Thursday, September 29, 2011

'Wired' - An Author Interview with Martha Randolph Carr



How did you find your agent?

I was introduced to my agent, Rachelle Gardner with WordServe Literary by a mutual friend four years ago who was represented by the same agency and we hit it off right away. Rachelle loves thrillers and in particular my style of thriller. There are lots of ways to find an agent but doing a lot of research beforehand is definitely the best way to go. Who likes the very specific genre you’re working in and has repped similar books? Then get the elevator pitch down and put that in the opening paragraph. Not ‘why this story is great’ but why this book will sell. Writing is this wonderful art form that has to mesh with the nuts and bolts of business. There’s nothing wrong with that and being able to do that can even result in a better book.


What do you do when you get writers block?

I have things I do to prevent writers block especially since I write based on deadlines and the other end really doesn’t care about my lack of a muse. I never end a writing day at the end of a chapter. While things are still hot I write the first page of the next chapter. I make extensive notes about the backgrounds of the characters, the era they live in and what they’re struggling with and use those notes to move forward. And, if I really need to I have a couple of people I can call who will talk plot with me as if the characters existed. Like fictional gossip and that helps to get me going.


How many hours a week do you spend writing? Editing? Procrastinating?

My entire work week consists of writing whether it’s for me or someone else (I also ghost write books and write interactive web copy and SEO) I edit as I write and then put down the piece for a day and come back to edit more. Procrastination to me is just the mind’s way of mulling things over and spitting something creative back out to put down on paper.


How long does it take you to write a book from start to finish on average?

I’ve been writing for a long time, which means there was raising of children and taking care of parents and other life events that took some mixing in as well. With that in mind it takes me about 8 months to finish a thriller so that it’s ready for Rachelle to see.



What are you working on now?

I’m working on The Keeper, the sequel to The List, which Rachelle is currently showing to publishers. It’s a thriller about a happy American family caught between two old political powers that have always existed behind the scenes, invisible to most of the public. The sides have battled over control for hundreds of years, actively recruiting new members at a young age to groom them for politics, Wall Street, corporate corner offices and the military. However, families find out a little too late that once they’ve joined, there’s no ‘out’ clause.
Wallis Jones is the wife of Norman, mother to Ned and a successful attorney living the good life but she’s about to find out that she’s also a pawn in the deadly games of two powerful global secret societies at war with each other and her loved ones are the ultimate prize.


Do you use a professional editor, critique partners, or beta readers? Briefly describe your process.

I have belonged to small writers groups in the past where we critiqued a chapter every month of each other’s work and I found that to be very helpful. It gave me outside opinions and an artificial deadline. But I’m on my 8th or 9th book (6th of my own – the rest were ghost written) and I let Rachelle see it first these days.


Which is the most important social media platform and why? Twitter, Google+, Facebook, Goodreads, LinkedIn, or any other one you use.

I’m on all of them including LibraryThing and Shelfari and I think it’s important to make a presence on all of them but remember to not make myself crazy. I have them all interconnected, along with my mystery blog www.marthacarr.com so that I don’t have as much repetition and I try to be a listener on those sites as well as a content provider.


What are three resources/web sites that are indispensable for authors?

Rachelle’s web site, www.RachelleGardner.com has won awards for three years in a row from Readers Digest and packs in information about how to get published, how to market yourself as an author. www.NovelPublicity.com does a great job of showing people how to use social media to their advantage in new and clever, cost-effective ways and www.FundsforWriters.com by Hope Clark is one of the oldest writer sites that includes jobs, grants, news, publishers and agent info.


Is there anything else you would like to share?

Wired is an amazing thriller and when it first came out I went on a country-wide book tour dotting the entire country. Every time I did an appearance someone came up to me clutching the book and would then lean in to tell me a secret they had kept for years that was swallowing up their life. The look of release and joy on their face was magical and left me feeling humbled that they entrusted me with their secret. I always encouraged them to go and tell others and really set themselves free. Plus, I love how many times reviewers have said the book scared them till they had to lock the front door or check the windows. That’s what I hope for as a thriller author – not gross you out or horrify you – slowly scare you by what you’re worried may come next.



Tour Notes:

Enter to win 1 of 3 free paperback copies of this novel on the official Wired blog tour page. The winner of the give-away will be announced on Wednesday, October 26 – be sure to enter before then! Just can't wait to read Wired? Pick up your copy in the Kindle, Nook, or iTunes stores or visit Smashwords with the coupon code AK95A to receive a discounted price (just $2)!

Don't forget to vote for my blog, Indie Writers Zone, in the traffic-breaker poll for this tour. The blogger with the most votes wins an Amazon gift card and a special winner’s badge. I want that to be me! You can vote in the poll by visiting the official Wired blog tour page and scrolling all the way to the bottom.

Learn more about this author by visiting her website, Facebook or GoodReads pages or by connecting with her on Twitter. You'll definitely want to check out Martha's Mystery Blog--each week a new short thriller is serialized Monday through Friday. The entries are nice and short, easy to read via smart phone or tablet. It's all at www.MarthaCarr.com.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Bestseller For A Day September 28th - Nearly Departed in Deadwood

  



THIS Wednesday, September 28th, is Ann Charles’ big, fun-filled day! Her multiple award-winning novel NEARLY DEPARTED IN DEADWOOD, is the featured book for BESTSELLER FOR A DAY. The premier promotion of the Indie Book Collective, BESTSELLER FOR A DAY is designed to push indie authors to the top of the Kindle charts!
What does all this mean exactly? How does this involve me? What do I do?
For you, the reader, it’s easy AND fun! Starting today through midnight Wednesday, 9/28:
1.  Go to Amazon.com and purchase Ann’s eBook NEARLY DEPARTED IN DEADWOOD for only 99 cents! (The normal price is $3.99 so you save three dollars.) Ann digs it when readers save money, especially right before the holiday season! Then they can buy more books! Like these 3 breathtaking bonus buys, on sale this week ONLY for just 99¢ each: PINK SLIPPER, MUCH ADO ABOUT MARSHALS, and WANTED.
2.  Your purchase helps show the publishing world what indie authors can do when they join forces with reviewers and readers! Every purchase improves Ann’s ranking on the overall Amazon chart. Our goal is to get her eBook, out of the millions of eBooks, onto the Kindle Top 100!
NEARLY DEPARTED IN DEADWOOD, the winner of the 2010 Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense AND the 2011 winner of the Romance Writers of America Golden Heart Award for Best Novel with Strong Romantic Elements, has already been in the top 10 on Amazon’s Mystery/Women’s Sleuth chart. It has also held the #1 spot on the Top Rated Amazon Women’s Sleuth chart for months, and is in the Top 100 Rated Amazon Kindle Fiction books. How awesome is that? Ann’s is still in shock over the wonderful reader response to her quirky tale full of mystery, suspense, romance, humor, and a hint of paranormal! She periodically slaps herself in front of the mirror just to make sure it’s not a dream!


To make it into the Top 100 Bestseller chart takes serious firepower! To do it, she really needs your help!
Please shout her out to your Twitter stream, Facebook friends, friends and family, even your dog. Reviewers have called NEARLY DEPARTED IN DEADWOOD: “out of this world,” “a fantastic read,” “fast-paced,” “amazing,” “an exciting romping ride.” One reviewer said Ann’s book: “kept me enthralled with goose bump-creepiness and belly-aching laughter.” Another said Ann’s “storytelling capabilities are tremendous!” And yet another said, “With colorful characters and witty dialogue, this is a book sure to please all fans of mystery, romance and the paranormal.”
So…what are you waiting for?
3.      After you purchase Ann’s book, head over to the Bestseller For A Day site and enter to win a brand new KINDLE – Ann’s way of showing her appreciation for your time, effort, and support!
4.      Wait! There’s more! How about this? 3 MORE AMAZING reads – only 99¢ each! PINK SLIPPER, an entertaining and humor-filled story about finding happiness and friendship while swimming in the unemployment pool; written by the talented, multi-published author, Gina Robinson. The award-winning Jacquie Roger’s book, MUCH ADO ABOUT MARSHALS, a side-splittingly funny romantic western with a touch of sleuthing. And, last but definitely not least, WANTED, a sizzling hot historical western romance by Amber Scott, the author of several Amazon bestselling novels!
5.  If you’re still not sure you should part with that buck and maybe win a brand new KINDLE, here are 74 – yep, 74 – outstanding 5-star reviews that may change your mind. It’s hard to part with your cash in this economy. We get it completely. Look at it this way: your 99 cents is an investment in a great escape from reality, a fun read that will bring a smile to your face and keep you up late into the night flipping pages to see what comes next for Violet Parker and her crazy friends. What’s more, it’s an investment in all indie authors who are trying to prove their worth.
Ann appreciates all the love and support you’ve shown her these past few months, pushing
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NEARLY DEPARTED IN DEADWOOD up the Amazon charts and onto the Top Rated and Bestseller Lists. We can’t wait to see what Wednesday brings!
Please go directly to NEARLY DEPARTED IN DEADWOOD now to purchase Ann’s book or to the BestSeller For A Day site for more details. If you have questions or comments, feel free to email Ann at ann@anncharles.com or visit her blog. You can also catch her onTwitter or Facebook. When she is not dabbling in fiction, leg-wrestling with her children, attempting to seduce her husband, or arguing with her sassy cat, she is standing on her workshop soapbox, blabbing about what she has learned over the years about the craft and self-promotion.
Comments welcome! Retweets and mentions greatly appreciated!!
Interested in participating in Bestseller For A Day as a Bonus Buy book? We’re always on the lookout for great indie books to include in our promotions! What’s required? You must be available in eBook format, be on Twitter, and have a blog. Want more info? Contact us at indiebookibc@gmail.com for more information!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Indie Insider - Tracy Falbe





How are your book covers designed?

For Rys Rising: Book I my newest release I hired the company AvatarArt.com to development a scene featuring two major characters. After getting the art, I added in the title and author name with Adobe Illustrator and then exported the image in the formats and resolutions I needed for various digital and print uses.


What do you do when you get writer’s block?

If I’m having trouble deciding what to write next, I spend time reading and editing chapters I’ve already written. There’s no shortage of editing and proofreading and contemplating that needs to be done. These activities usually get the juices flowing for writing again.


How many hours a week do you spend writing? Editing? Procrastinating?

Between writing and editing, I put in a consistent 15 to 20 hours a week unless those pesky “life issues” get in the way. I don’t really do much procrastinating. My time to focus on these tasks is restricted because I’m raising small children. So when it’s my time, I don’t waste it. Anyway, I love writing. It’s what makes me feel good. Why would I put it off?


How long does it take you to create a book from start to finish on average?

My novels are very long, ranging from 150,000 to 220,000 words. Including writing, reading, and editing, each one roughly represents two years of effort.


Where do you get your ebooks formatted?

I do all of my own ebook formatting. I recently obtained Sigil, which makes creating an epub very easy. I use the Mobipocket creator software to make my Kindle versions. I have Adobe Acrobat professional and with that I make pdf files out of either Microsoft Word or Adobe InDesign. I always teach myself as many technical skills as I can. I need the money I make from my novels for living expenses. I have to be careful about throwing it away on services. As any businessperson can tell you, there are always many vendors out there ready to take your money. I only outsource when I feel I can derive real value from it, like with my recent audiobook production of another novel Union of Renegades.


Do you use a professional editor, critique partners, or beta readers? Briefly describe your process.

I go over every word of my novels numerous times. I read my work. I edit it. I rewrite it. I proofread it. I once estimated that I spend from 10 to 20 hours total on each chapter. Part of my process is to read my work from the point of view of a reader. I’m capable of wearing many hats. I can sit back and relax and just consume the story, and I then I can become an editor and deeply analyze every paragraph. I’ve never sought beta readers. My novels are long and it would seem like too much of an imposition. Also I’m not really interested in a bunch of feedback from some committee. How would it be my novel if I was making adjustments based on other people’s opinions? That sounds too much like a job.


As for an actual editor, the thought of someone cutting a word or adjusting anything in my manuscript is horrific to me. An editor might cut a phrase thinking it’s extraneous without realizing that it adds meaning hundreds of pages later. I’ve considered every word and detail in my novels carefully. That’s my purpose as a novelist. I know you’re thinking that my novels are long and need editing, but I assure you I’ve cut thousands of words from each manuscript before publishing. My novels are long because I write epics with dozens of characters, multiple races, and two or three separate civilizations. I very much take to heart the advice in the little book The Elements of Style. Just the other day I changed the phrase “failed to hit” to “missed.”

I also very much enjoy editing my novels. They are born of my deepest thoughts and feelings, and I need to be the one attending to the details. I am qualified. I have a journalism degree that trained me as a writer and copyeditor. I always got A grades in writing courses in high school and college. I’ll grant that there are probably a few errors within every hundred thousand words, but I can live with that. I put my name on my novels and accept the judgment of the public. I stand by my work and some people enjoy my novels very much and ask me to write more.


Which is the most important social media platform and why? Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, LinkenIn, or any other one you use.

I wish I knew! Personally I enjoy Twitter, so that is the one I use the most. I suspect that Goodreads might be the most valuable to authors because everyone there actually reads books. I should do more there. I honestly don’t know what to make of Facebook. I’m on Facebook but don’t have any clue if it accomplishes anything for me. In general I don’t have any advice about social media. It seems like it could be useful but I’m not sure how to use it.


What are three resources/websites that are indispensable to authors?

Indispensable:
Kindle Direct Publishing http://kdp.amazon.com/


Is there anything else you would like to share?

I’ll be brief and just quote AC/DC…

“It’s a long way to the top if you wanna rock’n’roll.”


I invite readers to discover my epic fantasy. I am the author of two series: The Rys Chronicles and Rys Rising.

Free samples at Brave Luck Books

Union of Renegades: The Rys Chronicles Book I
Rys Rising: Book I

Also see all my titles at these retailers:


Sunday, September 4, 2011

Indie Book Blowout!



This Labor Day weekend is an ebook lover’s dream come true! Over 100 authors, over 130 titles, all priced to 99 cents as part of a Labor Day weekend sale to remember. It is the first annual Indie Book Blowout!
We are talking award-winners! Best sellers! All genres! New releases! All priced down to 99 cents PLUS, if you sign up for the newsletter, you’ll be entered to win a brand new KINDLE and $100 in gift card giveaways.
Just head to http://IndieBookBlowout.com, shop, click, buy and enjoy! 
Happy weekend and happy reading!!