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. 


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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!



Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Straight from the Mouth of Love's Justice author Joan Avery

Joan Avery was an award-winning writer/producer at a major national advertising agency for over fifteen years before she retired to raise a family and write. Joan has been blessed with a daughter, two sons and two stepsons. She and her husband now have five grandchildren. Although she has lived in the Detroit area her entire life she has traveled extensively for both work and leisure. She and her husband, an attorney, have visited many fascinating parts of the world. Joan feels her travels enrich her writing. THE WORTH BROTHERS TRILOGY takes place in three of her favorite places.
Her latest book is the historical romance, Love's Justice 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 desperately needed a creative outlet after leaving my job as a producer of TV and radio commercials to stay home with my children.

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?

Since I’m not a New York Times best seller (yet) there are few perks.  The biggest perk is knowing something that you crafted to give others pleasure is out there for the public to consume.

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 first sale was many years ago to Harperpaperbacks and was a thrilling experience.  The cover, the feel of the paperback in my hands was exhilarating.  Needless to say, publishing has undergone (and continues to undergo) major changes.  Today, I’m pleased to be publishing in an e-pub format.  I think it allows more readers to enjoy books at a reasonable price.  This being said, I would hope there will always be a place for traditionally published books.

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? 

I have always put my family first.  It is a choice I made years ago.  Now, with my family grown I still try to write in a way that least inconveniences my husband.  Whether this has impacted my career it’s hard to say but looking back, I wouldn’t change a thing.

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

Our poor dog was always patient and understanding.  I miss her still.

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 was rarely writing under a deadline and was able to keep everything up and running.

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

Getting an email from a New York editor praising my main-stream book throughout the email saying how well paced it was, how she read it in one sitting and how much she enjoyed it, only to have her add at the end that she was sorry but she didn’t buy “this kind of book.”

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

I’m not terribly tech savvy so I’ll have to pass on this.  I do know authors who are very successful in harnessing various social networks to improve their sales.

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

Editors second guessing what a reader will or won’t read and trends that seem to dictate every book written must include werewolves, demons, time travel or whatever.

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?

Well, it’s certainly not for public adulation.  (Trust me there’s very little of that for the average writer.)  I know it sounds insincere but I really get a deep-seated satisfaction sharing my stories with others.  I know few writers who write only for themselves.  We write because we want to give the pleasure of a good story to others.  This is an intoxicating reason to write.  As writers, I think we’re all addicted to sharing the pleasure of a good story.

Straight From the Mouth of 'The Devil Made Me Do It' Colette Harrell

Colette (Ford) Harrell the author of the debut novel The Devil Made Me Do It is passionate about the written word. Holding a master’s degree, she is a director of human services. Her creation and implementation of a health and energy medical program stands as a best practices model. Her philosophy of service is compassionate care through a spirit of excellence. A motivational speaker, she specializes in customer and human service workshops on state and national levels.  She is cofounder of COJACK Productions, a Christian entertainment company. As an active member of her church, Kingdom Christian Center, she serves in several ministries.

Colette is a wife, mother, author, poet, songwriter, and playwright. Her novel is a delectable read, where romance, suspense, humor, and the supernatural all come together to entertain, educate, and inspire. 

A Detroit native, she currently resides in Ohio, writing with humor and compassion to engage and minister to the human heart. Her motto is: whatever you do, do it “for love alone.”

Her latest book is the inspirational fiction, The Devil Made Me Do It.
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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?

Interrogation? Well, I better fess up quick. I love to read . . . reading led to me adding new twists and turns to the stories. Finally, I had to stop messing with their goodies and just write my own. This passion just won't die. Can you get that flashlight outta my face now?

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?

I'm so new at this, it's hard to tell. There are highs and lows. This is very stressful, then exhilarating. The marketing demands have been grueling. (You mean there are no lines forming to buy my first book? No ticket parade? What!!!) This is work! The perks are the people along the way, people who I didn't even know, but who have encouraged me along the way. This has been a roller-coaster ride, and it ain't for the fainthearted.

Which route did you take—traditional or self-published—and can you give us the nitty-gritty lowdown on what that's like?

Traditional, with agent representation.There are some good people in this industry, but it's a business, not adult day care. You will learn your own voice and how to use it.You learn that if you mess up, you'll eat it. There are no do overs. Windows open and close quickly. You have to learn this business, and look out for you. Along the way, you look for ways to pay it forward. Can I get a hug?


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

Some people expect you to know things you don’t. It's my statistics teacher experience all over again!

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.

 I don't know, I haven't talked to them since it all started. Just kidding. I know they're proud of me. My husband and children tell me that all the time. On the other hand, getting out there can be time-consuming. I know they wish they remembered what I look like. (lol).

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

Including this interrogation? (Btw, thanks for having me.) I don't know—it hasn't happened yet. Now, you have me excited that it will. Yea!

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

I'm new to social networking. The power it wields is mind-boggling. What's the saying? Absolute power corrupts, absolutely? It doesn't seem like I can avoid any of them. But, my favorite is reading interesting blog forums.

Book sales. Don't you just love them (or lack of)? How are you making the sales happen for you? 
As I am writing this, my book will come out in a few days. Prerelease sales have been up compared to my last book sales. (You do know, this is my first book . . . lol.)

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

Social media. So important. Yet, there are those who use their power for evil. STOP!

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 previously mentioned don't matter because it's all part of the whole scheme of things and you wouldn't have it any other way?

Sigh . . . This is the best tea ever. The waves make it so peaceful . . . snoozzzzzze.

Oh, you had a request? Right. I have met authors I love, people in the industry who shine bright. At the end of the day, a perfect sentence in a riveting chapter makes the angst go away. Writing is what I love to do. This business is all a part of what I love. Thank you for having me. By the way, is there honey?