Hashtags and Hyperlinks! That’s what I’m trying to learn about just now.
I’d just like to say from the outset, “This is so not my comfort zone!”
As a #BabyBoomer, born in 1947, I didn’t grow up with computers, laptops, tablets, mobile phones — none of it. I grew up in black and white, for goodness sake.
There has been a #technologicalrevolution within my lifetime, and it is still underway. In fact, it’s accelerating at a terrifying rate.
I first jumped aboard when things were moving a little more slowly, getting my first laptop as one of my 40th Wedding Anniversary gifts from my lovely, generous husband, in 2007. Before that, I had written my novels on a rather ancient desktop computer — and I rightly call it a desktop computer. It was a huge lumbering thing that took up the whole desk: a far cry from the neat little MacBook I use now. Up until the laptop appeared, all wrapped up in shiny metallic-red gift paper, the extent of my acquaintance with the Internet was limited to emailing, and researching via Google’s search engine.
So, it was probably in the 1990’s I had tentatively joined this wonderful, amazing, scary #technorevolution. It lulled me into thinking it was travelling slowly. I thought I might be able to keep up. No, don’t laugh! I really thought I could — to a degree anyway. I knew I’d never be a techno whizz-kid.
These past twenty years, the past ten, in particular, I feel as though I’ve been surfing on a huge, rolling wave. It keeps tossing me off and I keep climbing back on my board.
In 2008, I published my first paperback novel, Family Matters, submitting it to an onlinesite, #YouWriteOn.com, a British Arts Council funded publisher.
When I was approaching forty years of age, I decided it was time to trace my birth father who I had never met, my mother fleeing from a bad marriage two months after I was born. It turned out to be a relatively simple matter, but the process got me to wondering, ‘What if?’
The idea that someone could choose to completely disappear without trace fascinated me. So, what if someone did that, then turned up years later? How would those who had been abandoned feel about him/her? Where might he/she have been during the intervening years?
I’ll not tell you how long it took me to write #Family Matters because it now shocks me to realise how many years it was, writing in fits and starts, letting life interrupt as it fancied. Enough to tell you I traced my father in 1986.
In April 2009, I gathered my courage and joined Facebook, I felt ‘in’ with the young set. They probably sighed and wondered what an old lady was doing bumbling about in social media. Nowadays, I notice there are an army of oldies on Facebook. Lots of fellow #BabyBoomers.
That same year, 2009, my second paperback novel, #Making It Home, was published.The idea for this novel came from my observations regarding shopping. An ordinary, everyday activity that I had noticed can get out of hand and can grow like a fungus given the dark, damp, dank conditions of unhappiness.
Much to my delight, I now had two of my very own books standing on my bookshelf, wedged neatly in beside those of authors like Anita Shreve, Maggie O’Farrell and Nicholas Sparks, authors to whose writing mine subsequently been compared.
It amazed and thrilled me I had been able to navigate online well enough to accomplish such an exciting and rewarding venture. Things were rolling along nicely, with my competence coasting in on a gentle wave.
Then a big one hit.
Amazon Kindle. Did I dare? One of my American Writing Buddies had been extolling the joys of Kindle reading for years, but I couldn’t see how it could possibly catch on. Why would anyone want to read a book in that form, rather than enjoy the feel, the smell, the weight of a paperback or a hardback?
Then I tried it and I was hooked.
I wanted my published books on my reading device. And I wanted others to have that option too. It was only last year, 2013, that I dived into ePublishing, and wow! What a steep learning wave that has been. I uploaded #Family Matters and #Making It Home onto Amazon Kindle early in 2013.
I opened #Christine Campbell, Author. #WriteWhereYouAre page on my Facebook account.
A blog! I need a blog! In order to promote and sell my eBooks, if I don’t want to enjoy them alone, I need to learn how to market them online. So I started my blog, #WriteWhereYouAre:
I was being lifted high on a huge exciting wave.
Perhaps you can get the sense of it in this video, ‘About Christine Campbell, Author.’
Next I joined some Google+ communities, Linedin, and even opened a Twitter account @Campbama.
Never mind surfing, I was flying now, writing regularly and navigating on the internet, meeting new people, making new friends.
Speaking of flying, my third novel, Flying Free, was published as a paperback and an eBook at the end of 2013.
The subject of #Flying Free is one that has shocked me most of my life. The prevalence and devastation of child abuse. I wanted to write about how someone is able to recover from the damage perpetrated on them as a child: how they can go on to build a happy, fulfilling life, despite the lifelong effects of the despicable, cowardly acts of which they were victims. I have attempted to handle the subject sensitively and tastefully, without being graphic or offensive.
In November 2013, I joined the ranks of NaNoWriMo and wrote the first draft of my next novel. I was thrilled to be a #NaNoWriMo winner, finishing on 60,000 words rather than the required 50,000…and that from a standing start! When I put my name down to do it in the last couple of days of October, it was an impulsive thing. I had no idea what I was going to write about, so I plucked an idea out of the file I keep of things I wonder if I might write about one day.
At this point, I am on the final edit of my NaNo novel, then it will be proofread and prepared for launching…when I decide what to call it. It has been ‘My NaNo Novel’ for so long I’m finding it hard to give it any other title.
And that brings me back to today, right now, currently, the present…
I am trying to learn about hashtags and hyperlinks.
You may have noticed a few hashtags sprinkled about this post. Don’t worry, I won’t always do that: it’s the novelty. I’ll calm down in a day or two. The hyperlinks, I’m still working on how to do, so they may, or may not be in place when you read this, but Victory is nearly mine! I am going to keep up with this #interwebthingy if it kills me.
Christine Campbell is a novelist, who also enjoys writing poetry and short stories.
You can follow her on her
Facebook author page
Amazon.co.uk Author Page
Amazon.com Author Page