So you can read my books

Wednesday, March 6, 2013


{Image courtesy of Steve Z Photography}
Have you ever ...

                            googled yourself?

Why on earth would you want to do that you ask.

Forget a moment the reasons for doing it as an author:

It’s good to know the statistics in a recent study:
  • 77% of potential employers used search engines like Google to screen their candidates.
  • 35% of these employers eliminated a candidate from consideration based on information they found online!
Some people act as if their Facebook presence and what they post to the Web through various channels won’t negatively affect them.

This isn’t true.

If you proudly display pictures online of yourself drinking or taking part in lewd acts, this reflects negatively on you;

the good impression you made upon a potential employer in that job interview is likely wasted if he or she happens upon a more…
                                            candid representation of your extracurricular activities in a Google search.

Anne R. Allen did a great post on why authors should google themselves as well:

As social media guru Kristen Lamb says “Your name is your brand.”

How could it be “vain” to find out how your brand is doing?

Why should you google search your name?

1. Know who’s talking about you.

 When I self-googled a few days ago, I found out a web site has posted a rebuttal of one of my articles for another blog.

If I didn’t perform a search on my name, I wouldn’t have known about it.

It's good to know in general, what people think about you.

2. Know what other people see.

Say you've just queried an agent -- wouldn't you like to know what she would find if she
chose to Google your name?

3. Gauge the Popularity of your Blog

As was said earlier, when people link to you, it’ll be easy to say who talks about you.

There are more who won’t link to you and mention you in passing, however.

It would be nice to know about them as well, wouldn't it?


Samuel McCord, Stetson in hand, asks you to forgive me for this cavalier promotion of his

Stroll the streets of the French Quarter long enough, and you will hear of the jazz club of the damned, MEILORI’S, and its owner: the man with Death in his veins.

How did that happen? Story of my life and undeath: the wrong place at the worst time.

Case in point: me being in New Orleans when Katrina hit. Now, the night after, tales had come to me of rape and murder in the Convention Center.

Death calls to death so here I was sloshing down the flooded street to the Convention Center.

As I waded along into the night, the black mists curled and creamed in the humid darkness like an unspoken fear trying to form itself on the edge of consciousness.

A trick of the thick air, the moon of blood leered down upon its reflection on the dark waters of the flooded street. Ripples of its long bloody image flowed from the floating dead body of a cat, looking like fingers caressing its kill.

The cat’s death hadn’t been pretty nor was its corpse. The night became colder than it should have been. Much, much colder.

Rind, the Angelus of Death, whispered in my blood. “At night the dead come back to drink from the living.”

I didn’t need Rind to tell me that the night was not my friend. Too much death had happened too recently.

Spirits, lost and angry, were walking beside me. Torn clothing. Hollow eyes of shadows. Sharp, white teeth. Long, writhing fingers slowly closing and unclosing.

Because of Rind’s blood in my veins, I could see them slowly circling me, hear their trailing, splashing steps behind me, feel the heat of their sunken, hungry eyes upon my back and throat.

Were they soul-echoes, mere refracted memory of a will? Or were there such things as literal ghosts? Just because I could see them didn’t mean that I understood what they were.

I turned the corner and came upon the startled, fragile grace of a too-white egret standing alert in the middle of the flooded street, staring back at me. Its long sleek neck slowly cocked its sloping head at me.

Then, gathering its huge wings, it launched itself into the air with its long black legs. I saw the spirits of the dead around me longingly stare after its curved flight of grace and freedom into the dark sky.

I felt a tug on my left jacket sleeve. I looked down. My chest grew cold. The dead face of a little girl was looking up at me.

Or rather the face of her lost, wandering spirit, her full black eyes glistening like twin pools of oil. Her face was a wrenching mix of fear and longing. She tried to speak.

Nothing came out of her moving lips. Looking like she was on the verge of tears, she tugged on my sleeve again and pointed to the end of the block. I followed her broken-nailed finger.

I shivered.

She was pointing to her own corpse.

I took in a ragged breath I didn’t need to compose myself. The Convention Center would have to wait. I had sworn a long time ago that no child would ever ask my help without getting it.

A haunted singing was faint on the breeze. Somewhere the dead had found their voices.

I nodded to the girl’s spirit and waded to her corpse, the force of the rushing flood waters having washed it up onto the sidewalk and against a store front where it slowly bobbed in place. I saw the girl’s spirit out of the corner of my eye, studying the shell of flesh she had once worn.

Her head was turned slightly to one side. The expression to her face was sorrowful and wistful at the same time. She pointed again.

I followed her trembling finger. A rosary all wrapped up in the balled fingers of her left hand. She gestured sharply, then looked at me with eyes echoing things I did not want to see.

I nodded again and kneeled down beside the girl’s swollen corpse. I pried the rosary loose, wrapping it around the fingers of my gloved left hand.

I looked up at the girl’s spirit. She just stood there frowning as if in concentration. Her brow furrowed, her tiny fists balled, and her jaws clenched. I could swear beads of sweat appeared on her ghostly forehead.

I jerked as suddenly guttural words were forced from the long-dead throat of the corpse at my boots.

“T-Tell M-Mama … peaceful now.”

And with that, she looked up into the night. I followed her eyes. She was looking at the retreating body of the egret slowly flying into a filmy, billowing cloud. I looked back to her spirit.

She was gone.

“I promise,” I said to the empty night.

2010 © Roland Yeomans
{Try reading the above selection to this haunting melody}


  1. I googled myself. Did you know I'm a mezzo soprano and a financial advisor? Me neither. :-)

    I also found images of authors I've featured on my blog. And of course many images of my celebrity crush Wentworth Miller.

    Good thing I use an author name when it comes out to potential employers checking me out!

  2. Jennifer:

    A mezzo soprano and a financial advisor? Better watch out! The IRS will be wanting taxes on all those incomes!!

    Yes! In this cyber age, we can trip ourselves up, forgetting that potential employers may be googling us!! Whoa. :-)

  3. Somewhat sadly, I Google myself several times a day. :) But I just had a book release, so I'm trolling for reviews!

  4. I Google myself now and then. It seems to go on forever...

  5. Sharon:
    There's nothing wrong in hoping to see reviews for your book, either good or bad. Bad breath is better than no breath at all! I wish you the highest of sales on your new book!

    What can I say? You're a popular guy on the Net. :-)

  6. I've googled my name and the images, before. Why not? I found one post on a high-profile site, but at least it gave me credit if not a link.

    I also found one of my iconic Paris photos being used by a Romanian Mason's group as their photo. No credit was given. I'm in the process of watermarking my images, as a result. There will always be unethical users. It's smart to google your brand, your name, or even your blog name.

    Good advice, Roland. And you know reading the excerpt you posted is hard for me to do as a parent. But I did read it out of respect for your writing.

  7. D.G.:
    I am glad you found the sites using your photos. I hate the need to watermark your photos as it takes away from the majesty of them, but I understand the necessity. :-(

    I did not mean to cause you upset with my excerpt. The little girl found peace in it. In my novel, she is the girl who lost the doll Father Renfield dropped into the flooded street, hoping it would find the spirit of the little girl who lost it. It did.

  8. I google myself because that's the only way that I discover some blog posts or articles about me or including me. I've found a lot that way, including a weird one in Russian!

  9. Hi Roland .. I had a quick check - there's someone there who isn't me - but such is life.

    The thing that I did pick up was ... we should be registering our own domain name ... before they get zapped or taken up by others for nefarious purposes ..

    Cheers Hilary

  10. I have, and do on a regular basis. I've always made it a policy though to never put anything out there that I don't want plastered on the front page of a newspaper. Helps keep it in perspective.

    I love this excerpt by the way! I get chills reaching about her pointing to her own corpse.

  11. I have in the past. A lot of it is from my blog. I haven't done it for a while now. Makes me curious. Maybe I'll give it another try.

  12. Hilary:
    Inquiring into our domain name is a good idea.

    Checking on Google is fun. You made my evening by liking my excerpt. :-)

    Go ahead and give it a try -- you may be surprised!!

  13. i have googled myself until i went blind... i am several people in the world. i have done my sites and i am at the top of the list...