Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Guest Post from Karen Harrington, Author of Janeology

I'm delighted to welcome author Karen Harrington to the esteemed pages of The Betty & Boo Chronicles for a guest post! Karen is the author of the new book, Janeology, which I confess I have not read but certainly plan to. I met Karen via her blog, Scobberlotch. (And no, I'm not going to tell you what scobberlotch, my new favorite word, means. You'll have to visit her blog for the definition.)

When I received Karen's guest post, I had to laugh because we're both relative newbies to the social networking communities of MySpace and Facebook. (I'm not on MySpace, but I will admit to a growing addiction to Facebook.) I justfied my joining Facebook as being for professional reasons, rationalizing that it would behoove me to understand how these sorts of communities operated.

This is also true for those of us who are writers, says Karen, who offers these thoughts to fellow scribes on using MySpace:

10 Thoughts On MySpace

Months before my debut novel, Janeology, came out, my publisher urged me to become part of the “social networking community.” What’s that, I asked? Places like Facebook and MySpace, he replied.

I have to admit, I wasn’t part of these networks before I got on the publishing track. I wasn’t fifteen and I wasn’t running for office. And I don’t have huge cleavage – which I think is the most common misinterpretation of “my space.”

So, why join the masses there? Now, I know. In the past year, I’ve made a lot of writerly friends, editors and independent bookstore owners who’ve become an important part of the solitary writer’s support network. It’s hard to imagine how novelists fifty years ago could have reached as many people as I have without this network.

Here’s a few things I’ve observed about MySpace:

1. Writers at all levels – new to New York Times Best-Seller – are open and friendly.

2. Writers profile photos are predominantly nice looking in that pensive, put your hand to your chin pose.

3. The majority of "urban erotic fiction" (yes, that's what it's labeled) seem to be written by beautiful, highly education, African-American women. (I'd like to talk to one of those authors and find out why this is so.)

4. Paranormal romances abound. (Note to self: check to see what a paranormal romance actually is and if I’ve ever had one.)

5. Men seem to lead in the horror-sci-fi category. (Glad I am no longer dating.)

6. Author pages have a wide and surprising variety of musical tastes.

7. 25-35 year-old women seem to have the market cornered on Chick-Lit. (How about a guy jumping in here? Here's a soup-starter – If Mr. Darcy ever met Madame Bovary, he would have said…..)

8. If a writer is promoting his/her work, someone should actually be able to READ the words on his/her MySpace site. The backgrounds on some sites make this impossible.

9. Bulletins are funny and friendly, if not often riddled with typos. We are writers and we should command the spell-check option. If I have had, or have a tpyo, I am exempt from this mention.

10. I found two ex-boyfriends on MySpace and I hope they wonder, "Gee, I hope she doesn’t write about that time when ……" Note to ex-boyfriends – Hey, you knew I was a writer, so, yes, I will, except that the part of you will either be portrayed by a Cyborg rebel or a houseplant. (The one who buys my book first gets to choose.)
Karen Harrington is the author of the psychological suspense, Janeology. Visit her website – www.karenharringtonbooks.com to read an excerpt. Or visit her daily blog – www.scobberlotch.blogspot.com – Oh, and you can visit her on MySpace, too – www.myspace.com/karenharringtonauthor

Thanks so much, Karen, for stopping by! It has been a pleasure, and I hope you'll come back again for an author interview once I'm finished your book.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to friend my new friend Karen on Facebook.


Florinda said...

I loved this, especially $3, #5, and #9. I haven't read Janeology yet either - waiting for the paperback, because I'm cheap like that :-) - but I love Karen's blog too. Nice guest post!

Dawn - She is Too Fond of Books said...

I have yet to jump on the FaceBook bandwagon, but I'm finding that many of my friends (yes, people in their 40s!) have already joined ...

p.s. I'm a big fan of *Scobberlotch* (and scobberlotching in general), too.

Betty and Boo's Mommy said...

Florinda - thanks so much!

Dawn - I read something that said that 40-somethings are among the fastest growing demographic groups on Facebook. And I believe it. I went to a high school with 200 people in my graduating class. There's 66 of us on FB - and that's only the ones who have identified as alums of that school.

Anonymous said...

Great guest post. I think Karen Harrington is great and want to read her book, too. I'm not on Facebook. I have a son in college who is and somehow it would just seem weird for me to be on there too.

Betty and Boo's Mommy said...

bermudaonion, Facebook is definitely an odd world. I'd have to think about that, too, if my kids were old enough to be on there with me. Just ...weird.