There’s a fellow named Vinny O’Hare who’s a very active member of the Goodreads and other writer/reader communities, and who has various site promoting his books, his photography, and his work as a web consultant. One of those sites is called AwesomeGang: Where Awesome Readers Meet Awesome Writers. A very on-the-nose moniker for a cool site that does just that.
Vinny’s mission statement is pretty simple:
What is your favorite part about the book blogging community? I like the way the community helps each other out. Being in the Indy publishing world I get to visit a lot of websites by people that don’t know how to make a website. I can offer them SEO advice and help them rank better for their books. I love helping authors get sales for their books. I believe it comes full circle.
And given how many opportunities he gives authors through awesomely priced book postings, awesome interviews, etc. (he admits he likes the word “awesome”!), his full circle should be… well, pretty full!
I recently participated in an AwesomeGang interview, talking about my books, my work, and what I’d take with me to a desert island, and since I know you want to partake of all that essential information, let’s start with an excerpt and go from there!
Do you have any advice for new authors?
To start with, and this is a big one, be very clear about your voice, what it is, what it wants to say, what it tells you, what your gut tells you, and then LISTEN TO THAT. Learn to trust it, humbly and with a willingness to take and implement good critique and wise input, but trust what you know is your voice. Don’t let anyone dissuade you from expressing yourself, tell you all the reasons why you should do something else, why you should say something else; knock you down with their “honesty.” There’s a lot of arbitrary “advice” people will offer and it’s essential to be clear what’s useful and what’s just… arbitrary advice.
Which leads to the second part (and this may sound contradictory, but it’s true): while and as you get clear on your own voice, be very aware of the value of what others have to share with you. Some of it will be good, essential even, and the trick is to sort out what critique, insights, suggestions to take and which to discard. It can be very challenging at times. But ultimately your work has to be YOU, and if you believe in it, have the courage of those convictions to stand by it. Even if you don’t sell a million (or whatever your goal), you’ll know your work is out there in the world exactly as you intended it. A creative legacy can be a very soulful thing!
Thank you, Vinny O’Hare, for your incredible awesomeness!
Visit www.lorrainedevonwilke.com for details and links to LDW’s books, music, photography, and articles.