When I signed a contract for my debut book, I didn’t realize how much interaction was required on Facebook and other avenues. I learned how social media plays such an essential role in marketing a new author.
Affinity encouraged me to write a free short story – I wrote several. Two were immediately posted on the Affinity site and the others were held back since they were follow-up stories to my debut, Love Forever, Live Forever. This was my first taste of the tease.
Since those first few months of establishing a Facebook page, writing blogs, and participating in author grills and spotlights, I found a perverse pleasure with putting out these little teasers. I got the idea from fellow author JL Gaynor. She posted a blurb on her current work in progress and I was hooked. I promptly looked her up and bought the first book in the series. I’ve been a fan ever since.
I joined every lesbian readers and writers group I could find and discovered a side benefit – I was introduced to many new authors and a wider variety of wonderful books.
One group that I joined became my fun group and to this day I keep that group separate from the other reading and writing groups. Sure they know I’m a part-time lesbian fiction writer, but I stay completely away from any marketing. I’ve learned a few surprising tidbits from this group. See the TMI blog on the pineapple experiment.
One of the most recent learnings from this group is a term called edging. I had to ask what that was. I know stop laughing for all of you out there that are familiar with this term. It got me to thinking that this is exactly what I do with all my teasers. I get people all riled up and then make them wait for the big reveal. About a week before Locked Inside came out, I started posting little teasers. It was so much fun to do this. Now I’ve already started posting teasers of a draft called Juliet the Spy that I’m not even sure will get published.
I think I need help because I’ve developed a wicked desire to send out teasers for everything. It’s a brand new addiction.
I haven’t stopped at posted teasers. Instead I’ve graduated to recorded audio teasers. Next thing you know I’ll be videotaping me acting out the scenes in my books. Do I have any volunteers who want to help?
It’s not my fault that I’ve developed this addiction because several of my Facebook friends and readers keep urging me on – dang enablers, the whole lot of you.
So…ahhhhh….here’s a teaser for Locked Inside…
Fall of 2008
Awareness came slowly to me as the blanket of fog that smothered all signs of intelligence rolled back. I imagined an intricate spider web in my head tangled with fine silk strands as Wonder Woman slices through them like an adventurer hacking through a jungle.
I was still confused about where I was when I heard giggling. At first, I thought my sisters were invading my sacred space.
“Shhh, come in here and tell me every little detail,” a girl’s voice said.
“I don’t think we should be in here, Tammie. We’re supposed to be doing our volunteer hours, not screwing around in a resident’s room,” a different voice huffed.
I opened my eyes and a fuzzy picture began to emerge. Two strange teenage girls were huddled in the corner of a foreign room with sterile white walls. I wasn’t in my bedroom at home and I began to panic.
It’s probably hard for people to truly appreciate the terror that I experienced at this particular moment in my life. I had no idea where I was, who these strangers were, or what had happened to me. I would later discover that I’d forfeited six years of my life while hovering in a semi-comatose state. They never did figure out the origin of the illness or why I went into a coma and by the time I showed any awareness six years had passed and my family had accepted the original prognosis that I would never recover.
The tall skinny one with red hair shrugged, “Don’t be such a tight ass, Carly.” She pointed in my direction and giggled. “She’ll never tell.”
“That’s just mean.”
“What? She’s a vegetable, but right now she’s kinda creeping me out. Look, her eyes are open and it’s almost like she’s listening to every word we say,” the redhead blurted out.
The other one looked at me and frowned. “I think we’re upsetting her. She’s breathing really heavy now and I think she can hear us. Something is wrong. She looks terrified.”
I was trying to move my head, my arms, my legs, anything, but none of my body parts would cooperate with me. I felt my breathing quicken and I desperately wanted to communicate with them. I wanted to know where I was and why I couldn’t talk or move.
“She does look kind of agitated, Carly. Maybe we should get your mom.”
They left the room and I tried to move my head. I managed to move a couple of inches as I took in my surroundings. I was able to shift my eyes from side to side as I noticed a TV mounted high on the wall in the center of the room and a single bed with a simple nightstand on my right. It looked like a typical hospital room, but I wasn’t positive. In my mind, I was still ten years old and my parents were nowhere to be found. I wanted my mom. I wanted reassurance that everything would be okay.
I heard the click click click of heels on the linoleum floor and watched as an attractive dark haired woman entered the room. She had a stethoscope draped around her neck and one of the teenagers followed her into the room. They had similar features and I wondered if she was the mom the redhead referred to earlier.
“I’m sorry, Mom, Tammie dragged me in here. I didn’t mean to upset her and she looked like she was trying to say something. Her breathing got kinda fast like she was having a panic attack or something,” the young woman confessed.
Well that answered that mystery for me. The young woman must have been the one the redhead, Tammie, called Carly. As each minute passed, I was becoming more aware of my surroundings and remembering little details like the names of the young girls.
“Carly, it’s not like you to get sucked into Tammie’s harebrained ideas. I taught you better than that. Belinda is a very special case, but I don’t think she actually heard you or that you upset her in any way. She’s been completely unresponsive for nearly six years. Unfortunately her illness caused severe brain damage.”
“I know she reacted to something,” Carly insisted.
“Okay, let me check her out.”
The woman grabbed her stethoscope and I felt her hands push aside my clothing as she placed the cold silver end on my chest. Her hands were gentle, but the stethoscope was cold and I must have had some small reaction—although it didn’t feel like any part of my body would obey.
“I’m sorry, Belinda, did you feel that?” she asked.
Carly stepped up to the bedside and I could feel her touch my hand.
I looked down at my curled up hand, which resembled some kind of deformed claw.
“My mom’s a doctor, she won’t hurt you,” Carly soothed.
Since I wasn’t able to move any part of my body but my eyes and my head in incremental movements, I concentrated all my energy on letting them know there was someone locked inside this useless body. I wasn’t a vegetable.
“Hmmm, in all the years I’ve looked in on Belinda, she’s never reacted like this. She does respond to certain stimuli. We’ve always been able to feed her as long as someone touches her lips first. This is new, though. Her heart rate does appear to be elevated and there is definite movement in her eyes. Perhaps she is reacting to your voice.”
Yes. It was a start. I had to find a way to communicate and let them know I was aware and present.
Ooohh I feel so much better now that I got that teaser out. Anyone interested in finding out what happens, feel free to get the book!
Link to Out of This World: Amazon
Links to Love Forever, Live Forever: