. If someone takes the time to post a comment on my blog, I go back and return the favor.

Kyra Lennon said...

I love Carrie, and I am so excited about her publishing contract - totally deserved!

Commenting on blogs has been a recent downfall of mine, but I am doing my best to try and catch up again lol!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

A neighborhood block party - that's a great way to look at it!

tfwalsh said...

Great interview, and I could very much relate to your so you're a writer a story... Huge congrats Carrie on the contract from Sapphire Publishing:)

Suzi said...

I wasn't aware of where the So, you're a writer comes from. I haven't had any conversations like that, of course I don't talk about it much with people who are not close. I'm sure I'll get that someday.

Sheena-kay Graham said...

Congrats on the contract Carrie. Nice Interview Em.

Stephen Tremp said...

I never considered having a theme song for a WIP. I need to find one for my current MS. Best wishes to Carrie and her book STRENGTH!

Coleen Patrick said...

I think I have a new song for one of my playlists-yay! Thanks :)

Peaches Ledwidge said...

Carrie, Congrats on getting an agent.

It's wonderful to know that you appreciate the blogging community and give back in different ways (commenting, etc.).

David P. King said...

So much to be learned from Mentor Mondays. Thanks for hosting Carrie this week, Emily. I took notes. :)

Meredith said...

I love the image of a neighborhood block party! What a great way of looking at it! Off to check off Carrie's blog. :)

Carol Kilgore said...

Nice to meet you, Carrie. I love the blogging community, too.

Hi, Emily!

elizabeth seckman said...

Congrats and thanks for the info!

Cassie Mae said...

I love love love Carrie! Casting Call was when we first met, and I was a very lost blogger who couldn't figure out the linky thingy. She was totally helpful and didn't shun me for my lack of knowledge about that, lol.

Amy L. Sonnichsen said...

That's a really good point about how many of us cross off "commenting on blog posts" like it's our social networking obligation. It sure does make a difference when we actually enjoy it! :)

Great interview! And congrats on your book deal, Carrie!

Morgan said...

I *adore* Carrie. And she definitely knows her stuff. I'm so excited for her success and all that will come from her in the future! ;)

Hope Roberson said...

Congratulations Carrie! Love your new blog look Emily, gorgeous!

Hope Roberson said...

Ooops, forgot to tell you I left you an award on my blog today :)

Jenny Morris said...

I "met" Carrie during NaNoRevmo last November. I love her and she really is so supportive. So happy for her in her writing journey. And this interview was awesome. I SO agree with her about the comments. I hate when I feel like I'm trolling around. I had to step back and evaluate why I was visiting people's blogs.

Thanks ladies.

Mara Rae said...

Great interview! Can't wait to check out "Strength" (nice to know they're still publishing paranormal - sheesh!) and I love the jeweled background too :)

Julia King said...

Carrie, I love the blogging blog party idea. And I give you permission to sneak some cookies into your purse. It was great getting to know you better. You rock!

And nice to meet you too, Emily!

Julia King said...

PS: Great last name. :D Best in the world... No offence to anyone else. *grins*

Julie Jarnagin said...

Fun interview! I love the "theme song" idea.

Nancy Thompson said...

I love Carrie, and now, she and I are publishing sisters, along with Lisa Regan. The Three SSP Amigas! Couldn't have asked for a better one! You rock, Carrie!!

Medeia Sharif said...

Congrats to Carrie. I love reading about contract news.

I adore Incubus.

Melissa said...

I'm having blogger envy, too. I'm so glad Carrie offered to help me start my blog. I don't know what I would have done without her. :)

Natasha Hanova said...

Great interview. I enjoyed learning more about you Carrie. And Emily, great questions.

Emily R. King said...

Jaybird, thanks! I like the diamonds, too.

Tania, thanks for stopping by!

Sheena-Kay, thanks!

Peaches,I agree!

David, nice seeing you. Where ya been? :)

Carol, hi! *waving*

Mara Rae, I write paranormal, so it's good to see someone's publishing it!

Julie, everyone needs a theme song for their WIP. It's like an anthem.

Melissa, Carrie is a great resource for blogging! Nice meeting you. :)

Natasha, thanks! Nice meeting you!

Carrie Butler said...

@Empress King - Thank you so much! A Superwoman belt? That's even better! :D

P.S. I love the new bling-tastic background. :)
P.P.S. ...Okay, I'm kind of in love with the acoustic version now. <3

@Jaybird - Thanks, Jaybird! I'm so glad we were able to "meet" in this fantastic community. :D

@Donna - I'm glad to hear someone else feels that way, Donna. :) Thanks for stopping by!

@Kyra - Carrie loves you, too! Oops, slipped into the third-person again. *Grins* Thanks, Kyra!

@Alex - Thank you! :D

@tfwalsh - Sometimes I think those conversations are a rite of passage. :) Thank you!

@Suzi - Really? Here's to hoping your conversations go better than some of mine. :) Thanks for stopping by!

@Sheena-kay - Thank you! :D

@Stephen - Oo, you should. It's a lot of fun finding the perfect song for your MS. :) Thank you!

@Coleen - Yay! :) Thanks for stopping by today!

@Peaches - Actually, I skipped the agent step with this book. I went straight to the publisher. Thank you, though! I appreciate the kind words. :D

@DPK - Notes? Hah! Oh, David... :D Thanks for stopping by!

Carrie Butler said...

@Meradeth - Thank you! I appreciate that. :D

@Carol - It's nice to meet you, too! :) Thanks for stopping by!

@Elizabeth - Thank you! :D

@Cassie - Oo, I remember that! Fun times. :D Love, love, love me some Cassiopeia!

@Amy - It certainly does! :) Thank you, Amy!

@Morgan - I adore you, too! :) You rock!

@Hope - Thank you! :)

@Jenny - We should definitely have another NaNoRevMo this year! :) Thank you, Jenny!

@Mara - Thank you! :D Oh, I know! The paranormal market was getting so saturated. It had me worried!

@Julia - You know what we need at this block party? POP!
...Okay, they can bring "soda" and "coke," too. *Grins* Thank you!

@Julie - Thanks for stopping by! :)

@Nancy - Love you too, pub sister! :D I'm so excited!

@Medeia - Thank you! :D

@Melissa - You hit the ground running with the whole blogging thing. So proud of you! :)

@Natasha - Thank you! :)

otin said...

I loved your take on commenting. Too many people treat it like a job. I must admit that I reached that point once. I almost quit altogether.

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

Loving hearing some of your secrets, Carrie. I had no idea you had a personal blog! Goodness, I've been derelict in my duty to be your biggest fan. Error abruptly corrected.

Thanks for sharing Carrie with us, Emily. You have a beautiful blog.

Joylene Nowell Butler, Author

Jessie Humphries said...

And....she's a blog designer extraordinaire!!!! She really is my mentor :)

Sarah said...

I admit that I am not the greatest when it comes to responding to comments, but I know it's important! Congrats on the contract, Carrie!

jamieayres said...

Great interview. I haven't heard any of those songs (yeah, I'm outta the loop w/ music) so I'll hafta check it out:) I'm one of those writers who can't write with music on. I don't know why . . . the TV doesn't bother me, kids running around, but music--I guess b/c I just wanna sing along and I can't do that and type at the same time. Congrats on your pub deal:):):)

J.L. Campbell said...

Hey, Emily,

Nice to 'meet' you, Carrie. You sound like you have a ton of energy and are a good bloggy buddy. I need some of that energy sent my way.

E. Arroyo said...

A great interview. =)

Carrie Butler said...

@Otin - It's so easy to reach that state, isn't it? I think we all do at one point or another. The important thing is that we keep trying. :) Thanks for stopping by!

@Joylene - Hah! Better late than never, right? :D Thank you, Joylene!

@Jessie - Aww... thanks! (Extra spoonage for you!)

@Sarah - Sometimes life gets in the way, huh? We understand. :) Thank you!

@Jamie - That makes sense. Sometimes I distract myself by singing along. I can't take the silence, though. *Shudder* Thank you!

@J.L. - Nice to 'meet' you, too! Take all the energy you need. :D

@Elizabeth - Thank you so much for stopping by! :)

Jennifer Shirk said...

Congrats! And great tips. :)

Talli Roland said...

Yay for Carrie! I love her blog.

Hi Emily! :)

Lan said...

Congrats on the publishing contract Carrie! You seem to have the blogging schedule down pat. I'm still trying to find my rhythm. Isn't the blogging community amazing? I still can't believe there are such great people here!

Pk Hrezo said...

Congrats Carrie!

I'm off to check out her blog....

Tara Tyler said...

its so great to know more about carrie! and 3 wips fighting to come out? love it!

incubus is one of my top fave bands!

lovely interview calls for award emily!

Lisa Regan said...

Strength rocked my world. Just have to say that. You are a blogging goddess! Great interview, Emily!

Precy Larkins said...

Awesome interview! And I'm envious of Carrie's blogging prowess. :)

Emily, I have a blog award for you. ;)

Have a good day, ladies!

Brinda said...

I enjoyed meeting you virtually. Being a comment magnet is high praise!

Dana said...

Great interview--and congrats to Carrie!

Cherie Reich said...

Perhaps your "so you're a writer" story was meant to get you blogging. :D

The Golden Eagle said...

It sounds like you're a very organized blogger. Wow.

Thanks for sharing the theme songs for your WIPs.

Great interview! :)

cleemckenzie said...

So much great information here. Thanks for the interview and all the help.

I just joined up!

Heather M. Gardner said...

Great job!

Michael Pierce said...

Thanks for the blogging advice. I'm trying to soak in as much as I can. This is a very cool Monday post idea, and just what I need. Thanks Emily and Carrie!

Carrie Butler said...

@Jennifer - Thank you! :)

@Talli - I love your blog, too! :) Thanks for stopping by!

@Lan - Thank you so much! :) It certainly is. What an exciting time to be a writer!

@Pk - Thank you! :D

@Tara - The sequel won out. ;) Thanks for stopping by, my fellow Ohioan! :)

@Lisa - D'aww... thanks, Lisa! :D

@Precy - Thank you! :) You too!

@Brinda - It certainly is! I can't tell you how much it meant to me. :) Nice to 'meet' you!

@Dana - Thank you! :)

@Cherie - That's a great way to look at it! :D Thank you!

@Eagle - I try! When I don't, too many things get lost in the chaos. ;) Thanks for swooping in, Eagle!

@Lee - Thank you! :D

@Heather - Thank you! :)

@Michael - Great to see you over here! :) Thanks for stopping by!

Melissa Sugar said...

I just jumped back into blogging today after a three week hiatus and I can't think of a better way to take the plunge than to head over to one of my favorite blogs (yours) and read this great interview with another of my top ten favorite blogger friends, Carrie. What a delight.

I loved this interview and let me say, CONGRATULATIONS, Carrie. You deserve it and I am so happy for you. I agree that Carrie is an awesome commenter as are you, Emily. All bloggers, old and new can learn a great deal about building an audience and a platform from both of you.

Neurotic Workaholic said...

I like how she described "paper route" comments; I totally agree, because I've seen those kinds of comments on other blogs. Writing (and reading) comments like that would take a lot of the fun out of blogging, which is supposed to be interactive.

Iain said...

Yet another great interview. I love that your questions aren't 'run of the mill' :o)
And, as usual, Carrie gives great answers to these questions.

Cynthia Chapman Willis said...

Wonderful interview. I love comparing the blogging community to a neighborhood block party. That's perfect!

Michelle said...

Very cool interview. Thank you lovely ladies. Xx

Carrie Butler said...

@Melissa - Welcome back! It's great seeing you around the blogosphere again. :)

Thank you! I can't tell you how much I appreciate that.

@NW - It's sad how common 'paper route' comments are these days. I agree! Hopefully that will change soon. :) Thanks for stopping by!

@Iain - Aww, thank you! :D

@Cynthia - Thanks! :) Enjoy the party!

@Michelle - Thank you! :)

J. A. Bennett said...

Congrats Carrie! It's nice to know more about you :)

Kim said...

Oh, I so love the "paper route" commentary - sometimes blogging is like a chore rather than something we engage in. I know my most meaningful connections I've made on-line are because of thoughtful commenters :)
Great interview. Congrats to Carrie on her book deal!

Sarah Allen said...

Fabulous fabulous! Such great advise. It is a party, isn't it?

Sarah Allen
(my creative writing blog)

Carrie Butler said...

@J.A. Bennett - Thank you! :)

@Kim - Absolutely! Thoughtful comments are the best. :) Thank you, Kim!

@Sarah - It sure is! :) Thank you for stopping by!

Leigh Covington said...

Oh my gosh! LOVE THIS! You ladies are brilliant, and I am always game to get advice from Carrie! So excited about your book Carrie! Wahoo!