Saturday, July 30, 2011

All a-Twitter

Scott D. Parker

I started tweeting this week. I’ve had my Twitter account for a while, but found little use in it until now. Ironically, this 21st Century technology is being used to promote stories about the 19th. Western Fictioneers have a new anthology out and I’ve got a story in it. In group discussions, we were figuring out the best ways to promote the new book and Twitter naturally came up. I logged back in and muddled around.

Dang, if it isn’t pretty informative. And fun.

My only problem is the character limitation. 140? Heck, I have introductory clauses that run longer than that.

Anyway, it’s quite easy to see the power of Twitter. Some of the power comes in the form of general information. I follow Nathan Fillion (of Castle and Firefly fame) and he tweets and retweets. One of his messages was from Molly Quinn, the actress who plays his daughter on Castle. She linked to a YouTube collection of videos from the Castle panel at Comic-con last week. For someone like me who didn’t have a chance to go, it was nice to see and hear all the discussion from the panelists and the audience.

The thing is I could have searched for it daily until it popped up online. But, via Twitter and following folks/stars/authors whose work I like, the information came to me. I didn’t have to lift a finger. That’s pretty awesome.

Then there’s the obvious other power of Twitter: getting out the message. That’s what we Western Fictioneers are doing with the new anthology. Every now and then, you could have a gift dropped in your lap. Most of us are not as famous as, say, Nathan Fillion or Lawrence Block. When you look at their Twitter home pages, you see that there are scores more people following them than they themselves follow. But, like a rock in a still lake, they can cause many ripples.

Block tweeted this week that he was reading David Cranmer’s new collection featuring his western heroes Cash Laramie and Gideon Miles. Now, I know that David’s a good salesman and does some good promotion, but I can imagine the spike his ebook took on Amazon after Block revealed his reading choice. The power of Twitter. It’s real, and I am only now becoming aware of it.

I know this isn't rocket science, the power of Twitter, but I'm just now noticing it. Guess I'm late to the party. Still, only 140 characters?

BTW, you can follow Do Some Damage here: @DoSomeDamage. Most of us here have accounts. Log in, start twittering, and let us know what you’re reading. BTW, you should be reading Duane Swierczynski’s Fun and Games because it is the monthly selection of DSD’s little book club: I’ve read it and will be giving my review on Wednesday as part of Barrie Summy’s Book Review Club.

Comic of the Week: Batman: Knight of Vengeance #2. This summer, DC is running their Flashpoint story line as (I think) a lead-in to the revamping of all 52 titles in their line. In this alt-history, Barry Allen’s Flash somehow lands in another timeline where things are very different. Many of the heroes we know and love are not present or are altered. Batman is one of the altered ones. His identity is revealed at the end of Flashpoint #1.

There are several spin-off series that flesh out some other aspects of this altered world. One of them is Batman: Knight of Vengeance. It’s written by Brian Azzarello and that alone should be enough to get you to the comic store today. That he teams up with his 100 Bullets alumnus, Eduardo Russo, is even better. It’s amazing what these guys have packed into the first two of three issues. It’s always fun to see characters that we know in other situations. But the bombshell—and I’m not using that word lightly—they dropped on the last page of issue #2 was huge. My mouth literally dropped open and I think I swore.

The Flashpoint series may not be to everyone’s tastes, but this Batman: Knight of Vengeance is one to treasure.

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