Frequently Asked Questions
- Who are the Squawkers?
- How did SquawkRadio come about?
- Why is SquawkRadio so successful?
- What's the point of an authors' blog?
- What’s up with membership? What’s in it for me?
- Yeah, what about that Bravenet list? I’m already getting your newsletter.
- The chickens are cute. Are you going to keep changing them like you did at the old site?
- We are now color-coded!
- I notice that your blog entries are all messed up and sometimes one of the Squawker’s posts stays on top. Some new site.
- Hey. I just noticed you’ve got a search function. What would I be searching for?
- The changing covers are a nice touch but I see that when I click on them I am sent to an Amazon site. Didn’t you guys take a vow of non-commercialism when you started this blog?
- Christina’s avatar looks really good. Is that really her?
Who are the Squawkers?
Squawker books have hit every bestseller list in existence; every Squawker is a New York Times bestseller. The Squawkers have published 156 novels, 24 novellas. In all, they've been published for 89 years. And they've been nominated for Romance Writers of America's prestigious RITA award 35 times and carried off the award 5 times.
As of January 1, 2007:
Christina has published 32 novels, 6 novellas. Been published 16 years. Nominated for 7 RITAs and won one.
Eloisa has published 11 novels, 2 novellas. Been published 7 years. Nominated for 4 RITAS
Terri has published 17 novels. Been published 17 years. Nominated for 7 RITAS
Liz has published 54 novels, 8 novellas. Been published for 17 years. Nominated for 2 RITAS.
Lisa has published 27 novels, 4 novellas. She's been published for 20 years. Nominated for the RITA 7 times and won twice.
Connie has published 16 novels and 4 novellas. She's been published 12 years. She has 8 RITA nominations and won twice.
How did Squawk Radio come about?
It wasn't exactly a "ta-dah" moment. Connie had been reading some blogs by other authors. They were wonderful but definitely slanted towards writers. She thought a great promotional tool would be to write a blog for readers. Create a place where the readers could schmooze and take a peek into her glamorous life and be awed by her witty observations... But then she realized that she didn't have a glamorous life and her witty observations could keep a blog running for about ten minutes.
Clearly, a group of authors blogging would take the onus off the individual (aka "Connie.") So she started making a list of all the romance writers she knew who led glamorous, exotic lives and spewed witticism and wisdom like sunflower seeds at a ball game. And when she couldn't come up with any she went to the "B" team-the Squawkers!
The other Squawkers and her had already fallen into e-mailing each other on a daily basis about things like "Is a red wine stain a lifelong commitment?" and "Can I name my construction worker hero 'Rod Steel?'" You know, important things. Things women who write really talk about, but more importantly, things women in general really talk about. It didn't take long to realize that for all practical purposes Squawk Radio already existed; they just needed to take it public.
What's the point of an authors' blog?
Squawk is an effort to harness the power of the 'net to create intimacy between readers and authors. Everyone who's been in this business for a while can see that the art of promotion is changing. Even magazines that used to be print based (say RT BOOKClub) now have a powerful web presence and are making a concerted effort to create their own community. Booksellers have long said that no particular advertising technique seems to give a book "legs," or send it up the bestseller lists because only the magic word-of-mouth influences sales. What better way to make sure that readers know that our new books just hit the shelves than to create a community that stays with us, even when we don't have new releases?
Why is SquawkRadio so successful?
The most important thing we have to offer our regular readers is the chemistry between us. We were all friends before they started the blog and that definitely adds another layer to our interactions with each other and with our regular commenters. We can mock and insult each other precisely because we do adore each other so much. Connie regularly teases Teresa about her Russell Crowe fixation, but she has to stay on her good side or she'll give her chicken cellulite and back hair.
Another quality that makes the blog work is that we are six reasonably intelligent and successful women with vastly varied personalities and interests. What made the novel LITTLE WOMEN interesting? It was the fact that each of the sisters had distinct personalities. The blog is the same way. So if you don't like one of them, there's a chance you may like the other five. (Or at least Lisa-the adored Beth March of our little group. Except that we don't have any plans to kill Lisa off. Well, not unless it will get me her slot on the New York Times.)
What’s up with membership? What’s in it for me?
So many things!
First, the chance to see your name in lights! Or at least your name in a colored font. For the first month at out new site (that would be October 2006 for those of you looking at this from the future) we’re going to let anonymous posters post. After that, we’re going to limit comments to registered users.
Second, you are AUTOMATICALLY entered for each and every give-away we hold on the site where you can receive not only fabulous books by fabulous authors (us) but books by our even more fabulous guests! Sometimes we give away other stuff, too. Anyone for a chicken stress ball?
Finally, the newsletter. Yes, we know you are already signed up for the Bravenet newsletter. But this is a better newsletter and also consolidates all our stuff in one place.
Yeah, what about that Bravenet list? I’m already getting your newsletter.
For now (she said ominously.) Truth? We will still keep the old newsletter going for a while but we would love to get you all transferred to the new newsletter so we can phase the old one out (it costs money and we’re cheap. Get it? Cheap!) Additionally we’re hoping to add some filters to the new list, so, say, if we collected your zip code and then found out we were doing a signing in your area, we could send a special invite to only those who are within a fifty mile range. What’s that? Make it twenty-five? Done!
Right now we don’t have those capabilities. Remember always that Squawk, like Life, is a Work in Progress.
And, for those of you with a suspicious bent of mind, we will never sell or share our mailing list with anyone else.
The chickens are cute. Are you going to keep changing them like you did at the old site?
Alas, no. You wouldn’t believe the time it took to create all those little avian masterpieces! We may spruce the place up for special occasions but by and large this is it.
I see on the blog that all of you have different colored boxes around your avatars. What’s up with that?
We are now color-coded!
- Lisa is orange
- Connie is turquoise
- Christina is dark blue
- Teresa is purple
- Eloisa is hot pink
- Elizabeth is dark red
When you go into the EVENTS section of the blog and see the calendar, you may notice that some of the dates are colored. The colors correspond to each individual Squawker and mean that on that date, that Squawker is doing something. Or something is being done to her (like her book is being released.) If you click that date, you will go to the bookmarked section of the Events list that tells you exactly what she is doing, or is being done to her.
I notice that your blog entries are all messed up and sometimes one of the Squawker’s posts stays on top. Some new site.
Not so, grasshopper! That’s because the original post is something cleverly called a STICKY POST. We’ll be using these when we assume that whatever blog we’ve put up will provoke the visceral need in the other Squawkers to post a come-back. We figured seeing how there is a certain snarky contingent amongst us, it was only fair that the victims, er, objects of said snarkiness got equal playtime.
Hey. I just noticed you’ve got a search function. What would I be searching for?
A name. A title. A phrase. Anything that you thought you might have seen on a blog and are interested in seeing if your eyes deceived you or not. Did Eloisa really bake blueberry muffins for the TODAY show? Is Teresa’s new book actually about a vampire? Where is Liz's blog on the Pogues? How many dogs does Connie currently own? Does Christina keep construction workers as pets? Is that legal?
The changing covers are a nice touch but I see that when I click on them I am sent to an Amazon site. Didn’t you guys take a vow of non-commercialism when you started this blog?
No, we didn't.
What we have done is generously linked the book covers of our latest releases to the Amazon website to allow you, are valued and beloved readers, to more easily find these brilliant novels and be able to purchase them and kick back a little to the Squawkers for things like chicken de-stressers and sunglass cases and Squawk buttons. See? It really is all about you!
Christina’s avatar looks really good. Is that really her?