A lot of people ask me how I manage to be on Twitter so often and still get my work done. “Isn’t it a time suck?” they ask. My answer is always “not for me.”
Do I spend a lot of time on Twitter? Yeah, I do. But for the most part I think it’s time well spent. First off, I have met countless really awesome people. I’m a very social person but writing is an extremely isolating profession, so for me this is huge. Many people who I originally met on Twitter are now people I consider friends. Some I’ve gone on to meet in real life and others I hope to meet in person someday soon.
As a writer Twitter serves another very important purpose. Sure it’s a great place to make announcements and promote things, but honestly I rarely use it for that. What I use it for is camaraderie and support. One of my favorite Twitter activities is the #1k1hr writing sprints. For those unfamiliar with the term, #1k1hr is where you spend an hour trying to write 1000 words. You announce you’re going to do one at a certain time, other people will tell you they’re joining you, and you check in at the end of the hour to see how everyone did. I can’t tell you how many #1k1hr sessions I did during NaNo (National Novel Writing Month), but it really helped me to stay on track and meet (and often exceed) my daily writing goals. It’s a fun, non-competitive motivator and it’s also a great way to meet other writers.
Beyond that, the people I’ve met on Twitter are just a lovely, intelligent, witty, quirky bunch and knowing them is worth the time I choose to spend Tweeting. I’ve made friends, swapped recipes, found new critique partners, given and gotten pep talks, and discussed everything from politics, to virginity loss, to fashion, to putting bread on cats’ heads—all in the course of an afternoon. A non-Tweeting friend told me “Twitter is like your friend who never sleeps, which is funny, because that’s what you are to everyone else.” I think that’s an accurate description and with the weird hours I keep it’s nice to know that there’s always someone else, somewhere, online and willing to chat about whatever happens to come up in conversation.
The concept of meeting people when and where you’d least expect to plays a big part in many of my novels, including my most recent release, Long-Distance Lovers, which I co-wrote with Karen Booth (who, I might add, I didn’t meet on Twitter, but did meet in an online writing forum). The main characters meet in a completely random and unexpected way, at a time when neither of them expects to find “the one.” Isn’t that usually how the best relationships start?
British musician Tim Wentworth trades his London flat for an apartment in NYC so he can record with a promising American band, but when he arrives in Manhattan he learns the gig has been canceled. With no job and a two month stay in the States he wonders if the trip has been a waste of time, until he meets the charming and talented jewelry designer, Jenna Bradford.
Unlike the groupies who throw themselves at Tim after shows, Jenna couldn’t be less impressed by his music credentials. Bad experiences have caused her to have a strict “no musicians” policy. When Tim rescues Jenna from an obnoxious drunk she bends her rules, and they embark on a sensuous courtship filled with steamy, passionate nights and intense, unexpected emotions. As they try to find a way to prolong their time together, a family tragedy forces Tim to return to England. Jenna and Tim must each decide how far they’re willing to go to see if their whirlwind romance can lead to a lifetime of love.
Karen Stivali is a prolific writer, compulsive baker and chocoholic with a penchant for books, movies and fictional British men. When she’s not writing, she can be found cooking extravagant meals and serving them to family and friends. Prior to deciding to write full time Karen worked as a hand drawn animator, a clinical therapist, and held various food-related jobs ranging from waitress to specialty cake maker. Planning elaborate parties and fundraisers takes up what’s left of her time and sanity.
Karen has always been fascinated by the way people relate to one another so she favors books and movies that feature richly detailed characters and their relationships. In her own writing she likes to explore the dynamics between characters and has a tendency to craft romantic love stories filled with sarcasm and sexy details.
Karen has three erotic romances published with Ellora’s Cave: Always You (published September 2011), Long-Distance Lovers (published March 2012) and Marry Me (available May 2012). She will be releasing two women’s fiction works in late summer and autumn of 2012. Meant To Be, Karen’s first full length novel, and its sequel, Holding On, will be published by Turquoise Morning Press on August 26, 2012 and November 26, 2012, respectively. A short erotic story of Karen’s will also be featured in Tiffany Reisz’s upcoming charity erotic office supply anthology, Felt Tips (coming autumn/winter of 2012).
To learn more about Karen and her other writing projects you can visit her website http://karenstivali.com
If you’d like to win a free e-copy of Long-Distance Lovers, leave a comment on this post. For a second chance to win, come back tomorrow and comment on the post by my writing partner Karen Booth! We’ll choose a lucky winner and notify him/her by email. Good luck to all!