Monday, July 23, 2012

Book Update and Meet My Audience, Part 2

The big day is in two weeks! My novel Love Simplified will be published on August 6th. I'm so excited. For all of you who have sent your congratulations and offered your support, thank you. As the anticipation builds, I have a few fun posts planned (like a preview of the first chapter), so stay tuned. 

Today's post you get to hear from my audience in person...well as in person as she can be in a blog post. Meet Linda Sothern!

Linda, my audience
I grew up in a middle class neighborhood in the Maryland suburbs of Washington DC. Being close to the nation’s capital awakened a love of history in me. Monuments, museums and landmarks were in my backyard. Every summer, my mother would take me and my siblings to various points of interest in the city. Not only would we learn new things, she expected us to write an essay or give an oral report about what new things we encountered. Our unofficial homeschooling aided our public school education. I was Salutatorian in my high school class, made dean’s list in undergrad and graduated summa cum laude from seminary.  
I am a pew baby. I’ve been in church all my life. When people ask when did I get saved, I unconventionally reply, “At 2, 14 and it finally stuck at 21”. My mother led all of her children in the sinner’s prayer at 2 and baptized us in the bathtub. When I was 14, a revivalist visited my church. I was spiritually stirred up to be a better Christian and recommitted my life. All through high school, I remembered this dedication. Then, I went to the cesspool of sin that is college. I became a blazon heathen for about 3 years. At 21, like the prodigal son, I returned to my Father’s house.
My love of books developed early. I was born with a disease called Sarcoidosis. However, I wasn’t diagnosed until I was 10. I wasn’t very athletic as I had fluid buildup in my lungs and developed arthritis. Sometimes, I lost the ability to walk. I couldn’t always go outside and play and for awhile, I was quarantined from my siblings. Reading was my escape. I could go anywhere, be anyone and avoid the doldrums of my existence. I read encyclopedias and dictionaries for fun. My family calls me the “Queen of Worthless Information.” I read anything I could get my hands on, history, biographies, fiction, and reference.
My favorite genre is probably fiction followed closely by biographies/autobiographies. I love a good story. The more compelling the better. Fiction allows me to incorporate many of my interests. I can read historical fiction to connect with times past. Futuristic, fantasy or sci-fi addresses my love of imaginary worlds and concepts. Chick lit gives me a good clean romance fix. Ethnic literature allows me to enjoy other cultures. Biographies/autobiographies turn the humdrum existence of people great and small into fantastic accounts. People and time periods that I have no association with are opened up to me.     
I’m not sure I have a favorite book. I love so many. I do have favorite authors. William Shakespeare and Jane Austen are my favorite historical writers. Steven James, Claudia Mair Burney, Kaye Dacus and Linda Windsor are some of my favorite contemporary authors. I read and reread their works several times a year.

Writers, how well do you know your readers? Readers, what authors do you believe targeted you as their audience?

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