An ’80s Girl in a Techie World

Nancy Gideon is such a great writer and I wrangled her over to our blog today.  Her new book is as yummy as the guy on her cover.  Say hello to Nancy!

Things were simple in the ‘80s. It was a time of excess in publishing: a host of houses (Harlequin and Silhouette were competitors!), hundreds of wholesalers and distributors instead of a handful, several bookstores in every mall. Newcomers got a 150,000 print run. Romance was in its heyday. But man, oh man did we have to work for it.

Writing was laborious and time consuming business. Research was done at the area library (I had more library cards than credit cards!) and notes were taken by hand. Rough drafts were done on notebook paper and kept in a binder before being typed (complete with correction tape or White Out) on my trusty Smith Corolla electric. Promotion consisted of Xeroxed newsletters with cut and paste clip art to those who mailed you letters at your PO Box with an SASE. State of the art was bookmarks! The only contact you had with readers was through those scribbled letters and face-to-faces at book signings. The only contact you had with other authors was your local writers group or conferences. It was a very isolated existence.

Then came the’90s and the first bloom of technology. Word processors that would display three to five lines of text and store up to 15 pages (but not permanently). The World Wide Web was born with communities such as Prodigy and Genie giving writers a chance to communicate…slooooooowly on cumbersome bulletin boards where your dialup connection always seemed to go down in the middle of an important conversation. Out of it arose the wonder of instant communication: e-mail and writers groups like Painted Rock. The world was a-changing. And wasn’t sure change was good.

I’ve never been the first one on any bandwagon. I’m a watcher. A waiter. Ever cautious. What’s with this Social Media thing? Where many say much about little. I had to be pushed into the mainstream. I resisted a computer for years (what was I thinking!), fought putting up a website, couldn’t understand why I would ever need to blog. I’ve come a long way, baby.

Welcome to the Tech Revolution!

All aboard the bandwagon. Website, blog, Goodreads, FaceBook, Twitter, Pocket After Dark, guest blogging, chats, contests, video interview, widgets, whatsits, giveaways. I had to draw a line somewhere…and chose texting. I do not text. Yet. I have to have some time to write!

To prove that this older wiser dog can learn new tricks, come visit me at my blog ( to sign up for my Kindle giveaway contest in celebration of the release of BOUND BY MOONLIGHT, the fourth book in my dark paranormal series for Pocket, check out my bling widgets, my book trailers, my Goodreaders bookshelf, my scrolling book list and Romance Trading Cards. Quite a step up from sit, stay and roll over.

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17 Responses to An ’80s Girl in a Techie World

  1. debradixon says:

    Nancy– That’s a lovely cover! 🙂 I’ve been trying to think of a name for the style they’re using and the best I can come up with is “contemporary retro” if that makes any sense! LOL! But they do have a unique feel. Congrats on launching the newest in the series! You’ve got more coming too, right?

  2. kylie brant says:

    Welcome, Nancy! You’re right about Facebook especially–much said about nothing, LOL. Still I’m addicted. The amount of social media time we have to spend on promo these days is exhausting!

  3. leannebanks says:

    Nancy, welcome to the vert!:) I started in the late 80s, saw my first book published in 91. When I first started, I swore I would use my rickety electric typewriter until I sold. That lasted ONE month. Then I bought a used computer with floppy discs. Life was OH so much better!!!:) Congrats on your release. It looks fab!:) xo, Leanne

  4. Nancy Gideon says:

    Morning ladies! Thanks for letting me cruise with you. FLoppy disks…a blast from the past. I can’t imagine writing without a computer these days. Probably those arthritic thumbs.

  5. Helen Brenna says:

    Hi Nancy! Welcome and congrats on the new release. Love the cover!

    This old dog is having a bit of a tough time learning all the new techno tricks. Still trying, though, and that’s the key! I think.

  6. cindygerard says:

    Hi Nancy. Fellow Pocket author waving madly here!! It was great seeing in in NYC!
    Congrats on the new release and man oh man do you and I have something in common. I entered the techo world with my heels dug in, skidding and screaming. To coin an over used phrase, I’ve come a long way, baby.
    Love FB but Twitter is still a bit of a mystery to me. Some day …

  7. loisgreiman says:

    Welcome to the ride, Nancy. I’m with you…we have to do all that media stuff to survive these days, but I’m not sure it was harder back in the 80s. I mean, yes, multiple drafts were rough without a pc but we weren’t expected to be everywhere alllll the time. A thousand things to a million people. Tweeting and texting and blogging and chatting and yapping and yipping and…I get tired just talking about it. 🙂

  8. Kathleen O says:

    The tech world has opened up so many doors for readers. We can chat and correspond as you say through so many tech venues… and it so addictive. I find that I have to get myself away from all my blogs, facebook and other chats I subscribed to. But it has been instrumental in opening me up to many wonderful authors I might never have tried and become a fan of their marvelous works. My tbr pile is over flowing with wonderful books to read. The only thing I have been hesitant to get on the band wagon is a e-reader, like you I sit back and listen. But one is going to be in my hands in the near future…I think…

  9. Hey, Nancy, so good to see you! Wow, that’s what you call a tortured hero. My favorite!

    Well, girl, we’ve persevered. I’ve dragged my feet on the tech innovations, too. I don’t mind being the last one onboard. Call me when you’ve worked out the kinks, guys. I typed my first two mss. Hated Whiteout, Remember erasable typing paper? Yep, my first sale was on that. I was told never to use it again. I celebrated my first contract with the purchase of an electric pencil sharpener. My first computer was a Kaypro. Remember those? RWA membership got us a discount. The thing cost way more than today’s average desktop. Ah, the memories.

    Clyde was watching an old TV Western recently and one of the granddaughters said, “Wow. You guys go back to the black and white days?”

  10. Nancy Gideon says:

    Hey Cindy! Great seeing you in NYC too.

    Kathleen O, I agree. I love the immediate contact with readers as well as my fellow authors. I had to be dragged kicking and screaming onto FB and Twitter and now they’re as addictive as Spider Solitaire! Writing is such an isolating occupation and that feedback feeds the creative soul.

  11. Na says:

    What a great post. Thanks for taking us into the past and then leading us back to the present. I still have more library cards than credit cards and I think that will always be the case. As much as I am trying to embrace technology I am still holding fast to my print books. Although for convenience sake, plus the fact I like trying new things I have been buying ebooks in preparation for the eventual e-reader purchase. I just want to be in the dark just a little longer. I do embrace online reading communities like Goodreads. These sites help me discover and re-discover a world of wonderful books! The problem is that to-be read pile is always growing, but if that’s my only problem I won’t complain.

  12. Nancy, as someone who remembers taking shorthand classes in business college, typewriters before they were electric and cash registers that didn’t tell you how much change to give back to a customer, I totally agree with you about being reluctant to enter the latest technical age of writing. For me, it takes away productive writing time.
    But I say this in all sincerity…you continue to amaze me with the speed in which you produce top-selling book after book, keep up on the social media front in every conceivable way and still manage to hold a full-time, high-stress job. Oh, yes, and play hostess to our critique group regularly. So I’d say you have everything running smoothly. Just keep writing those great books.

    Folks, if you haven’t read Nancy’s sexy, wildly exciting Moonlight series, what are you waiting for? I just downloaded Bound by Moonlight on my Kindle as a reward for getting my pages written today.

  13. Tracy MacLeod says:

    Nancy I found your Moonlight series by browsing at Barnes and Nobles and fell in love with your characters right away. I’m all about the interpersonal relationships and this series has it all. Thank you for writing about such deep and wonderfully complex characters. I am a new a now loyal fan 🙂

  14. Karen C says:

    Great post and cover! Thanks for the trip down memory lane. Congratulations on Bound by Moonlight – will be adding to the TBR list.

  15. infinitieh says:

    I remember when the ONLY person in the company that still had a typewriter was one of the secretaries (yes, there was only ONE typewriter in the whole place!). Now, everything is done on the computer. However, I’m amused by the fact that even with all the emails, online storage, and such, we still need paper copies of important documents.

  16. Nancy Gideon says:

    Thanks LL and to you, Tracy! Infinitieh, oh yeah, I hear you. My legal office is one of the most progressive I know (I’m threatened daily with putting everything ‘in the Cloud.’ Even tho we’re ‘paperless’, I have a ton of paperwork on my desk and that’s AFTER every piece of it is scanned in!

    It was great hearing from my old dog/new trick contemporaries in the writing arena. It’s go with the flow or be dammed up I guess. Thanks for commisserating with me! And thats RWTTD for the ride along. Always a pleasure.

  17. lorenet says:

    I believe you have your products crossed. It was a Smith Corona typewriter, and a Toyota Corolla car.

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