And here we are, three months away from the publication date of Out of the Ruins and five posts into this series about the steps between writing and publishing. I’ve been especially looking forward to this post because this one is several months in the making.
We all know what a website is. We all know that in today’s world, your website is your business card. For any business to be taken seriously, from being a plumber to being a writer, a website is needed to provide that sense of legitimacy and professionalism. But like all small businesses, the professional life of a writer changes over time. New books are written. New directions are taken. Your website has to reflect that. It is your public image, and just like your face, you have to decide how you want it to be shown to the world. With or without makeup? Smirking or smiling? Tongue in cheek or tongue sticking out? Or dead pan and blank.
I created my first website about seven years ago. It very much reflected the writer I was then and my first tentative steps into the larger world beyond my writing desk. But then, around the publication of A Clash of Innocents, I redid my website to solidify my newly established connection with Cambodia. Both sites worked well for their time.
But now I find myself in a different chapter of my career. The connection with Cambodia is established. My teaching life has taken on a more important role. I have more books published. I felt that now I needed a website with more flexibility, something with cleaner lines so as not to take away from the larger amount of information I want to convey. And I wanted to find a better way to walk that line between the professional and the personal.
I’m pleased to say that I can now unveil the latest iteration of my website:
It’s taken several months to get it right, to make sure it says what I want in the way I want to say it, to make sure it easily guides the visitor to where he or she wants to go. It’s amazing how many times I needed to proofread this, how many mistakes I made and important bits I had left out. Getting it right is difficult and frustrating, sometimes, but so important. Maybe that’s why it’s difficult and frustrating.  I hope you like it and find it useful. And if you do, and you find it difficult to create a website by yourself, as I found it to be, feel free to contact my web designer, Hugh Guiney, for his help. (Yes, we are related, but even so…)
And here’s a reminder of the other posts in this series on From Contract to Shelf: