Writer To Reader
Guest Post from Laura Childs
Author of Steeped In Evil a Tea Shop Mystery
Grabbing the Brass Ring!
As the former CEO of a major marketing firm, and an author with three successful mystery series, I’m asked, over and over, if I’ll share a few of my business tips. And my answer is always a resounding yes.
Because success is a brass ring (not gold, just brass) that’s out there for anyone to grab hold of. You just have to make the effort. You have to develop a clear-cut vision, figure out a strategy, and then be utterly dogged in your pursuit.
In other words, you have to be fearless.
Yes, I know that concept can be difficult for lots of people. We’re human, we’re all imbued with a little self-doubt, which can masquerade as modesty, timidity, or absolute stage fright.
So here’s the gut-wrenching, hard part. You have to put your fear aside. You have to absolutely, totally believe in yourself. Because if you don’t, nobody else will either.
I used to despise giving presentations to my clients. But since I was trying to sell million-dollar ad campaigns, I knew I had to put my self-consciousness on the back burner and get out there and sing and dance the heck out of that storyboard! You can do the same thing, too. You can speak up at work, offer suggestions to your church group, you can engage people, smile, and emerge as a leader. Really. It’s not half as hard as you think it is!
I was once recruited to be on the board of a service dog group who tearfully informed me (at my very first meeting) that they were clean out of money. They couldn’t pay their rent, phone bill, or even buy dog food. I swallowed hard and asked what they thought we should do? They pushed a huge stack of corporate grant guidelines across the table at me. Could I write some grants for them, maybe raise some funds? I’d never written a grant proposal in my life, in fact the idea scared me to death. But I banged out a good ten grant requests that weekend. I sent them off, knowing I’d let the group down. Amazingly, a few weeks later, we found out that half of the grant requests got funded! So the lights stayed on, the dogs were fed, and a bunch of folks with disabilities received wonderful, well-trained service dogs.
Why do I bring all this up? Because the kind of main characters that populate my books are also women who are risk takers. In the case of Sweet Tea Revenge, my newest Tea Shop Mystery, Theodosia is a small business owner who takes chances, pushes hard when she has to, and, after fumbling against what are often overwhelming odds, finds her success. And when you combine that kind of feistiness with a fast-paced murder mystery plot, I think you end up with a pretty good read!
Thanks so much – now get out there and be a tiger!
Steeped In Evil (March 2014)
Indigo Tea Shop owner Theodosia Browning is about to learn the true meaning of terror. Theodosia Browning has never considered herself a wine connoisseurtea has always been her forte. But that doesn’t mean she’s going to pass up an invitation to a fancy wine-tasting party at the upscale Knighthall Winery, just outside of Charleston, South Carolina. But a sweet evening takes on a bitter aftertaste when a dead body is discovered in one of the wine barrels. The son of proprietor Jordan Knight has been murdered.
Laura Childs is the New York Times bestselling author of Sweet Tea Revenge (paperback) and Steeped in Evil (hardcover). She also writes the Scrapbooking Mysteries and the Cackleberry Club Mysteries.