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Monday, April 24, 2017

Different Covers, Different Countries


This month we’ve been posting on covers – designing, blurbs and critiques. Today I thought I’d look at covers from different countries.
At RWA I attended a workshop on covers by an author from England. Her focus was the difference in covers in the UK, Australia, New Zealand and some European countries as compared to those in the US. She said that in comparison the UK covers are more subtle – no bare-chested, sexy men.

In the UK they usually didn’t show actual people, or if they did it didn’t usually show their head. Or they use very small images. The reason is that people use their own imagination when reading a book and fill in how they see the person. The colors are usually softer; blues, pinks, pale yellows, not bright, vibrant covers. Lots of scenery backgrounds; lakes, meadows, hills.
My book ‘Targeted’ had recently been released and I thought it might not sell in other countries because of the design. So I had a second cover designed for the UK, Australia and New Zealand. I’m not sure it made a difference.

What about your covers? Do you cover designs affect your sales in other countries besides the US and Canada?

Friday, April 21, 2017

Reviews - Love 'em or Hate 'em

Victoria suggested this month’s topic. Reviews - Love 'em, hate 'em or totally ignore them. Amazon tells us the more 4 or 5 reviews the merrier, but how to get them?

When I read the topic I sighed. I’m one who totally ignores them, both as a writer and a reader. As a reader I don’t find them helpful. It’s one person’s opinion – or two peoples. I’ve read books with horrible reviews because I know the author and loved the books. I’ve read books by popular authors with great reviews and hated them. So I ignore reviews of books. When I’m looking at buying or reading, I check out the author, the cover, the blurb and maybe a short excerpt. 

When it comes to my writing and books, I did try and get reviews when I first published. The small publishing companies expected you to get and publish your own reviews. I spent a lot of time trying to find reviews and get people who read my books to write a review. It took away from my writing and at that time it didn’t make a lot of difference to my sales. Today, I write, I have it critiqued and I critique other authors. I have it edited. I have a cover artist and a formatter.  I’ve read about Amazon and it’s not 4 or 5 reviews, people are trying to get hundreds. I don’t know how to do that and I don’t think I want to learn.  I am looking at doing more advertising and promoting this year. I think that will do more for sales than reviews.
So I hate reviews and I ignore them. I look forward to reading what the authors have to say.  Off to check them out. Hope you will, too.

And I’d love to hear what you think of reviews from a reading or writing perspective.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Cailin Briste on Bookcovers


This week we’re going to find out a little about author Cailin Briste. April‘s theme is ‘Covers’ so Cailin will be talking about book covers. She’ll also tell us a little about herself and her writing, and answer some fun questions.
Cailin has been writing fiction for five years and non-fiction for two decades. Her non-fiction work has been published in magazines and in a non-fiction anthology. She’s a member of Romance Writers of America, the RWA Fantasy, Futuristic and Paranormal Chapter, and the RWA Passionate Ink Chapter.
Cailin likes to flip convention on its head, creating a universe in which each planet is a study in different what ifs. What would happen to alpha men on a matriarchal planet where the women are not Dommes in the strictest sense but certainly have the attitude down pat? How would society handle it if girls born on their new planet developed empathic senses? Cailin throws her characters into these settings, heroes and heroines whose kink is a major defining attribute of their personality.
 

 
Beverley: How important are book covers in marketing your books?
Cailin: A good cover is vital to catch the eye of prospective readers and to give an idea of what the book is about. I’ve written two sci-fi romances with marshal in the title. It’s important that the covers convey that the books are not westerns.
Beverley: What elements are important in the design of a cover?
Cailin: Every cover should have an attention-grabbing image and easily read title and author text.
Beverley: What don’t you like on covers?
Cailin: Two of my dislikes are Images that misrepresent what the book is about or that are repetitive of similar titles within a genre. Similar in a series is fine.
Beverley: If you self-pub, do you design your own cover or hire someone? Which ever you do, why did you go this route?
Cailin:  I have designed covers for my free short stories and one novel I intended to self publish.
Beverley: Is there a difference between an e-book and a paperback cover? If yes, what is it?
Cailin: A paper back cover requires the spine and back cover, which allows more room for blurbs.
Beverley: Tell us about the cover of your latest book.
Cailin: My latest book, Maon: Marshal of Tallav was designed by April Martinez at Loose Id. Loose Id has a process of providing information to the artist who then creates a cover from that info. The author can express her opinion and request changes. Whether those changes occur is up to the Loose Id editor who makes the final decision.
Beverley: How long have you been writing?
Cailin: I’ve been writing for many years, but only began writing fiction in the last five.
Beverley: What genre do you write in and why?
Cailin: I write sci-fi erotic romance, but will soon be branching out into contemporary romance. I’ve been a big fan of sci-fi and fantasy for most of my life. It’s the what ifs that I love. I’ve had a sci-fi trilogy rattling around in my brain for a long time, but getting down to writing it was daunting. I stumbled into writing romance by first becoming a romance reader. Thank you free Kindle eBooks! Romance novels are shorter and not so convoluted and seemed less intimidating. I didn’t know if there was much of a market for sci-fi romance, but that’s the kind of story I wanted to tell.
The contemporary romance I’m plotting began from something that happened in real life. It was too good to pass up. We’ll see if I can make it happen.
Beverley: Who influenced you the most in deciding to become a writer?
Cailin: My biggest influences came from the many writers who wrote books I fell in love with. I’m one of those people who perennially says, “I can do that.” Not that I thought I could write at the same gifted level, but I believed I could learn.
Beverley: What obstacles did you have to overcome to begin creating your work?
Cailin: Time spent in the seat writing is an absolute necessity, but it’s also the hardest thing to establish doing on a regular basis. If you never write, you’ll never publish a book. I also had to give myself time to learn as I wrote rather than decide on a specific date when I would complete my first draft.
Beverley: What gets your creative juices flowing?
Cailin: Images are a very effective way to prompt the writing muse. When I see a particularly expressive cover, I often find myself imagining the story behind that image. But the actual writing requires more. Some days I have to sit down and hammer out a really dreadful sentence or two before something clicks inside and the words start to flow. I’ve spent entire writing periods dredging up what I thought was sludge only to discover it wasn’t so bad. The bones of a scene were there. Revision would give it the snap it needed.
Beverley: What will stop your creative muse the quickest?
Cailin: Brain slump. This happens when I’ve worked for several hours or when I’m hungry. Or in pain. Or interrupted. It seems there are quite a few things that stop my muse.
Beverley: What do you have for breakfast?
Cailin: Cottage cheese or a chocolate Muscle Milk Light protein shake. When they’re available, I eat donuts.
Beverley: What do you wear when you are writing?
Cailin: Most days my pajamas until about noon. I usually get dressed by then, but definitely before my husband gets home. He likes to make a big deal about me sleeping in all day.
Beverley: Where do you do most of your writing?
Cailin: I write at my cluttered desk on a Dell Touch PC with a 27-inch screen. Ginormous, I know, but I have vision problems.
Beverley: Do you have a favorite cartoon character? Why?
Cailin: I was in love with Aquaman when I was little. So handsome! And he could swim underwater for a long, long time.
Beverley: Who would you love most to meet 'in person' and why?
Cailin: I’m something of an introvert, so I’d rather admire from afar rather than meet in person any of my heroes. But having said that, I would love to have a nice long chat with Queen Elizabeth II. A girl chat where we could talk about her life, her kids, grandkids, and great grand kids, and her memorable moments.
Beverley: If you had an unexpected free day what would you do with it?
Cailin: The same thing I do every day. I don’t have an outside job. I write because I enjoy it. If my husband has the day off too, I’ll do whatever he wants to do. I’m an easy and a cheap date.
Beverley: What are you working on now?
Cailin: I have a novella, It Takes a Cat Burglar, releasing May 7 on Amazon and in Kindle Unlimited. A wealthy businessman and cat burglar trains a woman to become his partner in the most important break-in of his life. Falling in love wasn’t supposed to be part of the bargain, not with his sister’s happiness at stake.
My novel-in-progress is the third book in the Sons of Tallav series. This book will be about the third member of a group of best friends. Randolph, or Rand for short, is a sadist who is beginning to feel dissatisfied with life as the owner of a BDSM club. I’m putting him through a host of problems including the murder of his sister before he finds the happily ever after he never knew he needed.

Blurb for Maon: Marshal of Tallav Book

Maon Keefe has always been told he’s doomed to fail as a husband. He decides never to marry instead focusing on living life as a player and becoming a capable marshal of Tallav. When he is shot and the most-wanted criminal he’s escorting escapes, he fears that his career, his one success in life, is doomed. Assigned to ferret out the cause of missing shipments for a VIP aristocrat, he meets Selina Shirley CEO of the House of Shirley. He finds himself inexplicably attracted to her despite her frumpy appearance. When he meets a hooded and masked, scorching hot Domme, Lasair, at his friend’s BDSM club, he’s torn between the two women. Both fire his imagination and call to his submissive nature. Either might be the woman to change him into successful husband material. Selina Shirley organizes her life like she organizes her business, taking control of all aspects of each. She’s concluded that she must marry to get an heir and that her future husband must be totally submissive. Mentored by the sector’s most famous sadist, she learns what it takes to be a proper Domme. Then, hidden behind a hood and mask, as Lasair, she meets Maon and her instant attraction to his full submission at the BDSM club leads her to break her own rules and become involved with him. But he’s also the marshal assigned to investigate thefts at her company. When his broad streak of protective alpha male comes into play, it obvious he’s not a 24/7 submissive. To stick to her plan to marry the perfect husband, she must ignore her heart and dump Maon.
Buy Links:
Loose Id http://www.loose-id.com/marshal-of-tallav-maon.html
Online Retailers http://books2read.com/maon/
Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33292910-maon

You can find Cailin at:
Website: http://cailinbriste.com/
Blog: http://cailinbriste.com/category/all-posts/
Email: mailto:cailin@cailinbriste.com
Twitter: http://twitter.com/CailinBriste
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cailinbriste/
Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/102592935378667862505
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/cailinbriste/

Don’t forget to check back next week for another author interview and more discussion of book covers.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Book Cover Critiques


The Goldfinch is a prize winning cover. This month we're talking about book covers. My plan was to blog on prize winning covers. I went online and came across the site below.
I was expecting to see the prize winning covers from some contest. What I got was covers with their critiques. Some covers were good, like The Goldfinch. Others looked okay, but had titles that didn’t were difficult to read, author’s name you couldn’t read and many other comments. I thought you might find it interesting and could compare them to your own covers or future covers.

Let me know if you enjoyed this or found it helpful.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Elaine Calloway Blogging on Book Covers


This week we’re going to find out a little about author Elaine Calloway. April‘s theme is ‘Covers’ so Elaine will be talking about book covers. She’ll also tell us a little about herself and her writing, and answer some fun questions.
Elaine grew up in New Orleans with a love of all things paranormal. She recently released her final Elemental Clan Series book, PENANCE, and is now returning to work on her Southern Ghosts Series. When she’s not writing, reading, or hanging out with family and friends, she speaks at writing chapters and conferences about story structure, marketing, and self-publishing.

Beverley: How important are book covers in marketing your books?
Elaine: Absolutely essential! The book cover is the first thing that gets the reader’s attention. Not only does the image need to convey something about the character(s) and story, but also the colors and images have to stand out even when the image is a thumbnail size online. That’s harder than most people think. Many books have decent covers in regular size, but will they catch a reader’s eye when there are fifty thumbnail book cover images on a page?
Having great covers and ones that can connect a series together also helps with book marketing in terms of having postcards, bookmarks, etc. printed out with the book series covers all displayed.
Beverley: What elements are important in the design of a cover?
Elaine: I prefer to have at least one character on the cover. My graphic designer says that this approach humanizes the story and helps connect the reader to the cover, as opposed to just a landscape scene and the book title.
Vivid colors and page layout also matter. You need to have colors that represent the book’s genre but still grab the reader’s attention. You wouldn’t want pink pastels for a Stephen King horror novel, would you? Color and placement send subliminal messages, whether we are conscious of it or not.
Beverley: What don’t you like on covers?
Elaine: I never liked those 1980s romance book covers, the ones with a Fabio-looking guy and his hair being windblown and looking...fake. That is a key thing for me when I seek out stock images for my characters on a book cover: the model has to have a sense of authenticity and being intelligent. The eyes are truly the windows to the soul. You wouldn’t believe how many stupid-looking images with dull, soulless eyes that I page through in order to find one intelligent, fiery set of eyes on a character model.
Beverley: If you self-pub, do you design your own cover or hire someone? Which ever you do, why did you go this route?
Elaine: I do self-publish and I found a fantastic graphic designer that I’ve used for all my books. Even though I designed websites way back when, I never went to school or learned how colors and layout can work together enough to do book covers myself. When I first starting asking for recommendations for book covers, I was saddened to learn that some people charged $500 for a cover! I couldn’t afford that for every book, so I started looking on various sites like Fiverr and Deviant Art.
I found someone on Deviant Art (www.deviantart.com) who had done book covers before and I liked her designs. We’ve worked out a great system. I search through stock image sites and pick images I like, and then I send those to her and give her a sketch of what I’m thinking. She brings me back to reality and explains that she can’t put 50 images into one book cover, and we narrow it down and come to a mutual agreement of what will work and what won’t. She’s very talented and extremely patient with me!
One tip I will say for anyone looking on Fiverr or Deviant Art: Make sure that the designer or you, the author, purchase all photos for the cover legally. There are many people who are not doing so, and it’s copyright infringement. So just be sure all your legal ducks are in a row.
Beverley: Is there a difference between an e-book and a paperback cover? If yes, what is it?
Elaine: There is a different layout, but the image is the same. My designer sends me the image file and then I do the page layout for my paperback covers in Photoshop or Fireworks. I use a template from CreateSpace, an Amazon company that handles my paperbacks. There’s a section for the front cover, back cover blurb, and then the book spine for the title and author name. Once I have the final book cover PNG and JPEG from my designer, I can easily layout the paperback cover by using the template.
With ebooks, I just upload the image to the vendors when I self-publish.
Beverley: Tell us about the cover of your latest book.
Elaine: My graphic designer and I followed our usual process (described in one of the Q&As above) and we had everything selected except for one thing. My book’s main character was a Fallen Angel who had been trapped in Hell for over a year. And I had chosen the main image for the hero, the background, the fiery spots at the bottom, but when I tried searching for Fallen Angel or a man with wings, I was frustrated to learn that every winged male photo/illustration on stock photo sites is ridiculous looking!
We began seeking other alternatives, and finally came up with wings that worked. So the book cover (you can view PENANCE on Amazon here:  http://amzn.to/2nY02fw) has one stock image for the hero, one image for the fiery lake, and the wings on his back are from some wild bird in Louisiana! It may have even been a vulture, I don’t remember, but I do know finding a giant bird did the trick at making the wings work because my other options were so silly looking! LOL.
Beverley: How long have you been writing?
Elaine: I’ve written novel-length fiction for about twelve years, but before that I wrote short stories and anthologies. And I’m probably one of the few people that has every day of high school written down in a journal, LOL! Writing always helped me calm down, helped me process confusing things, so I enjoyed it from a young age.
Beverley: What genre do you write in and why?
Elaine: I’ve written in a variety of genres, but my two published series are Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance and Romantic Suspense/Ghost Stories. I’ve always been attracted to the supernatural; perhaps because I grew up in New Orleans which is a unique city. The dead and the living tend to blend together there, so it seemed only natural I’d wind up writing about ghosts, mysteries and add in some romance.
Beverley: Who influenced you the most in deciding to become a writer?
Elaine: Wow, there are so many people that could be the right answer to this question. I would say that I really fell in love with the “music that the words make” in a book when I read Dennis Lehane’s books. He’s one of my favorite writers, along with Pat Conroy, because the words are lyrical and the characters so vivid.
Beverley: What obstacles did you have to overcome to begin creating your work?
Elaine: I attended a lot of writer’s club meetings and conferences to learn the craft, so the main obstacle I faced was trying to get my books published the traditional way before self-publishing became a viable option. After a few years of writing, I met agents and editors who always said they liked my writing and my books, but because I blend genres, they didn’t know how to market them. My books don’t fit into a neat little box. They aren’t just paranormal romance, they’re also ghost stories with a mystery and some humor. Agents had no idea what to do with that, though they often complimented my work and wished me well. Self-publishing has been a fantastic opportunity. I realize there are many people who don’t edit their work and they upload draft-type work instead of a polished book, but readers will weed those authors out. The reader is the new gatekeeper and the reader doesn’t care if my books blend romance, urban fantasy and paranormal. This makes it a fabulous time to be a writer! I’ve even put together my own success strategy for marketing my books into a free 7-day email course.
Beverley: What gets your creative juices flowing?
Elaine: Anything visually artistic sparks the creative juices. I love Pinterest because I can spend a few moments viewing beautiful colors, landscapes, and more before starting to write. I enjoy going to art galleries, reading a chapter of Pat Conroy, watching a fight scene from a favorite movie. Music also helps. I put together soundtracks for each book I write, and that music keeps me in the zone.
Beverley: What will stop your creative muse the quickest?
Elaine: Stress. Seriously, it’s a creative and inner joy killer of all things good. When my brain is stressed, it’s like putting up a super-efficient security system and my mind won’t let anything else enter in. So any ideas, connecting the dots of a few plots, etc. can’t penetrate through the stress layer and reach me. It’s one reason I’m a morning writer; I write the best before the day job stresses overtake my brain.
Beverley: What do you have for breakfast?
Elaine: On healthier days, yogurt and berries with a side of toast. Granola bars are always a handy option. Strawberry Pop-Tarts (not frosted) are a favorite but I try not to eat them too much.
Beverley: What do you wear when you are writing?
Elaine: Jeans and a comfortable shirt, most days! I’m not a t-shirt person so I guess the type of shirts I wear could be likened to a polo shirt. I’ve always wanted to dress like one of my characters or wear an enormous hat when writing some of my books. However, I haven’t done that yet!
Beverley: Where do you do most of your writing?
Elaine: I like to mix up my locations; it keeps my creativity on its toes. Some writing I’ll do at home, but many times I’ll go to a local café or shop. My favorite spots are ones that have unlimited caffeine refills and are quiet enough that I can duck away in a corner table and write for a few hours. The great thing about writing away from the house is that there are less distractions competing for my attention.
My writing critique partner and I will go to a Comfort Inn once or twice a year and do writing retreats. These are great for bursts of creativity because we literally get away from all distractions. We pick a location that is remote but has plenty of cheap and mid-range restaurants nearby, and then we write all day and then go to dinner and brainstorm/plot at night.
Beverley: Do you have a favorite cartoon character? Why?
Elaine: I always loved Scooby-Doo and that love of mystery and clues helped influence my writing romantic suspense. I also loved Bugs Bunny, but Scooby-Doo was my favorite!
Beverley: Who would you love most to meet 'in person' and why?
Elaine: Stephen King. I think he would be fascinating to meet and have a conversation with, and I have missed out on his recent public appearances. Another one would be Joss Whedon. I love his creativity and think he’d be a cool person to meet.
Beverley: If you had an unexpected free day what would you do with it?
Elaine: My ideal “free” day would be to get up early, go to a café and write for three to four hours. Then I’d meet friends for lunch, maybe take in an afternoon movie or read for a few hours, followed by a nap and then dinner with family. No stress, no tasks to “have to” do, just time for creativity and relaxing.
If I had an unexpected weekend and the time, I’d go to Savannah, Georgia, one of my favorite getaway places. I set my first Southern Ghosts Series book, No Grits No Glory, there and enjoy being back in a port-city atmosphere that reminds me of New Orleans.
Beverley: What are you working on now?
Elaine: I have 10 books planned for the Southern Ghosts Series. Right now, there are three books and one novella available, so I’m working on the fourth full-length book in the series. Each book has a mystery, a main character able to see/talk to ghosts, and a bit of romance and humor.  My latest release, PENANCE, was the final book in my Urban Fantasy series so I want to focus on my ghost series for now. As with all my books though, each one is stand-alone. Readers can read them in order, but it’s not required.

Blurb for Penance
Going to Hell changes a person. Changes a Fallen Angel even more.For betrayal to his own kind, Cristos has been totured in Hell for years. He will do anything to get out of Lucifer’s grasp. Even those actions on Earth that he once found despicable.
When the Master gives him a second chance on Earth to reap souls, Cristos is an eager servant.Ready to do whatever is needed—until he meets the mysterious woman in New Orleans.

Rachel has fought demons in her head all her life. Adopted at a young age into a family of cops, she has yearned to know more about her biological parents and her background—yet no one will tell her. One night, she wanders into the Carousel Bar in the Hotel Montleone and meets the handsome Cristos.
But what neither of them knows is that they share a history and a haunted past which is about to collide…and could cost them their future—and eternity.


Buy Links:
Amazon US
Amazon CA
Amazon AU
Website for More Links

You can find Elaine at:
Website:www.howtoselfpublishyournovel.com andwww.elainecalloway.com
Facebook
Twitter
Pinterest
Instagram
Sign up for her Marketing for Authors course here.
To join her reader’s list to learn more about her upcoming books, click here.

Don’t forget to check back next week for another author interview and more discussion of book covers.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Writing A Blurb


We’re talking about covers. Part of a book cover is the blurb.

The book blurb is part of your sales pitch. After a reader picks up the book because of the title and the cover, they read the blurb.

How do you create your blurb?

Here are a few suggestions.

-Look at samples - Go to Amazon and click on the bestsellers in your genre. Read their blurbs and select some of the ones that got you really interested in the book. Analyze what structure they have used and also note the words that made the greatest impact.

Use a formula: Most fiction book blurbs start with a situation (a), introduce a problem (b) and promise a twist (c). They usually end with a sentence that emphasizes the mood (d) of the story.

-Use words that cater to your audience: The words you use should evoke a certain atmosphere and meet the expectations of readers of the genre.

-Give readers a setting

-Use Hyperbole: Words like "never before", "incredible", "unimaginable" and "inconceivable" are powerful tools to spark curiosity.

-Keep it short: Most blurbs are only between 100 and 150 words long

-Use short sentences:

-Use fresh eyes: Once you are happy with your blurb, let it rest for a day or so before you look at it again.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Catherine Mede Discusses Covers


This week we’re going to find out a little about author Catherine Mede. April’s theme is ‘Book Covers’ so Catherine will be talking about book covers. She’ll also tell us a little about herself and her writing, and answer some fun questions.
Catherine lives in a rural village in the South Island of New Zealand with her son and two cats.  Romance and Speculative Fiction are what Catherine likes to write about because she understands the need to get lost in a love that sometimes seems mythical.  Adding Fantasy elements to the story fulfils her need to extend her creative fanciful worlds. When not writing, Catherine likes to read, draw and work in her garden.

When she is rich and famous, Catherine intends to have a large library which will double as her writing space and own an Aston Martin Vanquish, or a Porsche GT3.  (Dreams are Free)
 
Beverley: How important are book covers in marketing your books?
Catherine: No matter what people say, books are judged by their covers, so I want my book to reflect the story.  In Running Away, the story was based in Abel Tasman National Park in New Zealand, and I needed the cover to show the golden sands of the beaches, as well as give a  peaceful vibe, because that is what the park is all about. 
Beverley: What elements are important in the design of a cover?
Catherine: The font and the image are really important.  The font tells you a lot about the story – historical romances tend to have cursive fonts.  Mysteries and Suspense novels have large bold font.  Romance, there are lots of different variations.  I love the font that my cover designer put on for this one, and I will use it on my other contemporary romance novels.  The image is also important, as it gives you clues to the story, gets you thinking about what is inside.
Beverley: What don’t you like on covers?
Catherine: That is a hard question. I had to ask my son what he thought.  And we both discussed this.  We agreed that a cover that doesn’t reflect the story. His example was To Kill a Mockingbird, because the story has nothing to do with killing mockingbirds.  That from a teenager is actually quite deep.
Beverley: If you self-pub, do you design your own cover or hire someone? Which ever you do, why did you go this route?
Catherine: I’m self published, and I went with a professional designer, because I am not good at that sort of thing.  I prefer to tell someone else what I want, and don’t want and then let them come up with some offerings.  My designer, Kate (Dwell Design and Press) is just amazing at capturing the mood of the story within the picture.
Beverley: Is there a difference between an e-book and a paperback cover? If yes, what is it?
Catherine: The front cover is exactly the same.  The only difference would be that the paperback cover has the blurb on the back and a spine, I always buy the full package when I purchase my covers because I want the option to produce paperbacks at a later date.
Beverley: Tell us about the cover of your latest book. (designer, how you reached it)
Catherine: I told Kate what the story was about, and gave her a blurb.  I also said it was set in the Abel Tasman National Park which has golden sands.  I told her I wanted a girl, or footprints in the sand.  The cover she came up with is outstanding, and I totally love it.  It gives the vibe of the story, gives a hint of what it is about without giving too much away.
Beverley: How long have you been writing? 
Catherine: For as long as I can remember I have loved writing but only got seriously into it about seven or eight years ago.  I started self publishing four years ago.
Beverley: What genre do you write in and why?
Catherine: I write romance, because my stories always had that in them, and rather than try to sell them as Paranormal or Science Fiction, I decided to go with romance, and have them as the subgenre.  However, this year I decided to take a break from writing romance, and wrote a chick lit, and plans to write a series of kids stories, but will get back into romance.
Beverley: Who influenced you the most in deciding to become a writer?
Catherine:  Funnily enough, it was my ex who encouraged me to write in the first place.  He told me “You’ll never get published if you don’t write,” – words he has regretted ever since.  As for who has influenced me? I love Nalini Singh’s books and Maurice Gee, a New Zealand author, who wrote lots of young adults books that I loved as a kid.
Beverley: What obstacles did you have to overcome to begin creating your work?
Catherine: A negative husband!  Seriously, he really did put a dent in my confidence and mental health.  It has taken me a long time to get my mental health back, and getting rid of my ex has helped, but it took a while to get over hearing his words in my head, and the feeling that he was judging me every time I sat down to write. 
Beverley: What gets your creative juices flowing? 
Catherine: Peace, quiet, and a great ritual!  Because I felt bad about writing, I couldn’t find time in the day to do it.  But in January this year, I started a new routine, where I got up, had a shower, had my breakfast, then spent up to an hour writing.  Then I had all day free to do other things.  It got me over the negative voice in my head and I was able to crank out my first book in eighteen months.
Beverley: What will stop your creative muse the quickest?
Catherine: Having someone ask me lots of questions or trying to talk to me while I’m trying to write.  I have a study where I will take my laptop and do my writing in the morning, and my son knows that he isn’t allowed to interrupt me, of course, he is a teenager, he doesn’t listen to his Mum!
Beverley: What do you have for breakfast?
Catherine: Porridge, with peaches cut up over the top, covered in milk, and then a tea or cappuccino coffee, depending on my mood.
Beverley: What do you wear when you are writing?
: My clothes for the day – generally shorts and t-shirt in summer, or jeans and long sleeved shirt in winter.
Beverley: Where do you do most of your writing?
Catherine: On my laptop – lol.  I have a study that I take my laptop to and that is generally where I do the majority of my writing, however when my son isn’t home, I will just type in the lounge.
Beverley: Do you have a favorite cartoon character? Why?
Catherine: Betty Boop – she is sexy and sassy.
Beverley: Who would you love most to meet 'in person' and why?
Catherine: Do we have all day?  Living, Tom Hardy, because he is my virtual husband.  Dead, I would love to talk to Marilyn Monroe, I have loved her from when I first discovered her when I was a teenager.
Beverley: If you had an unexpected free day what would you do with it?
Catherine: I would find something to do – lol.  I love to garden, and read.  But if I have an unexpected day free, I generally try and clean my house. I work as a gardener, so my own garden is often neglected.
Beverley: What are you working on now?
Catherine: I have written a chick lit story called Finding Amy Archer, about a woman who suffers three big losses in a short period of time.  It’s loosely based on my life last year.

Blurb for Running Away

Sometimes the world has a way of making you stop.

Larissa Green has had a rough run.  She ditched her boyfriend, quit her job, and lost her flat all in a 24 hour period.  She does what she does best.  Larissa turns on her heels to escape her life by doing something totally out of character - going for a tramp.

Harley Orion is an English action movie star, in a toxic relationship.  When his girlfriend accuses him of a serious offence, Harley freaks out and runs away to New Zealand until the storm blows over.  Anonymity is assured when you stay at an isolated Lodge in the beautiful Abel Tasman National Park.

A fateful morning pushes the two together, and they can't deny the chemistry between them, but both are cautious.  Harley has been stung by women, Larissa used by men.  However they can't stop what happens between them.

Until the true nature of Harley's visit to New Zealand is revealed, destroying Larissa's hope of ending up with her dream man.

But life has a way of making things happen, that you least expect.

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You can find Catherine at:
Website: www.catherinemede.com 
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Email her catherine @ catherinemede dot com 

Don’t forget to check back next week for another author interview and discussion of genres.