Rick Robinson, Sunny Frazier, and Sparkle Abbey.

Three authors (four actually since SA is actually two collaborators) to whom I must give credit for making me think about this week’s blog. Let me explain.

Many moons ago, I met Sunny Frazier, Oak Tree Press’ acquisition editor, at the Killer Nashville conference. She was personable, open, friendly and we became friends. Soon after the conference I joined her Posse, which is a group of authors, many of them from Oak Tree, who share writing and marketing information. You can find many interesting blogs at SunnyFrazier.com under Posse Posts. She also has a Friday Round Up listed at the Oak Tree blog of many Posse posts and I’m honored to have been a part of it. One of the many pieces of advice she’s shared is that authors should start their own group of authors/fans to gain further exposure out there in the big world of publishing and books.

Rick Robinson I met at KN and have sat through a couple of his seminars. A prolific writer and marketer, one of the recent bits of advice he passed along was an inspiration for a recent blog discussing changes. He mentioned that I shouldn’t write to please other writers, but to please readers and fans.

Sparkle Abbey consists of two women, the president and former president of Iowa’s only branch of Sisters In Crime, of which I’m also a member. (We hold monthly meetings the third Saturday of the month at Smokey Row coffee house in Des Moines. Contact Anita for further info.) At a recent conference, I was studying the displays other authors had and knew I had to up the quality of mine. One of the things SA had was an information sheet for people to sign and put down their email for future information and updates regarding the author.

So, I want to adopt all three of these ideas. I would like to accrue writers and fans to my Gang, write a wider variety of blogs, and have been putting a sign up sheet at various appearances with an initial amount of success.

I also promoted this Gang on Facebook for anybody desiring updates and have had a couple of takers.

This is another mention. If you are a reader, writer, fan, or potential groupie of mine (just kidding), and would like to be included in the Gang, please let me know. Just send me your email address and I’ll add it to my contact group.

“But Stephen, what are the benefits to signing up. What’s in it for me?”

Well, I would like to offer you a sign up bonus of $50 and a chance to win a free trip to Hawaii. I would LIKE to do these things, but unfortunately, I currently don’t have the resources.

However, what I can do for you is promise irregular updates on:

  • My schedule of appearances where you can see me, talk to me, get my autograph, take me out to dinner (just kidding…no wait, I’ll accept this offer), or have a general schmooze session with me.
  • The status of WIP. (This stands for work in progress, or in my case, works in progress)
  • The status of my fitness regimen. As you may know I’m involved in martial arts and in April this year, I began the workout routines at www.warriorxfit.com. At least one of my FB friends is also taking this program and has reached Red Belt. Awesome! I’m currently working toward my Green Belt. What does this have to do with writing? Not much unless you want to relate it it determination, perseverance, commitment, and dedication.
  • Blog sites and websites and news articles regarding marketing/writing/books/martial arts, etc. that I think are worthwhile.
  • And of course, you’ll receive my support and heartfelt thanks.

Here’s a freebie. Keep checking back because at the end of November, I’ll be running a contest to receive a free copy of Beta. And the Gang will get early details.

So, what do you say? Shall we boldly go where others have gone before, but in our own inimitable style? I know I have a few fans out there and I’m grateful to every one. Surely you know others who might benefit from this venture. Tell them to visit and sign up.

Again, thanks. Let’s see how high we can go.

…and I’m still open for that dinner invitation.

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