As part of preparing for the release of my first book, An Alien’s Guide to World Domination, I’ve participated in some provocative discussions about promotion, marketing, platform, and branding. It’s overwhelming, at times, and I have to remind myself what it’s really all about: connecting with readers.
During the most recent chat with fellow Champagne authors and editors, we wrestled with how “brand” reflects your work – not the technicalities of your writing, but the heart and soul of your body of work as an author. We challenged ourselves to describe ours in a few words.
Well, ask an author to use a “few words,” and you know what’s likely to happen. My wheels started turning, churning out long philosophical diatribes concerning the “truth” that is embodied in fiction. I sunk into an inner monologue – also known as “talking to yourself” – about what I believe more and more deeply the more I write: the themes and motifs of fantasy and science fiction capture “truth” in ways that realistic fiction does not. Time travel? We’ve all done it – walk into your parents’ home and you’re twelve, or sixteen, again. Parallel universes? No doubt – we “wake up” in a life we didn’t plan, don’t understand, and have to sort out. Vampires? Oh yes - we know those who seem to need to suck life from others. Aliens? Most definitely – how often have you looked at someone in your life, or at yourself, and thought, “you must be from another planet”?
I’ve written about all that before and probably will again. After the online chat, I chatted in real-space-time with my love, a person who doesn’t read much, and doesn’t spend much time immersed in philosophy. I told him I was seeking a “brand” that could capture this twist on fact versus fiction, truth versus lies. He also knows that, above all, I want readers to laugh.
Finally, after listening patiently, he said: “Fiction: the other white lie.”
I like it. It made me laugh, and it made me think. So who knows? Maybe you’ll see it on my website as I get ready to launch the book. Oh, my goodness… I’m launching a book! Talk about fantasy coming to life…
An Alien’s Guide to World Domination available from Champagne/BURST Books starting April 1, 2013.Elizabeth Fountain, Author (Facebook page)