March 10, 2010

Guest Post: Author Susan Higginbotham

Today I am pleased to welcome Susan Higginbotham, author of the newly released The Stolen Crown to Psychotic State. Welcome, Susan!

Online Socialization by Susan Higginbotham

As an author of historical fiction, I blog. I do Facebook. I post on Goodreads. I co-administer a bulletin board, Historical Fiction Online. I tweet.

Oh, yes, and I actually work on my novel in progress as well.

Social media has transformed the way writers interact with readers, and though authors love to complain about the time-sucking aspect of this, it’s been far more of a blessing than a curse. Blog tours allow authors with limited publicity budgets and/or work or family commitments to virtually travel around the world. Author blogs and Facebook or Twitter pages enable writers to keep in touch with existing readers and to draw in new ones. Even better, the Internet is an introvert’s delight: those of us who end up sitting in a corner at the neighborhood cookout (if we get invited) can shine on the web.

Though we’re often preoccupied with the past, historical novelists have found modern-day social networking to be invaluable. We can debate historical questions, get and give help with historical research, and convey our fascination about the people and periods we find so interesting. We can also connect with people who share our interests—a particularly valuable thing for those of us whose relatives and friends don’t understand the sheer joy we have in tracking down our hero’s exact whereabouts in 1455 or in finding that the obscure tome for which we’ve been hunting for months has just been digitized on Google Books.

Of course, there’s a downside to all of this online socialization as well. It’s too easy for a writer who’s struggling with a tricky scene or a recalcitrant character to take a break by checking her favorite site, only to spend another hour (or two, or three) online before finally getting back to writing. Once an author establishes an online presence, she’s expected to maintain it, which can also cut into writing time. And, as many a writer has discovered to his dismay when doing an “ego search,” social networking has become a forum not only to praise books, but to pan them.

An author who spends time online is well advised to develop a thick skin and a sense of humor; writers who lack both, and who respond to a negative review, have provided endless entertainment for readers—not through their books, alas, but through their outraged online antics. Still, these negative aspects of social networking pale beside the positives. I’ve met some wonderful people online, and through discussions on the web I’ve encountered books and authors I never would have heard about otherwise.

I’ve been writing this post for about an hour now, and my hands are getting twitchy. It’s almost time to check out Facebook. In the meantime, though, here’s where you can find me online:






Historical Fiction Online (a board I co-administer):  


On May Day, 1464, six-year-old Katherine Woodville, daughter of a duchess who has married a knight of modest means, awakes to find her gorgeous older sister, Elizabeth, in the midst of a secret marriage to King Edward IV. It changes everything—for Kate and for England.

Then King Edward dies unexpectedly. Richard III, Duke of Gloucester, is named protector of Edward and Elizabeth's two young princes, but Richard's own ambitions for the crown interfere with his duties...

Lancastrians against Yorkists: greed, power, murder, and war. As the story unfolds through the unique perspective of Kate Woodville, it soon becomes apparent that not everyone is wholly evil—or wholly good.

Susan Higginbotham is the author of two historical fiction novels. The Traitor’s Wife, her first novel, is the winner of ForeWord Magazine’s 2005 Silver Award for historical fiction and is a Gold Medalist, Historical/Military Fiction, 2008 Independent Publisher Book Awards. She writes her own historical fiction blog and is a contributor to the blog Yesterday Revisited. Higginbotham has worked as an editor and an attorney, and lives in North Carolina with her family. For more information, please visit

Thank you, Susan, for stopping by my blog today and taking the time to share your thoughts with us.  Best of luck with your new book!  (Which I finished yesterday, by the way, and LOVED!  Review to come soon, so please stick around).

How about you?  Do you blog?  Do you Tweet, Facebook or post on Goodreads? 

And now for the GIVEAWAY!!!  Thanks to the lovely Danielle Jackson at Sourcebooks, I have TWO copies of The Stolen Crown up for grabs.  To enter, simply leave me a comment and let me know what historical era you like to read about - - the medieval age, the Tudor years, the Victorian era or something closer to home, such as World War II or even the 1950s?  Just let me know and you're entered to win your own copy of The Stolen Crown.  That's it!  U.S. and Canada only (my apologies to our overseas friends).   Contest to end on Friday, March 19, 2010 and the lucky winners drawn on Saturday, March 20, 2010.

Good luck!  


Tales of Whimsy said...

FAB post :) Thank you :)

(not an entry)

fredamans said...

I really love reading all eras, but I suppose if I had to pick one it would be the golden era.


Mary Simonsen said...

I enjoy reading about the Georgian and Regency Eras, but I am really drawn to the compelling stories associated with World Wars I and II, possibly b/c my father and grandfather's generation fought in those wars. I would like to be entered for the giveaway. Good post. I agree with all of your statements, esp. an author's need to develop a thick skin. It's important, but it's not easy.

Mary Simonsen said...

I enjoy reading about the Georgian and Regency Eras, but I am really drawn to the compelling stories associated with World Wars I and II, possibly b/c my father and grandfather's generation fought in those wars. I would like to be entered for the giveaway. Good post. I agree with all of your statements, esp. an author's need to develop a thick skin. It's important, but it's not easy.

Mary (Bookfan) said...

I'm a fan of medieval historical fiction but really, I'll read most eras. Lately I'm interested in WWII era.

meah56 AT gmail DOT com

Lucy said...

Love this post! I've been a reader all my life but ever since blogging, sharing thoughts and opinions on books, bits of news, research and history have become that much more fun and interesting for me. I love that authors are now more approachable and that we can have more insight on their books and the writing journey. I enjoy visiting their blogs and online forums.

My very favourite time...both the 17th and 18th c- especially that which took place in France. But I also adore the time of my favourite Royal brothers, Edward IV and Richard III.

I have read such excellent reviews on Susan's book- I'm dying to read it. Please enter me:)

brokenteepee said...

I love to read many different eras but the Tudors are a favorite.
thank you
kaiminani at gmail dot com

distractedmusician said...

I love many different periods, but I would have to say medieval fiction would be my favourite = ]

alannakurt at gmail dot com

Thanks for a lovely giveaway and guest post!

Sheila Deeth said...

What a great post! I really enjoyed the article, and the introduction to the book. I think my favorite historical era to read about is still Roman times (always was, since I got hooked on Rosemary Sutcliffe as a girl), but I enjoy reading about lots of eras.

sdeeth at msn dot com

Anonymous said...

I am a big fan of novels and non-fiction about the Tudor and Elizabethan eras

Anonymous said...

I've recently been enjoying some David Gemmell novels and although fiction the ones I'm reading are based upon the golden age of the Romans.

holdenj said...

What a wonderful post--it's nice to know that everyone sometimes has trouble controlling the amount of time online, with facebook etc!
I kind of get on histotical kicks, it seems, but I always enjoy a good Tudor novel or a good WWII one.
Thanks for the chance to win!

Esme said...

I enjoy reading about Medieval time period and WW11

thank you for this.

chocolate and croissants at yahoo dot com

Michelle Stockard Miller said...

While I am a lover of all things historical, I'm especially drawn to the medieval age. Just love all that chivalry and pageantry...what can I say!

Thanks for the giveaway!


Linda said...

Medieval English is a favorite, and just recently I've read some Dark Ages novels, and find that fascinating as well. I've read Susan's two previous novels, and am anxious to read Stolen Crown. Thanks for the giveaway.

misskallie2000 said...

Actually any romantic book set in England or Scotland before 1900 I love. I love victorian, georgian, medieval, just being set in UK gets my interest. Thanks for the giveaway and the opportunity to enter.

misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

Rachel said...

I love to read about the Renaissance. Thanks for the giveaway!

Unknown said...

I love all eras, but my favorite would be Victorian.

Anita Yancey said...

I like reading about the old west during the 1800's best. But I like all historical novels. Please enter me. Thanks!


Carol M said...

I really enjoy reading historical fiction. I especially like reading about the Regency and Victorian eras. I like reading about the Civil War, too. I was a child in the fifties so I have a hard time considering that historical!! lol
mittens0831 at aol dot com

Misusedinnocence said...

I am sooo excited to read this book, please enter me. :) Other then the War of the Roses the times I read the most about are The Holocaust and the Salem Witch Trials.

Sarah E said...

Please enter me in this giveaway!

My favorite historical eras to read about are WWII/Holocaust in Europe and the Civil War in the US.

saemmerson at yahoo dot com

Sarah E

Rebecca Orr said...

I like to read about World War I and II. But, the Civil War era is always interesting too. Thanks for the chance. bekki1820cb at gmail