~Romantic Suspense Fiction with Erotic and Thriller elements~ *Official blurb subject to change*
Avery Mason had it all: the nice house, the fancy clothes, the expensive cars and the perfect husband. On the outside looking in, her life appears to be perfect. But inside, Avery knows her life is far from perfection as her husband’s carefully constructed façade slowly starts to crumble.
Forced to fake a happy marriage while enduring physical and mental abuse from the man who had once been her whole world is taking its toll. And ever so slowly, Avery finds herself slipping into an existence where she is gradually becoming a shell of her former self.
When Dr. Max Harrison transfers from Chicago to North Carolina, his world is flipped upside down the moment he sees Avery. With one glimpse into her blue-gray eyes, he can see the pain she is so desperately hiding from the rest of the world. As Avery attempts to push him away, he becomes convinced that there is more to her than meets the eye. And when he finally uncovers her darkest secret, the pieces of the puzzle slowly start to click into place.
Max and Avery want to be together, but nothing in life is ever that simple. It’s not going to be easy to get her away from the powerful Mason family, but Max will risk everything to protect her. His only concern is Saving Avery.
***This book is intended for a MATURE AUDIENCE ONLY, and NOT intended for people with any triggers.***
I wanted to update everyone on my next novel, Saving Avery. The book is coming along very well — better than expected actually. I am planning on a March or April release as of right now. I will be asking for beta readers and then sending out ARCs to readers and blogs very soon, so keep an eye out if you are interested.
Saving Avery is now on Goodreads! Please add it to your ‘want to read’ shelf and show your support:
Also, Author Lane Hart has Saving Avery on her “Five Books I Can’t Wait to Read in 2015” list. Quote from the post: “From the author of Vampire Next Door, one of my favorite vampire romances, comes this erotic thriller in early 2015. I’m even more excited about this one because it take place in my home state of North Carolina!”
* Once you’re tagged, you need to write a post on your blog about why you write. (Feel free to use the same kind of format as I have in this post.)
* Make sure you link back to the person who tagged you.
* Nominate and tag three (or more) people via Twitter to be next in the ‘hop’. (Make sure you contact them so they know.)
So, on with the blog…
Why I Write
Why do I write? The answer is quite simple: to escape.
I developed a love for books at a very young age. I found myself reading whatever I could get my hands on. Growing up poor and introverted, books were always my friends when I didn’t feel like I had any.
Along with a love for reading came an affinity for writing. I can remember writing poems and song lyrics when I was a child. Shortly thereafter, the poetry transitioned into short stories and eventually novels when I was a teen. The first novel I ever wrote was, of course, about vampires. Back in the ’90s, vampires were quite prevalent, and I devoured anything vampire related. So it was only natural that my first novel that I published, Vampire Next Door, would be, in fact, about vampires.
I have always loved the idea that books can transport us to places we’ve never been. We meet people we could never meet in real life. We are able to experience a myriad of emotions and relish in triumphs and defeats by just simple words strung together into sentences. And we can live vicariously through a number of different characters and, in a sense, become them for the length of the book. I always wanted to create that kind of magic with words, and I am finally living my ultimate dream — being a published author. With a deep-rooted need to escape of my own, I love creating worlds for other people to escape to as well.
Why do I write? Because if I didn’t, I wouldn’t have a purpose. I live to write. It has always been like that for me and always will be. Even if I never publish another book again, I would still write for myself, as I had been doing for years before publishing my first novel. I have so many more books, characters and universes that I can’t wait to share with everyone. And as all writers are very aware of, the voices never stop — the characters are always there, waiting for you to tell their story.
“I write for the same reason I breathe – because if I didn’t, I would die.” – Isaac Asimov
TAG! You’re it…
So here’s the point where I nominate other writers for the ‘hop’, so they too can answer the question: Why do I write? I nominate as follows:
GEORGE EDWARDS TREKKED through the snow-covered woods. It was the morning of the first day of deer season — one of his favorite times of the year. The sun was starting to rise over the mountain he was climbing, cascading sporadic rays through the leaves of the tall trees. At seventy-three years old, he felt as fit as a fiddle and looked forward to the hike ahead of him.
The thin layer of snow over fallen branches and leaves on the forest floor crunched under his feet as he walked. The air was cold and made evident by the small puffs of white air billowing from his lips. His old, trusty Remington was slung over his right shoulder, and a small backpack, which contained the lunch his wife had packed that morning, was slung over his left.
Halfway up the mountain he paused by a group of trees to take a rest. Placing his weathered hand against the bark, he caught his breath and grumbled. He hated getting old.
Reaching into the backpack, he produced a thermos of coffee and took a few sips. The hot liquid warmed his throat as he drank. After one last swig, he replaced the thermos and continued on his journey. The tree stand, which he and his father had built when he was a boy, stood only a few yards away. He stared at the old structure, and it brought back memories instantly. His childhood seemed like just yesterday, but he had not been a young boy for quite a while.
As he took another step forward, his foot hooked on something on the ground, and he tripped. The gun and backpack went flying as he landed on the soft, snow-covered ground. He cursed, and it echoed through the quiet woods.
Slowly, he stood and glanced back at what he had stumbled over. There was a large lump on the ground. He gave his eyes a moment to adjust, as they weren’t as reliable as they used to be. He squinted in the breaking daylight and cautiously moved towards the object to get a better look.
At first, he thought maybe it was a fallen deer. He kneeled down and nudged the object that he had tripped on. It rolled over, revealing the face of a woman.
“Jesus H. Christ!” George yelled, stumbling back. He quickly fished his cell phone out of his pocket and walked around the area until he could get a good signal. His hands shook as he dialed 9-1-1.
While the phone rang, George stared down at the girl. She was badly beaten and covered in blood. Her clothes were soiled and dirty, and she had blended in perfectly with the surroundings of the forest floor. She wasn’t covered from last night’s snowfall, so he knew she couldn’t have been there for more than a few hours.
“Hello? Hello? Is anybody there?” the operator called.
George put the phone to his ear so he could hear the man more clearly. “Yes. My name is George Edwards. I’m up here on Blue Crest Mountain, about two miles from Route 220. I found a girl in the woods. She’s in bad shape. She’s covered in blood.” He swallowed hard at the lump forming in his throat.
“Can you tell if she’s breathing, sir?”
George looked down at the girl. She looked dead, but perhaps she had some life in her. His worn knees creaked as he knelt down beside the woman. Leaning in close to her, he stared at her mouth. A weak puff of white air escaped her lips. “She’s breathing! She’s alive!” George cried, relieved.
“Sir, I need you to cover her and try to keep her warm. Do not move her. The ambulance is on its way.”
George stood and stripped off his outer jacket. He was thankful that his wife had nagged him that morning until he had put on the extra layer. He carefully draped the coat over her. “Hang on, honey,” he whispered to her, reassuringly. “You’re going to be all right.”
JACK WALKER STROLLED through the hospital. It was late at night, and he had finished all of his rounds except one. He stopped at the nurses’ station and leaned over the counter. A young nurse with blonde hair looked up at him through her long lashes. “Dr. Walker, how are you this evening?”
“Good. How is our Jane Doe doing?”
“No change,” she said, handing him the manila folder that contained Jane’s chart.
The nurse checked her notes and then shook her head.
Jack frowned. “All right.” He walked down to the end of the hall and into the last room on the left. Jane Doe was resting peacefully in her bed like she had been day in and day out for the past few weeks.
Jack sat down in a leather recliner in the corner of the room. The rhythmic beeping of the monitoring machines was hypnotic, and he crushed the heels of his hands into his tired eyes. He was exhausted. The day had been busy and long with surgery after surgery in the operating room.
Yawning, he flipped through the folder and glanced over the nurses’ notes. “Well, Ms. Doe, no changes today,” he commented. He glanced up at the girl lying serenely in the bed. She had been in the hospital for almost a month, and every night Jack found himself coming to her room before heading home. It seemed that in some way she gave him peace at the end of a long and tiring day.
He stood and walked to the side of the bed. The girl had been found in the woods and beaten within an inch of her life. When she arrived at the hospital, she was broken and barely alive. Jack had put her back together and saved her life. It was touch and go in the operating room, but no matter how many times her body tried to quit, Jack wouldn’t let her give up.
He noted the fresh bandage around her head. He closed his eyes and shuddered at the memory of her cracked skull the morning she had been rushed into the hospital. Someone had wanted her dead, and yet she was alive and still fighting a good fight.
“You were in a medically-induced coma for three weeks,” he said as he retrieved a penlight out of his coat pocket. He shone the light into her eyes, one at a time. Her irises were a hauntingly beautiful light green. The pupils sluggishly dilated from the light. Frowning, he said, “Now you are off the meds, and we need you to wake up so we can find out who you are and who tried to hurt you.”
Jack found himself tremendously curious to find out who she was, and he wasn’t the only one. The police detectives investigating the case wanted information, and they kept in regular contact with the hospital. They wanted to talk to Jane Doe and get a lead on who had left her for dead.
“Your face has been all over the news.” Even with the bandages and bruises, Jane Doe was beautiful. She was young and thin with long brown hair, porcelain skin and full lips. He had no doubt someone would recognize her even from the composite sketches. “I don’t know why anyone hasn’t come for you yet,” he said quietly. He reached out and squeezed her hand gently, something he always did before leaving her room for the night. “I know you are a fighter, Jane, so fight.”
There was no response from Jane Doe, as there never was. Sighing, he stepped away and moved his head around in a circle. His neck cracked several times from the manipulation. He groaned, hating the sound. “Well, I’m heading home. I’ll see you tomorrow.”
Jack left the room and returned the chart at the nurses’ desk, smiling at the blonde as she took the folder back. “Goodnight, Dr. Walker,” she said.
“Goodnight,” he said as he walked down the hall.
He stood in front of the double elevators and pushed the down button. A few seconds later, he heard a ping, and the doors on the right opened up. As he rode the elevator down, his thoughts strayed to Jane Doe. Eventually someone would come for her. Perhaps her mother or father — or perhaps a boyfriend or husband. He scowled. The thought of her being married upset him even though he knew deep down he shouldn’t feel like that. Jane was his patient and would never be anything more than that. Even though he would be extremely disappointed if she were married, he would also be glad to see her happy and provided for.
Jack shook his head, clearing his thoughts as the elevator doors opened on the lobby level. He exited the hospital and walked to his car, which was near the back of the parking lot.
The drive home was short. He had chosen a house in the center of town because of its location being so close to the hospital. He lived for his work, and sometimes he begrudgingly thought he would be married to it for the rest of his life.
The house was empty as he entered. He often thought of getting a dog that would greet him when he came home, but the thought of the responsibility scared him. In reality, he worked too many hours to take care of a houseplant let alone an animal, and he had at least two dead plants in the house to prove that theory.
Jack threw his coat on the back of a chair in the kitchen and walked into the living room. Plopping down on the couch, he flicked on the TV with the remote. The ten o’clock news appeared on the screen.
After a few random stories of crimes, the newswoman began a story about authorities searching for the person or persons wanted for the attempted murder of the woman in the woods. “Jane Doe,” he whispered. She was commonly referred to as the woman in the woods.
A composite sketch appeared in the top right corner of the screen. Her haunting green eyes stared back at him. The composite artist had gotten the color exactly right. Jack leaned up, putting his elbows on his knees and resting his chin against his hands. He found himself glued to the TV. “There has to be somebody out there that loves you, Jane,” he whispered. “And I hope they find you.”
* * *
Sebastian Alexander sat on the bed in the hotel room. The big screen television provided some background noise as he stared down at the map sprawled out in front of him. He took a red marker and began to X out the towns he had already searched the week prior. There seemed to be hundreds of Xs on the map.
For weeks he had been searching for her. He had stayed in countless hotel rooms, spanning out twenty miles at a time trying to find some sliver of evidence that she was alive. She had disappeared out of the blue from his life a month ago, and he couldn’t believe he hadn’t found her yet. Someone had taken her from him. That is what his intuition told him, and his intuition was never wrong. There wasn’t a second of the day that went by when he didn’t think of her, when he didn’t look for her. Moreover, he vowed he would never stop looking for her even if it took an eternity. Time was something he had a lot of, but she didn’t. The clock was ticking, and he didn’t know when the clock would stop running.
He stared at one large black circle that intersected multiple other black circles. His finger lingered over the town he was presently in — Bedford Valley. It had been a century or more since he had passed through the town. Coincidentally, he was staying in the same hotel as he had on his visit those many years ago. Something had drawn him there once again, and he always trusted his instincts.
Sebastian stood and walked out of the French doors onto the balcony. A cold wind swept around him as he stared out over the resort grounds. “Where are you?” he asked the night air, his voice pleading for an answer.
“Authorities are searching for the person or persons wanted for the attempted murder of the woman in the woods.”
Sebastian quickly walked back into the room, his eyes resting upon the TV as the newswoman spoke. A drawing of a woman’s face appeared on the screen. He knew it was her instantly. His fingertips skimmed over her face on the television. Her green eyes stared back at him. “You’re here,” he breathed. His entire body trembled. He had finally found her.
THE HOSPITAL FLOOR was quiet at ten p.m. The incessant hissing of breathing machines and beeping of monitors filled the air as he made his way through the halls. The smell of her blood was leading him right to her.
The nurses’ station on the right was occupied by one nurse, an older woman with salt and pepper hair. She looked up as he approached. “Sir, visiting hours were over at eight o’clock.”
Sebastian sighed. He only liked to compel humans when absolutely necessary, but he knew she would alert security if he ignored her. Calmly, he leaned over the desk and stared into her brown eyes. “I need the chart on the woman everyone is calling Jane Doe.”
The nurse nodded slowly as her pupils dilated rapidly. She reached into a file cabinet and produced a folder.
Sebastian flipped through the folder, and his eyes scanned the pages of her chart. “Multiple surgeries. Coma,” he whispered, his throat tightening around the lump that was forming. He looked down at the nurse. “She hasn’t been awake since she arrived?”
The woman shook her head.
He returned the folder to her. “You are going to go back to your work and not even remember seeing me or talking to me,” he commanded. “Do you understand?”
“Yes,” she said as she sat down and continued with her task.
Sebastian walked from the desk and to the end of the hall. At the doorway, the smell of her blood overwhelmed him. The taste of it still lingered in his mind. He closed his eyes and attempted to suppress his hunger. However, his hunger was quickly extinguished as he entered the room and his emotions took over at the sight of her — battered and bruised, covered in bandages. She slept soundly, unmoving, breathing evenly. Sleeping Beauty came to his mind.
A gasp escaped his lips as he stood over her. “What happened to you?” he asked aloud. He had expected to find her hurt, but not in this condition. He would have never dreamt of her being in so much pain. A single tear escaped his eye and cascaded down his cheek. Carefully, he grasped her hand and raised it to touch his lips. He tenderly kissed her fingertips. “I thought I had lost you forever,” he whispered, anguished.
Someone had taken her away from him and had tried to kill her. And if he ever found the person who hurt her, his or her fate would be a lot worse than lying in a hospital bed. Sebastian closed his eyes and took deep breaths to prevent his anger from overflowing out of every pore in his body. “I will find and kill whoever did this to you,” he promised, looking down at her.
He stood unmoving for a few minutes listening to her lungs expanding and contracting as she breathed, the blood moving through her veins and her heart beating. She was alive, and that was all that mattered at that moment. He would take care of everything else later.
Realizing she may never regain consciousness again without his help, he bit into his index finger with a sharp fang and placed the wound over her parted lips. “Just a few drops,” he whispered. “It will heal you, but not too quickly so that it will look suspicious.” He watched as a few drops of his precious blood dropped underneath her tongue.
Then Sebastian withdrew his finger and watched the bite mark heal instantaneously. He leaned over the bed and kissed her sweet lips. “I will come for you when I know it’s safe.” He stood back, not wanting to leave, but knowing that staying could bring her even more harm. “I love you. Now and forever,” he said before turning from her and leaving the room.
* * *
After finishing his rounds for the night, Jack went to the nurses’ station. “Anything new with Jane Doe?” he asked, expectantly.
The nurse frowned. “No, I’m afraid not, Dr. Walker.” She gave him Jane’s chart.
His face matched her expression as he flipped through the folder. “Figured as much,” he muttered, disappointment lacing his voice. He caught a glimpse of a man walking past him. The man was tall with jet-black hair that fell into his intense blue eyes that glanced at Jack for a brief second as he passed by. He was dressed all in black and clearly not a hospital employee. “Who is that?” he asked the nurse.
The nurse glanced up at the man. “I have no idea. Visiting hours were over at eight.”
“You didn’t see him come in?”
Her brow creased, and she said, “No.”
Jack watched the man standing in front of the elevators. As the door opened, the stranger glanced back at them. An eerie feeling came over Jack. He had a gut feeling that the man had something to do with Jane Doe.
Swiftly, he ran down the hall to her room. As he reached the doorway, a feeling of relief swept over him as he saw she was safe. He glanced around the room seeing if anything was moved, but everything looked the same as it had the night before. Perhaps the man had been lost or visiting a different patient.
His day had been long and strenuous, and so he planned to cut his visit with Jane shorter than usual. He was anxious to get home and climb into bed. He had an early morning once again, and his body was demanding sleep.
Jack opened the folder and glanced over her chart. No changes once again. He sighed and walked to her bedside. Gently, he grasped her hand and squeezed it. “You need to wake up, so we can find your family,” he whispered.
Just as he started to pull his hand away, he felt her fingers move. He blinked and stared down at her. Could it have been his imagination? He was exhausted, and his mind had been known to play tricks on him after a long day.
He waited for another reaction with bated breath. Nothing happened. Then he said, “Squeeze my hand if you can hear me.”
Her fingers twitched. Then they moved, attempting to squeeze his hand. He gasped. That was the first reaction he had gotten out of her in a month. He knew deep down in his heart that she was trying to wake up.
Quickly, he set the chart down and grabbed the penlight out of his pocket. He raised her right eyelid and shone the light into her eye. The pupil dilated normally.
Jack pushed the call nurse button on the bedrail. Within a few seconds, the nurse’s voice came over the speaker. “Can I help you?”
“This is Dr. Walker. Our Jane Doe is coming back to us,” he said with a big smile on his face.
If you enjoyed this sample, you can purchase Vampire Next Door at the following locations:
Sherry over at Run & Read That posted a review of Vampire Next Door yesterday. I thought I would share it with all of you and link over to her site, so that you can check out her other reviews and the rest of her blog.
You can find the review here and also read it down below. A big thank you to Sherry for writing a review on Vampire Next Door. I’m glad you enjoyed it! 😉
Vampire Next Door by Angela Snyder
(Review from Run & Read That)
“What can I say about this novel by Angela Snyder besides it was pretty darn good?!?! I was pleasantly surprised at how this novel grabbed my attention and held on to it until the very last page. I have had case of book hangover after reading about the life and loves of Jane Doe, the heroine of the story. The novel begins with a hunter finding an unconscious woman in the woods with no identification and once she awakens after being in a coma for three weeks, she doesn’t have a single memory of the life she lived before her mysterious accident.
Fortunately for her, she is cared for by a very compassionate man Dr. Jack Walker whom she begins to rely on to get her through her recovery as her only friend. However, she cannot shake the occasional feeling that being watched. But luckily for her and us the readers, she is being watched by the sexily mysterious Sebastian Alexander, who only wants her happy.
Nevertheless, the relationship between Jane Doe & Dr. Walker grows, they get married and it appears a happily ever after is on the horizon until tragedy strikes again. Dr. Walker is mugged and killed on or around their anniversary. As Jane is slowly recovering from her loss, the mysterious Sebastian moves into the house next door. She feels a pull in his direction however; she is being dragging in another direction by her deceased husband’s twin brother. Now, I just thought that was a bit creepy and fortunately for me, I wasn’t the only one because the thought never quite sat right with Jane.
This book had its fair share of suspense, drama, and swoon worthy moments without reading like the cliché paranormal vampire novel. Not that I have read all that many, it was not overdone; just enough for you to know that a vampire was in the storyline. I would definitely recommend this book for anyone who loves a good and well developed story that moves over time as in years and months instead of days and weeks. Well done Ms. Snyder!”
Sherry’s reviews are honest and funny, so definitely check out her blog!
Today I’m going to talk about reviews. Any indie author you talk to will say the same thing…a review is one of the most important things you can do for them. A review lets other potential readers know what they can expect from the book they are about to purchase, and it can also be a deciding factor between someone passing up a book or purchasing it. Even if you leave a few words in a review like “I loved it!” or “I liked it!” and leave some stars, you are amazing in the indie authors eyes! If you think that your review won’t matter, TRUST ME, it does! So if you have a favorite indie author out there, please leave a review. They will be very grateful for it!
Every five-star review I receive is like a dream over and over again. Never did I dream that I would publish a book that so many people would tell me time and time again that they couldn’t put down and that they fell in love with the characters. Vampire Next Door wouldn’t be where it is today without my small, but increasing, group of fans! I love each and every one of my reviews and each and every one of my fans. It’s so nice to be on Twitter and Facebook and have people retweet and favorite/share and comment things that I post. So for that, I say thank you!!
His review is on the Amazon (Canada) website, and it reads:
“Vampire Next Door is an edge of your seat, romantic, paranormal thing of beauty that will have your eyes screaming for more. I was hooked before I cracked the book open as the cover, as plain and simple as it once was, gave an eerie, dark feeling of what was to be expected. The cover was spilling with anticipation and this novel clearly delivered in all aspects. From the onset, the author reels in her readers by using imaginative and figurative language in addition to a writing style that leaves a sweet craving in the reading mind, always wanting to turn to the next page and read, just one more chapter. The story line is fabulous and character development is wonderful as they both keep the reader in suspense as the words fall off the page with ease. If you’re looking for a romantic, suspenseful novel with twists and turns that will keep you guessing until the very end, then Vampire Next Door by Angela Snyder is a book to engage in. Be sure to pick up a soft cover or eBook right now as it is well worth the money invested.”
The Kindle edition should be updated today. The paperback version on Amazon will feature the new cover in about a week or so. Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, Kobo, iBooks and everywhere else will follow suit soon enough.
Let me know what you think of the new cover in the comments.
I recently published my first novel, “Vampire Next Door”, on August 29th, 2013. On that day, I remember having such a surreal feeling. My lifelong dream had been to publish a book. And I had just done it.
My passion for writing came at an early age. I can remember writing songs and poetry when I was in second and third grade. I remember writing entire plays by fifth grade. I started my first novel when I was fifteen. That novel is still a work in progress, and I believe it will be my masterpiece, so to speak. And, of course, it is about vampires. My obsession with vampires started in the year 1994. Interview with a Vampire and “The Last Vampire” series by Christopher Pike were at the top of my list of things to obsess about. The more I watched and the more I read, the more I wanted to write about vampires.
“Vampire Next Door” was initially two separate stories. The first story was about a battered woman who was married to a rich, powerful and evil man. There was a vampire living next door who was in love with this woman and saved her life after her husband had gone too far. The woman reminded him of a long lost love from his past. It was really a fairytale kind of story. At the same time I was developing that story, I had another story in my head. The other one was about a woman who had amnesia. While trying to adjust to a new life without a past, she fell in love with her doctor, who had an evil twin brother. Now, the plots for these books were not complete in any sense. I honestly would have never finished each one individually. They were missing something…a lot actually, and I was too busy working on several other books to pay them any mind. They were just ideas. And that was that.
I often hear from authors about their characters speaking to them, almost as if they’re begging for their story to be told. Well, Sebastian wouldn’t get out of my head. I thought about him. I dreamed about him. He was everywhere. One day while I was looking through my many, many, many (did I say many?) documents with all my stories on my computer, something just clicked. Combine the two stories that were going nowhere and come up with a brand new story. And so Sebastian Alexander became the main character for “Vampire Next Door”, and he became my obsession for the few months while I wrote the book. Sebastian had finally found his home in “Vampire Next Door”.
My method of writing is not methodical, to say the least. I tend to think of my method as a jigsaw puzzle. I get ideas for chapters, and I write them down at a feverish pace while the idea is still in my head. Now, I could be working on the beginning, the middle or the end at any given time. And, hell, I work on several different books at the same time as well. How all of those chapters come together at the end into one big story is a mystery. I like to think I have the entire story in my head and that I planned the whole thing from the beginning, but I don’t know if I honestly believe that sometimes. But I also give a lot of credit to my “jigsaw puzzle” method, because I think that’s how my stories get so much action. I’m writing each chapter individually and giving it everything I have, and it makes for a great story in the end!
The characters were easy to come up with. I never have a hard time with the characters actually, and I usually create them before I even come up with a good plot. Sebastian Alexander is based on real-life actor Colin Egglesfield.
And the ladies out there can see why I didn’t mind having that image stuck in my head for months. 😉 Whenever I have a book idea, I create a folder and keep the character’s pictures in it. It helps me when I’m trying to imagine a certain way they would act or look in different situations. I even keep pictures of houses, cars, etc., just to help with bringing the characters, places and things into reality while I write about them.
Although the characters were not hard to come up with, the blurb was. The blurb for “Vampire Next Door” was not a simple task. In fact, I think it was harder than writing the entire book. I made about a hundred drafts of a blurb and edited and edited and edited until I thought it was near perfect. “Vampire Next Door” has such a complicated plot (most of my books do) that it was difficult for me to pinpoint the real drama that would catch the reader’s attention and not give away any spoilers. Here is the blurb:
After being left for dead in the woods, a woman wakes up from a coma. With no memory of her past, she is given the name Jane Doe. While trying to adjust to her new life, tragedy strikes again. However, this time a mysterious and handsome next-door neighbor is there to help her pick up the pieces. But is he really a stranger, or does he hold the key to unlocking her past and finding out who wants her dead?
Not bad, eh? It only took me two days and about a hundred revisions and the advice from a few friends. All that work for just a blurb! I’m thinking for future novels that I’ll write the blurbs first and then the book! 😉
Publishing a book is both exciting and terrifying at the same time if you are an indie author. The following is my take on being an indie author through my eyes.
I recently published my first novel “Vampire Next Door”. You can find it here on Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00EV69622 To say I am a total noob at the whole indie author/publishing thing would be the understatement of the year. I did some research before publishing, and I will stress the word some. I have had several people ask me for advice, and my number one piece of advice is always do your research. You need to know what you are in for.
Your novel should be about 50,000 words and over. Just remember when you self-publish a book — the more words and the bigger your book is, the more money it will cost to manufacture it. The more it costs to manufacture it, the less royalties you will have. So in a sense, a shorter story will make you more money in the long run. So you want your book to have a great story, but keep it on the short side, if you can. If you can’t shorten it, think about writing a series of books. A lot of readers will gravitate towards a series more than a single book. A lot of publishers are in the market for book series right now as well. Young adult, dystopian and series are three things you will hear that are in high demand as of right now. That is always subject to change, however, as people’s tastes change and the next new “big thing” hits the market.
If anyone tells you that writing the book is the hard part, they’d be lying. Writing the book is absolutely the easiest part of the process. With millions upon millions of books out there and a big percentage of them being independently published (and relatively easily I might add), the entire process of publishing your own book can be quite a daunting task. I came to realize that firsthand.
The most important thing to remember is that you are publishing independently. Don’t expect results overnight, and don’t quit your day job…even if you hate it. Helpful Tip — Amazon KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) waits 60 days to pay you. That’s for e-book sales only. So if you sell in August, you are not getting paid your royalties until the end of October. Patience is something else you’ll need to learn all too quickly. CreateSpace, on the other hand, pays monthly. That is only for paperback sales, however, and I personally have been selling four times as many e-books than paperback. If you are publishing your e-book with Smashwords, they pay quarterly. The bottom line is don’t expect money right away. It will take a few months to see any real profit.
If you think are you ready to publish your first novel, think again. Go back and read your book, edit it and then edit it again. Your grammar and formatting should be flawless or close to it. Why? Because if you have too many grammar mistakes or your book is hard to read or understand, your reviews are going to be horrible. How many times have you read reviews on Amazon that read “I loved the story, but just couldn’t get past the poor grammar”? Can’t afford an editor? Have some friends or family members (that you can trust) read over your book for free. If you are afraid of putting your life’s work in someone’s hands, then don’t do it. Edit the book yourself or find a more trustworthy friend. The formatting and grammar of a book can mean the difference between a two or three-star review and a five-star review.
Speaking of reviews, getting them will be difficult, to say the least. It is definitely not an easy task for most authors. Unless you have a strong and large fan base, you will quickly learn why people are paying other people to review their books. Let’s face it — The more reviews you have, the better your book looks to possible customers. The easiest way to get your first review is to ask a friend or family member who has read your book to leave a review. Even if you only get one, one review is better than none. The most important thing to remember is don’t put too much pressure on someone to leave a review. Most of the time I ask nicely. Either they leave one or they don’t. It’s out of your hands at that point. You don’t want to nag someone to leave a review, because they could, A, not leave a review at all or, B, leave a negative review.
Why don’t people leave reviews? The most popular answer to that question is they don’t know what to say. They feel like anything they write would be inadequate or dumb. But in reality, even a review that says “I loved it” or “I liked it” would be more helpful than they could ever know. The best thing you can do for an independent author is LEAVE A REVIEW. If you are thinking of doing a book giveaway, do a giveaway for the people that leave reviews. That should give you a jump start on getting reviews.
If you are gearing up for your first book release, you should already be building a Twitter and Facebook following. It’s a quick and free way to get a lot of potential readers and communicate with fellow authors who will be more than happy to help promote you in return for promoting them. You can search for authors on Twitter by the #author hashtag. Another trick to find new readers is search for keywords such as “love to read (insert your book’s genre)”. I often search for romance/paranormal or just plain old “love to read”.
So you joined Twitter, but you need help connecting to other authors. A great group on Facebook is Authors Tweeting Authors. It’s a private group that allows authors to tweet each other. Here is the link to the group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/142128792643893/ Another way for authors to tweet authors is to join the World Lit Cafe at http://www.worldliterarycafe.com There you can joint tweet teams, post your Facebook page links, Twitter usernames and more. It’s a great way to connect to fellow authors and, once again, gain exposure. And the best part is it’s free.