Dance with the Devil–Fear and the Biggest Party EVER!

Okay, so my hands are shaking a little as I write this. I have something really amazing to tell you guys, and I’m actually experiencing a gamut of emotions ranging from thrilled and giddy to a little dizzy and terrified. Before I tell you what I have planned, I want to talk a little about fear, that little devil inside.

Fear is the dream-killer.

Nothing great was ever accomplished in the comfort zone. The very nature of creativity is risk. As writers, we experience this every day. We face off against friends and family that can be benevolent dream-stealers. They mean well and they don’t want us to feel the sting of failure, but we can never be big winners if we don’t take a chance.

Yet that small devil inside of us is always there to whisper, What are you thinking? Everyone is just going to laugh at you.

Even in our writing, we have to stretch, look at the same things in new ways and hope that, with enough hard work, something wonderful will coalesce from various combinations of 26 letters of the alphabet. Once finished, we have to query and risk rejection. When we get an agent, we risk that no one will take a chance on our work. Once our work is published, we are out there for all the world to potentially criticize.

You are going to look like a fool.

This job is not for the faint of heart.

As a NF author, there is always a fear that maybe we don’t know what we are talking about after all. Maybe we are poseurs, fakes or madmen. If we aren’t careful, our writing can become bland because we start playing it safe.

No one really cares what you have to say.

While I was compiling Are You There, Blog? It’s Me Writer I had the duty of collecting blurbs. Now I am blessed to be friends with some of THE most AMAZING people on the planet—Jody Hedlund, Kait Nolan, Chuck Wendig, Tawna Fenske just to name a few. I knew these awesome folk would be there for me no matter what. But they were my comfort zone. I knew they would love me even when I had my skirt tucked in my pantyhose. They would still claim me as a friend.

But I needed to stretch myself. So I made a list of the top 12 people I admired and called it my Hail Mary List. Author James Rollins was one of the people on my list. While most of my memory of writing this e-mail is a blur, I think it read something akin to:

Dear Mr. Rollins,

I am writing you to respectfully request that….OMG…I have every book you ever wrote and it would like be totally awesome if you would like, well first read this e-mail and OMG I totally love ur stuff and where was I? OMG…yes, a blurb. Wait. Did I tell you that I LOVED Doomsday Key? You’ve quit reading this, haven’t you? I knew this was a bad idea and am so sorry for bothering you but…why am I writing this again? Oh, yes! A blurb…

Yeah…it wasn’t pretty. I haven’t gone that fan-girl since I discovered Chuck Wendig’s blog.

Anyway, I hit Send and kept on plugging away at the book, never in a million years expecting to hear back. But I DID. And, not only did I hear back from James Rollins, he asked me to call him JIM! And he is one of the most down-to-earth cool people I’ve ever met. Not only that, but he loved my first book We Are Not Alone—The Writer’s Guide to Social Media.

Imagine that? I was so verklempt to talk to James Rollins, only to find out he was a fan of me, too. WEIRD! So, recently Jim *giggle* asked for my help with the release of his new book The Devil Colony. He expressed to me that one of the things that always bothered him about these release parties, was that they were limited to people who happened to live close enough to attend. I jumped right in and said, “Well what about an on-line party? Worldwide?”

Oh crap, inside words stay inside. What have I done? Please say it was the dumbest idea you ever heard and why would I suggest such madness?

And Jim said, “Awesome! Let’s do it!”

So right now I kind of feel like I did back in 1982. It was my 6th birthday and I wanted to go to Six Flags and ride the Shock Wave. It was the first roller coaster I ever rode and it was the biggest and scariest at the park (are you seeing the pattern here?).

I changed my mind! I wanna ride the Teacups!

So when Jim said yes I could almost feel that invisible bar lock over my lap, the clink of no going back now.

Today is like that first big hill. The cars inch into the sky to give a panoramic view of the world before you kiss it good-bye. I can see the giant loops ahead and my hands clench tighter and tighter. This could be the most fun I have ever had in my life or I could throw up cotton candy all over my shoes.

And there is that devil…

Oh, a WORLDWIIIIDE party. Why couldn’t you have suggested a nice Twitter Tea Cozy? Getting a little ahead of yourself, Dearie?

But then I open my e-mail, fingers trembling, and I see all my wonderful blogger and Twitter pals who have volunteered to spread the word about this worldwide launch party, and I am sincerely hoping some of you will help, too.

When I pitched this idea to Jim, I told him that I wanted to get away from gimmick. If we were going to have a party it would be a genuine, authentic, let’s get together and make new friends party. This isn’t just a James Rollins Fan Club. This is a real party and we finally can celebrate the success of a friend together, no matter how far away.

If you are a James Rollins fan, then rock on! But maybe you don’t read thrillers or you have only maybe seen Jim’s name while browsing the bookstore. Doesn’t matter. We all have dreams and many of us have books and we would love for others to come and celebrate and support us too. For me, social media has always just been a vehicle for blessing others in small ways every day. Serve others, connect with others, empower others, and dance and celebrate with them.

I hope you enjoy your own company, because this idea is crazy.

I confess that little devil is whispering in my ear. You might have a little devil in your ear, too. And you know what? He only has power if we give it to him. Yet, when we focus on each other, focus on love and friendship and what it means to dream and dream big? We drown him out. No one can hear his little barbs and jabs over the sound of joy and celebration.

So I am inviting you guys, the best people out there to join us on Twitter and Facebook for a wonderful celebration. I hope you join me for an unprecedented opportunity to laugh and rejoice and have a great time. Meet new friends. Fellow writers, published, unpublished, aspiring and NY Times heavy-hitters, agents, editors and Indian chiefs (okay, still looking for one of those).

We are going to start the party on Tuesday June 21st and go for the next 24 hours…or whenever we run out of steam. This is a worldwide party so chat, mingle and strut your stuff!

Time to laugh at that little devil and let him know he cannot steal our joy. We are going to dance anyway.

Also, the “devil” theme seemed appropriate since Jim’s new book is called The Devil Colony. It took Jim TWO years of research to write this book. Thousands of hours of work and so we are going to pull out all the stops!

Dress up for a costume party, or dress up for a fancy New York or Los Angeles book release party.  Wear devil costumes, eat deviled eggs or deviled ham, and take pictures!  Not in the costume mood?  Put on that sexy cocktail dress and high heels or your Start Fleet dress uniform with a lamp shade on your head, and take pictures!  Post all of your pictures on twitter in the #DevilColony hashtag.  Why? 

Hi, I write books about personal finance, and you? 

Jim will be popping in to say “Hi” to all of his friends, family, fans, and to make NEW friends.  Why else?  He will also select his favorite pictures from our cyber-party and post them on his site’s Wall of Fame.  Why else?  The best pictures will win a big mystery prize! 

Camera shy?  No problem. Come chat, mix, and mingle.  Tuesday’s #DevilColony hashtag will be the social event of the twitter-verse. Or hang out over on Jim’s fan page if you prefer FB.  Come, have fun and hang out!  Repost this blog, blog about it tweet about it, post on your FB. The more the weirder…I mean, merrier.

I am still feeling the butterflies and the fear, but I know I have some of the kindest, most thoughtful and generous people helping me spread the word even as we speak. I can’t wait to get to have fun with all of you, because life is short and should be celebrated as much and as often as possible.

What are some of the scariest things you’ve attempted? What does your little devil tell you and how do you handle it? How do you find ways to celebrate even the little things?

I love hearing from you! And to prove it and show my love, for the month of June, everyone who leaves a comment I will put your name in a hat. If you comment and link back to my blog on your blog, you get your name in the hat twice. If you leave a comment, and link back to my blog, and mention my book We Are Not Alone in your blog…you get your name in the hat THREE times. What do you win? The unvarnished truth from yours truly.

I will pick a winner every week for a critique of your first five pages. At the end of June I will pick a winner for the grand prize. A free critique from me on the first 15 pages of your novel. Good luck!

Note: I am keeping all the names for a final GRAND, GRAND PRIZE of 30 Pages (To be announced) OR a blog diagnostic. I look at your blog and give feedback to improve it. For now, I will draw weekly for 5 page edit, monthly for 15 page edit.

Important Announcements

Make sure you join our LOVE REVOLUTION over on Twitter by following and participating in the #MyWANA Twibe. Read this post to understand how this #MyWANA will totally transform your life and your author platform.

In the meantime, I hope you pick up copies of my best-selling books We Are Not Alone–The Writer’s Guide to Social Media and Are You There, Blog? It’s Me, Writer . Both books are recommended by the hottest agents and biggest authors in th biz. My methods teach you how to make building your author platform FUN. Build a platform and still have time left over to write more great books! I am here to change your approach, not your personality.


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  1. OMG, Kristen, that “what were you thinking?!” has been DEVILING me this week maybe more than most. I really really needed this. Thank you for putting in words all the crappiocca fears and tears bottled up in me. I am so gonna share this with bunches of folks for that alone–but the bonus news as well about the Great Devil Date.

    I’m pleased to spread the joyous word about the book launch…I’m a HUGE James Rollins fan, too! Got it on my calendar. And if it’s not on my calendar, it just doesn’t exist in my world, LOL!

  2. This rocks!! How excited are you???!! I’m there.

  3. I’m in! I’ve not a clue who Jame Rollins is (sorry, not my usual reading) but I trust you and Jenny, so why not? 😀 Is the book in the stores on Tuesday?

    1. Yes…and hey, I figure it gives us all an excuse to have a rip-roaring time together :D. Thanks! You are AWESOME.

      1. Woot!!! We’re in at More Cowbell!!! I’m looking for the funniest items to put my Little Devil in…though her usual outfit is banana in the hair and an Elmo doll. Maybe I’ll dress her as Barney – he is the instrument of the Devil…

        Whoops! *Inside words stay inside….*

        Great blog, Kristen! Thanks for letting us all have an excuse to party between now and Tuesday!!

    2. Okay, a few clicks and I see that I’ve been living in the hole under a rock that has been smushed down by a bulldozer. I’ll be in the corner reading on Tuesday.

      1. You’re funny Bridgette *waves*, I haven’t read any either, but I so want to read Devil’s Colony.

        1. Hey Catherine! {waving back} We’ll set up a Twitter party reading nook with bowls of M&M’s, popcorn, and mini-Reese’s cups. Your little one can have a cyber-sugar high. LOL.

  4. Definitely scary to put yourself out there no matter how much success you’ve had. I felt that recently with an article I wrote on Will Norton and the Joplin Tornado. The devil whispered to not post it. Good thing I did as Will’s family found comfort in it and thousands discovered hope from tragedy.

    Speaking is another one. I could puke before big talks sometimes, and they’re only getting bigger it seems. The elation of getting the job done is worth it though. Can’t wait for the party!!!

  5. I’m RSVPing to say I’ll be there! 🙂 Twitter parties are so much fun – adding in costumes will make it a blast!

    Good job getting through that first loop of the rollercoaster 🙂

    1. You guys are helping for sure, LOL :D. The Teacups are still looking really nifty ha ha ha ha.

  6. That’s a fantastic idea, I love it.

    The 21st is myself and my wife’s wedding anniversary, but I’ll be sure to at least stop by to say hi to everyone.

  7. Thank you for writing this today. I held a pity party for myself, last night, so thank you for snapping me out of it.

    “What are you thinking? Everyone is just going to laugh at you.” This is what I was thinking, or rather, since I write humor, “No one will laugh at me!”….but I catch your drift..

    *high five* for the awesome party idea and doing your own thing…:)

    It’ll be awesome!!

    • shawn on June 17, 2011 at 3:59 pm
    • Reply

    Wohoo! but who has the time for fear? and where did I put the two story beer bong?

  8. I’m dressing up my dog!!

  9. This will be real good fun! I havent read any of Mr Rollins books but I guess I will now.
    I’m sure you’ll be fine organising all this but I know what you mean about fear. Anyway count me in – especially as I am a fellow thriller writer. It’d be rude not to… I’ll mark it in my diary!
    I’ve just finished your book – Are you there blog? Brilliant! As a result I’ve spent the last 24 Hours totally re-vamping my own blog. So Thanks a lot for the timely advice – I think…( As she lifts weary head from desk and stares bleary-eyed at screen!).
    Seriously Good luck with it all – you deserve it – and thanks again for some great blog posts.

  10. Awesome and super excited for James Rollins and about getting to see what promises to be his most spectacular book yet! Hope to see all of you at #DevilColony on Tuesday (and between now and then, of course).

    James put a great deal of work into this project and has strung together a story, a history, a powerful chain of events that will engage our conversations for years to come. Lets celebrate and help James (and Kristen) as much as we can to make this launch one for the record books!

  11. Sounds like a ton of fun!! I haven’t had a chance to read anything from James Rollins but I have very familiar with the name and look forward to learning more about him as well as make some new friends!

    I totally understand about that fear. I’m getting down to the wire of the deadline for my first book and after doing a magazine interview and having more people look at my story it’s nerve wracking! But one saying I always try to remember is:

    To get over fear, you must do what you fear the most

  12. No photos, but I’ll drop in.

  13. I’ll be there! 🙂

    And yes, I know how you feel when you push yourself past the comfort zone (although Teacups still wouldn’t be my idea of comfort zone – I get dizzy just watching those 🙂 ). Hopefully, with the #myWANA tribe working together, we’ll get to next Wednesday and you’ll say, “Gee, why was I so worried?” LOL!

  14. I have found that blogging has helped to embrace fear. It’s given me a forum to stand on the edges and open my eyes, to try out things, knowing (now that I have been blogging for 18 months) that people will come back and that they will pick me up if I’ve fallen (or kick me if I’m complacent).

    I’ll be throwing up (not literally) my piece about James tomorrow. I have a few devilish ideas in my horns…

    (Note to self: stop using parentheses).

  15. “What are you thinking? Everyone is just going to laugh at you.”

    Getting past that demon really is the key, isn’t it? At age 37, I finally got the guts to ignore that voice and listen to the other one that had always been saying, “You can do this. Don’t limit yourself.” So I took the leap. And of course the fear is there. It should be. Leaving an incredibly secure job with four small children? But it finally got to the point where not taking that chance involved more risk than making the jump.

    As always, thanks for the great advice, Kristen. Your voice is one that helps to squelch that devil, as well.

    Good luck with the party. Looking forward to it.

  16. Fear is a familiar friend to me…my biggest milestones of hyperventilating fear were:

    – getting in front of a classroom for the first time (ditto, my first RWA meeting at the podium)
    – dealing with pulmonary embolisms
    – getting married
    – having a baby
    – starting my blog

    The only thing the same about any of these experiences was the fear that I couldn’t do it, wasn’t good enough, didn’t know how to do it well. Blah-blah-blah. One of my favorite quotes about courage and fear:

    Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear.
    ~ Redmoon

  17. Sounds like a hoot! I discovered the wonderful world of Twitter writers through a party similar to this. The lovely and talented Julie Butcher organized a Christmas party online. She coordinated a worldwide gift exchange. (I’m still in awe that I own a bookmark made by Shannon Butcher.) And we chatted and talked and ate munchies. It was so much fun.

    Needless to say, I’m really looking forward to yours 🙂

  18. I have a ton of fears, but most of them are silly. The biggest fears that I had to overcome? Saying, “I’m a writer,” outloud is definitely at the top of the list. Entering my first 3 chapters into a Lone Star Writing Contest is also one of the most recent fears I overcame.

    I don’t want to go on and on, but I do want to tell you (Kristen Lamb), “thank you.” You have helped me stride past so many of my fears – like bloggling and joining a group of other fine writers. Those things are scary to a newbies like me – and you made it all possible. 😉

  19. I am pretty sure that I love you for, if only for that cute little giggle at getting to call James Rollins, “Jim!” Love it. Love it, love it!

    I am intrigued by and looking forward to the party, as I’ve never “attended” such a thing and think it’s genius.

    Fear? That my DH will freak OUT when he learns that I’ve hired a plumber to finish the job he promised to, but didn’t. But, in a stunning display of defiance and courage, I’ve done it and I am so stinkin’ proud of myself.

    Also, I am going back to school this Fall, fingers crossed for funding. At 37. I am so excited for all the changes that are coming – I can FEEL it! – I have to stop myself from grinning.

    Bring it, Universe! See y’all Tuesday…I’ll be the one wearing heels!

  20. Well do I know that voice. I hear it so often. “What are you thinking?” “Everyone is going to laugh.” I’m learning to grit my teeth and just jump in. It’s always worth while. 😀

    And I’m so excited about the party! My first Twitter party. Do I need a date? 😀

    • Kerry Meacham on June 17, 2011 at 5:56 pm
    • Reply

    I’m in Kristen. Thanks for a personally relevant blog. You just seem to know what to say and how to say it.

  21. Commenting on blogs as freely as I do (as my full name, not anon) was tough for me to overcome. Will anyone care what I have to say? Turns out, YES!

    And as you can see by my avatar, I’ve been dressed for the party my whole life. If I were the DJ, Devil’s Night Out by the Mighty Mighty Bosstones would be cranking.

  22. Looks like fun! I just finished your book this week : We Are Not Alone. Just trying to put it all together or is that keep it all together?

  23. Well, I’m getting nervous, just reading this too. What a brilliant idea. Kind of proves We Are Not Alone, and you told the truth about it. And now the universe is following along.

    Pretty darned cool…

  24. Hi Kristen, I posted a short invite notice for your Twitter party on both my FB author page and my FB personal wall. Hope this helps spread the word for you. Cheers, Ashley (WANA Minionette)

  25. Pursuing a career in writing is forcing me to address a million fears. Well, that’s an exaggeration, but sometimes you just gotta put on your “confidence-face” and GO!

  26. Scariest thing I still deal with? My TweetDeck guide. Holy cow I figured I was creating something pretty useless, but the number of times people have thanked me for it amazes me and I STILL feel like a sham! Next scariest thing was actually talking to you, Kristen, got to admit, I was reading your blog a lot longer than I was talking to you and the #MyWANA crew on Twitter.

    1. LOL. Well, we sure appreciate you taking on your fear. Your Tweet Deck guide has been immensely helpful. Thanks for all your support! #MyWANA

  27. Since I read you both and James is my autobuy of autobuys, of course I’ll be there and spread the word!

  28. “Nothing great was ever accomplished in the comfort zone.” That is quite possibly the best quote I’ve ever read. Love it. And hoping this turns into the ride of your life!

  29. This is a great post, and it also shows how unconventional we can be to get our word out. We don’t have to rely on just publishers. We have the whole “Twitterverse” and all the folks at #MyWana to rely on when our own books are published. This is seriously a revolutionary idea. And, of course, you are that girl who dances with the devil on one shoulder and the angel on the other.

    I’m very excited for James. We are Twitter friends, but I hardly know him at all. I am thrilled for his success and shall dress scary (and slutty) for the date. I can’t help it. That’s what comes out when I dress up. I’ll look for his book on 6/21. 😉

    • Texanne on June 18, 2011 at 12:53 am
    • Reply

    I saw the trailer for this book over at Curiocat’s blog.
    So, let’s see. Sunday is father’s day. Monday is DH’s birthday, and he’s also getting his stitches removed, and there’s a sleepover for the third grade.
    Oh, heck yeah! Looking back, I’m pretty sure I’ve already danced with the devil a time or two. It’s all covered.

    Great idea–nice to see what the muse can muster up when it has a straight shot to your mouth! :)TX

  30. I’m pumped it’s an all day party, so now I can come after work and get my groove on! Congrats for dreaming big, Kristen! I love the costume contest idea and making it a get together that celebrates author successes. If there is one thing I love most about your blogging and writing it’s how you give and give and give back to other writers; it makes you a better writer and such a key member of our society. You truly believe and live by your advice to support other writers as you progress on your own journey. I couldn’t agree more! Thanks Kristen, looking forward to the party!

  31. I love the idea of a worldwide online party. That’s more than awesome. I also 100% get the little devil voice of fear. He whispers in my ear at the strangest moments, over the most unexpected things. Like, for example, when I first moved to Costa Rica: Pack up my whole world and move to a country where I barely speak the language? I got that…no problem! But get on a public bus to get myself to the mercado when my car is in the shop, or go over to introduce myself to the neighbors? No way…are you insane?!?!?! That’s nightmarishly scary!! But, hard as it was, I did learn to use the buses and I did get to know the neighbors, and afterward all the scary was gone.

  32. Looking at the twitter stream, I got this message from my favorite bloggers. Gosh, Kristen! You’ve unleashed a wild beast. Be proud of yourself.

  33. count me IN! I’ve put an event on my calendar

  34. You KNOW I’ll be there. I believe I may have mentioned at SOME point that I’m a big time James Rollins fan girl….


  35. This is brilliant! It’s all over twitter and the blogosphere, so OF COURSE I’m joining the fun. Not to mention that… (OMG James Rollins is one of my all-time fave authors)… you know, Rollins is cool. 😛 So yeah, I’ll be blogging about this later tonight and join the fun on Tuesday for sure. Thanks for spreading, or rather starting, the word. Now I am REALLY excited about the book. Two years?? I can only imagine what he found! No wait… I can’t. 😀

  36. Neat idea. Decided to celebrate it with a tweet:

    Tuesday June 21st – @jamesrollins with help from @KristenLambTX is holding Twitter Release party 4 his novel The Devil Colony #DevilColony

    That’s another 350 people who will have heard 🙂


    • ellieswords on June 20, 2011 at 12:06 pm
    • Reply

    Sounds like a totally great party!

  37. You’re a wonderful role-model of courage. Sounds fun and exciting. Hope I can figure out how to drop in. Costume will likely be 50-something frumpy overweight lady.

  1. […] like all kinds of surprises are in store, especially since social media maven and Jedi master Kristen Lamb is the force behind this grand scheme. And did I mention that Jim and Kristen are looking for […]

  2. […] Lamb Dances With The Devil today over at her […]

  3. […] Kristen Lamb’s Blog – Dance With the Devil – Fear and the Biggest Party EVER […]

  4. […] Kristen Lamb, our hostess, acclaimed social media expert and author of two best-selling books has the Devil’s details on the party at  “The Devil Colony” Twitter Release Party. […]

  5. […] break out your party hats. Why? Because we are joining in the fun. Tuesday 21 June, the fabulous Kristen Lamb is throwing quite possibly the biggest launch party EVER for the incredibly talented James […]

  6. […] Kristen Lamb, another published author I swoon over, emailed me and asked if I could help promote this International Twitter Party for the release of James Rollins’ new novel, The Devil Colony, on Tuesday. Kristen could ask me to stand on my head for a day and speak only in Pig Latin, and I’d do it. […]

  7. […] Lamb and James Rollins are friends – she suggests a Worldwide Launch Party and interviews […]

  8. […] Kristen Lamb, another published author I swoon over, emailed me and asked if I could help promote this International Twitter Party for the release of James Rollins’ new novel, The Devil Colony, on Tuesday. Kristen could ask me to stand on my head for a day and speak only in Pig Latin, and I’d do it. […]

  9. […] Today’s post is brought to you by Kristen Lamb… Dance with the Devil—Fear and the Biggest Party EVER! […]

  10. […] Kristen Lamb's Blog HomeAbout Kristen LambJoin the Love Revolution #MyWANAThe Pants of Shame « Dance with the Devil–Fear and the Biggest Party EVER! […]

  11. […] Kristen Lamb, the durn fine hostess of this epic event, shares the details here. […]

  12. […] saw Kristen Lamb talk about Dancing With the Devil (Fear) in last Friday’s post, right? (It was AWESOME!) Speaking of awesome, Kristen will be at Writers In The Storm this Friday […]

  13. […] Here’s Kristen’s invitation “Dance with the Devil – Fear and the Biggest Party EVER!” […]

  14. […] So often we let fear keep us from doing what we want. Many times we’ll stop before we even get started. As Kristen Lamb stated in her Dance with the Devil blog: […]

  15. […] plus. In the #DevilColony party for James Rollins’ book launch, my favorite two pics were: – Kristen Lamb with her hair in big rollers, singing into a hairbrush, and – Piper Bayard carrying a tray of […]

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