Samara O'Shea

A Spoonful of Sugar . . .

I remember well one of the first quotes I ever loved. I spotted it in a Power of Positive Thinking pamphlet my mother had (she had many). It went something like:

“Lord, please make my words tender and sweet for tomorrow I may have to eat them.”

I come before you today with my spoon in hand ready to swallow my words bit by bitter bit. I joined Twitter. I said that I wouldn’t here and here.

It started with a conversation I had with a friend of mine (Jesse, the guy in my book trailer) on Friday night. He said he reluctantly joined Twitter but feared being left out of the self-promotion loop (he’s a stand-up comedian). I presented him with the arguments from Slate magazine—that Twitter has no historical basis. E-mail = new way to send letters. Skype = new landline. Blogging = Pamphleteering. He grabbed the last one and said, “Okay blogging is the new pamphleteering and twitter is an 140-character blog.” Oh jeeze! Jesse said, “You might as well just join while SamaraOShea (the twitter URL) is still available.” I didn’t fear that all the other Samara O’Sheas in the world would snatch up my potential URL, but a few hours later another fear set in.

A little back story: I refused to have MySpace and Facebook pages for a very long time. I was proud of this. Proud of not jumping on the bandwagon. I remember the day it changed. The Summer 2007 Author’s Guild Newsletter arrived at my door with an article about how social networking sites can be good for book sales. Gulp. I didn’t think of it that way.

For myself, I can be an outcast. I have no problem being the odd girl out. For my books, however, they are my children, and I will do anything for them. Not to mention all parents have to be hypocrites at some point. It’s part of the job. When your offspring are clever enough to ask, “Did you smoke pot when you were my age?” And the parent responds, “Yes I did.”

Offspring, “Then I should be able to smoke pot, too!”

Parent, “Over my dead body!”

I won’t say that MySpace and Facebook have been necessarily good for book sales (that’s a hard thing to measure), but they have been wonderful for meeting readers. I have opened many a dialog with readers all over the country because they saw fit to get in touch with me through one of the two networks. In the end, I’m glad I joined.

Social Networks dangle a promise in front of you. It’s the promise of getting you and your brand in front of the one person who can send you on a skyrocket to ultimate success. They also present the promise of acceptance. Both promises are rarely met, I know, but it’s the fear of not trying that keeps you (er me) going after it again and again. God forbid you were the one parent who didn’t let your children watch Baby Einstein and now they’re way behind as a result. Again, it’s not the reality but the fear. I aspire to laugh at that fear someday. I’m not there quite yet.

Last November I joined a Twitter-like social Network called Pounce. I thought, What’s after Twitter? It looks like Pounce. I’ll just jump ahead one. I liked the idea of joining the lesser known group. My instincts, unfortunately, were way off. In mid-December I received an e-mail saying Pounce was closing. It hadn’t gained the momentum of Twitter.

And so I hope those of you on Twitter will join me, and the rest of you will pardon me. I will try to make my tweets (did I really just say that?!) insightful—posting classic quotes, political and pop-culture commentary, and thoughts, as always, on the written word. As with everything else I first feared and then enjoyed (MySpace, Facebook, and blogging), I will take this and try to make it my own.

I ate dinner at a great Philly restaurant called Pub and Kitchen Saturday night, and we were given little cards with quotes on them when the bill came. Mine prophetically said:

“Eating words has never given me indigestion.”
~ Winston Churchill