Author Spotlight – Helen Krummenacker

Welcome!

1. When did you start writing?

I can’t remember a time I wasn’t writing. Even as a very small child, I wrote short stories and poems. They were just the sort of thing a child would write, of course, but I kept at it and kept getting more sophisticated. Then, in the 90s, after a couple of years of trying to go professional with it, I ran the numbers on how much it cost to buy paper, use the printer, and post my best works to magazines that paid half a cent per word and decided in disgust that if I couldn’t even break even, I should just write fanfic for my own amusement.

After years of neglecting my writing, my husband, Allan, decided he had some ideas he wanted to turn into a novel. He did the writing, but I helped out with planning, character development, scientific premises, even refining jokes. Still, I was skeptical of what could be done with the book, however good it was, and he researched the markets and changes in publishing deeply. It turned out that traditional publishing houses were starting to charge many authors fees, whereas vanity press had been replaced by the print-on-demand model, making it possible for an author to release a book widely and control their product. As the Para-Earth series, which I’d helped him on, continued, I got more involved in the writing itself.

I was inspired to write my first solo novel very recently. I struggled not to dive into it until I finished my last semester in college and then I went full steam ahead– the book, Forever’s Too Long, is being released less than six months after I started it, and I’m already 17,000 words into the sequel.

2. What motivates you to write?

Most people say write what you know, but I find I thrive when I write what I love. I like wise-cracking detectives, fantasy interacting with the real world, science fiction possibilities, the little frisson of terror when supernatural suspense takes a surprising turn. When I write the kinds of stories I love to read, with characters who I love– or love to hate– then writing is fun and I can hardly wait to fix a scene by getting the turns of phrases just right.

3. What genre do you write in and what made you chose this particular genre?

The Para-Earth stories are paranormal science fiction thrillers. The Forever Detective stories are tough-guy detective/occult mysteries. I love mysteries, science fiction, and fantasy, and combining them intelligently can allow twists to take the reader to unexpected places while keeping the flavor and frame of the foundation genre.

4. What is your goal in writing? Do you have dreams where your writing should take you?

I don’t really want to be famous, but I would love for my characters to be. I dream of seeing Forever’s Too Long made into a movie starring Oscar Isaac and Hayley Atwell. I don’t see myself getting really rich, but a contract for a movie might very well take care of a down payment on a condo around here. But I want a movie mostly so I can share this with the world, and make people smile and think and connect emotionally.
I also have a bit of a more serious goal. The characters I’m writing are often underrepresented, especially in the time frame they are written in. In 1947, my wise-cracking detective is partly Latino. His girlfriend is a divorcee who escaped an abusive marriage. His best friend is a clever autistic man. I want to expand who belongs in an old-fashioned detective story and how people visualize the past.

5. Do you ever suffer from writer’s block and if yes, how do you deal with it?

Yes! But not on what you’d expect. I do fine with fiction, jumping to a different scene if I need a little bit of freshness while I let something lie fallow a while. But I struggle with things like the About the Author or the back of the book blurb. I decided to let some of the cheekiness I’d given my protagonist/narrator carry over into my biography. I even brought it into my author photo

6. What advice would you like to give new, hopeful authors?

Love what you’re doing, or it isn’t worth it. You are going to be researching, writing, editing, marketing; some days you’ll spend hours and not get much done, other times you’ll be productive but have no one around to celebrate it with. You’re going to be writing instead of reading, instead of hanging out at game night… all the other things you like to do, you’ll have to reorganize to have time to write. So believe what you are writing is worth it.

7. Please, tell us about your work.

Forever’s Too Long, my first solo novel is set in New York City in 1947. Rafael Jones is a former police detective, recently released from the U.S. Army and starting his own business as a private investigator. He thinks of himself as a pretty ordinary guy, but Interpol thinks he’s just the man they need to get solid evidence on Russian art smugglers and murderers so they can get cooperation from the local authorities. Between that case and helping his businessman friend try to recover some promising personnel who resigned their jobs to join a cult, he’s off to a good start. What he doesn’t know is that neither case is as simple as it seems, and his investigations take him into conflict with supernatural danger, including an almost legendary historical figure with a dreadful secret.

It’s been compared to Phillip Marlowe, Kolchak: the Night Stalker, Agent Carter, and Harry Dresden. In spite of the scary parts, I think of it as an adventure tale rather than horror, because the story has just as much light– quips, friendship, romance, and kindness– as it has of danger, angst, and darkness.

I’m 17,000 words into the sequel and literally have a dozen Forever Detective novels at least sketched out in notes. I mention it because I know the heartbreak of getting emotionally invested in a series only to have the author turn their attention to something else. But I promise– I’m a fan of Rafael Jones and I won’t stop writing him as long as other people want to read him, too.

Thank you for being my guest. It was such a pleasure to have you here!!

Thank you! These are great questions and made it easy to open up.


About Helen:

Helen Krummenacker is uncomfortable talking about herself in the third person, so I won’t. I helped create the Para-Earth Series by Allan Krummenacker and Helen Krummenacker. I have a B.S. in Mathematics and hope that writing proofs has helped keep my fiction streamlined and avoid plot holes. Hobbies include gaming (tabletop/roleplaying), dancing, and painting. Health issues limit my activity level, but I manage to work as an accounting technician by day and escape into mystery and adventure genres at night. I’m allergic to garlic and sunlight, but I promise I don’t thirst for blood, just coffee and maybe a bit of bourbon.
Other books I have worked on are The Bridge, The Ship, The Vampyre Blogs: Coming Home, and The Vampyre Blogs: One Day at a Time.

helenkrummenacker@gmail.com


Helen’s Novel: “Forever’s Too Long”

Excerpt:

“Very well.” She shrugged. “You are not making this easy on yourself. Seize him!” I expected to be rushed by the acolytes I’d seen, but four newcomers had joined them. I mentioned the gardeners looked pretty dirty. These four looked worse. I thought one looked like his face had a gangrenous patch. Smelled like it, too. Another was a woman, but although she was young, her eyes were filmed over with cataracts, and her skin was waxen as well as pale. She held a bag in her hands. Newcomer three was also female, and her fingers had lost the flesh covering the tips, revealing bone. The final one didn’t fit the pattern of most of the acolytes. He had a beard, was an older man, and wore regular but ragged clothes. He was bloated and had a pattern of dark veins on his nose.
Of course, this takes longer to describe than I took to notice them and quickly decide the way out wasn’t through the crowd. There was a side door on the left, and I took a side leap, pivoted, ran a couple of steps, and then dropped to the wooden floor in a slide to dodge Gangrene’s attempted tackle. I rose to my feet at the door and spun at the sound of footsteps to kick Vagrant in the gut hard enough to knock him on his tailbone. Fingertips had gotten tripped by one of the dopey acolytes. I couldn’t see Cataracts, though. I turned the door handle, hoping I wasn’t going into a dead end or worse, a closet.
The back of my neck prickled like someone was watching me who I couldn’t see, which was weird because I was still facing the center of the room. I yanked the door open as hard and fast as I could, and heard a thud above me. Cataracts fell to the floor. She’d been lurking over the doorway, somehow. No time to ponder, I spun and ran. There was a hallway with a little stairwell to the left. Upstairs might be good for fighting, but not for flight. Forward would take me back toward the courtyard, closer to the main entrance but also a place to encounter more weirdos. The right door would possibly be an alternate path to the kitchen area, which should be connected to a back way for tradesmen to bring deliveries. You repurpose a flop hotel for a cult; you still have a hotel layout.

Available June 1st, 2019, for all e-books (Kindle, Nook, Kobo, Apple, PDF, etc.) and trade paperback!

Reserve your e-book now at:

Nook:
https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/forevers-too-long-helen-krummenacker/1131555250?ean=2940163217083

Amazon:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07RSGKTDF

AmazonUK:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07RSGKTDF

AmazonCA:
https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B07RSGKTDF

AmazonAU:
https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B07RSGKTDF

Smashwords:
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/938589

Also, read more about the books and the author at https://www.theforeverdetective.com/. Site includes a book trailer.

 

Your Book Description Doesn’t Just Show up at Amazon – Written By Chris McMullen

THE BOOK DESCRIPTION AND ITS JOURNEY AROUND THE WORLD

I was creating a Goodreads giveaway yesterday when I noticed that one of my book descriptions didn’t look quite right. Then I realized that a few of my book descriptions had similar issues. (I haven’t yet looked at all of my books there, but did check my recent releases.)

The problem was that I had formatted my descriptions at Amazon KDP using the limited HTML that is available (boldface, italics, line breaks, bullet points, and ordered lists). While that resulted in improved formatting at Amazon, the HTML had a few undesirable effects at Goodreads. In particular, if you use short bullet points with words or phrases in each point, the words and phrases might not appear on separate lines and there won’t be any bullet point symbols.

So if you meant to make a list like this:

  • red riding hood
  • big bad wolf
  • grandma’s house

It could instead look like this at Goodreads:

red riding hood big bad wolf grandma’s house

It actually can look even worse when it blends together with the previous and following sentences.

Continue reading the entire blog post here

 

Changes to Amazon Advertising: What Authors Need to Know – by Dave Chesson

Dave Chesson informs us on ‘Jane Friedman’ what we authors need to know about the changes to Amazon Advertising. Thank you Dave!


Amazon is always looking for better ways to crank out a higher profit margin.

While some of their updates have been much to the chagrin of authors, recent changes to their book advertising system should help authors make better decisions about their ads and target their markets more precisely.

But it’s not all good. I’m leery of some aspects I think might be problematic.

To read the entire blog post, click here:

https://www.janefriedman.com/amazon-ads-changing/

The Four Essential Elements You Need To Sell Books On Amazon – Written By Derek Haines

Derek Haines informs us about the four essential elements we need to sell books on Amazon. Thank you for sharing your experience, Derek. We really appreciate it!


 

Have you written a book you want to sell?

You have? Well, you are probably very excited about the prospect of becoming a published author, and rightly so.

But before you jump into self-publishing your book, sit back and take a deep breath. You have some work to do before you publish that will help sell books on Amazon after your book is released.

Selling books online today is very competitive. Every year more and more authors are publishing books and ebooks on Amazon, Apple, Kobo and Barnes & Noble.

By some estimates, a new title is published every one minute and forty-five seconds on Amazon KDP alone.

Many of these thousands of titles are never going to succeed at selling on Amazon. Either because the writing standard is poor, the cover is homemade, or in a lot of cases nowadays, many are merely copies of public domain books.

To read the entire blog post go to:

The Four Essential Elements You Need To Sell Books On Amazon

 

Seriously flawed standards – By Floridaborne

Floridaborne published an interesting ‘must-read’ on her blog. As an Indie author I have to say I was and still am shocked to read it. Thank you very much for sharing this information to us, Floridaborne!


Now, on a serious note.

I happened upon a writer on Twitter and Facebook:

Dakota Willink

Her Twitter introduction: “Amazon Int’l Bestselling Romance Author | Survived my 1st publishing with coffee & wine | Music Lover | Star Wars Geek Since Birth.”

She explains how non-writers are scamming the system at Amazon

and

graciously allowed me to reprint (aka copy/paste) her post.

<_><_><_>

I need to tell a story – it’s going to be a long one, so settle in if you’re interested in hearing it.

I began writing my first book in 2013. I self-published it on December 27, 2015. I was new to the business and I literally knew nothing. I made my own cover, which I’m embarrassed of now. But hey – I was brand spanking new and was learning as I went. And yes, there were typos galore in this first book. My January 2016 sales raked in a whopping $1500. I was shocked! After all, I was a nobody – a brand new author who nobody had heard of and I made $1500 in my first month!

I charged $5.99 per ebook for my debut title (Heart of Stone) and it was enrolled in KU. Looking at the sales, I thought I really had something going. My husband convinced me to quit my day job and do the author gig full time. Please note…I didn’t say “writing” full-time. Being an author comes with a ton of administrative tasks – setting up and maintaining a website, managing social media, searching for advertising opportunities, sending out newsletters, and every other possible thing to help keep you relevant in this business. Only a fraction of time is spent actually writing.

To read the entire post go to:

Seriously flawed standards

Author Spotlight – Colin Guest

Welcome!

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

1. When did you start writing?
After my late wife died in 2007

2. What motivates you to write?
I get pleasure from writing and hope that readers enjoy reading my books

3. What genre do you write in and what made you chose this particular genre?
I write in both fiction and non-fiction. By doing so I get the best of both worlds related to writing

4. What is your goal in writing? Do you have dreams where your writing should take you?
I like to think that I have what it takes to write a best seller, and that one of my books will be used as the basis for a film or television series.

5. Do you ever suffer from writer’s block and if yes, how do you deal with it?
No

6. What advice would you like to give new, hopeful authors?
When you’re writing and get stuck on how to proceed, take a break. Leave your writing then go back to it the next day with a clear head. Also, once you have completed your work, it is essential that you have it professionally edited. Don’t think for a minute that as you have used an online editing program it is not worth the cost. If you do, most likely you will be disappointed at what readers say when they read what you wrote.

7. Please, tell us about your work.
I have written and self-published seven books. I did pay for my memoir Follow in the Tigerman’s Footsteps to be published by a company I thought good. I found out to my cost it was a big mistake. This company is now listed as one not to use. As is over twelve other sites connected to them. Four of my books are now available as audiobooks, a fifth will be shortly, and my novel A Dangerous Love Affair now in the process of being made into an audiobook. In conjunction with Voyage Media, based on my memoir, I wrote a pilot episode for what they think could be used as a television series. I also write poems with several in the final four in competitions. One was made into a film.

Thank you for being my guest. It was such a pleasure to have you here!!


Colin Guest Bio:

As an expat who worked in fifteen countries spread through the Middle, Far East and North Africa, Colin Guest has lived a life most only dream. He has self-published seven books. Two have been made into Audiobooks, with three more due to be completed early 2019.
A number of Colin’s articles have been published in online magazines and one in a UK expat magazine. A local newspaper in Colin’s hometown in England published an article about him. In conjunction with Voyage Media, Colin prepared a pilot episode based on his memoir that they think could be suitable for a television series. Colin has taken part in several online interviwes and once took part in a live online American radio show. Colin uses his website http://www.colinguestauthor and various social media accounts to help publise his books.


Connect with Colin:

Website: https://www.colinguestauthor.com

Blog: https://www.turkmed.wordpress.com

Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/Tigermanguest

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tigerman55

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/colinguest9

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/9857414

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/tigerman77

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tigerman105

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Colin-Guest/e/B00OM3VCLW/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1547607613&sr=1-2-ent


Colin’s Books:

 

Amazon Advertising for KDP Authors in 2019 – By Chris McMullen

Chris McMullen published a very useful and educational blog post about advertising for KDP authors. Thank you very much for the information, Chris!


AMAZON ADVERTISING VIA KDP

As of 2019, Amazon modified how their advertising campaigns work, so this seems like a good time for a new article about how to use it.

I started using Amazon’s advertising feature several years ago, when it was first introduced to Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP).

Since then, my ads have generated over 100 million impressions. So I have a little experience with how this works.

Advertising is one of many marketing tools. Like most marketing tools, you probably won’t blindly achieve instant success.

And like any paid marketing tool, advertising carries risk. If you aren’t careful, you can spend a lot of money quickly, and you might not recover your investment.

Advertising probably isn’t the solution for a book that isn’t selling on its own. It works better for some books than others, and for some authors than others. The success of the ad depends on a variety of factors.

One big problem is that there are many variables to consider:

How much should you bid?
How do you target your ads?
Is your custom text helping or hurting?
Does your cover draw your target audience in effectively?
Does your product page sell effectively?

Continue reading here

 

A. J. Alexander And Soul Taker In Sally’s Cafe And Book Store

As of today Soul Taker and I are to be found within Sally’s Cafe And Bookstore’s sacred hallowed halls! I am very grateful for this chance. Thank you so much, Sally Cronin!

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-free-author-promotion/


Links to Soul Taker:

Amazon Ebook US

Amazon Ebook UK

Amazon Paperback US

Amazon Paperback UK

Barnes & Noble

Smashwords

SCR|BD

Kobo

Soul Taker Release

IT’S RELEASE DAY!

GET YOUR COPY OF:

SOUL TAKER

1st book of ‘The Council Of Twelve’ Series


Time to watch the trailer:

After long years in the line of duty as a ‘Soul Taker’, Kate is worn out.

When she gets a new job offer from the ‘Powers Above’, she accepts her new job as a Guardian gratefully without knowing that her teacher is one of the most powerful beings in existence, the Archangel Raphael.

Along with Raphael, she takes on her new task and the connection between them grows.

Raphael helps, protects and supports Kate, but suddenly, she becomes a target for the Demons of Hell.

Raphael realizes that Kate means more to him than he expected, which causes him to fight furiously against danger. If he fails, Kate’s future will contain eternal darkness, evil, and torture.


 


Buyer’s Links:

Amazon Ebook US

Amazon Ebook UK

Amazon Paperback US

Amazon Paperback UK

Barnes & Noble

Smashwords

 


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