What the heck is #SwoonWorthy?
Support the show (https://www.kristaharperwrites.com/newsletters)
Hey guys, this is indie author Krista Harper , and you're listening to the swoonworthy podcast. All right guys. So this is episode one, podcast number one for Swoon worthy. And let me just say that I have no idea what I'm doing, but seriously, I do not. Um, I decided to start this after much pressure from a lot of other people, especially other indie authors who were participating in the virtual book club. Um, aside from writing aside from the book club, I am also the art director of a , uh , digital literary magazine. My editor's been telling me to start this podcast and I am also wrapping up finally my , uh , MFA in creative writing and my freaking professor is also telling me to start this. So I decided to give in to the masses and go ahead and just dive right in. So let's start out by who exactly am I? Well, my name is Krista Harper. I currently live in Colorado and I am a indie romance author. I write in a variety of sub genres. Um, I've previously published in contemporary romance and I have recently been working on , uh, my master thesis, which has been a huge labor of love , um, which is a paranormal romance. And I've also been kind of playing around with some retellings of fairytales and also Greek mythology. So aside from my writing, I really don't do anything else. It sounds funny. Um, no, I mean, aside from my writing, I am reading all of the time and I really like to focus on independently published authors. I think that it is a fantastic group of individuals that have dedicated a lot of their time, a lot of money out of their own pockets and a lot of passion to just really do what they want and have a say in their careers. And I think it's pretty fantastic. So for a school project, actually, funny enough , um, we were told to, you know, create an author platform for ourselves and kind of, you know, it's always the same of like, you know, start a newsletter, start a website, start a blog, you know, really dive into social media, blah, blah, blah. And I was really struggling with that because I don't, I've never really participated in social media. I'm kind of an introvert. I get overwhelmed with just constant noise and you know, all of that just in your face every day. So I was listening to a lecture that was recorded from the amazing Jane Friedman , and she was saying that, you know, as authors, you don't have to do everything and you definitely don't have to do everything at once. And so really just take one kernel of something that interests you, whatever it is related to writing and just let it grow, see what happens. And so I decided to , um, start a virtual book club. And I know that that sounds kind of bizarre and like kind of a leap. But essentially what happened was, since I love reading and I love writing and I love indie authors, you know, kind of looking at everything back from the Oprah book club to , you know, Reese Witherspoon's book club and Jenna Bush Hager , um, you know, there's all these great platforms for really, really popular mainstream books by traditionally published authors. And I just feel as though being an Indie, we're just not given that level of opportunity. Um, it just kinda gets lost, you know, because you don't have this giant publishing house behind you. So I really wanted to start this book club, get to know other authors, read as much fantastic fiction as I could get my hands on and then put it out there and market it and promote it. And , uh, you know, I'm not any kind of agent, I'm obviously not a professional. Um, I just really wanted to create something that would help elevate the platform for independently passionate, you know, authors. So this is it. And that's what I'm doing. So the book club, the Swoon worthy virtual book club essentially was started on Instagram about maybe three, four months ago. And , uh, like July, 2019. So I met a couple of other authors online and, you know, everybody's trading books and talking about different craft elements and you know, other aspects of, of writing and, you know, their favorite genres and tropes to avoid and, you know, things like that. And , um, I just got this, you know, I idea to just put it out there on Instagram, you know, like I said, I , I decided to start this book club and then I didn't really know where or how or anything else. And , um, I wanted to reach a wider audience than just, you know, in my own little neighborhood and my own little community in Colorado. So that is the one beautiful thing about the internet, about social media, you know , um, that you can reach out to people super far away, super, you know, great distances and really still be able to connect with them. So , uh, I met a gal that was in Connecticut. Um, my cohost actually , uh, Kristen , she is my , uh, Kristen Morgen. She is my cohost for the Instagram live when we discussed the books. And she is amazing. I absolutely love her and literally I just DMD her and was like, you're bubbly and outgoing and would you like to do this project with me? So thankfully she said yes and it's been fantastic. So , uh, we essentially get , uh , you know, kinda like query submissions from authors. They submit a book title, book blurb and the first chapter for us to review. And we, you know, we scour through all of these. It's just the two of us. Um, and I do a lot of it myself , uh, because I'm just kind of controlling like that, I guess. No, really. Um , Kristen has a full time , uh, architecture firm and so I kind of go through things first and, and toss out what I think just is not going to work or, you know, isn't very professional and , um, kind of save her from that slush pile , uh, and then, you know, but send on the really good stuff to her. So we get tons and tons of submissions and then we, we do tons of, you know, word of mouth, talking with other people. Um, and we're constantly, you know, just digging through Amazon, Kindle unlimited , uh , good reads. And we have had so much, you know, excitement about the book club and so much interaction and so many submissions. Um, I, our book last month for September , um, our author, MF Roland , Mary , uh , she wrote trapped by fate. You know, she's in Chile. Um, we've had participation from readers in Australia and New Zealand, Bangladesh. Uh , it's been fantastic. South Africa, you know, and you think like, Oh, I'm just going to start this book club and obviously I can't have all these people at my house. We'll do it online. And it's just been amazing to see, you know, far and wide, just so many different people coming together , um, you know, and supporting each other. And , uh, so the beginning of the month we pick a book , um , like, you know, it's the beginning of October. We picked our book yesterday , um, for the month of October. It was a paranormal romance. Um, we're reading pyro, pyro, burning bright by Mary Stone. It is a fantastic book , uh , about a bear shifter and this crazy pyromaniac that , uh, we don't really know the full story to yet. Uh , only seven chapters in. Um, and usually we do a author interview and then we do a live, you know, book club chat where people can send in questions and talk and usually the authors there. And , uh , Kristen and I kind of, you know, go over what we'd loved, what we kinda struggled with , um, you know, character development and all those different things and it's, it's pretty amazing, you know, so , um, to kind of roll into this podcast then, that was, I was feeling kind of overwhelmed as far as, you know, do I put this on a blog or, you know, I'm recording this on Instagram and I don't want to do YouTube, but do I do a podcast? And, you know, like I said, I , I keep getting told to do these different things and so I'm just trying to go with it and, and see what kind of becomes of it. Um, so, so yeah, you know, anybody can participate in the book club. Um, you can go to my website , uh, www. kristaharperwrites .com and click on Swoon worthy to find out more details. Subscribe to the newsletter where we talk about , um, you know, the book selection, a lot of runners up. Um, we kind of do a theme each month. We've got a bunch of other , uh , really great paranormals for the month of October, a fantasy romance since, you know, it's this spooky holiday Halloween time of year. And , uh, yeah, so you can go there, find out more information, submit, let people know that our writers how to submit. Um, and then , uh, later in the month we do a author interview, like I said, which I'm hoping to add to the podcast. Um, so that way it's a little easier to have everything in one place. And then the end of the month, as I said, we do the, you know, live chat. So, so that's kind of everything broken down into bits and pieces. Hopefully that made sense. And I think that that's it. That's the end of our show tonight. I hope that you enjoyed it. I hope that you got all the information so that way you will tune in again. And I hope you have a great night.Speaker 2: