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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Welcome Larissa Lyons



Is the Internet frakking with our friendships? Guest blogger Larissa Lyons weighs in...

Hi all. I write spicy regencies and upbeat-ending erotica and I appreciate Amber inviting me to visit her blog today. I hope she’ll be okay with the last-minute change as I originally was going to do an interview but decided to go in another direction. You’ll still learn a lot about me though (I have a thing for parenthetical notations and I’m sure by my title, you can guess one of my favorite television shows—Battlestar Galactica).

First an observation: Everyone seems connected all the time. All the time.

Remember back in the early 90s when many of us were just purchasing our first PC? AOL was king of the new “Web” waves and cordless phones had only recently made a commonplace appearance (but were heavy enough to give your biceps a workout). The cool kids carried pagers, not cell phones, and none of us had ever heard of Twitter or Facebook, Blogger or Wordpress. Epublishing? Ebooks? While the idea for this last one was out there, milling about in the minds of many forward-thinking individuals, most of us never contemplated how radically the forthcoming electronic devices (including phones that take voice commands, play music, stream movies and surf the web!) would change the way we devour books and stories.

Now? It seems as though if we aren’t constantly checking e-mail or our phones or one of the other aforementioned networking sites, we fear we’re missing out. I know I do this. After going years checking e-mail once a day, I’ve become chronic about it. Oh no! It’s been seven minutes since I checked e-mail...what if someone wrote me and I haven’t seen it yet? Eegads!

Secondly, a bit more about me: Some health issues limit my computer time so I’ve really resisted the idea of social networking. Facebook? Twitter? Tumblr too? Eeeiiiiiiii! What happened to the good old days when authors were supposed to sit in front of their typewriter, pecking away at their latest masterpiece? (Only in my case, the brownie crumbs would’ve probably jammed up the typewriter keys. Either that or the cat fur…)

But with the swiftly changing landscape of how books are produced and purchased, with e-buyers no longer returning to a specific publisher but often purchasing their selections through their retailer of choice, I realized the only way to tell people more about my stories was to be willing to share more about myself. Thanks to a fabulous author’s assistant (a new job niche several people are exploring) in less than one month, I now have accounts at Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr, and I’m having a blast. So far, Tumblr is my favorite (but that might be because I’m focusing on my love of regencies over there...) and there’s more of a learning curve than I expected with a couple of things, but my writing blog has been officially launched too and…well…I’m finding it surprisingly exciting to meet other booklovers and readers and writers (I’m also writing less these days so break out the feathered whips and crack them my direction—naughty author!).

Now something to consider: I wonder if the depth of friendships we maintain is suffering due to the constant “chatter” we engage in given such a wealth of ways to spend our time. Simply since February, when I decided to self publish, I’ve met and worked with a cover artist in Belgium and a logo designer in Russia. Talk about expanded horizons! The Internet has opened up so much, but I’m concerned about the opportunities lost away from the computer…when we aren’t plugged in.

I mean, when we connect with and Friend and Follow and Like so many, don’t we, as individuals, get stretched thinner and thinner? And like that brittle rubber band stashed in the junk drawer, won’t there might, possibly, come a time when we snap? Or am I off base here? Do you find your friendships have deepened, given the ease of communication?

If you’ve been braving the waters of social networking for a while now, I’d love to hear your thoughts. How do you arrange your day and computer time so you check in with others without checking out of real life?

And if you’ll forgive me for the shameless promo, here are links to all my new endeavors (heh, heh; when I jump in, I do it with both feet):

Larissa’s Writing Blog
Larissa at Tumblr – The Regency Rambler
Larissa on Facebook
Larissa’s Tweets on Twitter

AUTHOR LARISSA LYONS
With a penchant for sexy, studly cowboys and rowdy, roaring rogues, Larissa is happiest when writing about strong men with a weakness for the right woman.

Her latest two releases, both self-published, are the short-story erotica, A Heart for Adam…& Rick! and the risqué Regency Lady Scandal. Information about both can be found at LiteraryMadness.com.

9 comments:

  1. It is interesting how we have become so reliant on technology. When I had a phone that didn't check e-mail, I was fine with it. Now that my new phone can check it, I'm doing it constantly. Crazy! Going to head over and check out your books! ;)

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  2. Hi Marie - I know what you mean about the new phone. When I got a Nookcolor and discovered it could check e-mail and browse the web...I admit it's become so easy to do first thing in the morning. Hope you find something you like! :-)

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  3. Wonderful post Larissa. I do think being connected to so many people by necessity stretches us thin. I deliberately cut back on all social networking because it was taking too much time away from work and loved ones. Like anything new people will learn to adjust and enjoy social networking in moderation.
    XXOO Kat
    PS I'm a little obsessed with the Battlestar Galactica soundtrack, I'm so happy BBC is replaying the series this summer! "So say we all"!

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  4. Thanks, Kat! Loved your ending line. :) I hadn't thought to check out the soundtrack. Mr. Lyons & I bought the series as a Christmas present to each other & we just finished season 3. Ack! Only one more to go!

    Moderation, huh? As with homemade baked goods, I have a tendency to overdo. I'm guessing as time goes on, I'll get the hang of balancing it all...

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  5. I fought the whole "social networking" thing until about a year ago. I had already started following a few authors and fan groups but I wasn't really involved. Kinda a lurker! Then I was arm twisted into Facebook. I checked it every day for a while. Then my dad got sick and Facebook was the first thing to go. I still check it but only when someone sends me a not that I receive in my email.

    This summer I am working on reducing the number of sites and updates I check each day. It is a time drain. There are a handful of sites that I really enjoy. There is another handful that hit my fancy more often then not. It's tough going but I am slowly paring back.

    Do I think communication is suffering? You betcha! My nieces and nephews always have their phones in hand and are typing away. I have been known to grab phones or shut computers and point out that I am there and would like to be recognized!

    Of course, as I type this, my kids on in the office with me and I am checking my favorite sites. Well, I did say that I'm working on it!

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  6. Good points, Jen! Kids today have grown up "plugged in"; they don't know or remember it any differently. For myself, I usually try to have one or two computer-free days a week. Though it sometimes drives me batty, I'm amazed at how many other things I get accomplished away from the ever-attractive keyboard and monitor.

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  7. Real life comes first...too many responsibilities. I get on the computer when I can, catch up on groups, and usually write later at night when things are quiet.
    When computers first came to public attention, I jumped in with email and got hooked. Started teaching computers to preschoolers (had to lug around everything, set it up, and then do the opposite when classes were over). I didn't know anything about Apple, (had a different PC at home) so was one step ahead of the kids.
    It's crazy to think of a time when we didn't have computers...I guess it's like when the telephone was invented.

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  8. Hi Larissa! I haven't gotten into Tumblr. But I've really been getting into Goodreads. I've always been awful at keeping tracks of old school chums and stuff, so the social networking sites actually help me there a lot to check in every once in a while.

    But, you're right, I've met lots of people from all over the world, so I can understand the stretching thin thing. I social network the most at work (yeesh, talk about naughty author, huh--yep, I'm into parenthetical tangents too!!) so after hours, I suppose I could still be able to get together with friends, if I wasn't so busy with my kid.

    Great Post.

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  9. Marianne and Linda -- thanks for dropping by! (especially love that naughty-author-networking-from-work comment) :-).

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