Sunday, November 3, 2019

My Other Hat

Long time, no speak, Internet. Since we last met I got busy with writing a game app. As a software developer who likes to write fiction, developing a game is the best of both worlds. It allows me to write code for a solo project (this is what all programmers secretly want to do), and I get to create characters in a make-believe world. 

I took a year off work to focus on this and spent some time designing a puzzle which I hoped would be fun and also challenging. I love brain teasers, so creating an original problem-solving game, incorporating a little fiction and humour was, well, just about the most fun I can have.

On the back of that, I got a new job in a new industry, as an app developer, which I am loving! And while my efforts are now focused on that job, I am still writing poetry and hope to write more fiction in the future. Just waiting for the inspiration.

So now with two books and an app on the market, it became apparent to me that while I seem to be good at creating quality products that people enjoy, I am rubbish at marketing. I've gone for some paid advertising in the Android store and have paid to advertise my books when they're free on Kindle - as they are right now! (Here are my blog posts on previous efforts: the experiment and the result.)

But I think it's time to take a course and focus on marketing the same way I focus on writing or coding. Tips very welcome!

     Orla's Code free on Kindle UK                Beverly free on Kindle UK

     Orla's Code free on Kindle US                Beverly free on Kindle US

So while I'm looking at my options, let me end with this: Fiona Pearse is actually a pen name. When I started writing, I was still working in the industry on which my book was commenting. I thought it was important to take distance from it and using a pen name seemed like a good step. Also, my real name is a tricky Irish name - GrĂ¡inne Shannon. My first name is pronounced grawn-ya, and is generally considered the Irish equivalent of the name, Grace. Some people already know this through our interaction. But mostly, for the sake of simplicity, I didn't point it out. Apologies if you feel like I should have. By now, it's no longer necessary to use the pen name, so I wanted to be more open.

My personal website is here, where you'll find my non-fiction opinion pieces published in various magazines, plus updates on my app, Bug Hop. 

You might enjoy my post, The Making of Bug Hop since it's about the creative process. There are real overlaps between writing fiction and writing code!

I'll update in the near future about my marketing efforts. Thanks for reading!