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Friday, 12 July 2013

Why does a writer need four blogs?

A writer has limited time, so why would I want to commit myself to writing four blogs? Well here's why. Each blog has a function.

This blog - the one you are currently reading - is my writing blog, and on it I muse about my writing process, share technical or writing tips and reviews, and talk about my books. As you can see I have a small number of followers but they all have an interest in my books or my writing. 

My second blog, Royalty Free Fiction, was designed so I could widen my contact with other writers who enjoyed writing historical fiction, but were more interested in the ordinary person than in Kings and Queens. I also hoped this would help me reach out to readers who enjoyed historical fiction, but were not so much interested in the big names. I've always had a liking for stories about the ordinary people who were caught up in the dramas of history, particularly the lost voices of those whose history does not appear in biographies. On this blog I aim to promote royalty free historical fiction in general, particularly the more literary books that are often not labelled as historical but are, nonetheless, set in the past. These are the readers and writers that I think will also enjoy my books.

My third blog, Hoydens and Firebrands, is a blog I share with others who are passionate about the 17th Century. I was invited to contribute to this blog after posting comments on the blog. It was an ideal opportunity as I was wondering how I could communicate with other people who share my love of the period, and how I could share my research and knowledge. This blog enables me to contribute to a resource which acts as an Encyclopaedia of the 17th Century from writers I can trust. My first three books are set in the 17th Century so it made sense to try to reach readers and writers with the same interests.

My fourth blog, English Historical Fiction Authors, run by Debra Brown and MM Bennetts, embraces posts from anyone anywhere in the world with an interest in English History. This blog has by far the biggest number of followers, and I hope that my posts will reach lovers of historical fiction whatever their particular interest. This community of bloggers also has a facebook page and through this we can make sure a post appears every day. An anthology of our essays and posts will be available in book form on 23rd September - Castles, Customs and Kings.

I like to think of the four blogs as nesting Russian Dolls with my own blog at the centre with its narrow range of interest, which then widens through the other blogs to the general community of  lovers of historical fiction: my own books  - books about the 17thC - historical books about ordinary people - historical fiction of all types.

russian nesting dollSo how do I find the time?

On this blog, I simply post when I have the time and when I am inspired to share something. Royalty Free Fiction, I post when another writer shares or wants to promote their Royalty Free book with me - if you'd like to post please get in touch via the blog! Hoydens and Firebrands, I post once a month. Look out for me on Sunday. English Historical Fiction Authors, I post once a month, my post is up today.

I'd like to stress that for me blogging is not only about promotion, though I hope it gives people access to news about my books. A lot of it is about finding communities in which I can play a part (albeit a small one.) I have made many great contacts through blogging, and like to read the posts of my fellow bloggers who share my interests.

Four blogs? Well, it works for me.

This post summarises an input I gave on a panel at the Historical Novel Society Conference - the people on the panel were all people I had met online through blogging. 
Thanks to my fellow pannellists : Heather Rieseck, Heather Webb, Julianne Douglas and Amy Bruno.

I enjoy guests on my blog, please contact me if you'd like to guest.