Monday, April 29, 2013

Come by to meet Multi-Genre Romance Author, Cora Blu!

Cora Blu
Multi-Genre Romance
     Thank you for stopping in to check out Cora's books. She'll be around this week to answers questions and chat with readers. Click over and view her sites, then leave her a comment. She love's to meet new readers! Here's a peek at our chat this week:


Deanna: Cora, thank you for hanging out with me this week! What do you like doing outside of writing? Hobbies? For fun?


Cora: Gardening, cooking, reading and gardening. Writing is an obsession so I can't list that.


Deanna: I'm also an avid gardener...my characters talk to me while I'm out there. If you couldn’t be an author, what would your ideal career be?


Cora: A professional dancer.


Deanna: How did you choose the genre you write in? I write romance because it's what I read growing up.


Cora: Friends, neighbors, teachers...I've never lived in a one-race world. Underwater fantasy, because Twenty Leagues Under the Sea caught my attention at a young age. 


Deanna: What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?


Cora: I'm adding you to my prayer list that you never lose your writing style. (Are you kidding me!!! So humbling)


Deanna: Is there anything that you would like to say to your readers and fans?


Cora: Your kind and positive reviews, and private emails carry me like nothing else. I write IR, not to highlight interracial couples, but to highlight the fact that people live and interact inter-racially, multi-culturally. Not all conversations are racial. Everybody's experience is different. 


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


Cora: I just released book II in my fantasy Brothers of Element series, "Blade". Researching the tsunami in Japan from 2011. The level of heartbreaking was overwhelming. The message in the story is twofold. Shark finning is out of control in the Pacific Ocean, and an underlying bullying is going on between the hero and heroine. The hero will come to realize he's unknowingly looked down on the heroine because she is Irrawaddy dolphin and not tiger shark.


Deanna: What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?


Cora: The heroine, Miyuki Takahashi, gets into a sword fight and it gets...messy. I cried writing that scene. And the hospital scene when they visit a hurt child rescued from fallen debris. I laughed so hard.


Deanna: Have you ever been surprised by a controversy among fans or reviewers - for example, you created a character without thinking too much about what people would think of him, and found some readers loved him and some hated him?


Cora: Mikhail from my contemporary Stranded but not alone. He's the twin to my hero, Seth. I get requests to give him a story. From my fantasy, I get requests to give Her'lion a book. He's the queen's personal security. He's the color of tar and a bull shark shifter with lavender eyes. He's one of the most feared guards, and protects the queen like a bulldog.













Email: corablu@hotmail.com

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Marketing is part of writing, too!

Find what works for you!

     We love to write but once the books are done, how do we let the readers know they can find it? The internet has so many places for readers that it'll make your head spin, so we have to find a few that work for you and add other sites as you go. Marketing is time consuming and cuts into writing time. How do you choose which are the best sites to start with? Where do readers go for new authors and books? Should you pay someone else to do your marketing for you? Advertising is expensive but there are many sites that don't charge an arm and a leg to put up your cover and I've found a few that I'll share with you before I'm done here.
     As you read, if you've found a few sites, we hope you share those in the comments here so others can grab them. I'll also post them on my website link for author tips. Here are a few things I figured out as I wrote and some I wished I'd known when I started. I hope they help you.
     Before you post that your book is 'Now Available' get a few things in place first so that you gather a following to promo your books to:
  • Start a website - there are many places that allow you to start free and webs.com is a good place to begin. Be sure to add ways for readers to join or follow your site.
  • Start a blog - whether you like blogger or wordpress, just do it! Add ways for readers to follow your blog then post items of interest to keep them coming back, be it author interviews, writing articles, posts about your books, etc. Readers are thirsty for new books and info!
  • Start your FaceBook author page and also start a page for each book - yes, FB allows this. Just check on 'starting a page' and then you choose what type of page and there is where you choose a 'book' page.
  • Start your page at GoodReads.com - later you can upload each book with a blurb so readers can find you. This website gets 1,000s of hits daily and millions of hits per month! Don't overlook GoodReads!
  • Start your Twitter account - gather followers before your book is out and get interest going about it.
  • Start a newsletter - There is Constant Contacts, Mail Chimp or your own newsletter. Constant Contacts fees add up in a hurry and I had to stop them when my fees were $40/mo!! Mail Chimp is $10 and doesn't increase until you get to 500 subscribers. They don't charge for pic storage like Constant Contacts does. Learn how to post the subscriber links on your website, blog, FB, GoodReads, etc!

     Once you've gathered a following, send messages out that you'd like to get a blog tour scheduled. Authors love helping other authors and you'll be surprised how many will respond and get you scheduled on their blog so be sure you're connected everywhere with authors in your genre.
     Here are a few more free places you can join for promo:
  • Freado.com - get the first few pages of your book up or the first chapter and set up the auto tweets for this. Readers will help move your book up the charts at Freado as they stop in to read but again, you need to promo and tweet that your chapter is there to read. Include your site links there as well.
  •  CoffeeTimeRomance.com - Karen will set up a free author corner for you so you can post to readers and chat with them.

     Here are a few inexpensive sites for advertising:
  • AnAvidReadersHaven.com - I co-own this site with Louise James. Check out advertising tab; our blog also does author interviews.
  • DeepInTheHeart.com - run by Renee Vincent - she's got a very nice site here.
  • AdultFanFiction.net - this site has 1,000s of readers and it's not all adult stories. Many readers click on the banner ads here so do take a moment to check out their ad page and info!!
  • ManicReaders.com - they have a variety of promo packages as well as author packages.
  • AuthorsDen.com - this site is free but they have paid packages that reach further and more readers.


     I hope these pointers help many of you get a good start to promoing your books. Feel free to leave more site links in the comments and additional pointers for everyone to grab.
     Check into finding yourself a good editor. There are many links for editors but you may want to try one who's been recommended to you. If you're using friends, family or beta readers, those are good but remember...they don't want to hurt your feelings so may not be as honest with you as they need to be. Thank you all for stopping in and I hope I've helped at least a few of you!

Need motivating?
My book might help, too!
 

Monday, April 15, 2013

Meet Thriller/Suspense author, Luke Romyn!



 
 Luke Romyn
Author of
Suspense/Thrillers
Deanna:  Luke, I'm honored to have you here so my readers can meet you, thank you! Writers are a busy group of individuals. What else do you do along with your writing?

Luke: I run two businesses and work as a nightclub bouncer on weekends. That’s my ‘social’ time; otherwise I tend to lock myself away from society too much.


Deanna: A bouncer who's also an author...interesting combination! So what do you do to relax?



Luke:  I like to get to the gym – mainly just for weights these days, though I do try to get some boxing or kickboxing in whenever possible. I try not to knock myself out. My wife and I often go bike riding, and I like to catch up with friends for coffee whenever possible. Oh, and I travel around the world.



Deanna:  As authors, we’ve sometimes been accused of being several people. How many personalities live in your mind?



Luke:  Billions. I’m pretty sure there are various colonies, ranging from Neanderthal-like simians to extraterrestrials.


Deanna: I love your sense of humor, Luke! What is your strongest area in writing: plotting, character personality, dialogue, etc?



Luke: It’s my job as a writer to constantly work on every aspect of my style, and as such, I try not to focus so much on my strengths, which come easily, but rather work relentlessly on any weaknesses, something I’d be a fool to point out to anyone.

      However, that said, it also depends on the book. For the Prometheus Wars books, I relied heavily on hardcore action, grabbing the reader by the throat from the very beginning and not letting go. For the Legacy Chronicles books, I’m focusing a lot on the complexities of the characters – I mean, I’m working with a new messiah raised by an abusive Bible fanatic faced with world annihilation, so he’s bound to have some issues.



Deanna:  Can you work on more than one book at a time?



Luke: I prefer not to, unless they’re in the same series. Each book has a different rhythm and flow, and to jump from one to the other confuses my writing too much. As a writer you get to know your characters, and you walk the path they’re walking. To jump into too many pairs of shoes would be foolish.




Deanna:  Since I work on only one book at a time, I understand that. How long does it take you to write a book?



Luke: That depends on a lot of factors, but for a 100K first draft it usually takes me about three months. Editing usually takes around the same, sometimes less.



Deanna:  Editing is a grueling, necessary evil for us and we all go about if differently to come out with a final product. What is your editing process?



Luke: I usually run through the entire MS and rewrite each paragraph, adding or removing description, fact checking, thickening the depth of the scenes, rewording awkward passages, etc. After that I go through again, more as a reader, making sure everything runs seamlessly, looking for repetition, contradictions, or just downright stupidity. After that it goes off to my editor, and we back and forth until I’m happy. And finally it goes to my proof readers to pick up any tiny mistakes left over.



Deanna:  What is your favorite way to connect with readers?



Luke: Definitely social media. I try to blog, but time restricts me too much, and I’m too much of a perfectionist to simply jot something down ‘on the run’. I have over 270000 followers on Twitter, have maxed out my friend list on Facebook, my fan page is ever expanding, plus there are all the other sites that I forget about right now.



Deanna:  Tell us about a typical day in your life as a writer.



Luke: I sit down at the computer and write, no distractions, simply word after perfect word, annihilating my daily word count in no time.

      And then do again the next day. I wake up, go to the computer, rub my weary eyes, look at emails, look at my book stats, look at Twitter, look at Facebook, and then curse that I’ve wasted an hour of my day.

      So I knuckle down to write, smashing away at the keyboard for what seems forever, finally easing back and reviewing what I’ve written… only to realize it’s a jumbled pile of nonsense, delete the whole thing, and start all over again.




Deanna:  Do your books have a common theme or are they all different?


Luke: I like to challenge my characters at every turn. I like to hurt them, torment them, force them through the wringer until they come out the other end a changed entity, something stronger than what began the story. Because, ultimately, that’s what life’s about.
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Deanna:  Luke, it's been a pleasure getting to know you! Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to be with us and allow me to introduce you to even more new readers who I hope have also enjoyed meeting you and will leave a comment or two. Readers, thank you for stopping by to learn more about Luke Romyn and what he writes!