Monday, May 26, 2014

My Author Interview with 'Indie Booknerd Writes' book blog

Over the weekend, I was interviewed by the lovely Nancy from Indie Booknerd Writes Book Blog.  I can honestly say, I have never had such a fun time at an interview!  Here is the transcript of the interview (you can see her book review along with this entire interview here).

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Congratulations on your first book. How do you feel now that the day has arrived?
Honestly, I’m kind of exhausted!  I actually had to lie down and take a nap in the middle of the day.  I guess once everything was said and done, I felt like I could finally breath and relax and my body was like ‘sure, let’s do that!’

What was your inspiration for Baylin and Luana characters?
Well the story as a whole (which include Baylin and Luana) stemmed from a dream I had one night.  Now Baylin, he was inspired by actor Richard Armitage (I’m a bit embarrassed to admit that lol).  For Luana, I had an idea in my mind and when I encountered model Laura Witt-Deal (who is on the cover of the book) it was like I was staring into the face of Luana.  I never imagined I would find someone who was a reflection of who I imagined.

What advice would you give to new authors seeking to enter the Indie World… i.e what resources or books might you suggest?
I still consider myself very new, to be honest.  However, the love and help of many other authors was what brought me through it.  As a reference, reading Susan Kaye Quinn’s book Indie Author Survival Guide is a must.  Also, for helpful advice, there is a group on Facebook called Indie Author Group and they are just a wealth of knowledge and super nice.  My best advice is, don’t be afraid to admit you’re new and ask questions!

Having gone through the process, what do you think is the toughest part about self-publishing and being a first time author is?
Well I can tell you the easiest part was actually writing the book!  I would say the hardest part is the promoting aspect. I feel like a sleazy used car salesman, and I hate it.  I just want to write, but I know I also need to get my name out there.

I like the historical fantasy feel of this book. Was it hard to write?  Did you have to do a lot of research to get your facts first before writing?
I am big into research. I actually have three difference series’ going on right now and every one of them I am researching to make sure they feel authentic.  With a Fantasy, it’s a bit easier because you have creative liberties. However, I still wanted to feel authentic with the royal titles and addresses, proper names for weapons, armor and clothing.  It is make believe, but I want the reader to feel like it ‘could’ be real.

The title is The Bed Wife Chronicles. What plans do you have for this series and what do you anticipated the challenges to be?
This will be a three part series, and be warned, I like my cliff-hangers!  Mind you, the series itself will end well (no cliff-hangers, promise!).  This may be a spoiler but I do believe every story should have a Happily Ever After. We live in a world where bad things happen; reading is where we go to escape that reality. We (at least I) need that Happily Ever After.  The biggest challenge of that will actually be ending the series.  Making sure all the questions have been answered, all the twists have been turned and leave the reader feeling satisfied and happy.

As a first time author, I know writing can take you away from your family. In addition to writing what other “hats” did you have to juggle during the writing process?
I am a wife and a mother of three children who all have bigger social lives than I do!  My youngest is only five, yet she is on the USA Gymnastics team (Olympics here we come… hopefully), so her schedule alone has me going crazy. Then there is my son in boy scouts and then my eldest daughter who is already thinking about colleges (she’s only 12!) and has herself enrolled in extra-curricular activities (not to mention boys and school dances).

Besides being a mom, I’m also the owner and operator of my own bridal business that makes and ships items all over the world (literally, I have sold to every state in America and nearly every country in the world).
So needless to say, writing, right now, is a part time job!

This is a two part question.  One, is The Bed Wife the first thing you have written?  And, two, what were some of the challenges you had to overcome in the writing process?
I have written since I was pretty young. I wrote songs, poems and short stories; many of which received awards.  I also write a 111 chapter fan fiction about the Backstreet Boys when I was seventeen! It’s so embarrassing to say that!  So writing wasn’t new to me, but the idea of it being worth reading was.

I think my biggest challenge was my own self-doubt. I have this idea that people want to sugar coat things. They tell you its good when it’s not.  I don’t want to be that person that goes on American Idol and gets blindsided because they really thought they could sing, you know?  So I was definitely scared that my story wasn’t nearly as good as everyone was saying.  But then as more people read it and book blogs started reviewing it, I started to think “Yea, maybe it is a pretty good story!”
9.    What advice would you give to a new author when trying to research cover designers, editors, formatters as well as managing the cost of the writing process.

As around!  There is no shame in reaching out to a fellow author and saying “Who did your book cover?” “Who could you recommend for an editor?” 
Like I said earlier, author groups like the Indie Author Group and stocked full of information and recommendations. They will give you an honest opinion and help lead you in the right direction. Word of mouth recommendations are far more valuable than who pays the most for advertising so they show up in your internet search.

I love the nature of the relationship in The Bed Wife. How the friendship and intimacy goes beyond most adult romances. Explain a little bit of what you hoped your readers would get reading the book.
Though there are some very steamy adult scenes in my book, they are very limited.  I love the butterflies; the anticipation of love. That is what I wanted to write about. Not how two people fell in love at first sight, but about two people who had to learn to love one another.  My hope is that readers will feel those butterflies and get excited or even a little mad at me! Because when the result they have desired through the whole read finally comes, it will be worth the wait.

Do you think you will ever write in any other genres besides fantasy/historical/ romance and if so other genres interest you?
I think so. I don’t want to limit myself (especially with as many ideas as I have in my head!).  I have a modern romance in the works as well as a zombie/vampire tale that I’m not entirely sure where I’m going with it, but I like it so far!  I even have a few ideas for some other books (sorry, top secret!) that I have notes on.  I guess we will see. After all, I have just gotten my toes wet with this first book.

I am that person who cries over fictional characters like when Dobby dies in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Was there any character or scene that was tough to write?
Dobby dies!?!  Call spoiler alert next time will ya!  Just kidding, yea, I cried too.

First thing first, I don’t believe in killing off the main characters.  I have been burned a lot lately with my book choices (the ones I read). Everyone keeps dying!  I need a Happily Ever After, so no ‘Romeo and Juliet’ tragic love deaths here. 
I think writing the battle scenes, the male interactions, is harder for me. I want to write it with a good balance of masculinity and femininity.  After all, I don’t want him to come off sounding like a gushing school girl, but I don’t want him to be a testosterone filled pig either. I would like the reader to feel like they are really hearing it from the guy’s point of view.

You have shared that your family encouraged you to write. Are there any you wish to acknowledge and mention now?
Well my husband has definitely been by my side from day one. When I brought him the first draft of The Bed Wife and said “I think I wrote a book” he didn’t even know I had been attempting to!  But, being the faithful husband, he grabbed it from my hands and began reading and editing it.  He has read it more times than I have!  I think of everyone in my family, he definitely has been the one constantly encouraging me and helping me. I couldn’t have done it without him.

What would you say your preferred style of writing is for example? I prefer to read books with a HEA (Happily Ever After) ending. Do you have a preference and if so what?
I definitely require a Happily Ever After.  As for a writing style, I prefer third person. I don’t writing “I ran across the room into his arms” as much as “she ran across the room into his arms.”  Third person is much more comfortable to write (at least for me).

The ending of The Bed Wife was so tough for me because I wanted to know what happens next. When might fans expect book two to be released?
Yea, call me the cliff-hanger Queen (though I try to end mine so you feel like you have had some satisfaction). I know a lot of people aren’t big into cliff-hangers, but I ask you, why do you watch certain television shows? Many of them end with a cliff-hanger type ending so that you will get excited for next week!
It’s hard to say too much without giving spoilers away to those who have yet to read book one. I can tell you that there are still some trials and tribulations to be had for the couple. There will be an introduction of a new character that will throw a wrench in Baylin and Luana’s life.

I don't often see trolls used as villains what prompted you to choose them?
I don’t know if they are villains so much as ‘bad guys’. Villain implies intelligence, and these things certainly do NOT have that! Haha!

I’m a lover of fantasy; Lord of the Rings is definitely one of my inspirations. I love the idea of worlds with elves, dwarves, trolls and dragons. It was a very natural place to go in my mind.

17.    Before I ask my final question I want to thank you for taking a moment to sit down and talk with me. Thank you! My question are: What signings do you plan to do in the next year? Where might fans go if they want to meet you? How might new fans follow you through social media?
Thank you for having me!  This has been fun!

As of this year, being so new, I don’t have any conventions that I will be attending as a signing author (though I will be attending some to get to know other authors and take advantage of informational seminars and such). In 2015 I am signed up as a guest author for Penned Con in St. Louis!
I live in Southwest Missouri, so if anyone is out this way and wants to have coffee, they are more than welcome to drop me a line!

There are numerous ways to keep in touch via social media.

One final question, just for fun. If you could have anything in the world what would your perfect day include?
Oh, well, if you promise not to tell my husband! I would have to say spending the day listening to actor Richard Armitage read a book to me. Have you heard that man’s voice?!

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Pride and Prejudice - A whole book on the wall?

Anyone who knows me, knows that my favorite story of all time is Pride and Prejudice.  Mr. Darcy is the original book boyfriend, in my humble opinion.

So, while reading a magazine the other day, I came across a short article about these wall prints that boast to have every single word of a story (they have numerous classics to choose from) on a single large wall print.

I ran to the website, and behold, there was my all time favorite story!

Needless to say I bookmarked it and told my husband that it was definitely on my 'gift list' (yes, we have gift lists... it's just easier than asking what each other wants for any given holiday).

The company, called Spineless Classics, also features great stories for kids (Harry Potter, Alice in Wonderland, and James and the Giant Peach) as well as classics that would be the perfect wall art for your book nook (Moby Dick, A Midsummer Night's Dream, and The Great Gatsby).

I just wanted to share this little tidbit with my readers, because I figure we all could find a Spineless Classic that speaks to us.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Release Weekend Giveaway

Who doesn't love free stuff?

In celebration of the release of "The Bed Wife: A Novella," I am holding a giveaway on my Facebook Fan Page!

Now, until Monday, May 26, you can enter yourself and a friend to win one of the following prizes:

1) A signed paperback copy of "The Bed Wife" and a $5 Amazon gift card.
2) A Kindle copy of "The Bed Wife" and a $5 Amazon gift card.

To enter, you must be a fan of the Author Suzanna Lynn Facebook page.

For full details, check the page and the contest will be the first post (pinned to the top).

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Thank You!

It's been a long journey to say the least, even though it took place in a short amount of time!

In three days I had written "The Bed Wife: A Novella,"  which is the first book in The Bed Wife Chronicles series.  Now, just under three months later, it's published!

Many people may think my main goal is to get on the New York Times Best Seller list and become a millionaire.  While that would, of course, be wonderful, it's not really my goal.

My main goal from the beginning was to write a story that others would enjoy.  Even before I hit 'publish' I had a dozen different reviews that proved I had already achieved that goal.

Thank you!

I thank God for giving me the talent and the strength to make this dream happen.  He has heard many a prayer coming from me during this time.  He gave me the peace in my heart and my mind when I needed it.

I want to thank my husband, who has probably read the book more than I have.  His dedication and support is priceless and I know I wouldn't have been able to do this without him.

Thank you to my mother, who meticulously proofed my book.  If not for her, there would have been a scene referencing Baylin's long back hair, instead of his long black hair!

Thanks to my mother-in-law.  She was one of the first people to read this story and she called me the next day cursing me because she had stayed up until the wee hours of the morning just to finish it.  She pushed me in the 'publishing' direction, and for that I am thankful.

I want to thank my brother-in-law, Shawn.  He's been researching the publishing world so much longer than I have and he was always there with advice and information to answer any questions I might have.

Thanks to my friend Kelsey. You're not just an amazing cover art designer/photographer. You are a dear friend who guided me.  You introduced me to people who would help me and gave me advise when I was seeking answers.

Thank you to my very first Beta Reader, Tara H.  She didn't even know me when I first approached her to get an opinion on the book.  She gave me guidance and support along the whole journey.

I want to thank my dear friend, Nancy.  You are my best friend and have always been there to talk me up when the stress of everything began to wear me down.  I love you dearly and couldn't have done this without you.

I have to thank my editor and friend, Hollie.  She had her work cut out for her to be sure!  She was so kind and wonderful.  Giving me advice and guiding me in the right direction. 

Thank you to my formatter, Sharon.  She worked tirelessly, even last night before the big release, just to make everything perfect.  She was completely dedicated to making my book perfect and I couldn't have done it without her!

A big thank you to my two stunning models, Chris Coon and Laura Deal-Witt.  They truly became Baylin and Luana.  The book would not be the same without them.

I want to thank all my friends who have put up with the emotional rollercoaster called ME. lol.  The emotions that come with publishing a book were something I was not entirely prepared for. I am glad to know my friends can love me through my highs AND my lows!

Thank you to all the wonderful book blogs who have promoted me and guided me on the journey.  Your blogs are what makes the Indie Author World thrive and I can't thank you enough!

And, of course, I want to thank you, my readers.  When you look at the source, the point of writing a good story is to entertain your reader. I hope that I have (and will continue to) done that for you.  Thank you so very much!

The Bed Wife - Available Now on Amazon

It's official!  I'm a published author!

The Bed Wife: A Novella (The Bed Wife Chronicles Book One) is up on Amazon Kindle right now! The print version will follow in a week or so.

The Bed Wife Chronicles: Love brought them together. Would tradition tear them apart?

Once inseparable childhood friends, Luana and Baylin are now grown and in two separate worlds. Luana, the daughter of the town drunk, overlooks her family's goat farm to make ends meet. Baylin, Prince and future King of Grasmere, is off combatting the veils that lurk in the Kingdom.

However, fate intercedes with a time-honored tradition that has been custom for the past five hundred years. Luana's life is now forced into the hands of her long-lost childhood friend. Will resentment, hurt, and duty consume them? Or will Luana and Baylin find love and rekindle their friendship?

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

One day left until publishing The Bed Wife

I must say, today has been a rollercoaster of emotions.

I received the paperback 'proof' of "The Bed Wife: A Novella" today in the mail.  It was quite amazing to see something I created as a tangible item.  Before it had been a thought, a plan - now it was in my hands. The slick cover between my fingers, the smell of freshly printed paper.

I have spent most of the day preparing to get everything finalized so that tomorrow, is in fact, the release day. Though there is always that little voice in the back of your head saying "Something could go wrong." The system could hold up my release, my computer could freeze up while trying to upload the files.  Doubt is an evil and vile little man that sits in the back of your mind and gives you thoughts that keep you up at night.

However, I refuse to let doubt and nerves still defeat from the jaws of victory!

That being said, I plan on being able to say tomorrow that I am a published author!

If you would like to receive updates on my books (no spam, just an update whenever a book or cover art is revealed), be sure to join my readers list.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Teaser Trailer for "The Bed Wife"

The new trend in book promotions is making 'teaser trailers' for them.  Generally it's a simple, one to one and a half minute 'movie' trailer about the book.

Not one to miss out on an opportunity to make a mini movie (I simply love technology!), I decided that I needed to honor the story of Luana and Baylin by also making a trailer for The Bed Wife.


Friday, May 16, 2014

The Bed Wife - Cover Art Reveal

The day has come!  I have been fighting myself not to reveal this cover before it's promised day!  I now present the cover art for "The Bed Wife: A Novella (The Bed Wife Chronicles Book One)"

A big thank you to K Keeton Designs for creating this amazing cover. Also thank you to models Laura Witt Deal and Chris Coon for bringing Luana and Baylin to life!

Monday, May 12, 2014

A bit of a fan girl moment

So, most who know me, know that I'm pretty much in love with actor Richard Armitage. 

What many don't know, is that he actually inspired me to start writing.

I have always been a writer of sorts, but I never felt worth of doing anything with my work.  So I would write and then either throw it away, or shove it in a drawer never to be seen again.

It wasn't until recently, after seeing an interview with him, that I started to believe in myself.

He said that, for every character he portrays, he always sits down and writes a biography for that character. Giving the person a backstory allows him to draw emotion that is, otherwise, not there.

So I started thinking that, if this man could take the time to do something like that for his characters, I should honor my own characters and let their stories be heard.  So I sat down and wrote "The Bed Wife" in three days!

After that, I sat down and wrote something else.  I felt a bit silly, but I decided to write some 'fan mail' to Richard Armitage by sending it through his agents in the hopes that he might receive it.  I wanted to let him know how he had inspired me.  Now, I couldn't tell you if Richard himself has read my letter.  However, I did received this autographed photo in the mail!

Yea, so after I got done screaming and jumping up and down, I was able to sit still long enough to take a picture of it :)

So, I will close by saying this:  Thank you Richard for inspiring me. :)

Friday, May 9, 2014

The Bed Wife book blog tour sign up underway

The book has been written and edited twice. 
The cover-art is designed (and I will tell you it looks nice)!
The formatters formatted,
the reviewers are reviewing.
The beta-readers read it,
and they were cooing!

Yea, I'm no Dr. Seuss but really, who is? lol

It's time for book blogs to sign up to help spread the word on my debut book, The Bed Wife (The Bed Wife Chronicles #1).

I have an easy to use form that allows you to sign up for only what you want to participate in (I'm not picky, any help is appreciated).

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

The Bed Wife to release in mere weeks!

"The Bed Wife: A Novella (The Bed Wife Chronicles #1)" is officially set to release on May 22, 2014.

Why the 22nd you ask?  Because 22 is my lucky number of course!

The book has been edited twice, it has been sent off to the formatter to be converted properly for both eBook as well as print.

The cover art has been shot and is being designed as I type this. 

In two weeks I will officially be a published author!   So mark your calendars for May 22!