Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Author Interview with Alicia Dean

I'd like you to help me welcome Alicia Dean. She is a suspense and paranormal romance author living in Edmond, Oklahoma. She has three grown children. Her passions are reading, writing, wearing pajamas, and watching her favorite television shows such as The Vampire Diaries, True Blood, Justified, and Dexter. She is a huge MLB and Elvis Presley fan.

So, lets get down to the nitty gritty. Ready Alicia?

  • What do you do when you’re not writing?
    I edit, critique, hang out with my kids and other family, work my full-time job, go to Martini Club every Friday with my writer friends, and watch television.
  • How do you handle writers block?
    I write. If I am ‘blocked’ and the story isn’t working for me, I just write out crappy sentences about what is happening. Or I skip that scene and write one that is pulling at me. Eventually, the other scene either clicks, or I realize I was going about it all wrong, or it needs to be trashed.
  • Do you work with an outline, or just write?
    I work with an outline. I have to know where my story is going before I can present obstacles for my characters, before I will know how they’re going to act, the mistakes they’ll make, the awful things that will happen to them, etc.
  • If you had to go back and do it all over, is there any aspect of your novel, or getting it published, that you would change?
    No, because I think that every gain and every setback is part of our journey and we need to experience them all to become the writers we are today.
  • Can you tell us about your latest book?My latest release is Liberty Divided Isle of Fangs Book Two. It is a sequel to my YA Vampire Novella, Liberty Awakened. Here is a blurb:
One man can fulfill her destiny…the other can fulfill her fantasy.

To quell the rise of evil vampires, Liberty Van Helsing must embrace her newfound Hunter destiny. But she has a great deal to learn, and Eli Barkley—the vampire who has been teaching her—has already betrayed her once. Her goal is to shut Eli out of her life and become a better hunter on her own—and to focus on her new romance with hot Australian, Ryan Kelly, a human she can trust.

But when a rogue vampire begins savagely killing young women, the authorities insist Liberty work with Eli to find the murderer. Liberty must overlook Eli’s epic betrayal and find a way to get along with him if they are to stop the unknown maniac and protect innocent lives.

Yet, the more time Liberty spends with Eli, the more her unwanted attraction to him grows. She starts to question her feelings for Ryan—are they real, or could Eli be ‘the one?’ As Eli and Liberty delve further into the murders, clues surface that point to Eli as the culprit. Can she trust him now? Or will she have to plunge a stake into his heart, breaking her own, just when she’s learning to believe in him again?

  • How did you come up with the title?
    All of the books in this series will be Liberty (Somerthing) and in this story, my protagonist, Liberty, is torn between two men and also torn between believing in someone or taking them down. The funny and cool thing was, my cover artist did not know the title when she created the cover, yet it fits perfectly the way it shows half of Liberty’s face, like she’s divided.
  • What project are you working on now?I’m working on a Halloween story and a Christmas story for blog posts in conjunction with other authors, but the book I’m working on now to be published is a sequel to We All Fall Down, my Gossip Girl story I wrote for Amazon Kindle Worlds.
  • Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?
    Don’t give up, and don’t be afraid to explore all options, whether it’s small publishers, self-publishing, etc. Most importantly, ALWAYS be working on your next book. Many writers focus so hard on getting that first book published that their writing stalls. It’s difficult to sell your first book, and even if you do, you want to have something ready to offer as a follow up.
  • When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
    The first time I read a book. I’ve wanted to be a writer for as long as I can remember. I wrote my first romance at eleven.
  • Do you have a book trailer?
    I have a trailer for my Vampire Diaries Kindle Worlds books, and it’s fantastic. You can check it out here:
  • I have to ask: White wine or red?
    White, Reisling to be exact. Vanilla ice cream or chocolate? Swirl J  Coffee or tea? Coffee, STRONG coffee.

Link to Liberty Divided: (Will be FREE on Kindle starting tomorrow, October 24 through October 26)

Liberty Awakened, Book 1 in the Isle of Fangs series, is only 99¢ on the Kindle.
Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing with us. Your book sounds amazing and I can't wait to read it!
Don't forget to leave a comment for Alicia to show her your support and appreciation for her taking the time to share with us.
Until next time, I wish you all my best in your writing success.
Dee Ann

Friday, October 11, 2013

How to Build an Author Website

How to Build Your Author Website

Does your website have a good design with easy navigation? This is a must in today’s world in order to keep your viewers on your site. Uniformity and conformity help your viewers quickly discover what it is your all about without having to continuously search around your site for repetitive information. If you have a link to your books at the top of your home page, it should be in the same place on all consecutive pages.

Whether you choose to build your own site (I use Dreamweaver but you can use Wordpress software quite easily) or have it professionally built, you will need to acquire a domain name and host for the site. I use GoDaddy because I love the service I get whenever I call.

Feel free to check out my site for an example of setup.

Below are some things you may want to consider adding to your website:

• Home Page – this is the first page that people see when they log onto your site. This page should be used as an overview and not for details. It should consist of:

o An intro blurb about you and your books
o Links along the top or side of the page to all other pages of interest
o Remember to add visuals! Visuals are critical to hook viewers into wanting to see and know more. You should always try to put a professional photo of yourself and of your books.

Some links you may want to have in the design of your site are:

• Sign-up/mailing list – you should have somewhere for your viewers to be able to sign up for news and information, such as updates, next book, book signings, book launches, etc. Some people put this on their home page, and others choose to add it to their Contact Me page. I have it on both. I use MailChimp for my mailing list, but I hear great things about AWeber as well.

• A link to all of your books – you should have a page just for your books which also lets your viewers know the formats the books are available in as well as where they can purchase them.

o Once you have more than one book, you can break down this page even further by having links on this page to bring the viewer to a page per each book. This is recommended by many pro author site developers, as well as marketers.
o You can also create an Excerpts page where you provide an excerpt or a chapter or two to pique their curiosity and tempt them to purchase your book.

• Contact Page – this is where you let people know about where they can get in touch with you. Along with an email address, you would list your social platform such as Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, and any other social networks you may be on.

• About Page or Bio Page – this is where you would get into the details about you. Try to keep this interesting and not sounding dull and boring. If you go on and on about all of the wonderful credentials you have, you risk losing the interest of the viewer. Credentials are great, don’t get me wrong, but you’re a writer, right? Present them in a creative and interesting way. No credentials? No worries. Again, you’re a writer, so be creative in the telling of your story and you’re sure to get their attention.

• Press Page or Media Page – here you would include your contact details as well as your representatives and photos, questions for interviews, press releases, radio interviews, and any other relevant information.

• Social Proof – this is a page you can use to flash great reviews from readers and fans, as well as blurbs from other authors.

As always, I'd love to hear from you. Have questions? Maybe I can help. Have advice, ideas, or anything to add to this discussion? Please leave a comment! :)

All my best for your writing success,

Dee Ann