Posts Tagged ‘Bestselling author Q and A’

Vivienne Lorret

Continuing our ongoing series featuring bestselling authors we chat with the dynamic and delightful USA Today bestselling author Vivienne Lorret. Vivienne writes delicious Regency romance for Avon Impulse Harper Collins. She is the author of two popular series called The Wallflower Wedding Series and the Rakes of Fallow Hall Series

What was your first book that hit a bestseller list? What was the list, where did the book rank when it first hit, and how high did your book get?

VL: Winning Miss Wakefield (Wallflower Weddings, book 2) hit the USA TODAY Bestsellers List at #120. I was so surprised that I didn’t really believe my editor when she called. I started to hyperventilate and I think I might have asked her “Are you kidding me?” about three or four times. The great thing was, she wasn’t kidding. WMW stayed on the list for one glorious week of ear-to-ear grins and random squeals of delight. Then, poof it went away. Shortly thereafter, Finding Miss McFarland hit the list at the same number, for one week, and then poof. Coincidence or magic fairy dust?

When something awesome happens in your career do you celebrate with food, flowers, or fun? Details please. 

Happiness in a cup

VL: Life is short, so I celebrate as often as I can. When I begin a new book, I shop for office supplies—there’s just something about a new pack of Post-it’s, pens, and pencils that adds to the excitement. And since I’m out anyway, I might stop by Starbucks for a grande chai with whip.

When I finish a particularly tough chapter, or write a scene that makes me happy, I’ll do a little victory dance—though I try to steer clear of the windows so I don’t scare the neighbors. And since I’m already in motion, I might slip on my shoes, go for a drive, and grab a grande chai with whip.

When something BIG happens, like a book release or signing a contract for a new series, I usually buy myself flowers (roses or daisies), and maybe . . .  just maybe . . . stop by Starbucks.

What advice can you give authors who really want to hit a bestseller list but haven’t yet?

VL: I don’t think there’s a secret formula for hitting a bestseller list. If there were, I would have figured out how to stay on one, or how to hit the top 100. But I think having a support-team helps. I’ve been blessed with an incredibly supportive editor and publishing house, not to mention the amazing art department. In addition, it helps to write the book you want to read. After all, if you believe in your book, chances are that other people will too. From there, good things will happen. At the very least, you’ll be proud of the pages between the covers. That means a lot.

Promotion is an important part of every author’s work routine. Tell us one promotional approach that has worked well for you.

VL: Facebook is a wonderful way to keep in touch with your fan base—a quick note about the writing process, a picture of your latest hero or heroine, motivational phrases that inspire you, and random/whacky posts all work to make a personal connection to the people who support your career. Hosting rafflecopter contests on your page also helps. It’s important to give back and spread the love whenever possible.

What is one thing you absolutely LOVE about being an author and one thing that makes you BONKERS?

VL: I love writing. The act of touching the keyboard and watching the pictures in my head transform into words is pretty cool. Of course, there are days when that doesn’t happen easily and/or the words don’t quite match the pictures in my head. But those are the days when it’s time to fill up the writer’s well, and usually that’s a fun process.

Interruptions drive me bonkers. When I’m writing a scene, and my mind is traveling back to the Regency period, it’s difficult to tune out the lawn mowers, barking dogs, and the daily screaming contests in the neighborhood. Over the years, I’ve used different methods, from wearing gun-range earmuffs to buying a noise-cancelling machine. Then, there are the interruptions that happen within the walls of my writing domain. It’s harder to ignore “I don’t mean to interrupt, but . . .” The questions could be anything from “Have you seen my glasses?” to “Can you do me a favor and . . .” For years, I would stop what I was doing, help find the glasses, fix dinner, or run errands for anyone who asked. But then, I learned to say no. Not just a hem hawing no, either. A definite I’m-working-and-my-time-is-valuable no. It’s liberating. I highly recommend it.

Who are some of your favourite authors and why?

VL: Kristan Higgins because her books make me laugh so hard that I cry. Lisa Kleypas because her books touch my soul. Eloisa James, Tessa Dare, and Candis Terry because their books are simply fabulous (and they are super nice women, too).

What is the coolest/nicest thing a fan/reader has done for you or said to you?

VL: I received a personal email from a reader one day. She’d written me after spending a night in the hospital with her child. And while reassuring me that her son was fine, she also took a moment out of her life to tell me that my book had helped her through the night. I cried instantly, amazed and awed by this woman. With everything going on in her life, she chose to reach out to me. And I’m thankful each and every day that, in some small way, my book provided the distraction she needed.

Tell us about your latest release and what do you have coming down the road?

VL: My latest release, The Maddening Lord Montwood, came out in paperback on August 18th. Yay! I’m so excited about this book! TMLM is the third and final book in The Rakes of Fallow Hall Series. In the beginning, Lucan Montwood pulled his friends into a high-stakes wager, each of them vowing to be the last bachelor standing. Then one after the other, they started to find love. To me, it seemed fitting that the charming, manipulative Lucan would ultimately fall for a strong-willed woman who could see through his tricks. I loved writing Lucan and Frances’ story.

Coming down the road… I recently finished writing a novella for Avon’s Christmas anthology, All I Want for Christmas is a Duke. The Regency anthology will be out this year on December 1st.

My novella takes place during a Christmas house party. To the Duke of Vale, science is everything. He has invited all the right people in order to reveal a formula designed to generate a suitable marriage partner without engaging in the messy procedure of courting . . . (think of it as a Match.com in the Regency era). North’s method is clean and flawless. That is, until the impulsive Ivy Sutherland crosses his path. She makes him question all of his data, forcing him to admit that he failed to catalog one vital element for a perfect match . . . love.

In your daily work routine what do you do first and why? A. write/plot/creative B. social media/promotion C. email/admin

VL: Most of the time, a. I like to start writing with a fresh brain. Umm . . . that sort of makes me sound like a zombie. Mmm . . . fresh brains! Then again, that’s usually how I feel until I’ve had my first cup of tea.

So this is where all the Post-its went.

What would I find on your desk at this very moment?

VL: A lot of Post-its, pens, and papers. I’m in new-series-mode right now, so it’s kind of a mess. I have family trees, character sketches, and a calendar that serves as a ticking clock for each deadline. Beside my desk hangs a huge whiteboard full of story notes. Above my desk, I also keep a slew of notes, reminding myself to focus and to write the book I want to read, among other things. My office can be described as organized chaos.

BONUS: Finish this sentence: I’m a writer because . . .

VL: I’m a writer because that’s the line I stood in when they were handing out souls.

Thanks for having me here today! This was fun and I loved your questions!

USA TODAY Bestselling Author, Vivienne Lorret loves romance novels, her pink laptop, her husband, and her two sons (not necessarily in that order … but there are days). Transforming copious amounts of tea into words, she is proud to be an Avon Impulse author of works including: Tempting Mr. Weatherstone, The Wallflower Wedding Series, and The Rakes of Fallow Hall Series.

Connect with Vivienne Lorret on her website, on facebook, on twitter, and on pinterest. 

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In today’s ongoing series of Q and As with bestselling authors  – we feature the talented Terri Brisbin (historical romance author). Terri’s had more than 34 historical and paranormal romance novels, novellas and short stories published since 1998 by Berkley, Harlequin, Kensington and NAL – in 25 languages in 20 countries! You can contact Terri via her website. On her facebook profile page. or her facebook author page.

What was your first book that hit a bestseller list? What was the list, where did the book rank when it first hit, and how high did your book get?

TB: The Highlander’s Dangerous Temptation from Harlequin Historicals was my book that hit the USA Today bestselling list. I hit it on May 29, 2014 and it reached #139….

What were you doing when you found out you hit the bestseller list? And how did you celebrate or mark the occasion?

TB: I was home, working on my computer, when a friend emailed me to congratulate me! I had no idea, thought she was making it up and then went to the USA Today website and saw it for myself! I screamed a lot, called another friend and scared her by screaming . . . I went to NYC the next day for the big BEA tradeshow and celebrated there with Harlequin authors and colleagues!

Terri Brisbin at a conference book signing event.

What does being a “successful author” mean to you?

TB: To me, being a successful author means being able to share my stories with readers. It means being able to tell my stories.

Some authors are great at it, while others can’t find the right formula, but in order to be a success in today’s market, you have to do promotion. So, what are the top three things that you do consistently when it comes to promotion?

TB: Promotion is difficult – what works for one book/one author/today, doesn’t work for the next one. I find that 1)my website, 2) some social media (like Facebook) and 3) writing more books are the most effective promotional tools.

What is one thing you absolutely LOVE about being an author and one thing that makes you BONKERS?

Terri Brisbin with readers at Barbara Vey Reader Appreciation Luncheon

TB: I absolutely LOVE being able to reach and meet readers – it’s been so much fun to meet people who know my characters and stories are real…LOL! My schedule drives me BONKERS – between trying to stay on a writing schedule with multiple deadlines each year, and playing on social media, and promoting the current release and planning the next, it’s sometimes hard to keep on it.

Who are some of your favourite authors and why?

TB: A few of my favorite authors are: Madeline Hunter, Joanna Shupe, Jo Beverley, Lara Adrian, Bec McMaster, Deborah Cooke, Kristen Callihan, Deborah Harkness, Julie Garwood, Anna Campbell and many more! I tend to read historicals with a few select paranormals but the common denominator is emotional stories.

What are you currently working on?

Book 1 of The Stone Circles Series.

Book 2 in the Stone Circles Series

I’m working on book 3 of my Novels of the Stone Circles series – BLAZING EARTH. It’s due in to my editor in October . . . and I’m getting into the meat of it now! It will be an April 2016 release.

In your daily work routine what do you do first and why?

TB: I do email first, usually in the morning until I wake up…then I move on to a combination of social media and writing….and I switch back and forth as needed.

What would I find on your desk at this very moment?

Terri Brisbin’s busy desk.

TB: Piles of paper and notepads and lots of pens…and sticky notes.

Finish this sentence: I’m a writer because . . .

TB:  . . . because I can’t NOT write the stories in my head.

Teri’s seriously cute collection of dragon stuffies. 🙂

You can contact Terri Brisbin via her website. On her facebook profile page. or her facebook author page.

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This is the sixth Q and A in our series at the Lachesis Publishing Daily Blog – featuring interviews with bestselling authors. Today we feature the oh-so-funny, definitely wise, and truly talented New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Sharon Sala. Sharon writes romantic suspense, contemporary romance, and paranormal romance. Sharon also writes under the pen name Dinah McCall.

What was your first book that hit a bestseller list? What was the list, where did the book rank when it first hit, and how high did your book get?

SS: I don’t remember when my books first hit the USA Today list, but my first New York Times book was DARK WATER, November 17, 2002. It hit #15.

What were you doing when you found out you hit the bestseller list? And how did you celebrate or mark the occasion?

SS: My agent called me. She’d found out during a lunch with another agent and called me. She was standing in front of her office building laughing and shrieking and I could hear cabs honking and people talking and it felt like a dream. To celebrate, I took a bunch of my friends from my local RWA chapter out to dinner one night. It was so much fun to celebrate with them because they knew how hard a writer has to work to get there.

What does being a “successful author” mean to you?

SS: Being able to sell my books and make a living at it.

Some authors are great at it, while others can’t find the right formula, but in order to be a success in today’s market, you have to do promotion. So, what are the top three things that you do consistently when it comes to promotion?

At the 2013 RWA Rita Awards with fellow nominees: Maggie Shayne, (best paranormal) Sharon Sala (best romantic suspense), Jean Brashear (best long contemporary times two!)(from MaggieShayne.com)

SS: I hate promoting. I hate selling myself. I am not good at it and the last person to ask about what to do.

What is one thing you absolutely LOVE about being an author and one thing that makes you BONKERS?

SS: I love being able to make a living at what I love and I hate the piracy aspect of publishing. I wish every person who knowingly downloads a stolen book a lifetime of fleas.

Who are some of your favourite authors and why?

SS: I like Robert Crais, Kay Hooper, John Hart and Allison Brennan, to name a few. The why is universal with all four. It’s the depth of suspense, the imagery of their prose, and the fact that I can get lost in the stories without thinking about how they were told.

What are you currently working on?

SS: I’m working on THE GATHERING, it’s the 3rd and last book in a self-pubbed , Prophecy series. It’s Native American paranormal romance set in ancient times. It’s also the culmination of a dream of mine to have my Native American stories with actual Native American cover models on the book covers. WINDWALKER is the first in the series. The model is Rick Mora, a Yaqui/Apache model/actor from Hollywood. THE DOVE is the second book featuring Rick Mora on the cover again and my granddaughter, Logan Sala, Muscogee/Creek. THE GATHERING will have Rick and Logan on it as well.

In your daily work routine what do you do first and why

write/plot/creative – SS: This is probably the last on my list because I tend to the business of my life before I tend to the business of my work. I work/write more in the evening and night because I’m not interrupted by phone calls as much.

Sharon Sala’s desk, and her Dr. Pepper.

social media/promotion – SS: I do this second. I have a presence on Facebook and enjoy the connections I make with readers and fellow writers. I do next to no promotion for myself. I don’t like it and I’m not good at it. It’s like trying to sell myself and it just feels weird to me.

email/admin – SS: This is the first thing I do each morning. I download email and go through it, answering all of the work-related questions, etc . . .

What would I find on your desk at this very moment?

SS: Anyone who knows me will not be surprised by this. LOL

Sharon Sala’s new contemporary romance (one of several new releases)

Finish this sentence: I’m a writer because . . .  SS: I was given the gift and I’m not supposed to waste it.

You can connect with Sharon Sala via her website, on facebook, and twitter.

P.S. Sharon writes the most wonderful, heart warming, poignant posts on facebook about her mother whom she calls Little Mama. She also shares tid-bits of wisdom, love, and laughter about the ups-and-downs of her daily life with her friends and followers. 

Joanna D’Angelo is Editor in Chief at Lachesis Publishing. She loves chai tea, and chatting with wonderful authors.

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USA Today bestselling author Misty Evans

This is the second in our series at the Lachesis Publishing Daily Blog – featuring interviews with bestselling authors. Bestselling authors have “been there and done that”. They know how much work it takes to hit a bestseller list and they are here to share their wisdom (and wit). Today we feature USA Today bestselling author Misty Evans. Misty writes dark romantic suspense and sexy paranormals. Welcome Misty!

JD: What was your first book that hit a bestseller list? What was the list, where did the book rank when it first hit, and how high did your book get?

ME: Oh, gosh, I suppose my first “bestseller” was Operation Sheba. My publisher did a promo on it in 2010 and it went to #1 on the Amazon Romantic Suspense list, #2 in Romance, and #3 in overall Kindle books. The other two books in the series at that time did well too, ending up high in the RS list. I’ve had two books hit the USA TODAY list, Deadly Pursuit, and The Secret Ingredient. Both were in boxed sets and there was much celebrating by all of us.

JD: What were you doing when you found out you hit the bestseller list? And how did you celebrate or mark the occasion?

ME: With Operation Sheba, it was huge. My first published book…I was over the moon. I had been watching the Amazon lists the first day of the promo, but it was an email from my editor later that evening that told me I’d reached so high. There was Snoopy Happy Dancing and champagne the next day from my hubby.

What does being a “successful author” mean to you?

ME: Success isn’t about lists or royalties or rankings to me. It used to be, and I made myself a ver y anxious and not very happy author. I had to change my thinking. Success is about what’s inside you, not what’s outside. Are you happy? Do you look forward to sitting at the keyboard everyday? I can’t control numbers, algorithms, or new technology. What I can do is love my job, write the books fans adore, and find ways to help other authors make their dreams come true. That is true success to me.

JD: Some authors are great at it, while others can’t find the right formula, but in order to be a success in today’s market, you have to do promotion. So, what are the top three things that you do consistently when it comes to promotion?

ME: 1.) Write the next book—you absolutely can’t do any better promo than putting out the next book in a series and having the links to your other stories in the back matter. 2.) Nail your keywords and categories. When a potential reader searches by subject matter on any retailer, you want to be sure your book comes up in the appropriate category. 3.) Put out a quality newsletter with behind-the-scenes snippets, recipes, and engaging content, not just “Buy My Book” messages. This goes hand-in-hand with social media as well. Engage your readers, don’t just preach to them.

JD: What is one thing you absolutely LOVE about being an author and one thing that makes you BONKERS?

ME: I love creating stories and seeing how they resonate with readers. In January, with the release of DEADLY FORCE, the fourth book in my SCVC Taskforce series, I raised money for Paws & Stripes, an organization that rescues shelter dogs and trains them to be service companions to veterans with PTSD. My fans loved the idea and really got behind it, sharing our Operation Freedom Dogs campaign and I recently mailed a check for over $2000 to P&S.

What drives me bonkers is trying to find enough hours in the day to write and promote!

JD: Who are some of your favourite authors and why?

ME: I have too many favorite authors to name them all, but my favorites tend to be the ones who create fascinating worlds I can sneak off to whenever I want and forget the real world for a few hours . . . for a few days!

JD: What are you currently working on?

ME: I’m writing the next SCVC Taskforce novel, Deadly Intent, and editing the next Justice Team Series book, Exposing Justice, with Adrienne Giordano. Both books release in July.

JD: In your daily work routine what do you do first and why?

write/plot/creative – I definitely write first thing in the morning. That’s when my creative energy is high. I often write later in the day when I can, but I’m most productive first thing in the morning. My best plots come in the evening or at night. I don’t know why, but that’s how my brain works!

social media/promotion – Social media is so much fun, I have to save it for a treat after the work is done. Usually that means waiting until lunch time or later.

email/admin – This area is best handled after the work is done, too. It takes me too long to get the right energy flowing if I start with email or admin duties first thing in the morning. They tend to suck my creative-self dry.

JD: What would I find on your desk at this very moment?

ME: I don’t have a desk anymore. I write on my laptop, often in bed or sitting at the kitchen table. I’ve found I’m more motivated and inspired if I move around and don’t confine myself to one set place. I’m definitely a minimalist these days! The clutter-free zone frees up my mental space.

JD: Finish this sentence: I’m a writer because . . .

ME:  . . . it makes me happy!

Misty Evans at a bookstore signing

USA TODAY Bestselling Author Misty Evans has published twenty-eight novels and writes romantic suspense, urban fantasy, and paranormal romance. As a writing coach, she helps other authors bring their books – and their dreams of being published – to life.

The books in her Super Agent series have won a CataNetwork Reviewers’ Choice Award, CAPA nominations, the New England Reader’s Choice Bean Pot Award for Best Romantic Suspense in 2010 and the ACRA Heart of Excellence Reader’s Choice Award for Best Romantic Suspense in 2011. OPERATION SHEBA has been a military romance, action-adventure, and romantic suspense bestseller on Amazon.

Her Witches Anonymous series was dubbed a Fallen Angel Reviews Recommended Read. The Super Agent Series, Witches Anonymous Series, and the Kali Sweet Series have been on multiple Amazon Kindle bestsellers lists. Her culinary romantic mystery, THE SECRET INGREDIENT, and the first book in her Deadly series, DEADLY PURSUIT, are both USA TODAY bestsellers.

Misty likes her coffee black, her conspiracy stories juicy, and her wicked characters dressed in couture. When not reading or writing, she enjoys music, movies, and hanging out with her husband, twin sons, and two spoiled puppies. Learn more and sign up for her newsletter at www.readmistyevans.com. Like her author page on Facebook or follow her on Twitter. website: http://www.readmistyevans.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorMistyEvans Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/readmistyevans Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/authormistyevans Email: misty@readmistyevans.com Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/mistyevansbooks/

Joanna D’Angelo is Editor in Chief at Lachesis Publishing. She loves chai tea, writing in coffee shops, social media and romance novels.

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