Wednesday 30 May 2012

A Page in the Life - Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy

Today I welcome Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy. She maintains more than one blog so I'm going to run through them quickly to let you get a feel for each one. The first, which she pointed me to in our introductions, is A Page in the Life. Here she shares excerpts from her novels and relates them to current events (like the Queen's Jubilee). SeanachieStories is her Tuesday Tales blog where she posts weekly fiction pieces. Sometimes these are associated with fellow writers, using the same prompts. The Dirty Dozen was where she would post a dozen lines from one of her works. And finally, there is Author In The House where she features and interviews other Authors.

Is Lee Ann busy? Did you really have to ask?

As if all that weren't enough, she regularly guests on other blogs, including Sundays on Pop Culture Diva. Somehow, she found a few minutes to answer my questions. 

Most of your posts on A Page in the Life seem to be participation in blog hops. How do you find these hops? Do you have any other planned in the next month or two?

On "A Page In The Life" I do participate in a lot of blog hops. I love them because they draw traffic and find new readers. I pick up a lot from various author groups I belong to on FB and Yahoo groups. I also occasionally find them by a Google search.

Starts her handy memo program. Search blog hops on Google.

Upcoming I'll be participating in the Lovestruck Giveaway Hop June 15-22, a blog hop for Rebel authors on Long And Short Romance Reviews, June 1-8, a huge Independence Day Blog Hop July 1-4, the Cocked and Loaded Shooting Stars blog hop July 5-11, and Kharisma Rhayne's Birthday Blog Hop July 14-20. Between blog hops I write a variety of posts, everything from some of my memories to author advice for would-be writers, spotlights on my books, etc. Sometimes I put up a little original fiction or recipes. Sometimes I host an author on both Author In The House and A Page In The Life.

Wow, that's a LOT of blog hops. I'm slated for one so far.... blush You guest on many blogs for each genre/sub-genre. Do you find readers between them? How often do you post to each?

I do find a lot of readers - some follow more than one blog. During a blog hop I usually don't post daily - I used to but time has become crunched so I don't - and the rest of the time I try to post daily.

I try to pre-post and set up blogs in advance. All of my blogs are on Blogger which offers the possibility. I try to take full advantage of it. I usually sit down on Sundays, often a slightly less busy day and do blogs for the week ahead.

As do I! That scheduling feature is very handy. How do you decide what to post? Where do you find inspiration?

I come out of a career background in media, in both print newspapers and in radio. In both, I've had columns, shows, and news copy to write. I learned early to take a topic and run with it, expand it into something we used to call TFN (till further notice) because it's what is also called a "forever" story with a long shelf life. I used to write ad copy too and coming up with a quick idea became second nature.

Ah. That might be why I'm not as good at it. Lack of practice. Oh well, I have my interviews! How have you built your readership? What one tool would you advise every blogger to use?

I've had a blog for more than three years. When my first novel debuted, I realized blogging could be a very effective tool so I started A Page In The Life. It's grown from there. I've used Twitter, Facebook, Yahoo Groups, LinkedIn, and other online sources to spread the word and build traffic. The one thing I tell bloggers is to keep posting, try to hit a common denominator people want to read about and update the blog as often as possible.

Which media outlet do you find gives you the best bang for buck (minute) in terms of blog readership? Twitter? Facebook? Something else?

I'd say Facebook. I like to post a little teaser on my page and in some of the groups. A lot of people click the link, curious, and like what they find.

How do you choose writers for your Author in the House blog? Do you know them through a publisher? Do you solicit guests?

I know a lot of authors and writers. Some are fellow Rebel Ink Press authors, others may write for some of the other publishers I write for too. I've had local writers from where I live in Missouri and writers from around the world. For a while, I participated as a host for some virtual book tours, but I just don't have time to do so many. I offer space in our Rebel group and often in the various writer groups online including Facebook. And if I see another author looking for some guest blog space, I'll offer it.

What other writers do you share Tuesday Tales with? Where do you find the picture prompts you use?

Jean Joachim started Tuesday Tales. The cast changes from week to week depending on who's busy with other pursuits but some of the regulars include Kathleen Tighe Ball, Lindsay Downs, Stefan Ellery, Michael Charton, Iris Blobel, Tai Vicari, Sherry Gloag, Cathy Greenfeder, Dakota Trace, Karen Cino, Morgan Bailey --- and more. I hate to leave anyone out. Jean finds the picture prompts on the week's we use a picture, sometimes a couple and we choose as a group.

Makes a note to get a hold of Jean Joachim. Thank you so much Lee Ann.

Lee Ann Sontheimer is the author of Love Never Fails, Witness Protection Program, A Patient Heart and In the Shadow of War from Rebel Ink Press. She has also released The Love Covenant Series and Wolfe's Lady through Evernight Publishing. Long Live the King was published by Champagne Book Group.