Carol Nicholas is the author of The Sixth Power, a YA fantasy novel about a girl with special powers. Carol blogs regularly at http://carolnicolas.wordpress.com/. Check out this list of her favorite books, which is kept updated on her blog. You can also find Carol on Twitter and on Facebook.
Now, here's Carol:
When I finally finished my last edit of The Sixth Power in January, I emailed the book to my husband (who was going to handle the whole process of self-publishing), treated myself to Godiva chocolate, and thought I was done. Little did I know that I was just beginning a whole new adventure. “You have to write a blog,” he told me. So I began to learn about blogging.
One of the first things I learned is that there are hundreds of blogs out there where people read books and review them. Wow! What an amazing concept! I loved going to all the different websites and reading the book reviews. It was better than a library, better than a candy store, better than a back rub... I was like a kid with a carte blanche credit card in a toy store. My Nook suddenly had a hundred titles downloaded onto it. I gorged on books. I read and read and read until one day I came up for air and realized that I hadn’t painted a picture or played guitar or gardened or written a story for a while. It was time to step back from the books, get back into life, and get going on my own blog. (Since the garden was under three feet of snow, I could excuse myself on that one.)
Then I discovered that authors have websites. (Yes, I know, you’re asking if I’ve been living in the Dark Ages all my life. I’m quite sheepish to admit this.) One of the first things I did was look up Robin McKinley. I have been a fan ever since I read The Blue Sword in 1982. I love her books! I had so much fun going through her website, reading her blog entries, finding out what she has published and what’s coming in the near future. She even has an ongoing story called Kes. She writes and posts a chapter a week, and I am in agony every week to find out what happens. For a person who likes to read a book from start to finish in one sitting, this is the ultimate torture. I really enjoyed perusing the websites of my favorite authors, both old and new. But now I had to join the blogging community.
My son set up my website and coached me through the steps of how to use it. Then I sat down and stared at the blank screen. What on earth was I going to write? Who would read it? Would anyone read it? With great trepidation I sent my first blog out into the ether. I fully expected my high school English teacher to write back and highlight all my grammatical errors. “Carol, you should have paid more attention during English. Instead of writing those stories in the back of your notebook, you should have been diagramming sentences.” It didn’t happen. Whew.
In the past six months, I have learned a great deal about blogging. It has been an interesting experiment. Some days it is very hard to find a subject to write about. My sister calls me. “I like the stories about things that really happened,” she says. “Be real. Don’t write about things you don’t care about.” I tell her I’ll work on it. I sit and stare at the screen some more. Other days, I think of ten different things I could comment on. I always agonize over my blog before I click on the publish button (see English teacher phobia above). Some days no one comments, and I wonder if there is any point in writing them. And then there are the days when one of my neighbors says, “Hey, I read your blog. I really enjoyed it.” That gives me the courage to keep on sending these vignettes out there and hoping they will be read and enjoyed by someone.