Thursday, January 17, 2019

Book Publishing Secrets with Thriller/Suspense Author Rob Kaufman @robkaufmanct #publishing #getpublished


As a child, Rob Kaufman was always fascinated by the stories recited by those around him and the words used to tell them. As he got older, his need to tell his own stories grew, as did his ability to share them in exciting and captivating ways.

However, he wanted to share more than just stories. His primary desire was to create characters with whom people could relate, while at the same time bringing them through a journey from which most would crumble.

His degree in Psychology was the first step toward getting beneath the surface of the people in his
life. What followed was a lifelong search for what makes people tick – what forces them to become evil when deep down in their heart of hearts, they are yearning for love. Rob’s characters walk this search with him, deep into the human psyche, creating psychological thrillers from every day events.

Rob’s second book “One Last Lie" continues to receive great praise and is selling well in both electronic and paperback formats. His current book, “A Broken Reality” is much darker than his first, with characters who hold bits and pieces of strangers he’s known, friends he’s had and personal tragedy he’s lived through.

“This book hits home for me,” says Rob. “There were a few pages that made me laugh out loud as I wrote them... and many that made me cry. And the great thing is, I’m finding that many readers of this book are experiencing the same emotions.”

Through social and other media, Rob hopes to get “A Broken Reality” into the hands of millions, so that they, too, can experience the ups, downs, twists, turns and final tragedy that has helped make this book a Five-Star contender.

Website Address: www.AuthorRobKaufman.com
Twitter Address: @RobKaufmanCT


BOOK BLURB:

On a fateful night in the dead of winter, an unimaginable tragedy changes the lives of two families forever. How will they manage to deal with reality while stopping the sociopath who is pushing them toward the edge of sanity?

When Jesse regains consciousness, he has no recollection of how he and his car wound up in a ditch. However, there's a witness: Charles Hastings, the sociopathic kidnapper who chased Danny through the brush and into the path of Jesse's car.

Hastings takes this chance to set up Jesse so he'll take the fall for both Danny's disappearance and death. And so the mind games begin--an onslaught of psychological manipulation that devastates Jesse, his wife, Danny's parents and the cops' investigation. Inexplicably, the torment continues even after the primary suspect is killed and the rollercoaster of emotions and confusion seems never-ending until the final and devastating truth is revealed.

If you like gripping, suspenseful page-turners that keep you on the edge of your seat until the very end, this is a must read!
Ten-year-old, Danny Madsen, has been missing for four days when Jesse Carlton begins his own search for his godson on a frigid, snowy night. Driving along a deserted rural road, Jesse hits a stretch of black ice at the same time Danny appears from the thicket. Unable to control the car, Jesse slams into the boy and watches helplessly as Danny's body flies back into the dark brush.

Thank you for your time in answering our questions about getting published.  Let’s begin by having you explain to us why you decided to become an author and pen this book?
I’ve been writing stories since I was a child… so becoming an author wasn’t any surprise to anyone – especially me. As far as why I decided to write “A Broken Reality”, it was because the story kept floating around in my head and wouldn’t stop until I sat down and started to type. Of course, it continued to float around within my head, but now it was taking shape.
Is this your first book?
This is my third book. My other two are, “In the Shadow of Stone” and “One Last Lie”.
With this particular book, how did you publish – traditional, small press, Indie, etc. – and why did you choose this method?
I chose Indie because it gives me more control over marketing, copy, and other decisions that a traditional publisher might make for me. Now it’s all up to me. That’s a great thing… and a bit daunting at the same time.
Can you tell us a little about your publishing journey?  The pros and cons?
The pros of publishing Indie is, as I’ve said, the control I have over the process. It’s been exciting and a bit scary at the same time. I learn as I go. Unfortunately that can lead to big (and expensive) mistakes, but I have many groups I belong to which help me get through the tough times. Having these people (i.e. Facebook groups) to lean on is a definite “pro” to self publishing. The biggest con is thinking I’m doing everything correctly and then find out, too late, I made a mistake that either cost me time, money or potential readers. Like any other business, it’s a learning process. I just wish I had more time to write my books rather than market them.
What lessons do you feel you learned about your particular publishing journey and about the publishing industry as a whole?
It’s extremely competitive. You have to use every tool available and listen to both sides of the coin before making any big decisions. There are millions of books on the market today, so how do you make yourself stand out? Besides having a great product and enticing cover and content, you need to have some marketing sense and help. I always take the help where and when I can get it and weigh all opinions before making a final decision.
Would you recommend this method of publishing to other authors?
I would try traditional publishing first, just to get a taste of the industry and the restrictions that type of publishing puts on you. If you can deal with those restrictions and it gives you more time to write, then go for it. You can always try Indie for your next book to see which method you like better.
What’s the best advice you can give to aspiring authors?
If you have an idea that you think is good and get stuck, push your way through it. There was one point in “A Broken Reality” that I couldn’t get past and I almost gave up. After careful thought, asking friends and 5 tedious months, I came up with the answer and it’s one of my best books yet. So don’t give up if you get stumped. There’s always a way through!

Book Publishing Secrets with Cozy Mystery Author Debra H. Goldstein



Name: Debra H. Goldstein
Book Title: One Taste Too Many   
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Publisher: Kensington

Thank you for your time in answering our questions about getting published.  Let’s begin by having you explain to us why you decided to become an author and pen this book?
Author: Before I could read or write, I fell in love with stories listening to those my mother read to me and by attending a children’s storytelling hour at our local library. I began telling my own tales and that evolved into writing short stories and neighborhood skits. By the time I attended college, I was sure I was going to get a degree in journalism and become a globe-trotting journalist. Instead, I graduated with a degree in English and History; went to New York giving myself eight months to obtain two goals – find a job in publishing and become a Jeopardy contestant; goals accomplished, I went to law school and became a litigator and then a federal Administrative Law Judge. During this time, I wrote boring legal briefs, law journal articles, and decisions, but I yearned to write something more fun. For ten years, I played on and off with an idea I had for a mystery set on the University of Michigan’s campus until a friend challenged me to write it or shut up. She softened her words by graciously offering me a beach condo for a week-end of writing. I came home from that weekend knowing I could do it. One Taste Too Many is the fruition of another idea I had for a series featuring a cook of convenience – someone like me – for whom the kitchen is a fate worse than death.
Is this your first book?
Author: No. My prior books are 2012 IPPY Award winning Maze in Blue, a mystery set on the University of Michigan’s campus in the 1970’s and Should Have Played Poker: a Carrie Martin and the Mah Jongg Player’s Mystery (2016). I also write short stories which have appeared in periodicals and anthologies including Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, Mystery Weekly, the Birmingham Arts Journal, Mardi Gras Murder, and The Killer Wore Cranberry. “The Night They Burned Ms. Dixie’s Place,”(AHMM 2017) was an Agatha and Anthony finalist this year.
With this particular book, how did you publish – traditional, small press, Indie, etc. – and why did you choose this method?
Author: One Taste Too Many is the first of the Sarah Blair cozy mystery series being traditionally published by Kensington. Kensington’s books are distributed by Penguin-Random House.  Much as I respect people who handle all the details involved with self-publishing, because of my time commitments and limited artistic talents, traditional publishing is a better alternative for me. I’m thrilled to be writing this series for Kensington.
Can you tell us a little about your publishing journey?  The pros and cons?
Author: My first book, Maze in Blue, was published by a small publisher who requested it after a friend told the owner “There’s a judge with a mystery that I think you should read.” Not knowing anything about publishers, agents, and queries, this was the only place I submitted it and I was thrilled when Maze was accepted. Six months after publication, when I had just won an IPPY Award and had speaking engagements booked for most of the next year, the publisher ceased operations. It graciously returned my rights and encouraged me to reissue it through Amazon’s Create Space to keep it alive. In the meantime, I sold mass market rights to Harlequin.
After being orphaned, agents and editors I spoke with encouraged me to “write something new.” I wrote Should Have Played Poker: a Carrie Martin and the Mah Jongg Player’s Mystery. This time, I sent out queries and pitched the book at conferences. At Killer Nashville, a Five Star editor asked to see the book and a week later offered me a contract. The book came out in hardcover, I sold mass market rights to Harlequin, and the publisher announced it was discontinuing its mystery line.
Orphaned twice, I knew to write something new. Drawing on my loathing for the kitchen, I created a character whose fine china is paper plates and whose greatest fear is being asked to cook. When One Taste Too Many was ready, I queried and obtained an agent. She sold One Taste Too Many to Kensington as part of a three book deal for the Sarah Blair cozy mystery series.  
What lessons do you feel you learned about your particular publishing journey and about the publishing industry as a whole?
Author: Being orphaned twice taught me that the publishing industry is everchanging and evolving and that survival necessitates flexibility and a willingness to move forward after a limited amount of tears. I also learned how wonderful the people in the mystery community are. Their help and support got me through the rough times.
Would you recommend this method of publishing to other authors?
Author: Because of my limited time and distribution mechanisms, traditional publishing was the best fit for me. I would definitely recommend it to other authors.
What’s the best advice you can give to aspiring authors?
Author: Don’t stop believing in yourself and your work in progress, but take classes, network, and do everything you can to improve your writing. Finally, pay it forward.

//////////////
About the book:
For culinary challenged Sarah Blair, there’s only one thing scarier than cooking from scratch—murder!

Married at eighteen, divorced at twenty‑eight, Sarah Blair reluctantly swaps her luxury lifestyle for a cramped studio apartment and a law firm receptionist job in the tired town she never left. With nothing much to show for the last decade but her feisty Siamese cat, RahRah, and some clumsy domestic skills, she’s the polar opposite of her bubbly twin, Emily—an ambitious chef determined to take her culinary ambitions to the top at a local gourmet restaurant.

Sarah knew starting over would be messy. But things fall apart completely when her ex drops dead, seemingly poisoned by Emily’s award-winning rhubarb crisp. Now, with RahRah wanted by the woman who broke up her marriage and Emily wanted by the police for murder, Sarah needs to figure out the right recipe to crack the case before time runs out. Unfortunately, for a gal whose idea of good china is floral paper plates, catching the real killer and living to tell about it could mean facing a fate worse than death—being in the kitchen!


Books-a-Million:  https://www.booksamillion.com/p/One-Taste-Too-Many/Debra-H-Goldstein/9781496719478

Monday, January 14, 2019

Book Publishing Secrets with Adventure Thriller Author Mark H. Jackson @markjackson883


Mark is a qualified solicitor who splits his time between protecting the rights of academics, writing thriller fiction and raising five mostly lovely children. He studied Archaeology and Ancient History at the University of Birmingham with a nod towards alternative theory, focusing on the relationship of the Giza complex to the stars; portolan maps; and the origins of civilisation and religion. It was within this flame the plots for his future novels were born.

Mark’s writing career extends back over a decade and his diverse portfolio includes three novels, a number of short stories and even a six-part sitcom. Long listed for the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award, he is currently a featured author on the popular writing website, Wattpad, with over 6,000 followers from all around the world and well over one million reads of his first novel. Aside from Wattpad, Mark is an active member on a number of other writing websites, spending his spare time offering editorial and structural advice to fellow authors. Up to now Mark has considered writing as a creative outlet for the myriad of characters and ideas roaming about his head. The time has come to tease them out of hiding and breathe a little life into their lungs.

His latest book is the adventure/thriller The Atlantis Deception.





Thank you for your time in answering our questions about getting published.  Let’s begin by having you explain to us why you decided to become an author and pen this book?
Mark: I suppose my mother is possibly to blame for fueling my interest in reading and writing, but I always wanted to read. I was that child under the sheets late at night with a torch and my latest book. I loved reading and writing just seemed a natural bedfellow. I remember attempting to write an Enid Blyton style mystery at primary school so I guess it was in me from an early age. I was quite a solitary child and just enjoyed the escapism it offered. In what feels like a different lifetime, I studied Archaeology and Ancient History at university with a nod towards alternative theory, focusing on topics such as the relationship of the Giza complex to the stars; portolan maps; and the origins of civilisation and religion. It was within this flame the plot for The Atlantis Deception was born.
Is this your first book?
Mark: The Atlantis Deception is indeed my first foray into the tumultuous world of novel writing, and a book I started writing way back in 2009. The journey to publication has certainly been lengthy and one scattered with numerous moments of elation, despair and lashings of writer’s block.
A German property developer stumbles upon a mysterious and ancient artefact. Enigmatic Cambridge academic, Dr John Hunter, is commissioned to investigate. Hunter's acceptance leads him on a trailblazing adventure from the headquarters of a clandestine organisation in England, to a lost city in the heart of the Brazilian Rainforest, before climaxing deep under the sands of Egypt.
Pioneering theory is spliced by epic battles, daring escapes, and elaborate schemes aimed at unravelling a secret history hidden from humanity for the past twelve thousand years. Although imagined, many of the conclusions are cutting edge and written in such a way so as to blur the line between fact and fiction.
With this particular book, how did you publish – traditional, small press, Indie, etc. – and why did you choose this method?
Mark: I am published by the crowdfunding publisher, Unbound (which had links to Penguin at the time). The route is still in its infancy and certainly cannot be considered an easy option. Unbound set its authors a target figure to publish, somewhere between £4k and 20k depending on how the novel is published, digital only, paperback, hardback and/or audio. As an author, it is then up to you to market and sell your novel on the basis of customers receiving a pre-order and additional rewards depending on the pledge level (art prints, name in the novel or even dinner with the author). In return for successfully negotiating the perilous ups and downs associated with crowdfunding, Unbound offer a much more author friendly contract, particularly in terms of royalties.
Can you tell us a little about your publishing journey?  The pros and cons?
Mark: The application stage is no different to any other traditional publisher although as a result of the funding mechanism I understand around 1 in 10 books are accepted and of those accepted, around 1 in 10 make it through to publication. It is certainly a tough introduction into the world of publication and certainly sets you up for the even tougher post-publication marketing phase.
In terms of the pros of the cons, once through the crowdfunding stage, they are much the same as the usual arguments always cited in the self-publishing vs traditional publishing debate. In a nut shell, self-publishing can reap higher rewards (since the royalties are not shared) whereas a traditional publisher could take up to 90% of any sales you make. However, in return for that 90%, a traditional publisher might give you an advance and at the very least will provide you with all the tools needed to generate a professional product (editors, cover artists, illustrators, proof readers etc). Obviously you can have all this as a self-published author, but you will need to fund everything yourself. These days both routes require authors to market their own work. 
What lessons do you feel you learned about your particular publishing journey and about the publishing industry as a whole?
Mark: The publishing industry as a whole is in a state of transition and I’m not convinced the traditional publishers have really come up with a plan to combat the rise of the self-published author. It is bleak for new authors signing publishing contracts – advances are more and more scarce, marketing budgets for all but the most established names are non-existent. It is crazy that new authors (even when armed with a deal from Penguin) with no following and generally little marketing experience, are expected to almost get on with it themselves. This can include organizing and paying for their own adverts and book/blog tours. It is almost as though they are being set up to fail.
Unbound sit somewhere between self-pubbing and traditional publishing and at the moment I’m quite happy. I’m still aggrieved I have to fund and lead on the marketing of, The Atlantis Deception, but at the same time it has been fun engaging with blogs such as this and working out how to build a following on Twitter and Instagram. Facebook is next on my agenda! 
Would you recommend this method of publishing to other authors?
Mark: It isn’t easy and if you don’t hit the ground running you will fail pretty quickly, but crowdfunding does fill you with an enormous sense of achievement if successful. Once successful you then receive all the benefits of having your book published by a traditional publisher but with a greater share of the royalties. If you have the money to fund yourself I think self-publishing in this climate is almost a no-brainer, but if you don’t have a spare 5-6k or have a burning desire to see your manuscript in your local Waterstones, then Unbound are a great option.
What’s the best advice you can give to aspiring authors?
Mark: Never give up and take any criticism on the chin. Not everyone will appreciate what you do and you will need the hide of a Rhino to survive in this industry!
BOOK BLURB:
A German property developer, Hans Hoffmann, revels in the belief he has discovered the key to unleashing the weapon responsible for sinking Atlantis. Hoffmann requests the help of Cambridge archaeologist, Dr John Hunter to validate his mysterious find. Hunter's acceptance leads the maverick
academic on a journey from the headquarters of a clandestine organisation in England, to a lost city in the heart of the Brazilian Rainforest, and climaxes inside a chamber hidden deep beneath Egyptian Heliopolis. Pioneering theory is spliced by epic battles, daring escapes, and elaborate schemes aimed at unravelling a secret history hidden from humanity for the past twelve thousand years.

Atlantis is a very visual word. A word evoking mystery, forgotten realms, underwater palaces… the list goes on. I find this Plato inspired concept of Atlantis fascinating and read anything and everything I can lay my hands on. The theories are diverse and range from the feasible to the outlandish, but certain concepts keep reoccurring. The Atlantis Deception takes the ideas of accepted and alternative theory, weaving them together to create a believable universe where our past still dictates our future.

The novel follows the trials and tribulations of a fictional Cambridge academic, Dr John Hunter. The focus is not on Atlantis itself, but rather on what happened to its people it the wake of the loss of their homeland. The Atlantis Deception is a classic action adventure tale with heroes, villains, shadowy organisations and self-serving plots, each underpinned by progressive archaeological theory. The novel is written with the aim of both exciting and making readers think in equal measure. Although imagined, many of the conclusions the characters reach are cutting edge and described in such a way so as to blur the line between fact and fiction.

ORDER YOUR COPY:


Amazon: http://bit.ly/Atlantis-Deception

Monday, December 17, 2018

Book Publishing Secrets with Mystery Author T.C. Wescott



T.C. Wescott was born in Missouri but has lived in Oklahoma most of his life. Like pretty much every author who has ever breathed, he is an avid reader. His favorites are classic mysteries from the Golden Age, as well as just before or just after that period (which is widely considered the period between the two World Wars). His first mystery novel, Running from Scissors, was published in July 2018 and will be the first of at least three books in the Running Store Mystery series.

The Christmas Village Mystery series launched in November of the same year with the debut title Slay Bells. The formula for his books is simple - mixing the classic, traditional detective fiction standards with all the trappings of the modern cozy mystery.
Wescott is also (under another name) the author of two award-winning non-fiction books as well as many essays and articles.

His latest book is the cozy mystery, Slay Bells (A Christmas Village Mystery).

Website Address: www.tcwescott.com



About the Book:

‘Twas the week before Christmas and all through the village, the night settled in over swirling-smoke chimneys; the air was alive with pine and holly, with sugar and cinnamon and cider, by golly!

Along snowy lanes and through shadows it crept, past windows behind which each villager slept, where sleeping dogs lie and cats rest a’purring-

Tonight, in Christmas Village, a killer is stirring.

Welcome to Christmas Village, a magical hamlet where even in December the roses hold their luster and bees buzz among the bluebells. Nestled betwixt an opulent garden with meandering footpaths and an ancient grove of plum trees, Rose Willoughby’s boarding house is plum-full with lodgers. There are no vacancies, but just wait. Soon there will be one…and another…and another.

When the Inn's guests begin dying in inexplicable ways, some villagers believe a beast from old village lore is the culprit. The sheriff knows better, but he’s just as helpless to catch the invisible killer as are the town folk with their eyes to the sky in search of a flying creature. But our mysterious murderer hasn’t counted on yet another lodger coming to the cottage: Maribel Claus.

Short as a stump, round as a wheel, sweet as a candy cane, and a sharp as a whip, Maribel loves a good puzzle. But can she unmask the phantom killer in time and save Christmas?

ORDER YOUR COPY:

Amazon



Thank you for your time in answering our questions about getting published.  Is this your first book?
T.C.: Slay Bells is my fifth published book and my second cozy mystery. I’ve published two true crime non-fiction books, a horror novel, and in July of this year I published Running from Scissors, the first book in the Running Store Mystery series. The second book in that series, Running from Arrows, will arrive in January in time for Valentine’s Day.
With this particular book, how did you publish – traditional, small press, Indie, etc. – and why did you choose this method?
T.C.: I published Slay Bells as well as Running from Scissors under my own imprint, which is Better Mousetrap Books. I had great success self-publishing my own true crime books. I enjoy the higher royalties and complete control self-publishing offers. Having said that, my plan is to work towards becoming a Hybrid author, who has one foot in the indie world and one in the traditional publishing world.
Can you tell us a little about your publishing journey?  The pros and cons?
T.C.: The pros are endless and mostly obvious. The cons are that the great Kindle Gold Rush ended before I came along, so marketing a cozy mystery is difficult and expensive. There are SO MANY out there. So, my approach is to make mine unique and write them as well as I know how.
What lessons do you feel you learned about your particular publishing journey and about the publishing industry as a whole?
T.C.: You must have a well-written book, and that means hiring a proofreader/copy editor. Readers deserve that. And to attract readers you need a good cover. That means hiring someone else to do your cover. Cancel your Canva account and hire someone to make a professional cover. I’ve learned with fiction it’s hard to get people to know you’re there. BookBub ads are one good way of getting the word out. What’s the best way? Blog tours. Bless the stars for book bloggers! I’ve loved browsing them for years, so to be featured on so many blogs I’ve enjoyed is a real gas.
Would you recommend this method of publishing to other authors?
T.C.: Absolutely. Just be smart about it. If you’re just writing or publishing to feed your ego, spare us the trouble. If you take your work seriously, then prove it by getting a decent cover and good proofreading.
What’s the best advice you can give to aspiring authors?
T.C.: Pretty much what I said above. Invest in yourself. You don’t buy a nice dress and then throw it in your trunk, do you? If you’ve written a great book, save up to hire a cover artist, or at least buy a professionally made premade cover (they’re not very expensive). Hire someone to proofread your book, or beg an English professor friend to do it. Whatever you have to do to make sure the manuscript is as good as it can be. Remember that you’re competing with the big authors and they have all the advantages. You have only the advantages you give yourself, but if you’re patient and passionate, they’re there, waiting for you.

Book Publishing Secrets with Fantasy/Thriller Author Richard Hacker


Richard Hacker is a longtime resident of Austin, Texas who now writes and lives in Seattle.

His writing has been recognized by the Writer’s League of Texas and the Pacific Northwest Writers Association. In addition to his writing, he provides editing services to other writers and is the editor of an online science fiction and fantasy journal, Del Sol Review. His three published humorous crime novels ride the sometimes thin line between fact and fiction in Texas. DIE BACK, his first fantasy thriller novel, has been published by Del Sol Press.

When not writing he’s singing in a vocal jazz ensemble, cooking with a sous vide and a blow torch, or exploring the Pacific Northwest with his wife and his springer spaniel, Jazz.


Twitter Link: @Richard_Hacker

Facebook Link: http://www.facebook.com/RWHacker 

Thank you for your time in answering our questions about getting published.  Let’s begin by having you explain to us why you decided to become an author and pen this book?
Richard:  I love to tell stories. I love to write. I love the craft of it. The complexity of it. When I came up with the story idea for Dieback, I felt compelled to tell it.
Is this your first book?
Richard: No. This is the fourth published novel. I’ve been writing most of my life—short stories, business and technical writing, and I dabbled in long fiction. About fifteen years ago I decided to focus more on the novel form. I wrote a science fiction novel which is still in the drawer, but it did win best science fiction novel in 2010 at the Texas Writers League Conference. When I moved to Seattle from Austin in 2009 I wrote a humorous crime novel, an homage to Austin and Central Texas. I pitched it at a writer’s conference and found a publisher. Two more crime novels later, I had the story idea for Dieback.
With this particular book, how did you publish – traditional, small press, Indie, etc. – and why did you choose this method?
Richard: I first found an agent to pitch the book to publishers, but it didn’t get the traction it needed to be picked up. The book business is a finnicky thing. One day its dragons and swords, the next spaceships and lasers. But a novelist can’t really anticipate what the market is going to do, so you just have to do your thing. Sometimes the stars align and you’re at the front edge of a trend. And sometimes not. In my case, the book doesn’t fit neatly in fantasy. It has elements of historical fiction, speculative fiction, thriller, and I’d argue science fiction if you consider alchemy to be an early form of chemistry.
I could have self-published, but I wanted to have a creative partner in the packaging and marketing of the book. My publisher is Del Sol Press. I attended a workshop lead by the publisher, Michael Neff, a few years ago. In fact, he heard an early pitch for the book. He liked the story idea, but wasn’t enamored with the title at the time. The Geneologist. He was right, by the way. Dieback is a much better title. Del Sol Press is committed to putting out top notch fantasy novels, so I’m very pleased to be working with them.
Can you tell us a little about your publishing journey?  The pros and cons?
Richard: The path to publication is a long and very winding road. Along the way you think you’ve finally done it, finally crossed the line, but the line tends to move! I had a novel in hand and sent it to a conference, and as I mentioned above, it won best novel. Hurray! I’ve done it! Part of the prize was to have a one-on-one with the agent who judged the manuscripts. It turned out she loved the first twenty pages I had given her. Unfortunately, it was all downhill from there. Back to the laptop I went to hone the manuscript, my publishing dreams on hold. I had worked the novel so much that I was pretty tired of it and decided to write something completely different. A palette cleanser if you will. Out of that came what was then title Toxic Relationship (now it’s Kill’t Dead or Worse…) which I pitched to a publisher at a conference. They picked me up and published three novels. Hurray! I’ve done it! Well, sort of. There’s the whole marketing thing, which these days is more down to the author than the publisher. And with a publisher you’re one removed from all the marketing data that can help you sell more books. I began to wonder why I had a publisher at all. So, when the contract ended, I got the rights back, revised the novels and republished them myself. The upside of self-publishing was that I had complete control over everything. The downside was that I had complete control over everything. Rather than writing, I found myself spending time doing things I didn’t really enjoy around marketing and sales. I needed more of a balance. And that’s where Del Sol Press came in. I feel like I’ve got a partnership with Del Sol Press. I get a creative partner who provides honest feedback (which is hard to come by) and a business partner for the sales and marketing.
What lessons do you feel you learned about your particular publishing journey and about the publishing industry as a whole?
Richard: You have to be persistent. If you take no for an answer, you’re dead in the water. Those no’s can be about the writing, but as you grow and hone your craft and surround yourself with honest critical partners, the no’s are typically more about the marketplace and an agent’s or publisher’s particular business needs. Not artistic needs. Business needs. They are in business to make money. If I’m already famous with a million followers on Twitter, I’m going to get published even if my book doesn’t come up to the standard of someone who is a gifted writer but completely unknown. So be persistent, be open to criticism, continually hone your craft, and write because you love it—because you have to write. Writing for the market or for the money or for the fame is a path to heartbreak.
Would you recommend this method of publishing to other authors?
Richard: A small press is a great way to go, but you have to be discerning. As writers we’re so pleased if someone acknowledges us and tells us they want to publish our work. But it’s important to understand the relationship and what the publisher brings to the table. What are you agreeing to in the contract? How much control do you have over your work—the title, the cover, the format? What kind of editorial resources do they have—are they professional editors or writers in their stable who edit on the side? What kind of marketing support are you going to get?
What’s the best advice you can give to aspiring authors?
Richard: It mirrors what I said I’ve learned in my publishing journey. Be persistent. When you’re writing a novel, edit, edit, edit. Be open to critique. Don’t take critique personally. Take a step back from it and see what truth there is for you. Continually hone your craft by going to conferences and workshops, working with other writers, and most importantly write, write, write. And finally, write what you love to write. Life is short. If you don’t like fairies or dystopian worlds or romance or thrillers or…well, you get the picture. Write what jazzes you. I think it leads to better writing and it’s a lot more fun.
Thanks so much for allowing me to spend some time with you and your readers. For fun, go check out the trailer for the book. https://youtu.be/qesyHscyzNM And I’d love to hear from you. Visit my website, www.richardhacker.com and drop me a line.


About the Book:

In 272 AD Egypt, an enemy thwarts an attempt by League Inkers, Thomas Shaw and Nikki Babineaux, to obtain the Alchįmeia, a document holding alchemical secrets. Sensing his impending death, Thomas secures Nikki’s promise to keep his son, Addison, from the League, an organization
defending the time continuum. After his father’s death, Addison inherits a mysterious pen, accidentally inking himself into the consciousness of a man who dies on a muddy WWI battlefield in France. Hoping to make sense of his experience, he confides in Nikki, his best friend and unknown to Addison, an Inker. Keeping her promise to Thomas, she discounts Addison’s experience.   
Fixated on the pen, Addison inks into a B-17 bombardier in 1943. The pilot, whose consciousness has been taken over by someone calling himself Kairos, gloats over killing Addison’s father and boasts of plans to destroy the League. As Kairos attempts to wrest Addison’s consciousness, Nikki shocks Addison out of the Inking. She confesses her knowledge of  the League. When Kairos threatens to steal aviation technology, she she sends Addison and his partner, Jules, to an Army test of the Wright Flyer in 1908. Believing they have succeeded, they return to find the continuum shifted and Nikki knowing nothing about the League.
Inking back to his father’s mission in Alexandria, Addison and Jules hope to get his help in returning the time continuum to its original state. Instead, Addison’s father gives him the Alchįmeia to hide in a crypt at the Great Lighthouse on Phalos. On their return to the present a Kairos agent murders Jules, her consciousness Inked into the past. Addison follows the clues, Inking into Pizarro in 16th century Peru. He finds Jules in the child bride of the Inca emperor. His plan to find the technology and save Jules without destroying the Inca civilization is thwarted by a fleet of Inca airships. Captured, he is taken to Machu Picchu. With Jules help, they find the stolen schematics, but are confronted by Kairos. He stabs Addison, forcing Addison’s consciousness back to the present and traps Jules in the 16th Century. Addison returns to another altered world. Nikki no longer exists, the world is at war with the Inca, and Manhattan lay in ruins.
Addison Inks his father, learning the origins of the League. Thomas urges Addison to uncover their enemy with the help of his colleague, Maya. Putting suspicion on another inker,  Cameron, she insists he must be killing Inkers and acquiring Pens. In a final attempt to stop him, they entrap Cameron, only for Addison to discover Maya is Kairos, his enemy.  She kills Cameron, also wounding Addison.  He chases Maya, who intimates that she holds his mother’s, Rebecca’s, consciousness. Confused he delays, giving her time to scrawl a name with her pen before shooting her dead.

Inked away when Maya died, Kairos finds himself, not in his intended host, Hitler, but in a German infantry soldier POW in the Ardenne during the Battle of the Bulge, WWII. Hoping to repair the shift in the time continuum, Addison brings the League Pens together with the fate of the world and everyone he loves at stake. He awakens to a dissimilar world, but Jules and Nikki exist. And with life there is always hope.

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