Geoff Turner

Archie'sMirror.jpgGeoff Turner sought several literary agents before landing with a publisher.  He discusses his journey and explains why even traditionally published authors need sound marketing strategies.

1. Tell me briefly about your book – what is it about and what motivated you to write it?

Archie’s Mirror is about a young boy’s search for his missing father. It’s a journey that takes him through the magical mirror of the title and into the mysterious Land Beyond. It’s a book for older children along the lines of Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy or Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book. I also wanted to write a story that explored the idea of story-telling itself. So, for kids, there’s what I hope is a rollicking fantasy adventure, but there are additional levels there that adults might want to explore, alongside a heady mix of jeopardy and humor.

2. How have your sales been?

Put it this way, I won’t be quitting my day job just yet. The thing I’ve realized about being an indie author – and I guess the same is true with self-published writers – it’s very much a marathon not a sprint. It’s very rare that you’ll find instant success. You have to keep at the marketing, you have to keep at the promotion, and you have to keep searching for your audience. Keep the faith and, with a bit of luck, that audience will be out there, somewhere.

3. You’ve gone the traditional publishing route. Tell me more about that and how you got into it.

By chance I saw that Prospective Press was looking to increase their roster of writers and was asking for speculative submissions. Archie’s Mirror was finished, and I was toying with self-publishing, having received a raft of rejections from literary agents. I figured there was nothing lost by sending Prospective the manuscript. At the very least I thought I might get some feedback on what was wrong with it – the agents had just sent me their standard letters – but, as it happened, the book struck a chord with them and they offered to publish it.

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D.E. Funk

IMG_6557D.E. Funk is a new author who recently released her first novel, Silent Rage.  And full disclosure: she is my cousin!  In this interview, she explains why she chose indie publishing over traditional, and why having a professional editor makes a difference.

1. Tell me briefly about your book – what is it about and what motivated you to write it?

My book is called Silent Rage and is about the birth of a serial killer. It details the home life of a juvenile, Russell, who ends up discovering the power he has over others through violence. There is only one female in his life who shows any concern about him. Libby Teach is currently a middle school teacher (name makes sense as you read the book) who is at work on her graduate degree which will enable her to become a behavioral therapist who specializes in juveniles. The book is not a juvenile read. There are real crimes and serious issues tackled in the pages.

I was motivated to write for a couple of reasons. First, I love to read and thought why not? I know what I like and don’t like and could surely write one as well. Second, I believe a lot of crimes could be prevented by early intervention such as behavioral or mental health courses taught to middle school aged kids. They face a lot of tough situations and don’t have the skills to address them. Maybe I can make a difference using writing as a platform.

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Marques Peterson

marques petersonMarques Peterson believes that if you can’t find a story you really like in a bookstore, you should write it.  Find out more about his marketing efforts and why he believes you have to invest in your own product for it to be a success.

1. Give me the “elevator pitch” for your book in five to ten sentences.

I think the best way to tell you about my story is to tell you how I came up with this idea.  Toni Morrison once said, “If there’s a book you really want to read but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.”  So I began to outline and I created a character that must go through hell to accomplish his goals.  So I started thinking, what if a cunning, bold, twenty-one year old sorcerer witnesses his mother’s death to save his skin?  It would make him very angry because he was too weak to save her and it would also make him vindictive because now he wants to get his brother for what he has done to her.  But, since his mother is gone now, he also has the burden to save the world because he must collect the ancient stones of immortality before his brother can.

So the sorcerer begins his adventure to pursue each stone and make a few friends along the way, but trouble arises when they arrive at Westco village.  The captain of Westco, having arsenals of deadly arrows and an army of guards, tries to stop them at any cost.  Then there are other beings like the ferocious vangal birds that try to eat them; the tyranny preventers, Ober and Nob, which will do whatever they can to stop them; and the cold-hearted aurettas whose powers seem unstoppable – will the sorcerer and his friends ever collect the stones?  This is exactly what happens in my book, Cold Spirits: Greed Vs. Passion.

2. Why did you become an indie writer?

I became an indie writer because I wanted to experience how it would be to publish my own book.

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Jonell Kirby Cash

Jonell Kirby Cash used something a little different than either self-publishing or the traditional route.  Learn about the innovative method she used and the one-on-one experience that came with it.

1. Pretend for a moment I’m a reader looking for my next book.  Pitch me your book in five to ten sentences.

A Ring, A Dance, A Second Chance.  The book is Katie and Taylor’s love story.  They dated in high school, but married others, and both are now widowed and live alone.  Their odyssey begins when, out of the blue, forty-something years since they last talked, Taylor calls Katie.

2. What motivated you to become an indie writer?

As I grew older my responsibilities changed and so did my interests.  I noticed there were few works of fiction and fewer movies that caught my attention or offered a reading or viewing experience that was meaningful.  Often, my friends and I would whine that we couldn’t find novels with characters that had any resemblance to us (the 50 plus) and we’d say we wished that older people would become more active in the writing arena…and we’d wonder if writers just got tired or lost their creativity.

When I whine I usually look for an option.  Since I’d always planned to write a novel, but never had allocated time to learn how to write fiction, I decided I should give it a try—I’d never be any younger.

I’d published in my academic field (five books).  I enjoy writing, I understand communication, and I had the basic skills of grammar.  I’m also a psychologist; therefore, I understand human nature.  So, in the seventh decade of my life I decided I had the time to enjoy learning to write from a novelist point of view.  This decision was the motivator to get me started on this venture—the first step in the process of writing a novel.

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Please vote for my blog on Goodreads.com

Dear readers,

To those I’ve interviewed here – and everyone else reading – I’d like to request that you please vote my blog for the Independent Book Blogger Awards on Goodreads.com.  The link is here.

If you are not already a member of Goodreads, you have to register, but this takes mere seconds and would be a great help to me.  The link to register is here (after which you can vote at the above link).

This would be the first award for my blog if I win.  And because you’ve been featured on the site, it would add prestige to your interview and possibly help drive traffic and sales.  Just recently I was informed by an author that her interview on my site resulted in a book club purchasing 16 books from her!  So I know the blog is having a real effect.

Please vote for me, and tell your friends and contacts as well.  I sincerely appreciate your support.

Regards,

Kris

Lance Leuven

It’s not every day that someone decides to take a cross-country journey, blog about it, then turn that blog into a book.  But British author Lance Leuven has done just, and as a new writer he shares what he’s already learned.

1. Tell me briefly about your book – what is it about and what motivated you to write it?

Well it all started with a rash decision after the pub, really.  I was at home pondering my upcoming 30th birthday when I concluded that there wasn’t really anything stopping me from doing something I’d been thinking about for a while.  So the next day I walked into work, quit my job, and then handed in notice on my flat.  My plan was to spend the summer traveling the length and breadth of the UK. I compiled a list of things to see and do and lastly decided to write a blog of my experiences for my friends to follow.  With my long list of tasks to complete my trip became quite a rip-roaring gallivant across the nation encompassing a vast amount of what the UK has to offer.  This, combined with the inevitable bad luck, misadventures and disasters, led me to think that maybe others might enjoy sharing my story, so I decided to publish the blog.

2. How have your sales been?

Well I only published a couple of weeks ago so fairly slow so far.  Due to the nature of the book my first task is to reach the right audience.  Being not simply a genre-specific novel or travel guide or anything straightforward means that reaching the people who’d be interested in its “niche” nature is my first and biggest challenge!

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