The Hardest Part of Writing…by Kirsten Weiss – Guest Blog and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Kirsten Weiss will award a $10 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

The Hardest Part of Writing…

The hardest part about writing is what comes afterward. And I’m not talking about the editing.

Unless you hit Steven King or Nora Roberts status, authors today need to do some heavy lifting when it comes to book promotion. Even when I was published through a big NY house, most of the marketing was on me. That’s even more true when I indie publish a mystery like Legacy of the Witch.

I like to think of writing as an art. But it’s a business as well. And if no one knows about your books, then no one’s going to buy them. However, I’m beginning to think that book promotion is an art too. Ads that work amazingly for one author fall flat for another. As soon as you think you’ve figured it out, the algorithm changes and you’re back at square one.

This is not a lament. I actually enjoy marketing. The embarrassing part is I have an MBA with a specialty in international marketing. I got that MBA before the Internet was ubiquitous, but while tactics have changed, strategies remain the same.

Rule #1: Know your reader. Know where they like to hang out online. What tropes and styles of writing do they enjoy? Do they skew young or old? What other books do they like to read?

Rule #2: See Rule #1.

And while that’s sort of a joke, it’s really not, because everything you learn from Rule #1 needs to be applied to your promotions. For example, if your current and potential readership is largely on Facebook, spending a lot of time on Tiktok might not be the best investment. If your readers avert their gaze at sex scenes, throwing a spicy back-of-the-car moment into your novel might end up alienating them. All the tactics in your toolkit—whether be Amazon ads, giveaways, covers, and writing the novel itself—depend on knowing your audience.

Currently, I’m trying to expand my audience. In the past, I’ve written paranormal and witch mysteries, and they’ve always had a certain metaphysical bent. The magical practices I described were rooted in current and historical magical practice and theory.

With my current book, Legacy of the Witch, I’m leaning into the metaphysical fiction side. The book includes not only an UnTarot app for readers to play with, but also the downloadable magical worksheets that the heroine receives from her mystery school.

I’m hoping people interested in personal and spiritual growth will be hooked by my new mystery. I also believe my current readership will enjoy the same small-town vibes, light romance, and strong female characters that are hallmarks of my other books. Now, I have to get to know those potential new readers better. So if you like a page-turning mystery and personal and spiritual growth, tell me a bit about yourself in the comments!

Seeker: As societies grow increasingly fragmented, hopelessness, nihilism, and division are on the rise. But there is another way—a way of mystery and magic, of wholeness and transformation. Do you dare take the first step? Our path is not for the faint-hearted, but for seekers of ancient truths…

All April wants is to start over after her husband’s sudden death. She’s conjuring a new path—finally getting her degree and planning her new business in bucolic Pennsylvania Dutch country. Joining an online mystery school seems like harmless fun.

But when a murdered man leaves her a cryptic message, she catches glimpses of another reality she’s unwilling to acknowledge. A reality where bygone enchantments cast cryptic shadows, and the present brims with unanswered questions.

As April works to unearth the mystery, every step brings her closer to a truth she’s been evading. And to a conspiracy of hexes that may end in her demise.

Legacy of the Witch is a spellbinding, interactive tale of a woman’s midlife quest to understand the complexities of her own heart. A paranormal women’s fiction murder mystery for anyone who’s wondered if there might be more to their own life than meets the eye…

Book 1 in the new Mystery School Series featuring the UnTarot, a deck of cards for meaning making. Start reading now!
UnTarot deck app included!

Enjoy an Excerpt

Of all the life-ruining mistakes I’d ever made, being late was not going to be one of them.

I double checked the campus map. My advisor’s office should have been directly ahead of me. Instead, there was a wide swathe of grass dotted with crimson leaves and way-too-young students.

At least they seemed too young to me. They had to be too young, because the alternative was that at forty-seven, I was too old. Too old to start over. Too old to rid myself of my growing collection of ghosts. Too old to get a degree. Too old to use that degree as a springboard for my dream business and dream life and dream whatever the hell I was doing.

But I couldn’t think that way. I had to have hope or I’d be stuck in the purgatory of widowhood.

I crumpled the campus map in my gloved hand. What was I doing? Everything was shifting—inside and out, above and below, and—

About the Author: I believe in free-will, and that we all can make a difference. I believe that beauty blossoms in the conscious life, particularly with friends, family, and strangers. I believe that genre fiction has become generic, and it doesn’t have to be.

My current focus is my new Mystery School series, starting with Legacy of the Witch. Traditionally, women’s fiction refers to fiction where a woman—usually in her midlife—is going through some sort of dramatic change. A lot of us do go through big transitions in midlife. We get divorced or remarried. The kids leave the nest. Our bodies change. The midlife crisis is real—though it manifests in different ways—as we look back on where we’ve been, where we’re going, and the time we have left.

Now in my mid-fifties, I’ve spent more time thinking about the big “meaning of life” issues. It seemed like approaching those issues through witch fiction, and through a fictional mystery school, would be a fun and a useful way for me to work out some of these ideas in my own head—about change and letting go, faith and fear, and love and longing.

After growing up on a diet of Nancy Drew, Sherlock Holmes, and Agatha Christie, I’ve published over 60 mysteries—from cozies to supernatural suspense, as well as an experimental fiction book on Tarot. Spending over 20 years working overseas in international development, I learned that perception is not reality, and things are often not what they seem—for better or worse.

There isn’t a winter holiday or a type of chocolate I don’t love, and some of my best friends are fictional.

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