Category Archives: Writing a novel

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/

 

9 Comments

Filed under Blogs, Book reading, Events, Marketing your novel, Writing, Writing a novel

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.

 

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Blogs, Book reading, Events, Guest author, Marketing your novel, Publishing your novel, Writing, Writing a novel

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!

Leave a comment

Filed under Book reading, Book Shops, Events, Guest author, Marketing your novel, Reading a novel, Writing, Writing a novel