Monday, September 22, 2014

Guest post: "Publish a Book and Ye Will Be Famous," by Beverly McClure, author of 'A Pirate, a Blockade Runner, and a Cat'

Once upon a time, a girl had a dream. 

Publish a book and she would be famous. So, she worked real hard, writing, editing, submitting and finally her dream came true. Her book was published. Then another book was published, and another. She blogged to tell people about her books. She gave books away and readers wrote wonderful reviews. Everyone said “Enter contests and people will hear about your books.” She entered contests. Some of her books won awards. She wrote more books and tweeted about them.

She waited for fame and fortune. She waited for Hollywood to call. She picked out the actors and actresses perfect to play her characters. Still, no one, except her writer friends who she adores, knew her name.  

And then one day, a child gave her the magic words, the words that made her remember why she wrote. “I love your book. It has a special place on my bookshelf.”

She knew then that she did not pen her stories for fortune or fame or Hollywood. She wrote her stories for the children and teens that wanted to escape from their everyday lives, to another world, a fantasy world where life was beautiful or fun or exciting, if only for a while. For the children that wanted to meet characters like themselves, characters that made them laugh and cry. Characters that were not perfect, but human, like them.

She writes for you, dear readers. In case you don’t know her name, she’s Beverly Stowe McClure. She thanks each of you who have enjoyed her books.

Find out more about A Pirate, a Blockade Runner, and a Cat on Amazon

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When Beverly Stowe McClure was in eighth grade, her teacher sent her poem “Stars” to the National High School Poetry Association, and she was soon a published writer in Young America Sings, an anthology of Texas high school poetry. Today, Beverly is a cum laude graduate of Midwestern State University with a BSEd degree. For twenty-two years, she taught children to read and write. They taught her patience. She is affectionately known as the “Bug Lady” because she rescues butterflies, moths, walking sticks, and praying mantis from her cats.
Most of the time, you’ll find Beverly in front of her computer, writing the stories little voices in her head tell her. When she’s not writing, she takes long walks and snaps photos of clouds, wild flowers, birds and deer. She also enjoys visiting with her family and teaching a women’s Sunday school class at her church. Her articles have been published in leading children’s magazines. Two of her stories are in CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE SOUL ANTHOLOGIES, and she has nine novels published, two of them award winning novels at Children’s Literary Classics and other competitions.


Connect with Beverly on the net:



Monday, September 15, 2014

Straight From the Mouth of 'Two Empty Thrones' C.H. MacLean



To young C. H. MacLean, books were everything: mind-food, friends, and fun. They gave the shy middle child’s life color and energy. Amazingly, not everyone saw them that way. Seeing a laundry hamper full of books approach her, the librarian scolded C. H. for trying to check them all out. “You’ll never read that many before they expire!” C. H. was surprised, having shown great restraint only by keeping a list of books to check out next time. Thoroughly abashed, C. H. waited three whole days after finishing that lot before going back for more.

With an internal world more vivid than the real one, C. H. was chastised for reading in the library instead of going to class. “Neurotic, needs medical help,” the teacher diagnosed. C. H.’s father, a psychologist, just laughed when he heard. “She’s just upset because those books are more challenging than her class.” C. H. realized making up stories was just as fun as reading, and harder to get caught doing. So for a while, C. H. crafted stories and characters out of wisps and trinkets, with every toy growing an elaborate personality.
But toys were not mature, and stories weren’t respectable for a family of doctors. So C. H. grew up and learned to read serious books and study hard, shelving foolish fantasies for serious work.

Years passed in a black and white blur. Then, unpredictably falling in love all the way to a magical marriage rattled C. H.’s orderly world. A crazy idea slipped in a resulting crack and wouldn’t leave. “Write the book you want to read,” it said. “Write? As in, a fantasy novel? But I’m not creative,” C. H. protested. The idea, and C. H.’s spouse, rolled their eyes.

So one day, C. H. started writing. Just to try it, not that it would go anywhere. Big mistake. Decades of pent-up passion started pouring out, making a mess of an orderly life. It only got worse. Soon, stories popped up everywhere- in dreams, while exercising, or out of spite, in the middle of a work meeting. “But it’s not important work,” C. H. pleaded weakly. “They are not food, or friends, or…” But it was too late. C. H. had re-discovered that, like books, life should be fun too. Now, writing is a compulsion, and a calling.

C. H. lives in a Pacific Northwest forest with five cats, two kids, one spouse, and absolutely no dragons or elves, faeries, or demons… that are willing to be named, at least.

His latest book is the YA fantasy, Two Empty Thrones.

For More Information


Thanks for letting us interrogate interview you!  Can you give us a go-for-the-gut answer as to why you wanted to be an
author?

I've always loved to read, and knew the power of a good book. When I finally realized I could write books like that, I wanted to give back, inspire and invigorate others like other authors had done for me.

Tell us (we won’t tell promise!) is it all it’s cracked up to be?  I mean what are the perks and what are the demands?

The demands are strong: an almost overwhelming urge to write, but knowing to finish anything takes forever. You can always edit some more, tweak it here and there. And there is no guarantee that it will be liked. Unless readers know about your book, how can they enjoy it? And with the volume of books already out there, how can they know about yours?

Compared to my other job, though, I love being a writer. It really feels like a calling, like I'm doing something to make the world brighter and more fun.

Which route did you take – traditional or self-published – and can you give us the nitty gritty low down on what’s that like?

My research on the publishing world led me to a bevy of information about self-publishing. The information challenged my previous biases against it. I decided to self-publish for several reasons, the two main being the amount of control I have over my work and the ability to keep my book in print for as long as I want.

But the work involved overwhelmed me! I had no idea how much effort went into it, such as formatting, cover art, and so on. It took about six months of heavy lifting.

What’s the snarkiest thing you can say about the publishing industry (e.g. rejections, the long wait, etc.)

I don't really have that much; after self-publishing, I think I have a lot more respect for the publishing industry. However, I can say with the explosion of quality alternatives to traditional publishing, I see we're on the verge of a Gutenberg-level revolution.

Tell us for real what your family feels about you spending so much time getting your book written, polished, edited, formatted, published, what have you?

The love of my life is crucial in getting everything done, so I would have to say I feel nothing but gratitude for her. My two kids get pretty tired of hearing about it all but sometimes they really get into it. Lately they comment on everything, help me pick out covers and are even creating their own versions of covers and story lines. As far as the time I spend writing, they all seem to understand that writing is a part of who I am and something I just need to do.

What was the craziest or insane thing that happened to you in the book publishing process?

I can’t think of anything crazy or insane with this book. Publishing the first book in the series had a lot more hiccups. Like noticing that the book formatting somehow randomly deleted more than half of the italics in the book, and we had to go back through and find and change all those passages back into italics.

How about the social networks?  Which ones do you believe help and which ones do you wish you could avoid?

I don’t know if any of them help make direct sales. However, in terms of reaching a larger audience and making relationships, I like Twitter the best, Facebook the least. Facebook makes it painfully hard to get your posts to your fans, even if they’ve liked your page.

Book sales.  Don’t you just love them (or lack of?)?  How are you making the sales happen for you?

To be honest, so far my focus has mainly been on getting reviews so I’ve been giving the book away for free a lot. Besides the fact that reviews are so important, I feel that in a tough genre, like fantasy, it’s a great way to get your foot in the door and get word of mouth started.

What is one thing you’d like to jump on the rooftop and scream about?

While I love jumping on the roof, I'm not really a screamer. But I would yell about how much I appreciate my team and what a great book we produced.

Okay, too much sugar for you today!  Here’s a nice cup of Chamomile tea and come on over and sit under the cabana and watch the waves roll in.  Now…can you tell us what you love about being a published author and how all those things above don’t matter because it’s all part of the whole scheme of things and you wouldn’t have it any other way?

Oh, well put. After all the work and worry, to hear how much readers enjoyed the book and to know life is a bit better for them, is a morning rainbow after a thunderous night.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Straight from the Mouth of 'Runes and the Tower of Shadows' Andrew Cratsley

A native of Honeoye, New York, Andrew Cratsley lives in North Carolina. Keepers of Runes and the Tower of Shadows is his debut novel. Cratsley is a lifelong fan of fantasy books, films, and RPG-style gaming.  A champion of literacy issues and proud supporter of the World Literacy Foundation, Cratsley will donate a portion of the proceeds from Keepers of Runes and the Tower of Shadows to the World Literacy Foundation’s fight against illiteracy.


Questionnaire:
Thanks for letting us interrogate you!  Can you give us a go-for-the-gut answer as to why you wanted to be an author?
It was a slow development as the story evolved in my mind. There was a point where the idea had to be put to paper since my mind couldn’t let it go. Sometimes the subconscious is not to be ignored.
Tell us (we won’t tell promise!) is it all it’s cracked up to be?  I mean what are the perks and what are the demands?
The demands to produce a masterpiece are great, but I believe the rewards will be equally satisfying.
Which route did you take – traditional or self-published – and can you give us the nitty gritty low down on what’s that like?
I self-published and the process is probably more stressful than letting an agent handle it, but the freedom to control every aspect of my vision seems ideal. I don’t like the idea of having editors make changes I don’t agree with, or artwork that doesn’t fit my theme.
Tell us for real what your family feels about you spending so much time getting your book written, polished, edited, formatted, published, what have you?
My family is delighted with the journey I have taken to complete this work.
This is for pet lovers.  If you don’t own a pet, skip this question, but do your pets actually get their food on time or do they have to wait until you type just one more word?
I have 2 cats and they don’t make forgetting such things possible.
This is for plant lovers.  If you don’t own a plant, skip this question, but if you do, are they actually still alive?
In writing your book, how did you deal with the phone ringing, your family needing dinner or your boss calling you saying you’re late?
After feeding the cats I found the mute button on the phone very helpful. :)
What was the craziest or insane thing that happened to you in the book publishing process?
Exploring the venues with my illustration was rocky, but I’m ecstatic that I found Tony. His artwork is amazing.
How about the social networks?  Which ones do you believe help and which ones do you wish you could avoid?
I’m still new to all of the networks, but I hope all of them will be useful.
Book sales.  Don’t you just love them (or lack of?)?  How are you making the sales happen for you?
I will find out after the release date :)
What is one thing you’d like to jump on the rooftop and scream about?
Book 2 is ready for the editor!
Okay, too much sugar for you today!  Here’s a nice cup of Chamomile tea and come on over and sit under the cabana and watch the waves roll in.  Now…can you tell us what you love about being a published author and how all those things above doesn’t matter because it’s all part of the whole scheme of things and you wouldn’t have it any other way?
The satisfaction of seeing my completed book on my desk is difficult to describe, but I eagerly await to see the entire set there one day. I also think at the same time I will dread the end since the journey is so exciting. We are years away from that point though.


Friday, August 29, 2014

Straight from the Mouth of 'A Hidden Element' Donna Galanti

The Review Dilemma 

It’s a funny thing once your book is published. People you don’t know are reading it and reviewing it. Some reviews will be good. Some will be conflicting. Some may be bad. Here’s my take on what authors can do with reviews and how to find best fit reviewers.

Conflicting Reviews

You may wonder how two people can find such differences in your book. Easy. It’s all subjective and your readers will vary. Just as your book is unique, so is everyone’s opinion of it based on their collective life experiences. In the same week a reviewer for my book noted “absolutely no grammar errors were noticed which proves that good editing is out there!” and another noted “Good plot, but a lot of typos.” Recommendation? Laugh over them and then ignore them.

Bad Review

Unfortunately, you may receive them. Are bad reviews all bad? Not necessarily. If people are talking about your book passionately, it's more likely to reach some readers who'll like it but would never have found it otherwise. A bad mention can be better than no mention at all, particularly for those readers who are skeptical of too many glowing reviews. It can lend more credibility to the book.

What not to do about a bad review? Respond. All authors receive them. Even the NY Times bestselling authors. Why a bad review? The reader might not normally read your genre, or was misled by the cover. The writing style might not be one they normally connect with. Have you read a book and wondered how people could praise it? A bad review can even lead to self-awareness of your writing and improvement. And remember, they are reviewing books – not the writer.

Finding Best Fit Reviewers

Can you increase your chances of finding positive reviewers? Yes. Research book review bloggers in your genre. Review their website and see what kind of books they have reviewed in the past. See if your book falls within the guidelines of what they want to read.

Places to find book reviewers? Use Google Alerts. Type in key words like "romance stories" or "action novels" and then in what medium you want them to appear (as they appear in blogs, the news, etc.). Google will then send you a list every day of all the hits according to your search specifications. Click on the links recommended.  If the blogger looks like he offers reviews, send him a request for review. Book Blogger Directory is resourceful.
Also, search Facebook book groups. They can have corresponding blogs that offer book reviews. Lastly, doing a Goodreads giveaway can generate positive reviews. Readers who read your genre can enter to win a copy of your book if it peaks their interest. I always send a handwritten thank you note with the book, my business card, and politely ask that they write a review if they enjoy it.

Final tip on finding best fit reviewers: Google similar, successful authors to your books. You will get blogs that hosted them as a guest. These are good blogs to familiarize yourself with and not only request a review, but ask to do a post and/or giveaway

Best of luck with your reviews!

ABOUT A HIDDEN ELEMENT... NOW AN AMAZON BESTSELLER!:

Evil lurks within…

When Caleb Madroc is used against his will as part of his father’s plan to breed a secret community and infiltrate society with their unique powers, he vows to save his oppressed people and the two children kept from him. Seven years later, Laura and Ben Fieldstone’s son is abducted, and they are forced to trust a madman’s son who puts his life on the line to save them all. The enemy’s desire to own them—or destroy them—leads to a survival showdown. Laura and Ben must risk everything to defeat a new nemesis that wants to rule the world with their son, and Caleb may be their only hope—if he survives. But must he sacrifice what he most desires to do so?

PRAISE FOR A HIDDEN ELEMENT:

"Chilling and dark…a twisty journey into another world." —J.T. Ellison, New York Times bestselling author of When Shadows Fall

"Fascinating…a haunting story…"—Rebecca Cantrell, New York Times bestselling author of The World Beneath

"Will keep you up long past your bedtime...a pulse-pounding read."—Allan Leverone, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Final Vector

ABOUT DONNA:

Donna Galanti writes murder and mystery with a dash of steam as well as middle grade adventure fiction. She is the author of books 1 and 2 in the paranormal suspense Element Trilogy, A Human Element and A Hidden Element, the short story collection The Dark Inside, and Joshua and The Lightning Road (Books 1 and 2, 2015). She’s lived from England as a child, to Hawaii as a U.S. Navy photographer. She now lives in Pennsylvania with her family in an old farmhouse. It has lots of writing nooks, fireplaces, and stink bugs, but she’s still wishing for a castle again—preferably with ghosts. 


BUY THE ELEMENT TRILOGY BOOKS:
Purchase Book 2 in the Element Trilogy, A Hidden Element: http://amzn.to/1p1YD1o

Purchase Book 1 in the Element Trilogy, A Human Element:
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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Straight From the Mouth of 'The Last Ancient' Eliot Baker

Eliot Baker lives in Finland. He teaches communications at a local college and runs an editing and translating business, but would be content singing for his heavy metal band and writing novels full-time. He grew up near Seattle, got his B.A. in World Literature at Pitzer College, and got his M.S. in Science Journalism from Boston University. He was an award-winning journalist at the Nantucket Inquirer and Mirror, and before that he wrote for the Harvard Health Letters. He spent four years pursuing a career in the sciences while at the Harvard Extension School, during which time he spun old people in NASA-designed rocket chairs and kept younger people awake for 86 hours at a time in a sleep deprivation study. He likes good books, all music, and bad movies, and believes music and literature snobs just need a hug.

His latest book is the supernatural thriller/historical mystery, The Last Ancient.

Visit his blog at www.eliotbakerauthor.blogspot.com.



Thanks for letting us interrogate interview you!  Can you give us a go-for-the-gut answer as to why you wanted to be an author?

It’s cool, I don’t mind being interrogated--although that water drip torture is starting to
get to me. Ahem. Anyhow. I always knew I wanted to be an author because writing lights up my brain. I get a small dopamine rush out of penning a good sentence, and a full-on religious experience from conceiving and completing a whole story. I guess I’m addicted to the writing process.

Tell us (we won’t tell promise!) is it all it’s cracked up to be?  I mean what are the perks and what are the demands?

Yes, it is, but no, it’s not (grinning and swirling a glass of brown liquor). I’m amazed at how many friends of mine think I’m rich and famous now that I’m a published novelist. That is, like, so fifty years ago. All ye who enter author-land, abandon hope of fame and riches. You do this because you love it, not for the luxury seats at the Super Bowl. Writing a a good book will require many sacrifices, particularly of your time. And with your time goes your social life and hobbies and other interests, all for what will amount to compensation of roughly one tenth of one cent per hour. It’s an obsession; it has to be, to succeed. But then you succeed… and it’s indescribable. It’s worth every sleepless night. I love it. I’ll do this the rest of my life, without hesitation, even if I never make a living at it.

Which route did you take – traditional or self-published – and can you give us the nitty gritty low down on what’s that like?

I went with an indie publisher, BURST Books, imprint of Champagne Book Group. I pitched my novel in 2012 to the publisher, J. Ellen Smith, at the Pacific Northwest Writer’s Association conference. It’s been great. High quality editing, all deadlines met, very clear contract, no hidden zingers, and they designed my cover and got The Last Ancient out to all the vendors promptly. Also I have access to some built-in author support/marketing groups within the house. The downside of an indie is that you have to devote more time into developing your platform – blogging, guest blogging, attending conferences, marketing & promo – than you would ever imagine. I’ve met some successful self-publishers, particularly in the romance/erotica market, but I knew that wasn’t my path; you really need to have marketing savvy and have an online presence to sell your book all by your lonesome.

What’s the snarkiest thing you can say about the publishing industry (e.g. rejections, the long wait, etc.)

Ooh, I get to be snarky here, too? How about how medieval are traditional publishing houses’ concepts of word counts and genre-typing. It’s a new world, folks. A book doesn’t have to be strictly 200 - 300 pages to be good. It doesn’t have to be completely, entirely horror or sci-fi or fantasy or mystery or romance to be appealing. People like both long and short books. People love genre-bending.

Tell us for real what your family feels about you spending so much time getting your book written, polished, edited, formatted, published, what have you?

Mostly, they are incredibly supportive, especially those of my family who don’t live with me. But seriously, my wife is wonderful about giving me space to go off and write or promote (I’m flying from our home in Finland to go peddle my book in the Northeast all of June). My kids can’t understand why I don’t write more books with pictures, though, because they can sit down and write a book-a-night. They are four and six, respectively.

What was the craziest or most insane thing that happened to you in the book publishing process?

One crazy thing was having my computer crash on my third and final round of edits with my publisher, just before I left for an overeas trip. It seemed I’d lost about a month of nasty, grueling revisions and line-edits. I had to travel all over Finland to find someone who could open up my Mac and get at the hard drive because something had also fried my backup hard-drive. So yeah, that happened. But it worked out.

But honestly, just getting accepted for publication was even crazier. When I got the email, as awesome as it was, I really hankered for a fat envelope, or receiving a long-distance phone call on a rotary phone from a stranger, something more substantial. As it happened, The Last Ancient was accepted for publication by BURST and in the same week also got some serious consideration from a couple New York agents, who said they might take it on if it were considerably altered. Talk about a reversal of fortune. I mean, months and months of silence or rejections, and then BOOM, I had to make a massive choice. I’m very happy with the one I made. The Last Ancient needed to be what it is and thus where it is.

How about the social networks?  Which ones do you believe help and which ones do you wish you could avoid?

I think Goodreads and Facebook and Twitter all probably work if properly utilized, but I’m really inept at them. I hope to find a magic social network house elf named Nobby to take care of it all for me this year.

Book sales.  Don’t you just love them (or lack of?)?  How are you making the sales happen for you?

After begging my friends, and seeing them beg their friends, and seeing a nice outburst of encouragement from everyone—and then watching sales flatline-- I am doing a marketing & promotional blitz this summer that includes virtual book tours, real book tours, attending conferences and begging bookstores within the area in which my book takes place (Cape Cod and Nantucket) to carry my title. We’ll see how it goes!

What is one thing you’d like to jump on the rooftop and scream about?

FREE BOOK TO REVIEW! FREE BOOK! PLEASE, PLEASE READ AND REVIEW IT! IT’S GOOD! KIRKUS, FOREWORD, AND MIDWEST BOOK REVIEW ALL SAY SO! MY PUBLISHER GAVE IT NOVEL OF THE YEAR! FREE BOOK, GET IT WHILE IT’S HOT! WHY ARE YOU NOT REVIEWING MY BOOK? WHY?

Okay, too much sugar for you today!  Here’s a nice cup of Chamomile tea and come on over and sit under the cabana and watch the waves roll in.  Now…can you tell us what you love about being a published author and how all those things above doesn’t matter because it’s all part of the whole scheme of things and you wouldn’t have it any other way?

I think you nailed it. Some people figure out that they are writers in grade school, as I did. Others start thinking about it in college. Still others, when they’re retiring. Once you acknowledge the part of you that is burning to write, you have no choice but to unleash it, and from there you can never NOT be a writer. Just on sabbatical, or in between projects, or researching (real life, by the way, is basically research for all of your writing—remember to live life well and have adventures). It’s like when Super Man goes on extended vacations wearing his glasses and suit. He’s still a super hero; he’s just not flying around saving people that particular day.
 

Straight from the Mouth of 'Ash to Steele' Karen-Anne Stewart



Karen-Anne Stewart has always adored reading and has now fallen in love with writing. Her written works are The Rain Trilogy: Saving Rain, Healing Rain, and After the Rain, and the newly released stand alone novel, Ash to Steele. Her debut novel, Saving Rain: The First Novel in The Rain Trilogy, was a nominee for the Book Junkie’s Choice Awards, and Saving Rain and After the Rain were nominees for the 2014 RONE Awards. 

When Karen-Anne isn’t writing, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, hiking, and visiting new places. She fuels her addiction of creating new stories by her only other addiction, caffeine, and listening to a myriad of musical genres. Tucked away near the
Blue Ridge Mountains, Karen-Anne lives with her husband, daughter, two dogs, and their cat. She plans on writing New Adult Romance as long as her fingers maintain dexterity. 

Karen-Anne loves to connect with readers! 

Website:  www.karen-annestewart.com

Facebook author page: 
https://www.facebook.com/SKarenAnne

Twitter: 
https://twitter.com/SKarenAnne

Instagram: 
http://instagram.com/skarenanne/

Pinterest:  http://www.pinterest.com/SKarenAnne/


Thanks for letting us interrogate interview you!  Can you give us a go-for-the-gut answer as to why you wanted to be an author?

I’ve always been a shy person who is perfectly happy to blend in the background.  When I write, all shyness evaporates; it’s unbelievably liberating!  I knew in college that I wanted
to become an author one day, and I’m thrilled I finally decided to follow that dream. 

Tell us (we won’t tell promise!) is it all it’s cracked up to be?  I mean what are the perks and what are the demands?

Writing is my more.  The perks far outweigh the demands.  What I consider the biggest perk is having the opportunity to have met amazing authors, bloggers, and readers.  I feel very blessed to have the new friendships I never would’ve had otherwise.  Another perk is how writing is the best form of therapy…If I have a bad day, I vent my frustrations in a fight scene.  The demands can be a bit overwhelming at times, but I’m loving the wild ride. 

Which route did you take – traditional or self-published – and can you give us the nitty gritty low down on what’s that like?

I’m a self-published Indie author and I’m loving this route so far.  I have a huge amount of respect for both traditionally published and self-published authors.  I would like to try being traditionally published in the future, to experience the differences myself.  The hardest part of being self-published is self-marketing and lack of sleep ;). 

What’s the snarkiest thing you can say about the publishing industry (e.g. rejections, the long wait, etc.)

I know this is boring…but I don’t have anything snarky to say about the industry.  I have had a few snarky comments, not from the publishing industry, made to me about how it must be nice to be able to have a job where I just sit in front of a computer all day…does that count, lol!  Ohhh, how that drives me nuts!

Tell us for real what your family feels about you spending so much time getting your book written, polished, edited, formatted, published, what have you?

This question came at the perfect time because this has been one of my busiest weeks!  My family has always been a close-knit family, but writing has brought us closer, despite some bumps in the road.  I’ll throw it all out there for ya…being an author does take massive amounts of time, so finding a balance that makes your family and you happy while getting the needed work done is harder and just as painful as walking barefoot on a sharp wire.  Luckily, I have my very own bad boy with a good heart who has stepped up and made sure I’m taking care of myself while I’m taking on the responsibilities I had before being an author, on top of all the new tasks.  He has teasingly threatened to hide my laptop when I’ve missed too much sleep (I think he’s teasing, anyway J).  My daughter is the one I worry about the most.  I don’t want to shut myself up in a room and miss anything with her, so I do quite a bit of my writing on the living room couch while she’s doing her homework and my husband is watching TV.  I do close myself up in my office when I have a tough scene to get through, though.  Balance…that’s the key. 

What was the craziest or insane thing that happened to you in the book publishing process?

OMG…I’m so boring.  I haven’t had any wild, crazy publishing moment yet.  I am going to Vegas for the Romance Novel Convention and getting a tattoo while I’m there, so I’ll keep ya posted ;). 

How about the social networks?  Which ones do you believe help and which ones do you wish you could avoid?

I SUCK at marketing, but I’m getting better J.  Twitter seems to be the most beneficial for me so far.  I recently got on Instagram, which is a lot of fun.  Pinterest is one that I should avoid…not because it’s bad, but because I get completely sucked into all of the awesome pictures on that site and spend way too much of my time that I need to be doing other things scrolling through all its awesomeness!

Book sales.  Don’t you just love them (or lack of?)?  How are you making the sales happen for you?

It was exhilarating when Ash to Steele became a best seller in a few categories on Amazon, but I know that ranks constantly shift and that you can drive yourself crazy watching them jump and fall. As far as sparking some sales, I like putting excerpts on my website of my novels with their purchase links below.  Doing this gives the reader more of an idea of whether or not he/she will like the book before they do the whole one click thing I’m obsessed with doing on my Kindle.  Reducing the price of your novels every once in a while is also a great tip. With the way I published The Rain Trilogy, I don’t have control of putting those novels on sale, at least at this time.  Live and learn!  I published Ash to Steele directly through Kindle Direct Publishing and Create Space and have done the Kindle Countdown Deal, which proved very beneficial.  Personally, I love a great sale, so I was thrilled to be able to put Ash to Steele on sale for .99 cents for a few days. 

What is one thing you’d like to jump on the rooftop and scream about?

Human trafficking.  I HATE this form of modern day slavery and was sickened and enraged with all I learned while doing research for The Rain Trilogy. 

Okay, too much sugar for you today!  Here’s a nice cup of Chamomile tea and come on over and sit under the cabana and watch the waves roll in.  Now…can you tell us what you love about being a published author and how all those things above doesn’t matter because it’s all part of the whole scheme of things and you wouldn’t have it any other way?

Lack of sleep, rolling with the not so great reviews, pushing through those overwhelming moments when you’re reduced to tears and non-coherent mumbling is worth every minute of doing what I feel I was born to do (I know that sounds cliché, but work with me here ;))!  Writing a book that I love makes me happy, and I hope that readers will find the same joy when reading my stories.  Hearing how one of my novels has touched a reader is the most amazing and humbling feeling ever.  My advice to authors would be to focus on the good reviews and write what he/she wants to read without trying to please everyone (which is completely impossible to do anyway because we are all wonderfully different), and never give up…everything else will fall into place. 
I LOVE connecting with readers, it’s another thing that makes being an author so much fun.  Feel free to connect with me at any (or all) of the sites below:
Facebook Author Page:  https://www.facebook.com/SKarenAnne

Friday, July 25, 2014

Straight from the Mouth of Catherine Hemmerling, author of 'Tempting the Reluctant Viscount'

Catherine Hemmerling has spent most of her career as a technical writer in the software industry, but in the last few years has realized her dream of becoming a novelist. Every day she pinches herself to make sure her new life is real. Living with her family in the hills of southern California, Ms. Hemmerling spends her days devising plot twists, agonizing over titles, and making a lot of new imaginary friends; and loves it.
Her latest book is the historical romance, Tempting the Reluctant Viscount.
For More Information

Thanks for letting us interrogate interview you!  Can you give us a go-for-the-gut answer as to why you wanted to be an author?

Over-active imagination? Honestly, I have been making up stories since I was a child. I used them to entertain my younger cousins, myself, and anyone who would listen. I guess that tendency never went away.

Tell us (we won’t tell promise!) is it all it’s cracked up to be?  I mean what are the perks and what are the demands?

Being an author is great. I set my own work hours and get to spend time with my characters all day. The downside is that when working from home there are a lot of distractions. It’s easy to put off writing “just one more hour, day, week”. A schedule is really important! And it’s not just writing. With social media these days, it’s important to check your media pages daily and update them often. It can take some of the fun out of it, but I will never complain. This is my dream job!

Which route did you take – traditional or self-published – and can you give us the nitty gritty low down on what’s that like?

I went somewhere in between. I wrote my book, found an agent (miracle of miracles), and she found me Entangled Publishing. Entangled is a primarily e-book publisher, but with traditional editors and marketing teams. I get all the advantages of e-books (low cost, easy distribution) and all the advantages of a traditional publisher. It’s great! However, both methods of publishing have come a long way. There is still one rule of thumb when trying to get published, though, be patient! It won’t happen overnight, but when it does, it’s a fantastic feeling.

Tell us for real what your family feels about you spending so much time getting your book
written, polished, edited, formatted, published, what have you?

Eh, mostly my family thinks I am a major procrastinator. I think they would rather I spend time daily on my writing (remember the schedule I mentioned? LOL), but I typically put it off until the last minute. Then I just hole up and get it done. Luckily, my oldest step-daughter is an aspiring writer and she will assign writing days for us. Really keeps me on track. 

Do your pets actually get their food on time or do they have to wait until you type just one more word?

Our cat is a free eater … we fill his bowl sky high and it will last him a couple days. And if we miss filling it up the minute it is empty, he’ll begin eating anything that looks interesting on the floor, beds, shelves, under the couch. The retching usually gets me moving no matter where I am in a sentence!

In writing your book, how did you deal with the phone ringing, your family needing dinner or your boss calling you saying you’re late?

Luckily, I don’t have to worry about a boss, I put the phone on silent and hope it’s not important (most people know to text me if it is urgent), and we share a house with friends, one of whom is a wonderful cook and keeps us all fed. I am a lucky writer!

What was the craziest or insane thing that happened to you in the book publishing process?

For me, I think it was how quickly the whole thing happened. Everything I had read said it could take years to get your first book published. So when I found an agent just six months into the process, I was stunned. Just a few months later she found an interested publisher. I was floored. Still am, I think.

How about the social networks?  Which ones do you believe help and which ones do you wish you could avoid?

Facebook is great and very user friendly. My fellow Scandalous authors have banded together to advertise each other’s releases through FB and Twitter. Twitter is still a mystery to me. I tweet and even have followers, but it’s pretty much a fluke if any of my tweets look interesting. Goodreads is a great resource too. 

What is one thing you’d like to jump on the rooftop and scream about?

“I’M A PUBLISHED AUTHOR!” I actually did scream that from a mountaintop when my first book appeared on Amazon. Such an amazing dream come true.

Okay, too much sugar for you today!  Here’s a nice cup of Chamomile tea and come on over and sit under the cabana and watch the waves roll in.  Now…can you tell us what you love about being a published author and how all those things above doesn’t matter because it’s all part of the whole scheme of things and you wouldn’t have it any other way?

Absolutely!