Tag Archives: IndieReader

IndieReader Author Spotlight: CJ Lyons

We don’t toss around the term “map nerd” very often around here at Placing Literature headquarters. We reserve it for those who truly love geography and the innovative ways that maps allow you to deliver content. Whether it’s a map of languages spoken across India or a map of Hardee’s in the state of Texas, maps can convey data and information in a way that text, pie graphs and line charts never can. For us, loving maps is cool, and “map nerd” has become a kind of term of endearment around our office.

CJ Lyons, our IndieReader Author Spotlight for July, is a map nerd in every sense of the term. She grew up with maps lining her bedroom walls, marking places she’d been (mostly near her hometown in central Pennsylvania) and places where she wanted to one day visit. So when CJ left a career as a pediatric ER doctor to pursue writing full time she did what she knows best. She opened a map and started telling stories about the places she’d lived.

Now author of 21 novels and a New York Times and USA Today bestseller, CJ is considered the queen of the rust-belt thriller. For our international users, the rust belt runs along the edge of the Appalachian Mountains through New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky and Tennessee. It’s where much of the U.S. coal deposits are mined and home to a tough as nails type of American. Fittingly, it’s the perfect place to set her popular Lucy Guardino thriller series.

CJ is mapping the places from her novels over the next 30 days, and you can hear the excitement in her voice as she talks to Tim Knox in her Placing Literature podcast. She’s almost giddy talking about maps and the process of mapping her novels, and you get the sense that she would have eventually created Placing Literature if we hadn’t already had the idea.

Check out CJ’s map on PlacingLiterature.com and check back throughout the month to see more places that she has mapped.

IndieReader Author Spotlight J. S. Cooper

It’s no secret that social media is the promotion tool of choice for authors today. The ability to connect directly with readers takes the middle men (publishers, promoters, booksellers) out of the equation, allowing authors to interact with their fans on blogs, Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads. Indie authors have become masters at creating these reader engagements, allowing them to control their own marketing, promotions and sales strategy without interference from Madison Avenue.

Our IndieReader Author Spotlight in April, J. S. Cooper is a great example of this shift. A contemporary romance author with several titles on the USA Today bestsellers list, Cooper interacts with her fans by giving them daily updates on her writing schedule, appearances and media hits, but more importantly, she shares vignettes from her personal life and vents online just like everyone else. In a way, Cooper is giving her fans the same insight into her personality as the characters in her books. And that can be powerful for both the author and the reader. As a result, Cooper has 10,000 followers on Facebook, 3,000 followers on Twitter and 30,000 ratings on Goodreads.

Placing Literature will be tapping into Cooper’s vast social network over the course of April, encouraging readers to map the places from Cooper’s 48 novels and short stories. This is a little different from our Author Spotlights in the past. Instead of mapping the novels herself, Cooper will encourage her followers to map her novels for her, giving them greater insight into the reading experience and encouraging them to think about the role of place in romance fiction.

Follow our grand experiment throughout April on PlacingLiterature.com and on J. S. Cooper’s Facebook page.