Wednesday 14 January 2015

Blog Shout Out - Chris Jane Book Blog

For this week's Blog Shout Out Chris Jane invites us to visit her book blog:

Click on image to buy from Amazon

My name is Chris Jane, and I'm the author of the novel The Year of Dan Palace, releasing Nov. 22.

Fiction is my niche. Blogging isn't. That is, I never developed a knack for writing the pithy, 300-word copy sure to attract followers and viral shares. I'm not "trendy." I created the website because I'm a writer with a book to sell. And when I write for the blog, admittedly, part of what motivates me is trying to sell/promote the book. But that's only part of it.

I'm not a known person, as anyone reading this knows. And there are a lot of not-known people out there who I think are fantastic at what they do, whether it's writing fiction, poetry, or just being good examples of human beings. This is a fame-and-looks obsessed society. (For an example of looks-obsessed, look no further than what happened to Alex of Target.)

It's also a society that, for whatever reason, flocks to and rewards mean-spiritedness. (For an example of this, look at the success of programs like Bridezillas, the Real Housewives franchise, and any other show that pits the participants against each other.)

My blog is new, but what I hope to do with it - in addition to writing about things that are personal to me but that relate to The Year of Dan Palace (you have to know it to write it, to some degree) - is introduce people who might not otherwise get the notice I think they deserve, or introduce lifestyles I'd like to understand better (I'm currently awaiting interview answers from a man involved in an open marriage).

For example, one of my most popular posts right now features an interview with an exceptional poet named K.C. Hanson who recently released a collection called The Lazarus Project. It's only 50 pages, but it's packed with feeling - and it's relatable. I don't even necessarily like poetry (I don't dislike it, but I won't rush for it in the bookstore, either). But his collection, whose poems create stories for old photographs found in antique stores, is truly wonderfully written. Anyway, he was published with a small MN press, and small presses don't have the bankroll to do a lot of promotion. So, even though unknown, myself, and maybe not much help, I like to do what I can to try.

I'd like Q&As, my preferred kind of post, to be a pretty regular feature. I enjoy learning about other people and giving them an opportunity to talk about what they love. But I also think it's important to get a little intimate with readers, myself, and reveal some of the experiences that influence whatever writing I'm working on.

A recent post discusses anxiety and panic attacks, which plague a large percentage of adults. But I tried to do it in a way that sees their value. (Believe it or not, I did find value in them ... eventually.) I know a lot of people with anxiety issues, a few who are taking drugs for panic attacks, and sometimes simply talking about things like that, normalizing them, makes them easier for others to deal with.

None of this sounds very exciting, but like I said, I'm not trendy. I'm not delivering Chicken Soup for the Soul, venom, puppies, or targets of potential ire. Just regular, real conversation. And a limerick now and then.

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