Saturday, October 01, 2011

Me among the birdies

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,, 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:

Wages of

Sin Said


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.


Pamela Stone said...

My twitter experience has been very similar. I've had the account for a couple years, but go months without even logging in. I took to FB relatively quick, but Twitter not so much.

It's not that I'm not techy, but my problem with all this social media is the time it can sap. I work long hours and like everyone else, have family responsiblities. So when I get free time, I want to write, not manage FB, Twitter, Goodreads, blogs...

I am trying to do better though.

Lee McKenzie said...

I'm still up in the air with Twitter. I confess to being quite new at it, but unlike Facebook I don't seem to get what Twitter's all about.

Still, for anyone who tweets and follows me, I will tweet and follow back. You'll find me at @LeeMcWrites.

linda s said...

before I can twitter, I think I need to learn to text. before I can text, I think I need a cell phone... lol I think you all are brave to tackle this new social media thingy.

Rebecca Forster said...

J- you were a pain. Like pulling teeth LOL. But so happy we are Tweeting together! We live too far away so this is the next best thing. Plus now everyone can enjoy your wonderful books!

Linda, I've never texted either. Come on, be a Tweeple! Lee will follow and Pamela, you speak the truth. Who writes anymore.

Thanks for the mention. Follow me at @rebecca_forster. You think I'd forget that :)

Linda Warren said...

I don't understand Twitter either, but I followed you. Hope we know where we're going. LOL