I swore I would never Tweet. Actually, I doubted I was mentally capable of mastering this new weird art form.
A few years ago, I tried. I set up an account and tried to figure out what to do with it. Who would I Tweet to? What wonders of the modern world would reach me via Twitter? How many zillion books would I sell with my brilliant twiddling and twaddling?
For about fifteen minutes, I clicked on things and got nowhere. Frustrated, I quit.
Recently, I’ve been reissuing some of my beloved older books, including Regencies and mysteries, in digital editions. (Quick sales pitch: On my website, www.jacquelinediamond.com, they’re all listed on the right side of the Books page, with links. Some as low as 99 cents.)
Now the hard work: publicity. A friend of mine, legal thriller author Rebecca Forster, insisted I learn to Twitter. I cried, moaned and threw a tantrum, but it was no use. She stood firm.
This is just a theory, but either someone improved Twitter or my brain has become magically attuned to the digital age. I figured out what to do in about five minutes. Well, it took me a day or so to find Rebecca. She had a little trouble finding me too, but we finally got our acts together and now we chirp at each other regularly.
Next issue: how to write messages in 140 letters and spaces or less. Fortunately, I had experience that made Twitter look verbose.
During my newspaper days, I not only reported but also did some editing in an age when there were still street editions with screaming headlines. One day, I was working on a copy desk and got handed a story about a Las Vegas brothel persuading the IRS to treat its payments to prostitutes as a business expense.
The headline requirement: three lines, each no more than 10 letters and spaces. Here’s what I wrote:
The editor liked it. He came out and praised my 20-something-year-old self. I remember it clearly 30-plus years later.
And so, this past month, I began singing with the birdies. My handle, in case you’re wondering, is @Jacquediamond. I post writing tips, news about writing and publishing, and stuff about my books. If you Tweet me, I’ll Tweet you back.
Thanks, Rebecca, for pushing me out of the nest.