Friday, July 28, 2006

JK: Speaker Phone Interviews

I just finished a radio interview with Lynne Ford of WBCL Ft. Wayne, IN. This morning, in addition to her having familiarized herself with A Clearing in the Wild, she’d read the publicity material as well. She commented that she was surprised to read that I frequently “visit” reader groups by speaker phone and she wondered how that worked.

Readers from California, Nebraska, Wisconsin and other parts of the country have gathered at their church or homes on the evening they’ve chosen to discuss one of my books. Before hand, they’ve left a message on my webpage saying they’d like to have a speaker phone visit from me. I contact them and if it works into my schedule, I can sit right here on Starvation Lane (our address!) and they call me while sitting around a speaker phone wherever they are. People have asked how I can take the time but for me it’s a gift to have those 30 minutes or so with readers directly asking questions.

One woman in Wisconsin told me that my character, Marie Dorion, in the Tender Ties Series, had such a hard life she didn’t finish the book. I’m of the belief that life is short and if a book doesn’t make you want to finish it, you ought to trust that and find a book that does. As we talked though, and I shared with her that the Greek word for character comes from a word that means chiseled, she reconsidered. For me, this woman’s life of trials and hardships defined her character. Most of us think we don’t want any trouble in our days and yet if we were asked to tell someone about a time when we were strong, we’d probably share an experience when we were challenged and how we overcame it. It’s what’s left after a sculptor has gouged out the marble that is the character. The woman later wrote to me to say she’d gone back to finish the novel and was glad she had for it gave her hope for the trials in her own life.The publisher prints reader’s guides in my titles now. They can also be downloaded from my website. But I have to say those “phone to phone” contacts enrich me greatly. I learned that I have to ensure that my character’s lives are not so difficult that readers won’t read on.

Jane Kirkpatrick,, now scheduling groups reading A Clearing in the Wild (WaterBrook Press, a division of Random House


At 4:29 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

The speaker conferences sound win-win. Starvation Lane? Hah. Must be a long street filled with lots of writers.


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