Why marketing is all about relationships – a guest post by L.M. Merrington

Today’s post is by L. M. Merrington, an Australian writer of Gothic fiction. Take it away, Lou!

Two years ago, almost to the day, my first novel, Greythorne, was released. Because I had a contract with a digital-first imprint of one of the Big Five publishers, I (naively) thought that this meant they’d take care of a lot of the marketing. I quickly discovered, as plenty of debut authors have, just how wrong I was.

Fast forward two years and I’m about to release my second novel, The Iron Line, which is out on 4 December. A lot has happened in the intervening time – the imprint I was with closed down, leaving me with some big decisions to make. I eventually got my rights back and, rather than pursuing another traditional contract, chose to go indie. (If you’re interested in reading more about how and why I came to that decision, I recently wrote an article about it for online magazine Inside Story). In terms of marketing, this means I’m now completely on my own, but I’ve also got far more freedom than I had before.

There’s so much out there about book marketing, especially for indie authors, and especially using online tools like email lists or Facebook and Amazon ads. I don’t want to rehash that here; rather, I just want to share a few of the things that have worked for me over the last two years. I’ve discovered a lot of this through trial and error, and growing an audience for your books is a slow process. But the main thread that’s come through for me is the importance of relationships and authenticity.

  1. Build your networks

Networking has always been a major factor in my career success outside of writing, and I’m finding that it’s exactly the same in Book World. By networking I don’t mean getting up in people’s faces and selling aggressively, but rather establishing and maintaining relationships with people who are genuinely interested in what you do. These can be online, in person, or a combination of both – one of my first speaking gigs as a published author was via Skype with book club members at a public library in Ohio.

In fact, one of my most fruitful ongoing marketing efforts has developed as a result of networking. While I was writing Greythorne I happened to get back in touch with my former English teacher, who is still teaching at my old high school. I asked if she’d beta read for me, which she did, and after the book was released she invited me to give an author talk and run a writing workshop with students. Based on the success of this, Greythorne was added to the Year 8 reading list – although it’s not strictly a YA book, it has a young protagonist and themes suitable for teenagers.

The teachers also encouraged me to run a workshop at a conference for Victorian Association for the Teaching of English, and an attendee at that workshop subsequently got Greythorne added to the Year 8 reading list at her school. In addition, I was also contacted by a parent of one of the students, who had contacts in the film industry and was interested in passing the book on to them for consideration. So you just never know where things might go. I hadn’t initially considered teachers as part of my marketing plan, but now I see these relationships as invaluable.

  1. Make life easy for your audience

Over the last two years I’ve built up quite a few supplementary materials for Greythorne, aimed at libraries, schools, and journalists. These include book club notes, teaching notes, and a media kit. All of these provide extra information about the book (in the case of the notes), or about me (in the case of the media kit), and they’re all available for free on my website. Teachers and journalists in particular are very time-poor, and are more likely to engage with your book if you’ve already done some of the hard work for them. A Canberra news site, The RiotACT, recently published an article on my new release using material drawn almost entirely from my media kit.

  1. Say yes to things

Say yes to opportunities, even if they’re a bit outside your comfort zone, and you’ll be amazed where they can take you. Give talks at libraries (or schools, or nursing homes); do interviews with local media; run free writing workshops with your local community; write guest blog posts or articles; attend conferences and markets; and give your readers some way to contact you (and of course make sure you always respond). And ask the people you interact with if they know anyone else who might be interested – word of mouth is a powerful thing. When I was still with a traditional publisher, I sold considerably more books myself than the publisher did, even without access to online promotional tools. In the two months since I’ve gone indie, I’ve sold more paperbacks than the publisher did in a year.

For many authors, the idea of getting out there and spruiking your wares is terrifying, and as an introvert myself I can understand that. But I also see it as a huge privilege that people even care about my little book and want to hear more about it, and I love interacting with readers. There are also so many organisations – especially libraries, schools and local media – who are keen to support local and emerging authors, so they’re relationships that are really worth building.

I believe it’s a very exciting time to be an author – we have more options and opportunities to reach our readers than ever before. Marketing shouldn’t make you feel uncomfortable or scared; you just need to find a way that works for you.


L.M. Merrington was born in Melbourne, Australia. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in media and communications and Chinese, and a PhD in international relations. A former journalist, strategic analyst, and university communications manager, she currently runs her own business, Pure Arts Communications. She is also the author of a non-fiction book, Communications for Volunteers: Low-Cost Strategies for Community Groups, released in early 2017. She lives in Canberra with her husband, Tristan. Her first novel, Greythornewas published in 2015, and her new novel, The Iron Line, will be released on 4 December 2017. Her website is www.lmmerrington.com.

Author Interview: Cassandra Page

Going through our interviewed authors, I noticed the absence of an interview of our very own Cassandra Page! I had to rectify this, so here we are today! Cass is one of those super supportive, hard working types, and has her trilogy out, plus another novel on the way. So with no further ado, here’s Cassandra!

Cassandra Page

  1. Tell us a little about you.

I could cut and paste my author biography here, but that feels a little bit like cheating. So instead, let’s go with this: I’m a long-time nerd, who has been role-playing since her teens and still has a weekly tabletop game even though she should have grown up years ago. At this stage it doesn’t seem likely, though. I’m a single mother to a bright little boy, having done the dreary marriage/divorce thing. (I don’t recommend it unless you have to.) I have a weakness for good coffee and chocolate, and an abhorrence of bad coffee and chocolate. I’m an introvert who would prefer to spend her time curled up with a book, a pen and paper, or a colouring book, rather than go to a noisy party full of strangers. I’m a public service editor, so I spend a lot of time reading boring reports and have opinions on hyphens (yes please), the Oxford comma (where required) and semicolons (not just for winky emoticons).

I think that about covers it!

  1. You currently have The Isla Inheritance Series available. Tell us a little about the series and how you came up with the concept.

Actually, sadly, Isla’s Inheritance is currently unavailable. The small press that published it is closing its doors this month, and so the trilogy has been pulled from sale. I’m currently working on getting it ready to self-publish, with shiny new covers and a new feel. One of the things about publishing through a US press was that some of the Australianisms got toned down in the editing process — entirely reasonable at the time, but I’m re-editing them to correct that. I love my Australianisms.

But to answer your actual question, Isla’s Inheritance is a trilogy about an Australian girl named Isla (surprise!) who lives with her aunt and cousins here in Canberra. Her father immigrated here when she was a baby after her mother died … or so he has always told her. During the course of the series, Isla discovers her mother is actually an aosidhe, a member of the high fae: the cruel elfin overlords of the various fae races. Her father fled to Australia to escape her, but loves her still. Isla needs to navigate a fae world she’s never heard of before in order to keep herself and her loved ones safe. But with kissing.

  1. LD_CoverEbook_Fina_smllYour next book, Lucid Dreaming is due for release soon. When will that be and what can you tell us about it?

Lucid Dreaming is scheduled for release on 3 November. As I write this, the Kindle ebook is available for pre-order, and I’m hoping to have links for the other retailers soon.

Melaina, the protagonist, has a few things in common with Isla: she also lives in Canberra, and she is also only half-human – although her non-human half is Oneiroi, or dream spirit. That is something that had always been impossible, for rather obvious anatomical reasons; her birth caused a significant amount of consternation among the Oneiroi and caused her non-human father to go into hiding rather than reveal how it had happened…

Lucid Dreaming is a story for older readers; while Isla’s Inheritance is suitable for teens, Melaina’s story is darker and, well, has a few steamy moments. I’m currently preoccupied with trying to figure out how to stop my mother from getting hold of a copy. 😉

  1. What types of books do you read?

I usually read speculative fiction: mainly urban fantasy, but with some high fantasy, steampunk and sci-fi thrown in. I’ve also started reading a fair smattering of contemporary in the last couple of years, partly because several of my very talented author friends write it, and partly because I’ve been doing the Australian Women Writers Challenge, which has forced me to diversify. I just finished a devastating historical, The Wild Girl by Kate Forsyth, and am still reeling.

  1. Do you have any advice for novice writers?

Write now, edit later.

I’ve read a lot of books and blog posts about writing, and when I was drafting my first novel I spent a fair bit of time thinking – no, obsessing – about all the things I was doing “wrong”. For example, I knew my first chapter had issues. I spent a lot of time worrying about that, and tinkering with it, rather than continuing to draft the book. As a result, writing that first draft took over a year. And it wasn’t until I’d received some valuable beta feedback and gained some critical distance from my work – something you can only get through time and practice – that I was able to see the issues and fix them.

  1. Tell us about your writing habits.

I wish I could say I wrote every day, but that would be a lie. I usually only write two or three times a week. To keep myself on track, I use a weekly word goal instead. With my most recent manuscript, that was 2000 words, although often it’d be higher when I had to catch up due to disruptions. All three Isla’s Inheritance books came out during the drafting process, so I was somewhat distracted!

I don’t write to music or anything like that. I prefer the house to be quiet, although the distant chatter of the TV is okay if I’m trying to get work done while the boy is awake. It’s terrible parenting, I know – but I tell myself that it’s good for him to see me role-modelling values like persistence, and following your dreams. (Seems legit.)

  1. If you were one of the characters in your book/s which one would you be and why?

I wish I could say Melaina – she is sassy, confident and a little bit punk. She’s what I wished I was when I was a teenager. But, if I’m truthful, I’m closer to Emma: the bespectacled, socially awkward girl who runs the séance for Isla in the first chapter of Isla’s Inheritance. I’m also a bit like Isla herself, in her sensibleness and, well, squareness – although Isla isn’t a nerd.

I need to write a book with a nerdy main character. *writes that down*

  1. If you could live and write anywhere in the world, where would it be?

I love Canberra but, if I could, I’d live somewhere close to the beach, where I can go for a walk along the rocks with my son, or sit on the dunes and watch the waves while I contemplate a plot problem.

  1. If you had one wish (something personal) what would it be?

It’s a bit of a cliché, because most writers probably say this, but I wish I earned enough from my writing so that I could support myself and my boy without having to work my day job. I enjoy what I do, but working around everything else means I’m such a slow writer. Also, being able to collect my son from school every day (and write in peace while he’s there) would be a real privilege.

Bio

Cassandra Page is a mother, author, editor and geek. She lives in Canberra, Australia’s bush capital, with her son and two Cairn Terriers. She has a serious coffee addiction and a tattoo of a cat — despite being allergic to cats. She has loved to read since primary school, when the library was her refuge, and loves many genres — although urban fantasy is her favourite. When she’s not reading or writing, she engages in geekery, from Doctor Who to AD&D. Because who said you need to grow up?

Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Google+ | Pinterest | Goodreads

Katie Teller

Katie Teller is a writer of NA fiction. Her debut, Kiya: Hope of the Pharaoh, has sold more than 10,000 copies. You can find out more about Katie, the Kiya trilogy, and her other books on twitterfacebook or at her own blog.

Guest post: The Lost Journal

What happens when you find your old journal, and in it is jotted the bones of a story?

What happens if that story has been rattling around in your head for fourteen years?

What happens if you’ve always wanted to write, and now finally you have time to pursue this dream?

You start writing, of course!

The happy confluence of idea, passion and time was the catalyst for me. It was a lightbulb moment, though it took two and half years of hard work!

It sparked my debut Young Adult novel Collision, published on Amazon.com in July 2015.

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Photo attribution: cooldesign on FreeDigitalPhotos.net

What was the initial spark which inspired you to be a writer?

I’m fascinated by the diversity of writers’ inspirations, and the tenacity which results in a published book. That step from thinking, hoping, imagining a book to making it a reality is a massive one. Though of course achieving that reality consists of many small, persistent steps, a few forward, some back, but always heading towards that ultimate goal of publication.

It was Trial Bay gaol, and its history, which initially fascinated me. Why was this forbidding, granite structure built on Lagger’s Point in Arakoon, looking across to South West Rocks? Some readers may know this area in the Macleay Valley, near Kempsey, on the mid north coast of New South Wales.

My family, friends and I holidayed for many years here, our children playing on the beaches. We swam in the turquoise water, barbecued, picnicked, read and relaxed. It must have been a strange, bittersweet experience for the inmates, living on this glorious headland, yet restricted in a gaol, their freedom curtailed.

In particular, I was interested in the German “enemy aliens” rounded up and imprisoned in this gaol during the First World War. We have internment camps still, in 2015…well, sadly, they started a century ago here in Australia.

I bring this to life with Gustav Becker, a fictional German jeweller, interned here with his Uncle Ernst. Gustav secretly meets a local girl Grace, and they fall in love.

This historical story is told in flashback by Stella, an angry and defiant seventeen year old runaway, who lands by chance in the town and is unsettled by her dreams about Gustav and Grace one hundred years before.

My research included visits to the gaol and reading widely. The Enemy at Home by Gerhard Fischer and Nadine Helmi was very informative, detailing the various camps in New South Wales during the Great War, including a very large one in Liverpool in Western Sydney. Many of the men sent to Trial Bay were wealthier professionals and entrepreneurs. Under the control of the gaol superintendent, a German committee helped to organise the almost six hundred inmates who were given a degree of freedom, for example, permitted to walk about one and a half kilometres around the gaol after morning roll call. A strict curfew was enforced from 5pm onwards.

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They had a rich cultural life, each week producing an uncensored (!) newspaper, theatre productions and orchestral concerts.The Germans had many business activities including cafes, trades, a canteen, restaurant and market gardens. They pursued avenues of self-improvement like educational classes (languages, maritime subjects, business), as well as recreational activities like sport, swimming and fishing. Many huts or villas in the German style were built on the perimeter of the gaol walls and along the beach.

This photo from the museum at Trial Bay Gaol of miniature wood-work pieces is a small sample of the fine craftwork created by the “enemy aliens”. There were exhibitions and displays within the gaol of such work, as well as photographs and paintings. This creativity was undertaken as a way to dispel boredom in the gaol. The men suffered depression and listlessness during their imprisonment; many of these inmates had lived in Australia for decades, married and had families. Their families, without a breadwinner,
suffered greatly during this time.

It is gratifying that finding my old journal inspired the story of these German “enemy aliens”, forgotten or unknown to many Australians. The memorial on the hill to four men who died in the goal was exploded by unknown persons after the war.

However, in a gesture of reconciliation, the local community and German immigrants rebuilt the memorial. The gaol itself, after being a desolate ruin for decades, is now a thriving tourist attraction under the management of the National Parks and Wildlife Services.

51nyGeSjdsL._SX345_BO1,204,203,200_PJ Byer is a Young Adult writer, and her first book, Collision is a fast-paced, coming of age mystery about a teen runaway Stella. Reality, romance and fantasy blend, as Stella has flashbacks to Trial Bay gaol a century before.
For many years, PJ was an English, History and Drama teacher who secretly had a yearning to write. The day after she retired she began, and two years later Collision is the result.
PJ and her family holidayed at beautiful Trial Bay north of Kempsey, on the Australian mid-north coast, and the ruins of the gaol where hundreds of World War One Germans had been interned sparked her imagination, and was the catalyst for her story.
She is writing a prequel to Collision, and plans a sequel to explore the story of Gustav and Grace.
PJ is married with two adult daughters, and lives on the Central Coast near the beach, an hour north of Sydney. Her interests include bushwalking, stand-up paddle boarding, theatre, music and singing, as well as volunteering for ShelterBox, a disaster relief charity.

Catch her at pjbyerwriterblog.wordpress.com or https://www.facebook.com/pj.byer

Review: You’re the Kind of Girl I Write Songs About by Daniel Herborn

Songsabout

Tim’s a young singer-songwriter with a guitar case full of songs and dreams of finding an audience to embrace his tunes.

Mandy’s obsessed with music and a compulsive dreamer. She’s longing for something more fulfilling than daytime TV and cups of tea with best friend Alice, something like the excitement and passion of rock ’n’ roll.

When their eyes meet at a gig, sparks fly across a crowded room and hope burns in their hearts.

But in a city of millions and a scene overrun with wannabes, can they ever get it together? Will Mandy’s nerves doom their romance before it even starts? And where does the darkness in Tim’s songs come from?

This is a story of Sydney’s Inner West, of first love, crush bands and mix tapes; of the thrill of the night and what happens when the music stops.

Set in the cafes pubs and dives of Sydney’s Inner West YOU’RE THE KIND OF GIRL I WRITE SONGS ABOUT is a ballad to that time of your life when you are trying to work out who you are, what it is you want and what will it take to get you there.

Almost as soon as I read this title I knew I needed to read this book. The blurb promised so many great things – a Sydney setting, the music scene, contemporary romance, and an Aussie author – I couldn’t wait to get started!

I wish my enthusiasm had been rewarded.

To be fair, there was a lot of high points to this book. Mandy and Tim were both relatable and likeable characters. I loved the glimpses of Sydney, and seeing some of the places I knew and had been in a novel. The whole music scene was a great feel and some of the secondary characters (Alice and Justin, mainly) were just gorgeous.

I think the main reason I didn’t enjoy this book as much as I wanted to, was because of the writing. There was a lot of tell and filter words which isn’t good for a present tense book. It stopped me from feeling involved and invested in the characters, which in turn made me feel like I was missing out. There was so much going on and I wanted to be a part of it.

The second issue I have is with Tim’s past. This is an area that I feel pretty strongly about and I couldn’t believe how misrepresented it was. An abusive family history is not something you give a character just to add depth, and the way it was glossed over was insulting. That said, Mandy’s reaction to the revelations were pretty spot on with how a teenager would react.

There were also story lines that just didn’t seem to go anywhere. Mandy applies for a job with a music company and it’s never heard from again, Kiera hits on Tim but she’s already hooking up with his mate and everyone’s okay with that, Mandy’s dad and Tim know each other and it’s not A THING, and both Tim’s parents and Mandy’s Mum could have been taken out of the book and not made a difference.

I really do hope others can connect with this book more than I have because there really are some great points but unfortunately, for me, there were too many missed opportunities.

AOaR_3star (3)

Heather is beta reading two different MSs, slush-diving for #Nestpitch, and editing and planning her own WIPs, but she is still contemplating a reread. And she's twittering over here.

Heather is shopping one MS, editing another, and has just started on lucky number three. She’s also huddled in front of the heater because it’s cold.
T-weets are here.

Review: Paradise City by C.J Duggan

If you’re an aussie book lover then chances are you’ve heard of Paradise City. It seems to be everywhere I look lately, and it only released this month. Being a curious creature, I just had to pick it up this past week for a read.

24922131Blurb

There’s bound to be trouble in Paradise . . .

When her parents decide a change will be good for her, seventeen-year-old Lexie Atkinson never expected they’d send her all the way to Paradise City. Coming from a predictable life of home schooling on a rural Australian property, she’s sure that Paradise will be amazing. But when she’s thrust into a public school without a friendly face in sight, and forced to share a room with her insipid, hateful cousin Amanda, Lexie’s not so sure.

Hanging out with the self-proclaimed beach bums of the city, sneaking out, late night parties and parking with boys are all things Lexie’s never experienced, but all that’s about to change. It’s new, terrifying . . . and exciting. But when she meets Luke Ballantine, exciting doesn’t even come close to describing her new life. Trouble with a capital T, Luke is impulsive, charming and answers to no one. The resident bad-boy leader of the group, he’s sexier than any boy Lexie has ever known.

Amidst the stolen moments of knowing looks and heated touches, Lexie can’t help but wonder if Luke is going to be good for her . . . or very, very bad?

Holy cliffhanger, Batman!

Okay, now that’s off my chest I feel much better.

For some reason I went into Paradise City expecting a New Adult novel, and that it was not. Following the story of seventeen year old Lexie Atkinson–a home schooled country girl who moves to the coastal town of Paradise City to tackle the end of year 11–it’s most definitely young adult. And not just because the characters are in high school; Lexie deals with issues of friendship, bullying, rebelling against parental figures, and first romance.

I loved the Aussieness of this book. With year 12 common rooms, lunch passes, and muck up days, it took me right back to high school. Even Lexie’s mentions of things like Samboy chips, Coke, thongs, and Rip Curl pencil cases made me smile with that it’s-good-to-be-Australian feel.

Concept: Teen surfers, a good country girl moves to the big city. Not bad.

Characters: The characters are what made this book. I fell in love with every single one of them, from Ballantine and Boon to Laura and Dean Saville, even Amanda (the hot and cold cousin). They all really sprung off the page, making me feel as if they were real people. With their devil may care attitude, wet collars, and sport loving personalities the Kirkland boys (Ballantine and Boon) were exactly as I’d imagine the popular kids. Laura was everything you’d want in a best friend, while still holding her own at school. Dean Saville I suspect may become a bigger character as the series progresses, but I won’t say too much about him for now. Lexie was the only character that I struggled with a little, because it felt as if she kept jumping between personalities while she figured out who she was; the straight A farm girl or the rebellious city girl.

Plot: For me, the plot was a little frustrating. But I’m not a teenager, so perhaps the teen drama that felt really contrived would feel more realistic to a younger audience. Maybe I’m too far removed. There were times when I found myself groaning and wanting to tell Lexie not to be so stupid and have a little self esteem. Also, her whole transformation from nerdy good girl to rebellious, worldly girl seemed to happen in the blink of an eye.

 

Heat Level: For YA this book was pretty hot. Maybe that’s why I’d thought it was NA. There are a couple of pretty steamy scenes that are described in FULL detail. Not for the prudish. 😉

Comparisons: Modern day Grease with surfer bad boys instead of Greasers. A good girl that crushes on the hottest bad boy in school. A cousin much like Rizo.

Although there were a lot of things about this book I enjoyed, there were some that bothered me. However, it was a good read and I did struggle to put it down at times. I will be looking out for the sequel come September.

 

AOaR_4star (3)

______

Stacey Nash

 

This review was brought to you by Stacey Nash, who is loving this fresh wave of Aussie authors! To find out more about her books find her at www.stacey-nash.com, twitter or facebook.

Newest Aussie YA author on the block: meet Beck Nicholas

Today we’re joined by Beck Nicholas, an aussie YA author. Beck’s debut novel FAKE released just last month from Harlequin Australia. It’s a contemporary romance that includes social media, intrigue, and lots of fun.

beck

 

I always wanted to write. I’ve worked as a lab assistant, a pizza delivery driver and a high school teacher but I always pursued my first dream of creating stories. Now, I live with my family near Adelaide, halfway between the city and the sea, and am lucky to spend my days (and nights) writing young adult fiction.

 

 

Welcome, Beck. You’re an aussie writer. YAY! The YA market seems to be dominated by international authors, so it’s always nice to see one of our own on the shelves. How do you feel walking into places like Big W and target to see your book on the shelves?

Yes, yay for Aussie! I’m Aussie and proud! Holding my first book in my hands was a wonderful moment but walking into a store and seeing it on a shelf was almost as good. I’m still waiting on my local Kmart but I have hope.

It’s a surreal feeling because I’ve been a reader for even longer than a writer and I’ve spent a lot of time looking at physical and virtual shelves for great stories.

 

How wonderful. I bet you get a fabulous rush. So, tell us about Fake. Is it set in Australia?

Fake is set in a small (invented) town a few hours out of Sydney. I’ve written aiming for overseas publishers before, and it was refreshing to write gum trees and use aussie-isms that pepper my writing.

 

I can’t wait to read about gum trees and aussie-isms! But tell me about your main character. If you had to liken Kath, to a celebrity who would it be and why?

I tend to cast my characters when I create them as I’m often working on more than one story (at different stages). For Kath I needed to find a celebrity who seemed down-to-earth and had to love some vintage clothes. This wasn’t easy. It turned out that to create Kath I used a few different images together to come up with the mood that put her on the screen for me. Victoria Justice was the main actress but only particular shots. Lots were too ‘glossy’ for Kath.

 

Victoria Justice is lovely. I’ll cross my fingers for a movie adaption one day! So, you’re published by one of the big 5. Congrats! How is that?

This is my first book so I haven’t anything to compare it to. The people I’ve dealt with at Harlequin Australia have been wonderful and supportive. It’s been a great experience so far.

 

Lots of our blog readers are aspiring writers. What advice would you give other Aussie YA writers out there who are trying to get published?

I’m not sure I’m in a position to give advice, perhaps more to pass it along. Read. Write. Research your options. Submit to your best fit – because it’s hard to be published without that step. Eat chocolate or whatever you do to cope with rejection if that happens, and then write some more.

And read.

Find a crit partner or group. Talk to like-minded writers because they will understand in a way a non-writer friend can’t.

Read and write some more.

 

Great advice! Now that Fake is out in the wild, what’s next for you?

I’m working on another contemporary YA at the moment with a road trip and a romance and a girl who thinks she’s messed up beyond repair.

In December I have a YA sci-fi called LIFER coming out with Month9Books.

 

Congrats on that! You had me at sci-fi. Tell me more about Lifer.

Asher is a Lifer, a slave aboard the spaceship Pelican. Part of the lowest rung of society, she must serve the ship’s Officials and Astronauts as punishment for her grandparents crimes back on Earth. The one thing that made life bearable was the love of an Official, a boy named Samuai, but he died alongside her brother in a freak training accident.

Still grieving for the loss of her loved ones, Asher is summoned to the upper levels to wait on Lady, the head Official’s wife and Samuai’s mother. It is the perfect opportunity to gather intel for the Lifer’s brewing rebellion. There’s just one problem—the last girl who went to the upper levels never came back.

On the other side of the universe, an alien attack has left Earth in shambles and a group called the Company has taken control. Blank wakes up in a pond completely naked and with no memory, not even his real name. So when a hot girl named Megs invites him to a black-market gaming warehouse where winning means information, he doesn’t think twice about playing. But sometimes the past is better left buried.

As Asher and Blank’s worlds collide, the truth comes out—everyone has been lied to.

 

Wow, there are lots of exciting thing happening. Thanks for joining us, Beck and good luck with your new release.

For our readers, you can find out more about Beck here;

Find me at my website:

www.becknicholas.com

Or on twitter @BeckNicholas

 Fake cover only

Seventeen-year-old Kath McKenny has a date to the end-of-term party with her since-forever crush. He publicly messaged her to confirm, but there’s been a recent status update: he’s taking the new girl — giggly, pretty, well-developed Lana Elliot — instead.

After being thoroughly humiliated in front of half the school, best friend Chay talks Kath into revenge: a scheme to create the perfect — and very fake — online guy for Lana. Once she falls for him, they’ll show her what it’s like to get brutally dumped.

Everything is going to plan until Kath starts spending more-than-just-friends time with the other new kid in town — Lana’s dreamy older brother, Sebastian. Kath finds herself getting in deep — in love and drowning in guilt, she tries to put an end to her prank, but it’s taken on an unstoppable momentum of its own, with very real consequences.

As her plotting begins to unravel, so do the people Kath thought she knew:
Her mother has a secret online life.
Her father has a whole new family.
Her best friend is barely recognisable.
Her boyfriend has a disturbing hidden past.
And her enemy is more familiar than she knew

 

http://www.harlequinbooks.com.au/product/9781488742712

Stacey Nash (3) This interview was conducted by Stacey Nash who also has a brand new release. Remember Me came out with HarperCollins Aus just last week and you can find it here.

To talk about books or anything else, catch Stacey at one of these places; website, twitter, facebook, or instagram.

Rural romance with Aussie author Fiona Palmer

Today we’ve got the fabulous Aussie rural romance author, Fiona Palmer. Welcome Fiona.

  1. Give us the cheat’s guide to the works of Fiona Palmer. (i.e. tell me about your style of books etc, a bit about you as an author etc)

My style of book always has a strong female lead at its heart. A determined one who’s not weak and timid, but strong and knows what she wants from life. I was a bit of a Tomboy growing up as I raced speedway and preferred being in the shed with my dad than inside the house doing what was considered normal. I wanted to do what the boys did and I guess a lot of that rubs off onto my characters. In writing Jaz, I wrote what I thought would be an awesome girl, one I’d love to be.

 

  1. What are some of the challenges you find as an Aussie author in an international market?

At the moment, having my YA as an ebook is so much different compared to my rural stories that are in print. My rural ones I see everywhere, in shops, advertised in bookstores and catalogues, where as my YA being an ebook is a lot harder to ‘see’. But I do know that I’ve picked up readers in the USA that my rural books never would have. My style of writing is also very Australian. Being from the country, it’s probably even more so which can make it difficult for overseas readers. But I hope I’m giving them an inside look into an Australian way of life.

 

  1. You also write rural romance; is it a challenge for you keeping your YA and your adult work separate?

No, not at all. I welcome the change. I love both genre’s, which maybe seem so different but when they have romance and leading ladies at the forefront, maybe not so different. I love to read YA, its always at the top of my list and I love writing Rural as its what I know, live and love.

 

  1. Strong women feature in your books; what do you think makes a strong leading lady?

I think its having the guts to give something a go. My girls maybe unsure of where they are going in life, feeling lost or might have plenty of heartache but they will make the tough choices, give everything 100% and fight for what they believe in.

 

  1. Who would you list as your writing inspiration?

In my rural genre it would be Rachael Treasure, who inspired me with her book Jillaroo. And with my YA its Richelle Mead, who’s Vampire Academy sucked me in. Also Abbie Glines The Vincent Boys gets a mention. J

 

  1. Finally, give us the sell: why will our readers fall for your books?

Because the strong leading girls will have you cheering them on, wishing to be them and wanting the divine men they end up with. You won’t find any helpless Bella Swans in my stories.

Thanks for dropping by today, Fiona!

You can find Fiona online at the following locations:

Website | Amazon | Booktopia

10153983_10154138536485512_6541138840832039677_nThis interview was brought to you by Lauren K. McKellar, who is currently on vacation. (Lucky her!) Lauren is an author, editor and lover of puppies. You can find out more about her at her website, on Facebook or twitter.