One reason I chose the time period of my grandmother’s life for my first novel (focus on 1897-1947) is the amount of rich fodder to draw upon and examine for an interesting historical fiction. Beyond the major world events of the period, take a moment to think of the advancements which occurred during that time across several industries. For example, when my other grandmother (Jean Hird Davidson Bonney) was born in 1898, the primary mode of transportation was horse and carriage, or trolley cars if you lived in a city. In 1969, at the age of 71, she watched, on a television no less, man walk on the moon. Think about it…
In similar fashion, the advancements in communication are tremendous. For my WIP, I am in the middle of 1912. I need a conversation to happen between two characters, one is in Philadelphia and one is in Boston. Very few homes at the time had phones, those which did, would have had a “candlestick” phone. The two piece, corded metal version of Alexander Graham Bell’s invention from the 1880’s.
Fast forward to today, 116 years later. Fewer and fewer homes have a hard-line telephone. We’ve replaced phones with text, tweets, posts, chats, images, pins and videos. Yet, the more things change, the more they stay the same. Here’s a line from my WIP circa 1912: “Miss Livingstone won’t install one (phone) at the boarding house, thinks it’ll be the downfall of womankind, giving women more time and ways to spread idle chatter and gossip“.
We’ve also moved our business communications to a reliance on the explosion of social media. I have spent my career in marketing and sales and have tried to stay current with the methods brands and products are using to communicate with their customer audiences. It is a daunting, full-time task. Now, as I plan ahead for a book publication, I have learned I need to get started with building my own brand and develop a following. This blog is my first step, but apparently to gain the interest of agents and publishers, I need to do more.
I need social media accounts separate from my personal accounts. I need to be on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest as the primary platforms. I need to post regularly and engage with potential readers. In reality, it’s not going to happen – work full time, travel for work, write/edit/polish a novel, prep it for pitching and… create and maintain a social media presence.
I have decided to farm out this task. Over the holiday break, I will be looking for a college student majoring in marketing, history, or English with skills in social media (pretty sure nearly 100% of them are more adept than I am) who would like to take on an internship project from start to launch which they can highlight on a resume. A perfect internship – can be done remote, no set hours, minimal time required. I may consider offering up a monetary performance bonus based on the growth in followers attained. If you happen to know anyone, have them get in touch with me. I’ll be drafting up a description over the next couple of weeks.