Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Captain Hook

by Tristi Pinkston

I was twenty-four when I wrote my first novel, "Nothing to Regret." It took a little while to go through the publication process, so I was twenty-six when it came out, but still, my age was a curious thing to my readers. My novel was set during World War II, and a question I received often revolved around my young age vs. my interest in history. My age was a novelty (if you'll pardon the pun) and it drew a lot of readers to me.

A few years have gone by since then. I'm now thirty-three and I've even sprouted two white hairs (I yanked those puppies out as fast as they were discovered, believe you me). My age is no longer quite the attention-getter it used to be.

When you're an author, you not only have to come up with a hook for your book - something that will make them want to keep reading - but you need a hook for yourself, telling your readers what makes you special, what makes you unique. For me, it was my age, not that I purposely went out there and said, "Hey! I'm young! Come read my book!" - that just sort of happened on its own. But now I need a new hook because I've lost that age factor. Look for ways to market yourself that are timeless, that won't change in a few years or with the discovery of a little white hair. Create for yourself an image that is based on the essential nature of who you are, and you will draw readers to you because of the strength of your own unique personality.


Cheri Chesley said...

I've got a great hook. With 5 kids and a day care, everyone's always asking me how I find TIME to write. But you're right. More than ever before, readers are interested in more than the book--they want to know about the author. So we have to be interesting!

Jolynn said...

Great advice. I would like to win one of your books.

Impkatt said...

What a wonderful attitude! I hope it brings a lot of interest to your books. You hooked me. *grin*

Noble M Standing said...

Is that why I am torturing myself three times a week at Karate? Does that make me unique?


Rachelle said...

Love this, Tristi! Your books are great and I don't think you need white hairs to hook readers because you're a great writer.
And 33 is still young in my book!