Monday, August 1, 2011

JANICE SEAGRAVES: Introvert with a Bad Case of Shyness



Hi, my name is Janice Seagraves. I’m a romance writer.


I’m actually more introverted than shy. But unfortunately things do change.


At thirteen I fell in love with books, reading Tolkien and Marguerite Henry, among others. I loved getting lost among the mountain passes along with Bilbo and his friends, or falling in love with the ponies of Chincoteague. In high school, I read the Lord of the Rings and The Tripods novels by John Christopher, after which I progressed to other fantasy and SF books.


Books became my refuge. Books never judge you, or say mean things to you. They are there for you, whenever you want them to be.


I kept my nose firmly and happily buried, for God knows how many hours. But introverted or not, love finally found me. After I graduated from HS, I married my hubby.


When I was twenty, I tried my hand at writing. And found it harder than it looks. I wrote off and on for years as I learned to put my thoughts into words, but sadly never completed that first novel.


Then twelve years ago when my daughter was eight, I decided I would write toward publication. I made it my mission to learn as much as I could about the craft of writing. Hubby was very supportive and bought me a laptop computer. Delighted with the gift, I industriously wore the letters off the keys.


I started out small with short stories. Then I bought the Writer’s Market. Carefully, I studied the publishers and contests listed. I sent off for guidelines so I could send out my shorts, but was unfortunately rejected.


But I kept at it, determined to see something of mine in print.


Eventually, I started writing book length manuscripts. Now I had a much longer word count to work with, so I was able to explore my characters’ personal growth, sexual tension and eventually the moment when my couple falls in love.


Last year, my debut novel was published. My first book is called Windswept Shores; it’s a contemporary erotic romance, published through Pink Petal Books.


I was very excited. But I also had to learn to promote.


The internet is a God send for promotions and reaching out to readers. But when I talk to a stranger in person about my book, I found myself stammering and blushing.


Had I suddenly developed a bad case of shyness?


Oh, God. I have.


Then one day I was at the dentist office, having my teeth cleaned. The hygienist asked what I was doing. I told her I had a book published. As I talked to her, I think I must have been as red as a beet, but I forced myself to continue. She was very excited and wanted to buy my book.


I told myself this is something I must do. I had to get past this shyness problem, so I can talk to people who might be interested in my novel.


It’s hard but I think I’m making progress.


When I see that opening in the conversation, I give myself a mental kick. Do it. Talk about your book. Smile.


“I’m a writer.” My cheeks heat and I know I’m blushing again. But I tell myself to keep going. “I wrote a book about a couple washed up on the same little island in the Bahamas. It’s a romance.” I reach into my purse. “Would you like a magnet? It has my book cover and website address.”


Windswept Shores Blurb:


The sole survivor of a plane crash, Megan is alone on a deserted island in the Bahamas until she finds a nearly-drowned man washed up on shore. Another survivor, this time from a boat wreck. With only meager survival skills between them, will they survive and can they find love?


Janice’s website


Janice’s blog


Windswept Shores buy link


My book trailer






10 comments:

  1. Hi Rebecca,

    Thank you for allowing me to guest post on your blog. It was fun.

    Janice~

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  2. Great post, Janice. I'm an introvert too, bordering on shyness, but where we differ I can promote like crazy one on one. No problems at all. With numerous people, I clam up and don't talk. Don't worry, we'll beat it. We will overcome. Loved your book!!

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  3. I am an Introvert. Sounds like an AA meeting, but that is how we introverts often feel - that there is something wrong with us. That we have to learn to blend in with the insipid world of extroverts. But I am happy with who I am and don't mind being thought of as a weird-o. What I want to do is recommend a book that help me understand being an introvert - THE INTROVERT ADVANTAGE by Marti Olsen Laney. You may find that you are not really shy, although you might be, but then you need not be. I worked in a very extroverted environment much of my life and I had trouble understanding many other folks and they did not understand me at all. I, too, learned to camouflage my introvertism as many of us introverts do. We shouldn't. We should help them understand us as we try to understand them. Another thing I did was take the Myer's-Briggs Personality temperament test. WOW! I found myself almost to a T. In the test I am an INTP. I have a person cry for me when I read out the INTP profile. She could not understand that it was me and I was happy with being me. What else could I be? I would be happy to discuss being an introvert with others. I know the pain we sometimes live with. The book will help.
    Bob Johnson
    bobjinpa@comcast.net

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  4. Janice, thanks so much for being here today. :)

    Bob, thanks for the book recommendation. I hadn't heard of that. I, too, am more introverted than shy. And I embrace my introvertedness/introversion or whatever the correct term is. :)

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  5. 'My name is Molly Daniels and I'm an introvert...' (sorry, anon; couldn't resist!)

    When my first print book was published, I wanted to crawl into a cave and not come out for six months. I was positive I was about to be disowned by my family. But when I received my free copies, I screwed up the courage and gave one to my mom and SIL....and they LOVED it! And when my grandmother actually PAID me for her copy, well that gave me the courage to set up at a few small craft fairs in our area. And a stranger made my day: She bought my book on Thurs evening. Friday, I saw her again; she said she was enjoying the story and couldn't wait to get back to it. The next day, I spotted her walking across the parking area. She came right up to my booth; slapped her hands down on the table and said, 'I LOVED it; I could NOT put it down...when's the 2nd one coming out?'

    I was so stunned, I could only stammer, "I don't know...' but gave her an excerpt of book #2. Unfortunately, I did not get her name or anything, and I've not been back to that particular Fish Fry since. I've tried, but we've moved out of the area now and gas is expensive.

    But that taught me there are people out there who will read your books. Yes, I'm more outgoing online, but I'm not afraid to talk about my work anymore, and love it when I see anyone with an ereader now: It gives me an opening to mention mine are now e-pubbed.

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  6. I so relate to this! I feel shy and awkward at the best of times but when it comes time to promo my writing....Oh, God! It's almost impossible. What if no one likes it? What if everyone thinks it's stupid? The list goes on and on and on. Thanks for showing me I'm not the only one!

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  7. Hi Cassie,

    I sure hope we can over come it, lol. I'm so happy you loved my book. :D

    Hi Bob,

    Thank you for the book recommendation. I'll have to check it out.

    Hi Rebecca,

    Thank you again. :)

    Hi Molly,

    Aw, what a great story. Thank you for sharing.

    Hi Kay,

    Nope, your not the only one. But like me, you can do it too. :)

    Janice~

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  8. I can totally relate to everyone! Most folks are suprised, though, that I am introvert and somewhat shy as I have no issues when I am online or over the phone talking with folks. But face to face...I freeze! BTW, I LOVED the series by John Christopher, The Tripods. My mom still has the series!

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  9. I have the same problem touting my work, Janice. Keep at it. Maybe you'll overcome. Hopefully someday I will to. lol.

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  10. Hi Anonymous,

    Being brave online is easy, but when you face to face it's hard. Only thing you can do is keep working on it.

    Oh that's great. Loved that series.

    Hi Lisa,

    I'll keep trying. :) You keep at it too.

    Janice~

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