Award-winning author, Susan Wingate, gets a monthly column about writing and the publishing industry in her local newspaper, The Journal of the San Juan Islands. She will also be posting weekly discussions about the writing industry for the regional online newspaper, the PNWLocalNews.com site.
You can view Wingate’s discussions by clicking on the “Entertainment” tab and then finding Wingate’s discussions under the “Blogs” section of the Entertainment Page.
Born in Phoenix, Arizona to James & Amie Ajamie (a writer and an artist, respectively), Susan Wingate tried to fly, at age five off the roof of their family house using newspaper, wire hangers and scotch tape. She’s been dreaming of flying ever since. Oh, by the way, she never jumped. Her mother ran out in the nick of time to stop her from take-off.
Wingate realized her dreams when she entered the world of writing. At first, she only wrote songs and poetry but then her writing blossomed when she tried her hand at fiction. In 1997, she devoted her days to writing and in 2004, she began writing full-time. Since then, Susan has written several plays, one screenplay, one short story collection and seven novels with two more scheduled to be written in 2010. In 2008, she started writing a memoir.
A lover of the arts, Susan draws and paints abstracts using oil as her favored medium. She has taken up playing the violin (it’s been a squeakly start) and she loves the theatre. Susan lives in Washington State.
Wingate’s novel, Bobby’s Diner, received three finalist awards in the following book competitions:
■2010 International Book Awards,
■2009 National Book Awards (USA Book News),
■2009 Next Generation Indie Book Awards
In May 2010, two of Wingate’s novels were released, they are:
■A FALLING OF LAW, and
■EASY AS PIE AT BOBBY’S DINER (the no. 2 book in the Bobby’s Diner Series)
“Camouflage,” Wingate’s fourth novel (written as Myah Lin) received a Finalist Award and an Editor’s Choice Award in the 2009 Textnovel Writing Contest.
To date, Wingate has written seven novels, two short story collections, a memoir, hundreds of poems, a few plays for theatre and one screenplay.
Her books can be found online and in bookstores across the country and her articles, short stories and poetry can be found in magazines, journals and reviews.
Locally, Wingate volunteers with the San Juan Island Library. She offers workshops, readings and presentations at writing conferences, bookstores and libraries throughout the country.
You can visit her website at www.susanwingate.com.
Thank you for this interview, Susan. Can we start out by having you tell us briefly what your new book is about?
Why, sure! Love to. EASY AS PIE AT BOBBY’S DINER is the ongoing story of Georgette Carlisle, the owner and chef of Bobby’s Diner. In EASY AS PIE, Georgette’s story unfolds five years after the death of her husband, Bobby and begins with a new man, her fiancé in fact, Hawthorne Biggs. But, soon after one of Georgette’s best friends returns home to Sunnydale, Hawthorne begins to act funny.
More and more authors are realizing the potential for sales that derives from virtual book tours. Can you tell us your personal reasons why you chose a virtual book tour to help get the word out about your new book?
Well, for one, the reach of a virtual book tour is so great that it seems ludicrous not to go on one if you’re an author. You’re potentially reaching millions of people over a short amount of time. After promoting BOBBY’S DINER (the no. 1 book of the Bobby’s Diner Series) on a virtual tour, that book reached bestseller status in just two weeks. The virtual tour just seems to be the most cost-effective method for touring these days.
Is this the first time you have heard of virtual book tours? If not, where did you hear of them?
Actually, this is not the first time I’ve heard of virtual book tours. I have known about virtual book tours for a couple of years. In fact, in 2008 I went on my first virtual book tour.
As you know, a virtual book tour involves – among other things – interviews and guest posts. Do you prefer one over the other?
I actually like them both. When I have time, I love to be able to do guest posts for the blogsites I am invited to. But, I enjoy the interviews as well. It’s funny, I’ve done several hundred interviews and I’m always surprised at how different the questions can be which makes them so much fun. And, it’s a real pleasure to do both and it’s quite an honor to be asked to participate in someone else’s blog.
Some authors prefer an all review tour. Can you tell us if you are one of them and why or why not?
Well, I guess I understand an all-review tour however it leaves so many questions for the readers. Of course, we’re promoting our books but if readers cannot glean some peak into the author’s personal life, I think it short-changes the readers. Let’s face it, we write, we tell stories because we want people to read them. Right? So, to short change that end-result seems like an arrogance the author’s part. And, sure, the all-review tours make it easier for us but I don’t think they’re as effective because it leaves out that other critical variable of storytelling, it leaves out the listener (or reader) of our story.
What do you hope to achieve through promoting your book through a virtual book tour?
By going on this virtual tour I hope to capture a greater audience for my work. My work product are the books I write. I write so I can sell my work. My work happens to be fiction and I hope that it sells. However, mostly, I hope that the people who extend money to buy and read my work, enjoy my work.
Do you promote online through other means? Website? Blog?
Yes, I do promote my work through other means. I promote my work online. I have a website, susanwingate.com and a blog on that same site but I also blog through another regional online newsource called PNWLocalNews.com. Plus, I am on Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, LinkedIn and Goodreads, to name a few.
Who maintains your website/blog?
I maintain my own website and blog. I’ve used a website service before but things change so quickly in our industry that it just wasn’t feasible, it was becoming too expensive for me to make those changes, so, I decided to switch my service to Blogger, then to Vistaprint and now where it is today, on WordPress. WordPress makes it so much easier to make the changes myself.
What are your experiences with offline booksignings? Do you have much luck selling your book through that method?
It always depends on how much advertising and promotion a bookstore or library does before an event to make it a success or not. However, generally, live book tours are simply not the best bang for the buck. You get too few people attending these events and buying books to make live touring a cost-effective one. Now, I’m no James Patterson, so I’m sure he could give you an entirely different perspective on his live touring experiences.
Here’s a fun question. If money were no object, how would you promote your book?
If money were no object, huh? Hmm. Well, I think I might do a blast of a tour including a bit of everything–live touring, virtual touring and a national marketing campaign. If money were no object. Sheesh! 🙂
Thank you for this interview, Susan. Do you have any final words?
I’d like to say “thank YOU” for having me as an interview guest. I appreciate the time and space you have taken for me, today. And, I certainly hope that people will buy EASY AS PIE and all of the Bobby’s Diner Series. All of my books are available in print and as ebooks.
To visit Susan’s official virtual book tour page, click here!