Category Archives: Guest author

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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Adam Croft ~ 1st of my Summer Special Interviews of Successful Indie Authors

             Author Adam Croft

I’m so pleased to be fortunate to have this interview with author Adam Croft, which is aimed to appeal to writers, fans and potential readers alike. Adam is a successful Indie Author of Crime Fiction who has sold over 1 million novels worldwide.

Hello Adam,

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

A bit of both. I hammered away for five years before I saw any meaningful success. Things seem to come in spikes in this industry. There’s no gradual increase or visible progression — it all seems to happen very much behind the scenes, and then plays ‘catch up’ all of a sudden.

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’m absolutely single-minded with it — as I am with most things! As far as I see it, this is my job. I’m very fortunate to be able to do it, so I give it the respect it deserves and treat it much like any other job. I’m usually in the office around seven in the morning and am often here until ten o’clock at night. I also employ three other people to help take care of everything else so I’m free to focus on writing, media engagements, responding to readers and all the other things that can only really be done by me.

You would call your main genre Mystery? Wouldn’t you? How would you describe your writing style to potential readers?

I think I’d probably call it Crime. A couple of my books are mysteries, but most are police procedurals or psychological thrillers. Generally speaking, readers say the books are fast-paced, aren’t filled with inane waffle like what the character had for breakfast (even if it is waffles) and drag people straight into the story. I have a short attention span myself, so I write the books I’d want to read. I think that’s a good rule of thumb for any writer.

I think the last book I read of yours was a mystery. I’ll have to check out your new ones …

Can you give fellow writers any marketing tips?

Marketing isn’t something it’s easy to give tips about, because it’s entirely dependent on the writer and their books. In general, I’d say know your market. That’s not just ‘readers’ or even ‘women over 60 who read’, for example. Who is this woman? What’s her name? Where does she live? What does she do? How does she speak? Find your tribe. Most of all, stand out from the crowd. Too many people look at what others are doing successfully and think that must be ‘the right way’. It might be for that author, but it most likely won’t be for you. Experiment, find what works for you. And keep at it. It’s not a button you push — it’s years of concerted effort and hard work.

Very good advice Adam …

Have you one annoying habit you can share with us?

I’d probably have to ask my wife that one…

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

I genuinely don’t get much time to myself, so I tend to try to escape to the pub where possible. That way, I’m out of the house and physically unable to work or worry about work. It’s also a great social environment that allows me to people-watch and, of course, all writers like a drink or twelve.

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

Honestly, no. There’ve been many moments where I’ve been incredibly proud and happy with where e I am — Hitting number 1 spots, knocking JK Rowling into second place as the most widely-read author in the world for a few hours according to Amazon, being awarded an Honorary Doctorate for ‘services to literature’ (I know — hardly literature in my case). They’re all great, but I genuinely never feel I’ve actually achieved anything, or at least haven’t achieved what I’m meant to achieve. Maybe that’s what keeps me going and pushes me forward. If I don’t know what I’m aiming for, I’ll never feel the journey’s over.

Hey Adam, that’s a good few exciting wow moments …

We’d love to hear your latest news:

I’ve got a new book out on 28th July, called WHAT LIES BENEATH. It’s the first in the new Rutland crime series and has had an absolutely incredible reception in Rutland. I’m already working on the second — ON BORROWED TIME — which comes out in September. It’s been odd going the ‘old school’ route with this series. It’s very locally-focused, so many of the sales are through local retailers and bookshops. It’s extremely paperback-heavy for me, too. But it’s been incredible. That face-to-face, one-to-one contact is something you can’t replicate with an Amazon report.

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’ll either be writing or dead. That can be said for pretty much any point in the future, to be honest. I’ve also written plays and had them performed, although they’re VERY different to my books. They’re either super-commercial farces with predictable plots and jokes (but which get snapped up quickly) or are quite avant-garde and surrealist, often verging on Dadaist in their style. Definitely not murder mysteries or police procedurals. I have been tempted by a genre change, but I’m not sure how I’d manage it. I’ve got ideas for other things and am keen to get them done, but I’m not sure when or under which name.

We all hope you are very much alive in five years and still writing prolifically …

Here are a few links to find Adam and his books on the internet:

Adam Croft’s Amazon.co.uk Author Page

Adam Croft’s Amazon.com Author Page

Adam Croft’s website

Adam, thank you so much for being honest with us about your writing. So many points to mull over for authors. I’m a little in awe of all that you have achieved since we met years ago in that little Ampthill bookshop, to be honest with you. It’s nice to know that you still have time for small bookshops and meeting your audience, as well as a pint or two in the pub. I can see you now in my minds eye… 

Good luck with your new series too!

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Summer Special ~ Interviews with Successful Indie Authors

DO YOU WANT TO HEAR HOW SOME AUTHORS

WROTE THEIR WAY TO SUCCESS?

For the month of August, starting on Monday 3rd August and every Monday after, I will be interviewing successful Indie Authors,

whether they have self published all of their writing career,

sat on the both sides of the fence ~ both Trad and Indie,

or published through a small Independent Press.

I am so pleased to be introducing my first guest Adam Croft this Monday. I first met Adam at a tiny Indie Bookshop in Ampthill Bedfordshire, at the book signing for my first novel Riduna, which was published by Pegasus back on 2009. He, too, had just launched his first mystery, self publishing from the very beginning and he has now sold over one million copies worldwide!

Watch this space…

 

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