#ASI: Kat Green

Hi Kat, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself and your background? Hi thank you for having me. I was born in November 1979 into a military family and moved around a lot during my childhood. This shaped me into the person I am today. My family roots are from Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire. I now live with my husband and son on the south coast of England, Portsmouth. I don’t pretend to be the best, I am still growing as a writer and having lots of fun along the way. I love books and have a busy imagination. My love for music plays a big part in my first novel called Strings. I love to watch live bands and can usually be found at gigs around the UK. In 2010 I lost my mother to blood cancer and it was time to put my words on a page and stop worrying about what people might say ‘Life is too short and precious to waste’ is my motto. Writing is my passion and my escape. I’m sorry to hear about your mom.

Discuss your newest book. I have two books out at the moment.

Strings & Encore, part 1 & 2 of my trilogy. It’s a rock romance with a twist of mystery, thriller and suspense.

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Do you recall how your interest in writing originated? I’ve always wanted to do it, always been in my head. I wrote a story at 11 but never showed it to anyone. Handwritten to and 150 pages and it was very similar to Strings just without the rock band side of things.

What are your current projects? I am working on book 3, the final part of my trilogy

What inspired you to write your first book? My mum was a massive inspiration. If she could smile through the pain of cancer. I could write a book. Self-doubt stopped me for a long time but when I lost my mum to blood cancer everything changed and I realized life was short and I didn’t want to have regrets. I decided to live life to the full and be brave.

Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special? Melissa Webb is a normal girl one minute, next she’s public property dealing with a lot of things that come with fame, but she never lets it change her. She stays strong and true to herself and her friends no matter what get thrown at her. She’s beautiful inside and out.

 Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp? Yes, friendship, family and having loyalty can get you through any dark times. That no matter what happens you can survive.

Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead character from your most recent book? That is really hard because I have tried to put together a cast list so many times. I actually can’t decide as for me there isn’t anyone I feel is perfect for the roles. These are people who I’ve created and don’t exist.

What made you decide to sit down and actually start something? The loss of my mum. Once my grief had eased I decided to go for it.

Do you write full-time or part-time? Part-Time. I would love to be able to do it all day every day but with family life and a family business it isn’t possible right now. I write mostly in the evening.

What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book? As it is the final part of a series, not letting my readers down and making sure they get the ending they’ve been waiting for.

What is the easiest thing about writing? I find coming up with a basic plot quite easy but it’s getting the whole thing to work and flow is the tricky bit.

What book are you reading now? I recently finished, Girl on the Train and I loved it.

What is one random thing about you? I’m scared of planes. It isn’t just about flying, it’s the actually planes that make me shudder. If we were meant to fly, we would be born with wings, is my thought.

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

What does your writing process look like? I write the first draft without worry too much about it being perfect. Then I read it through over and over, editing along the way until I am 100% happy with the finished the final draft.

Do you have any strange writing habits (like standing on your head or writing in the shower)? I don’t, boring I know.

How important are names to you in your books? Really important. My two main characters had several names at the start. I really think about the characters and the name has to fit.

Did you make any marketing mistakes or is there anything you would avoid in future? The only thing I remember at the very start was using twitter to gain followers, it worked really well but there were a few occasions where I did the ‘read my book’ mistake. People don’t like that and I quickly realized that the best way to get readers is to engage with them. Get to know people and once you’ve built up a relationship they will take a chance on your book. That has been the most important lesson. Your readers are important so make sure you treat them well.

What is your favorite book and why? I don’t really have any favorites. I like many different genres and styles of writing but I did go through a stage of reading Dean Koontz about 10 years ago. I loved Twilight and The Mortal Instruments. I also love horror and crime books.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing? Spending time with my family. Blogging for unsigned bands. Music is another passion of mine.

From where do you gain your inspiration? Music and life in general.

What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing against being published or the other way around? It seemed the easier option. I wanted to get my work out there and getting a publisher is not easy. I like having control over my work and being my own boss, in a sense.

Any decisions can only be made by the individual and what they are looking for. Both options are great but if people decide on Self – published they will need to be ready to work hard to promote. It is time consuming and sometimes things don’t always go to plan. As long as you can shake it off and carry on you’ll be fine. When it does go well it’s the best feeling in the world.

How do you market your books? Social media and word of mouth.

Would you or do you use a PR agency? I do everything myself. I self- publish and for the time being I am happy with how things are going.

Do you have any advice for other authors on how to market their books? Firstly, be brave and go for it. Join events online that are designed to promote and connect you with readers and other authors. Social media has been a major fact in getting my name out there. Book blog tours are really good for getting exposure and being active with readers.

What part of your writing time do you devote to marketing your book? I try to market as much as possible with events etc. There are days where I am promoting which can mean less writing time but it has to be done.

What do you do to get book reviews? How successful has your quest for reviews been so far? I have been very lucky with reviews so far, most have come from readers who happen to download my book. There have been some that have been from book blog tours where reviews have been part of the package.

Do you have a strategy for finding reviewers? I don’t have a strategy, I feel that reviews are something that is down to the reader and I feel very humbled for everyone I get.

Any amusing story about marketing books that happened to you? Everything has gone really smoothly for the most part, however there is an American author with the same name. We have on occasion been mixed up. I was booked in for a takeover at the start and hadn’t had any notifications, it turns out they’d been tagging the wrong Kat Green into things. It was quickly sorted out.

Which social network worked best for you? Facebook has been amazing as this is where most of the events I have talked about take place.

Did you do a press release, Goodreads book launch or anything else to promote your work and did it work? I use my social media pages to make people aware of my work, although now I’ve gained more knowledge, for book 3 I will switch things up a bit. I have a street team now so I have more back up.

Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why? Marilyn Monroe. I would love to know who she truly was and what really happen.

If you could have been the original author of any book, what would it have been and why? I really don’t know, so many but maybe Twilight, only so could have hung out with Robert Pattinson. Ha ha

What advice would you give to aspiring writers? Just be brave and write what is in your heart. Enjoy it and most importantly be at peace with the fact not everyone will like your work. Once that fear of criticism is faced you can do anything.

How can readers discover more about you and you work? They can follow me via the following links

http://bit.ly/1gjY7u1

 

https://www.facebook.com/KatGrn00/?fref=ts

 

http://bit.ly/1K7evq9

 

https://www.amazon.com/Strings-Black-Eagles-Trilogy-Book-ebook/dp/B00KZ6DO8O/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1463347914&sr=8-1&keywords=kat+green

 

 

 

#ASI: Kew Townsend

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

I am a widow with a wonderful daughter, an educator, travel, and movie buff, and write romantic music fiction set in the 1960s-1980s rock scenes in the Affairs of the Heart Series. I live in sunny Southern California and when there is time, love to read under a palm tree with wave’s crashing along the shoreline.

My love of rock music began at a very young age when I returned glass Coke bottles for change to buy 45 rpm records. My interest moved from the music to the musician, and living in Hollywood, interviewed the Beatles for KABC television when they landed at Los Angeles International Airport. I acquired a taste for the funny Englishmen and began dating one of the Rolling Stones that exposed me to sex, drugs, and rock and roll. Later my memories surfaced in the Affairs of the Heart Series where I weave my behind the scenes anecdotes with my long love of fairy tales and castles, mysteries, lightning, and thunder into a romantic suspense story. WOW!

Discuss you newest book/series.

Over the last three months, I have released five books in the Affairs of the Heart Series – London, a rock star romance. BETRAYAL is Part 5 and the final book in that series.

Affairs of the Heart Series ~ London 

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How far would she go for love?

What if you were falling in love but not with the man, you’re engaged to?

Step into a modern fairytale, and get lost in love, betrayal, and revenge, where your “VIP all-access pass,” takes you behind the scenes, to sex, drugs, and rock n roll, with the most gorgeous men and women in rock music. Love it!

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

The late 1980s, I was working as a law clerk at the corporate headquarters for a major motion picture and television studio. I recalled some of my adventures to a woman that transcribed for a romance author. She offered to format my stories if I was willing to write them down.

What are your current projects?

Preparing for a summer release of the second series of four books in the Affairs of the Heart SeriesHollywood.  

What would she do when her secret was out?

What if you could have everything you ever wanted – but not what you want most?

What books have most inspired you to write your first book?

Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles was popular at the time is began writing. I admired her first 3-book boxed set. I remember wanting that someday.

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

Holly Hill, a paralegal, is the main female character. What makes her special to me is though she has suffered a devastating trauma and closed her heart as a shield from pain, she is trusting, and willing to believe in the best of other people.

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

I haven’t approached my writing to have a message, but if there is one – be open, take a chance and be adventurous.

When did you decide to become a writer?

I didn’t decide but began writing in the late 1980s.

Why do you write?

I have strong characters in my head that have a story to tell and won’t shut up until it’s told.

Do you write full or part-time?

I seldom write, I always edit, so I’d say, full-time editor.

What is the hardest thing about writing?

Editing, editing, editing. Did I say editing?

What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book/series?

Nothing with writing other than keeping up with the characters, but with the editing, cover creation, and formatting for the paperbacks has slowed me down. Tough choices to be made.

What book are you reading now?

I’m not reading a fiction book; I read mostly non-fiction about publishing and promotion.

What is your preferred medium of writing?

Computer, though I have thousands of pieces of paper littering my desk, purse, and bed stand with thoughts jotted down. Mixed media can be very helpful.

What does your writing process look like?

Rock music is sensual so I need a sensual setting. I set the mood with low lighting maybe candles, rock song or ballad that fits the chapter, and some kind of scent, be it candle or oils. I prefer to write late in the quiet and dark of the night when rock in roll is strongest. I read the last page written and then continue to follow the characters. I sense a possible Poison fan!

How important are the names in your books?

Tough to answers as the character’s name themselves, so I’d say they are very important to them.

Anything particularly challenging in your writing.

Yes, keeping the timeline straight as the storyline stretches from the 1950s to 1990. Timelines are so wibbly wobbly and timewimey anyway!

Did you make any marketing mistakes?

Yes, zillions. I originally did the big five route in the 90s when that was the only option. Then a few years ago, I discovered self-publishing. As a rookie, I didn’t understand the process and made many, many mistakes. After five years, innumerable workshops and on-line courses I decided to take the series and re-brand, re-title, re-edit and re-release.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Yes, ~ write your story, the one you would want to read.

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

I love to cruise on ships though I usually end up editing while sitting on a deck chair. Tends to make the job a bit easier. lol

What are the main advantages of self-publishing?

I am the boss, it is done my way, my story, my covers, my series.

What are the disadvantages of self-publishing?

Marketing, and promotion – they take a lot of time.

How successful has your quest for reviews been so far?

Positive. I have five stars reviews so I am very happy with reader response.

Do you have a strategy for finding reviewers?

At the end of the books, I invite readers to post, and I have my books placed in reader groups.

What are your views on social media for marketing?

I think Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, and promotional social media opportunities from distributors are wonderful tools to have available to an author.

Which social network worked best for you?

Facebook is my first go to.

How can readers discover more about you and your work?

My website and join my newsletter http://www.kewtownsend.com/

My blog Rock Stars and Hollywood http://www.kewtownsend.com/blog/

Contact me at kewtownsend@gmail.com

Like my author page on FB https://www.facebook.com/pages/K-W-Townsend/143032285812319

Like and join my Street Team https://www.facebook.com/groups/1612894818997224/

View my book trailer https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H4DGLcQOUCo

Support Affairs of the Heart Series eBooks and Paperbacks:

http://www.amazon.com/KEW-Townsend/e/B019YJRSBG

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1087245170

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/kew+townsend?_requestid=219360

https://store.kobobooks.com/search?Query=kew+townsend

I want to thank you, Courtney, for taking the time to have me here in Author Spotlight and to share my Affairs of the Heart rock star romance series. You have a very special blog and I really enjoyed answering your questions.

You rock!

Kew

#Musical Monday Review #18: I Kissed a Vampire

Overview: Dylan is bitten by a Vampire and started transforming into one. He struggles with his new fangs, weird dreams and not biting the girl he loves. Then Tray shows up to teach him how to be a Vampire and get the girl. His girl Sarah is bitten and starts changing too. She wants to embrace new life, but than also wants to find a cure, while Dylan is in denial and trying to stop it. They go to see Dr. Dan Helsing and find that the Vampire who bit Dylan wasn’t too powerful so he may not change completely. Sarah on the other hand was bitten by a very powerful very Vampire and will change as well as belong to Tray. In order to make the cure, they just need a drop of Tray’s blood. The two are pulled apart in their quest for blood and giving into their true selves. In his love for Sarah, Dylan’s powers start to emerge and we learn Tray is obsessed with Sarah because he has mommy issues. Sarah breaks the the spell and they are able to create a cure. Sarah almost died but is brought back with a kiss. The cure failed, but the couple found happiness together.

Opinion: Though the lyrics leave a bit to be desired, the music is cool. For a girl who wanted to break away from the goody-two shoes personality, she really wanted to find a cure and change back to normal. Its like here is her chance and she chickens out. I thought that was a little unrealistic or uncharacteristic of her. Rocky Horror Picture Show comes to mind with the duality if Sarah’s fighting good vs evil inside of her, compared to Janet’s similar struggle.

Really over all it looks like something Disney would put out during their 13 Days of Halloween. For me that’s good, I love those movies.

Lucas Grabeel shows a darker side than when he was in High School Musical. He embraces the emo look, foregoing his scary pink attire.

“Just a Little Bit of Nibble” is my favorite favorite choreography. We see Tray teasing Phillip about getting his first kiss and Phillip struggling between kissing, biting and keeping Tray away from Sarah.

“Just a Drop” is reminiscent of “Your the One That I Want” from Grease. I’m not sure why, it just popped in my head as I watched Sarah, the good girl next door type, sing about how she wants to break out of her shell and take a bite out of life (pun intended).

Note: Some people may have seen the mini episodes on YouTube or another website, but a lot of people have had issues finding the whole musical. I found it on Hulu if you are wanting to check it out.