Thursday, November 11, 2010

Debbie Mack's 20 Question Blog Tour

Question 7: Why do you have five blogs? (And how do you keep them updated while writing?)

Thank you, Lori, for asking that question. And thanks for hosting me here at your blog, Lori's Reading Corner.

Yes, five blogs is a quite a few. I didn't really plan to have this many, but like so many other things about my writing career, they came about almost by accident.

My first blog (or actually my second – the first was a blog about legal issues pertaining to artists, musicians, writers, etc., which I sort of lost interest in updating after a while) was Random and Sundry Things. I started this blog because I couldn't think of a specific topic I wanted to focus on. I was so interested in a little bit of everything that I just couldn't choose. This went completely against conventional wisdom about blogging. You were supposed to identify an audience. You were supposed to focus in on one narrow subject. But I didn't. I didn't want to. So I just blogged whatever I wanted that day. I ran (and still run) the gamut of topics from movies to books to politics to environmental issues to dystonia (a rare movement disorder that affects me) or any other interesting thing.

I blogged daily. I (very) slowly picked up a few readers. I did it mainly for myself, but I hoped that others might appreciate it.

At some point, since I was working as a freelance writer, it seemed to make sense to write a blog aimed at freelance writing. So I created Writing for Hire. This blog was intended to provide news and information for writers about the business side of writing. However (since I was working on fiction, too), I made the scope expansive. I wrote about the business of fiction and freelance writing. I included news and observations about not only journalism, copywriting and business writing of various kinds, but also book publishing, screenwriting, short story writing and other kinds of creative writing. This blog was clearly more focused, yet still quite inclusive. I have a tendency to take a broad perspective on things and often see parallels between the business of non-fiction freelancing and fiction writing. In any case, I like to write about both subjects. I use to post to both blogs every day.

One day, I finished a book by Twist Phelan. The book impressed me so much, I thought, "I really want to review this book! I simply have to tell the world about it!" So I posted a review on Random and Sundry Things. Needless to say, this started a new line of writing. I started reading with an eye toward what I liked about the book I was into, writing a summary of my thoughts and posting them.

Eventually, I realized that I should start another blog for these reviews. So I started The Book Grrl and posted my reviews there. It seemed only appropriate, since I was reading, anyhow. Since I was enjoying the book (and learning good writing technique, as I did), I wanted to pay something forward. I wanted the world to know about the great authors they might not otherwise know about.

Keeping my reviews on Random and Sundry Ideas would have buried them beneath a lot of unrelated stuff. By starting The Book Grrl, I'd created a whole platform for my reviews. I'd found a focus subject-wise. However, even though I tend to read crime fiction, my attention tends to wander into other areas. Science fiction, historical or mainstream fiction. Memoirs and non-fiction. Whatever seems fun, interesting, and/or educational.

During this time, I realized that daily blogging on three blogs was a bit much. So I cut back to blogging three times a week on Random and Sundry Things and twice weekly on the other two blogs.

However, since I was still freelancing, I wanted to come up with a blog that would reach potential clients. I'd been giving serious thought to focusing on environmental writing. (I'd previously worked at EPA as an attorney, as well as a land use attorney at a private firm.) I knew there were "green" blogs out there, but I wanted mine to be different. What could I say that wasn't what everyone else was saying? How could I be distinctive?

One of the things I learned while blogging was about my blogging "voice." I learned that I had one. I also learned that I had opinions (and quite a lot of them LOL). This came as something of a shocker, frankly. I learned it was okay to let loose a little and go a bit nuts with my blogging. I also learned that sardonic wit tended to work for me.

With that in mind, I created my blog Green Reality Check. I wanted to blog about what it really meant to be "green" and sustainable. I wanted to open people's eyes to both sides of various issues. I wanted people to think before they assumed that a certain practice or lifestyle was actually green.

Now, this seemed like a rather lofty goal. However, I've run across SO many stories that challenge our assumptions on these matters, I've actually accumulated more material than I can post about. I try to keep up as best I can with this blog, posting to it once or twice a week.

Finally, my author blog. I seized upon that idea while watching Kathy Griffin's show My Life on the D-List. I thought, "Wow, she's doing the kinds of stuff most midlist authors do to get noticed." Suddenly – light bulb moment! Hello? The minute I got on a list (in this case, Wildside Press for my contribution to CHESAPEAKE CRIMES: They Had It Comin' – and, yeah, I know it's an anthology, not a novel, but that's my story and I'm sticking to it) I created the blog, before anyone could grab that brilliant name.

I blog on My Life on the Mid-List whenever I have a spare moment. I blog about what I'm doing, the events I attend (often with photos), my success stories, my reviews, as well as my thoughts about the writing life and the publishing world, in general.

How do I do all this and write? Two words: time management.

Make sure to stop by Fiction for Dessert and visit Debbie at her other stop today.

 About the author ~ 

Debbi Mack is the author of IDENTITY CRISIS, a hardboiled mystery and the first in a series featuring lawyer Stephanie Ann "Sam" McRae. She's also a short story writer whose ebook anthology, FIVE UNEASY PIECES, includes the Derringer-nominated "The Right to Remain Silent," originally published in The Back Alley Webzine. Debbi's work has also appeared in two of the CHESAPEAKE CRIMES anthologies.

Be on the lookout for her next Sam McRae novel, LEAST WANTED, which will be published soon (in print and ebook versions).

Debbi practiced law for nine years before becoming a freelance writer/researcher and fiction author. She's also worked as a news wire reporter covering the legal beat in Washington, D.C. and as a reference librarian at the Federal Trade Commission. She lives in Maryland with her husband and three cats.

You can find out more about Debbi on her Web site and her blog My Life on the Mid-List. Her books are available on Amazon,,, Smashwords and other sites around the Web, and by order at stores. You can also buy autographed copies of her novel from her Web site at

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The Book ( Best Mystery in the Preditors & Editors Readers' Poll 2009)

Identity Crisis 

A domestic abuse case turns deadly, when the alleged abuser is killed and Sam McRae's client disappears. When a friend asks Sam to find Melanie Hayes, the Maryland attorney is drawn into a complex case of murder and identity theft, that has her running from the mob, breaking into a strip club and forming a shaky alliance with an offbeat private investigator to get to the truth about Melanie and her boyfriend. With her career and life on the line, Sam's search takes her from the blue-collar Baltimore suburbs to the mansions of Gibson Island. Along the way, she learns that false identities can hide dark secrets, and those secrets can destroy lives.

Thanks for reading, everyone! Don't forget to leave a comment with your email address if you'd like to enter the drawing for the 10 autographed copies of IDENTITY CRISIS I'm giving away. (One entry per person, but comment as often as you like.)

The drawing will be held on my blog My Life on the Mid-List after the tour is finished. Check my blog for the entire tour schedule.

And please join me at my next stop tomorrow: Indie Publishing on the Cheap

Don't miss out on ~

Five Uneasy Pieces

The short stories in this novella-length collection share the theme of having an odd twist or edginess that makes them gritty, slightly off-balance or unusual. They represent a range of genres from hardboiled mystery to noir to parody. Altogether, this collection has something for everyone who enjoys dark or edgy crime fiction.

Includes the first three chapters of Least Wanted, the sequel to Identity Crisis.