#ASI: Ellen Chauvet

Hi Ellen, thank you for agreeing to this interview.

 Discuss your newest book. My newest book is also my first book and is titled “When Darkness Falls”, The First Vampire Redemption Story. It is the first in a series of at least 3 books. It tells the story of Lexie, a vampire executioner who doesn’t know she is one. When her best friend is murdered by vampires, she is thrown into a five-hundred-year-old secret and meets her Amant de Sange or Blood Mate, Etienne Benoit. She chooses to step into her legacy as a ‘Chosen One’ and begins her journey into a dark and dangerous world. Lexie and Etienne fall in love and when he betrays her she vows revenge. Read it recently, loved it!

EC.jpeg

 Do you recall how your interest in writing originated? I’ve always been an avid reader and thought that ‘someday’ I would write a book. I’ve loved all of the Anne Rice novels and when a friend introduced me to Buffy, The Vampire Slayer I became intrigued by the idea of ‘good’ and ‘bad vampires’. I started reading as many vampire books as I could get my hands on including Charlaine Harris, Laurell K. Hamilton, Kelley Armstrong, Christopher Pike and Stephanie Meyer. They were my research, and when my work commitments changed, I decided it was time to write. I wrote the first draft in 9 months, took a year off when my husband became terminally ill, and then pursued the dream when he died. I found a great writing coach and the next 4 years were spent in rewrites, editing, and polishing. A great publisher found me and we published the book in March of 2016 on Amazon’s Create Space and Kindle. I’m sorry for your loss.

What are your current projects? My current project is writing the second book in the series.

What books have most influenced your life most? When I was a teenager I read a lot of Hemingway and loved his style of writing, so definitely Hemingway. Probably most of all though would be Anne Rice.

Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special? I have two main characters.

Lexie is a Southern Belle from Atlanta, Georgia and was brought up in a strict Southern Baptist household. She’s rebelled against the suppression of her Mother and lives in Paris working as a translator for the United Nations. She’s attractive, sassy, a bit promiscuous and wonders if this is all there is to life.

Etienne is a 500-year-old vampire who was turned against his will and has created an organization to fight against ‘dark’ vampires. He’s sophisticated, handsome, ruthless when he needs to be and resigned about ever finding his Amant de Sang (Blood Mate). He falls hard for Lexie and when he is forced to turn to the ‘dark’ side, vows he will find a way back to her.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?  The message is that there is good and evil in all of us and it’s ok. It’s part of being alive (or undead as the case may be). Every day we have a choice between good and evil.

Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead character from your most recent book? I’d like to see Olivier Martinez play Etienne and Jessica Chastain play Lexie.

What made you decide to sit down and actually start something? I had the time and the dream.

Do you write full-time or part-time? I’m lucky enough to be able to write full-time. I don’t write every day full-time, but when the story or the characters are demanding my attention, I’m disciplined and write 3 to 5 hours every day.

What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book? The rewrites. Then I realized they are the key to honing my craft and producing something that people want to read.

What is the easiest thing about writing?  Creating the story.

 What book are you reading now? I’m reading “Find Me When The Sun Goes Down by Lisa Olsen.

What is one random thing about you? I love horses and music

What is your preferred medium of writing? Pen and paper or strictly tablet and computer? Tablet and computer

 What does your writing process look like? My writing coach trained me to do a lot of what she calls “laying on my bed writing”. In other words, really thinking about where I want to go in a particular paragraph or chapter and making sure my characters are always in character. Also doing the required research – I’ve learned to love research. When I’m on a roll, I’m always in my office by 9am anxious to discover what my characters have been up to overnight.

 Do you have any strange writing habits (like standing on your head or writing in the shower)? No

How important are names to you in your books?  Names are very important as they have meaning.

 Did you make any marketing mistakes or is there anything you would avoid in future? I’m still in the marketing process and so far so good.

What is your favorite book and why? I gave this a lot of thought and I don’t really have a favorite book. I have favorite authors.

 Do you have any advice for other writers?

  1. Never give up – just keep writing.
  2. Don’t listen to the little voice in your head saying you can’t or you’re not good enough or no one wants to read what you want to write about.
  3. Don’t edit your work as you go – get that first draft done and then edit.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing? See friends, listen to music, watch TV, travel – in many ways I’m never not writing. I’m always thinking about writing even when I’m not sitting at my computer.

From where do you gain your inspiration? Everywhere – but particularly other authors who write about vampires.

What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing against being published or the other way around? I don’t have an opinion about that – I’m traditionally published and I love my publisher.

How do you market your books? Facebook, Twitter, word of mouth, author interviews, pod casts

Would you or do you use a PR agency? I would and I don’t.

Do you have any advice for other authors on how to market their books? Authors need to also be entrepreneurs. Writing is not only creative it’s a business and I think many authors are not business people. I’m lucky in that regard as I was a business woman first and then became an author. Create a marketing plan and stick to it and keep talking about your book – to anyone who will listen.

What part of your writing time do you devote to marketing your book?

Right now a lot. The book is newly published and it takes time to build an author platform and develop one’s readership. I’m willing to put in the time and energy to get my book known.

What do you do to get book reviews? How successful has your quest for reviews been so far? My publisher has been extremely helpful in that regard. She discovered a tool we’ve been using and it’s been extremely productive. We’re still working on attaining reviews and know that it takes time and energy on both our parts.

Do you have a strategy for finding reviewers? Not really.

Any amusing story about marketing books that happened to you? No

Which social network worked best for you? At present Facebook seems to be working well. And I’m also creating a presence on Twitter.

Did you do a press release, Goodreads book launch or anything else to promote your work and did it work?

 

I did a press release for the Horror Writer’s Association – not sure how successful or productive that was. I did a book launch here in Vancouver and it was extremely successful. Sold out of books I had on hand and could have sold more. Launch was promoted through Facebook.

 

Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why? I’d like to meet Bram Stoker. Fascinating mind.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

 

Sit down and write – don’t critique – just write.

Everything I said above

 

How can readers discover more about you and you work?

 

I have a blog – ellenchauvet.wordpress.com

Website – ellenchauvet.com

Find me on Facebook

#ASI: ErinTrejo

Hi Erin, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself and your background?  I’m a stay at home mother of 4. I was born and raised in Illinois before my parent’s moved us to Georgia. I’m happily married to an amazing man. For the most part I’m a goofball that just enjoys writing.

Discuss your newest book. My newest book is Tank Fallen Angel’s MC 2. It’s the second book in the series. Tank is your typical alpha but has a heart of gold. His family means the world to him but his definition of family is different than most peoples.

erin1

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated? I was listening to some music and an idea just kind of popped into my head and I went with it. It helps calm me to be able to write. Music is great inspiration!

What are your current projects? My current projects vary. LOL. I have a few I’m working on that are a little more dark romance than my normal books. I hope they turn out well!

What books have most influenced your life most? I don’t read a lot surprisingly.

 What inspired you to write your first book? Music. I think that music is a huge factor in my writing. It’s very inspirational. lol true!

Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special? Tank is an alpha male. He views his family as the people that mean the most to him. His family isn’t always blood-related and he knows that.  He plays a big role in the MC world.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp? There is! It would that family is what you and who you make it.

Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead character from your most recent book? Vin Diesel! He would be amazing! Definitly Alpha male material!

When did you decide to become a writer? About a year ago.

Why do you write? Writing helps me calm my brain. At times I feel like my head spins in circles and writing helps me calm it.

What made you decide to sit down and actually start something? I thought that I’d try it one day. It helped a lot and it gave me a freedom to write whatever came to mind. I loved that.

Do you write full-time or part-time?  In between! Lol. I don’t have a regular job so I guess full time!

What is the hardest thing about writing? I would say the hardest thing would be how hard I am on myself. That self-doubt is horrible! I’m always asking for opinions when I feel like something isn’t good enough. I’m my own worst critic.

What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book? Deciding how to end it. I wasn’t sure which direction to take the ending. Endings can be tricky.

What is the easiest thing about writing? The easiest thing about writing for me is that I can make it into what I want it to be. I can twist the characters or plot into what I want it to be.

What book are you reading now? Sadly, I’m not reading anything at the moment.

What is one random thing about you? Just one??!! I’m a very random person. LOL. My favorite color is black. Always has been. Oohh! It’s a good color, so many things bring about its darkness.

What is your preferred medium of writing? Pen and paper or strictly tablet and computer? Strictly computer.

What does your writing process look like? I usually write at night so after all the kids are in bed, I climb in too with my laptop.

Do you have any strange writing habits (like standing on your head or writing in the shower)? Strange? No. I do yell at my characters out loud. LOL. Sometimes I have to send myself a random text to keep an idea.

How important are names to you in your books? Names aren’t really important. I think you can turn any name into a story.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing? As I said before, I’m my own critic so I think that letting something go and moving on is a challenge for me.

Did you make any marketing mistakes or is there anything you would avoid in future? I haven’t found any mistakes yet. Everything we’ve tried as seemed to be helpful in its own way.

What is your favorite motivational phrase? THE CROW! “It can’t rain all the time.”  It holds many meanings to me.

What is your favorite book and why? I couldn’t pick one.

Do you have any advice for other writers? The only advice I would give would be to not give up. If you love it and it means something to you that’s all that matters. You can’t please everyone so please yourself. You are the most important.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing? I spend time with my family. I also have 2 bearded dragons that are my babies!

From where do you gain your inspiration? Music. All kinds of music. There isn’t just one genre that I listen to.

What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing against being published or the other way around? That’s a tough one. I was never published with a company so I’m not really sure about that. I think self-publishing is amazing though. You can choose your platforms and marketing.

How do you market your books? I personally use facebook, twitter, etc.

Why did you choose this route? Social media is a big industry. There are so many ways to connect with new people.

Would you or do you use a PR agency? I haven’t! If I found an agency that worked well with indie’s, I may look into it.

Do you have any advice for other authors on how to market their books? Just share. Anywhere and everywhere. If you’re not sharing no one will see your books.

What part of your writing time do you devote to marketing your book? Not much. I’m more into my writing than marketing.

What do you do to get book reviews? To get reviews I sometimes give away copies. I hold random giveaways on my page and things like that. If I get a new like to my page I like to send them a book of mine, kind of like a get to know me sort of thing.

How successful has your quest for reviews been so far? Not too bad. I don’t have many but I’m proud of the ones I do have.

Do you have a strategy for finding reviewers? Not really. I will sometimes ask friends to ask friends and things like that.

What are your thoughts on good/bad reviews? There all reviews! I think the bad ones help me to see what someone didn’t like. That way I can go back and look it over. Maybe it wasn’t working for that story. If I get a bad review I take it as a learning tool.

Any amusing story about marketing books that happened to you? NOT YET! LOL. I’m sure there will be in the future.

What’s your views on social media for marketing? I think it’s great. As I said early, there are so many ways to reach new people with social media.

Which social network worked best for you? Facebook. Facebook has so many groups that you can get into and promote and meet new people.

Any tips on what to do and what not to do? Don’t be pushy. Don’t expect to get a hundred 5 star reviews instantly. It’s a hard long road to gain a few reviews. Be patient.

Did you do a press release, Goodreads book launch or anything else to promote your work and did it work? As far as press release, I’ve only used facebook. I ask blogs for support on release day.

Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why? Kurt Cobain. I think he had a powerful mind and I’d love to pick through it.

If you could have been the original author of any book, what would it have been and why? I don’t think I could pick one. I wouldn’t want anyone else’s work but my own.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers? Keep your head up. It takes a long time to get noticed. I’m still working on that part. It isn’t instant success and it is hard work.

How can readers discover more about you and you work?

Facebook! Amazon! Twitter! I’m kind of all over. A quick search of my name on any of those and you will find me!

In case you don’t, here’s my links 😉

Erin’s  newsletter sign up url: http://eepurl.com/bKFqqb

Erin’s website: http://erintrejo.my-free.website/

Facebook like page: https://www.facebook.com/indieauthorerintrejo/?fref=ts

Facebook friend page: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100009168797091&fref=ts

Twitter: https://twitter.com/trejo_erin

Amazon url: http://amzn.to/1OLCYUm

 

#ASI: Piper Davenport

Hi Piper, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Discuss your newest book. Road to Victory is Knight & Kim’s story and they’ve waited a long time to get their happily ever after, so I’m excited for them.

 Do you recall how your interest in writing originated? Ah…no…not really…I don’t know that I’ve ever had an interest. It’s been more of a burning need to write or die kind of thing.

What are your current projects? I am in the finished book coma at the moment, so it’s the “I will never write another book” phase. Ask me in a week or two and I might be willing to sit down and write again.

 What books have most influenced your life most? Christine Feehan’s Dark series, Julia Quinn (everything), and this really old book, called Timeless Passion by Constance Day O’Flannery.

 What inspired you to write your first book? I read a horrible one and thought I could do better than this…I can’t for the life of me remember the name of it now. Probably a good thing.

 Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special? Kim is horribly emotionally wounded, having survived abuse in her past, but she also has an incredible confidence about her that draws people in. She’s loyal to a fault, and she’s easily hurt, but she’s also funny and smart, so it’s no surprise Knight fell in love with her. And he’s all alpha with a heart of gold who beats back her demons…who doesn’t love that?

 

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

 

I’m one of those die-hard romantics who believes there’s only one true love and when you find him/her, you treasure them…so all my books really have that message.

Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead character from your most recent book? No clue! This is one of the first books I’ve written where I have no one in mind.

When did you decide to become a writer? When I lost my job and couldn’t find another one.

Why do you write? Because I can mostly. Piper Davenport is actually my pen name, but I also write under my real name and it has afforded me the ability to do this as a living.

Do you write full-time or part-time? I write full time.

What book are you reading now?

 

Reading? What is this thing you call reading? Unfortunately, I haven’t got a lot of time to read, but give me anything from Amanda Washington or Geri Glenn and I’m in.

 

What is one random thing about you?

 

I’m married to an ex-pastor, but I swear like a sailor. I guess there is a reason he’s an EX-pastor. 🙂 Jk

 

What is your preferred medium of writing? Pen and paper or strictly tablet and computer?

 

Computer!

 

What does your writing process look like? I vomit onto the page….I don’t edit as I go.

 

Do you have any strange writing habits (like standing on your head or writing in the shower)?

 

I write on my sofa with the television on most days.

 

How important are names to you in your books?

 

Not particularly, because they’re so subjective. One name might remind you of someone you love…or hate.

 

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

 

Not being able to type fast enough!

 

Do you have any advice for other writers?

 

GET AN EDITOR! I know one!

 

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

 

I ride horses every chance I get

 

From where do you gain your inspiration?

 

Everywhere!

What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing against being published or the other way around? I keep all my royalties and I have total control over quality.

Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why? Abraham Lincoln…because I feel he’s the only decent president we’ve ever had.

 

How can readers discover more about you and you work?

 

www.facebook.com/piperdavenport

#ASI: Laura Ag #Wattpad #author

Tell us a little about yourself and your background? 
So I’m a second year Biochemistry student at Warwick University in England. I have always loved science. In fact, I am not at all artistic or creative apart from with literature. I think that’s probably because I immigrated from my family to the UK from India in 2000 when I was 5 and I picked up English quite quickly. Other than that, background wise I’m pretty average. My immediate family consists of my mum, my dad and my younger brother and I have a typical humongous extended Indian family. So I suppose it’s also the slight lack of privacy growing up that meant ‘me’ time was in a book.

Discuss your newest book.
So right now, I’m working on my book ‘Cafe Rouge’ and as many of my reader’s know this started out as a ‘One-Shot’ (ie. a single chapter story) but then due to popular demand I decided to extend it into a book.At first I was only thinking of making this into a small short story to wrap things up nicely with a big, pretty pink bow but then as I started writing I started to want to intricate more things into it. I wanted to explore the characters and this concept of family loyalty more. Now, it’s over 200 pages on my Word document and still not over, so I guess that ‘short story’ concept is blown straight to pieces.

Laura1
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated? 
I think any good author will tell you that their favourite place in the world is probably a library. I absolutely LOVED libraries as a child and my parents would take me each week to take out books. That’s really where it came from. Reading books and growing to want to emulate these authors who’s stories you loved so much. From that it was a leap of faith to writing. Of course, my English lessons at school caused me to write a lot and before they got too serious and focused on exams it was a lot about creative writing. I truly enjoyed those lessons and when those lessons did stop, I carried on by myself. Then it became about wanting to share my passion and that’s where writing for an audience came in. So my interest in writing was never sudden but rather a slow burn, who’s origin I cannot exactly pinpoint, that turned into a fire of passion.

What are your current projects? 
So currently I’ve got ‘Cafe Rouge’ to finish and after that I’m still considering what I want to do. I have some ideas but it’s really a toss up. It’s either going to be a romantic, magical type story with elements of supernatural in or I may start another series of books. Or it may not even be any of those.
Other projects are of course, the endless job of editing and while that’s on hold at the moment, when I get more time, that’s also a priority.

What books have most influenced your life most? 
Ohhhh, that’s a tricky question. I think every book you truly read, good or bad influences you and your writing; whether it’s ‘I’m never going to write like that’ or ‘I love how this author has done this’. Books that have truly influenced me and inspired me are psychological thrillers and romance. As strange as both those sound in the same category it’s true. I feel the thing they both have in common in the exploration of the mind. Sometimes in both cases the character’s mind may not be working rationally and I love having to think like them, to figure out what makes them make their decisions and how they react to situations emotionally. Now at least I read a pay less attention to the author and more on the book, unless there’s an author I truly loved.
When I was a teenager that person was Meg Cabot. Her ‘Mediator’ series was my all time favourite and I still to this day have the entire collection. The thing that struck me was the main female character was so strong. Strong but in a subtle way and I loved it. I loved everything about that character.
I also enjoyed a lot of her other books and I think that’s where I grew to love romance stories.

What inspired you to write your first book?
To be brutally honest, it was seeing other people doing a terrible job at it. My first series of books are BDSM featuring books and seeing abuse written as BDSM was not right. Not only because it’s wrong and no impressionable young person should be taught that being forcibly taken and smacked (no matter how hot the person is) is not BDSM unless it’s consensual or agreed upon beforehand. So immediately I wanted to write the community in a true (or truer) sense. But I wanted the stories to have actual storylines with character and relationship development as any other story would. So providing a more representative view of a BDSM relationship between character’s that could be seen as realistic was my target for writing my first book.
Which surprisingly people enjoyed and where I spanned it into 3 more stories.
Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special?
So my main character in ‘Cafe Rouge’ is arguably Carlos Castellano. Carlos is a conflicted man who’s father runs the local mafia and who he is expected to predecease from. But Carlos isn’t the same cold, blood killer as his father and when Lola (the female protagonist) finds this out she challenges him on it. Thereby making him question his family loyalty and how far he’s willing to sacrifice himself in the process of making his family happy. So really the thing that he does which makes him special is a juggling act where; he wants to protect Lola, wants to protect the shreds of his humanity that are left but at the same time also wants to honour his family and stay loyal to them.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp? 
The message is (I think) really a question for the reader. How much would you sacrifice of yourself for your family? How loyal would you stay to them, even if what they’re asking is compromising your integrity and your conscience?
Although it may seem like it, I’m exactly trying to say that love will make you turn on your family but more that you need to respect and love yourself enough to be able to stand up for yourself, even if it is against those who love you (or claim to).

Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead character from your most recent book? 

Ah-ha. This caused a bit of controversy for ‘Cafe Rouge’. Unlike for my other books, I never had even a vague casting idea for the characters. I simply went by descriptions and in all honestly, I have yet to find actors/actresses that match (what I feel) are my character’s descriptions. When I asked several of my reader’s they all had very different answers and in fact, many said they just go by imagination too.

When did you decide to become a writer? 
I honestly don’t feel like I’ve ‘DECIDED’ (in definite) to be a writer at all. Although I write stories (and I suppose that therefore makes me a writer) I don’t think of myself as a ‘real’ writer. I still consider this my hobby and at the moment I’m happy with that. So to be honest, I haven’t decided to be a writer at all.

Why do you write? 
I think there’s many reasons. Firstly, for excitement. I live (what I consider to be) an average, boring life. I mean, sure I go out on the very rare occasion and let loose with my girlfriends but it’s not the same. And while I am grateful for the hand that life has dealt me so far, writing and reading are my sources of adventure and excitement. It’s my way of living another life, one that you may never be able to experience and this is pretty exciting.
Another reason for me is a sick sense of playing God. It’s pretty darn cool to be able to control ‘lives’ and control what you’re characters do. It’s like a far less cool, geeky, weird version of Sims. Seriously?!? I’m thinking we might have been separated at birth. 🙂

What made you decide to sit down and actually start something? 
Again, it was partly stemmed from the whole writing a good BDSM book but also because I latched onto an idea which I started testing out and I got really excited about it. And there’s nothing to loose, people like the story or they don’t. So I just started writing. And because I liked what I was writing and was interested in it, I was able to get more and more written generating more and more interest in the story.

Do you write full-time or part-time?
Part-time, definitely. No, actually, I think a few times my reader’s will probably say less than part-time.

What is the hardest thing about writing?
The most frustrating part is demotivation. Sometimes it just hits you and you just can’t force yourself to write even one sentence, even though you may have ideas about where the story’s going. So I try and think of something else I’m working on in the meantime and come back later to it.

What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book? 
I’m not an action writer yet despite that I want action in my story so it definitely very difficult for me as more of a romance writer to incorporate those bits of action in, even though it’s not my strong suit.

What is the easiest thing about writing? 
There’s nothing easy about it. But it can bring a lot of satisfaction. Especially when you can get two characters to fall in love and grow that relationship. Then to share it with readers and watch them getting attached to your story brings about a real sense of accomplishment and satisfaction.

What book are you reading now? 
Right now, I’m reading a romance novel called ‘Me Before You’ since that is being produced into a film starring Emilia Clarke, Sam Claflin, Charles Dance, Jenna Coleman etc. And my friend leant me the book. It’s a light read as I consider most romance novels are so I tend to read a psychological/crime thriller along with it, to keep my interest on both stories and the psychological/crime thriller I’m reading right now is: Alone in the Dark.

What is one random thing about you? 
Argh, I’m so bad at these. I’ve never had acne. Even when I was going through puberty, I only ever had one or two little spots on my face. I would consider myself pretty lucky for that if I didn’t have eczema.

What is your preferred medium of writing? Pen and paper or strictly tablet and computer?
Computer. I’m a touch typer so as much as I like good ole’ fashioned pen and paper, I use it enough for my revision and if I wrote my entire story on pen and paper it would be considerably shorter. Typing I find I can just keep going and pad out my stories a lot more. I also use an online thesaurus and auto-correct is a life-saver so I’m afraid I’ve joined the 21st Century when I say I definitely prefer writing using a keyboard on a computer. Nothing wrong with going New School.

What does your writing process look like?
I would argue there is a process even if it looks like there isn’t. I tend to start with a basic story starting idea. So X and Y characters do this and they meet like this. Then I like to explore the background of X and Y, think about what makes them unique and compatible. Next I go through basic situations (or ‘scenes’ as I like to think of them as) between X and Y which will solidify their relationship and take them through to the end of the book. Usually these will only be 3 or 4 scenes at the start and I’ll have a definite vague idea of an ending I’ll want. Then I start writing and because I write in short stretches, when I’m in the shower or lying in bed, I ponder over the story and the next scene I want happening between the characters and slowly the story starts to build.
So there’s some structure to it but because many other things in my life are so structured, with writing I like to let it flow more organically. As I write the characters I get a better sense for them and what they would do, how they would react to certain situations and therefore, things tend to naturally build in my writing, taking me to places and scenes I may never have thought of at the start.

Do you have any strange writing habits (like standing on your head or writing in the shower)? 
Not particularly. When writing I often can’t just focus on typing since I tend to find I get more antsy so I write less. That means that as I’m writing, I tend to also listen to TV shows, occasionally glancing up at it as I’m writing, or listen to music. Most of my writing happens in bed where I’m more comfortable and relaxed too, so no shower writing I’m afraid. LOL

How important are names to you in your books? 
They’re important but I don’t think they’re a great focus of mine. Different people tend to have different connotations to names anyway. I chose ones that I feel sound right for my characters (taking into account their ethnicity and heritage), but I’m not particularly one to look into deeper meanings of names unless it relates to the story.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing? 
The most challenging parts are background research. It’s a pain but it’s important and it’s really what gives the story more realism. When an author sounds like they know what they’re talking about even if they don’t, to most reader’s that’s good enough and they will accept that. Especially because I like to set stories in the US and I grew up in the UK, there are gaps in my knowledge of the US government factions, politics etc. so for me research (although challenging) gives me the information necessary to make a realistic character. Research can be a pain, but it pays off in the end.

What is your favorite motivational phrase? 
I’m very into my motivational quotes. I have a rotating background on my laptop of motivational/inspirational phrases on pretty backgrounds to try and keep me focused. If pushed my favourite one has to be: This too shall pass.

What is your favorite book and why? 
That’s a horribly unfair question but I will try my best to answer it. I love a lot of books. A lot. And although I have bookshelves stacked with them, I don’t really tend to read a book (even ones I love) more than once. Well…maybe only the hot scenes in a few. But one book I absolutely adored and read completely more than once is Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov. It’s such a conflicting, though provoking book on your own morals, where there’s no character that’s completely ‘good’ or ‘pure’. For me, the psychology of it was incredibly deep and I loved unravelling it. I love unravelling it each time I read it. So in that regard, it is definitely my favourite book.  One of my favorites as well.

Do you have any advice for other writers?
Write what you want. This is a world you’re free to explore and worrying about things like the number of ‘votes’ and ‘comments’ in my opinion only lower your freedom as a writer and the quality of your writing. New genres will always pop up and if your writing doesn’t fit neatly into one or the other, don’t worry about it. Alternatively, if yours does fit solely into one then that’s fine to. It’s about finding what you love to write, writing it and then being able to proudly share it, even if there are some people that don’t like it. Good advice!

What do you like to do when you’re not writing? 
Reading is the obvious one. But I also like to play netball with my university’s society team. When it’s summer I love going on long walks with my mum and since we live in the countryside, it’s absolutely beautiful. Shopping of course is another favourite love of mine and when I can get into the mood, I love cooking too.

From where do you gain your inspiration?
Sometimes, I’ll pull little bits in from other books I’ve read or want themes similar to them. But generally if it’s character behaviour, much of it is from the people around me. But I like to mix and match and try out different combo’s in my mind before committing it to a character. Mostly, inspiration for me is through going through scenarios of the books and character’s in my mind until I click with one and run with it. It takes a while and it’s not instantaneous but for me, that’s just how it works.

What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing against being published or the other way around?
Well, if I ever get published I’ll let you know 😛

How do you market your books?
I’m a crappy marketer. I don’t market at all. I like writing and that’s what I do. I don’t do PR and Marketing but since I’m only on Wattpad as a small time writer and doing it as a hobby, it’s fine. I do the minimal amount of placing awareness on my books and frankly, I’m shocked myself as to why people have actually followed me giving my lack of marketing, though I am grateful. The writing speaks for itself.

What are your thoughts on good/bad reviews?
A person’s opinion is their own. I don’t tend to allow good or bad reviews to go to my head. And unless those bad reviews have constructive criticism on which I objectively look at and agree with, I would dismiss it.

Which social network worked best for you?
Again, crappy marketer-don’t use social media for my books.
Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why?
Oh that’s a loaded question. I’m one of those weird, liberal people who doesn’t really have a role model. I mean, don’t get me wrong I am in awe of many people’s accomplishments and certain inspirational characteristics they have, but no one person is perfect and I don’t believe in idealising them to be. So my choice of wanting to meet Marilyn Monroe isn’t because she’s my role model or anything but it’s a well known fact that the girl knew how to have fun (maybe a little too much), and to have fun with Marilyn Monroe in arguably one of the sexiest Hollywood era’s.

If you could have been the original author of any book, what would it have been and why?
I warn you now, this is a cop-out answer. But apart from my ‘favourite’ book Lolita, I don’t know which book I’d want to be the original author of. I’ve have a few ‘great’ books that I truly love like Before I Go To Sleep, Thirteen Reasons Why, 1984, Ender’s Game, Room (to name a few). Though I enjoyed them immensely, they’re not ‘me’. In that it’s not my writing style or tone so I can’t imagine having written anything like those incredible books and frankly, I’m damn glad I didn’t even try because their respective authors did awesome jobs on them. I don’t think that’s a cop-out. It’s one of the best answers I’ve had.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers? 
Learn yourself. Don’t be afraid to explore once in a while but really try and get to grips with what you enjoy writing and finding your ‘voice’. Keeping at it and persevering is also important as in any task you do. It may not be as easy as you first thought it would be and you may not be brilliant in the first book you write but as long as you keep at it, the only way is up.

How can readers discover more about you and you work? 
Check out my Wattpad profile with all my works for free on there

#ASI: Rhonda Brewer

Hi Rhonda, thank you for agreeing to this interview.

Tell us a little about yourself and your background?
I was born and raised in St. John’s, Newfoundland and wouldn’t want to live anywhere else. I met my husband in 1985 and we’ve been together ever since. We will be married 23 years in August and together 31 years. We have a daughter, who is 21 and a son who is 17. My daughter went and made me a grandmother 7 months ago but I’ve come to terms with it and I’m madly in love with my granddaughter. I won’t say how old I am but I will tell you that I’m younger than 70 and older than 30.

My background includes working as a computer tech and various office jobs over the years but I never really felt a love for any of the jobs I’ve had. My mother-in-law passed away 8 years ago and my hubby and I took on the care of his sister. She has Williams Syndrome with is somewhat the same as Downs Syndrome in the way that she is developmentally delayed. So for the first few years, we had her I worked but it was getting more difficult so we decided it was better for one of us to stay at home. Since he was the bigger breadwinner, I happily retired and it gave me more time to do what I really love, writing.
Discuss your newest book. 

Dangerous Therapy is my debut book and is the first in a 7 book series. It’s the story of one of the oldest of the 7 O’Connor brothers. John O’Connor is giving up on life after a terrible accident. His family are at their wits end when he refuses any kind of therapy. The only thing keeping him sane is his dreams of a beautiful woman he pulled in for a traffic violation months before.

Physical Therapist Stephanie Kelly is healing from a broken heart. When she is hired by Nightingale’s personal care and physical therapy, she’s ecstatic but she’s shocked when her boss asks her to take on a new patient. Shocked because the patient is her boss’s nephew and he’s not exactly keen on therapy. He’s also the cop who’s been heating up her dreams.

As Stephanie helps John get back on his feet, they grow closer, but someone is out to hurt Stephanie, or worse. After multiple attempts on her life, John’s family tries to figure out who’s after the woman he loves and stop them before it’s too late.

rhonda

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated? 

I’ve always had an interest in writing and creating stories. As a teenager, my friends and I would sit around and make up our own version of romance stories. Of course, we would make our crushes and ourselves the main characters. As I got older I wrote little stories for myself as a kind of stress reliever, I guess you could say.

What are your current projects? 

 

My current projects are the second and third books in the O’Connor Brother series. I have the first draft for the whole series written but are not ready to be seen by anyone. The second and third are a little more polished. The second will be released in July.

What books have most influenced your life most? 

 

I can’t say any specific book has influenced me but books that interest me are usually ones that have love, suspense, humor and, of course, a little heat.

What inspired you to write your first book? 

 

I’ve had the book written for a long time and had always wanted to publish it but was always afraid of what people would say. My daughter was actually the inspiration that gave me the push I needed.

Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special? 

 

John O’Connor is a police officer and grew up in a large family. His family are close and he feels that as one of the oldest brothers in the family he needs to be strong which is why he finds it so hard after the accident. Deep down he wants to settle down and have a family but really doesn’t think he will ever find anyone.

Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead character from your most recent book? 

 

Actually, there is an actor that I picture as John and he’s a Newfoundland actor. Alan Hawco. The actress I see as Stephanie is probably Krystin Pellerin. She is a Newfoundland actress. Both of them worked together on a tv series in here called the Republic of Doyle.

When did you decide to become a writer? 

 

I don’t think you decide to become a writer. I believe you are born a writer but sometimes it takes you a while to realize it and in my case it took me a few years.

Why do you write? 

 

I love to create stories and give all the people who run around in my head a story of their own.

What made you decide to sit down and actually start something? 

 

I’ve had this series in my head for years and as I said before have had them written for a long time. I just had to get in the right mind to let people read what I created.

Do you write full-time or part-time? 

 

I’m retired.

What is the hardest thing about writing? 

 

Getting all the ideas down on paper before another pops in my head.

What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book? 

 

Writing wasn’t the hard part. Trying to give myself the boost to actually publish was the hardest for me.

What is the easiest thing about writing?

Falling in love with the characters and getting lost in their story is the easiest thing for me.
What book are you reading now?

Booty Call by Ainsley Booth
What is one random thing about you? 

 

I spent 30 years involved with the sea cadet movement and I can play wipe out on the glockenspiel.

What is your preferred medium of writing? Pen and paper or strictly tablet and computer? 

 

I mostly use my laptop but I always have a notepad with me and when an idea hits me I write. If I don’t have a notepad I use notepad on my phone.

What does your writing process look like?

Sitting with my laptop and just getting lost in the story.
Do you have any strange writing habits (like standing on your head or writing in the shower)? 

 

The only thing I can think of is, I’ve gotten out of bed quite a few times because an idea pops in my head and I have to go write it. I can’t write in bed because hubby doesn’t like the light turned on at 4 in the morning for me to write something that popped in my head. He’s weird about things like that.

How important are names to you in your books? 

 

I do try to stick with names I know are Newfoundland names. Some of them are also names of people I know and family members but names are where the similarities end.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

Trying to ensure that I stick to the Newfoundland dialect but also ensuring that everyone can read my books and enjoy them.
Did you make any marketing mistakes or is there anything you would avoid in future? 

 

Since this is my first book I’m not sure if I made any yet but I’m sure I will but I have an amazing circle of author friends who give incredible advice.

What is your favorite motivational phrase? 

 

Never give up!

What is your favorite book and why? 

 

I honestly couldn’t tell you one favorite book because there are so many books to love. I’ve read so many books.

Do you have any advice for other writers? 

 

Just keep writing what you love and never give up because if a middle-aged woman from Newfoundland can do this anyone can.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing? 

 

That’s easy. I love spending time with my granddaughter and my children.

From where do you gain your inspiration? 

 

My husband is my inspiration. He may not be the romantic type all of the time but he’s always been my rock and he gives me support every day.

What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing against being published or the other way around? 

 

I think self-publishing gives authors a better chance of getting their work out there. You don’t have to deal with rejection after rejection from publishers. It’s on your own terms and you do it the way you want. It’s a little harder to get your name out there but if you stick with it, you can build up your readers.

How do you market your books? 

 

I hired someone to set up an online release party and she also set up a 30-day blog tour. I also bought a couple of ads on Facebook.

Why did you choose this route? 

 

It was recommended to me to hire someone for the first book but I will do it again.

Would you or do you use a PR agency? 

 

I don’t use one but I wouldn’t be totally against it in the future.

Do you have any advice for other authors on how to market their books? 

 

Just get your name out there and if you have to hire someone to help do it. It’s worth it in the long run.

What part of your writing time do you devote to marketing your book? 

 

I usually take a couple of hours at night to make posts and check all the social media. I’m still in the middle of the blog tour so I check on that every day as well.

What do you do to get book reviews? 

 

I just ask to leave a review if they’ve read the book but that doesn’t seem to be working very well. Getting reviews seems like pulling teeth but I’m still working on that.

How successful has your quest for reviews been so far? 

 

Slow.

Do you have a strategy for finding reviewers? 

 

I’ve tried asking but as I said I’m still working on that.

What are your thoughts on good/bad reviews?

Not everyone is going to like what I write and I understand that. Everyone wants good reviews but you have to take the good with the bad and move on. Don’t take it to heart and hope that most people like what you write.
Any amusing story about marketing books that happened to you?

Nothing yet.
What’s your views on social media for marketing? 

 

I think social media for marketing is the way to go. Almost everyone uses some sort of social media these days and you can reach so many people.

Which social network worked best for you?

Facebook seems to be the best for me.
Any tips on what to do and what not to do? 

 

Always be thankful to people who take the time to read your work and help you and make sure you stay true to yourself.

Did you do a press release, Goodreads book launch or anything else to promote your work and did it work?

I did an online book release party on Facebook and I am in the middle of a 30-day blog tour.
Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why? 

 

I’m not someone who would love to meet anyone famous.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers? 

 

Write what speaks to you and never stop.

How can readers discover more about you and you work? 

 

On my website – http://rhondabrewerauthor.wix.com/home

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/rhondabrewerauthor

Twitter – https://twitter.com/rhondabrewer67

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14951927.Rhonda_Brewer

Keep an eye out for the logo:

 

rhonda3

#ASI: Olivia Dannon

Hi Olivia Dannon, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself and your background?

About me, well I grew up in a single parent home my parents divorced while I was too young to remember. My mother raised me and my siblings on her own and showed me what it was to be a strong, independent woman.

We weren’t especially wealthy, you could say and so my imagination came in handy for entertaining myself and siblings.

We moved quite a bit as my mom was doing her best to find a better job to better provide for us and furthering her education. As a result, I’ve lived in the majority of states in the west and several different cities within each. I’m so grateful for this because it opened my eyes at such a young age as to how big the world is and how little it means to run into narrow minded people. The world is full of possibilities and stories have even more.

It’s a given that I love to write, but I really do love it! My children are my first love of course, and my husband but writing is right up there with them. Aside from my family and writing I am always on the hunt for a new show on Netflix 😀 I love celebrating holidays, especially my children’s birthdays, as it’s a day I can make all about them.

Okay now it’s confession time. Unfortunately, I am a horrid cook. (My poor family!) And I’m not so great at decorating my house either, LOL but I’m trying to get better at it. I prefer to write in my pajamas and I am not, I repeat not, a morning person.

Phew! Thank goodness that’s out there and off my chest 😉

I love animals. We have two dogs a Boxer and Pomeranian, that both have more energy than I ever thought could fit inside a dog! On top of that they’ve got their roles confused as my Boxer is convinced she’s the lapdog and my Pom has made it her job to protect the house! Tiny dogs seem to think they are ten feet tall and bullet proof. Lol!

I prize loyalty, compassion and courage as the three greatest traits a person can have and I think family and friends are the greatest gifts we get in this life.

That’s probably more than enough about me 😀 Let’s hit the next question!

Discuss your newest book.

My newest release, Burning Ice is the third book in my Heatwave Series! I wrote these books with the intention of them being stand alone but I’ve been told they are more enjoyable to read in order.

Back to Burning Ice, let’s get to the summary:

Chessie has finally escaped the mafia, or has she?

Sexy as hell, FBI Agent Greg Donovan is her best shot at making her court date alive. Chessie’s got a Mafia Boss hunting her down to shut her up for good.

Danger is at every turn and it’s not a good time to have his mind clouded with lust.

Not often on the right side of the law Chessie is surprised to find she’s got it bad for her new partner in operation, Burning Ice.

So that in a nutshell is what Burning Ice is about and has characters from books one and two returning for more face time but it’s defiantly Chessie and Greg’s story that if you don’t mind me saying is HOT, suspenseful and intriguing! Sounds juicy.

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

I can’t really pinpoint an exact moment where I began writing. I remember my older sister complaining that I’d written stories on the back of her homework, (I couldn’t find any paper :p Sorry sis!) when I was in kindergarten.

It’s like I was born writing. It’s what I’ve always done and will always do, it’s a part of me. I am just thrilled to be sharing with readers now and hearing back from them has made it so rewarding! I’ve made so many new friends, met amazing people and it all just has me writing more 😀

What are your current projects?

I am currently writing the fourth book in my Heatwave Series. It’s called, Where There’s Smoke, and am really excited about this one. If your following the series, you’ll be excited to know that this book is Bella’s story who has been in the first three books as well.

She’s such a feisty lady she’s been so much fun to write and hopefully to read as well.

I often change my mind but tentatively I’m thinking my next project will be a continuation of the Paladin Series. But I can’t make any promises!

What books have most influenced your life most?

I love to read books that inspire me to better than I am, to work harder to be the best that I can be and strengthen me. I read a book by Iris Johansen called, Ugly Duckling in high school that really resonated with me. I don’t want to give out spoilers so I wont get into the details of the book but basically it’s about a woman who goes through horrific circumstances and uses what she’s survived to strengthen herself instead of letting it hold her down or back.

This world is not an easy place. No one gets to sail through without going through something, at least that’s what I’ve come to understand. I read that book when I was trying to overcome some of the ugliness of the world and it inspired me to be stronger. To stand on my defeats, short comings, trials and climb higher. It was like climbing out of the dark to feel the sun on my face and be happy.

I hope I can do the same for someone else. A noble cause.

What inspired you to write your first book?

Writing books is just what I do. Publishing it was the idea of close friends and family. I write for myself as it’s just who I am but never thought to share my books. I’m so glad I listened to them and got my work published. It’s been so rewarding!

So thanks family and friends for your push! I needed it 😀

Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special?

For Burning Ice the main character is Chessie. She’s grown up inside a mafia family and it’s made her a tough as nails woman. She has so much heart and so much to overcome. I love that she is so fiercely protective of the people she loves and I love that she isn’t afraid to get in trouble.

Her character is far from perfect. She’s flawed and doesn’t trust easily. She’s determined to do everything herself and it gets her into several tight spots! She’s a lock picking, DIY’r, with a huge heart and a whole lot of guts!

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

There are many things readers can walk away with when they read my books. I’m hoping they provide an escape from life when it’s mean, inspire someone to be strong when they want to give up, and to fight for what they really want in life. I hope my books make people smile, laugh, cry (the good kind), chew their nails with suspense, cheer out loud and when they put it down I hope they are happy they read it.

Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead character from your most recent book?

Oh my! That’s going to be a hard role to play. We’ll need someone with talent that’s for sure! Maybe we should take a poll! LOL 😀 I don’t have anyone in mind for that part.

Do you write full-time or part-time?

I’m a full-time Mom and believe me that’s a fulltime job that seriously should be a paid position, luckily I take hugs and kisses from my little cuties as payment 😀

That said I write in every free moment I have. If I’m not helping with homework, playing with my babies, burning dinner, or trying to make my husband laugh than I am writing. I have a set number of pages I have to have written every day and that means sometimes I don’t get to bed until the sun is on it’s way up.

Being an author is a joy but it’s hard work if you want to be any good at it. I consider it a full-time job for sure!

What is the hardest thing about writing?

The hardest part about writing for me is to edit. I love the thrill of a new story and going back over one that I already know what’s going to happen is hard because I’ve already got so many new ideas for new books and new adventures. That said, it must be done and done well. Agreed, editing is a necessary evil. 😦

What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book?

The hardest thing about writing Burning Ice was finding the right title! LOL! I could not pick a title for that book. My street team, Olivia’s Street Smart Angels had to help me. I love to write but I have to admit, picking titles, although fun for me, isn’t my strength.

Thanks for your help Angels!

What is the easiest thing about writing?

Building character profiles is the easiest part for me. This is where I build their character and learn who they are so that once I put them in any given situation it will be easy to know how they would react. That’s the fun part because I don’t always know what they’ll do until they do it! Sometimes, I find myself pleading with my characters not to do something or to do something but I have to stay true to the characters. It makes writing for me, so much fun!

What book are you reading now?

I am currently reading an ARC by a very talented soon-to-be published author, Alexandra Parker! She’s awesome and has me completely captivated with her book! Keep an eye out from Alexandra Parker, folks! Sounds like I have another author to look into!

What is one random thing about you?

Random huh? Let’s see, oh I know. If I’m told a book or movie is sad I do my best not to watch or read it! I avoid it like the plague! Have I mentioned I love Happily Ever Afters? LOL 😀 Oh but HEA’s can be tearful too!

What is your preferred medium of writing? Pen and paper or strictly tablet and computer?

With my crazy schedule and perhaps from beginning my writing journey on the back of my sister’s homework, I will write on anything if it’s what I’ve got at the time. I do prefer my laptop but I’ve been known to write more than three hundred pages in a notebook when that was what I had to use while on the go.

I don’t use pencil EVER because it’s hard to see when you’re typing out what you’ve hand written. A super, eye-straining pain!

What does your writing process look like?

Inspiration for different stories strike at different times so I carry an idea notebook with me.

Once I have an idea or even just a character that I really love than I do the character profiling. I map out a point system next, like point A I want them to begin here and then end up at point B before finishing and point C.

After that I put my characters into situation A and see how they will take me from point B to C and so on. Sometimes my characters refuse option B or C and we hit a different route.

Do you have any strange writing habits (like standing on your head or writing in the shower)?

I don’t like to write in enclosed spaces. Like, rooms with no windows or in room that don’t have good lighting. I’m not especially claustrophobic but it seems to stifle my writing.

How important are names to you in your books?

Names are important to me for certain. If I don’t like the name or if I think it’s going to be a challenge for the reader to pronounce and be distracting, then I pick something else. The name has to fit the character as well.

Did you make any marketing mistakes or is there anything you would avoid in future?

With first book releases it’s important to have someone on your side that knows what you can do to get the word out. Getting a personal assistant is a great idea and there are several that give reasonable prices and give priceless support and know how.

What is your favorite motivational phrase?

My favorite is, “Don’t ever look down on anyone unless you’re helping them up.” – Jesse Jackson.

I love it because I think we’re all so different that it’s ignorant and unkind to pass judgement. Our differences are the best things about us. Labels and stereotypes are like trying to make people fit inside a one size fits all box that no one fits into.

It’s true some labels are necessary with disorders, and disabilities but these labels should never be the measure of a person. We are each so much more than any one thing.

What is your favorite book and why?

I can’t pick! I’ve tried and I love so many! I love Where the Red Fern Grows, because it reminded me to work my butt off if I wanted something and to value the ones I love.

I love books by so many different authors I love to read, Melody Anne, Ruth Cardello, Johanna Bourne, Mimi Jean Pamiloff, Karen Marie Moning, Nora Roberts, Iris Johansen, JS Scott, and so many others!

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Every author should set up a beta reading team! I LOVE mine! I LOVE YOU MY BETAS!

Every author should have an editor and although it may seem intimidating or expensive it is necessary if you want your work to be taken seriously and professional. There are many great editors out there, some will work with you and do payment plans! *cough*cough*ME!*cough*cough

Don’t write a book trying to please all your readers it’s impossible. Write because you love it and make every piece your very best work so that you can be proud of it when haters don’t like it and when your readers tell you they love it.

Don’t assume your book will be a best-seller just because it’s good. After it’s polished to perfection or as close as you can get it to that point, you’ve got a lot of marketing to do and networking! This will help get the word out and get your works seen.

Network with other authors. Other authors are not your competition. If one author writes something that makes people want to read then it helps us all. Be supportive and help your fellow authors get the word out so they will want to return the favor with your releases. Network with bloggers too!

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

My kids are my life!

When I’m not writing I’m doing my very best to be the kind of mom they deserve. My kids are everything to me and such amazing, perfect little angels and I am so blessed to have them! I am pretty crazy about my husband too LOL 😀 Poor guy has to eat my cooking. Luckily he’s a great chef so we’re not starving to death over here!

We like to get in the car and go explore locally and when we have time road trips are always fun. I love taking pictures so my family lives with a paparazzi LOL!

From where do you gain your inspiration?

I am inspired by everything. Little things give me ideas, even seeing a picture in a magazine will get my mind going building a character profile around that picture. I have a very busy mind!

What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing against being published or the other way around?

When you don’t have an inside track to getting traditionally published it’s a great idea to self publish to establish your writing presence. Publishing houses want to see if you’re willing to work so they can get behind you.

That said, even if you never get traditionally published, self publishing gives you more power to set your prices, expand your genre selection, set your own deadlines, and enjoy a larger percentage of your royalties.

How do you market your books?

Marketing is big rock to climb and there are so many different ways to do it.

I use word of mouth A LOT! What’s better than a friend telling you about a book they love? Street teams, events, giveaways on Facebook and from my website are some of the ways I advertise.

Would you or do you use a PR agency?

I don’t see why not 😀

What part of your writing time do you devote to marketing your book?

I don’t have a designated time set aside, I try to advertise daily especially if I’ve got giveaways going! They are so much fun 😀

What do you do to get book reviews?

To get book reviews I release ARC of my books to bloggers who review books, and I encourage people to review not just my books but any author they really appreciate.

How successful has your quest for reviews been so far?

I’d say moderately successful. I would of course love more reviews! I read them and value the constructive feedback and especially enjoy when readers enjoy my work 😀

Do you have a strategy for finding reviewers?

I don’t.

What are your thoughts on good/bad reviews?

I think if you enjoyed reading a book then it’s a great idea to review it on Amazon, iTunes, Barnes, or Goodreads. There are so many places to review these days! Every author loves good reviews!

I don’t think it’s great to rate authors so harshly. That’s not to say you should be dishonest or give everyone a five-star rating. If you’re going to give an author a three-star rating or lower, it would be great to give constructive criticism so the author can take the hit to their sales with a lesson as to what they can do to improve.

If you love a book, give it a five-star rating! What are you saving that fifth star for? LOL!

Reviews help authors sell books, it’s their livelihood. I think it’s important to keep that in mind when giving out those stars. By all means be honest, not harsh.

What’s your views on social media for marketing?

Social media is really important in my opinion and is too rewarding to be ignored! I love getting to know my readers 😀

Which social network worked best for you?

Facebook has worked best for me but I also use Twitter and Goodreads.

Any tips on what to do and what not to do?

If you ask someone to read your book for feedback or a critique, pick someone you respect and trust. Whey they come back to you with their feedback DO NOT be offended. You picked this person because you respect and trust them, remember? Writing is a business where you will find out if your book is no good, (remember those ratings?).

It’s better to find out before it’s published, what needs to be ironed out and fixed. No one writes a flawless masterpiece in one sitting, okay? It is better to hear it from your trusted beta reader than someone who doesn’t mind ripping your heart out for everyone to see.

Don’t dismiss the feedback you receive even if it is harsh, not if it has any merit. Writing is a craft that as a writer we must continue to sharpen and refine.

Did you do a press release, Goodreads book launch or anything else to promote your work and did it work?

I did a big Book Release even on Facebook for Heatwave and it went REALLY well. I got to meet tons of people! It was a lot of fun and I will definitely be doing it again in the future.

Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why?

I guess if I could bend any famous person’s ear I would pick Melissa McCarthy. She makes me laugh SO HARD! I think she’s quick witted, smart and seems to be a kind person. I bet she would be a lot of fun to talk with.

How can readers discover more about you and you work?

Here are the many different ways my readers can connect with me and/or find out what’s coming up!

Author Links:

Amazon: http://bit.ly/OliviaonAmazon

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/olivia.dannon.1

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/authoroliviabdannonromancer/

Barnes: http://bit.ly/OliviaBDannonNook

Goodreads: http://bit.ly/OliviaBDannonGoodreads

Website: http://authoroliviadannon.wix.com/hotreading

Twitter: @OliviaBDannon

Alright, everybody go check her out!

#ASI: Gabriel Woods

Thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself and your background?

Thanks Courtney for asking me to do this interview. I`m working as an author but I am also a qualified life coach. I was born in Ireland. I like traveling and I have lived in Dublin, London and Edinburgh. I have traveled widely throughout mainland Europe including Spain, Greece, Cyprus, Netherlands and Germany with a focus on areas of cultural importance. I have also backpacked in Australia and India.

Discuss your newest book.

I have published a kindle book Easter Rising 1916 A Family Answers the Call for Ireland`s Freedom. It`s a story about a family involved in a struggle for independence in Ireland. I was inspired to write it by an older woman whose father, aunt and uncle had taken part in the Rising. There`s also fictional aspects to the story, a character called Mother Mary who is psychic and a doctor who get caught up in the events.

I will have a novel published also, The Golden Age Dawns, by the end of March in Amazon. It will be free to Kindle subscribers for five days. This is a fiction book. There are dark forces that are determined to defeat humanity. The Protectors of the Light, immortals that protect humanity, combat the evil that threatens to overwhelm the world. They have a mission to guide humanity and individuals as the human race develops. The Protectors of the Light, travel back and forth to The Great Source, the force that creates all worlds and earthly dimensions, as they carry out their mission.
Susan is in a race against time to save London from the outbreak of a new virus that threatens to spread throughout the world. Linda, a successful clinical psychologist but a lonely woman, decides to travel in search of love. Colin is a young man from a poor family in Ireland and has been looking after his mother who has severe depression for most of his life. He travels with his friends to escape the world he lives in. He discovers he has to face events he never imagined. Colin encounters situations of social unrest that test his mental and physical strength.
The story is about how the three main characters deal with the events they are faced with.

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

At school I was told by most of my teachers that I was not very intelligent and that I would not be suitable for college. I studied an honors psychology in University College Dublin, Ireland and achieved a 2:1. I was thrilled to achieve the grade because not only did I prove my teachers wrong but I also received what I believed to be a top class education in UCD. In school I had one teacher who said was a brilliant writer and in my degree I know that the lecturers there appreciated how I wrote essays and assignments. So I always liked writing.

What are your current projects?

Currently I`m publishing The Golden Age Dawns. I am also promoting my book Easter Rising 1916 A Family Answers the Call for Ireland`s Freedom.

What books have most influenced your life most?

I have been influenced by a wide variety of different types of books. As a teenager I read fantasy books a lot, I loved Tolkien`s book The Lord of the Rings. I have always liked psychology books (anything to do with psychology really). I came from a rather messed up background and I had a lot of difficulties as a teenager and young adult. Psychology books taught me new ways of thinking and acting that were beneficial to me. I gained a better understanding of myself. I read quite a lot of books by Stephen King and Anne Rice when I was not reading psychology books. Both these books have influenced my current style of writing.

What inspired you to write your first book?

Nine years ago life became very difficult for me. It seemed as if my whole life was falling apart and I was struggling to hold onto my home. I had at the same time broke my leg in three places and was in a lot of pain as I was going through rehabilitation for my leg. I was very fortunate to have good friends and my mother helped me too. I was reading certain books at the time about angels that comforted me. I was in so much pain that I turned to something bigger than me, spirituality, and I was desperate for help. So I learned methods to help me. I learned facts about myself and about life and thought about what I could do with this information. All these experiences inspired me to write.

Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special?

The main character is Linda. She is a very successful woman from a wealthy background. However she is lonely, all her friends are married with children and she is all alone. She leaves for Europe to have fun and maybe find a lover. Linda is faced with a nightmare scenario and finds strength within herself that she never knew existed. Linda behaves in ways she never thought herself capable of. She becomes open to influences not of this world.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

I would be so happy if readers picked up just one message in the book. I would like people to know that there is no need to be afraid of events or people in their lives, or afraid of something about themselves. That reader`s will receive the help they need, if they are open to it and if they are humble enough to ask for help. Whatever form help arrives in, help will come.

Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead character from your most recent book?
That is a difficult question! You are really making me think with these questions! To be honest I am not sure. I would like an actress who would have the skill to understand Linda`s character. Linda is complicated and an actress would need to be able to convey the depth of Linda as well as her sensitivity and love of people.
When did you decide to become a writer?
Exactly a year and a half ago in March when I started writing The Golden Age Dawns! I did not really decide, it was just a natural progression from all that went before. Then I had a burning desire to sit down and write, I had written many notes about my novel and put them together to form The Golden Age Dawns.
Why do you write?
I write mainly to amuse people. I write because it is the natural thing for me to do. I have always written in one form or another-poems, a diary, essays, reports and now blogs and all sorts of social media.
What made you decide to sit down and actually start something?

I wrote in response to one of the above questions that I went through a very difficult time in my life and I learned certain things. I then wanted to distill all this experience into notes that I could remind myself of what to do if life got difficult again. Then I thought about writing a book. Most of all I wanted to entertain people with a good story. Life can be tough and I wanted to create something to get people`s minds off their troubles. It turned out that that ‘something’ was books. My books are not educational books though there are facts in them. If people pick up on messages in the book that is great. My books are written to entertain primarily, to give people a break from their problems and be amused.
Do you write full-time or part-time?
I write full time and I hope to continue to write full time. Social media takes up a lot of time and then when that is put together with the time it takes to write my books it really is a six hour a day occupation, sometimes more hours than that.
What is the hardest thing about writing?
I have a difficulty with writing in that sometimes it is hard to stop writing. I sometimes have to force myself to stop. I can forget to take breaks during the day. When I am not writing I am thinking about what I will write next, what I will put write about the character or the next chapter. Switching off is difficult but I do manage to do so.

What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book?
My two books are being published at the same time. Easter 1916 Rising A Family Answers the Call to Freedom was difficult because, although there are entertaining events that I wrote myself, I researched the book. Learning about what actually happened at that time when some Irish people desired independence from England and the consequences of that was disturbing. The high level of violence was horrifying to read.
The Golden Age Dawns was hard to write in some ways because a lot of my personal experiences, particularly my spiritual experiences, went into the characters and into the events. I was faced with my own self at times as I wrote the characters thoughts and feelings. Writing The Golden Age Dawns helped me to rid myself of some painful thoughts and feelings that I needed to let go of.
What is the easiest thing about writing?
The easiest thing about writing is that I nearly always find it fun. Even if I am writing about something serious I tend to focus completely on my writing. The hours and days fly by!

What book are you reading now?
I am reading a book by Anne Rice The Wolves of Midwinter

What is one random thing about you?
I have traveled a lot and I tend to adopt some characteristics from the people I spend a lot of time with. I know a lot of people from different parts of Ireland. Some have very different accents and I’ve adapted some of their accents. What accent I have depends on who I am speaking to, as I will speak with their accent. I do this to such an extreme that it is random!

What is your preferred medium of writing? Pen and paper or strictly tablet and computer?
I write ideas for books on the notes section on my mobile then I send them to my e-mail and transfer them to a word page. I do have a note book but that is if a have an idea about publishing or promoting that I want to write down so I will not forget.

What does your writing process look like?
I do not have a process as such. I write notes as they come to me. I have a rough idea of what I want the beginning and ending to be and the dramatic points in-between and I try to stick to that.

Do you have any strange writing habits (like standing on your head or writing in the shower)?
Not that I am aware of!
How important are names to you in your books?
Names are important. I convey where a character is from by their name.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
The challenging thing is developing a piece of work that a reader can understand. To make sure I am conveying the story effectively. The editing process I find challenging. It is not as fun as writing a story!

Did you make any marketing mistakes or is there anything you would avoid in future?
I hired an editor last year and she turned out to be a scammer. I paid her a lot of money and she did no work for me. I found an excellent editor after that. Check out anybody that you consider hiring, thoroughly. Check their references, actually speak to the people that give the references or e-mail them because the services websites may be dishonest.

What is your favorite motivational phrase?
This is one I just use for my own motivation: “Do not fear all is well”. It reminds me that I may not understand why something is happening to me but I will learn from it and I will be safe.

What is your favorite book and why?
I have books in my home, spiritual books, that I always read if I`m worried or stressed.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
As I said above make sure you check out thoroughly editors, graphic designers, anyone you hire to work on any aspect of your book. Websites may look well but do not be fooled by a flashy website.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I like going to the cinema. I workout six days a week.
From where do you gain your inspiration?
Everything really. People I see, things people say, an idea a song gives me.
What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing against being published or the other way around?
I have made no effort to approach a publishing house. I am really grateful that I can manage all aspects of my books. Nothing has been taken from the stories or characters to suit the needs of a publisher. Your story can stay the same all the way through the process if you want it to. I think that is fantastic!
How do you market your books?
I am on a steep learning curve with marketing! I am beginning with social media because I have been writing my two books so it is easier to use social media. I will be branching out to newspapers and radio in the next two months. I think I am doing okay so far, Easter Rising 1916 A Family Answers the Call for Ireland`s Freedom is selling at one or two books a day so I must be doing something right!
Why did you choose this route?
I chose self-publishing because I wanted to preserve the story of my novel. The characters and events all have significance and I wanted the story to stay the same.
Would you or do you use a PR agency?
No I do not use a PR agency.
Do you have any advice for other authors on how to market their books?
There is a lot of talk about targeting your audience and only using media where this audience will be found. I think it`s possible to market your book in a way that your book will sell but also make it match what you like to do or who you like to do. I do not think marketing has to be serious all the time. It is nice to have some fun with it!

What part of your writing time do you devote to marketing your book?

I promote my book in the morning and write my books in the afternoon.
What do you do to get book reviews?
I am working on that at the moment. I am using social media currently. Hopefully I will receive reviews for Easter Rising 1916 A Family Answers the Call for Ireland`s Freedom from readers on Amazon.
How successful has your quest for reviews been so far?
Since I have been publishing my two books I have not concentrated on obtaining book reviews, I will do that when the novel has been published. Getting the publishing right is the most important thing for me at the moment. My followers in Tumblr are very helpful in promoting my novel.
Do you have a strategy for finding reviewers?
Not yet. Positive word of mouth I think is important.
What are your thoughts on good/bad reviews?
Everyone is entitled to their opinion, what a reviewer says may or may not be true. I think it`s helpful to keep in mind what reviewers might say, is there some adjustments that can be made to future books that might improve them.
Any amusing story about marketing books that happened to you?
I am just beginning to market so not just yet!
What’s your views on social media for marketing?
I believe social media is very effective. There are other media that are important too I think. I think radio shows, papers, launching local events, are all important too.
Which social network worked best for you?
Tumblr is very definitely working out better for me and I have fun using that site too!
Any tips on what to do and what not to do?
Be careful of editors. After my experience with the scammer I looked up other authors experiences. Most of them at some time or another had problems with editors. This phase of writing a book is fraught with incompetent or scamming people. Be really careful who you select!

Did you do a press release, Goodreads book launch or anything else to promote your work and did it work?

Not yet. I will promote my novel in these ways when it is published by the end of March. Amazon has got a lot of methods to market books when you publish with them.
Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why?
I would like to meet Katy Perry. I really like how she dresses in costumes, she seems to be having fun. I think it is important to have fun in what you do.
If you could have been the original author of any book, what would it have been and why?
I would like to have written JK Rowling`s books about Harry potter. I really like the details she writes into her stories and the concepts she writes about like Hogwarts College. She has a great imagination and you can see it in her books

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

I am only starting out myself so I cannot really speak from experience. Write what you feel like writing because people will pick up on the passion that you have for what you write and that may help them to like your book. People like passion!
How can readers discover more about you and you work?

Connect to Gabriel Woods at the addresses below:

Amazon

gabrielwoods.tumblr.com
gabriel854@wordpress.com
gabrielwoods777.blogspot.com
gabrielwoods@gmail.com
Facebook: Gabriel Woods
gabrielwood771.twitter.com
gabrielwoods777@gmail.com