I admit it — I like to eavesdrop on conversations as I find people of different backgrounds very interesting and thus inspiration for my fiction writing.
Yet here in Beverly Hills my eavesdropping habit has a natural barrier. Many of the people at my various neighborhood Starbucks are Iranians speaking Farsi, and I don’t understand a single word!
Then there are the people whose languages I can’t place. Portuguese maybe? Hungarian? By their speaking in their native tongues they are denying me more material for my fiction writing!
Due to living in the Los Angeles area, if I had high school to do all over again, I would learn Spanish. My limited French is only good for understanding the occasional French sentence in an English-language novel. With Spanish my daily life in LA would be easier — with so many more opportunities for eavesdropping.
Of course, part of the fun of social media participation is the ability to “eavesdrop” on conversations that are made public just for that purpose.
Related to this, I’ve just finished reading Beth Barany’s book TWITTER FOR AUTHORS, and I’m reminded once again how intimidating starting on social media may be for some people.
My best tip for those people is: Pretend you’re eavesdropping at your local Starbucks only you’re doing it online.
And just as some days at Starbucks you may get up the courage to talk to the person sitting alone next to you, the same thing works on social media — just start “talking” by sharing interesting content.
Remember, if you catch me eavesdropping on your conversation, I’m only doing this to improve my fiction writing. Why make up conversations when I can “steal” them from the air or the cyber air?
P.S. In Beth Barany’s valuable book TWITTER FOR AUTHORS she encourages authors to create what she calls a “Clear Message” that establishes an emotional connection with an author’s target audiences.
Although I’ve been working on mine, I’m not there yet. Below is what I have so far — feel free to comment below:
I write to share espionage, military and women’s fiction featuring strong female characters and I also share step-by-step information in my nonfiction books.
© 2014 Miller Mosaic LLC
Phyllis Zimbler Miller is the author of fiction and nonfiction books/ebooks, including TOP TIPS FOR HOW TO PUBLISH AND MARKET YOUR BOOK IN THE AGE OF AMAZON and the romantic suspense spy thriller CIA FALL GUY.