Thursday, September 20, 2007

Blogging About Chatting

My website ( is hosted by NovelTalk also does all sorts of other great promotion for me, and one of the items is to invite me to chat on their site when I have a book coming out.

That’s why I chatted last evening, at 6 PM California time, 9 PM Eastern.

This kind of chat is silent, except for the clicking of the keyboards--and my occasional chuckle, such as when people started punning about pet lawyers. It’s hosted by at least one of the really great NovelTalk people, which is a good thing because otherwise it would be hard to follow the multiple threads of conversation that result when people chat on line. The host asks the participants to be polite, to post a ? if they have a question and wait till they’re called on, in order, to ask it. That’s when I get the chance to leap in and tell them stuff they want to know--as long as it doesn’t give away something important in a book.

Some of the questions are standard kinds of things but fun--like, what made me start writing. Did I have a good answer? Not really--I started writing as a kid and never stopped.

Several questions revolved around whether people could pick up books in my Kendra Ballantyne, Pet-Sitter mystery series out of order and still know what was going on. That’s always my intent, and I give information in each to introduce Kendra, why she’s both a lawyer and a pet-sitter, and anything else that I think might help a reader understand what’s happened before--and, hopefully, want to learn what happens next!

I got to briefly describe the plot of THE FRIGHT OF THE IGUANA--which involves pet-napping and the murder of one of Kendra’s fellow pet-sitters.

One chatter seemed obsessed with toilets and TP. I attempted to answer her questions cleanly.

Other people wanted to know my favorite books and authors, my keepers, and what I’d like to write that I haven’t. (Which is nothing--I write everything that inspires me. Of course, that doesn’t mean that it all gets published!)

Then there were the emoticons that people attached to what they wrote. Some were regular smiley faces. Others included smiling heads that rolled about the page. As I said during the chat, they started to mesmerize me!

In any event, I had a good time, and I hopefully told some new readers enough about my Kendra Ballantyne series that they might pick up a book or five. (Yes, THE FRIGHT OF THE IGUANA, out in October, is the fifth in the series.)

So... I guess I’m done blogging about chatting, at least for now. Maybe my next Internet feat should be chatting about blogging!



Monica Ferris said...

I've done only a few of those on-line live chats and always come away breathless and feeling like my fingers are smoking! It's fun but very strenuous. I wonder how much good they do? I know they stir people up, though they remain polite, at least on the ones I've done. I'll have to look into doing another one, just reading about the one you did gets me breathing fast. LOL

Camille Minichino said...

Same here, Linda. Some of the ones I did in the "early days" were hard to manage -- I'd start to answer a question, and someone would interrupt with another question or comment and the typing would stop, i.e., I'd be typing but it wouldn't come on the screen until later. Like having lip-sync problems. Very unnerving.
I think the technology is much better now, and I'm glad you had a good time.

Kathryn Lilley said...

Sounds interesting, Linda! I don't have any experience with "live" chatting, but would love to learn!

lisa said...

Gosh, I wish I had known - that would have been fun. I am excited to hear another Kendra book is coming out soon - I love books with dogs in them, and yours are some of the best.

Linda O. Johnston said...

Chatting can definitely play havoc with one's concentration, but on the whole I find it fun!

And thanks, Lisa. I certainly have a great time writing Kendra's stories. The Fright of the Iguana has some interesting dog characters including Lexie, of course--and the next Kendra book will be Double Dog Dare!