Vila SpiderHawk, author of Hidden Passages: Tales To Honor The Crones and her husband share a log home of their design in the woods of Pennsylvania where they live with their five cats and enjoy frequent visits with their many woodland friends. SpiderHawk is an avid gardener and a gourmet vegan cook.
Vila is taking a different view on the aging of womankind. Hidden Passages is a collection of tales, some of which are interconnected, others which stand alone, all of which deal with women who are finding or already using the wisdom acquired from years of life experience.
Perhaps it is my own “crone years” creeping up on me, but there seems to be a healthy change in how we look at women in and beyond their midlife years. In a youth-obsessed society, at least in the United States, so much of the current dictates point towards a Quixotic pursuit of the impossible, that is, finding the fountain of youth through plastic and cosmetic surgery, an endless array of surely useless creams and lotions, Botox shots and facial peels, diets that lead to eating disorders, and a general wave of ensuing self-esteem problems. Someone is getting rich. No one, however, is getting any younger.
You can find Vila at http://www.vilaspiderhawk.com
Hidden Passages: Tales to Honor the Crones is a collection of eight stories about women helping women and girls through the inevitable challenges and transitions of life. These stories will make you nod in recognition. They’ll bring tears to your eyes and make you laugh, sometimes simultaneously. Mostly, however, this book will surprise you with every turn of the page.
What is the first thing you did to promote your book once your publisher accepted your manuscript?
I went around to all the bookstores in the area with an eye toward doing signings. I designed and printed brochures that I distributed the way Hansel and Gretel distributed bread crumbs. And I joined My Space.
If you had to pick just one book marketing tool that you’ve used to promote your book, which would you say has been the most effective?
The brochures have been very helpful. However, I believe that marketing on social networking sites has been the most effective.
Do you do more promoting online or offline and which do you prefer?
I do both, and each has its advantage. I actually like each but for different reasons. While I can reach people from all parts of the globe on the internet, I also enjoy the face to face contact of off line promoting.
Do you use social networks such as Twitter and Facebook to promote your books and have you had any success with it?
I have found success with Facebook, but Twitter hasn’t proved to be particularly helpful. I find that limiting myself to 140 characters is pretty constricting.
Do you own a blog and how often do you update it? Did you set up your blog solely to promote your book and what is its effectiveness?
I have a blog on Xanga, http://tiny.cc/6ocas, that I update at least once a week. Thus far I have used it solely to promote books. It’s a relatively new blog, however, and so it really has not had time to prove itself. I also blog on several other social networking sites. They tend to draw attention, since people know me on those sites.
Do you recommend authors getting publicists to help them promote their books? Do you have one?
I would definitely recommend that authors hire publicists. I don’t have one but every day I wish I did. However, like most authors, I cannot afford the extra expense.
If an author prefers to do it alone rather than hire a publicist, where should they start?
With a great deal of prayer. Actually, I would suggest beginning with Facebook. If your work is good and your pitch is good, the people you friend there will buy. More importantly, they’ll come to you with other promotional opportunities.
Thank you for coming, Vila. We wish you much success!
Thank you so much! This was truly a delightful experience!