Bundle Author Interview – Joslyn Chase #Crime #Suspense #Bloodonthecobbles

 

Author name: Joslyn Chase

How did you become involved in book bundles? Would you recommend it?

I first learned about book bundling when I attended a Business Master class at WMG Publishing and met Chuck Heintzelman, the founder of BundleRabbit. I also met some excellent editors there who shared their experiences with book bundles.

I find the idea very exciting and innovative. The potential for cross-promotion and cooperation is awesome. I’ve been in three or four bundles, and I’ve edited and produced a collaborative project, And Then There Were Nine, nine thrilling stories from nine masters of suspense.

I hope to be more heavily involved in bundling with other authors in the future. I believe it’s a great way to have fun and profit.

What other bundles are you involved with?

My first bundle was a Halloween Horror bundle that has since been discontinued. But I’m proud to be a part of Steve Vernon’s Cat Tales bundle and A.L. Butcher’s Blood On The Cobbles. I was also fortunate enough to be included in a Story Bundle Historical Mystery bundle, and that was a lot of fun.

Are you a ‘pantser’ or a ‘plotter’?

I am definitely a plotter. That’s what works best with my temperament and writing style. I leave a lot of room for organic growth, the way I do it. For my outline, I basically define the goal for each scene, but I generally have no idea how the characters will get from Point A to Point B until I start writing. And, of course, as the story progresses, things change and that’s fine. But I like starting out with some clearly defined goalposts to aim for.

What piece of advice do you wish you’d had when you started your publishing journey?

Enjoy your time as an unpublished author. Appreciate those moments when the world is wide open and all the possibilities are in the future where anything can happen. It’s exciting and creatively nourishing to dream like that. After publication, so much happens. It’s still a creative process, of course, but business matters come into it, too, and there are so many demands on your time and attention. Some of the innocence is lost. It’s like moving from childhood to adult life. Hang on to the child.

How much research do you do for your work? What’s the wildest subject you’ve looked at?

I adore the research part of writing a book. There’s so much to learn and so many fascinating topics—I spend a lot of time gathering information and getting a feel for the background before I begin writing.

Perhaps the wildest subject I studied while preparing to write my thriller, Nocturne In Ashes, was volcanoes. Mt. Rainier, in particular. It’s a pretty scary topic, especially when you live in the shadow of the mountain and you realize it’s not a question of “if” the volcano will blow, but “when.”

How influential is storytelling to our culture?

Storytelling is everything. It comes into nearly every aspect of societal life and relationships. We communicate by story, relate to each other by story, learn best through concepts put into story form. I write a blog on the subject of Story Power on my website, joslynchase.com.

What’s the best advice you’ve received about writing/publishing?

Every word of a story comes through a character. Ground the reader inside your viewpoint character’s head and make sure they’re the one telling the story, so readers see what they see, feel what they feel, and are able to experience the story through the senses, opinion, and emotion of the viewpoint character. In other words, get out of your own way and let the characters speak.

Tell us about your latest piece?

In April 2020, I published a collection of short stories titled No Rest: 14 Tales of Chilling Suspense. I’m pretty excited about it, and some of my personal favorites are in this volume.

I’m also thrilled to announce that my story, “The Wolf and Lamb,” is on the cover of the current Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, something I’ve aspired to since junior high school.

What’s your next writing adventure?

Last October, I started planning a six-book series of thrillers based on my protagonist’s experience in the EIS—Epidemic Intelligence Service, the disease detectives of the CDC. I’m excited about the project, but also a little bowled over now, with the Covid crisis that I didn’t see coming.

The pandemic has changed a lot of things, but I feel like it must have altered things dramatically within the CDC and now I don’t know how much of the research and preparation I’ve put into it remains valid. Or how readers will respond to books on the subject. To be honest, I’ve had some doubts about moving ahead with the project and I put the brakes on for a few weeks, but now I’m re-energized and moving ahead. I’m planning a release date for the first book in November.

What was the last book you’ve read?

I just finished reading Ann Cleeve’s third Vera Stanhope novel, Hidden Depths. I’m very much enjoying the series, and the television program, as well.

Are indie/self-published authors viewed with scepticism or wariness by readers? Why is this?

I think in large part, yes—readers are wary of books produced by indie authors. The indie movement, which I think is a wonderful thing, has moved the role of gatekeeper from the publishing companies to the readers, themselves. It’s a responsibility many readers are not used to having and may not be comfortable with, at first.

In today’s marketplace, we all rely on social proof—the all-important consumer review. But someone’s got to be the first to leave one. Investing time and money in an untried author and a book with no reviews is a risk many readers aren’t willing to take, and understandably so. That’s why there are so many free books on the market—they are the no-risk samples readers can try before sinking their cash into a new author.

I think this can be a very healthy revolution for both writers and readers, but so much depends on the review. I hope readers will take the time to leave an honest review after reading, a courtesy for other readers and a crucial element for writers.

Is there a message in your books?

There is a message in my books, though I usually don’t know what it is until I’m finished writing. And sometimes, not even then. This is the sort of thing that typically comes through the subconscious mind, though I might start out with a hint of what I want to say to the reader.

How important is writing to you?

Writing is supremely important to me. I’ve waited my whole life to get to this season where I could have a writing career. I know myself well enough to recognize that I couldn’t embark on a writer’s life until my kids were grown. It’s all-engrossing, takes up all my time, attention, and affection. Well, almost all. I try to save out a bit to spend on family and friends J

Links:

 

joslynchase.com

 

Joslyn Chase YouTube channel

 

Joslyn Chase Facebook Page

 

Joslyn Chase Amazon Page

 

Joslyn Chase on Goodreads

 

Joslyn Chase on BookBub

 

Bio:

Joslyn Chase is a prize-winning author of mysteries and thrillers. Any day where she can send readers to the edge of their seats, chewing their fingernails to the nub and prickling with suspense, is a good day in her book.

Joslyn’s love for travel has led her to ride camels through the Nubian desert, fend off monkeys on the Rock of Gibraltar, and hike the Bavarian Alps. But she still believes that sometimes the best adventures come in getting the words on the page and in the thrill of reading a great story.

Joslyn believes in the power of story, and writes a blog on the subject which you can find at joslynchase.com. Join the growing group of readers who’ve discovered the thrill of Chase when you sign up, and get access to updates and bonuses.

Connect with Joslyn at https://www.facebook.com/StoryChase/ and visit the Joslyn Chase YouTube channel to see trailers for many of her books.

Blood on the Cobbles Bundle

From legends of murder, and undead killers walking, to missing girls, deadly diseases, suspense and gore aplenty; from sleuths and detectives, murder and vengeance enter into a world of crime, clues and mayhem.

12 authors weave tales both long and short of crime and suspense.

A collection of short stories and novels.

https://books2read.com/Bloodonthecobblesbundle

 

Audiobook Narrator Interview Number Seven – Melanie Fraser

Name: Melanie Fraser

*Tell us a bit about yourself:

I was born in Cape Town, South Africa to where my father had moved during WWII. I made the decision at the age of 3 to become a ballet dancer! Following my training there and after the family moved to England – post-Sharpeville  – I continued full time theatre training. As an actress, singer and dancer I later appeared  in theatre, film and television. After a long break away from performing, during which time I qualified and taught professional classical ballet in the UK and abroad, I returned to acting and now perform on screen and as a voice over artist.

How did you become involved with audiobook narration and production?

Gary Terzza told me about BeeAudio’s new Studio Certification Course and that they were establishing a UK network. Helen Lloyd, with whom I had worked in a few theatre productions, runs the UK side. The course introduced me to audiobook narration as well as production.

Tell us about some of the titles you’ve narrated. Do you have a favourite amongst these?

These are on audible (UK and USA sites)

‘A Gentleman’s Daughter: Her Love’ (Reina M Williams)

‘The Promise’ (Elizabeth Chappelle)

‘The Final Dawn’ (Alice Catherine Carter)

 ‘Princess in Peril’ (Janet Whitehead)

 ‘A Murderer’s Heart’ (Julie Elizabeth Powell)

 ‘Lady Concealed’ (Jane Bridges)

‘Dirty Business’ (Julie Elizabeth Powell)

 One of my favourites is The Final Dawn, a compelling story of treachery and murder set in Stalin’s era/

Do you have a preferred genre?  Do you have a genre you do not produce? Why is this?

At the top of my list is espionage, then historical and crime/thrillers non-fiction and fiction as these stimulate my interest and I always buy these books.

I’m not drawn to narrate erotica, science fiction and fantasy (involving elves and pixies) and wouldn’t usually buy books in those genres.

What are you working on at present/Just finished?

Currently I am nearing completion of an historical fiction set during the Anglo-Boer War called, ‘Crossing the Vaal’ by Archie Vincent.  It is beautifully descriptive and my top favourite to date.

*Tell us about your process for narrating?  (Be as elaborate as you like.)

I start by reading the whole book before auditioning. Production begins by marking up the whole script with any pronunciation, unusual words etc listed or researched. I liaise closely with the author if there are any queries.

The characters are all colour coded on the script and a spreadsheet sets out the ages, types of voice and other information for reference. Accents are sourced via the IDEA, You Tube, film and other archives. I engage a tutor – always a native speaker – in whatever foreign accent is needed.

After recording and proofing, the editing takes considerable time. My studio is in a quiet area. Nevertheless, noises such as cars, planes, lawnmowers, barking dogs occur, picked up by my extremely sensitive microphone and are all removed. Each chapter is paced and proofed again with a final QC done before mastering, saving to the required format and specifications of the publisher after which the whole production is uploaded. An ongoing backup procedure is followed throughout the production so that nothing is lost……

What aspects do you find most enjoyable? 

I love the actual narration and really enjoy getting totally immersed in the story.

Do you consider royalty share when looking for books to narrate? If not why is this?

Yes, so far I have done mostly these but now give preference to projects with a PFH rate.

Do you listen to audiobooks?

Yes. I’m currently listening to David Rattray’s ‘The Day of the Dead Moon’ a thrilling history of the Zulu Wars in the 19thC.

*With many people owning MP3 players do you think this is the future of storytelling?

Whilst many people like listening to books whilst doing other things such as travelling, there are also people like me who prefer to read a book. For me it is partly because after many hours of working with sound, I like peace and quiet. I think they both have their value.

Please tell us a silly fact about yourself.

I have a dimple on each shoulder!

Where can we learn more about you?

http://www.melaniefraser-voice.com

http://www.spotlight.com/5892-8977-4349

https://www.acx.com/narrator?p=A25CGL7F987D8R

http://www.beeaudio.com/narrator/melaniefraser

http://www.audible.co.uk/search?searchNarrator=Melanie+Fraser

uk.linkedin.com/in/melaniefraservoiceuk

Social Media links:

I am not on Facebook or Twitter

MELANIE HAS ALSO BEEN RECRUITED TO NARRATE OUTSIDE THE WALLS – my latest short story with Diana L Wicker.

https://libraryoferana.wordpress.com/2015/08/25/outside-the-walls-fantasy-short-story-new-release/

Author Interview Eighty-Six – Alp Mortal (Carter Seagrove) – Thriller/LGBT Fiction

Welcome to Alp Mortal

BIO

Born in 1965, I’m English by birth from the Isle of Wight, living in Newport, spending part of the year in France in the stunningly beautiful department of Haute-Saône in the Franche Comté region. It is heavily forested and very tranquil but the winters are pretty harsh and my home is 820 metres above sea level so I get plenty of snow.

I am also spending increasing amounts of time in the USA, co-managing The Carter Seagrove Project LLC – an independent publishing house, incorporated in the State of Indiana.

I will be 50 years old in 2015. I only started writing in 2009, proving, I suppose, that it is never too late. I didn’t think about self-publishing until late 2012, now, more than two years later, I’m even more energized by the process than ever before.

I’m a qualified English teacher, specializing in teaching English as a second language (TEFL), though I don’t do much of that now. In the distant past, I taught software skills. In the very distant past, I was a project manager on big IT projects and at the very beginning of my career, I was an Internal Auditor. I have degrees in Internal Auditing, Computer Auditing, and Project Management. I’m studying for my degree in Sustainable Development at the moment. Renewable energy is what really interests me and I generate my own power at home via a solar panel.

I’m a member of The Society of Authors, The Society for Editors and Proofreaders, and The Independent Author Network. I am a Smashwords Author and a Goodreads Author.

I grow some of my own food and from Easter to the end of October, I’m outside for the largest part of the day, tending the garden. I write in the evening and during the winter when there is very little else to do. I have no great philosophy except “energy follows intention” and “honour your gifts”. These two principles keep me sane, very happy and exceedingly busy!

Together with Chambers Mars, I am half of Carter Seagrove, author of Dust Jacket and The Inspector Fenchurch Mysteries.

Alp Mortal, Chambers Mars and Shannon M. Kirkland are The Carter Seagrove Project LLC – an independent book publisher. Find us at www.carterseagrove.weebly.com, on Twitter @carterseagrove and on Facebook www.facebook.com/thecarterseagroveproject.

Q&A

Where do you live and write from? Currently, I am split between four centers of fiction writing worship: The Isle of Wight, UK in the town of Newport; in the mountains of the Vosges in Haute Saone, France, and in Indiana, USA, where I stay with Shannon from time to time. I also spend time in St Tropez with Chambers – usually if we’re getting a Fenchurch Mystery ready for publication.

Living this way really helps to keep me topped up with ideas for new stories – travel broadens the mind … and the vocabulary!

Please tell us a little about your writing – for example genre, title, etc. I write m/m romance, m/m/f romance very occasionally, m/m romantic thrillers, and gay-themed crime stories and series (mostly with Chambers Mars when we write as Carter Seagrove). I am just about to start my first Sci-fi project which is also gay themed (Trojan Horse – a kind of Space Opera). I have a gay-themed soap opera (Swallow Close) on the table but that is languishing due to project overload. At some point in 2015, I hope to output a series of poems based around the themes of Metaphysics, Gestalt Theory, Solipsism and Synesthesia – themes which occur in my stories too.

I shuttle between stories of varying length and style – epic fantasy sagas alongside very brief encounters, poetry and things which are essentially plays.

Where do you find inspiration? Inspiration comes from everywhere – it’s why travel is so important to me. I find that a lot of the energy for a story comes from my own experiences and relationships. There is a lot of me in each story. The things I study the most also feed into stories – ecology, art, cooking, veganism, Buddhism, social history, evolution, mythology, fast cars, poetry (especially John Donne, Andrew Marvel and Coleridge), Metaphysics, Gestalt Theory, Synesthesia and Solipsism. Fundamentally, I find the greatest source of inspiration to be the idea that a set of words can influence how a person feels and thinks – that suggests a very deep connection and a privileged one too.

Do you have a favourite character? If so why? Cicero in Dabs of Blue, Casper in Guiltless Trip, Inspector Alfred Fenchurch in The Inspector Fenchurch Mysteries, Daniel in Daniel’s Garden, Archie in Brave, Alfie in A Lifelong Love and Jason in The Weaver & The Loom – because they represent the best of humanity … and that doesn’t mean always just good – neither are they the most complex (Emile in Juxtaposition) or the simplest (Adam in Camping Gear) – they offer a kind of optimism.

Do you have a character you dislike? If so why? Ben in Juxtaposition; Fulshard in The Inspector Fenchurch Mysteries, Lawrence in Guiltless Trip, Anthony in Brave, Pierre in Love On The Beach – they exist to fulfil a purpose – to highlight the good in someone else – to provide the motivation to act in a certain way, to engender an emotional response. I haven’t created a character that I began to dislike – sometimes I become ambivalent about a character – sometimes I elevate a character to play a part which I did not anticipate at the start – most notably Gus and Jacob in Brave.

Are your characters based on real people? All of the characters are based on real people to one extent or another – some of them I know well, others, less so.

Have you ever used a person you don’t/didn’t like as a character then killed them off? Yes …

Research can be important in world-building, how much do you need to do for your books? Do you enjoy this aspect of creating a novel and what are your favourite resources? I love research – ferreting around out of way places and musty old bookshops. How much I research I need to do depends on the story – The Inspector Fenchurch Mysteries takes place in the 1930s, so that took a lot. Some stories are written straight out of my memory of a particular place – Guiltless Trip, Consequences, Camping Gear. The Internet is absolutely invaluable to me – Wikipedia & YouTube probably most – often Google Maps.

Is there a message conveyed within your writing?  Do you feel this is important in a book? Always a message – I can’t write something which does not have a ‘point’ – it is fundamental to the process of creating a story – before the characters are drawn oftentimes. It provides the energy, motivation, realism and hook.

Sort these into order of importance: Great characters; great world-building; solid plot; technically perfect. Can you explain why you chose this order? (Yes I know they all are important…) Great Characters, Solid Plot, Great World Building, Technically Perfect

I am a storyteller – and love reading stories – but I remember the characters and prefer to create characters because I am turned on by people. Great characters can compensate for a thinner plot – a great plot can never compensate for badly drawn characters. I prefer as a reader – and for the reader – to build the world themselves – I hate too much detail – I want to use my imagination. Technically perfect – of course – but not to the detriment of getting the story told – my editor hates me!

In what formats are your books available? (E-books, print, large print audio) Are you intending to expand these and if not, what is the reason? All of my titles are available as eBooks – in all formats – and some are going to be produced as audiobooks. Print is too costly and the retail pricing model doesn’t work these days in the face of eBook pricing. I used to offer all of them in print and sold zip, so took them off of the shelf.

Do you self-edit? If so why is that the case? Do you believe a book suffers without being professionally edited? I used to; I don’t anymore. Yes, a book suffers. When I look at the mistakes I made and left unchecked in early stuff which I did self-edit, I cringe. I realised after a while that you owe your reader at least a script that is as good as it could be, given even the best editor will always miss something. I am blessed with a wonderful editor who takes great pains to make sure the script is ‘worthy’.

Do you think indie/self-published authors are viewed differently to traditionally published authors? Why do you think this might be? Yes. We used to be treated as a joke. Now we’re getting some kudos. We represent the new construct, are closer to our readers, are better at social media and get books published quicker. I see a lot of negative press but discount it because I have exercised a choice in being a self-published author – we have freedom and control our output. If someone believes that a trad’ published author is the only kind or the ‘real’ kind or the ‘best’ kind then they are missing out on great reads.

Do you read work by self-published authors? 90% of my contemporary fiction reads are from self-published authors.

What are your opinions about authors commenting on reviews? How important are reviews? I used to get hooked on them and upset by bad ones – now I never read them. You can’t influence the outcome once the book has gone out there – I’d rather devote the energy to writing the next story.

When buying a book do you read the reviews? Sometimes but they do not always influence my decision to purchase.

What three pieces of advice would you give to new writers? Write, write and write … leave the editing to the editor. Enjoy the process or quit. Respect your professional and artistic integrity and respect your reader.

What are your best marketing/networking tips? What are your worst? Website – blog – Twitter – be Goodreads active – put your product everywhere – advertise on All Romance eBooks and Prism Book Alliance – have a profile everywhere – enter competitions – comment on blog posts

Worst – paid boosts of posts on Facebook

Most authors like to read, what have you recently finished reading? Did you enjoy it? The Good Earth by Pearl S Buck

Atonement by Ian McEwan

Romeo & Juliet by William Shakespeare

Assignment to Disaster by Edward S Aarons

Strange Conflict by Dennis Wheatley

The Romance of Tristran & Iseult retold by Joseph Bedier

Stripped Expectations by James Lee Hard

The Twelve Chairs by Ilf and Eugene Petrov

Lexington Black by Savannah Smythe

Wondering, The Way by Luke F D Marsden

Jonathan’s Hope by Hans M Hirschi

I read rapaciously – I am aroused by the way a series of words invokes an emotional response – I read all of the packaging on the food I buy – it’s fascinating!

Can you name your favourite traditionally published author? And your favourite indie/self-published author? Trad = too difficult to choose one but would have to be Emile Zola (dead) / Stephen R Donaldson (alive)

Indie = too difficult to choose one but Dill Pickles

What are your views on authors offering free books? It is a necessary evil – I do – without a free offering there is zero chance anyone is going to take a chance on you if they don’t know you.

Do you have a favourite movie? The Matrix

Can you give us a silly fact about yourself? I was born in 1965 – the population of Asia then, equated to 1000 times the number of words I had written by the time I was 49.

FOR EROTICA AUTHORS

As a writer of erotica have you encountered any prejudice?  How have you dealt with it? Do you write under a pen name? I write erotic romance – as Alp Mortal – that’s me.

Yes; some people think it’s dirty or somehow perverted. I usually ask them if they have watched Brokeback Mountain …

Where do you think the lines are drawn between romance, erotica and porn?  Those lines exist only the reader’s head – for me the line is between the gratuitousness of the sex and whether the characters engage with me and whether there is a point to the story which lasts beyond the orgasm.

Erotica is not a new genre do you think it is becoming more accepted into mainstream reading?It was always accepted into mainstream reading – the difference now is that more people admit to reading it.

 

Book links, website/blog and author links:

Book links – http://carterseagrove.weebly.com/books-by-our-authors.html

Website/blog – http://alpmortal.weebly.com

Author links – use the book links – above – (a new gallery we have created) to find all of the links to the other author/retail links

 

The publishing house – http://www.carterseagrove.weebly.com,

on Twitter @carterseagrove

and on Facebook www.facebook.com/thecarterseagroveproject.