Category Archives: Events

Maggi Andersen ~ 4th of my Summer Special Successful Indie Authors

I’m so happy to welcome author Maggie Andersen to share her writing journey with us. She lives way over in Australia which just goes to prove that blogging brings the world together. This series of posts are aimed to appeal to writers, fans and potential readers alike. Maggi is a successful Indie Author of Regency Romance and is published through a relatively small but growing, by the look of the website, Independent Press with a niche market. 

Hello Maggi thank you for joining us today!

Do you mind me asking; was the success in your writing career a gradual process or very sudden?

Thanks for inviting me to your blog to talk about my books, Diana.

I wasn’t one of those authors who gained success with their first book. Most of us need to learn the craft, develop our writing voice, and discover what genre suits us best.  My first novel was a murder mystery I wrote for my master’s degree. It looked promising for a while, Random House was interested, but they were cutting back and not taking on new crime authors. Several years followed while I worked on that novel to improve it. I’m not sorry for those years before I published a book, because I read heaps of helpful books on writing, and developed my style. Then I began writing Regencies, because I loved the era, having read my mother’s library of Georgette Heyer’s wonderful novels. A publisher took my first effort and it sold well and set me on a path of writing romance. I love to write that HEA, so the genre suits me. I like to take my readers on a spine-tingling journey, where the hero and heroine will be together at the end.

Are you single minded in your writing? Do you treat it as your main work and plan your day accordingly, or write when the mood takes you?

I can’t really wait for the mood to strike. I have deadlines to meet, and write or work on promotion every day between 8.00am and 5.00pm, with a bit of time off for exercise or housework.

We would call your main genre Historical Romance inspired by Jane Austen? How would you describe your writing style to potential readers?

I adore Jane Austen’s novels, who doesn’t love P & P? But Georgette Heyer’s Regencies influenced me to a greater extent, because Heyer sends her heroines on an adventure, and that appeals to me. As to my style, I guess I would call it economical. I don’t write extra-long books. And they’re fast paced. I love to add a touch of humor along with the suspense.

Can you give fellow writers any marketing tips?

I’m not great at marketing, mainly because I just don’t like to take the time away from writing. I use Twitter, FB, LinkedIn and Pinterest. Some paid advertising. I should do more, but the writing always takes precedence. I have a newsletter where I announce new releases and offer an occasional freebie. Readers can sign up on my website: www.maggiandersenauthor.com

Have you one annoying habit you can share with us?

I’m sure I have many. I asked my husband, but he declined to answer, lol. I’m forced to admit that I nag a bit, I’m tidy and like things done a certain way, and DH isn’t so fussed. I’ve lost interest in cooking now the children have left home, so DH cooks now that he’s retired from the law. He’s good too.

What pastimes keep your feet on the ground, or maybe not, when you aren’t writing?

We are in lock down here because of the virus, at the time of writing this. So, our choices are limited. I prefer swimming, but the pool is closed right now. I power walk around our garden, feed the birds, we have some pets among them, and a possum. I read romantic suspense novels, watch Netflix and movies during the evening.

Was there a single moment in your writing life when you thought ‘YES, THIS IS IT’? Can you describe that moment for us?

When I made the USA Today bestselling author list and SEDUCED BY THE PIRATE was a finalist in the RONE award. Quite a thrill.

We’d love to hear your latest news:

I’m writing a Christmas short story NEVER KEEP A SECRET AT CHRISTMAS featuring Lady Alice Dountry from NEVER DOUBT A DUKE which will be part of my publisher, Dragonblade’s 2020 collection of Christmas stories, based on Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. I am also working on the second book in the Once a Wallflower series, a gritty romantic suspense: INTRODUCING MISS JOANNA, and after that the second book in The Never Series, NEVER DANCE WITH A MARQUESS.

And finally Maggi, do you see yourself writing in five years time and have you ever been tempted to write in a different genre to surprise your readers?

From time to time I do.  My WWI novel is available for pre-order: THE HEIR’S PROPOSAL features wealthy Edwardians like those from Downton Abbey. Some years ago, I published a young adult novel, WAVING AT THE MOON, and co-wrote a contemporary crime novel, TWINED, with my son, a journalist, which was a finalist in the Emerald Pro Award. But most of my books are set in the Georgian, Regency, and Victorian worlds.

Thanks so much for sharing this with us Maggi!

Here are a plethora of links where you can get in touch, follow or read more about her books:

maggicoleman@bigpond.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/maggiandersenauthor/

Twitter: @maggiandersen

Website: www.maggiandersenauthor.com

Blog: https://maggiandersen.blogspot.com/

Amazon Author page: https://tinyurl.com/y5f4xm4u

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com.au/maggiandersen/

 

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Tony Riches ~ 3rd Summer Special of Successful Indie Authors

I’m so pleased to have this interview today with author Tony Riches. This is one of a series of posts aimed to appeal to writers, fans and potential readers alike. Tony is a successful Indie Author of Historical Fiction.

Hello Tony,

Do you mind me asking; was the success in your writing career a gradual process or very sudden?

Hi Diana thank you for inviting me to your blog. I’d been making a regular income writing magazine articles for years, then in January 2012 I decided to expand one of the articles (about Agile Project Management) into a short eBook and publish on Amazon. I had to code the book in HTML, so it wasn’t easy – but to my amazement that little eBook it became a best-seller in the US. That was the boost I’d been waiting for, and was encouraged to write full time.

What a wonderful encouragement for you Tony! …

Are you single minded in your writing? Do you treat It as your main work and plan your day accordingly, or write when the mood takes you?

I like the saying ‘a page a day is a book a year’, so what works for me is to have a target of 500 words a day. I usually spend the summer researching, write in autumn and winter, then edit in the spring. (During lockdown I’ve been writing 500 words a day on one book while editing another!)

Click for Amazon.co.uk

We would call your main genre Historical Fiction? How would you describe your writing style to potential readers?

My style of Historical Fiction is biographical, as the starting point is always a real person, (preferably one who isn’t too well known). I take care to ensure historical accuracy in my books, so many months are spent researching primary sources, such as original letters, and visiting actual locations. This means I’m writing with a knowledge of the subject’s voice, and the landscape they lived in. For my last book, Katherine – Tudor Duchess, I was able to spend time in the actual rooms at Grimsthorpe Castle where Katherine Willoughby lived, and visit her private chapel.

Can you give fellow writers any marketing tips?

A good tip is to have a blog with a mix of posts about your books, reviews of other books you’ve read, new book launches and guest posts from other authors. I’ve  built up the traffic on my blog, The Writing Desk to around 15,000 visitors a month, and have direct links to samples of my books in the sidebar. Posts are shared with 33,200 followers on Twitter, as well as Goodreads, so it’s become a useful (and free) way to raise awareness.

Have you one annoying habit you can share with us?

I often start my research with a specific aim, then find I’ve been diverted into something quite different. This often happens when I visit a castle of museum. (On a recent visit to the Tower of London, I found Sir Walter Raleigh’s herb garden, which might well feature in a future book.)

One of the joys and trials of research ~ being distracted. 

What pastimes keep your feet on the ground, or maybe not, when you aren’t writing?

I love sailing and sea kayaking, and live in Pembrokeshire which has many beautiful bays and islands to explore by boat. Before the lockdown, I also loved visiting the Greek islands – and will return there when I can.

Was there a single moment in your writing life when you thought ‘YES, THIS IS IT’? Can you describe that moment for us?

I’d been researching the life of Henry Tudor (who like me was born in Pembroke) and realised I had enough material for at least three books. In a moment of inspiration, I realised Henry could be born in the first book, come of age in the second, and become king in the third – and the idea of the Tudor trilogy was born. I’ve since continued to follow the story of the Tudors, all the way from Owen’s first meeting with Queen Catherine of Valois through to the reign of Queen Elizabeth.

Click for Owen ~ Book One Available on Amazon

We’d love to hear your latest news:

The final edition of the first book in my new Elizabethan series is due back from my editor, and will be published in the autumn. I’m enjoying showing Elizabeth through the eyes of her courtiers – and learning about the strange world of the Elizabethans.

And finally Tony, do you see yourself writing in five years time and have you ever been tempted to write in a different genre to surprise your readers?

I enjoy writing, so plan to keep on working on a book a year over the next five years – and have several exciting ideas ‘pencilled in’. I’ve written one modern day thriller, The Shell, inspired by an incident in Mombasa, where my wife and I were accosted by a group of armed locals on the deserted beach. (While I was writing the book, another couple were kidnapped from the beach, so it was a close call.) I also wrote an eBook about the last space shuttle, Atlantis, (and became accredited by NASA) so I might return to outer space one day.

Literally?

Tony Riches is a full-time UK author of best-selling historical fiction. He lives in Pembrokeshire, West Wales and is a specialist in the history of the Tudors. For more information about Tony’s books please visit his website tonyriches.com and his blog, The Writing Desk and find him on Facebook and Twitter @tonyriches

Thank you Tony for a very interesting interview. I look forward to keeping in touch on Twitter. 

Links:

Website: https://www.tonyriches.com

Writing blog: https://tonyriches.blogspot.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/tonyriches

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tonyriches.author

Podcasts: https://tonyriches.podbean.com

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5604088.Tony_Riches

 

 

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Anne Allen ~ 2nd Summer Special of Successful Indie Authors

I’m especially pleased to have this interview with Anne Allen; a successful Indie Author of ‘The Guernsey Novels’. Being a lover of The Channel Islands I have read several of Anne’s books.

I hope this will appeal to writers, fans and potential readers alike…

Welcome on my blog Anne! 

Thank you, Diana, I appreciate you inviting me!

Firstly do you mind me asking was the success in your writing career gradual or sudden?

Definitely gradual! I enjoyed reasonable sales of my first book, Dangerous Waters, which was fortunate as I had ordered a 1000 copy print run. Ever the optimist! It took over a year to sell them all, mainly through Amazon and the lovely Guernsey bookshops and I also had decent sales with the e-books. The sales had declined by the time my second book came out a year later and from then on each new book gave the series a boost. The last few years it has been harder to keep the sales figures up as competition grows. An indie author has to  spend as much time marketing as they do writing, something I’m not keen on. I went ‘wide’ in 2018 meaning my books are available worldwide in all e-book formats as well as in paperback.

Are you single minded in your writing? Do you treat it as your main work and plan your day accordingly or write when the mood takes you?

I retired from my work as a psychotherapist a few years ago so writing is now my only work. In theory I could spend all day writing, but I am not always in the mood and tend to pace myself – a benefit of being an Indie author. And there is always marketing/promotion/social media which eats into the day. My last few books have involved a great deal of research, which I love, and I can happily spend a day or two reading textbooks or surfing online.

Would you describe your main genre is Women’s Mystery? How would you describe your writing style to potential readers?

I’ve never been able to quite pinpoint my genre as it’s changed slightly over the series. Romantic cosy mystery probably covered the first four titles, but the latter ones are more family drama/historical/touch of romance. I think it’s a shame books and authors have to fit into categories, don’t you? I just want to write the story! As regards style, my writing has been compared by readers to Maeve Binchy and Nora Roberts. I am happy with either!

I agree with you so much on this one Anne. I always find it extremely hard to categorize mine in one genre too.

Can you give any writers any marketing tips?

The world of marketing is constantly changing which makes it hard to be specific. Personally, I have always loved and relied on bloggers (bless you!) to help with book launches and general posts about my writing. You need to keep your name out there, and eventually the penny drops and people actually check out your books. It is also helps to give radio interviews and write articles for glossy magazines, either national or local. And at the end of the day, price promotions play a huge part in e-book sales and spreading the word about your books.

Don’t forget you were a speaker at the Guernsey Society weren’t you? I am a member and so I saw your name advertised in their booklet!

Have you one annoying habit you can share with us?

As an ex-therapist, I tend to analyse people and their ‘problems’ and give ‘advice’ when it’s not necessarily wanted!

What pastimes keep your feet on the ground, or maybe not, when you are not writing?

I used to love travel, but with the current situation with the pandemic am not sure if I will consider it even if and when it seems safe. I also love museums, the theatre and cinema which are on hold at the moment. Fortunately I can still read books and watch good drama on television. In the past I have sculpted, painted furniture and dabbled with mosaics, but now all my creativity goes into my writing.

Was there a single moment in your writing life when you thought ‘YES, THIS IS IT’? Can you describe that moment for us?

Two years ago I received, out of the blue, an email from a well-known publisher, asking if I’d like to meet up to discuss books. She complimented me on my Guernsey books, indicating she had read at least one of them. Immediately, I thought, ‘Yes, this is it!’ I naturally replied saying yes and although she did write again nothing was ever arranged. I later heard she had commissioned another writer who wrote in a similar genre. So near, yet so far! I continue to be an Indie author and enjoy my modest success ☺

And finally, do you see yourself writing in five years time and have you ever been tempted to write in a different genre to surprise your readers?

I can’t guarantee I’ll be writing in five years’ time, but at the moment I’d like to think I could be, brain cells permitting. Looking back, I wish I had picked up my pen years before I did. Recently I have been thinking about writing in a new genre, though not sure which. My current series will probably end with the book I’m writing now, and I’ll be free to experiment. Will see what happens!

I’ve enjoyed three books in your series and I love the covers Anne. I have yet to read your latest and seventh ‘Inheritance’ but look forward to reviewing it shortly.

Thank you so much for being a guest on my blog.

 

 

 

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