T.J. Loveless On Book Covers And On Whether Social Media Sells Books

tj lovelessName: T.J. Loveless
Author’s Website, Facebook Page
Hometown: Born in Anchorage, Alaska
Current Residence: Wyoming
Education: BS in Biology with emphasis in Genetics, BA in Criminal Justice
Briefly: Co-authored a paper in the early stages of research regarding genetics and dyslexia; helped build three highways in Jacksonville, FL; Correctional Officer at a Men’s Maximum Security Unit for four years; Copy & Content Editor; Technical Editor; two books on the shelves!
Favorite Read: Gone with the Wind
Author Crush: Margaret Mitchell
Fiction How-To Book You’d Recommend: Don’t have one I can recommend.
Pet Peeves: Those who try to make others be just.like.them. That and when someone says, “Can I axe you a question?” Ask people, it’s ask.
If You Weren’t a Writer You’d Be...back in the lab, even if I had to force my way back!
What You Have Lined Up Next: Fractured Steel, almost done with the rough draft, followed by Odd Number Five, and Partial Transfer to be written during NaNoWriMo.

When you were little, did your little heart go pitter-patter on Library/Media day, and your mouth drooled just at the very idea of being near books?

I was forever in the library, it was my safe place. I ran away once, and my grandmother found me in a corner at a local library, curled up in the middle of a stack of books about horses.

You’ve talked about your love for mythology. Who’s your favorite mythical character?

I have so many! I’ll go with dragons. I seem to put one in every book, in some form. Either a character, or jewelry, something.

You’re also a content and copy editor. Does this mean that you are absolutely in love with the editing part of the novel-writing process?

No, not for my own work. I hate editing my own, because I second guess myself constantly. I’ve been known to sterilize my novels, although I don’t with clients. Go figure.

People who’ve read your Cookie diaries series might wonder if you are a superstitious person?

Not at all. I like to research mythology, and everything around it, including why people created the myths in the first place. The imagination is astounding, and the psychology behind it can keep me occupied for hours.

The cover for Going Thru Hell is so well-done. I like the gray and pink and the sweeping hair of the cover model.

Thank you! I love the cover too, and it was a bit of journey. I’d originally Continue reading

Jill Sanders On Promotional Boxed Book Sets + How Authors Can Avoid Blogging Burnout

jill sandersName: Jill Sanders
Author’s Website, Goodreads Page
Hometown: Castle Rock, WA
Current Residence: Texas
Briefly: All of my Pride Series books have hit Amazon’s bestselling lists here and in the UK. Several of my Secret Series have hit both lists as well.
Author Crush: I’ve always adored Agatha Christie. For more recent romance, Nora Roberts.
Fiction How-To-Book You’d Recommend: Not sure on that one.
If You Weren’t a Writer You’d Be…Well, I’ve worked in the computer field for the last ten plus years. I’ve been everything from an IT Tech, to a Network Engineer. So, I would probably be stuck behind someone else’s computer doing something boring, instead of sitting behind my own computer, writing something exciting.
What You Have Lined Up Next: I have four more books in my Secret Series then I will move onto my new contemporary romance series about three sisters living on a large farm in Texas. The cowgirl’s ride series should be coming up this spring.

So, you were born an identical twin. If that isn’t the coolest thing ever!

Funny, we always got asked what it feels like to be twins…My answer. What does it feel like not to be a twin?

I’ve always had someone there for me. I suppose it could be the same with another sibling, but not really. When I was growing up, I’ve never really felt alone. It could be because I had five other siblings running around…But I don’t think so.

Does your twin feel it too when you get a story idea?

No, but we often do come up with the same ideas.

Your novel Finding Pride was shortlisted for Amazon’s Breakthrough Novel Award. Can you take us through the entrance process and the whole, darn exciting thing?

It was actually pretty simple. Amazon has made the world of publishing easy for indie authors.

Do you enjoy the copy editing and editing process of a book?

[Laughter] No. I would love to just write and publish.

So, your first book is a romantic suspense, and your next one is a contemporary romance. Do you see yourself writing outside those genres eventually?

Romance is my main genre. I might branch out in different areas of romance later on.

jill sanders-book cover

What’s the best way to undo writer’s block?

I don’t usually run into writer’s block. I have been known to take a walk and think about plots and work through any questions I may have.

You have a blog on your website. I think a lot of authors would like to have one, but are afraid of starting and getting burnt out. How do you keep yourself from being struck with blogger ennui?

I try to keep everything fresh. With my blogs, it’s easy to host or help promote other great indie authors. I usually only post a few times a month since my main goal is spending my time writing my books. I think this way, people respond more when they do hear from me.

Do you think social media should play an integral part of an author’s marketing plan?

Yes, with the wonderful world of networking, it’s easy to pass the good news along to friends about great book deals.

Your books have been featured in promotional boxed sets with books by other authors. What do you think are the advantages, and perhaps disadvantages of such promotions? Or are there only advantages?

Advantages. I started this group with Dana Marton with a specific goal in mind. Hitting New York Times. So far, we are well on our way to hitting that goal. Our pre-sales have been pouring in and we’ve already hit Amazon’s top 100 list.

What do you wish you had known about the world of publishing when you first started out?

The name of a great editor. Editing takes such a huge roll in a writers life. Continue reading

Marie Force On The Importance of An Author’s Mailing List + Audio Books

Name: Marie Force
Author’s Website Hometown: Newport, Rhode Island, USA
Based In: Rhode Island
Education: Undergraduate in Journalism and Political Science; Master’s degree in Public Briefly: New York Times bestselling author of contemporary romance and romantic suspense. Author of Maid for Love, Meant for Love, Waiting for Love, among others.
Favorite Read: Anything romance, except paranormal or fantasy.
Pet Peeves: Ignorance and intolerance
If You Weren’t In the Book Industry, You’d Be…Ummm, no idea!
What You Have Lined Up Next: Writing Book 7: Fatal Jeopardy, the next installment in the NYT Bestselling Fatal Series and awaiting the releases of Meant for Love, McCarthys of Gansett Island Series Book 10, and All You Need Is Love, Green Mountain Series, Book 1.

You’ve written nearly two-dozen books. Where do you find the time to write?

I’ve written 30 books. I write every day. It’s my job.

In the early 2010s, you were among the first authors to spot the self-publishing trend. What trends in publishing should authors be on the lookout for at this point?

With so many Continue reading

India Drummond On Music’s Role in The Novel Writing Process And The Advantage of Writing Multiple Books

india drummond9
Name: India Drummond
Author’s Website,
Hometown: Oklahoma City, OK, USA
Current Residence: Perth, Scotland, UK
Education: Creative Studies, University of Central Oklahoma
Briefly: Author of seven fantasy novels, six of which make up a complete series, all of which have been Amazon, Apple, and Barnes & Noble bestsellers.
Favorite Read: I don’t think I have one favorite book… I love reading so much I couldn’t choose. I like different things when I’m in different moods. I love mysteries, crime, thrillers, epic fantasy, urban fantasy, and sometimes science fiction. Sometimes I like a light, breezy read, and other times I’ll be in the mood for a dark, serial killer police procedural.
Pet Peeves: Although I’m very much a word-nerd, as most writers are, it bothers me when people correct each other’s grammar on places like Facebook. Language is so beautiful and the purpose of it is to communicate. Correcting other people shuts them down, shuts down that communication, so I’d rather let someone say ‘to’ when they mean ‘too’ than make a friend feel bad. Unless someone is asked to act as an editor, I say, leave that red pen at home!
If You Weren’t a Writer You’d Be…I honestly can’t imagine that. I’ve been making up stories since I was little. So, I’d have to say: If I wasn’t a writer, I’d be a completely different person!
What You Have Lined Up Next: I’m currently working on a new series called The Gods of Talmor. The first book in this epic fantasy trilogy is titled Spirits of Light and Shadow. I’m about 20% of the way through the first draft, and just loving how it’s flowing. It’s different from my fae series… a little darker and perhaps also on a bigger scale, but it’s so much fun to stretch myself. Then, toward the end of the year, I’m slated to begin co-writing a novel with the fantastic indie author K.C. May. Our project is titled The Lies Dragons Tell, and I can’t wait to see how the blend of our styles and voices turns out.

What attracted you to writing urban fantasy?

I think the best stories begin with Continue reading

Catherine Fisher On What Makes A Great Fantasy Novel

Name: Catherine Fisher
Author’s Website , Amazon Page
Education: University of Wales
Hometown : Newport, UK
Briefly: I have written about 25 Young Adult and children’s novels and published three books of poetry.
Favorite Read: Lord of the Rings.
Pet Peeves: Too many to remember here!
If You Weren’t a Writer You’d Be…an archaeologist would be nice.
What Do You Have Lined Up Next: I’m writing the third Venn book at the moment.

The Independent once called you one of the best urban fantasy writers on the scene. What elements make a great fantasy novel?

Interesting characters, Continue reading

Erica Bauermeister On Her Ideal Writing Space, And On Savvy Book Marketing

erica photoName: Erica Bauermeister
Author’s Website , Amazon Page, Goodreads Page
Hometown: Born in Pasadena, CA. But I lived in Seattle for more than 30 years.
Current Residence: Port Townsend, WA
Education: B.A. Occidental College, PhD University of Washington
Briefly: Co-Author of 2 reader’s guides: 500 Great Books by Women: A Reader’s Guide, Let’s Hear It For the Girls: 375 Great Books For Readers 2-14; Author of three novels: School of Essential Ingredients, Joy For Beginners, The Lost Art of Mixing
Mother of 2 beautiful, grown children. Wife of 30+years.
Favorite Read: Diane Ackerman’s A Natural History of the Senses
Author Crush: Whose writing do I have a crush on? Jane Austen, E.M. Forster, Joanne Harris, Elizabeth Strout. What author do I have a crush on? I honestly don’t think of authors that way. If I know them personally, I see them as people. If I know them only as authors of books I am reading, they are the words on the page, and that’s how I want it to stay.
Fiction How-To Book You’d Recommend: The research I did for 500 Great Books by Women was the best how-to experience I ever had. Reading all those thousands of books taught me so much about literature – what works, what doesn’t. So, while how-to books can be helpful in teaching us what to look for, I always recommend that aspiring writers read, read, read. Anything, everything. Fiction and not. Read like a writer – taking the books apart, exploring the arc of the plot, looking at the structure of the sentence, the ways the characters become complicated or not.
Pet Peeves: The category of “women’s fiction” – what is that anyway? Written by a woman? Read by a woman? Has a female character? Was briefly touched by a woman on the way to the bookshelf? The whole thing smacks of a sexism that is deeply ingrained in our literary culture and it drives me nuts. It limits both men and women. I would so much rather we categorized writing by its elements – lush or spare sentences, plot- or character-driven, multiple or single point of view, etc. There is a wonderful bookstore in Port Townsend that has shelves labeled “Books with locations so beautifully described they are characters,” “Books with kick-ass heroines,” “Books with sentences you could swim in,” “Novels about artists/writers.” Now that’s my kind of categorization system.
If you weren’t a writer what would you be… Architect. Perfume maker. Chef. Designer of cities.
What You Have Lined Up Next: I’m working on a novel. It’s just in the planning stages but it know it involves the sense of smell, fog and storms, and feels a bit, right now, like a grown-up fairy tale.

The School of Essential Ingredients is pretty much autobiographical, correct? And you are Liliann?

The School of Essential Ingredients is autobiographical only in that I took a cooking class once. That gave me the initial idea – but from then on, it’s pure fiction. And no, Lillian is not me – although I believe my husband often wishes I was more like her!

Do you have a ideal writing space?

My office has huge windows that look out over a small seaport to the water and mountains beyond. I like to sit in a big chair and let the ideas flow in over all that space. My other favorite place to write is on a train, traveling somewhere—especially a foreign country. My imagination just wakes up when I am traveling.

For the purpose of the internet, are you like superglad that you have a name like Erica Bauermeister?

Well, it does help Continue reading

Dana Marton On The Beauty of Social Media + Her Advice To Authors In A Hurry to Get Published

dana martonName: Dana Marton
Author’s Website, Twitter, Facebook
Education: M.A. in Writing Popular Fiction.
Briefly: Author of 40 novels that have been translated into a dozen languages. Two million copies sold world-wide. Recipient of the Daphne du Maurier Award of Excellence. Rita Award Finalist. Recipient of the Reviewers Choice Award. Currently the #6 suspense author on Amazon.
Favorite Read: Absolutely impossible to narrow down to one book.
Author Crush: Nora Roberts. I love her books more than I can say. Susan Elizabeth Phillips makes me laugh out loud every time. And I’m completely in love with Susan Mallery’s stories. I want to move to Fools Gold, her fictional town.
Fiction How-To Book You’d Recommend: Writing the Blockbuster Novel by Albert Zuckerman
Pet Peeves: Software upgrades! I’m rushing to deadline at the moment and have been suddenly switched to the new Yahoo email format and Windows 8. This slows me down incredibly. Someday I’m going to write a novel where terrible, horrible things are going to happen to people who roll out new software versions without giving their customers a choice. I might even leave romance and dip into the horror genre for this one!
If You Weren’t a Writer You’d Be…An artist! I love painting. I’m not very good at it, but that doesn’t stop me from ruining any number of perfectly good white canvasses. When I finally got to write an artist heroine (for Deathscape), I had a blast. The first time I told my husband about my painting obsession, he just shook his head. It took me 13 years of writing before my first book was finally published. That first book made me $4,000 dollars that entire year. So when I brought up painting, my husband said, “Do you realize people who paint make even less money than writers?” And then he recommended that if I’m shooting for the ‘most starving artist’ title, perhaps give sculpting a try. [Laughter] Maybe that’s next!
What You Have Lined Up Next: Next is Dangerous Attraction, coming out November 10th. It’s a boxed set with 9 other bestselling authors. 10 romantic suspense novels all in one. We are putting it at 99c for a couple of days, as a gift to our readers. I can’t believe I’m in a set with some of my favorite authors! Marie Astor, Jill Sanders, Toni Anderson, Lori Ryan, Kaylea Cross, Sharon Hamilton, Debra Burroughs, Patricia Rosemoor and Rebecca York. The set was so much fun to put together. I can’t wait to introduce my readers to some of my author friends. I absolutely love the stories included in this set. I’m seriously hopping with excitement as we’re waiting for our release day.

What’s the earliest book-related memory that comes to your mind right now?

When I was in elementary school, a book Continue reading

Edwidge Danticat On Being Prolific, Her Influences, And Her Advice to Debut Novelists

edwidge danticatName: Edwidge Danticat
Author’s Website
Hometown: Port-au-Prince, Haiti
Current Residence: Miami
Education: Bachelor’s Degree in French Literature from Barnard
Briefly: Author of Breath, Eyes, Memory, Krik? Krak! The Dewbreaker, The Farming of Bones, Brother, I Am Dying (a memoir), the YA novel Anacaona: Golden Flower and Claire of the Sea Light. Taught at the University of Miami. National Book Award nominee for Krik? Krak! and National Book Critics Circle Award for Brother, I Am Dying.

Are you grateful that you have a name like Edwidge Danticat, that’s so unique, and that you share with no one else?

I have never really thought about it because Continue reading

Emily Gale On Her Writing Ritual And Working With Book Illustrators

egcroppedName: Emily Gale
Author’s Website Link, Readings
Hometown: London
Current Residence: Melbourne
Education: English Lit BA
Briefly: First YA novel, Girl Aloud, published by Chicken House (2009). Second YA novel, Steal My Sunshine, published by Random House (2013). New junior novel series, Eliza Boom, due to be published in 2014. Several picture books. I’ve been a children’s book editor, a reader for a literary agency and I’m now a buyer for an independent bookshop.
Favorite Read: I don’t believe in favorites. The last book I got excited about was Wild Awake by Hilary T. Smith.
Pet Peeves: Assumptions about what children want to read based on their gender.
If You Weren’t a Writer You’d Be…I have a day-job, in a bookshop, but if I couldn’t write again I’d want to do something unrelated to books because my heart would be broken. It would still be in a creative industry though.
What You Have Lined Up Next: I’ve started a new novel but I never talk about stories when I’m writing the first draft. I’ll just say that it’s about female friendship and hope. I’m also making some last-minute tweaks to the two Eliza Boom junior novels that come out after Christmas.

If you could pinpoint one moment in your life as the pivotal moment in which you decided that writing was going to be a huge part of your life….

I didn’t have an epiphany about Continue reading

Elisa Nader On Social Media’s Role in Book Marketing And Critique Partners

Elisa Nader photoName: Elisa Nader
Author’s Website, Author’s Blog, Twitter, Facebook
Hometown: Washington DC
Based In: Ashburn VA—Outside of DC
Education: BFA in Art History & Painting
Briefly: I published a book!
Favorite Read: I like mysteries and thrillers and romance.
Pet Peeves: Hearing people eat, being asked, “What are you thinking about?”
If You Weren’t In the Book Industry, You’d Be… What I do for my day job. I’m a user experience designer. My husband and I own a company called Mag 7. We design websites, software, mobile apps, TV interfaces.
What You Have Lined Up Next: I’m working on a new project that I may write as a trilogy. I’m still exploring it. It’s not as far along as I’d like but I’m pretty excited about it.

What genre of books did you like reading when you were little?

I didn’t read a lot when I was little. My parents aren’t readers, so while we had some books in the house, the only ones I really had as a kid was Little Women and a few Judy Blume novels—which I did love – Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing.

What inspired you to write Escape From Eden?

I have always been fascinated with Jonestown and the Reverend Jim Jones. I’ve always wondered about the kids in the cult — did they want to be there, did they even think about leaving? So I wrote from the perspective of a teen inside a cult.

How are you liking being a published author so far?

Talking to readers! I love hearing what people think of the book and how differently the story reads to people. As a writer, you try to create a compelling story but once it’s published, it belongs to readers and it’s fascinating to see all the different ways it’s received.

I read that you’re actually a painter too. Did you paint some of the scenes in your mind, prior to writing them?

What a perceptive question! I do! I picture everything before I write it. I’m a very visual writer. I’ve been told the book reads like a movie, which I love. I like to paint a scene for a reader so they can picture it in their mind’s eye.

Who would you want to play Mia, if Escape from Eden were to be adapted for the big screen?

Mandy C. at Forever Young Adult said she thought Lyndsy Fonseca would make a good Mia – and I agree! Even though she’s about 10 years too old.

elisa nader-book cover

Were there times when you wanted to give up?

Yeah. Like, now. The thing about publishing a book is that you’re expected to write another! EDEN came out pretty quickly compared to many publishing deals. I’ve been trying to write while doing publicity and working full time, but haven’t had the kind of time I was hoping to have to work on my new project. I’m plowing forward, even though I don’t feel as prepared as I did when writing Eden—as far as research goes.

While writing your book, was writer’s block an issue at all? If so, how did you handle it?

Writer’s block is a nightmare. I usually don’t get it but if I do, I write through it. I write until I write something that works. It’s the only way to deal with writer’s block for me.

You’re pretty active on Facebook and on Twitter. What do you think those two platforms contribute to your overall marketing program for your book?

Yes! I’m a big believer in social media. I’ve meet so many amazing people online—that I’ve met later IRL. I’ve given away a lot of books on Twitter. I like Twitter more than Facebook. Twitter is a party, Facebook is a night at home with your parents.

When you did your last edits for EFE, and completely wrapped up the book, how did you celebrate?

I don’t remember! But I’m sure it involved cheese and wine.

What do you think is the biggest mistake new authors make?

Watching reviews like a hawk—or responding to reviews — which is crazypants. Once the book is published, it’s not the author’s book anymore. It’s the readers book. And readers are entitled to their opinions on your work.

You’ve mentioned Nina, your invaluable critique partner in a previous interview, and how helpful she’s been to you. Do you have any tips on how authors can find such partners?

Oh, Nina! I was in an online writing class with her, and she gave the best feedback out of anyone in the class. I snagged her up quickly as a crit partner and the experience has been invaluable. She’s very insightful and thoughtful. In looking for a crit partner, I’d cast a wide net. Think about friends who like to read and what they say about the books their reading. Look online for writing clubs or classes, or critique groups. Continue reading