Posted by: J. Thomas Ross | December 6, 2011

The Author Chronicles Blog: Six Months

The Author Chronicles published its first post — A Bit of Backstory — on May 29, 2011. In that post, Kerry Gans introduced the five of us, who write in different genres and take turns posting on Tuesdays to share what we have learned—and continue to learn—about the craft, business, and the writing life. However, Kerry didn’t discuss how and why we started the group blog. Now that we’ve been posting for six hectic and fun-filled months, I thought I’d write that story.

In 2006 New York Times best-selling author Jonathan Maberry — who, along with fellow members of the Philadelphia Liars Club, teaches a number writing workshops — started the Advanced Writing Workshop for those who had progressed beyond his Novel in Nine Months courses. The Advanced Writing Workshop, which meets monthly, is designed to help aspiring authors polish and then publish their work. Jonathan provides support, writing suggestions, helpful advice, and a wealth of knowledge about the publishing industry.

Though I wasn’t one of the original members of the group, the others willingly widened their circle to include me. From the beginning, Jonathan urged each of us to establish a presence on social media and to start a blog. I, for one, resisted for at least six months. Finally, I reluctantly signed up for Facebook. To my surprise, I greatly enjoyed this new way of connecting with friends and family I don’t see all the time and reconnecting with old school friends and colleagues from work, sharing photos and news. Nearly another year passed, however, before I started a blog. I kept the blog up for several months, but life got in the way, and once I had missed several postings, it became easier and easier to let it slide.

Most of the others in the Advanced Writing Workshop fared no better with their blogging attempts, so while Jonathan continued prodding us to get active on Twitter, he began suggesting that we start a group blog where we could share the work. In February I was the last one to cave in and sign up for Twitter, and at our meeting that month, five members of the workshop — Gwen Huber, Nancy Keim-Comley, Matt McGovern, Kerry, and I — also decided we would create a group blog.

Since the five of us do not live close together — and have busy lives — it took us three months of planning to launch The Author Chronicles. We had to decide on a name, create a logo, write brief bios, get photos, and decide who would go first and just how we would run the blog. Kerry used her expertise to set up the blog on WordPress and to create the logo and the montage of the five of us across the top of the page.

In addition to having a weekly post from one of us, we decided to publish a second weekly post presenting links to other people’s blog posts that we liked — Top Picks Thursday. We occasionally add a Saturday Special and have been fortunate enough to have a few guest bloggers. We make adjustments as we go along and come up with new ideas to try. In October, we decided to host a special Mystery Month with crime/mystery writers as guest bloggers, a contest each week to win one of their books, and a review of each book in the contest. That was a lot of work, but also a lot of fun.

Launching the Author Chronicles has proved inspiring, exciting, challenging, rewarding, and a lot of fun. Each of my blog buddies is a unique individual with a different perspective, and I enjoy reading their posts. As we move into the next six months, we have plans to do more specials and perhaps add other features. Is there any other feature or topic you’d like to see here? Who knows where we will go?

We would like to thank our friends, old and new, and fellow authors for their support and encouragement. Big thank yous also go to our followers and our guest contributors. And we highly recommend the idea of establishing a group blog to other aspiring authors!


Responses

  1. Your blog is inspiring, Judy! And quite an accomplishment to put together and manage. Kudos to you all and I so look forward to your posts each week.

    Like

  2. Keep up the great work on this wonderful site.

    Like

    • Thanks so much, Janice and Donna. You two rock! It is a joy to be part of the awesome online community of writers, and even more of a pleasure to know you two personally!

      Like

  3. I really enjoyed this post! What a fabulous idea this was and how you all came together…Loved it 🙂

    Like

    • Thanks, Dawn. It’s worked out so well that we hope our story might inspire others to try it too.

      Like


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