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News, advice and conversation about the Self-Publishing book industry.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

An Interview with LInda Hawley author of Dreams Unleashed.

Hello Linda and thank you for agreeing to be interviewed by Books and Novels to Read.co and taking the time to answer my questions. Here we go.

BNR - What is the title of your latest books and where did the ideas for them spring from?

LH: The series is called The Prophecies. Book 1 is Dreams Unleashed (2nd Ed), published Oct 22nd. On Oct 28th, book 2, Guardian of Time, will be published. The entire series was born from an event I experienced, which is the final chapter of Dreams Unleashed. After the experience, I wrote it down in story form, and my protagonist, Ann Torgeson, jumped off the page and demanded to live in a series. : )

BNR - Have you tried getting your books published by the conventional route or did you go straight into self publishing?

LH: I've never attempted to pursue traditional publishing for my books. I'm an outside-the-box kind of girl, and self-publishing fit me better than any other way, starting out. What appeals to me most is the flexibility, and the legacy that I will one day leave to my children.

BNR - How many books have you written, what are they and are they all in print or eBooks?

LH: I have published two books, the third will be published in two days, and the fourth I am writing now. All novels I published are in both eBook and print, although the print publication dates usually lag one week behind the eBook publication dates. I have also written 10 volumes of poetry, which will be published Spring 2012.

BNR - How have you promoted your books, social media, advertising, book fairs? Which method of promotion would you say has been most successful?

LH: I have been very successful using Twitter to sell books--and it is my most successful marketing tool so far. What I do is take reviews I've been given (with the reviewer's permission), break them down into quotable "Tweet-sized" pieces, and then schedule tweets every 30 minutes, 24 hours a day. I make the tweets interesting soundbites.

BNR - Do you have any new writing projects in the pipeline?

LH: I have 10 volumes of poetry being published in the Spring 2012. Mid year I have a dystopian thriller (stand alone book) that will be published. Then I have another dystopian series that will be published starting in mid-year 2012.

BNR - Would you say your writing career has been successful, have you sold many books?

LH: Here is my marketing plan:

1. Write three books in a series, and publish them in eBook and Print.

2. After publishing book 2, sell book 1 for 99cents, drawing readers into the series.

3. Sell book 2 for at least $3.99.

4. Sell book 3 for at least $4.99.

5. After book 2 is published, begin a massive marketing campaign, participating in as many giveaways of book 1 as possible (to draw readers into the series).

6. Never give away book 2.

7. Never give away book 3.

So...to answer your question...I cannot judge whether my plan is a success, because book 2 won't be published for two more days. But I will tell you that more than 30 people have downloaded book 1 of my series in the past 24 hours. BNR - That's a very interesting concept, I think some people will look at that and say, "Mmmmmm?"

BNR - What do you see in the future for the book industry? Will print books disappear as eBooks take over?

LH: I sure hope not. There is room for coexistance. I believe in balance in all things. Print and eBooks balance one another, and I believe are good for publishing.

BNR - Which authors in particular are you influenced by and what genre do you enjoy reading?

LH: My favorite genre is Dystopian. I love many authors who write it.

BNR - In a desert island disc scenario, which book would you want to have with you?

LH: Easy answer: My Kindle--that way I can have it all--as long as there's a solar charging station somewhere on the island (I'm imagining it to be a high-tech island). BNR - That's cheating and you know it!!!!!

BNR - What age range are you in?

LH: I will always write my novels as "clean reads." What does this mean? You won't find porn, gratuitous sex, or cussing in my books. I find there are so enough words in the English language to describe my scenes, without calling upon the "F." Any age can read my stories.BNR - Nicely avoided giving an answer there Linda, are you a budding politician as well as an author?

BNR - Where were you born and where do you now call home, have you had much chance to travel?

LH: I live in the Pacific Northwest, and have traveled the world. Many of my own experiences were pulled into the adventures written about in The Prophecies book series.

BNR - Do you have any inspirational words for all your fellow self published authors?

LH: 1. Hire the right people to help you. I hired an editor, proofreader, cover artist, and book trailer artist. To give you a feel for what these things cost, I'll share what I paid: Editor $250, Proofreader $200, Cover Artist $30, Book Trailer Artist $30. Listen to these experts--consider that they may be right. There are a WHOLE LOT of bad book covers out there...don't let yours be one of them.

2. Find an original voice. No one wants to read cliche'd work. Find your niche and stick with it.

3. If you don't write very well, hire someone to help you. Don't publish work that's filled with poorly used English or loaded up with grammar mistakes.

4. You can not make a living by publishing ONE BOOK. Aim for writing a dozen books...then you might be able to support yourself.

5. Surround yourself with positive, caring, and supportive people. Let those naysayers fall away--don't listen to them!

Quotes from Book Reviewers.

"A real thought provoker. If you liked the Bourne Identity or Inception you'll love this!"

“Ann is one of the most complex characters I’ve ever read…. The world is dystopian: the government is the evil Big Brother keeping people safe even against their will. Yet, the characters aren’t depressed or desperate. They try to live their normal lives which includes laughter, too.”

“The book really pushed me out of my comfort zone as I’ve never read any other book similar to this…. From the very beginning, the book kept me intrigued by its mystifying plot and excellent narration. I must laud the author for her ability to write her story in the finest detail, which makes the story sound somewhat believable. Everything was described superbly…. Overall, this novel is a real and pure page-turner.”

“The book has some references to current political figures and situations that make it very easy to get sucked into the story. The book is extremely well written and had my attention from the beginning to the end.”

“It's like a present that you are slowly unwrapping layer by layer.”

“If you put Dana Scully and Fox Mulder into a blender and hit puree, they’d make a mean Ann Torgeson. Dreams Unleashed was a great start to what I’m sure will be a fantastic book series. It poked fun at the TSA, and gave a frightful vision into a not-too-distant world where privacy truly is a thing of the past.”

“Linda Hawley blends science and metaphysics well together and creates a thinking story that kept me turning the pages. Action and suspense combined with philosophical discussion makes this book a winner.”

"Linda Hawley crafts a detailed and compelling story with a richly textured and multidimensional heroine."

"This is a suspense-filled journey into our potential future that leaves you hanging for more and eagerly awaiting book two."

Linda Hawley's Bio

At five years old, I fell in love with words. If I were going to clone myself as a writer, I would concoct a cloning recipe which would contain the following ingredients:

• Lots of varied life experience, to give enough flavor

• World travel experience, for color

• Passion, for spice

• A few crazy relationships, to create perspective

• One or two quirks, to add a little crunch

• Deep love, to introduce spirit

• Curiosity, to add a little danger

• A touch of paranoia, to interject alternate realities

• Lots of knowledge about current events, for texture

• Pride and humility, to bring human characteristics

• A touch of insanity, for interest

These characteristics have made their way into the pages that you read. My head is filled with stories, and The Prophecies trilogy is only the first that's on paper. Writing it has been one of the most fulfilling experiences of my life. Many of the subplots and undertones of the trilogy came from my own life experiences. I could tell you all about my higher education, my freelance writing experience, and a bunch of other professional qualifications, but do you (the reader) really care about that? My guess is that you care more that I write compelling novels that take you into a new world, if only for a while. Thank you for reading my stories.

Linda Hawley

BNR: Thank you very much Linda, I enjoyed that interview and I've got to say you have given all us other self published authors something to think about and consider.


Collette said...

Looks great, Linda and Terry! Can't wait to get my hands on book two :). Good luck!

Terry Callister said...

Thanks Collette.