Author photos taken by Robert Abrams in Paris, France.

THE STORY BEHIND THE STORY - Rebecca Buckley's Blog
Welcome to my blog. Here I'll talk about almost anything. Depends on the mood of the day. I'll also talk about publishing, writing techniques, and editing ... subjects close to my heart. So today, anytime you feel like it, feel free to jump in ... click on the COMMENTS link at the end of a post and give your opinion. If you sign in "anonymous" to comment, it's easier, just be sure you say who you are in the content of your comment.

Thursday, July 22, 2010


Hiring a publicist or a publicity agent depends on your wallet, of course.  Your options are to hire one for a certain length of time or per project. John Kremer (1001 Ways to Market Your Book) who also teaches at IBPA Unniversity - excellent workshops, by the way - has an A to Z Listing of Book Publicists on his website ... , making it easier for you to find a publicist. 

However, if your wallet is empty, you can still benefit from publicity you can create. It's imperative you contribute to making yourself and your book known to the public, for no matter how clever and or how good your book is, if you don't make a personal effort to spread the word, too, the book sales will be scant.  And if the book doesn't sell or the numbers are low, the next time you write one and seek a publisher ... well ... one of the first things an editor/publisher does is check out your Internet presence and check the numbers on sales of your previous books through distributors.  Need I say more?  

So, FIRST, after you create your website and join Facebook and Twitter, create a MEDIA KIT to add to your website.   The Media Kit page will have links to:

1. press releases
2. high resolution (dpi) author photos - color and black & white
3. your bio
4. samples of your writing
5. Q & A list for author
6. list of author's articles
7. appearance schedule 

SECOND create your own Media List - newspapers, magazines, TV, radio, etc (be creative).  This will begin with media contacts in your town, then your county, then into further regions.   Other towns you've lived in.  Friends and relatives' towns.  Again, be creative.  And remember this is part of an all out effort to build your base.   Subcribe to Internet media list sources ... they are more up to date than books that have been published with sources.   Be sure you have the contact person's company name, his name and title, address, email address, and phone number. 

THIRD send out a press release to those on your list.  A PRESS RELEASE should be informative, but at the same time attention grabbing enough to get a response.  This may be your only contact with that person, however it would be in your best interest to follow up with a phone call a couple days after you send the PR.

Format for a press release:

1. one page
2. no letterhead or graphics
3. upper left corner write FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
4. first line, upper right FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT under which you will give your name, phone number, email address.  All upper right.
5. start the body of the release with a catchy headline ... just like the first line of your book it's designed to make the reader keep reading.   If the headline doesn't grab your readers attention, he won't keep reading.

In Frishman & Spizman's AUTHOR 101 Bestselling book Publicity they suggest grabbing the media's attention by linking your headlines to: MONEY, SEX, HEALTH, CONTROVERSY.   The four subjects that are guaranteed to grab a reporter's interest.  Right? 

They also agree that you write your release in 3 parts:

1. introduce your book
2. give your credentials
3. make your request

Okay ... so that's the beginning of starting your own publicity campaign. 

To reiterate:
Create your author's website
Join Facebook and Twitter
Create a Media Kit page on your website
Create a Media List
Send out Press Releases


Wednesday, July 21, 2010


Those of you who are included as one of my "friends" on Facebook or a "follower" on Twitter know how much I am captivated by the writing of Stieg Larsson.  The characters this man has written just leap off the pages as you become more and more engrossed and drawn into the story and plot of each novel in his Millennium Trilogy. 

1.  The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
2.  The Girl Who Played with Fire
3.  The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest

From the get-go Larsson's female protagonist Lisbeth Salander is mesmerizing in a most unusual sense.  She isn't like any other protagonist you'll find in thrillers and murder mysteries.  She is beyond unique as you'll discover when you read the novels.  And I do recommend you read them as soon as you can get your hands on them.  They're in ebook form, too.  Paperback, hardcover, and ebook.  Your choice.  They've been heading up all the best-selling lists for weeks now. 

The sad part of it all is that Mr. Larsson died before the novels were published.  He had a heart attack at age 50. When you read his history and his books you'll understand why some say his death wasn't a natural one ... that it was foul play.  But his long-time live-in lover, in interviews (you can see them on U-tube), says his death was by heart attack.  But she does say that for the last two years before he died he'd had numerous death threats, and they lived in constant fear.

Again ... these books are well-worth reading.  It is writing as it should be.  We all can learn from writers of his caliber. 

Jack Whyte comes to mind when I talk about the high caliber writers ... he's another great one!   His 9 novels in The Arthurian Saga as well as The Templars Trilogy are superb!    I'll devote a later post entirely to him ... such a wonderful writer! 

And now I'm reading David Morrell ... his SCAVENGER is incredible, a cleverly-written thriller that is a must read, too.  He's written over 30 books and is still going strong at it; is also the co-founder of the International Thriller Writers Association, or better known as ThrillerFest. 

All three of these men show prime examples of outstanding writing technique and unique voices.  They're all best-selling authors and we can certainly follow their lead by taking heed.

Mustn't forget KEN FOLLETT!  Hell no!   More on him later, too.

But next, I'm going to talk about some of my favorite FEMALE writers ... so watch for that post soon ...

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


What is this listlessness and wasting of time I'm experiencing the past couple days?   It isn't like me.  I'm usually writing or editing, designing bookcovers, Internet marketing, updating web sites or reading fabulous books from my library.  Am I on burn-out?   Should I just shut down and let it run its course?  But I feel so guilty doing nothing.

The dictionary's definition of listlessness is "Lacking energy or disinclined to exert effort; lethargic."  Miriam Webster sez "Lethargic" is sluggish.  Is also termed as fatigue.   Maybe it's mental fatigue.  That I could believe. 

But I don't know what is exactly occurring with me ... I'm wandering around the house and garden with no purpose, doing a little here and a little there, accomplishing nothing of any consequence. 

Am I bored?  I'm not depressed, I do know that.  No depression, no emotions on my sleeve, no doldrums, no tears. 

I really don't think I'm bored.  I've plenty to occupy myself and my mind, have all my stuff around me ... cats to love, books to read, computer to use, TV and music, piano to play, karaoke machine to test the lack of my singing ability, car to drive wherever I want ... so what the hell?  What is the problem? 

Any suggestions?

Friday, July 9, 2010


A question to ponder.  Who needs family and friends?   

I recall as I was going through the elementary grades and then the secondary school years that family was important.  Not only immediate family, but the extended family.  Friends were important, too.  Close friends as well as those not so close - acquaintances.  Family and friends helped form my attitudes and dreams, actually.  Whether they realize it or not, my sisters helped influence the path I took, for one reason or another.  It's all their fault.  ha ha

Seriously though, my father was very influential in my life, eventhough we went at it over "boys" and dating.  But aside from that, I heard what he said, I watched his way of interfacing with friends and family, his perception of the world around him, with his fellow workers and bosses, his church.  He had a gentle way of dealing with people ... except during my desire to date when I was a teenager ... that totally drew him into a different realm of action.  Took him outside himself.  But as I made it past the teen years and into the young adult years, marriage and children - whichever came first - and all that followed, including and regardless of heartbreak and tragedies, in later years he eventually became my confidant, the one I went to for advice. 

My mother was fun, daddy was more serious.  Mother was artistic and talented, moreso than we ever knew.  Mother was of the old school, stayed in Daddy's shadow mostly.  But once in a while she'd step out of it and would let everyone know just what was what.   I smile when I think of those times.  She was a pistol! I see why daddy was attracted to her at the beginning.  I bet all 98 lbs of her was like holding a lit stick of dynamite during their young years.  But as she began having children and dealt with the stress of married life, her health deteriorated. Mother was easy to talk to.  She was never judgemental, but she was forthright and had an opinion about everything. And she was usually right after all was said and done.  She had an uncanny sense of any situation, even in her last years. 

I didn't start appreciating my parents till later in my life.   And it almost came too late.   Thank God, I realized how important they were to me when I did and was able to convey that to them.   Of course it was easier to focus on them then because my children were grown and my husbands were gone.  When we are raising our own families and have spouses we tend to forget about our parents and their needs, or ignore them, becoming caught up in our own situations. 

What has provoked these thoughts in me today is the uncanny closeness between my sister Martha and her married children.  They all have an unbelievable connection to one another.  Right on down to the grandchildren.  Martha had six children with Len, her husband.   He now has Parkinson's and Martha is under threat of more mini-strokes, she's had two.  They are both in their 60s.  But the connection with their offspring isn't because of their health issues, it has been there since day one. 

Martha and Len have always put their children first.  I remember thinking that they did too much for their kids.  Used to say to Martha that she should let them fend for themselves after they left the nest.  Martha would agree and then just turn around and do more for them.  That's the way it always was.  Now her kids have their own children.  Now the kids are doing for Martha and Len.  And it goes beyond that, the closeness between them is incredible.  The good feelings they have for one another.  I see it almost every day on Facebook ... yes, they communicate on Facebook.  And the fun they have with each other on Facebook, is unprecedented.  Their family interaction could easily be a popular reality show.  ha ha

There is ML, oldest daughter in her 40s, an absolutely beautiful housewife, I mean movie star beautiful - who suffered a head injury when a garbage truck didn't see her and dropped it's mechanical arms on her head, she's tiny, was next to the trash barrel.  Caused her to lose some of her ability to process, has memory loss, gets confused, has headaches.  But she has raised four beautiful children in spite of it.  Her husband C is a contractor.

There is A, in his 40s, a sweetheart of a guy, didn't progress past the age of 10, although has savant talents and is able to drive.  He's on medication to curb a violent streak and lives at home with Martha and Len. 

There is G, in her 40s, married to a contractor/musician.  Another beauty of great proportions, and a chip off her mother's block.  She and R have three children ... built their own lakeshore home and have a good life near the Pacific.  G. runs her hubby's construction office.  (I can imagine the men's reaction to the voluptuous, blond, blue-eyed G. when they enter the office the first time.) 

There is J, in his 40s, married to D, with two boys.  J has been active in the military and in private security service to his country his entire adult life.  And although he's in secret forces, he finds time to love his wife and children to the hilt. 

Then there is P, in his 40s, married to lovely M, have three children.  He's in medical real estate in Texas.  Another happy family.

Last is L, the youngest of the tribe. Is a cross between ML and G.  She is single after having a horrible abusive marriage, has two children, is a banker and lives with Martha and Len. 

Sooooooooooooo ... all kinds, all sorts.   And they're all A-1 in my book. 

And in answer to the question ... yes, we all need family! And if we're lucky enough to have close friends, all the better!

By the way, Martha and Len have been on a road trip since last month, spending a week with each of the four kids who live elsewhere.  They're having a ball!