Swagger in the Age of the Author Brand

Jenny Allen
Jenny Allen

J. A. Allen is one of my critique partners – the kind where I don’t feel like I have all the input I need if she hasn’t read my story, she’s THAT important to my process – and I love, love, LOVE her writing. That doesn’t mean we agree on everything; why would we? She has a strange knack for using commas in ways I still don’t quite understand and only recently kicked her dialog tag addiction (90 day badge coming up, Jenny! Woo hoo!)

But she’s Canadian so maybe they have different punctuation rules. When it gets too cold to use all ten fingers, I don’t know; do what you have to do, right? Even if that means abusing poor little commas. But happy belated Canadian Thanksgiving to all my friends in the Great White North, eh?

Anyway, Jenny’s an author friend, so if she’s ever in town we’re having drinks. (BTW, the EPCOT Wine & Food Festival is going on NOW you guys!!) But like I said, she and I are strong enough friends to disagree on things. I don’t accept every premise a friend throws my way and neither should you, even if it’s me telling you. I’m wrong on occasion. Probably. It could happen. And the underlying article she refers to in this post is amazing but has some areas to disagree on without being disagreeable…


When somebody is enthusiastic, it shows!

It’s inspiring.

It’s contagious.

When I read this post I wanted to reblog it the day it came out. I love the energy and vibrancy it emits. I only waited out of sheer politeness. It was very difficult.





Get fired up.


And call me if you’re hitting the Epcot thing. The lamb chops in Australian are amazing, and paired with the pinot are out of this world. Don’t even get me started on Morocco. Holy cow.

Here’s Jen.

J. A. Allen

I recently read a blog post that completely changed my approach to my work. The author focused on gender, and how female writers can be reluctant to form a brand and promote their books. She went on to say that when men begin to write, they’re far more likely to call themselves an author instead of an aspiring author. They’ll develop a business plan, buy business cards, hire a PR person, and generally plan forsuccess.

I-remember-tellingI don’t know whether or not gender defines this drive as much as a writer’s personal tendencies, but I’ll definitely raise my hand in the air and say even after writing my book for years, I NEVER talked about it. I never told anyone I was an aspiring author, never mind an author, full-stop. In fact, it wasn’t until my work was validated by an accomplished fellow writer that I began to come out of my shell.

Old Souls is close to being finished. So close…

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Published by Dan Alatorre AUTHOR

USA Today bestselling author Dan Alatorre has 50+ titles published in more than 120 countries and over a dozen languages.

21 thoughts on “Swagger in the Age of the Author Brand

  1. That’s a little cruel 🙂 Considering how the rest of your compatriots misuse any punctuation or even the language 😀 The Commonwealth countries are probably producing a lot more pedantic writers than the rest of the world, but you cannot blame them for being very rigorous in their approach towards grammar or towards the use of language. Even fifteen years ago an American friend used to tease me and go “LOL” for writing long, insipid articles, telling me that I wasted too much time on getting “to the point”. But, the “point” happens to be this – if you do not use a certain form or style, that the Americans are not used to, is it not good writing at all? Of course, you set the standards in most things, but the Europeans, the Asians and even a few New Zealanders take literature seriously and are not always committed as much to commercial fiction. 🙂
    (Ok, in other words, I am probably saying we are all the boring ones hahaha)…

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I LOVE Jenny’s work. I love her story. I love her creative spirit.

    I hate her comma usage at times.

    It may be the Commonwealth’s fault, I’m not sure. I have learned (learnt, to some of you nonAmerican English speakers) that the quotes and commas are different in the UK, Canada, India, and Australia, to name a few. Usually when I crit a story from there, I realize (realise to you nonyanks) it early on and make a mention of it so we aren’t confused or so I don’t recommend something in a change that’s actually an error (err to other than USAers) in their respective country.

    Again, nothing but LOVE for J. A. Allen and her work.


  3. I know… just kidding, Dan 🙂 But it also happens to be my pet peeve.. the way Americans look down upon us lesser mortals hehe.. (and may I take the opportunity to diss that other set of cowboys, down under in Oz land..?? hehe)…
    Well, it so happens that we are all used to it now, living on the internet… we realiZe that, of coure.. and we COLOR our words accordingly haha.. Most of us have begun to unconsciously use the American language (not my use of the word “diss”)… c’est la vie… 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Thanks so much for this, Dan! Because of all of your kind words, I will not mention any of YOUR particular writing quirks here . . . but that doesn’t mean I won’t bring the Canadian hammer down on your next chapter!
    I’m just joking, of course. My writing has improved so much since you began to lend a hand and I appreciate it so much. I’m pretty proud of that 90 day chip, I might add.
    Looking forward to those drinks in the Floridian sun!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I didn’t find an over-usage of commas in your writing, Tess, and I only tease Jenny because I’ve been reading her stuff for so long now. She’s a pistol, though. She will dig in and cite references back to me as to why she’s right. Even when she’s not. You have to admire that kind of tenacity!

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Great article by Jenny. And your American style reminds me about a conversation I had with my editor when I wrote my first book. I had asked her if writing in ‘Canadianese’ would be a problem for Americans. She mentioned that some readers look at our spelling as though they are errors, and advised to keep it American. But I have noticed that from many of the writers from the U.K., they don’t submit to the pressure and write their books in good old fashioned ‘English’. LOL

    Liked by 3 people

      1. I stick to good old fashioned English because I’m as good at writing in American as I am at writing in Japanese. Honestly, if I tried to write in American, you would all laugh. Actually, hmmm, there’s one method of writing something approaching comedy…

        I could never write about something I don’t understand, and I definitely don’t understand those American folk. Sure I know you have candy and soda, whist we have sweets and fizzy pop. You have potato chips and fries, whilst we have crisps and chips. Your cars have a trunk, mine has a boot. But there are so many more of these Americanisms I still don’t know and I’d hate to get it wrong!!! I still think you’re all awesome though 😊

        Liked by 3 people

        1. Now it’s getting more confusing, lol. Tess is writing in the Queen’s English, I’m Canadian though our vocabulary is still varied from proper English, and American is yet another version. I’m thinking it was easier for me to begin writing using American spelling, than it would be for the British because we do ‘mostly’ have the same vocabulary. But I have to admit, I sometimes do catch myself using both spellings when I blog. I wanted to maintain my blog as a Canadian writer, but after I published my first book in ‘Americanese’, I thought I should keep my writing consistent everywhere. But sometimes without an editor to kick my butt for my blog writing, old habits die hard.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. You do a good job. I wouldn’t have known you were Canadian from your blogs or comments. I’m not sure how I discovered Jenny was Canadian except she mentioned it. The British and Aussies tend to use colour or realise or something that tips their hand. And a few folks just plain old use words we Yanks don’t understand.

            Liked by 2 people

            1. Oh thanks Dan. Perhaps it’s the ‘I wanna live in America’ in me. 🙂 But don’t be fooled, Canadian English adds the ‘u’ in colour, humour, etc. also. We also write with the ‘s’ instead of the ‘z’. While growing up and going to school, I had a bad habit of going against the grain (imagine that!), and always had a preference for using the ‘z’ specialize, etc. I got reprimanded many times from teachers and continued to do so. Perhaps I was grooming up for writing books in Americanese? LOL

              Liked by 1 person

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