About Rebecca Ballard

"Tiny Alice" is my third book. In 2012 I edited "82 Years on the Texas Frontier", from my great grandfather's memoirs. That same year I published my first novel, "Wild Game", a psychological thriller about a female serial killer who slays men who "defile the wilderness" of the San Juan mountain range in Southwestern Colorado. "Tiny Alice" is my second novel, just published. Both are available on Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle format. This blog is for readers, fans, authors, and others who are interested in my books and what I have to say about the writing experience and, specifically, about "Tiny Alice".

What Was The Inspiration?

Writers are often asked the question, “What was your inspiration for…” or how did you come up with the story, or are some of the stories in the book about you. I’ll give you my quick answers.

My inspiration for Tiny Alice came from strong characters from other stories of mine. I loved them. The character of Alice I pulled from a short story I’d written years ago. The characters of Pirate, Chick, and Bert came from what I call a “book start”, in other words the beginning of a novel that never got off the ground. But I adored Alice and was thoroughly charmed by Pirate, Chick, and Bert, so I began to craft a book around the characters.

I was eager to see how they would come together, how their disparate lives and world views would change as a result of their interactions with one another. The characters were bare bones when I started. As I fleshed them out, and they began to direct the story, they began to come into full bloom. Part of the fun was devising how to bring them together from such different backgrounds and allow their journeys to touch and then mesh. And I get excited when the characters seem to take over the story and steer it in directions I’d not planned or expected. These characters did that.

Most novelists see themselves in one or more of their characters. I’ve not based any of the Tiny Alice characters on actual persons from my life, but there are definitely aspects of people I’ve known or currently know, and aspects of me. How could there not be? The book, however, is total fiction.

There are many more questions writers are asked, by curious friends or readers, in interviews, by other authors. I’ll address more of these in future blogs. Stay tuned. And remember Tiny Alice is available for purchase in paperback or e-book form on Amazon.com. Be a reader!

Marketing Tiny Alice

Tiny Alice is published, and now begins the process of marketing the book. Marketing is one of the tougher challenges of independent publishing, certainly for me, an introvert who’d rather sit at my laptop and create than see/interact with as few people as possible. Yet, I want to get the book “out there” not only to Facebook friends but to people I don’t know from Adam who would enjoy the book.

Target audience? This is one of the decisions a writer must face early on. Who are you writing for? Who will the characters impact? Who will recognize and empathize with the struggles and issues in the story? Tiny Alice is a novel that belongs in several genres. It is mainly a story for women, though I’ve many male readers who’ve enjoyed it—especially the wild character of Pirate Lando, the eccentric hippie father of the protagonist. Still, the story fits in Women’s Fiction.

The story is told through three time periods. Alice is 90+ and has lived and learned through most of the twentieth century. Chick came of age in San Francisco in the late sixties, and her daughter, Bert, the protagonist, is firmly in the twenty-first century, as is the young girl she must raise after the death of her best friend. The three different eras would suggest the genre of Historical Fiction.

Is it literary fiction? I’m grandiose enough to hope that it falls into this category. Literary fiction is characterized by style and depth, whereas genre fiction is broader and is plot or character driven. I honestly can’t say if I’ve accomplished the style and depth to claim that what I’ve written is literary, but I’m squarely within the definition of genre fiction. And there is humor throughout the book, so there is another genre.

I know my target audience and the markets I want to place my book in. In my next blog, I’ll write about what actual steps I’ve taken and plan to take to meet my marketing needs, and what the results have been. The process is ongoing, of course.

Thanks for stopping by. Thanks for reading. Please follow my blog so that you will get a notice when there is a new post. And read Tiny Alice, rate it, write an Amazon review.