Note: This interview was conducted by Kristina Aziz and posted on her Kristi Reads Book Blog - you can read the original here and check out her other excellent reviews and author interviews.
-Tell us about your latest work.
My latest work is a new book in my best selling Lust, Money & Murder series, Book 6 - The Extraction. This story begins with the hero (Secret Service Elaine Brogan) trapped in Eastern Europe by the villain. I have decided to publish it serially on my blog as the final version is proofread and keep it there until the official book comes out. This approach is an experiment to get my books out faster to my readers, gain new readers and drive more traffic to my blog, and it seems to be working.
-what advice do you have for other self published authors?
Well, I'm not sure I am in a position to be giving advice. I would say 1) write a fantastic book that people cannot put down until the end (quite a challenge, usually does not happen with first or second book), and 2) make as many people as possible using social networks, giveaways, sending it to bloggers for review, etc.
-you're relatively successful compared to other self publushed authors. Do you still have a day job?
No, when I started this indie publishing adventure I was working full-time and cut back to half-time until I got it going, then quit the job (university business professor) entirely, though I still teach a class in entrepreneurship in summers just to get out of the house. I also teach creative writing and book marketing from time to time. Teaching helps me with my writing and indie publishing business, gives me perspective and fresh ideas.
-What is it like coauthoring a book with someone? Is distance ever an issue?
Coauthoring is interesting, has worked for me well most of the time. I have found that one of the key elements is having a artistic style/genre vision that is compatible, should be discussed and agreed upon up front (i.e., how much sex and violence you will include, what kind of ending you want, these sorts of things). With Skype and online chatting and all that, I don't think distance is much of a problem these days - all three of my coauthors live in other countries.
-what makes a book "unputdownable"?
Good question. I would define "unputdownable" as a strong desire on the part of the reader to find out what happens next at any given point in the story. This means really getting the reader into the character's skin, experiencing his or her dilemmas, wanting the character to succeed or (in the case of a villain) fail, and so on. Cliffhangers are no good unless the reader truly cares about what happens to the characters. That is the core component.
-What effect do you hope your books have on the world?
Another good question. I would never (I hope) write a "preachy" book, but I suppose what I hope is that my books inspire people to keep on going through difficult times, not to give up on their dreams, to try to see the positive side of any situation, because if you look hard enough you can always find one.
-have your family and friends always supported your writing?
Yes they have always been very supportive--I have quite a few writers in my family and of course (now) many friends who are also writers.
-What can we expect next from you?
From me, always expect the unexpected. I try to be an innovator not only in my writing but in the promotion of my books.
Thanks so much for interviewing me on your blog, Kristina, you asked some good and unusual questions!