by Debra Koontz Roberson
Remember this children’s nursery rhyme?
I never saw a purple cow
I never hope to see one
But I can tell you this right now
I’d rather see than be one.
Being different may be a horrible thought when you are a child or teenager, but it’s essential when you’re a grownup marketing yourself and your books. God made you a creative sort, so why not let it shine?
My mantra: Be a purple cow.
Really, Debra, a purple cow? Isn’t that a silly notion best left with children? Perhaps, but the visual it creates is sure an easy one to carry with you, and the attendees at the most recent Dale Carnegie course I assisted with left the session all vowing to become purple cows.
But, Debra, that’s so boastful and egotistical! No, I’m not talking about strutting and prancing and grandstanding. A purple cow still swishes at flies and sleeps in the meadow amidst cow patties and grazes with her docile brown friends. She just radiates a different color.
Being different (drawing on that creative side) helps others to take an interest in you. It can distinguish you from the crowd, give readers a hook to rest their memory on, and provide a visual for better recall.
And, Because We Love Show Instead of Tell:
Picture it: You’re driving down a country road with your family in a white SUV, not a cloud in the sky.
From the back seat your child yells, “Mommy! Daddy! Look at the cows.”
You screech on the breaks. Every head in the car turns to see a beautiful field filled with brown cows.
You say: “Awe, aren’t they pretty?”
Your spouse adds: “Look at that, they’re all brown. All the same.”
Eureka! You realize that if one of those cows was, say, purple….now that cow would get attention! That cow would stand out.”
Bring the Cows Home
I bet you started your book with your purple side. Your penchant to write certainly comes from your purpleness…after all, you probably know more non-writers than writers, yes? Perhaps an agent gave you the nod because you revealed some purple.
Your purpleness is what you can offer to others to make it easier for them to ask you questions and to get to know you and your work.
Try this, instead:
I am a purple cow
I always plan to be one
And I can tell you this right now
I’d rather be than see one!
Think of it as applying a color to the uniqueness God gave you.
Having grown up on a dairy farm, Debra Koontz Roberson (D.L.Koontz) confesses to finding it easier to milk cows than become one-no matter the color. She was taught to be humble and not draw attention to herself, so her first novel, Crossing into the Mystic-with its plot wrapped around ghosts, demons and romance-is inherently more purple than she is. But, she turns a stunning vibrant purple when she’s alone in her writing nook in southern Georgia working on the third installment to her trilogy. Find her at www.dlkoontz.com.