Together at Last

Several years ago, I made my entrance online with the blogs Ancient Children and Dreambeast. Ancient Children, as the tag line says, is the journal of my creative life. Dreambeast, now long inactive, showcases posts on my various other enthusiasms and obsessions. Some of my best essays are there: “Blue Thunder” a tribute to my parakeet Benji, and “Mother Teresa Never Went Shopping” a bit of hand-wringing First World guilt. I want to start up Dreambeast again, but there are so many other things to do.

Right now I’m launching my horror novel Daemon Seer and completing the production of Letitia L. Moffitt’s amazing paranormal mystery Trace. Cantraip Press will publish Trace at the end of next month. More about that in the weeks to come.

DAEMON SEER - Mary MaddoxIn the run-up to the release of Daemon Seer, one thorny problem was my disorganized online presence. I had a rudimentary author page at marymaddox.com. It consisted of links to various pages at Ancient Children and to my Facebook and Twitter pages. Over time some of the links became outdated. Since the page was custom coded, I needed relay pages containing links to the new addresses. It reached the point where people wanting information about Talion had to click three times to find it. Who has that kind of patience and persistence?

Unsurprisingly, marymaddox.com was a lonely spot.

I wanted to create a more coherent online presence before Daemon Seer came out. There were two problems. I love the custom design that Shatterboxx created for Mary Maddox and hated to give it up. And Ancient Children is an established blog with a few hundred visitors per month. Not huge, by any means, but I didn’t want to risk losing readers by changing the URL or altering the format (a lesson I learned the hard way).

How could I integrate the two sites?

The challenge was to develop my author website while retaining the design. Custom web development can run several thousand dollars, more than my budget can sustain. I lucked out and found Smart Author Sites. They were able create the design I wanted with the Weaver II WordPress theme at the reasonable price of $700. They helped me with marketing advice, consulted with me throughout the design process, and remained available with help and advice as I added content to the new site.

When it was finished, the last step was creating links to its pages here at Ancient Children. The WordPress NAV menu makes this easy. I unpublished most of the pages on my blog that duplicated content on my new website — the About and Events pages as well as the pages featuring my books and stories. Then I created custom links to those pages at Mary Maddox. The NAV menu at Ancient Children looks the same, but if you click Daemon Seer, for instance, you’ll be taken to a page on my website.

A Place High in the MountainsHop over to marymaddox.com and look around. Watch the riveting video trailer for Daemon Seer, produced by the Books Machine. Learn more about Lu’s daemons. Subscribe to my newsletter for news about my writing, special offers, and the chance to win prizes. (Well, actually you can do that here. The form is at the top of the sidebar to your right.)

The past few months I’ve worked hard on publishing and marketing projects. When Trace comes out next month, Cantraip Press will have published four books in six months. It’s been fun, but I hanker to return to what I love doing most — writing fiction.

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