When I was a little girl about six, I lived with my Irish grandmother when my mom was away doing amazing things… I thought she was a princess doing good deeds because I heard from my grandmum about the ‘people she helped’ and saw her wearing beautiful dresses in the pictures she brought home.
Ah, yes… my grandmum loved to spin stories about how my mom was the spitting image of her grandmother, an English lady of the realm who fell in love with an Irish rogue and ran away from home with him.
My mother was a model.
The people she ‘helped’ were the ladies in the audience.
And the dresses I saw were designs she wore for shows.
And the part about English royalty? My grandmum swore it was true, her eyes sparkling as she mixed up Irish potato pancakes (boxty, my favorites) and I believed it.
Because what little girl doesn’t want to believe her mom is a royal lady?
I still don’t know if the story is true, though my Great-Aunt Marie swore it was… and since she was a pious lady who lived her life as a lay sister among the nuns, who’s going to dispute it?
So what does this have to do with my upcoming Paris WW2 book?
It’s about the dynamics of how we see our mothers and how it shapes us growing up. My mum taught me to be a ‘lady’ and look for the good in everyone and never be selfish if we had extra cake or leftover pot roast and share it with someone who needed it. Since Mom was a great cook, she never lacked for takers.
My mom became the inspiration for the German girl’s ‘Mutti’ in my story. Kindness, understanding… and also the model for the American heiress’s mom… Philadelphia society with an Irish lineage.
Mothers and Daughters… a quilt rich with history and ideas… highs and lows… sorrows and sighs. But in the end, they’re our mothers and God bless them.
Mom and me
My next Paris WW2 book will be released in Fall 2022. More info coming!
check out my Paris WW2 novels:
The Lost Girl in Paris
My heroine, Angeline de Cadieux, is a Roma girl in WW2 Paris… she’s strong, fights in the Resistance… makes exquisite perfumes and comes up with an amazing marketing campaign during the war to boost morale in France.
The Resistance Girl
Juliana discovers her grandmamma was a famous French film star in Occupied Paris & her shocking secret…
Linda O. Johnston enjoys writing, romance, puzzles, and dogs.
A former lawyer, Linda is now a full-time writer and has published 57 books so far, including mysteries and romantic novels. She has written several cozy mystery series including the Barkery & Biscuits Mysteries and Superstition Mysteries for Midnight Ink, and the Kendra Ballantyne, Pet-Sitter Mysteries and Pet Rescue Mysteries for Berkley Prime Crime. She also writes romances for Harlequin, including Harlequin Romantic Suspense. Writing as Lark O. Jensen, her latest release is Bear Witness from Crooked Lane Books. No matter what name she uses, nearly all Linda’s current stories involve dogs!
In addition to blogging for A Slice of Orange on the 6th of every month, Linda blogs at Killer Hobbies, Killer Characters, and Writerspace. Linda was interviewed by Jann Ryan, you can read all about it in Linda O. Johnston—Mysteries, Romantic Suspense and So Much More!
I am A Slice of Orange Author of the Month this month… and I feel honored.
It’s always such a delight to be recognized!
Yes, I’ve been at this for a while. As mentioned, I’ve had 57 books traditionally published, mostly romantic suspense and mystery. And I’m still going!
Also, I checked my list of blog posts for A Slice of Orange, and if I’m correct my first one was in 2007, fifteen years ago! And I still enjoy it.
So thank you all so much for having me here and reading my posts and seeing my comments about the joy and complications of writing, as well as my take on all the writing I’ve been up to for now, and for a while before.
Yay, A Slice of Orange!
Happy July and belated Fourth of July. I almost forgot I needed to write a post for today. It’s not an excuse, but a reason. My family was hit with an emergency medical issue with my dad. For the past couple of months our schedules were interrupted. During this period I had a release I couldn’t push back.
I had a plan for how I was going to promote this book, but that never really happened…not fully. With all that was going on in my personal life, I found myself second guessing a few things. How to promote a book in a series when it ends on a cliff? How much should you spend on advertising? What about the cover…is it too racy? And let’s not forget my editor hit me with a major curve.
What was my plan? Run Facebook, BookBub, AMS and newsletter ads. I never got new FB ads up. I turned the AMS off. I’m on the fence about AMS ads. Personally, I think they are more effective for Kindle exclusive authors. I’m wide and I don’t experience the returns Kindle exclusives receive. I did run a BookBub ad which produced wide sales. I never set up newsletter ads.
I hear you saying, “It only takes a few minutes to set up ads.” You’re right, but when you’re juggling unexpected doctors appointments, tests and eventually surgery, ads and writing are the last things on your mind. I was grateful to God, the book was finished and edited. I reached out to a couple of authors for advice on marketing which helped alleviate some anxiety.
So what did I do? I had this book up on preorder for a few months and for the record, these were the most preorders to date in my writing career. I reached out to my author and blogger community for swaps and posts. I ran book one in a free giveaway to draw attention to the series (this really works…this is going to be a part of my release plan). I posted to my socials as well. I ran BookBub ads for the free book one.
How did I do? This was my second release this year. I released part four earlier this year which doubled the sales of book three which was released last year. This release has been out three weeks and so far it has out performed book four in the series.
Did I hit my sales goal? No. But some amazing things did happen.
First sale on Google Play
First preorders on Kobo
Kobo Sales have already surpassed last year’s sales
Most preorders to date in writing career
Preorder for book six (which only has one chapter so far)
Gained new readers and increased read-thru in the series
Best release sales to date
What did I learn with this release? Trust God. I’m not preaching, but being honest. The only way this release did well was because I asked God to help me. I was close to stress mode. The other thing I learned was Pre-Release Prep. There are things I can do now even though the book isn’t complete. I have a cover, but I can create the graphics and blurbs now. I already have the book on preorder and as soon as it’s complete, I’ll set it up at Amazon.
The other Pre-Release Prep I’ve done is hired some help. I realized I needed some help. If I’d had help I would have been able to implement more promotion things and done even better. My PA is already setting up swaps for me.
I’m also going to use some advice I received for the last release which I wasn’t able to, because book one was too small. Apply for a BookBub Featured Deal. There’s a lead-in book which meets the BB requirements. Here’s a tip…if you’re doing a series, try to write book one to the BookBub Featured deal requirement. If not, create a box set which can be a series starter. I’ve already added create a box set for The Good Girl series so I can apply for a BB Featured Deal for Book Six.
Let’s do a quick check on my goals for the year.
Here’s my updated goals list:
Get my letters
Triple my income
Triple my mailing list – Working on this. Added approximately 400 new subscribers so far
Master Facebook ads – I made a change last month to how much I spend and it’s paying off. Last month, I scaled back to one ad and it’s paid off. This one ad for a first in series free has led to sales of the books in two of my other series. I’m going to ride this strategy for a little while before scaling up.
Update covers – 13 covers in total to update. 8 completed.
Learn how to write a sellable blurb
Use Ingram Spark – Launching first books this month
Direct distribution – I started with Nook. So far, it’s worked out. Considering selling ebooks direct from my website.
Increase BookBub US Followers to 1000 – Added two hundred new US followers.
Increase my prices
Release 3 Books – Two down, one to go. I also added three short stories for anthologies. One is. My first Christmas story.
How are you doing with your goals so far?
by E.J. Williams
(Janet Elizabeth Lynn & Will Zeilinger)
Writing together as E. J. Williams, husband and wife, Will Zeilinger and Janet Elizabeth Lynn author the INTER-NATIONAL CRIME FILES, a hardboiled/thriller detective series that takes the reader to 1960s southern California, then on to international locales.
Even after you’ve written the best book in the world, the pesky task of editing rears its ugly head! To those of you who love editing . . . our hats are off to you. We have come up with several suggestions that may help ease the editing process, whether you are editing your book for your editor, publisher, agent, or yourself.
While you are editing, look at the arc of each chapter. Does it engage the reader? Does it make the reader want to read more? Does the reader like the good guy and hate the bad guy? Seriously focus on the way the chapter the beginning, the middle, and the end of each chapter.
Though this mind-numbing task is necessary, it can bring about a great deal of pride when the process is complete. As a couple who write together, we have found these tips work well whether you are working alone or with someone.
Website: Janet Elizabeth Lynn
Website: Will Zeilinger
A Slice of Orange is an affiliate with some of the booksellers listed on this website, including Barnes & Nobel, Books A Million, iBooks, Kobo, and Smashwords. This means A Slice of Orange may earn a small advertising fee from sales made through the links used on this website. There are reminders of these affiliate links on the pages for individual books.
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