Saturday, March 10, 2012

Savvy Sensation: David Powers King

Before we dive into our Savvy Sensation interview, I have to tell you about a super savvy giveaway: Sparkling Reviews is holding a $500 Amazon Gift Card giveaway. I'm not kidding. Get over there and enter. NOW! Oh, but remember to come back because I really can't wait to introduce you to David Powers King. 

Thanks for being here, David!

Thank you so much for having me on your blog, Laura! *Looks around* You have a really nice pad here!

Why thank you, David. Now tell us, who are you (what do you write, what are your personal stats)?
I’m a guy with broad storytelling interests. You want stories of dragons, princesses, dogfights in space, epic wars, MG kids who discover magic, or zombies? I’m your writer. I write for the MG, YA, and Adult markets in the science fiction and fantasy genres. Some of my favorite books include The Books of Bayern, The Giver, The Lord of the Rings, and Ender’s Game.

Where can we find you online (blog, twitter, facebook, etc.)?
You can find my blog here, my twitter here, and my facebook here.

When did you begin your online platform building?
I didn’t think about it as “platform building” at first. It was at the Life, the Universe, and Everything symposium a few years back when I saw a panel of authors speak about blogging and social networking. “If you write, you should blog,” was the impression I got. I found some blogs, checked into what made them so cool, and then I made my site. It looks very different now, three years later. It wasn’t until last year when I finally figured out how to use my blog effectively.

What is your message, if any (is your blog about anything specific, for example)?
The Cosmic Laire is a haven for all things science fiction and fantasy with a writing focus. The message I hope to promote is to motivate others and give them tools and highlight my personal writing mistakes and lessons learned so that others might be wiser than I when I started. I have a weekly advice column, a weekly storytelling device (trope) post, and random book reviews, fun things, and movie/book trailers. In short, my message is to write and enjoy doing it.

How have you built your followers? What have you done that has been the most successful?
I’ve found the best way to built followers is to be genuine. No one is going to find your blog if you never venture off your page. Browse the blogoverse. Find blogs with writers who write your genre. Follow them. Comment on their posts. They will likely do the same in return. If you are genuinely interested in other people and their writing success (not just your own), people tend to reciprocate. Show this by hosting giveaways, reviewing books, hosting interviews, and maybe offer your time by critiquing (or offering to critique) people’s work. Pity posts and rants (for the most part) turn people away. If writing is your passion, show it! Be lively, genuine, excited!

What have you done that has failed?
Not doing what I said above for the first two years of my blog. 50 awesome people joined my blog in that two year period (mostly from meeting them in person at conventions). One night, we watched Julie & Julia, which made me I rethink my blog. It needed a purpose, so I created one. I needed to explore blogs, so I did. Over 600 members have joined my blog since then, and I am lucky to have maintained many awesome friendships that allow us to learn and grow together.

How much time do you spend blogging? Reading blogs? Commenting on blogs?
On average, I spend about an hour every day blogging, reading, and commenting. I try to have at least three posts up each week (sometimes more, when surprising or cool stuff happens). As more people join my blog, it gets increasingly difficult to be as active a commenter as I used to be. I have a job and a family, plus my writing. When I do comment, it’s a special event for me.

What else should we know about you? What makes you unique?
I’m an incurable movie buff (raised in LA, what can I say?), an occasional gamer (FPSs, mostly—you probably won’t want to play Halo with me…), and I took linguistics in college so I could develop five original languages for one book series. Not an easy feat, but it sure was fun! I also enjoy cooking and experiment in the kitchen, if I ever have the chance to knead. When it comes to writing, I always strive to create stories that no one has ever thought of before.

Any additional advice for our readers?
Writing is an art. Publication is a business. If you want to be a successful author, you need to embrace both worlds. This means no more hermitism, shyness, or fear that people will steal your items (they have their own). I was in that boat. The more you blog, meet writers, and attend conferences, those insecurities will eventually fade away. Be about others—not about you.

Thank you again for having me, Laura! If you’re ever in the neighborhood, I’ll bake you a pizza. No anchovies, though. They’re super gross.

Nummy, David. I'm totally hungry now. And thanks for stopping by. We've all really appreciated your super savvy insights!

23 comments:

Jaye Robin Brown said...

Wow, 600 followers, impressive. Still working to power mine up. Unfortunately, I had a blog name change, out of necessity and never built back my followers. But it's slowly growing again.

Laura B. - the answers to your 'tag me' post are up over on my blog today.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Networking, being genuine, and having a purpose - all key things! It took me several months to find my purpose. Thought about that yesterday when I realized two years ago I had about twenty followers, and now... whoa!
Good interview!

Sarah Pearson said...

I thoroughly recommend David's blog, it's a very welcoming place :-)

Callie Leuck said...

I don't know how I missed seeing David around the blogosphere before last month, but he seems like such a genuinely nice writer guy. He also moderates www.InkPageant.com which looks fascinating and is just one more way the dude is being super generous with his time.

I have to say his trope posts are particularly interesting. I sometimes get lost in the void of TVTropes.org (a friend directed me there after pointing out kindly that one of my WIPs was a bit cliched and some of the storylines were underdeveloped) and it's nice to have someone give insightful commentary on how some tropes relate to writing. :)

Kimberlee Turley said...

Writing is Art. Publication is Business.

Couldn't agree more!

Nancy Wahler said...

I'll look forward to checking out your blog David. Great interview.

Peggy Eddleman said...

Fabulous interview! I loved all the insights into how and how not to build your blog. I'm glad to not only have known David's blog for the past 9 months, but to know him in real life now, too.

mithrilwisdom said...

My biggest mistake too was not reaching out and connecting with other bloggers. I was under the impression of 'if you build it, they will come' but it doesn't work like that. Great interview!

Donna Martin said...

Laura, I've just awarded you the Sunshine Blog Award! I gave your blog a shout-out on my blog ( http://www.donasdays.blogspot.com ) during my acceptance speech for my own award! Enjoy...

David P. King said...

Thanks again for having me, Laura, and thank you everyone for your awesome comments! :)

Southpaw said...

Nice to meet you David. I like all those things you write about!

The Golden Eagle said...

Great interview! :)

David is one of my favorite bloggers.

Laura Barnes said...

You'll get there. I go in spurts to power up mine as well. It's impossible (for me, anyway) to be on top of blogging all the time. But when I can be, I try!

Laura Barnes said...

It's nice to hear that even the great Alex took a while to get the hang of it. :)

Laura Barnes said...

Very welcoming indeed. :)

Laura Barnes said...

I know, I missed him for awhile too. So glad to have found him!

Laura Barnes said...

Great to remember. It reminds me of the song Putting it Together from the musical Sunday in the Park with George. Google it if you haven't heard it. :)

Laura Barnes said...

Thanks!

Laura Barnes said...

Oh, lucky you!

Laura Barnes said...

Wouldn't that be nice if they did just show up?

Laura Barnes said...

Thanks for being here, David! Great having you!

Laura Barnes said...

That's a great endorsement, coming from you!

Laura Barnes said...

I'm glad to have introduced you!

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