My “Sound Bite” and My Author Brand Story

Those of you follow my blog are probably growing weary of reading about author brand. I feel your pain! After today’s post, I look forward to blogging about other topics. Thank you for bearing with me as I went through this necessary journey and soul searching in preparation for what I hope will be the publication of my first novel in the next couple of years.

A Reductive Phrase or Sound Bites

On her company’s website,, Theresa Meyers defines a sound bite as “a reductive phrase that encapsulates more than the words contained in the phrase.”

She says an author must “boil down” his or her message points to “a one liner that will be used in every interview, every speech, every talk you give.”

I needed to ask myself why I write southern historical fiction. It’s what I’m naturally drawn to. It’s like all my life experiences have pointed me in this direction. But Ms. Meyers nudged me to go three more steps. I had to verbalize why people read southern historical fiction, what makes it sell, and why people seem to be gravitating toward it. As if that weren’t enough, the task was to come up with one phrase or sentence that would answer all of those questions.

My thought process as I pondered those three questions:  I think people read southern historical fiction, buy southern historical fiction, and gravitate toward it because The South is a state of mind. It is a place and feeling that its children cannot easily define or explain. It is unique due to its history. It is at once looked down upon and held in a place of fascination by the rest of the country. It is a place that one cannot begin to understand without having lived there, or perhaps without having been born there. It is probably the most misunderstood place on earth.

My conclusion, in one sentence or phrase:  Southern Historical Fiction touches the heart.

My Author Brand Story

If the following five paragraphs might sound like I’m bragging, that’s not my intention. It is my understanding that an author brand story is a writer’s statement of what qualifies him or her to write what they write. The next five paragraphs are my author brand story.

My 40 years of tracing my various family lines back to the colonial days in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia as well as collateral family lines back to the pioneer days in Tennessee, Alabama, and Mississippi has served to reinforce and strengthen my knowledge of and history of The South (i.e., the southeastern states in the United States of America.)

I have done extensive local history and church history research and writing. Sometimes I think I was born in the wrong era. I identify with people who lived through the American Revolution, though I doubt if I would have had the physical fortitude to survive that period in our nation’s history. My studies have given me a profound appreciation for the hardships endured and sacrifices made by that generation of Americans that laid the foundation for the country and freedoms we enjoy today. Their blood runs through my veins and the red clay soil of the North Carolina piedmont is in my soul.

I am detail-oriented. Living my entire life in North Carolina and most of my life on land that has been in my family since the mid-18th century gives me a strong sense of place.

Having lost my first and second careers due to my health, I need to prove to myself and others that I can still contribute to society. I have been a writer all my life – just an unpublished one until recently.

My background, education, and desire to write historical fiction make me uniquely qualified to pen southern historical novels.

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Until my next blog post, I hope you have a good book to read and, if you’re a writer, I hope you have productive writing time. Thank you for coming along on my journey as an aspiring novelist.


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