Monday, July 19, 2010

My Website - A Thriller in Three Acts

My website, MagdalenBraden.com goes live today.  This is terrifying for all sorts of reasons.  First, that's my name -- people can search for my name and this site will come up first.  I need to be really comfortable with what people will find there.  (Better hide the photos from clown college, hunh?)

Second, this is branding.  I want people to go to my site and leave thinking, "I might like one of her books."  They wouldn't have to guess too much -- the first chapter of Love in Reality, my WIP, is there for people to read, plus back-cover-style blurbs for its three sequels.  After someone has read all of that, they'll have a much better idea if they want to read a full-length Magdalen Braden novel.

Finally, this is personal.  It's the great irony of writing: what we create in private in our heads suddenly is made real and shown to the world.  A site with my name on it isn't everything there is to know about me, but it's a self-portrait of sorts.  I'm not worried about the person who sends me hateful feedback; I'm worried about the person who wrinkles her nose, "Mmm, I don't think so."

Quiet condemnation.  That's what I fear.  But not as much as I fear doing nothing.

So.  It's live.  Go visit!

7 comments:

  1. Janet W ... serene, tempting, informative ... makes me want to stalk agents so that I can have the joy of walking into a bookstore and BUYING your first book!

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  2. Yay! Congratulations on getting your website up and running. You are so organised.

    An author website needs to be easy to navigate and reflect the writer it represents. You've done a great job of combining the two.

    Now you're all set to go to RWA and start pitching your book!

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  3. I'd like to be able to read the rest of Love in Reality.

    I'm not so keen on the flowers at the top of the pages, though. Maybe it's because I've been reading up on flower symbolism, but to me they feel somewhat sexually suggestive and romantic in a slightly eerie way, like the Victorian obsession with dead women in art. I suspect that there aren't many people who'd feel the same way about them, however, so you're probably better off ignoring my opinion on this.

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  4. Thanks, Victoria -- BTW, I hope to meet you in Orlando! (It seems crazy, seeing as how we live/work about 150 miles apart from each other, that we would meet 1,300 miles away. But that's life, I guess.)

    Thanks, Janet. What a lovely compliment. When I need a designated stalker, I'll know whom to ask. LOL

    Ah, Sarah -- organized? No, not me. Just treading water as fast as I can. But I'm awfully glad you like it.

    Laura -- Your comment really makes me smile. Those are my wedding flowers, although I tinkered with the contrast so it would look softer. I may need to change it over to a photos of our specimen lilacs before long, just to keep from boring myself.

    Now -- if I had put a weeping willow image at the top, I would completely agree with you about the Victorian imagery of death & mourning. Or, worse yet, one of those truly creepy wreathes made entirely of flowers fashioned from human hair! (My point being, the Victorians weren't subtle about the imagery for their obsession with the dead. If the weeping willow didn't get the point across, there would often be a female figure bent over with grief -- and even a headstone under the willow withes.)

    But to be more serious -- I like the clean imagery of the single red rose here at Promantica. I don't expect people to visit the website as often, though, so the fact that an entire bouquet is featured doesn't bother me. It was just meant to continue the iconography of the rose...

    If you want to be a beta reader for Love in Reality, just send me an email (there's a "contact me" page) and I'd be happy to send it to you in .pdf or .doc format.

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  5. I'm glad I made you smile! It was the way the close-up brings into focus the opening, flesh-coloured buds and contrasts them with the darker background above (on the left) and to the right that made me think of the Victorians, who often seemed to associate sexuality with death. I've been reading things like this recently:

    Conflations of human and floral sexuality were as common in the visual arts as King has demonstrated them to be in literature. For example, John William Waterhouse maintained a "longstanding association of women with the beauty, simplicity and decay of flowers" which was conveyed in a recurring motif of flower-women, as Peter Trippi has observed. (Bradstreet)

    I'm not sure I'd be a very helpful beta reader. As these comments demonstrate, I'm rather prone to finding symbolism all over the place, but I'm not sure if beta readers are supposed to comment on that kind of thing.

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  6. Ah, well, if it's the conflation of female sexuality and flowers (an association that surely must predate the Victorians; we know it survived them, cf. Georgia O'Keeffe), that's symbolism I can live with. LOL

    Beta readers are supposed to comment on anything that catches their attention. From talking to people who have gone through this stage, I'm told one gets value from everyone's perspective, and when everyone has a different mindset, one gets that much more value. The only thing I've asked for is that people tell me what they liked and disliked (or what worked & what didn't work -- however they choose to perceive that dialectic).

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