by Christina Westcott
Since its founding half a dozen years ago, I’ve primarily thought of Pinterest as a place to accumulate pictures of the necklaces I’d like to make someday, but never do, the outfits I love, but can’t afford, and more funny cat memes. And Bast knows, I don’t need another cute kitty picture.
As a writer, I’ve found a legitimate excuse to spend hours perusing Pinterest for just the right picture of my hero or heroine, the sleekest starship, or the baddest looking pulse rifle. When I find a great picture, I click on it and that takes me to a larger image. Usually below it is a selection of similar images and I find something among those to click on, which takes me to another, then another and another. Two hours later, my tea is cold and I’ve forgotten what I started out looking for. Setting a timer on Pinterest is non a bad idea.
Some authors don’t realize how useful Pinterest can be for their books, from planning, to promoting, to selling. It’s the third largest social media outlet after Facebook and Twitter. Approximately 150 million “pinners” view it every month and over 70% of those are women, although men are starting to catch up. That’s the demographic that romance novelists aim to reach.
I know, one more social media platform to keep track of is not what you wanted to hear about, but relax, this one can be fun. In fact, you may have to remind yourself that this is work, not just looking at the pretty pictures.
Writers like other artists, are visual people, but our images are all inside our heads, so Pinterest can help bring our ideas out into the physical world. Find the perfect face for your hero and it’ll become easy to describe him, thereby avoiding the risk of changing his eyes from blue to brown halfway through the book.
You can pin clothes, jewelry, armor, even tattoos for your characters. Looking for an interesting location? You can find anything from a medieval castle to an alien planet to the interior of a pub in London. Add a snippet of your manuscript with each pin and you’ll have a quick preview of your book to invite your readers to view—just don’t pin any spoilers!
Set up a business board in your author’s name, with your picture and short bio like a Facebook page, and create a separate board for each book where you collect pins of all these images related to it. Link you’re the image of your cover directly to the selling site of your choice—Amazon, Kobo, B&N—rather than your webpage because the fewer steps to that all important “BUY” button the better. A promotions board can be used to post pictures from signings or have your readers send in their pictures with your book. And don’t forget a personal board, sharing your life and interests (that you’re willing to admit to); readers love to connect with their favorite author.
Have fun setting up your new boards and collecting images, but don’t forget to set that timer. Pinning can be addictive. Time for me to sign off; there’s a few dozen new cat pictures I need to check out. In the meantime, enjoy this excerpt from my latest release, Cypher: Book 2 of The Dragon’s Bidding Saga, available on Amazon and through Kindle Unlimited.
CYPHER Book 2 of the Dragon’s Bidding Saga
Fitz reached for a truffle, but slender silver-tipped fingers grasped the confection first. Her head snapped up and found eyes as dark brown as the chocolate studying her. Red lips smiled at her above a cleft chin so familiar. Her tongue knew the shape of that dimple, even in the dark. Overlaying an image of Wolf on the face before her, her inhead display flashed a message: match confirmed. It hadn’t been necessary. She knew.
The bulge in the bag over his shoulder no doubt represented a pistol, likely a Cauldfield, since it didn’t register on scans. Almost certainly that outfit hid body armor, requiring the kill setting on the Acton to punch through it. The smaller pistol in her bag wouldn’t do it without chancing a head shot.
All this flashed through her brain in the time it took the assassin’s red lips to pull back into a smile. “You look particularly stunning tonight, Gray Eyes.” He set the plate down and backed away, moving with the stiff posture of a predator who’s discovered an interloper in his territory.
Reality slowed as Fitz plunged into hyperkinesia. She pulled the Acton, thumbed the setting all the way up as it cleared her bag.
The assassin reached Pettigrew, the admiral handing him a dark object. A needler. Package delivered, the fat officer hurried toward the exit.
Damn! How had he smuggled that in here? Can’t worry about that now.
She grabbed the edge of the table, hurled it out of her way. People screamed and scattered, not sure what was happening.
The silver figure pulled a pistol from his bag. A Cauldfield, as she’d expected, except this one had an extra power pack jury-rigged to it. He swung around and pumped two shots into Pettigrew before the fat admiral made it to the door.
Tidying up loose ends.
Fitz reached through cyberspace and tripped all the alerts. A window opened in her inhead, displaying the scene on the dais. Ari stilled and looked around. Kiernan charged toward her. The Henge erupted into a chaos of strobing lights, wailing alarms, and screaming, shoving people. Her tactical display showed Fen Donkenny fighting his way out of the crowd, weapon already in hand. Braylin Pike, backed up by Bartonelli, led a contingent of guardsmen through the east entrance. The net drew tight around their prey.
The assassin spun. At first Fitz thought he looked for a way through their cordon, but he kept spinning, faster and faster. Like an ice skater, his momentum built, moving into the hyperkinetic range.
Fitz recognized this one; a killing maneuver only an augie could perform.
Broadcasting to every comm in range, she screamed, “Kill Spiral! Take cover!”
Fitz dived behind the overturned table, but not before she noticed his arms rise, slowing his spin enough that she could see a weapon in each hand. The assassin’s pistol for general murder and pandemonium; the needler to kill Lazzinairs.
As he spun, he opened fire with both pistols.
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