Yes, I’m updating my website. It’s not something I like to spend money on, and the promotional part of this writing business has never fit me well, but it’s time. If you visit Wayback Machine, you will discover that my first website (2006) looked like this:
No, that’s not Dorothy Hamill, and yes, I tried to make my website mirror Carl Hiaasen’s (he’s since updated his). I figured, at the time, that it was the “funny author” prototype website. Probably you’re thinking that’s odd because it has a leafy morgue feel, overall. A leafy morgue with Dorothy Hamill as the mortician. Don’t judge me.
Looking for something brighter, I updated to this website in 2007:
I take full credit (blame) for the above layout. I wanted a strong feminist feel (note the “woman” symbol as page divider), and I also wanted to convey that I intended to write across genres (the feminist stick lady wears a different hat on every page; I know--subtle like an axe). Seven mystery novels later, I chalk up my cross-genre dreams to the same delusional tendency that has me hang on to those size 5 Levis that will fit if I ever find a time machine or am lucky enough to lick a tapeworm.
Last year, in honor of my first three novels being reissued with new covers, I had my boyfriend, who is a wonderful graphic designer (but, it turns out, allergic to Dreamweaver), create this site, my third update:
I love his design. However, because the web software ended up handing him his own ass (let the records indicate that he fought the good fight), the site is really just a bunch of photos of pages rather than a true website. That means I can’t update ANYTHING, from my author info to my books to my events page. Bring on Beth Tindall, website designer extraordinaire, mystery fan, and Most Reasonable Woman I Know. She’s going to work with Steve to make me an uber-site, completely focused on the Murder-by-Month series, and dynamic. The new site’s go live date is March 1.
Which brings me to my question for you: what IS in a website? In other words, what do you like about the websites you like? What brings you back? What’s your favorite feature on your site (include a link so we can see what you mean) or what author site is your favorite (also include a link)? Join the conversation, and help me! Please. You see what I’m capable of when left to my own devices. Without your help, this could be my future: