Common Ground

Today’s guest to the Clan Elves page is author Sherry Isaac. Sherry and I met on top of a mountain in Colorado at one of Margie Lawson’s Immersion Master Classes in writing. Since then, she’s gone on to do marvelous things, and her collection of short stories, STORYTELLER, is out this summer. Please welcome her.

COMMON GROUND

by Sherry Isaac

Someday. What a magical word.

For years, I dreamed of being a writer. Someday.

I’ve spent decades, dollars and devotion honing my craft in the pursuit of Someday.

Someday is here.

Uh-oh.

It’s time to promote.

There are plenty of resources on self-promotion. Books and websites and downloadable pdfs. Even online classes.

It’s a whole new industry, full of great ideas. One of my favorites, the one I’ve been engaged in for the last three weeks, is the virtual blog tour.

Networking with other writers is reciprocal. If Author A gives Author B a slot on their blog, Author B will bring their fans. Some fans will stick around and become fans of Author A. Author A’s audience will be introduced to Author B and start following Author B’s blog and buying Author B’s books.

Tit for Tat, a total Win-Win.

Bonus: Author B doesn’t have to come up with a post that week. Ahhh. Time to focus on the reason behind the blog: The Novel.

But first, you need authors to network with.

I signed up for my first Margie Lawson class a year and a half ago. Up until the online class on Defeating Self-Defeating Behaviors, all my contacts were local. So local, in fact, that I had trouble unloading copies of the anthology I was a part of, because, fine as the anthology was, everyone in my circle was either in the publication, so already had a copy of the book, or knew someone who was in the publication, so had already bought a copy of the book.

Growing a national audience, let alone an international one, seemed impossible without a powerhouse publisher behind me.

Until Margie.

That first one-month class expanded into a year spent with Margie Lawson. It was, like the A&E channel advertises, time well spent. I learned so much last year. My writing techniques multiplied faster than a den of unchaperoned rabbits.

And so did my network.

What a fun side-effect, and certainly one I hadn’t bargained on when I signed up for DSDB, Enhancing Character’s Emotions, Deep Editing (The EDITS System) or any one of Margie’s other classes.

And then I went to Denver. Four intensive days of writing and revising and rhetorical devices.

And four new friends.

All right, all right, all right. Gloria Richard was already a friend.

Friendships are not based on geography, but rather, they are based on common ground. In Joan and Jessica, Barbara and Gloria, I found peers. As writers, we shared similar trials and aspirations, fears and passion, goals and dreams. Each understood the sting of rejection, how high the stakes are and how stiff the competition. A sisterhood, if you will.

A family.

And then I participated in IMC II.

Laura and Susannah. Lisa and Carole.

All right, all right, all right. Carole was already a friend.

Over the past few months, as my launch has crept closer, the support, enthusiasm and generosity of these eight women has blown me away. Not only have they opened their blogs to me, but they began to spread the word, long before my book went to print. They found blog space for me among their contacts, and Joan, a fine Twitterer in her own right, hooked me up with a Master Twitterer. Barbara invited me to share book signing space at a Pennsylvania bookstore. At a Colorado reading, Jessica gave up an opportunity to promote her own work and chose instead to read an excerpt of mine.

What ever had I done to deserve such favor?

It pleases me, too, that these connections billow over with downy goodness, just like an plump, over-stuffed pillow. My fans and friends are now their fans and friends. There are far too many to name here, and what would be the point? There will be more tomorrow.

The circle grows.

And so this, the final stop on my virtual tour, is a dedication to all the writers I’ve had the pleasure to befriend on my  journey. May your ideas never stop flowing, and may your ink never run dry.

~

Winner of The Alice Munro Short Story Award, Sherry Isaac’s tales of life, love and forgiveness that transcend all things, including the grave, appear online and in print. Her first collection of shorts, Storyteller, debuts July 2011. For more information, or to order an autographed copy, click HERE.

Learn more about Sherry at her website: www.sherryisaac.com

6 Comments

  1. Was there really a world before Margie Lawson and then Sherry Isaac — and all the lovely connections and friends I’ve made since? Yes, there was, and it wasn’t fun or pretty or nurturing (POLLY Syndeton waves “HI”!)

    See! Before–when I played with my words I had no one around to roll their eyes and mutter “dweeb.” I take no offense because many envy my EXCELLENT command of Rhetorical Devices.

    I am SO grateful to be on this journey with you. And, Sherry, the moment I held your book in my hands was MAGIC!

    We’re right behind ya’, babe, so keep writing. CYBERHUGS…

  2. Whoop! Forgot to wave HI! to Barb, Babs and all related pen names for your WIDE range of genres. I want to go back to Colorado and meet you all over again. LOVELY memories.

    Anyone game for IMC II (or III)?

  3. Oh Sherry, you bring me to tears! I also was surprised that one of the best things to come out of Margie’s workshop were the friends. Amazing women who were so far down the path of publication I couldn’t help but be amazed and motivated by them. I went expecting to have my writing improve, but went home with my folder bursting with contact information. Thanks to all my IMC buddies, and you in particular, I have started two websites, blog three days a week, have business cars (still missing that headshot) and actually made the move from writer wannabe to feeling like a real author. The blue fairy has nothing on my IMC buddies. Or maybe she’s disguised as Margie Lawson?

  4. Babs M

    Thanks for visiting, Sherry! It’s so nice to see Sister Margie students doing well.

  5. Ladies and Authors, how do I respond without pushing the mush-o-meter to full tilt?
    To our careers, and to our friendships! Ole!

  6. The writers’ community will never cease to amaze me. Its embrace is warm and its intentions, honest. I’m happy to be part of it.

    Sherry, congrats on Storyteller. Next stop: Homecoming.

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