WWK Blogger Paula Gail Benson has two short stories running in Kings River Life Magazine this weekend, "Pelican Spring" and "The Mama Factor." Both are Mother's Day short stories. You can read them by going to: http://kingsriverlife.com/category/kings-river-reviewers/terrific-tales/
Linda Rodriguez is a finalist in two categories for the International Latino Book Awards (given out at BEA the end of May)--one for Every Last Secret and one for editing Woven Voices: 3 Generations of Puertorriquena Poets Look at Their American Lives (with Gloria Vando, Anika Paris, and Anita Velez-Mitchell). Congratulations, Linda!
The second SinC Guppy anthology, Fish Nets, has been released by Wildside Press. WWK authors, Gloria Alden, Warren Bull, Kara Cerise and E. B. Davis have short stories in this volume, which can be bought at Wildside Press, the usual retailers and will be available at the Malice Domestic Conference. Look for "the story behind the stories" on May 1 here!
Upcoming Salad Bowl Saturdays include authors Carolyn Mulford on 5/25 and Liz Mugavero on 6/1. If you are interested in being a guest blogger, send a message to Jim Jackson at email@example.com.
Wednesday, June 1, 2011
Author Kaye George
EBD: For those who don’t know you, how many novels have you written, how many years have you written, and how many agents/publishers have you queried prior to getting Choke published?
Kaye--I've been writing seriously and full-time for nine years. In that time I completed 2 never-to-be-mentioned mysteries (of which I have nevertheless cannibalized parts), two in my first series, one and a half in another series, the one being published, plus its sequel.
How many queries? Good Lord. For that first series, well over 200 queries total for the two books, for the one book in the second series, 212. I really, really tried with that one. For Choke, I only queried 63 (imagine that!), then got weary and submitted to two small publishers, one of which took it.
EBD: Having been nominated for an Agatha for one of your short stories in 2009, do you feel as though writing short stories helped you in novel writing? Or are short stories a different entity?
Kaye--Not really. They're much different animals for me. Writing all those novels, plus taking lots of classes and participating in critique groups were helpful in improving (I hope) my novels.
I do think that getting recognition for my short stories has helped get my name known, though. At least a little bit.
EBD: How did you originally conceive of Choke? Was it the main character you envisioned, the plot, setting, etc.? Was it a short story initially?
Kaye--I wanted a break from the Neanderthal novel I'd just completed. It was a serious endeavor, and hard work--lots of research. It seems to be easy for me to write comedy, so I decided to try it at novel length. (It ended up, however, requiring a lot of research, too.)
I chose the last place I lived for setting, just because I tend to do that--go over, in my mind, all the places I've lived previously and chose one.
My main character was chosen at about the same time as the setting. The vision of an Inept Detective had been going through my mind, and Imogene Duckworthy filled the bill, initials and all.
EBD: Now that Choke has been on the market for one month, how have sales been going?
Kaye--TBD. I get royalty statements at the end of the month following each quarter, so I haven't seen any statements yet. The only indication I get is from Amazon on their sales, but their reporting lags a few weeks, so there's not much to go on so far.
EBD: What do you think is your best marketing tool? What haven’t you done yet that you are thinking about doing as publicity?
Kaye--I'm trying a lot of things, but haven't gotten everything done that I'm planning to yet. I'd like a lot more reviews and I'm querying every week to try to get those. A friend has a radio show that I should probably get in line for. I've set up several book signings and library appearances, but would like to do a lot more. I'm shy about sending out press releases, but am trying.
I've appeared on a lot of blogs and attended Left Coast Crime and Malice Domestic and think that did me a lot of good. I'm just wetting my toes with online forums. There's so much!
Although I don't plan on sending it often, I started a newsletter and hope to attract more followers for that.
One suggestion that I followed was to have purchase information on my blog (to buy my books and short stories), and on the first page of my webpage. That can't hurt.
EBD: Has your publisher, Mainly Murder Press, given you any direction for marketing Choke?
Kaye--I was given a great list of reviewers and a list of bookstores. The stores, unfortunately, are all in New England, where the publisher is. So I had to make my own list. I've also queried lots of others for reviews. The response is not overwhelming yet, although some desirable reviewers are in the process of reading Choke.
EBD: At Malice, you handed me a bookmark, which advertised Choke. Have you purchased any other marketing tools?
Kaye--I made postcards, too. And I put together a flyer for bookstores. This is in addition to the full press kit, which keeps getting tweaked. Most of it is on my webpage and I put together elements I saw from other writers and from discussions on several lists I belong to.
More recently I put together some discussion questions for book clubs and I'm working on a presentation.
EBD: Have you contacted any professional book reviewers? Given books to libraries?
Kaye--I'm sending out review queries like I used to send out agent queries, on a regular basis. I gave a book to my local library. The manager begged me to, since they don't have a lot of funds. They're featuring me as a Distinguished Local Author at their Gala in October. That should be fun! I seldom get called "distinguished." I'll get to sell books there.
I called on some other local libraries imploring them to buy my book. I don't know if they will, but one hopes!
EBD: Tell us about your experience as a reviewer.
Kaye--I happened to be on Facebook one night when I saw a message that "Suspense Magazine" needed some more reviewers. I used to review for Geraldine Galentree's online magazine (no longer in existence) when I lived in Dallas, so I had some experience. I sent them two of my better reviews from that time and they took me on. It's great to get free books! They also did a two-page spread on me as a contributor in the last issue, which was awesome.
EBD: What food do you love best that’s a Texas specialty (since I happen to know you do lunch well)?
Kaye--I do love barbeque. I like brisket and ribs, but also adore pulled pork, which isn't really Texan.
EBD: What’s next for Immy Duckworth?
Kaye--I've completed her next adventure, Smoke. She gets involved with a family who owns a beef jerky business. In fact, she finds the owner hanging from a meat hook in the smokehouse. Her daughter, Nancy Drew Duckworthy, begs for a pet pig for her fourth birthday and Immy has put aside enough money from her job in the PI office to buy her one, so a new character, a pot belly, joins the family. It's a meaty book.
Look for Choke at: Mainly Murder Press, Amazon, Barnes & Noble and is also available through Ingram.
Visit Kaye at http://www.kayegeorge.com/ or comment on her blogs at http://allthingswriting.blogspot.com/ or http://travelswithkaye.blogspot.com/.