Living 140 characters at a time #outofthestoneage

Drumroll…I’m on Twitter.

Here’s what happened. I was working a night shift a few weeks ago (for those who don’t know, I work as a bookseller ant Barnes and Noble) and started having a conversation with a very nice lady who mentioned she was a writer of Historical Romance. I mentioned I was a writer too, and she started talking about how much she loved the whole process, particularly the Facebook-ing and Tweeting. She has over 1200 followers on Twitter, including other Romance authors, and then she was telling me about a virtual ball they had involving all of Jane Austen’s crowd, and it suddenly sounded like fun.

So I asked her about her book. Well, it hadn’t published , but she’d was thinking Random House or Penguin Putnam. Neither of those houses had actually accepted it, because it hadn’t been sent out yet. It seems that although she had several agents interested, she didn’t really have an agent. Or even a book. See, she hadn’t finished writing it yet.

Wow.

So. Here was a woman who had 1200 people ready and willing to buy her book, and she didn’t even have a final draft. Maybe this whole Twitter thing really was worth looking into.

When we ended our conversation, she gave me her card, invited me to a Writers Conference in March, and said if I had any questions, I should send her an email and she’d be happy to help me out.

Well, lucky for me, I have a 15 year old daughter, so the whole Twitter tutorial was covered. Then I got the flu, had to work a few Sundays, had to clean the house, took the dog for a walk, so the actual going on Twitter and, you know, Tweeting was delayed for a while.

But now I’m here. And you all can follow me a @Dernst1. I’m still trying to figure out how to add the button to my website. That may involve several emails to all sorts of people, because my daughter – surprise – didn’t know how to do that. But be patient – if I don’t throw something at the screen in total frustration, I’ll find a way to do it eventually.

In the meantime, the real challenge is the Tweeting part. I’m following a few people who I admire – Neil Gaiman, Susan Orlean, and the very nice writer lady I met in Barnes and Noble. I actually replied to one of Susan’s (may I call her Susan?) tweets, so I’m sure she’ll jump on the Dee Ernst bandwagon right away. See, that’s the trick – finding people willing to follow me. Let’s face it – I’m not quite famous yet. And then the actual Tweets – I’m limited to 140 letters – God, I have to COUNT and everything? I’m a writer – condensing is not really part of my make-up. And what do I Tweet about?

I probably shouldn’t Tweet about the insanely stupid things that happen at work. If I did, I’d have people hanging on every one of my 140 characters, because you can’t make this stuff up. But B&N has a very strict policy about their employees and Social Media, so that’s out. I could Tweet about my everyday life I guess (Just found a great deal #cancansale) but that how boring would that be? I can make fun of my husband and daughter, but then I’d have less to blog about.

So I’ve settled for wry and biting observations about the world around me (Sorry Obama can’t fix in 4 yrs what it took GWB 8 years to break). Wait. Is that 140 characters? Do spaces count? Is this being monitored by some secret government organization, and is it possible I’ll end up on a ‘List’ somewhere?

Hmmm. Never mind. (Eat at Jimmy Buffs #yummyhotdogs)

Yeah. That’s better.

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Another Winner!!

Congrats to zanza for winning a free ebook – her favorite couple was Neil Craftsmen and Sarah Donner from His Redeeming Bride. Haven’t read the book, but I’ll put it on a list! Thanks to all who participated. And extra thanks to those who subscribed to my blog – expect another thrill-packed blog in the next few weeks.

Valentine Blog Hop

My Button

What? Another Hop???? I had so much fun with the last one, and met so many great people, I thought, hey, why not? This one is sponsored by a website called Book Lovin Babes. If you click on the link above, you’ll be magically taken to our ‘command central’ that can direct you to even more author sites. You’ll also get a chance to win some great prizes – an Amazon Gift Card worth $75, and a really gorgeous heart necklace. If you want to win a copy of my ebook, Better Off Without Him, just tell me the name of your favorite fictional couple – but NO DARCY AND ELIZABETH! You’ll have to work a little harder than that!

Officially, this thing takes off on Wednesday and runs through the 14th, but since I figured out how to do this stuff today, and I may very well have forgotten it all by Wednesday, I’m leaving it as is. If you all have better memories than I do, remember to come back on Wednesday and really start clicking around.

Have fun everyone – hop around, meet new authors, win great stuff. And have a Happy Valentines Day!