photo credit: Social Media Marketing Mix via photopin (license)

Building a social media platform

I imagined success as an author happened like so –  a publisher miraculously discovers your talent. Above the thousands of other competing writers. Then they would publish, advertise, promote and sell your book. How wrong I was. Feel free to laugh.

photo credit: @brockuniversity Social Media via photopin (license)
photo credit: @brockuniversity Social Media via photopin (license)

Are you horrified to learn that a huge part of being a successful author is by growing your social media? It’s your my role to advertise, promote and sell books. It’s down to you to create a trust worthy brand, that generates more than numbers but target followers.

Your not alone, everyone starting out has faced the same crippling doubt. Regardless of trade, musician, artist, chief or writer, the building blocks are the same. The hardest part of building a platform is conquering your fear and jumping aboard the media wagon.

Pixabay image cliff dive
Conquer your fears, make the leap.

I’ve come a long way in a short time, perhaps with some of my tips you can too. The steps are simple but daunting,

Step 1. your brand.

The most important step, the foundation upon which you will begin. This is where you pick your stage/business/pen name. Take a fantastic profile picture and maybe create a logo.

Question marks Pixabay images

Who are you trying to reach? – Target audience.

But its more than that.You won’t get far just adding friends and family to  Facebook. Remember you want followers not numbers.

Learn your ideal audiences demographic. What are there likes, hates, aspirations? Use that knowledge. Targeting your brand to meet the needs of your audience. There’s no point in vlogging about the worlds tastiest burger if your target audience is vegan.

I feel your pain. creating a brand is terrifying. But once the hard works done you’ll be clearer on your journey to success.

Business writer artist author Pixabay

Step 2. Email address in your brands name.

This is the root connection for every media you’ll use. Keep it tidy and professional. Separate it from your personal emails for convenience and simplicity. Link each and everyone of the social medias to the branded email and voilà. We’re on our way.

pixabay image social media

Step 3. pick your media.

Take your pick; Facebook, twitter, flicker, WordPress, Instagram, Blogger,YouTube, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Google+…    Each one is different with its own set of perks and down falls. I suggest trying one at a time to avoid unnecessary anxiety.

Which ever you choose, remember to apply the brand. Your image and name will hold the beliefs your presenting to your peers. The best way to start a following is by connecting with like minded individuals. Get things moving with a comment, like or share. Watch, interact and learn. Some medias are fast moving, mistakes are forgotten or forgiven. Everyone was new at some point.

pixabay tips ideas
Tips anyone?

So dive in, here’s my top tips:

  • Use great images. You only have a few seconds to grab the readers attention. Great resolution, brand friendly and check for royalties, not all images are for free.
  • Don’t spam. People will unfollow you. Instead, connect with the readers and let them come to you.
  • Stay away from tough topics such as politics, abusive posts, your personnel drama. Ask yourself:  Is it going to hurt your brand? Is it the opinion of your brand? Will it gain you followers or loose you followers? This is a business after all so keep it professional.
  • Connect with people in your industry.
  • The more you post, like and share, the more faith your brand will garner.
  • Talk about topics relevant to your brand. Create content that will drive your audience to engage with you by asking questions, sharing interesting links, quotes and adding updates relating to your niche.

When you’ve mastered those try another media. Remember your time is valuable, you don’t have to slog away at all of them, only the ones that yeald the best results.

pixabay image success

So there you have it. Go explore the virtual world and good luck on your adventure.

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/143601516@N03/28208489145″>Social Media Marketing Mix</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;
HR Savage ~ author of Lost in vengeance

Author interview ~ H.R. Savage

lost in vengeance.jpgLost in vengeance.

Killian Stone is a fierce and dedicated Alpha but shows warmth and compassion when needed. Catrina Macintyre is a strong willed and independent female who does not acknowledge or obey Killian as her Alpha. Attraction and tension rise as the couple become intertwined.

A powerfully seductive paranormal romance. Savage reignited my love for this genre with her debut novel. She has a gift for sweeping me up in a complex storm of in-depth emotions. She beautifully crafts her characters Killian and Cat. Making me laugh, cry, fall in love and fight along with them. I expect great things from this author and can not wait for her next book. H.R. Savage

 

www.inthebinding.wordpress.com

What drove you to write paranormal romance?

There wasn’t necessarily a driving force to writing PNR. Lost in Vengeance kind of just came to me, I wrote it, and went with it.  Writing PNR is fun, though! Being able to create imaginary creatures and manipulate myth to suit my story is one reason why I love writing. Paranormal is limitless.

Who are your favourite authors? And what genre do you enjoy reading the most?

I always freak out when people ask me this, as well as what my favorite movie is lol. It’s so hard to answer because I always feel like I’m leaving something out. Some of my top authors are for sure K. Bromberg, Dannika Dark, Elle Christensen, Danielle Ione, Cambria Hebert, J.R. Ward, Patricia Briggs, and Jeaniene Frost. This is just to name a few because I have a long list of must-read authors. As far as genre, I really bounce back and forth. My favorite is definitely Paranormal.

Lost in vengeance teaser by hr Savage
Lost in vengeance teaser by hr Savage

Do you remember the first story you ever read and the impact it had on you?

I wouldn’t say the first story I ever read had an impact, but my first romance novel I ever read was Cowboy Takes a Wife by Joanne Johnston. I was only 8 or 9 and really shouldn’t have been reading it lol. I fell in love with romance since that moment. There was something so captivating about this man loving this woman who had a huge scar across her face. (It’s an old book and I haven’t read it in a while, but I still have it and totally recommend it if you like westerns lol)

Why did you choose Lost in Vengeance as the title for your book?

I battled with the title for a bit. It was Seeking Vengeance and Hunting Vengeance at one point, but Lost in Vengeance fit the bill. Cat is so stuck on her idea of revenge that she can’t see the world around her or what she’s really missing–a family. Killian tries to make her see that.

Where were you when the idea for this book came to you?

I was sleeping lol. My stories commonly come when I’m dreaming. I have very vivid dreams to the point where I can feel pain, pleasure, etc.

Lost in vengeance teaser by hr Savage
Lost in vengeance teaser by hr Savage

Is being a writer a gift or a curse?

I would say both. It’s a gift because I love that I can create these worlds and characters and other people enjoy reading it. I also love that moment when the characters take on a life of their own and the dialogue/action/details all come out in a continuous flow. But it can also be a curse. Once you write one the pressure is on to write more. It feels like I have to hurry and write or my readers will abandon me. It also makes me feel guilty when I don’t sit down and write. In other ways it’s a curse because I’ll be driving on the freeway and have the BEST idea…but I can’t stop and write it down lol.

Where do you write? Do you have any unique or quirky writing habits?

My “office” is in the corner of my kitchen at the moment lol. Someday I’ll have a nice isolated office where I can shut the door on my screaming children, but for now I like my little tiny desk. I don’t really have any quirky writing habits. I have to have music in my headphones so I can block out the world, and a glass of wine makes it much easier to write sex scenes 😉

How long did it take you to write Lost in vengeance?

Lost in Vengeance took me about a year to write. I wasn’t fiercely dedicated to it for a while and at some point had to re-write about 8 chapters. It took a long time!

Kiss understatement by HR Savage
Kiss understatement by HR Savage

Which character from your novel, do you most identify with?

Hmmm. I’d have to say there’s a little bit of me in every character. Kelly’s mothering ways, Cat’s stubbornness, and Jessica’s excitability. In future characters there’s quite a bit of me as well.

Out of your characters, who would you most like to spend the day with and why?

Jamie most definitely. He’s so amazing.

Your characters emotions came across with ease, it’s my favourite writing quality in your work. Did you find any specific challenges in writing Lost in vengeance and what would you do different next time?

That’s so awesome you say that! It’s one thing I constantly worry about because emotions are everything in a good book.  One of the biggest challenges was the sex scenes. It was so hard to capture Cat’s innocence but still give her personality.

BigBadAlpha Teaser HR SAVAGE
BigBadAlpha Teaser HR SAVAGE

You portrayed the characters as wolves brilliantly. Why choose wolves & how did you research the animals behaviour?

I’ve always loved wolves. They’re beautiful animals that are highly misunderstood. Yes, they can be dangerous and kill off livestock, but to have them hunted and eradicated from areas is so heartbreaking. I could really go off on a whole spiel about this but I’ll save you the long interview 😉 I used a lot of videos to research behaviour as well as visited a small zoo in Big Bear. They have a small rehabilitation zoo, and in it they have a pack of beautiful wolves. They were really lovely to watch.

Give us an interesting fun fact about Lost in vengeance.

Cat’s character was inspired by Khaleesi. I freaking love that woman.

Were there any scenes that you found particularly challenging to write and why?

The fight scenes were on the top of my list beside sex scenes. The particular scene with Quinn at the end was so difficult because I had to look up techniques, watch videos, and then try to translate that into the story without getting too technical.

 

white wolf PhotoPin
photo credit: Portrait of a polar wolf via photopin (license)

There was a character I had to delete during the editing phase, but I always regret it. I loved this guy for his uniqueness, and he gave Kelly and Finn a bit more background. Unfortunately, he was also a bit useless to the storyline.

Were there alternative endings you considered?

Yes actually!  Cat originally decided not to keep the Faol Geal. She felt it would harm the pack more than help.

What’s next for you? What are you working on now?

Book 2 in the series (currently titled Found in Hope) is with the higher ups at LooseID so we’ll see where that goes. I’m really excited for my readers to get their hands on it because Jamie and his girl, Skylar, are amazing. Right now I’m writing the third book in the series (currently titled Claimed by Magic but this could change), and it’s Aidan’s story 🙂 In the future, I am hoping to have audiobooks available too.

 

Here are the links on where you can find HR Savages book.

Amazon Link: https://goo.gl/RqrpCa
Barnes and Noble: http://goo.gl/3vPI0A
LooseID: http://goo.gl/PrdS6S
Goodreads: https://goo.gl/NtbCQk
Kobo: https://goo.gl/JEiM1t

And some more details on where you can find her 🙂 Note: If you go HR Savages website there some cool stuff like a playlist for Lost in Vengeance!

Facebook: www.facebook.com/authorhrsavage
Twitter: www.twitter.com/authorhrsavage
Amazon Author Page: http://goo.gl/jAfXId
Goodreads Author: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15282951.H_R_Savage
Instagram: www.instagram.com/authorhrsavage
Website: www.hrsavage.com

Pen paper writing

#FirstLineFriday

Hooray, It’s Friday. Do  you know what that means? It’s #FirstLineFriday!

I have been tagged by http://www.rumiungarthewriter.wordpress.com

I have cheated! It’s two lines and from chapter 2. I’ve already featured Etheral Flame’s first line in an earlier post. Here goes, feedback necessary and welcome. She says, holding her breath. Be kind!

Nighttime stars magic fantasy girl

Sander found her. Safe, asleep nestled in the ferns, dusted with morning dew.

Now, if you don’t know what #FirstLineFriday is, let me explain it to you. On Fridays, you:

  • Create a post on your blog titled #FirstLineFriday, hashtag and all.
  • Explain the rules like I’m doing now.
  • Post the first one or two lines of a potential story, a story-in-progress, or a completed or published work.
  • Ask your readers for feedback and then try to get them to do #FirstLineFriday on their own blogs (tagging is encouraged but not necessary).

who wants to join me? Comment below and add your link so we can all see. 😊

My first guest post

This week I’m sharing my experiences on the eternal scribbler of why I believe, you’re never too old to learn new things.

Also I get to cheat a little… saves me working on another post this week ;).

Follow the link and take a look!

https://theeternalscribbler.wordpress.com/2016/08/16/guest-post-youre-never-too-old-to-learn/

Author Kirsty Nicolle - Trish Thompson photography

Author interview ~ Kirsty Nicolle

Wow! Each page was unexpected and brilliantly written, Kirsty Nicolle deserves her 5 stars.

The Kiss That Saved Me follows straight on from The Kiss That Killed Me.

Callie and Orion are both dealing with the trauma from the first book. Orion has the responsibility of becoming crowned ruler thrust upon him. Callie feels stifled and over protected, becoming desperate to discover who she really is.

This isn’t like book one; Its not all flowers and rainbows but true grit and determination.
I loved the darker tone, with the right amount of action and suspense. Kirsty has nailed Callie’s emotions and inner voice. I grew to love Callie in this book, through her self discovery and experiences.
Kirsty tantalised me with lust over love. She brings in some great new characters and injects this book with spice and wit.

This book provides a fantastical underwater world of magic and romance. If you love that combination then this book is perfect for you.

Mermaid beach sand sea
photo credit: mermaid days via photopin (license)

Welcome Kirsty, Me and your fan’s would love to know a little more about you. Thank you for participating.

What drove you to write fantasy?

I don’t really know. When I was a child I loved fantasy, and as I’ve grown up that love has stayed with me. I feel like fantasy can take the domestic and make us see things from another point of view through the fantastical. I feel like it’s a kind of escapism you just can’t get from other genres. I also feel like fantasy is a challenge (and I love a challenge) more so than other genres because of the world building involved. That’s my favourite part of the process for sure.

Who are your favourite authors? And what genre do you enjoy reading the most?

I love William Golding, Harper Lee, C.S Lewis and a lot of other classical literary fiction writers like Angela Carter, Graham Greene, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Salman Rushdie etc. I went to university to study a broad range of literary fiction and I love the kind of layers you get to peel back when you get into this type of work.

Do you remember the first story you ever read and the impact it had on you?

The first story I ever read that I remember having an impact was The Lion, The Witch and the wardrobe. I cried when Aslan died, and I was at school when this happened. I was teased about this for weeks afterwards, but I don’t regret it for one second.

How did you come up with the idea to write about Mermaids and Psirens?

This is a question I’m asked frequently and to be honest I had the idea for the first few chapters of the first book before I even realised that’s where it was heading. Once I had the buzzword ‘mermaid’ wander through my brain, that was it, everything completely exploded and I realised that it was something I was really excited about.

girl underwater
photo credit: Shinkai Miku via photopin (license)

Is being a writer a gift or a curse?

Both. Being a writer is a gift because you’re building whole world and giving it to your readers, but it’s also a curse because it comes with crippling self doubt, an observation of the world you sometimes wish you didn’t have and an inability to just walk away from a story. There are good sides and bad sides to most things, but this kind of duality is definitely more apparent in the mind of a writer.

Where do you write? Do you have any unique or quirky writing habits?

I ALWAYS type with sherbert lemons at hand. It’s a weird habit and if you ask my partner he’ll tell you it’s annoying because of all the wrappers littering my desk. I write predominantly in my study, however, I am also always carrying notepads and my laptop with me to coffee shops and waiting rooms, if I have a spare sec I’ll draft or brainstorm.

Do you have any romantic plans in the future for Azure?

This is an interesting question. The answer is YES. However, Azure’s character ARC is HUGE! It even extends far beyond the end of The Tidal Kiss Trilogy, this is predominantly because for me in the trilogy Azure’s most important relationship is with herself. It’s about her deciding whether or not she can live with her inner darkness, live with herself and live with the fact that Starlet is gone. There will be a Novella called VEXED being released in the foreseeable future that will explore Azure’s romantic future as well as giving her closure on her past with Arabella, so don’t fret, her story will have an ending beyond The Kiss That Changed Me.

water mermaid sunset beach
photo credit: tinkerbell/mermaid. via photopin (license)

Which character from your novel, do you most identify with?

When I first began writing this series I always used to say Callie, however as I’ve moved on I’m finding that Azure is someone who I’ve got quite a bit in common with, as well as finding common ground with characters like Orion and even Starlet to some extent as well.

Out of the world you have created, where would you most like to spend the day and why?

With the books that are currently out now I’d really like to visit the Occulta Mirum and watch a game of Hydra Ball. However, there are several other foreign locations that I want to visit in book 3, which is why I’ve chosen those settings in particular. Look out for Castella Aragon, because that’s on my bucket list!

      Did you find any specific challenges in writing The Tidal Kiss series and what would you do different next time?

If I could do one thing differently it would be having a little more Solustus in book one I think, I’d also like to elaborate on Atlas because he is taken from us so soon and there’s a lot that isn’t said, however this might make a nice little Novella for the future.

      If you were the vessel, Which power would you like to try out?

I’d love to be able to talk to animals. That would be badass.

Mermaid girl water
photo credit: Ishilly from One Piece via photopin (license)

      Give us an interesting fun fact about The Kiss That Saved Me.

Interestingly enough, not ONE but TWO Pieces of Eight (which Atlas has spent centuries trying to track down) are lying right under the noses of the characters to which they truly belong throughout the novel. It’s something subtle that I added, but once you read book three you’d be amazed at how far back into the trilogy these little appearances are woven.

Were there any scenes that you found particularly challenging to write and why?

There was only one scene that I REALLY struggled with and that was chapter 5 of book 2, it was so hard to get into Solustus’ head-space as well as including all the back-story about his human life. He’s got a lot of issues which I can’t really relate to naturally. However, once I got his narrative voice right I wrote the entire chapter in one go after 6 weeks of trying to figure him out.

What got left out of the final draft?

Unusually enough, NOTHING. Not many people know this, but the first draft of book 2 ended up being the final draft. The only things that got changed in the first draft were typos and grammar. This book went from my head to the page and to published with very few changes, completely the opposite of book one.

Were there alternative endings you considered?

Yes. Originally it was Azure and not Starlet who was going to die. However, after looking at Azure’s story and character development, it became apparent that she needed to be kept in the plot. Originally, Starlet was going to survive but become dark can you believe? It just shows you how completely wrong I get it sometimes!

girl underwater mermaid
photo credit: Women Underwater via photopin (license)

What’s next for you? What are you working on now?

Right now I’ve got several projects sort of floating about, but the one I’m mainly focused on is Book 3 of the tidal kiss trilogy. The other projects I’m sort of looking at are Vexed (a tidal kiss novella), Waiting for Gideon (A tidal kiss short) and The Opal Blade which is the first novel in the second trilogy (The Ashen Touch Trilogy) in the Queens Of Fantasy saga (Of which The Tidal Kiss Trilogy is Trilogy one)

BUY LINKS!

BOOK 1:

AMAZON US: http://amzn.to/1UA798P

AMAZON.CO.UK: http://amzn.to/1pIex4p PAPERBACK: http://amzn.to/1WEBPpz

BOOK 2:

AMAZON.COM http://amzn.to/28UpZSk

AMAZON.CO.UK: http://amzn.to/28TK1RB

PAPERBACK US: http://amzn.to/28Snu4F

PAPERBACK UK: http://amzn.to/28TK1RB

Kristy Nicolle News- Mailing List Sign up

Signup@ http://eepurl.com/b0Y0yH

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/TheTidalKissTrilogy/?fref=ts

WEBSITE: www.kristynicolle.com

 

Author Lorraine Ambers Beagle Dexter Dog

Persevere and conquer, it’s worth it!

I’ve not always been a cat or dog person. It wasn’t that I hated animals, I just didn’t understand them. I certainly didn’t understand why owners got so attached to their furry friends. So when my family begged for a dog I gave them all the reasons why I would never own one.

  • They smell!
  • Malt fur everywhere!
  • Lick your face, Yuck!
  • Chew things to death!
  • And you’ll have to clean up poop!

With the argument successfully won, we resumed back to normal family life.

As a child I loved my pets. I loved my many, many short term pets. All ironically named Lucky. Perhaps that’s what put me off the little critters?

In the end, my family won. We were given Bailey a stunning rag-doll kitten that needed a homed. At first, I wasn’t sure what I thought of him. He was cute, loved to attack my ankles and took my husbands undivided attention. Everyone one else, fell head-over heals for the fluff ball.

Cat & Dog asleep friends
Fluff & Stuff
It wasn’t until he went AWOL, that when I realised I too loved him. I was devastated, sent out lost cat flyers and searched the streets at night. We found him in the neighbours garden with a lady friend, little tramp!

With my new found love of all things on 4 paws I declared to the family it was time for a dog. Not any dog, the right dog. One we could train to love Bailey bear. I did my research, picked the correct breed of dog for our lifestyle and thought, this will be great, wonderful, easy peasy.

Assumptions is the mother of all F**k ups!

For me having a puppy was worse than a newborn baby. I’ve never faced anything so stressful. I know! I sound melodramatic and ridiculous.

Your probably thinking; Try renovations, relationship break down, moving house or worse the death of a loved one… I have! This for me was far worse. I was driven to the brink by the worlds cutest creature. It was undoubtedly the last thing I expected.

In hind site (Oh bloody hind site) I should have used  a dog crate or only allowed him access to one room for the first month. I should have given him dog boundaries, I should have realised he was a puppy not a toddler.

But he was defenceless; like a baby. My mothering instinct took over and I couldn’t be cruel to my tiny Dexter. Instead I watched him with hawk eyes, for the tell-tale ground sniffing showing he needed a pee. Two problems with this method, the first he literally peed every 5 minutes for the first 6 weeks. Second; he’s a hound, they constantly sniff!!! My house stank of white vinegar from all the wee patches I had to scrub.

dexy1
Nickname ~ Dexy Adair
Thankfully he slept a lot… little bugger would root me out, snuggle up  on my lap and sleep on me. crafty on his part, as it made me bond with him. Increasing my internal struggle.

 

I’d stand outside for ages with him, in the middle of winter but as soon as he crossed the threshold into the house, he’d cock his leg and piddle. Little bugger! That wasn’t all, He wouldn’t go on walks! He would shiver by the front door, like monsters lurked outside. When I finally lured him past the front drive he would stand there and refuses to move.

At this point I broke down, crying hysterically to my husband (I’m not usually the weepy type). ‘I can’t keep him, he’s ruining my life… but I love him and someone else might treat him badly.’ My poor hubby replied. ‘He’s just a dog, not a baby.’ Half of me agreed with him while the other part thought. Stupid man, doesn’t he understand?

By the time he was four months old I had come to my senses (Only slightly at that point) and got him a large crate, more like a giant playpen. I would pop him in so I could cook dinner, have a shower, live a normal life… knowing he couldn’t pee on anything, which was usually everywhere; except outside!

Flame-cream rag-doll cat
Nickname ~ Bailey Bear
Ultimately I persevered and gave us both some serious training. I taught him how to listen to commands and me how to give them. Now he’s my perfect companion. He keeps me company when I’m writing, I no longer feel lonely. It can get that way when your an author. He’s my muse, we walk together and each time he makes me smile and reboots my creativity. The initial stress has now become my stress reliever. He also helped me grieve for my much loved, Beautiful Bailey.

 

I wonder if I could use this experience as an example to an interview question? ‘Tell us about a time you encountered difficulties and how you overcome them.’

My answer would be: ‘I had a puppy, it was insanely stressful but I learnt with perseverance anything is achievable.’

I apply this method to any task I want to accomplish. As humans we are always evolving, always learning and always have the capabilities to achieve the impossible.

If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again.

Share with me the times you’ve struggled but battled through, conquered and come out stronger. No incident is too big or small, they all develop who we are.

Beagle dog Black cat laying together
Brotherly love ~ Dexter is happy again with his new companion, Jaspurr.