Thursday, February 21, 2013

Writers Want Misery by J. A. Kazimer

J.A. Kazimer is a writer living in Denver, Colorado. Her novels include CURSES! A F***ed-Up Fairy Tale, Holy Socks and Dirtier Demons, Dope Sick: A Love Story and Froggy Style.

J.A. spent years spilling drinks as a bartender and then stalked people working as a private investigator. 

Please welcome J.A. (and don't worry too much about that stalking thing...I'm sure she gave that up when she started writing).


Writers Want Misery by J. A. Kazimer

If you’re a writer, you’re likely shaking your head, saying, ‘Are you crazy? I want fame and fortune, not misery’.

My response, ‘You’re thinking of the wrong misery’.

The misery I want is the kind Mr. King wrote about in his novel, the kind where a fan loves an author so much she shatters his legs. I could do without the leg shattering, sure, but to have someone love my work so much…

Okay, maybe not that much.

Which brings up an interesting question about writers, privacy, and promotion. Many an author has suggested to me that to promote yourself, you need to engage with your readers. I completely agree. But how much is too much? What is all right to share?

Some authors say, get a PO Box and separate Facebook pages for your work and for your private life. Others suggest you never post anything, anywhere of a personal nature. Don’t talk politics or ethics so you don’t lose readers. But are those readers who are easily offended by my politics, my audience? Should I tell readers what I had for lunch? Or about that mole on my right…

Anyway, the question becomes, how do I engage readers when I can’t or don’t talk about myself or share my viewpoints? Since I’m writing this, you’d think I had an answer, right? Nope. All I know is, I want readers to know me, but leave the leg breaking for the mob. If you have ideas about where the line should be drawn or even experience with stalking or beloved readers, please do share.

In my own experience, a lot of readers’ reactions depend on what the reader read in the first place. Certain genres resonate with certain people. Think about it. Do you think serial killers listen to audiobooks by Danielle Steele while trolling for victims in their white, kidnapper vans? Probably not. I also doubt Oprah reads Chuck Palahniuk, but I could be wrong. I certainly have an eclectic taste in books so she might too (Oprah, if you’re reading this, might I suggest an irreverent fairy tale titled Froggy Style?)

While no one has sent me their bloody ear in a box just yet, I can’t help but think it’s only a matter of time. Only some people are that crazy, and we need to protect those we love from the crazy. On the other hand, most people are great, and want to talk books, TV, movies and other entertainment, and not pickle my brain in a jar.

Therefore, if you’re reading this and thinking, ‘Hmmmm…pickled Kazimer sounds tasty’ please stop reading now, and consider pickling someone a little younger. I’m sure I’m terribly stringy and I probably taste like tofu rather than chicken.

Yet, if you are reading this and want to talk books, TV, movies or other entertainment, welcome to my misery. I’m glad we’re in this together.


Thanks bunches for being here today, J.A. It's hard to decide where to draw the line on disclosing personal information or remaining a private person. I've been very fortunate (so far) as my blogging/Facebook/Twitter friends seem like very nice people (and I do avoid discussing politics). But if I ever run into a profile that makes me think of Annie Wilkes, the Kathy Bates character in Misery, I might just slowly back away...

For more information about this author and her books, please visit J.A.'s website and blog, Gold-Digging-Princess. She also can be found on Facebook and Twitter.


Margot Kinberg said...

Pat - Thanks for hosting J.A.

J.A. - In today's world of social media, it really is a tricky balance to let readers know a little about one without revealing too much. Readers want to connect - well, many of them do - and it's a challenge to decide how close to let them get, so to speak.

Julie Luek said...

Interestingly, I just wrote a post for a friend on a similar slant. There are certainly all kinds of viewpoints out there about this. I think, however, we can give readers a sense of who we are-- our personality-- without revealing personal details they don't really need to know (or for most people, probably don't want to know!). I think it's about being engaging and likable, not about giving out our personal address or talking about our kids.

I love the title of your books!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I can talk about those things! In fact, that's what I often do talk about.
I do try to keep my private life private. (Promised my wife it would never get crazy.)
I think sharing how much we care about others goes a long way as well.

Patricia Stoltey said...

I made it a practice to keep my family life private (with only an occasional jab at my husband and his noisy ham radio). It's working for me and I love the people I'm meeting online. Too much information tends to get us in trouble, especially as stuff posted online might be there for all eternity.

Dean K Miller said...

J.A. is one of my faves and I think she's doing a great job of engaging about every emotion and button-pushing reaction that seems reasonable.

Thanks for hosting another fine author and one I find, um, well...let's say "refreshing."

j.a. kazimer said...

Thanks for all the great comments and ideas on the line between TMI and connecting with a reader. It's a weird place us writers find ourselves in with social media. I imagine if SM existed when Sylvia Plath was around. Her tweets would've been really hard, sort of like the poet version of grumpy cat.

sex scenes at starbucks, said...

I just spoke about this in an interview. I've been online since 2004 and I was anon back then and Anon was UNCENSORED, baby. Plus my kids were wee ones. Since then, I've learned one wants to share my spotlight, the other one doesn't. The husband, definitely not. So I try to be careful about the family stuff to respect them. But I'm pretty sure people who don't share my politics of gay rights, say, won't like my book with homosexual protagonists. So I kind of don't worry about that too much.

Shannon Baker said...

I think it's good to keep your private life private. I really don't want to know too much about you, just what you're wearing... pant, pant.

Patricia Stoltey said...

We're all writers, Shannon. We're wearing our pajamas or worn out sweats and thick socks with holes in the heels...