If you’re like me, you’re always on the lookout for something good to read. I would like to introduce you to ChristianBookHeaven.com, a new email newsletter for Christian book deals in whatever genres you select. Book deals may include free ebooks, or discounted ebooks, but will also include ebooks that are simply a great price! You can subscribe here:
Pamela Harstad writes inspirational romance and is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. When not writing, Pam enjoys traveling, nature, music, and reading. She lives with her husband in the Midwest.
SPOTLIGHT Questions and Answers with the Author
Congratulations on your book: Their Greek Key. What do you have on the drawing board next? Can you tell us the timeline for its release and give us a little tease?
Thank you. I enjoyed writing THEIR GREEK KEY, because it spans from the present to WWII and from Chicago to Greece with a bit of intrigue. So I’ve started my fourth novel, working title, AS WE FORGIVE THOSE, which is set in Florida and Venice, Italy, and also includes some intrigue, heart wrenching emotion and is full of hope. It should be ready for publication June-July, 2018.
Do you do any book signings, interviews, speaking and personal appearances? If so, when and where is the next place where your readers can see you? Where can they keep up with your personal contacts online?
I won’t be doing a book signing until next year in Waverly, Iowa, and have done online interviews regarding my novels. As for online contact, see the profile above. I love to hear from readers!
You belong to the American Christian Fiction Writers. Do they help with the writing, marketing and the publishing process? What other writer support groups do you belong too? Do any of the authors bundle their novels together?
ACFW has online courses on various aspects of writing. They also have a loop where writers can ask each other questions. Also, they have critique groups. Some of the courses touch on marketing, but publishing is up to the author. I also belong to several groups on Goodreads that are author related. And yes, some authors bundle their books for sale.
What has been your experience in giving your books away free? Have you been involved in any other type of giveaways and how did that work out? What was your main goal in doing this? Did you run into any obstacles?
A few giveaways have been run on one of my Amazon E-books. It is always good to have exposure so one’s books may get into the hands of readers who might enjoy them. There were no obstacles.
How do you start your book launch process for a new book? Give a brief outline of the steps you go through to get your book to market. What methods were the most successful?
After critiquing, beta readers and editing, the books are listed on social media before the release date by at least one month. My books are pre-orderable. A combination and balance of these elements are necessary to create a successful launch.
What is your primary genre? What has been your best marketing approach to this group?
Inspirational, contemporary fiction. There are many online groups dedicated to inspirational fiction.
How do you manage your plots, characters and timelines to keep your stories going? Do you use any software to keep track of your books?
I use Excel to create a template where I can map out scenes, main action, point of view, goal, conflict, and the sequel. The characters and their arcs I fit into the plot of the book and also the timelines, without writing them out as I do the scenes.
Do you maintain a reader list? What are the methods you use to find your readers and create the list and the relationship? Do you use social media, forums, newsletters and/or support groups to build your list?
My readers mostly come from social media contact. I keep in touch by blogging on my Facebook author page and my WordPress blog. My blogs also connect to my Amazon profile page and my Goodreads author profile.
Being a self-publisher myself, I have to ask this question. How does doing everything yourself work out? Do you outsource much of the process?
I write my novels in Microsoft Word, according to general guidelines for a manuscript. Ebooks are formatted by Amazon or Barnes and Noble. Publishers have slightly different criteria for how they want manuscripts formatted, so those are used for submission. I do no outsourcing.
What is your method of getting reviews for your novels? Do you seek professional reviews, use social media or do you rely on your reading audience to supply them?
I use social media to market, and mainly rely on my reading audience to supply reviews.
Author’s Book List
Their Greek Key
Abandonment. Trust. Intrigue. A complicated past and present span from Chicago to Greece.
Connie Pappas has a lifetime opportunity to leave Chicago and design fashions in New York when the love of her life returns, and spins her world around.
For Nick Kanelleas, all that remain are two pendants from his deceased father and uncle, who were abandoned. He follows their mystery, but he also wants business success. He reconnects with Connie when he renovates her father’s restaurant, but past issues and new conflicts arise.
Connie questions Nick’s business transactions. His job leads to problems at the restaurant, and his own future.
Will Connie move to New York and leave Nick when trust affects their relationship? Will Nick pursue Connie if she can’t trust in him? From Chicago to the Aegean, will their faith be strong enough to overcome their difficulties?
In 2003, Moushon changed his focus to ebooks and their development.
He is the author of the Jonathon Stone Mystery Novels. He has published three books: ‘Black Mountain Secrets’, ‘Game of Fire’, ‘The Cajun Ghost’ and ‘Operation Alpha Dog’, a collection of short stories all featuring Jonathon Stone, a CIA undercover agent.
James is currently wearing two Hats. He is a Mystery Writer and a Book Publishing Blogger. You can find his blogs at:
HBS Author’s Spotlight http://bit.ly/QVEMix
The blog’s purpose is to help authors get exposure in the book publishing industry. He has interviewed and showcased over 600 authors to date.
HBS Mystery Reader’s Circle http://bit.ly/19Nfrx8
The HBS Mystery Reader’s Circle provides information about the latest novels and what is coming next from a collection of Bestselling and Outstanding Authors in the Mystery, Thrillers, Historical Fiction and Crime genre.
eBook Author’s Corner http://bit.ly/TauYkJ
The Corner is a collection of Author advice and studies including Marketing, Social Media and other major topics created to help writers in today’s ever changing world of book publishing.
He has spent the majority of his adult life developing computer systems and thinking about writing mysteries.
I’m excited to have multi-published author Lillian Duncan share her new release, PUZZLE HOUSE with us today! Take it away, Lillian.
THE BOOK I NEVER WANTED TO WRITE
We’ve all heard the phrase—God works in mysterious ways. So true! In 2012 I was diagnosed with a rare genetic disease (Neurofibromatosis Type 2) and the brain tumors that go with it.
I hate my tumors but God is a good God and he really does work out all things for the good of those who love him (Romans 8: 28). Because of the tumors I wrote Puzzle House–the book I never wanted to write.
I would never have written Puzzle House had I not developed the brain tumors. Rachel Summers, the main character in my new book, Puzzle House, also has brain tumors due to Neurofibromatosis Type 2.
So exactly how rare? NF 2 affects about 1 in 30,000 people. That makes it extremely rare. It allows tumors to grow anywhere on the nervous system, but especially in the brain (almost always on the auditory nerve and vestibular nerve) and the spine.
The tumors are almost always benign, but there’s two meanings for benign. One being non-cancerous and the other being harmless. The good news is that my tumors are not cancerous, the bad news is they are definitely not harmless. Without going into all the details, I’ll just say that I’m not as healthy as I used to be—and never will without God’s supernatural intervention.
After reading all that you might think Puzzle House is a really depressing story, right? I certainly hope not. My first goal when writing a story is always to entertain and that’s true with this one as well. In fact, the subtitle of the story is a novel of healing and hope.
I’m not going to give away the plot but I’ll give you a little hint. While unconscious after an auto-truck mishap, Rachel has a very special visitor who asks, “Do you want to be healed or to be a healer?” She makes her choice and that’s when her adventure begins.
Why did I choose a puzzle theme? Because in many ways life is like a puzzle—not a box of candy! There’s lot of pieces that have to be put together before you can see the whole picture. Many times we don’t understand why we need a particular piece of our puzzle but God does. If we trust God with all the puzzle pieces of our life, He will use them to create a thing of beauty out of our chaos.
GIVEAWAY INFO: To celebrate the release of Puzzle House, I’m having a very special giveaway on my blog, Tiaras & Tennis Shoes at www.lillian-duncan.com. Leave a comment on one of my Puzzle House posts and you’ll be entered to win. Thanks!
PUZZLE HOUSE BLURB:
Life isn’t a box of candy—it’s a puzzle!
Rachel Summers is all about Rachel Summers…until the day she crashes headlong into a semi-truck. As her life hangs in the balance, she has a visitor who asks a very simple question.
Does she want to be healed or to be a healer?
She makes her choice, but the journey doesn’t go quite the way she expected.
And so Rachel now runs Puzzle House. Every guest is different and yet the same. They all come to the Puzzle House for one reason and one reason only—to be healed, usually from a life-threatening illness. Sometimes they receive their miracle, and sometimes they discover there’s more than one kind of healing.
Nia is a fifteen-year-old African-American girl who is dying. The doctors have told her there is nothing else to be done. No more treatments. No more hope. No more life. And she’s angry about that. Very angry. Against her wishes, Nia’s aunt brings her to The Puzzle House.
Together, Nia and Rachel will take a journey that will change both their lives.
Lillian Duncan…Stories of faith mingled… with murder & mayhem.
Lillian is a multi-published author who lives in the middle of Ohio Amish country with her husband and a menagerie of pets. After more than 30 years working as a speech pathologist for children, she believes in the power of words to transform lives, especially God’s Word.
You’ll notice the blank page notebook above, for two reasons. Read below for the first.
In a previous blog, I mentioned everyone has a story to tell. While most people don’t want to write a book, they can share their wisdom, history or more, through legacy letters.
Although I’ve heard of grandmothers writing their personal thoughts to children and grandchildren, I hadn’t realized legacy letters were such a big commodity until I received an invitation from a local writer’s group to attend a workshop.
I researched legacy letters online and found many are creative as well, with drawings, and some even used colored pencils to highlight passages, for Bible journaling.
So if you have any information or opinions regarding legacy letters, I’d love to hear it. Please feel free to leave a comment.
The second reason for the blank page, is because it won’t be that way for long. I’ve finally plotted out another inspirational, fiction novel.
The current working title is AS WE FORGIVE THOSE. It is set in south Florida and Venice, Italy and involves a few tough issues in our world, but is a story of hope and empowerment. I’ll update you as I go along. Or pop over and see me at my FB page, Amazon page or Goodreads. As always, I love to hear from readers.
Now that my newest release, THEIR GREEK KEY has been out a month, I’m being asked what I’ll write about next. I had nada, nothing. As you can see from the photo, I’m back to the drawing board with plenty of pens, but a blank page.
I considered writing a new series book from another character in my current book, but wasn’t quite sure about it. So I let the idea go, and figured if I was to write another book, something would come to me in time, although this is about the time of year I like to start writing, after having already mapped out my theme, goals, subject matter and conflicts.
I was resting yesterday, thinking I needed a nap, but that didn’t happen either. Instead, a slew of information about a story idea ran through my head. While it’s far from ready to write, I think it’ll develop.
Sometimes stories come through us, or from us, in our experiences of life or both. Even if you don’t like to write, remember everyone has a story to tell. Maybe you’ll consider writing yours or having another pen your words, because it’s definitely important enough to be told and someone is waiting or needing to hear it.
As I reviewed the comment under my blog title, The Write Inspiration, “experience life, travel, be inspired, write” I thought I might relate a bit of a recent trip.
It’s been a year since I’ve visited the establishments on Chicago’s Halsted Street, so my memory of Greek town had dimmed. Plus, I’ve been to other Greek establishments elsewhere throughout the year.
Since it’s less than a month since my latest release, THEIR GREEK KEY debuted, with the book fresh in mind, I realized upon visiting the Pegasus restaurant, it sported the same blue doors, similar murals on the walls, and a Greek key design railing, all part of the setting for the restaurant in my book. I’d love to take credit and say it was all stored in my subconscious, but I know better. My friend, Gerri Russell, kindly offered to take my picture at the doors.
In any event, it reminded me that if we don’t travel overseas or even to a city a few hundred miles away from home, reading a book, any book, allows us to travel the world when we like. Costs less, too and better than no travel at all, besides the benefit to enjoy a story.
I think that’s one reason summer reads or “beach reads” are especially popular. The weather’s good, it stays light all evening, and it’s a great time to daydream into another world.
Although travel itself can be great, you need some kind of a story to go with it. So please share your comments of recent travel events here, but especially what books you may have enjoyed this summer, so the rest of us might consider them. After all, word of mouth is often the best advertisement. Feel free to share.
What is the key to life? In my newly released book, THEIR GREEK KEY, love is their key. But what encompasses and creates that love? On my Facebook page, I received some replies to “the key of life is…”and I think they’re good ones.
Steve and Joyce Russell suggest “the key to life is to love yourself first.” Without that, you really can’t love anyone else, and without love, hate breeds, life can be lost. Excellent point.
Susan Dailey answered “the key to life is to live simply, so that others might live.” Another great point. If we don’t learn to help or share, which means caring for and loving others, life can be more difficult for some, to say the least.
With these few words from my guest bloggers, the main tenants of our existence is explained. There is tremendous power in words. Experience life, be inspired, tell your stories and write.