Denise Grover Swank's Blog, page 9
October 5, 2012
Some of you are anxiously awaiting the release of REDEMPTION, the fourth and final book in The Chosen series. But a lot of people have never heard of CHOSEN, and I want to introduce those readers to the series.
So I bundled the first three books of The Chosen series together and created an eBook boxed set. The bundle contains the first three books, CHOSEN, HUNTED, and SACRIFICE, and it’s now available at:
The box set is currently on sale for $2.99 instead of it’s normal $9.99. Individually, they would cost $10.97, so either way it’s still a bargain.
But October 15 will be the last day of the $2.99 sale so I want to get the word out.
(It’s on sale for $0.99 on Barnes & Noble.)
Did I mention that I want to get the word out?
That’s where you come in. Word of mouth is one of the best ways to promote books. So my giveaway for Friday’s ARC for REDEMPTION involves you sharing the sale on The Chosen Box set.
You can share it on Facebook, Tweet about it, write a blog post. Just help me get word out. This contest will have several winners.
Every time you share, you get an entry to win one of:
An ARC of REDEMPTION or the final eBook copy(available Wednesday October 10)
A CHOSEN symbol t-shirt (your choice of this, or this)
A CHOSEN symbol tote bag
An autographed print copy of REDEMPTION (available after October 15)
An autographed set of all four THE CHOSEN series books
Just share the news and follow the link to Rafflecopter to record your entries.Some of the options you can do multiple times to increase your chances of winning.
The contest closes at midnight central time Sunday, October 7. Winners will be announced Monday, October 8.
YOU MUST RECORD YOUR ENTRIES BY FOLLOWING THE RAFFLECOPTER LINK
October 2, 2012
Jill started writing when she was in elementary school and given a creative writing assignment. Once that started there was no looking back. When other kids were out buying makeup and dresses, Jill was saving up for her first word processor WITH a hard drive.
She lives in Massachusetts with one dramatic toddler, a wood working husband, and 2 fluffy white cats. She is the author of the YA Series The Dream Slayer. The second in the series is out on October 12th.
I really wanted to write a paranormal novel with a teen girl at the heart that wasn’t pretty, popular, or self-confident, no super flowing beautiful hair moments! I drew from my own personal experiences of being bullied or teased for my weight and glasses in school and built the story from there.
I wanted to show strength in a normal, almost mundane girl. I want Natalie to be an inspiration to girls that isn’t A Kardashian or Britney Spears, or (wait for it) Bella. That even a normal girl who isn’t perfectly skinny, or have the best home life can be a hero. Real heroes are born every day and exist all around us and that is what The Dream Slayer books are about if you strip away the vampires and demons.
Natalie must stop a Demon Goddess from harvesting people’s souls all the while trying to appear like she’s handling the stress of her new life well. Guess what, she’s not. I wanted her to really struggle with the question of; Do I really want to do this? She’s a strong person, but I also wanted her to struggle with weakness. It was important to me to slow the series with down and to have her experience remorse for those that had died, turned into vampires and tried to eat her.
That’s a funny way to put it!
Well, they are vampires. I don’t think vampires have gone vegan yet, but that sounds like a great subplot!
The Demon Royale plot can get heavy at times so I use humor to lighten it up and keep the audience laughing. You want to catch them off guard when it comes to drama and comedy. If you can have them laughing and in the next sentence kill someone, well then you’ve done your job?
Do you have any other books coming out soon?
I have a dystopian thriller, Glistening Haven, coming out in January. I’m pretty excited about it. It takes my love of Happy Days, spins it on its head, and it gets mixed up in the blender with The A-team.
In 2013 Dream Slayer 3 will be released and a YA Time Travel Adventure, 15 Minutes will both be coming. Hopefully in the middle of all that some short stories about talking condiments and some of the Dream Slayer side characters.
Let’s talking writing. Who has influenced you the most?
Stephen King has influenced me the most and generally I do have a dark theme, or a little bit of horror in all my books. Probably why I haven’t written a straight romance yet. King’s writing is like a love letter. These days everyone says start at the conflict, trim the fat, but I can pick up a 1,000 page King book and love every minute of it. Could he have trimmed it and had a good novel? Sure. But do I want him to? No.
Other than that my first writer obsessions were Anne Rice, Joyce Carol Oates, and Dean Koontz.
Oh and Danielle Steele. I was twelve, okay? Let’s not tell anyone.
How do you get the task done?
To be honest it changes every day. Some days I need atmospheric music. Others I need complete silence. Some days I can write with a toddler bouncing around my neck and others I need to be 100% alone or inside a coffee shop.
Usually I need a glass of water, or soda. And sometimes snacks. Hmm…snacks.
Snacks! What’s your favorite writing snack?
Anything I can just rip open a bag and consume. Serial, crackers, nuts, that sort of thing. I I do try to stay away from sweets because then I’ll just need to take a nap.
What’s a nap?
I am not a night owl like *some* people I know. I write in the afternoon and then until no later than 10 PM at night. I fall asleep at 10:30 whether I’m in bed or not. Total Garfield nap attack.
This or That:
Hat or Ear Muffs: Hat
Pumpkin or Banana: Pumpkin
Tea or Coffee: Latte. Oh, that wasn’t an option?
Chick Flick or Action: Action, ka-pow! If a house blows up, I’ll be happy.
Puppy or Kitten: Kittens rule!
To watch a trailer for Demon Royale, click the link below:
To follow the current happenings of Jill or to buy her books, go here:
Individually, these three books would cost $10.97. That’s a savings of $7.98 — 63%
Why am I doing this? I want readers to have a chance to read the series for before the release of REDEMPTION next week.
THE CHOSEN box set is available on:
Barnes & Noble– coming as soon as B&N finishes the upload
I’ve lost track of the days in this giveaway. Math just isn’t my thing. Throw in trying to write the first draft for THERE, my daughter’s OUTSTANDING performance in her high school play this weekend, my website hack that took a very INTENSIVE clean up– and lost last Friday’s post for that day’s giveaway of REDEMPTION–(I picked from the comments that were mailed to me– Congrats to Natalie Cleary!), getting ready for my parent’s FIFTIETH WEDDING ANNIVERSARY this coming weekend, sick kids, and I just got my copy edit notes.
Oh and did I mention that I have a book coming out next week?
Where was I? Oh yeah. I’ve lost track of what day of the giveaway this is. That’s okay. We don’t need to know the number to GIVE AWAY A COPY!
To have a chance at winning an eBook ARC copy of REDMEMPTION:
1) Make sure that you are a newsletter subscriber. The place to sign up is over there. –>
2) Leave a comment and answer this question:
Have read either of my other series besides The Chosen series? If so, which ones?
Not to worry! It’s not a requirement to have read my other series! These questions are purely curiosity on my part.
The winner will be picked using Random Number generator, sometime after midnight. Or tomorrow morning.
Thank you for participating!!! You all make me feel loved.
September 28, 2012
(Although there is a chance I will end up losing all of my previous posts. I’m trying not to dwell on that.)
But on to FUN THINGS! Who wants to win an ARC of Redemption???? I’ve had three winners get back to me with their reactions after finishing the book and so far they love it!
Courtney posted this on my Facebook wall:
HOLY MOTHER OF ALL!! I finally finished Redemption and loved every single bit of it!! My emotions were all over the place while I was reading it. I don’t even know what to say… there are no words to explain how great this book is. Excellent series and a phenomenal ending! I hate to see the series end but I really enjoyed every book! Fantastic job Denise!!!
So who wants to win a copy???
Today’s question to answer in your comment:
Do you prefer reading books digitally (eReader, phone, computer) or in print? Which format do your read more?
This post closes at midnight central time. Winner is chosen at random.
September 25, 2012
Today I welcome Branli Caidryn as my Writer Wednesday guest. I have no picture of Branli because he has a strict “no photo” policy. He’s recently moved to Seattle and invited me to do Irish Car bombs with him, so my evil plan is to get him drunk and have my way with him. By taking his picture. What did you think I meant? In spite of Branli’s VERY RECENT move, he still had time for our interview.
Branli, is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?
The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay.
The book is about Peekay and his adventures growing up; love, loss, perseverance. He’s orphaned early on, by a mother that’s mentally unstable. He’s picked on at the orphanage. His favorite pet is killed by bullies. And the one person he’s ever looked up to, leaves him. I was able to relate to this character and his many losses growing up. To this day I can’t bring myself to reading it again, the heartache was just too much the first time.
Oh, my. Now I want to read this book seriously. But I’ll save it when I need a good cry.
What is your book, Phoenix Splinter, about?
The book is centered around Keith Groenewald, a 19-year old college student with supernatural powers gained from experimentation at Area Fifty-One, a top secret military base. He escapes the lab, leaves the base and is “protected” from government hands by a secret society known as Veluz. Veluz is a shadow organization that profits from global events. With Keith at their side they’re able to enhance that influence, by sending him on covert missions and espionage assignments.
As the story progresses readers come to realize Keith’s existence and purpose is a lot more complex. He’s not just this mercenary for Veluz, but something much bigger.
Some titles come easier to me than others How did you come up with the title for Phoenix Splinter?
Keith is the only successful experiment from an abandoned project. Though some have called him a phoenix–seemingly rose from the ashes of the defunct project and even describing him as an ember–he is a much smaller fragment. He is a sliver, a splinter of that old project.
I LOVE the title even more now. Do you ever get writer’s block? AND how do you combat it when you have it?
All the time. In fact, a lot more than I want to admit. It usually isn’t story related, as much as I need to bridge two plots or scenes. It’s incredibly frustrating.
One of many approaches to overcoming the block is to re read what I have so far. Going back a few chapters and re reading up to the point where I’ve stopped helps get back into the world, back into the story. Most of the time this helps.
Who has been your biggest support as a writer?
Can I just say twitter and round up everyone?
Writing, as I imagine it is for many, is a solitary endeavor. For the longest time I didn’t know any other writers. But, I have to admit Denise and LK Gardner-Griffie (@lkgg) have been the biggest cheerleaders
Abel’s Island. The story of survival and love really captivated me for some reason.
When did you consider yourself a writer?
I would say two years ago, when I went back to the novel I finished writing five years prior. I made a promise to myself that I’d clean it up and publish it.
And now for a little fun with this and that:
Would you rather fly or drive?
Fly. Though I do warn you I survived a 19hr drive from SoCal to Seattle recently. I don’t ever want to drive beyond 30min again!
Have coffee or tea?
Coffee is certainly my drug of choice for jump-starting that muse in the morning.
Tea for those late nights trying to churn them words out!
Play the piano, guitar or drums?
The melodies created, the countless scores on my ipod, always have a way to free my mind and make my imagination soar!
Take a swim or go for a run?
There’s a slight thrill to just about every run. Not sure how to describe it. I always picture that one scene from Powder, Jeremy running in that field in his final moments. Totally cried.
Watch a movie at home or at the theater?
Watch a movie at home! It gives one the opportunity to get some close friends, get your favorite foods together, and enjoy it all at once!
Thank you, Branli for stopping by today!
Here are some places where you can find Branli and his work.
September 24, 2012
From Monday, September 24 until Tuesday, October 9, I will be giving away ONE eBook ARC of Redemption a day. The giveways will alternate from my Facebook author page to my blog to an occasional Twitter post.
Winners will be chosen after midnight and at random from comments posted on the announcement that day. ARCs will be available as a Kindle file, an ePub, or a PDF file. Reviews would be greatly appreciated, but are not necessary.
It is important to note that the ARC has not been proof read and WILL have typos.Hopefully, they have been kept to an minimum. If this could annoy you and ruin your reading experience, then you should NOT read an ARC and wait for the cleaned up version that will be released on October 10.
The first day of the contest will be on my Facebook author page. You must like my author page and leave a comment.
Blog post days will require you to be a newsletter subscriber and leave a comment.
Twitter posts will require you to post a tweet with the hashtag #Redemption. More details to follow.
I will announce every day on my Facebook author page where that day’s posting will be.
I will also announce it on Twitter: www.Twitter.com/DeniseMSwank
as well as my Facebook account: https://www.facebook.com/deniseswank Feel free to friend me!
Good luck and I hope you like Redemption!
September 19, 2012
Today we welcome a special guest to the blog: Susan Boyer
Susan’s bio: Susan M. Boyer has been making up stories her whole life. She tags along with her husband on business trips whenever she can because hotels are great places to write: fresh coffee all day and cookies at 4 p.m. They have a home in Greenville, SC, which they occasionally visit. Susan’s short fiction has appeared in moonShine Review, Spinetingler Magazine, Relief Journal, The Petigru Review, and Catfish Stew. Her debut novel, Lowcountry Boil, is a 2012 Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense recipient and an RWA Golden Heart® finalist.
Denise: Hello Susan! We look forward to getting to know you better and finding out about your new book, Low Country Boil. What can you tell us about it?
Susan: Thank you so much for having me here today, Denise! My debut novel, which was released yesterday, is Lowcountry Boil, the first book in the Liz Talbot Mystery Series. Liz Talbot is a private investigator and a modern Southern belle: she blesses hearts and takes names. She carries her Sig 9 in her Kate Spade handbag, and her golden retriever, Rhett, rides shotgun in her hybrid Escape. When her grandmother is murdered, Liz high-tails it back to her South Carolina island home to find the killer. She’s fit to be tied when her police-chief brother shuts her out of the investigation, so she opens her own. Then her best friend, who’s been dead fourteen years, pops in and things really get complicated. Stella Maris, the small town where Liz grew up, has its share of eccentric characters—some of them are members of Liz’s own family. She has her hands full when more folks start turning up dead. Liz has to employ more than just her wits and charm to keep her family safe, chase down clues from the hereafter, and catch a psychopath before he catches her.
Denise: Eccentric characters in a southern town? Sounds like my kind of book! Every so often I like to throw in a scene in my books that was inspired by a real experience. Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?
Susan: Oh, my, no. I’ve never personally met a ghost, though I do believe in them. And if I know any psychopaths, they hide it well. Though, that usually is the case, isn’t it? I did live in the South Carolina lowcountry for a while, in Mt. Pleasant, which is just a bike ride from Sullivan’s Island. My literary landscape is born of a love of that area. And, I’m a small-town girl, so I do bring my love of small towns to my writing. Come to think of it, I also have some eccentric relatives. And I love Kate Spade handbags, but the only one I own was a gift. I don’t typically carry a gun.
Denise: What was your favorite chapter(or part)to write and why?
Susan: The ending. I just love it when all hell is breaking loose! Also, Liz gets to do some really fun things in those last few scenes. She gets to do all the things I’d like to do.
Denise: Some titles just come to me and others are so hard. How did you come up with the title?
Susan: Lowcountry Boil is a regional dish made up of shrimp, corn, potatoes, sausage, and whatever else the chef wants to throw in the pot, boiled in beer andspices. So, it’s a lot of different things simmering together. It’s one of my favorite meals, and it just seemed to fit my book really well.
Denise: Well, now I’m hungry… I’m always curious about other writer’s habits. Where do you write? What time of day are you most creative?
Susan: It depends. If I’m at home, I’m usually in a chair with a lap desk in my writing cave, which is actually in the basement, so it does feel rather cave-like. If it’s raining—I love to listen to the rain—I’ll go upstairs and work near a window. If I’m traveling with my husband on a business trip, which I do a lot, I work at the desk in a hotel room. I’m most creative in the early afternoon, I think. I’m not much of a morning person, though I do start work around nine. It just takes me a while to feel really productive.
Denise: I love to sit by the fireplace with a cup of tea on rainy days when I write. Are there any occupational hazards to being an author for you?
Susan: For me, probably the biggest one is I sit too much. I try to remember to get up and move around once an hour, but I usually get tied up playing with my imaginary friends and forget. I’ve read a lot lately about how unhealthy all that sitting is. I need to rig my chair to shock me after I’ve sat for forty-five minutes. Do they make anything like that? If not, someone should invent it. A timer won’t do the job because it’s too easy to ignore.
Denise: I hear you about sitting too much too, but my kids and my dogs are always wanting something, so I feel like I’m always jumping up and down. Did your childhood influence your writing? How?
Susan: I don’t think it influenced it really, but I can remember always making up stories. When I was really young, this was a problem, because I had an over-active imagination, and a hard time distinguishing between truth and fiction. My alternate realities were very real to me. I had imaginary friends. I was one of those children whose teachers wrote, “Energies need to be channeled,” and so forth in the comments section of my report card. I think I was just born to make things up and write them down.
Denise: Do you ever experience writer’s block? What do you do to overcome it?
Susan: I don’t allow myself to believe in writer’s block. I’m afraid of it, so it isn’t real, like the monster under the bed. On days when finish my second cup of coffee and my imaginary friends don’t seem to want to play, I coax them a little. I just start writing something. Then one of them will start yacking at me, telling me how I have it wrong, and then they cooperate.
Denise: What’s your drink of choice?
Susan: Well now, that depends on the hour of the day and the occasion. I have to have strong coffee first thing, or I don’t come fully awake. If I’m out and about, sometimes I’ll treat myself to a soy mocha from Starbucks. If we’re celebrating at brunch, I’m a mimosa girl. Around happy hour I love a glass of pinot noir, and I can usually turn any occasion into an excuse for champagne. Gosh, that sort of sounds like I’m a lush, but really, I’m not.
And now for some This or That? because I have an unhealthy love for this game.
Ice cream or cake Both
Morning or night Night—definitely night.
Glass half full or glass half empty My cup runneth over. I’m a glass-half-full girl.
Football or baseball Football. I love the tailgating, even if it’s in the den.
Wine, beer or neither Usually wine, but sometimes I like a really cold Blue Moon with a slice of orange.
Mountains or beach I’m a beach girl. I would live there if it was feasible for us, though I do love the mountains. We actually live less than an hour from the Blue Ridge Mountains. Fortunately, in South Carolina we have both.
Thank you, Susan, for visiting us today! I don’t know about you, but now I’m hungry for some Low Country Boil. You can check out Susan’s Website
And you can purchase Low Country Boil at:
September 16, 2012
A funny thing happened this weekend. I hit the 150,000 mark in sales only I didn’t even realize it until my friend Kay Bratt asked me this morning about my current sales totals.
As of last night, my total sales for eBooks, print books and audiobooks is 150,556.
I rarely share figures, but I thought I’d share a few to give self-published authors just starting out hope that they’ll start making sales.
I published my first book Twenty-Eight and a Half Wishes in July 2011. The official release date was July 12, however, I uploaded my eBook formats early, worried I’d screwed them up somehow. (I formatted that first book myself.) And even though I didn’t really announce the eBooks were available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble, some readers still found them and downloaded them. Not that I’m complaining.
So the exact number of days Twenty-Eight was available is questionable so we’ll call it the entire month. And in that first month I had 209 sales. A VERY respectable first month. I was told to expect 20.
I released Chosen at the end of September, expecting all of those readers of Twenty-Eight to rush over to buy it. Yeah, not so much. See, readers only genre hop if they really, really love an author. And I hadn’t gained that reader trust yet.
In early October, I was in a bit of despair. I was selling 3 copies a day of Chosen while I was selling 50-60 of Twenty-Eight. I wondered if New York was right. Maybe paranormal was dead. But I’d enrolled Chosen in two blog tours that ran back to back and by mid November, I was selling over 100 books a day of Chosen.
I released Hunted, Chosen’s sequel at the end of November. I also released my YA science fiction romance, Here at the beginning of November.
Here also debuted with slow sales and I expected sales to build slowly like the other two. However, other than a few spurts here and there (no pun intended) Here has never been a big seller. Still, with a current to date total in sales of over 14,000, I’m not complaining.
The important lesson to learn here is that each book is different. The way Chosen behaves in the market and after promotions is completely different than Twenty-Eight’s behavior. Here has always sold more books at B&N. Why? I have no idea. And let me add that just because a book isn’t selling well now doesn’t mean it’s a lost cause. If your cover is great, your blurb is good and you have excellent reviews, it just might not be that book’s time. But that’s the beauty of eBooks. They are always out there, waiting to be bought. Unlike a traditional book on a bookstore shelf that gets returned in a few months.
So let’s look at some numbers.
The first month I had one book available with 209 sales.
By the end of 2011 I had four books available with a total of 26,691 in sales.
I hit 100,000 in sales on May 29 and I hit the 150,000 mark on Saturday, September 15.
My biggest selling book is Chosen with over 50,000 sales.
Twenty-Nine and a Half Reasons is my lowest selling book*. However, it was released the last week of June, 2012. So over 6000 sales in less than three months isn’t too shabby.
*I don’t include my short stories in this category.
I currently have six novels available, three short stories and two audiobooks.
If your sales are lagging, the best advice I can give you is make sure you are releasing a quality product. Great cover, COPY EDITING, professional formatting. (If you can format it yourself and make it look great, more power to you!) Second, KEEP WRITING AND RELEASING BOOKS.
Let’s say I have a book for sale and I only sell 250 copies a month. But then I release three more books and each one is selling 250 copies. In one month, you’re joining the 1000 club! Plus, the more you release, the more you sell.
That’s the dirty little secret that a lot of people don’t get.
You CAN make money as a self-publised author even if you aren’t a best seller. If you have your books priced so that you make money ($2.99 or more) and you are selling 1000 books or more a month (with several books available, that’s not so inconceivable) you’ll make some nice money. Maybe not enough to live off of. Yet. But keep releasing books. Plus, new releases that are received well will spur sales of your other books within the same genre.
My dream was to be a published author. My path wasn’t the one I planned, but it’s so much better. I’m living my dream and so can you. Now get back to writing!
September 4, 2012
It’s my pleasure and honor to host Patty Blount this week for Writer Wednesday. Like a lot of authors I’ve featured, I’ve meet them on Twitter. However, with Patty, I can’t really pin point WHEN I met her. She’s just been there. Patty, do you recall the when we first began to interact? I’m pretty sure we met through Trish Leigh.
*blinks* Um… NO! I can’t remember EXACTLY when we met but I think you’re right, it was through Trisha Leigh and Bill Cameron. I am pretty sure she RT’d a link to your blog, where I read all about your family and that you’re a single mom taking care of six kids and I think I actually took a nap that I dedicated to you for that alone. When I learned you’re also a writer, I did a little fist pump and said, “Woo hoo! More cool stories to read.” I’ve learned that my Twitter pals have the BEST stories.
In any case, Patty is one of the sweetest, most dear people I’ve had the pleasure to meet on Twitter or in person. She’s always so uplifting and encouraging I feel honored to call her my friend. So when I heard she’d sold her first novel, I was thrilled for her! And of course, I had to introduce you all to her.
*blushes* I feel exactly the same way about you. *squishes Denise*
Patty’s debut novel, SEND is a young adult contemporary novel and it deals with the difficult subject of bullying. But the fascinating aspect of SEND is that it’s told from the bully’s perspective, several years after the incident. Patty, what gave you the idea to write SEND?
It was never one idea. It was more like a bunch of ideas got together and became bigger than their individual selves. I’d been genre-shopping, trying to develop my own voice. I’d tried mysteries, suspense and romance and all were merely blah…nothing truly special in any of those projects. In my real life, my oldest son’s sixth grade experience was marred by bullying. Denise, I nearly lost him and never knew… I just attributed his weird behavior to puberty. Luckily, he told me what was going on before he was pushed to the brink of suicide and I was able to get him the help he needed. You can probably imagine my total shock to learn a classmate in his seventh grade class accused him of being the bully. I still can’t believe it and he’s in college now. But I listened to this boy’s complaints and then I got my son’s side of the story. That was when the first story seed was planted – that sometimes, bullies aren’t just inherently mean. The next story seed came from my day job. I work as a software technical writer. Yep, I’m the one responsible for those boring user guides that ship with your computer programs. *laughs* My team got a new boss who wanted us to incorporate Twitter and YouTube and other networks into our work. I didn’t even know what Twitter was back then, so I did some research. Every time I learned how people use these networks, I also found headlines on how they abuse them. And there was this sad little voice in the back of my head telling me, “I did that.”
And then, he’d cry.
I became obsessed with this boy’s guilt, so like my son’s. And that’s when SEND was truly born.
I know you have teenage boys. How do they feel about you writing SEND? (I know you had a picture posted somewhere with some kids at your book signing. Feel free to send a picture if you want. I think posts with pictures draw more attention than straight text. Before my latest website redo, inserting pictures was a NIGHTMARE.)
Here’s me on the left with my sons Chris (beside me) and Rob (beside Chris) and an unidentified guest at the book launch. We’re all rocking our SEND wrist bands!
My guys (all of them, including my husband, who’s not pictured here) are my biggest fans. They loved the idea of SEND and were instrumental in helping me nail the teen male voice, as well as introducing me to the heavy metal rock that Dan listens to while he jogs. I got Rob’s permission to share his bullying ordeal, too. It was my sons’ idea to use the profanity you see in SEND. *laughs* In earlier drafts, the language was very clean and “totally unrealistic” according to my boys. “No guy talks like this!”
I love your book trailer made by the talented Jeffrey Somers. In fact, I loved it so much that I hired Jeff to make a trailer for Twenty-Nine and a Half Reasons and also the Chosen series. Do you think that your book trailer is effective reaching teens?
*squeals* I LOVE my Jeff Somers book trailer! I love it for two reasons. First, I adore Jeff’s own books and am beyond honored to have such a brilliant author share his talents to help me. Second, I love how it so perfectly captures the essence of my story. I love it so much I’ve been thinking about getting bookmarks printed with QR codes that direct readers straight to it. I’ve gotten GREAT feedback on the trailer especially on Facebook. It’s especially helpful for enticing reluctant readers to take a look at the book. I definitely recommend book trailers but only if Jeff does them J Here’s the link!
While your book has a romance, it’s more contemporary in tone because of the bullying issue. Do you find it more of a challenge to market to teens? Have they been receptive?
So far, reviews from teen readers have been positive so they’ve definitely been receptive. My editor and publicist at Sourcebooks Fire know TONS more than I do about marketing to this audience. I’ve connected with lots of teens on Facebook but very few on Twitter, so I guess we know which social network this audience prefers. Plus, my sons do a great job of pimping my book to their friends. *grins* Chris passed out a stack of bookmarks to his fellow band-mates and a few bought SEND that very same day. In fact, many of his classmates turned out for my reading at our local library’s Teen Author event. It was really amazing!
Rumor has it that your favorite celebrity crush is Gilles Marini. Care to tell us why?
My response: *blush* My very first celebrity crush was Shaun Cassidy when I was about 12. You’d think I’d have outgrown these things by now but no…. I still go all fan girl for certain people and these days, it’s the outrageously wonderful Gilles Marini. If you don’t know who he is, you’re not alone. I didn’t know who he was until a few years ago. I’d just finished “Border Lines” – book 1 in what was supposed to be a romance trilogy. My main character was a hot British journalist named Thomas. I had this crystal clear image of Thomas in my head for months while I wrote this book. And then one night, I was channel surfing and BAM! There was my Thomas waltzing on Dancing With The Stars. I was so excited, I looked him up on IMDB and then I called my mom. We both squealed at how close this actor was to my character – with just a few little distinctions. Gilles is French, not British, but with longer hair and lighter eyes, is my Thomas – living, breathing and *coughs* anatomically correct *blush*
I followed Gilles (pronounced JEEL) to Brothers & Sisters and then to Switched At Birth and even on Facebook, where I shared this exact story. He wrote back: “Border Lines sounds like a great project. Good luck and much love. ~G”
*swoons, faints, dies*
Before you go, Patty, I have to have you play This or That. I confess. I love this game.
Summer or Winter – Summer! I hate snow shoveling.
Breakfast or Dinner – Breakfast. Everything’s so fast and easy to cook.
Print book or eBook – OOOO, this is tough! It’s like asking who is my favorite kid! I love them both.
Online shopping or Mall – Okay, promise not to kick me out of the sisterhood for admitting this but I hate the mall. Would rather have root canal than go to a mall. I like Online Shopping but really love visiting small boutique stores in a quaint village. Long Island has lots of thoseJ
Ice Cream or Cake – Ice cream! Wait… is the cake chocolate with chocolate filling and chocolate frosting? Then cake, definitely. Unless the ice cream is also chocolate. GAH!
Plane or Road Trip – Plane! My husband is an airplane mechanic and would hate if I chose a car over a plane. *grins*
Thank you so much for dropping by today, Patty!
Bio: (long version)
Native New Yorker Patty Blount is a technical writer by day and YA author by night. When her oldest son dared her to write a book he could actually read, she wrote Penalty Killer in an ice rink during his hockey practices. It was never published, but so many seventh-graders used it for their book reports, the teacher eventually requested a copy. It was later returned, covered in red correction marks.
Powered by a serious chocolate obsession, Patty’s family and coworkers now bribe her with treats when they need favors. (Tip: Hershey’s Kisses usually get a ‘yes’.) Patty is always looking for her next Great Idea. Her debut novel, Send (August, 2012 Sourcebooks, Inc.) was born after two key incidents in her life. The first was when she learned her son, once the victim of sixth grade bullies, had apparently become a bully in seventh grade. The second was when her boss asked, “How can we use social networking?” The result was Send, a story about a former bully learning to cope with the guilt caused by his thoughtless click of the send key. In 2011, a short version of Send finished in the top ten of the 79th Annual Writers’ Digest Writing Competition.
A huge fan of The X-Files and Supernatural, Patty used actor Jared Padelicki as her model for main character Daniel Ellison, and turns to a puddle of chocolate goo over pictures of actor Gilles Marini.
Bio (short version)
Patty Blount writes instruction guides by day and novels by night. On a dare by her oldest son, she wrote her first novel in an ice rink. Though never published, Penalty Killer was the subject of so many seventh grade book reports, the English teacher requested a copy and later returned it, covered in red ink. Patty is always looking for great story ideas. Her debut novel, Send, was conceived after her boss suggested she learn about social networks. Patty lives on Long Island with her family, a fish, and lots of books.
facebook: Patty Moreno Blount
Send facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Sendthenovel