Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Magic of Story....Anna Michaels

Ink has been spilled, teeth gnashed and hair pulled out by the roots in pursuit of the perfect way to promote books. Blogging and websites and contests and book-signings have all been touted then trashed, embraced or discarded altogether.
It’s a worthy pursuit, this race to see if we, the writers, can latch onto the perfect way to make you, the reader, absolutely love every story we tell, every word we write. And yet, the most basic truth is seldom discussed - story. 
Story is the key.  If our stories are filled with lyrical beauty and great characters who feel so real to the readers they can hardly wait to turn the page and find out what happens next, word will get around. Agents and editors and marketing professionals will adore the book. They’ll want to position it well in the bookstores so it has the best chance of getting into the hands of readers. Reviewers will heap accolades on our darlings so readers will have an irresistible urge to see for themselves what all the shouting is about.  
And the readers – God bless them all! – will tell their friends, who will salivate to own a copy, perhaps find out where the author will appear next so that copy can be signed – a first edition, honest-to-goodness autographed novel that might someday be worth a hundred times the cover cost, or more. 
Meanwhile, there’s that wonderful story between the pages of a lovely book just waiting to entertain you for hours. The joy of it all!
While it’s a good thing to have a presence through websites, blogging, a Facebook page, contests and book-signings where we get to chat with and be energized by our fans, it’s always good to get back to the office cocoon where there is nothing except the writer, the characters, the muse and the story.  That’s where the magic takes place.
And if we write an enduring story, one that lives in the hearts of readers long after the last page has been turned, we should pat ourselves on the back and say, “Job well done.” We should take a bit of time off to go to the movies (I highly recommend Tangled.  LOVE that sassy horse, Max), sit on the porch swing, sip a glass of wine, a cup of tea, a milkshake, pick flowers for our hair, dance in the moonlight.  Even with snow on the ground. Especially with snow on the ground.
In what ways have you celebrated either reading or writing a good book?
Anna Michaels’ debut novel THE TENDER MERCY OF ROSES will be in bookstores everywhere May 17. She’s delighted to announce that early reviews are raves, and the book will be a Featured Alternate selection of the Literary Guild and Doubleday Bookclubs. Follow her at, on Facebook, and on her blog, Anna’s Magical Garden (on her website). She also wants to say that she has danced in the moonlight and it did wonders for her mood. Not to mention that it entertained the neighbors.    


Peggy Webb said...

I'm taking this great adivce and running off to the movies - The Black Swan. I'm prepared to be dazzled, then to return home refreshed so that tomorrow I can write with wings.

Vicki Hinze said...

Well said, Anna!

How do I celebrate writing "the end" on a book?

With two scoops of double fudge chocolate ice cream in a waffle cone. That's my most favorite edible treat, and I only allow myself one when the book is done.

I'm eagerly anticipating one soon... :)

So agree with your post. It's all about the words, the story!



Anna Michaels said...

Double fudge chocolate ice cream? Anything with chocolate gets my attention. Vicki, you are so disciplined to limit yourself to only one - and that's after all the hard work!

Debra Webb said...

Wow, Anna! What a post and great ideas for celebrating (the wine and the dancing in the moonlight)! Whenever I finish a project--whether a story or something around the house--I love taking a nice country drive with my husband.

Anna Michaels said...

Debra, driving in the country is a lovely way to recharge the creative battery. Like my character, Pony Jones, I turn to nature for inspiration and grace.

Laura S. said...

This is so true!

I just saw Toy Story 3 last night. It's so wonderful! That entire trilogy is impressive. Those are good stories!

Anna Michaels said...

Thank you, Laura. I, too, love the Toy Story trilogy. You are so right in attriuting the success of those movies to story.

Anna Michaels said...

I left the "b" out of attributing. Sigh! I'm blaming Small Print.

Anonymous said...

As a reader, I can say that it is absolutely ALL about the story and the characters for me!! I love contests and other promotions but when it comes right down to it, none of it matters if the story doesn't have the strength to back up the hype. LOVE IT when the author takes me in to their "world" for a few hours and love it even more when those characters and their stories linger long after the final page is turned. I eagerly await May 17th so that we can all enter Pony's world. Thanks Peggy for making the story magic happen.

Anonymous said...

I am so embarrassed right now!! I just realized that my post left off my thanks to Anna and Debra who are also favorites in my writing world. I don't know how I managed to do that!! I loved the blog Anna and Debra Webb I love your books!! So hear we go, trying this again, Thanks Anna, Debra and Peggy for making your work so wonderful to read!!
:) Anita

Anna Michaels said...

Wow, what wonderful affirmation, Anita! Thank you! And I'm delighted to share credit for great story telling with my all my amazing cohorts. As long as you keep heaping on the accolades, you can call me George if you want to.