If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book, please contact E. B. Davis at email@example.com.
Look for our new bloggers this month. Debra Sennefelder will blog on 1/15, and Debra Goldstein debuts on 1/22. Please welcome our double Debs to WWK.
Don't miss our January author interviews: 1/10-Lawrence H. Levy, 1/17-Kaye George, 1/24-Janet Bolin, 1/31-Kathy Aarons. And E. B. Davis will interview Shari Randall on Monday 1/29 about the publication of her first novel, Curses, Boiled Again. Please join us in welcoming these authors to WWK.
Our January Saturday Guest Blogger Schedule: 1/6-Becky Clark, Pat Hale, Leslie Karst, Edith Maxwell, Shawn McGuire, C. Perkins, and Sue Star, and 1/13-Polly Iyer. WWK's Margaret H. Hamilton will blog on 1/20, and Kait Carson on 1/27.
Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:
Shari Randall's "Pets" will be included in Chesapeake Crimes: Fur, Feathers, and Felonies anthology, which will be published in 2018. In the same anthology "Rasputin," KM Rockwood's short story, will also be published. Her short story "Goldie" will be published in the Busted anthology, which will be released by Level Best Books on April 25th.
In addition, our prolific KM has had the following shorts published as well: "Making Tracks" in Passport to Murder, Bouchercon anthology, October 2017 and "Turkey Underfoot," appears in the anthology The Killer Wore Cranberry: a Fifth Course of Chaos.
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Ann Charles Interview-Part 1
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joined together to teach and share (and learn from each other) all sorts of great information about promotion for both unpublished and published authors.
EBD: Your title, NEARLY DEPARTED IN DEADWOOD sounds paranormal, and yet you entered and won the Daphne Du Maurier Award in the Mainstream Mystery/Suspense category. Is there some subgenre elements? Or am I reading more into the title than there is?
ANN: I classify Nearly Departed in Deadwood as a mystery with romantic subplot and paranormal elements. Yep, I’m a genre mixer. My brain just has too much fun mixing different elements into a story to stay true to one genre. Because of this mixing, when I was trying to select a category for my entry, I had to consider the main plot and choose where it fit best, which was the Mainstream category. If the paranormal elements had played a bigger part in the main plot, I would have chosen that category. This book is also the first in a series, so it didn’t fit the Single Title category.
EBD: Did you already have a manuscript written, or did you write a manuscript with the Daphne in mind?
ANN: I had the manuscript written when I decided to enter. I was in the revision process when someone mentioned in one of my Yahoo groups that the Daphne was open for submissions. I’d heard of the Daphne, but I hadn’t considered entering it before. I read the instructions and liked what it had to offer in regard to judges’ comments. I entered with the hope of getting some good feedback on my story and maybe (a pipedream) landing a finalist spot if the stars aligned and I sacrificed a chicken or two. I didn’t tell even my agent I’d entered, though, because I really didn’t figure I’d place as a finalist. Why? Because if you read my first chapter on my website, you can see that my “voice” is a little quirky. So, again, my main goal was to get honest feedback from readers who didn’t know me, people who don’t have to sit across the table from me at Thanksgiving dinner when I’m holding a fork.
EBD: Tell us about your book. What is your hook?
ANN: Following is the back cover copy for Nearly Departed in Deadwood:
Little girls are vanishing from Deadwood, South Dakota. Fearing her daughter might be next, single mom, Violet Parker, is desperate to find the monster behind the abductions.
With her savings dwindling and just three weeks left to sell her first house or lose her Realtor job, Violet must convince her only buyer to stop rejecting the vintage homes she shows him as if they’re haunted. So when a handsome jeweler hires her to sell his century-old, Victorian masterpiece, she’s ecstatic…until she sees the dilapidated dwelling.
Short on time and long on worry, she refuses to give up her dream of a fresh start in Deadwood. But with a malicious coworker trying to get her fired, a secret admirer sending her creepy messages, and a sexy, dark-eyed stranger hiding skeletons in his closet, Violet could end up as one of Deadwood’s dearly departed.
My hook? I’m playing on fear—losing one’s child. It’s a horribly frightening concept for any parent, myself included. Unfortunately, the boogieman really exists in this world, and Nearly Departed in Deadwood is the story of how a lone mother juggles life’s struggles and stresses while fighting off the boogieman at the same time.
If the back cover copy hooks you enough to open the cover and peek at the first paragraph, you’ll read the following:
The first time I came to Deadwood, I got shot in the ass. Now, twenty-five years later, as I stared into the double barrels of old man Harvey’s shotgun, irony was having a fiesta—and I was the piñata.
You get a flavor of what’s to come in that first paragraph, and my hope is that you like the taste and keep on reading...all the way to the end.
EBD: You mentioned the great rewards of winning the contest. What are they?
ANN: To be honest, I’m still finding out all of the great rewards that come with this win. To start with, however, we have to go clear back to the beginning when I first sent in my submission to the contest. I received an email from one of the coordinators confirming she’d received my entry and asking if I’d be willing to judge entries for one of the other categories. I noticed in her signature line and then on her website that she had her first mystery coming out from St. Martin’s Press this fall. I’d been struggling to get Nearly Departed in Deadwood published for almost a year by this time, so I told the coordinator that I would judge if she would tell me what she did different to land her first book contract.
I knew there was more to it than just writing a great story. She agreed and showed me her platform, which would make many marketing department members drool. This was the first reward I stumbled across, learning more about the things I needed to develop further in my own fiction platform. On top of that, I made a new friend—we still keep in touch and I hope to run into her in person someday soon.
Next, I judged the entries assigned to me and got an idea of what several other authors are writing and how they are going about it. Judging entries is a great learning tool!
After the news came out that I was a finalist, I looked up the other finalists in my Mainstream division and emailed them a note of congratulations. They replied to me and were very friendly. A few of them have kept in touch with me periodically, and one of them I got to know very well. She has since become a good friend, too, and getting to meet all of them and sit with them at the awards ceremony was a lot of fun. I plan to continue to keep in touch with them, and so there’s another reward—more great writing friends.
After returning home from the awards ceremony, I wrote a press release with some help from a few reporter friends of mine and targeted an audience who I thought might take an interest in my announcement about winning this prestigious writing award. I sent out seven press releases to mid-sized and smaller papers (the big papers wouldn’t care about this too much, I figured, so why waste any of our time and energy there). Of those seven releases, three of the newspapers are going to put something in their newspapers about my book and the award. I will be contacting the other four again soon to see if I can convince them to play along, as well.
On this front, the reward is huge because I’m reaching out to a targeted audience, who are most likely to have an interest in me or my book, with a carefully crafted message which I hope hits them on a personal level. On my website, I also have a “Join Ann’s Mailing List” option which may help me acquire more names in my reader database.
In addition to what I’ve said so far, I’ve been asked to write on some other blogs and I have increased my name recognition with all of the announcements going out after the win.
Now, these are just some of the benefits that come with a Daphne win. Check back with me in another six months and I’ll let you know more on the long-term benefits of this award. I’m fortunate to have studied marketing and promotion for fiction authors in great depth over the last four years. I have a lot of plans yet for the Daphne and my book, and I’m excited to get hopping.
Thanks for your insight Ann. I’ll continue my interview with Daphne Award winner Ann Charles next month when we discuss her book promotion. Congratulations on your win and good luck with the publishers.