Interview With Tasha Turner


My guest today is Tasha Turner, a social media coach.  Tasha is juggling this with being a writer.  Over the past several months I’ve gotten to know Tasha, and she is a veritable wealth of knowledge.  If you read my post yesterday, Tasha mentors many writers including myself.  The Virtual Blog Tour that I have been participating was her brainstorm.

Let’s get down to business, I know you are as anxious as I am to hear from Tasha.

Welcome to Quotidiandose!  Help yourself to the refreshments. We have mini muffins, petite tarts, and the fruit tray.  For the decadent tray there’s chocolate truffles, and Andes mints.

I motion Javier to bring our drinks, a fruity concoction with tiny umbrellas.

1.  Thank you for coming today. Tell me a little about yourself.

Tasha Turner was born full-grown as it is a pen name. It also became my professional name overnight. The Satmar Vampire may turn out to be a bit controversial in the Orthodox Jewish community. I thought taking a pen name might be a good idea to hide my identity. Unfortunately I am no good at keeping secrets so within a month everyone knew Tasha Turner was Tasha (Malka Esther) Lennhoff. But I had also made almost 500 Facebook friends. My Lennhoff friends would talk to Lennhoff in chat about personal things and at the exact same time talk to Turner about writing and book publishing. So it was clear that I was meant to be Tasha Turner now that I am working again. And that is the story of how I came to be.

2. Interesting.  I’m not very good at keeping secrets either, I tell on myself all the time. I”m better at keeping other people’s secrets.  How did you get started in the industry?

I worked with Beth-Ann Mason at Tri Destiny Publishing for a few months. What I discovered I loved was helping authors learn how to talk to their target market and to build a social network platform. But many parts of publishing were not my thing. I still shudder when I think about deciding which submissions might sell. But I realized that I’d been social networking since the day I went on the net. Helping people connect.  I found out people were paid to do that and thought why not me? It also has the advantage of flexible hours which I love.

3. HA!  If I could get paid to socialize . . .  now wouldn’t that be a dream job.  I like that you said there are parts of it you don’t care for.  In all honesty I think every career is like that in a way.  As a writer, I hate the isolation. I am a social creature, and will talk to just about anyone including a stranger in an elevator. Why do you think it’s important for writers to hire a social media coach?

I don’t actually know that it is. If you know who your target market is and you understand how to connect to your target market without spamming them then you don’t need a social media coach. A social media coach should not be someone who teaches you how to use tools but instead is teaching you concepts. Why? The tools change all the time. The concepts of networking; good manners, building a relationship, those don’t change as much. Many would have you believe they do. Marketing has changed, but networking that has not. The medium we use has.

Here’s an example:

Guest 1. If I was at your house for a dinner party and I started handing out marketing material for my business how would you and the other dinner guest feel? When my wall is covered with “buy my book, please” in many ways that is how many people feel – invaded.

Guest 2. If I’m at your house at a dinner party and start talking about a book I read that I think people at the table would love this would probably start a conversation about books we each love. This is not inappropriate behavior. When this kind of conversation happens on my wall I don’t feel like my space has been invaded instead I’m likely to be pulled into the conversation.

Which kind of guest would you prefer to be? Which would you like to have at your table? Which do you think a social media coach should teach you to be?

Motions Javier again. “We need some refills babe!” 

Javier brings new drinks with fresh umbrellas.  I take the moment to swipe a mini muffin, the peach ones, yummy.  Last time I had blueberry stuck to my teeth after the interview, how embarrassing!  Tasha goes for the strawberries and banana bites and the chocolate fountain.  We settle in for part two.

4. Well when you put it like that it seems obvious now doesn’t it?  I can think of a few “dinner guests” that are the first kind and I would have to agree. You have had some success with your short story about a Jewish vamp and are writing a full length novel.  Tell me a little about that.  How did you come up with the idea?

Beth-Ann’s mom came up with the idea of a Chasidic vampire. She mentioned it to me and I jokingly suggested we write it together. We discussed a number of ways to co-author the book. We discussed various plot ideas for the book. Just as I started to write the novel this “skit” kept coming into my head. The skit required being written down. The skit turned into a short story for The Gage Project a charity book where proceeds go to benefit the Ronald McDonald House. The short story kept pulling at me that it could be more than it was. So it is being rewritten and will be published as a standalone. I’m looking forward to finishing that and getting back to work on The Satmar Vampire soon.

5.  Are you a plotter or pantser?

A mildly plotting pantser. I do a basic outline of what should happen and any information I must know. But from there I wing it. I do more pantsing/winging it with the short story then I am doing with the full-length novel. This was the model I used as a technical writer and has continued with my blogging and fiction writing.

6.  LOL!  I have a similar method, sort of but we won’t get into that.  How do you juggle the schedule between writing and being a social media coach?

Not nearly as well as I’d like. Writing keeps falling to the wayside. If it were not for a dedicated writing partner who makes sure I’m writing a few nights a week I would not get as much done as I am. My job has no set hours. If a client is online I check in. If I see they have a new blog post I’m reading it. I’m checking in on Facebook and Twitter regularly.

7.  Which do you find more rewarding?  And how?

They are differently rewarding neither more rewarding than the other. Social media coaching is more intimate. I know my clients and get immediate feedback. I get to see the impact of what I’m doing with the increase in confidence they feel as well as traffic, sales, and followers.

With my writing I occasionally hear that someone read my story in The Gage Project and enjoyed it. I have people drop me a message/tweet asking when the Jewish vampire story or book will be out. But most of the satisfaction is internal. Knowing I’m becoming a better writer and that people are fascinated with the idea and dying to see how I’m solving the issue of blood being forbidden to Jews. Even though I talk about it and the answer is on my blog they want to see how it all plays out in the short story and the book.

8.  As a coach, you’ve seen authors stumble and those who succeed.  What advice would you give to aspiring authors to succeed?

Write, write, and write some more whether you are in the mood or not. Be open to criticism. When you ask for someone’s help, LISTEN and take the advice of those who have been before you or at least think carefully before dismissing it. Did I mention write, write, write some more, every day no matter what even if just for a few minutes?

9. You said before that you can spot authors that have what it takes to succeed.  What are two things you look for in determining that?

The things I see that I believe make a successful author are those who spend more time writing when they are not at their day/night job than anything else they do. And also, who listen and implement advice from those they ask advice of.  Authors who can take criticism because they know their work could be better and that they could be doing more to make it better and to sell more copies of their books.

10.  Thank you Tasha for sharing with us today.  Well you heard her, write , write, write, and write some more! Share with us where we can find you on the web.

As mentioned I am a social media coach. To learn more about that check out Tasha Turner Coaching at http://tasha-turner.com . On Tuesday my blog has Social Media or writing tips. On Thursdays it’s either book reviews or author spotlights. Other days of the week I might post other things or I might not. I am in the process of adding additional services to the business but it is all top-secret so I can’t talk about it yet. To learn more about my Jewish Vampire stories and books check out http://tasha-turner.com/jewish-vampires/ and how I will solve some of the issues. I love questions and hope to see more participation on this page as time goes on.

Please stalk me on the following places:

Tasha Turner Coaching Facebook Page

Tasha Turner on Facebook

Tasha Turner Author Profile on Goodreads

@turner_tasha on Twitter

Tasha Turner Coaching website

Jewish Vampires

The Satmar Vampire add to your Goodreads TBR

The Jewish Vamp & The Confused Slayer add to your Goodreads TBR

Thanks for joining us for this episode of my Wonderful Women Writers series. Please leave comments or questions for Tasha.  Want to know how to boost your sales? Find your target market?  Improve your writing?  I’m going over to Doug’s place, so I’ll leave Tasha to answer all your questions!  Grabs an Andes mint as I walk from the interviewing couch. TTFN!

Write on my friends, write on!

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3 comments on “Interview With Tasha Turner

  1. Pingback: Next Big Thing – I’ve Been Tagged! « Nicole Storey's Chaotic Thoughts

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