Welcome Eleanor Parker to the Celebration of Bloggers Tour

I am so pleased to welcome my friend Eleanor Parker (“Ellie”) to the Celebration of Bloggers Tour. You probably have not heard of Ellie yet but, trust me on this, you will. Once her historical fiction novel A Decent Woman is released to the world, she will be a household name. 

If you read my blog post introducing the Celebration of Bloggers Tour, you know that before I became an author, I blogged my personal experiences anonymously. This is how I met Ellie in 2008.  Despite an age difference that she seems to think is 30 years but is really somewhere between 15 and 20, we really related to each other, mostly in terms of dating experiences. I gave my suitors nicknames whereas if I recall, Ellie used first initials. In any event, we shared many of the same highs and lows as well as lots of laughs. I don’t write that dating blog anymore but I’m so glad that Ellie and I reconnected on Facebook. I follow her new blog, The Writing Life and am pleased to confirm that it is equally as entertaining as her previous one. The Writing Life chronicles Ellie’s journey to becoming a published author but it still includes humorous and touching anecdotes from her life. If A Decent Woman shares the same heart as Ellie’s blogs, I’m sure it will resonate with many women. Please take a minute and explore The Writing Life as well as Ellie’s post below:    

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In 2007, my son suggested I write a blog. Write a what? I immediately thought blogging was a style of dance like clogging or maybe it was a new way to meet people as I was a newly divorced 50-year old woman. Since I’d journaled long-hand a la Julia Cameron for decades, my son thought I would like it and in the process, give my writing hand a break. Son, you were right. I took to blogging like a duck to water. I bought a bright red laptop and entered a strange and magical place.

In my first blog profile, I joked that I blogged because I had a lot to say and my adult children were tired of listening to me and would no longer answer my calls. My beautiful children had graduated from college, moved out and found great jobs which made me happy, but I also knew that they wanted me to find a life and start writing again. Blogging became my new hobby and before I knew it, became my new addiction.

Soon, I made cyber friends by reading and commenting on blogs and grew a blog readership which is how I met Meri from New York City. Despite our 30-year age difference, Meri and I had something in common—dating.  My niche was dating in your 50’s and the funny stuff that happens along the way. Believe me, funny stuff ensued. I loved writing anonymously about my dates which was very therapeutic, actually. I soon discovered that dating at any age had not changed all that much–men were still from Mars and women were still from Venus.

I blogged about my dating adventures and misadventures for three years until I grew tired of dating, false starts and 60-year old men who were still finding themselves. By that time, I’d met four blogger friends in person who are still dear friends to this day, but I was listless and bored. It was time for a change. I decided to focus on moving West, buying a house and I started writing a chick lit book entitled The Prime of Ms. Ellie Parker. Believe me, I had plenty of material. However, my first novel-length manuscript, A Decent Woman, kept nudging me. I’d finished the historical fiction novel set in Puerto Rico in the 1900’s in 2006, but with divorce, working, kids heading to college and a trans-Atlantic move, I’d shoved the manuscript into a packing box and forgotten about it.

I moved into my new/old house in 2010 and when I unpacked my manuscript, I knew what I had to do. Instead of continuing with the chick lit book aka autobiography, I finished editing, A Decent Woman, which as we speak, is in the hands of a NYC agent and a small press publisher. (Prayers are welcome.) No more blogging, I thought. It was time to focus on finding an agent and publishing my first book. I queried agents every day and while waiting for the Golden Ticket and wondering if I could repaper my bathroom with rejection letters, I discovered author blogs—a brand new adventure in writing and blogging for me. Every writer and author had one, so I jumped on the bandwagon. I decided to call my new blog, The Writing Life, which would encompass my life as a writer.

Although at times my musings on life, gardening, adult children, and restoring a 107-year old house creep into my author blog, I write about the writing life as I see and experience it. What I don’t include in my author blog is my dating life. I have more material than one adult woman should have and then, some. Amen.

I still have a lot to say and have been known to exclaim, “Hey, I wrote a blog about that!” Friends will playfully roll their eyes and tolerate me and for the most part, friends, cyber friends, and family who follow my blogs, keep up with me which I very much appreciate.

Blogging is a great creative outlet and author blogs are wonderful marketing tools. I see blogging in my future as I continue to connect with readers, writers and bloggers from around the world. I am a work-in-progress and my new writer website is under construction. You’re never too old to learn, folks.

Coming August 28th: Blogger Girl

What happens when your high school nemesis becomes the shining star in a universe you pretty much saved? Book blogger Kimberly Long is about to find out.

A chick lit enthusiast since the first time she read Bridget Jones’s Diary, Kim, with her blog, “Pastel is the New Black,” has worked tirelessly by night to keep the genre alive, and help squash the claim that “chick lit is dead” once and for all. Not bad for a woman who by day ekes out a meager living as a pretty, and pretty-much-nameless, legal secretary in a Manhattan law firm.

While Kim’s day job holds no passion for her, the handsome (and shaving challenged) associate down the hall is another story. Yet another story is that Hannah Marshak, one of her most hated high school classmates, has now popped onto the chick lit scene with a hot new book that’s turning heads–and pages–across the land. It’s also popped into Kim’s inbox–for review. With their ten-year high school reunion drawing near, Kim’s coming close to combustion over the hype about Hannah’s book. And as everyone around her seems to be moving on and up, she begins to question whether being a “blogger girl” makes the grade in her off-line life.

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Celebration of Bloggers/Blurb of Blogger Girl

Before writing books was even a blip on my radar, I was a blogger.  I blogged about everything from my friendships, to my family, to my BFF from high school who turned out to be a pretty horrible friend, to the effects of PMS on my personality, to unrequited crushes, to romantic relationships – especially romantic relationships.  I often surprised myself by how honest and open I was, even when it left me feeling very vulnerable or didn’t paint me in the best light.  I loved it.  There is something about putting all of your deepest thoughts in writing that is extremely cathartic.  While I was blogging, I became friendly with other bloggers across the globe, from Virginia, to Florida, to Kentucky to Belfast to Pittsburgh, to North Carolina to Australia and everywhere in between.  These “virtual” friends became as important to me as my off-line friends and I felt a stake in their lives just as they felt one in mine.  In many cases, these people knew more about me than the people I saw on a weekly basis.  After my first novel came out, I became less comfortable putting myself out there to such an intimate degree but I still keep in touch with some of these bloggers.  In fact, one has become a best “off line” friend and I’ve planned a vacation to visit her later this summer. 

Back when I was blogging personal experiences, I thought that was what “blogging” was – publishing an online personal diary.  At the time, I was not aware of book bloggers, beauty bloggers, mommy bloggers, fashion bloggers, food bloggers etc.  After Just Friends with Benefits came out and with my introduction to social media, I became very familiar with other types of bloggers, especially book bloggers.  Book bloggers have become a very important part of my publishing experience and some of them have become good friends of mine as well.  To take the influence of book bloggers on my life to a whole new level, they inspired the plot of my third soon-to-be-released novel, Blogger Girl.  Keep reading for the blurb of Blogger Girl, to be released in August, 2013.

To celebrate the launch of Blogger Girl, I have decided to celebrate blogging and bloggers in general beginning, July 16th.  Each day, I will host a different blogger on my website.   I have asked each blogger to either write a post about anything related to “blogging” or take part in an interview.  I have been the guest on a countless number of blogs over the past three years as an author and I think it’s time to turn the tables and give these amazing bloggers the spotlight.  So, stay tuned for guest posts from amazing bloggers like the following:  (I plan to continue the blogger celebration well after the release of Blogger Girl and so if you’d like to be featured, please let know!) 

Samantha March, author and founder of Chick Lit Plus
Kelly Perotti, author and founder of mommy blog Crib Notes Kelly Isabella Louise Anderson, founder of Chick Lit Goddess
Marlene Roberts Engel, founder of Book Mama Blog
Francine LaSala – author and founder of Clippings in the Shed
Stephanie Territo, founder of Steph the Bookworm
Eleanor Parker, founder of The Writing Life
Melissa Amster, founder of Chick Lit Central and Merryland Girl Blog Laura Chapman, founder of Change the Word
Kaley Stewart, founder of Books Etc.
Ashley Williams, founder of The Book Fetish Blog
Samantha Stroh Bailey, author and blogger
Michelle Bell, founder of Michelle’s Book Nook
Julie Valerie, founder of Chick Lit Chit Chat

And now, without further ado, the blurb to Blogger Girl!

What happens when your high school nemesis becomes the shining star in a universe you pretty much saved? Book blogger Kimberly Long is about to find out.

A chick lit enthusiast since the first time she read Bridget Jones’s Diary, Kim, with her blog, “Pastel is the New Black,” has worked tirelessly by night to keep the genre alive, and help squash the claim that “chick lit is dead” once and for all. Not bad for a woman who by day ekes out a meager living as a pretty, and pretty-much-nameless, legal secretary in a Manhattan law firm.

While Kim’s day job holds no passion for her, the handsome (and shaving challenged) associate down the hall is another story. Yet another story is that Hannah Marshak, one of her most hated high school classmates, has now popped onto the chick lit scene with a hot new book that’s turning heads–and pages–across the land. And it’s also popped into Kim’s inbox–for review. With their ten-year high school reunion drawing near, Kim’s coming close to combustion over all the hype about Hannah’s book. And as everyone around her seems to be moving on and up, she begins to question whether being a “blogger girl” makes the grade in her off-line life.