Book Blast! How to promote a book
Walking Through the Gates by Jason Maurer
How book blogging can spark creative writing
As part of my master’s degree internship, I’ve been walking tentatively into the world of book blogging to promote Danish thriller author Tobias Bukkehave. It’s not a world I’m familiar with, despite my own writing aspirations. Honestly, I was afraid of it; not just of the vulnerability of exposure (a feeling I have long struggled within my own writing life) but of my own external perception of its impenetrability. Only the best and the brightest could blog. Only those with the most searing wit, the sharpest intellect, the clearest voices, could walk through the gates into the world of writing.
So, when I started working with Bukkehave to promote him and his new novel, For King and Country (a spy thriller combining James Bond action with the deep character work and political realities of John Le Carré, all saturated with a healthy dose of Danish hygge), in order to get it sold to an English-speaking publisher, I proceeded with a certain amount of trepidation. I’d been asked to reach out to bloggers to write guest posts (like this one) and ask for interviews. I thought it’d be an uphill slog—I knew nothing of guest blogging and never expected anybody to be interested in what I had to say. I thought every post I wrote (if I even wrote any) to be sharply criticized, either by Bukkehave (“You clearly don’t understand my book”) or the blogger (“There’s nothing novel or interesting in this”).
What I found instead was that book bloggers are some of the most dedicated and engaged writers in the world. Here were people who dedicated every day to expressing their love and passion for storytelling. Who drank up books like I’d done when I was younger, all the while managing to hold down day jobs and families. Who were friendly and open to even a no-name writer’s request to write for them. The rejections were prompt and kind, the acceptances enthusiastic and inquisitive.
Within days, I’d landed a couple of posts and a podcast interview. I wrote the posts; they flowed well and for the first time in a long time I enjoyed the words as they came out. I showed them to Bukkehave (another exercise in vulnerability), who even enjoyed them! Far from being the distant author, he was engaged, enthusiastic, and grateful. Here was a published author, an author whose novel had already been optioned for film, an author who had written a protagonist I empathized with the most of any character in recent memory—Tom Cortzen, who struggled with the same feelings of disconnection and duty to his home country that I have since I moved away years ago—and he’d enjoyed what I’d written. I felt connected to a world I’d never allowed myself to be connected to, that I’d shut behind gates wrought of fear and inadequacy.
In reading all these book blogs, I rediscovered some aspect of writing I’d lost in my attempts at making it a salaried position. And I discovered (or perhaps remembered) the passion that drives this industry from the bottom up. A fantastic pattern coalesced: a branching web of love that I realize serves as the lifeblood of books and stories. It’s what brings these stories to life, what allows them to move across continents and time—the passion of the artist and its harmonic blooming in the hearts of those it touches.
Of course, with love, there’s always pain. One can’t ignore the reality that publishing is a business, that profit will always be a driving force in it. But thanks to bloggers like Duffy, and writers like Bukkehave, I don’t think that’s the core of it anymore. I mean, just look at where I am now: I’ve read only the first 80 or so pages of For King and Country (all that’s available in English presently), but Bukkehave’s words brought up not just the relieving sense of being seen but that electric desire we all get when we’ve found something we love: “Hey, you should read this, it’s amazing.”
Sometimes, we just have to walk through the gates.
About For King And Country
First Lieutenant Tom Cortzen is back in Denmark, even though he swore he’d never return—not after what happened in Iraq. Even worse, it’s to attend the funeral of his father, Rear Admiral Richard Cortzen, for whom everything began and ended with God, king, and country. But even as he says his goodbyes, Tom receives a tap on the shoulder from an old soldier friend: Denmark needs him. A top Iranian programmer has been murdered and his Danish girlfriend has disappeared.
While such a case wouldn’t normally impinge on Denmark’s security, the military intelligence envoy to the Middle East seems to have been murdered by the same shadowy mercenary group—and he just so happened to have been Tom’s old friend. Divided between serving a country that betrayed him and honouring his friend, Tom begins a pulse-pounding adventure that will lead him from the rich sprawl of Dubai back to the regal stonework of Copenhagen.
With unmistakable inspiration from writers such as John le Carré, Jan Guillou, and Jens Henrik Jensen, and from TV and film series like Homeland and Jason Bourne, Tobias Bukkehave débuts as a writer for adults with FOR KING AND COUNTRY, a high-octane spy thriller on the abuse of power, international conspiracy, and nationalism in a world where borders are increasingly being tightened.
Where to buy For King And Country
We’re working hard to get For King and Country sold to an English publisher. If you’re interested in the book, please let us know by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, as every little helps!
About Author Tobias Bukkehave
Tobias Bukkehave was born in Svendborg, Denmark, in 1980. He débuted in 2018 with the children’s novels The Journey to Arkadia and The Threat from Kragoria, both about a young boy called Elmer Baltazar. The Journey to Arkadia was nominated for the Orla Children’s Book Prize. Bukkehave also works as a screenwriter for film and television. He lives in Copenhagen with his partner and two children.
Who is Jason Maurer?
Jason Maurer was born in New Hampshire, raised in Vermont, educated in Scotland, found love in Finland, and found a life in Sweden. He’s currently completing an MA in media and communications at Malmö University and interning at the Danish marketing company Onlinestrategen.dk. He’s written two short stories and is finishing a novel.