Monday, August 13, 2007


Author Strangefacts (Or How I Learned to Stop Stressing and Love the Chat) by PG Forte

I’ll let you in on a secret. I’m actually pretty shy. The kind of person who’d almost always rather do-it-myself than ask for help—no matter what ‘it’ is. Someone who once paid extra to spend two glorious days alone at a beautiful Caribbean Beach Resort...while it was closed. Introverted enough that the idea of ‘solitary confinement’ seems like it should one of the perks of prison life, rather than an additional punishment.

I know. Not quite what you’d expect of someone who writes erotic romance, is it? But it’s a character trait I think I share with a lot of other authors. Although, in my own case, I can attribute it to having Saturn seated square in my first house, practically conjunct with my ascendant (a random Astrological observation I toss into the mix just because I can).

Being shy made author days and online chats something to avoid at all costs. And then, as luck would have it, I won a coveted ‘Staff Pick’ spot at Romance Junkies. Three full days of online chat time.
Oh, boy. Can we say Time to Panic?

In the weeks leading up to the event I was convinced I’d have nothing to say; that readers would steer clear of the forum in droves, that I’d end up turning the forum into the virtual equivalent of a ghost town. So what if I had ten books to promote? I couldn’t just post an endless string of excerpts, review clips and promos could I? I was there to interact with potential readers, not scare them away.

But what the heck could I talk about?

I personally think non-fiction authors have an edge at this kind of event. They’re de facto experts on whatever subject they write about. They have a built-in soap box, an issue, a topic to expound upon. But what can we poor writers of romantic suspense and erotic romance claim to be experts on? Life? Romance? Sex?

Oh, yeah. Try and expound on that for three full days. Especially in a PG rated forum!

I don’t know when—or how—I first hit upon the idea of using some of the subjects I’d researched in the writing of my books as jumping off points for discussion, but the idea was a life saver. Because, in the course of writing ten books I’d learned an awful lot about an awful lot. I wasn’t any kind of expert but I could discourse knowledgeably on a wide variety of topics—from keeping bees to walking dogs. From Astrology to Yoga.

They were all topics I had a more than passing interest in. Better yet, they were all topics I was happy to learn more about. And, with a dozen or more readers participating at any one time, there was usually someone online who knew as much, if not more, than I did. We learned from each other in a surprisingly lively and reassuringly interactive chat. But, best of all, they were all topics that led naturally to the posting of relevant excerpts from my books.

Those three days passed more quickly than I would ever have believed possible and the whole event was a huge success. Not only did I sell more books in that one month than I had in the entire previous year; not only did I have a total blast, but I also overcame my fear of chatting.

All in all, an experience I’d do over again in a heartbeat. Introversion or no introversion.


PG Forte inhabits a world that’s only slightly less strange than the ones she creates. Filled with serendipity, coincidence, love at first sight and dreams come also bears an uncanny resemblance to Berkeley, California.

Happily married for a whole bunch of years, she and her husband currently share their home with only one teen (down from a previous high of three) a random assortment of pets and an unknown number of magickal slugs...oh, don't ask. You don't even want to know.

Dubbed an ‘author to watch’ by Euro-reviews, her critically acclaimed Oberon series was also named ‘personal favorite reads of 2005’ by reviewer Carrie White (of Book Worm Critics and Sexography).

Although her writing runs the gamut from dark-edged paranormal romantic-suspense to won’t-take-itself-at-all-seriously romantic-comedy , there’s one thing you can be sure of: It might not hit you right away but, sooner or later, there will be heat. 'Cause’s a name, not a rating!

You can visit her website at!

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