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Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Lucy Santos - Director of The Crime Writers Association



Interview
Lucy Santos was appointed
 Director of The Crime Writers Association in March 2013.
She talks to Leigh Russell.




 
Leigh: You work tirelessly to support authors. What drew you to this career path?
Lucy: I am a freelance association manager with my own company, Claro Business, so when I saw the job
advertised in November 2012 it seemed a perfect fit. I am a passionate crime reader - both fiction and non-fiction - and was really excited to meet the people behind the books. 

Leigh: Should authors build an online presence, or is it merely a distraction from writing? 
Lucy: This is the ever changing landscape of writing and publishing. We know that the genre remains popular but it is how to stand out, how to get noticed and how to get your book into the hands of the readers that is ultimately the key. I often get comments from authors that they struggle with marketing and promotion - which social media platform is most effective, how to engage with readers and how not to be too pushy.  

In my opinion an online presence is an essential part of the writers' toolkit but you need to engage fully with it or it isn't worth your time. A bad website, an annoying or pushy social media presence can be just as off putting to readers as none at all. The CWA will be running workshops later in the year tackling some of the more popular social media platforms and looking at what works and what doesn't. 

Leigh: What advice would you offer to authors, both new and established? 
Lucy: Get involved with your local writing group, search out groups for writers online (such as our group The Debuts) to build up a community of friendly faces (or avatars) of people who can see you through the tough writing times. Writing is hard and you need people who can give you honest feedback.

Leigh: How do you see the future for self published authors, and for the traditionally published?
Lucy: I think the future is ultimately good for both self-published and traditionally published authors but the rules are changing rapidly. As in any industry it is important to innovate and to move with the times. People will always read and crime as a genre has shown its resiliency and popularity time and time again.  

Leigh: I have seen serious discussions online about whether all writers are insane. What do you think?
Lucy: I think intense might be a better word than insane. But yes I think there is a level of insanity in all people who have a passion.  

Leigh: Finally, in one sentence, what does the Crime Writers Association offers its members?
Lucy: A supportive community, promotion through the Crime Readers' Association and other initiatives and celebration of the most durable, adaptable and successful of genres.


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