Pinterest for Writers

Writers write…and pin

For those of you who didn’t just flee the room with your hands over your ears, crying, “No more social media. No more, I say!”…pull up a chair. I’ll make this short and simple.

Why would any author add another time suck to her busy life?

One answer: Visuals.

We tell stories about people. The people in our stories live in houses.

Judy's judge's home.
Judy’s judge’s home.

 Like the judge.

They wear clothes.

The judge shows up in jeans--like Harrison Ford. What's not to love?
The judge shows up in jeans–like Harrison Ford. What’s not to love?

Like the judge.

Some are tall, with silver-hair and a commanding look.

The judge, of course.
The judge, of course.

Like the judge.

They drive cars.

The judge's sweet ride - a '64 Mustang.
The judge’s sweet ride – a ’64 Mustang.

 Like the judge.

Sometimes, they eat at Greek restaurants.

Judy and the judge had to eat somewhere. How romantic is this?
Judy and the judge had to eat somewhere. Romantic or what?

All of these photos were pinned from Google images. I don’t own the copyright to any of them. I haven’t edited them in any way. I’m certainly not claiming ownership and I’d happily take them down if asked. These photos are starting points for my imagination. And they’re saved for reference on my Pinterest board, which makes a valuable archive.

The second value in Pinterest pins is they provide new content for your website and/or blog and on Facebook and Twitter. According to Mari Smith (, an expert in online marketing, the top-viewed type of content on Facebook is: #1 photos, #2 status updates, #3 video, #4 links.

Pinterest makes it very easy to share your Pins on Facebook and Twitter. One click and it’s done. What you do after that is up to you.

For example, this morning I Googled: Greek restaurants. I clicked on images, found a lovely setting, which I pinned to my Bang! Pinterest board. I also shared it on FB and referenced it by asking my friends to teach me about Greek food. Screen shot 2013-06-05 at 4.57.26 PM

That post garnered a bunch of likes and replies, which is awesome connectivity in this busy day. I even got in a plug for my book “Bang! You’re Dead” and the one I’m writing “The Big Bang! Theory.” But best of all, I learned about Greek food from people with honest preferences. This was a writing win-win for a small investment of research time.


You. In the far, far back.


No. You may not be excused. Pinterest is a valid writing tool. don-t-be-a-tool Don’t be one–use it wisely. And have fun.


Square Peg Characters

Square peg Salonen blog

You know the type. The square pegs that won’t fit in that lovely, convenient pigeon hole people use to classify books, characters, authors.

I’ve written 29 novels filled with characters I loved. They felt real to me when I wrote their stories, but I admit they fit nicely in the parameters of the series romance line I sold to or they wouldn’t have been published. They weren’t cookie-cutter characters by any means, but there wasn’t a lot of wiggle room in their pigeon holes when I got done with them.

My 30th category romance manuscript is sitting unfinished on my computer. I like the characters, but their stories all felt familiar and left me a little bored, although I really liked the cat. So, I set them aside and told them I’d be back. Then, I went in search of someone new. Different.

Now FREE on Amazon, iTunes and Smashwords!

Hello, Judy Banger.

Even her name doesn’t fit as a romance heroine.

Plus, she’s 54. Divorced. Chubby. And she lives in a trailer park. She makes dubious choices but for all the right reasons.

None of these characteristics would fit your typical romance heroine. But the more I learned about Judy, the more I liked her. She made me laugh. And blush. She was outrageous, ridiculous, over-the-top, provocative, true-to-herself—all things I wished I could be (but know I never could pull off). Above all, she was honest. She wasn’t blowing smoke. And I felt her pain. Life hasn’t always been kind to Judy Banger. Surprisingly, she isn’t bitter. I admire that about her.

I’ve written three of her stories and I’m just about done with the final one–The Big Bang! Theory. My square peg just met someone who would make the perfect romance hero. Luckily, I think Judy is going to save him from his “pigeon-holiness”. She’s shaking up his life, his world view and how he sees himself. Maybe that’s the value of square peg characters–they push us outside our comfort zone.

The problem with square peg characters comes in marketing them to a reading public. I recently received my first ever 1-star review. The reviewer wasn’t mean or disrespectful. On the contrary, this person mentioned reading and liking my series romance books, but she found Judy too raw for her taste. I respect that.

Luckily, I’ve also received reviews from people who enjoy Judy’s unconventional approach to life.

Here’s my latest review on Amazon:

5.0 out of 5 stars Judy, Judy, Judy… May 30, 2013

Judy breaks out the bustier for this installment of the Screw Senility Series by contemporary author Debra Salonen. Buddy’s son blames Judy for his father’s death and threatens to take legal action. But what’s a BFF with a whip for if not to help teach a naughty boy a lesson. Judy finds herself in a rather interesting situation with handcuffs, an eye opening visit from officer Canby and the Judge.Some light, laugh a minute BDSM. You’ve never read anything like a Judy Banger erotic encounter so don’t let the sex toys scare you.

Much, much appreciated!! Still, I would like to be able to reach new readers without scandalizing my former series romance readers.

If you have any suggestions, I’d love to hear them. Or, maybe, I’ll borrow a page from Judy’s manual on life: “You can’t please everybody, so please the one person who counts most–you.” 🙂

And because I couldn’t resist: round-peg-square-hole

Give me your best Judy-ism and it might show up in her next book. But hurry, I’m anxious to move on to my new series: paranormal romance, no sex, almost no cussing. LOL.

Happy reading,