Please welcome our new blogger Margaret S. Hamilton to WWK. Look for Margaret's posts on the third Saturday of each month (and sometimes scattered throughout the month).
If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book next year, please contact E. B. Davis at firstname.lastname@example.org
Our September interviews feature: Judy Penz Sheluk on 9/7, Lesley Diehl on 9/14, Julianne Holmes on 9/21, and Vicki Fee on 9/28.
Saturday Guest Bloggers: Lea Wait 9/3, Jacqueline Vick 9/10, and our Saturday Bloggers--9/17 Margaret S. Hamilton, 9/24 Kait Carson.
Warren Bull has two short stories, "A Christmas Journey" and "Killer Eulogy" in the Darkhouse anthology titled Black Coffee. Available--Now! Warren's short story collection No Happy Endings is also available at Amazon in paper or Amazon for Kindle.
KM Rockwood's Abductions and Lies, the 6th in the Jesse Damon Crime Novel series, will be released in April. "Last Laugh," a short story in the anthology Black Coffee is available on Amazon. "Tarnished Hope," a short story in Murder Most Conventional, sponsored by Malice Domestic, April 29, at the conference. "Frozen Assets," a short story in Chesapeake Crimes: Storm Warning, release date May 14th (an anthology compiled by Chessie Chapter of SINC)
Gloria Alden released the seventh book in her Catherine Jewell mystery series, Blood Red Poinsettias, which is available at Amazon. Congratulations, Gloria.
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Ann Charles Interview-Part 2
Visit her at Ann Charles, or read her weekly antics at Plot Mamas. You can also find her on Facebook under Ann.Charles.Author. In addition, Ann is co-owner of the 1st Turning Point website where they and over two dozen other authors, reviewers, and PR consultants have joined together to teach and share (and learn from each other) all sorts of great information about promotion for both unpublished and published authors. Here’s a link to my first interview with Ann.
EBD: Does your manuscript, NEARLY DEPARTED IN DEADWOOD, for which you won the 2010 Daphne, have the romance required happily-ever-after ending? Or are you leaving it open in case a series develops?
ANN: Without giving the ending away, I can tell you that Nearly Departed in Deadwood satisfies my romance readers enough to earn me two thumbs up; however, I weave the ending in such a way that these same readers are hungry for the next book to see how the romance continues to develop, because things are not exactly smooth. I knew when I wrote this book that it was going to be a series, so the relationship/romance arc has to develop over the series of books, not just in one book. I’m having a lot of fun with this romance arc, and my first draft romance readers who have just finished reading the second book in this Deadwood series are yelling at me and threatening bodily harm if I don’t hurry up and write book three ASAP.
EBD: Will you promote the romance element or the mystery element of NEARLY DEPARTED IN DEADWOOD? What are factors in your decision?
ANN: Years ago when I did pitch to my agent and send her the partial of a previous book that was a mix of mystery and romance, I promoted the mystery element more than the romance element because at that time in the publishing world, genre-mixing wasn't as common. I'd been rejected by multiple romance-acquiring agents who liked my writing, but felt that due to the mystery element, there was not enough romance (that book is 50-50 with half-mystery, half-romance).
I decided to remove the idea of a "romance" from my agent's mind and have her read it with the mystery expectation. My agent loved the story and offered representation. That book has not found a publishing home yet, and it being a mixed-genre story has been part of the problem with getting it sold. However, my agent loves my voice and when I sent her NEARLY DEPARTED IN DEADWOOD, which is also mixed-genre, she called me laughing and yelled, “You’re brilliant! Absolutely brilliant!” (You can see why I love her so—ha!) She is positive we can build my career from this story, one way or another.
EBD: Do you know if there are agents that specialize in cross-genre novels?
ANN: I don’t know if there are agents who specialize in it. I’ve been with my agent for almost five years now, so I haven’t been paying attention to that part of the publishing world. I know of some agents who have cross-genre (or “mixed-genre” to some) clients. I feel like cross-genre is still coming into its own. We’re at the front of the wave as it builds right now. Based off my readers’ opinions (and I’m not talking about anyone related to me by blood who is nice to me because of family obligations and all), they love reading stories with romance and mystery and paranormal all mixed together. If readers drive the market, we should someday start seeing a greater need for such mixed-genre novels with both agents and editors. But I haven’t consulted any psychics on this, so it is all theory and speculation (ha).
EBD: Has an agent or publishing house asked for your manuscript yet?
ANN: The agent who judged my manuscript in the final round asked to read the full. The editor did not. Other than that, no other agents or editors have expressed interest in reading it to my knowledge. However, a lot of other authors, friends, distant family members, and some strangers have asked to read the manuscript, which is a huge bonus for me in the win. One of my yearly goals in 2010 was to figure out how to start building a fan base while not having a book in print. My mailing list database has had a lot of additions thanks to winning the Daphne.
ANN: Yes! I know this for a fact because I’ve already been using it to help promote my book and build my name recognition.
For example, you know all of those people who are interested in reading my book now? Well, you can bet, I’m going to let them. What??? Isn’t that crazy, sharing my story before it’s published? Isn’t it foolish to let people read it for free? Some authors and agents and editors will shake their heads and tell me it's crazy. Maybe it is. Nobody has ever accused me of being rational and sane. But in today’s publishing climate, all bets are off.
A little history on Nearly Departed in Deadwood—it’s been considered in acquisitions more than once, only to be shot down for various reasons. Mainly, the problem seems to be marketability. I’m a “new” author who has written a mixed-genre book set in a small town in the middle of the United States. I totally missed the “amnesia, cowboy, secret baby” angle...although I do have an old cowboy in it, but he’s not very sexy.
Due to the marketability hurdles perceived by some of the bigger publishers, I have to take matters into my own hands. I have to stir up my own book buzz. I have to build my own name recognition. How does a new author do that without a published book in hand? Give something for free with the hopes that the reader will like my book and appreciate my generosity enough to help me out a little by talking it up to her/his friends, family, neighbors, coworkers, etc. Is this working? You betcha! I have some readers so excited to see me get the story published that they are willing to help me promote it for free, giving copious amounts of their valuable time to help spread the word. It’s incredible, really. Every day, I’m humbled by how many people are stepping up and doing things to promote my book. My acknowledgement page will be novella-length by the time this book hits the market.
EBD: Do you think winning the Daphne will add promotion dollars from a publishing house, and increase your advance?
ANN: I don’t know if winning the Daphne would add promo dollars from a publisher (if it were contracted) or increase my advance. I would expect that it would not, because my book winning the Daphne does not make it a bestseller. What would make my book a bestseller is a strong effort to promote it.
I’ll check back with Ann Charles in a few months because her winning manuscript NEARLY DEPARTED IN DEADWOOD will surely be picked up by a publishing house soon. Thanks for the interviews, Ann.