Saturday, August 16, 2014

Opportunities


Copyright © 2013 John Foxjohn
First Published by 1st Turning Point, 2010.
I just spent a little over a week in Florida—four days in Orlando at the National RWA (Romance Writers of America) conference where I had the great honor of presenting a class there.
Besides teaching a class at RWA National, I spent most of the time introducing myself to people I have known on the internet but never had the privilege of meeting.
I want to identify two of those people that I met.  They were Ann Charles and Wendy Delaney—both officers in 1st Turning Point.  Now understand, I didn’t get to talk to Ann that much.  Obviously, she was aglow, and rightfully so, with her big night of walking off with two huge awards.
I did talk to Wendy, though.  As far as I could tell, the only major thing wrong with her is she isn’t a Dallas Cowboy fan.  Oh well, not everyone can have good taste.  (Sorry, Wendy—had to put that one in there.)
As we talked about articles and things, they asked me what my next topic would be.  I didn’t even hesitate.  I said, “Opportunities.”
I know—it’s taken me a while to get to the subject.  What can I say?  I’m from Texas.
Several conversations I had with some published authors brought this subject to mind. The words were percolating in my mind when they asked me the question, but later, someone reinforced this subject to me even more.
Monday night, I was at my favorite place at conferences to meet people and talk—the bar at the conference hotel.  I was sitting at the table with several published authors.  Mind you, this was a couple of hours before the big party, so I had all my mental faculties.
As authors are apt to do, the group was complaining about things.  To my total astonishment, one complained about interviews that other writers asked her to do.
I was even more surprised when another author took up the cause.  She said that people hounded her at least once a month to do an interview for a blog, newsletter, or a site.  She didn’t think it was fair because it would sound bad if she didn’t do them.
Another one said that these people almost forced authors to do the interviews.  But when the one that started the conversation piped in that doing the interviews took away her time to promote, I almost died laughing.  There were eight of us at the table.  I reached into my right coat pocket where I keep my trusty magnets, took out several, and handed them to the authors.
I told them that my web site and e-mail address were on the magnet and the next time one of these people pestered them, simply direct the interviewer to me.  I would take care of it for them.
One of the authors thanked me.  She thought I was doing her a favor.
Another one gave me a fish-eyed look that said she didn’t believe for a minute that I was going to do this out of the kindness of my heart.  Pretty sharp woman, that one.
I do these online interviews all the time.  The longest one has ever taken me is thirty minutes.  To be honest with you, for the most part, most of the questions are the same.  I have a template on my computer now with answers to most of the questions.  All I have to do is cut and paste.  I can usually do one in five minutes.
So what good are they?  Writers see them.  Readers see them, and most writers are readers, too.  Not only do they see the answers, they see your name.  I have said this before, and I will say it again.  A huge part of self-promotion is branding your name.
Readers go to bookstores or search online for authors’ names.
If they know your name, they may search for you, or if they come across your books, and know your name, they may stop.
Besides all that, anyone will tell you that the absolutely best advertising is word of mouth.  It never hurts to spend five minutes to help someone out.  Heck, it’s an honor to have people ask you.
Hey, one of the reasons I have my high position with 1st Turning Point is because I did an interview.  I love doing this for 1st Turning Point, but it also helps me promote.
Friday night of the conference, I went to a big party at a friend’s room in the hotel, but I didn’t wear my nametag.  The place was packed and as it happened, I was the only male. Darn, I just hate it when that happens.
As I made my way to the wine table, one of the women looked at me and almost screamed, “Oh my God.  You’re John Foxjohn.”
Almost scared me to death, and I wasn’t sure if I wanted to confess to being that notorious person or not.  As it happens, besides being one of the few males at the conference—I hate that, too—I’m recognizable by my handcuffs. (Remember, if you actually read my articles on here, I mentioned my cuffs on my lapel.)
Anyway, she had been looking for me because a friend of hers had told her so much about me.  The friend couldn’t come to the conference, but as it turned out, I did a blog interview for her a couple of years ago, and she has gotten all her friends to read my books, too.
Word of mouth—can’t beat it.
So, if people have inundated you with these interview requests, my e-mail address is johnfoxjohn@yahoo.com.
I try not to miss opportunities, especially free ones.
By the way, I also told the ladies about 1st Turning Point and they wouldn’t want to miss my next article.  I hope they are reading.


John Foxjohn, the author of the best-selling true crime, Killer Nurse, epitomizes the phrase "been there--done that." Born and raised in the rural East Texas town of Nacogdoches, he quit high school and joined the Army at seventeen: Viet Nam veteran, Army Airborne Ranger, policeman and homicide detective, retired teacher and coach, now he is a multi-published author. 
Growing up, Foxjohn developed a love of reading that will never end. In fact, he refers to himself as a "readalcoholic." He began with the classics and still lists Huckleberry Finn as one of his all time favorites. Later, he discovered Louis L'Amour and besides owning every book he wrote, Foxjohn says he's read every one of them at least five times. 
However, when he was twelve, Foxjohn read a book about Crazy Horse, and decided right then he would also write one about the famous Lakota leader. After many "yondering" years as L'Amour called them, he spent ten years researching his historical fiction, Journey of the Spirit, now titled The People's Warrior. 
Maybe because of his eclectic reading habits John has not limited himself to publishing in one genre. In fact, he has published mysteries, romantic suspenses, historical fiction, legal thrillers, and nonfiction Killer Nurse. 
When he's not writing, teaching writing classes, or speaking to different writing groups and conferences, Foxjohn loves to spend time square dancing, working in his rose garden, or in his garage doing woodwork. However, his passion outside of family and writing is without a doubt, anything to do with the Dallas Cowboys. 

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