Today our blog puts the Spotlight on Author Brae Wyckoff. He is the Author of The Orb of Truth book series. Brae is the founder of The Greater News facebook page! And Host of Prophetic Underground radio!
Brae Wyckoff - AUTHOR of The Horn King Series-
The Orb of Truth
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Brae Wyckoff was born and raised in San Diego, CA and is working toward a Psychology degree. He has been married to his beautiful wife, Jill, for 19 years, and they have three children; Tommy, Michelle, and Brittany. He has a beautiful grandson named Avery. Brae has been an avid gamer since 1985. His passion for mysterious realms and the supernatural inspired him to write The Orb of Truth, the first in a series of fantasy action adventures. Brae describes The Orb of Truth as a cross between the Lord of the Rings and the Wizard of OZ where you will be swept away into a magical land of Dwarves, Elves, and Halflings.
SPOTLIGHT Questions and Answers with the Author
Let’s start with what’s next. Do you have another book on the horizon? Can you tell us the timeline for its release and give us a little tease?
You bet I have another book and it will be out later this year. It is the sequel to The Orb of Truth called The Dragon God and picks up right where we left off.
I will be introducing some new characters, one being a thieving gnome named Trillius. This character is sure to be a fan favorite and bring some grand humor to the bunch of heroes established in the first book. I also introduce a vampire, a swashbuckling pirate vampire named Romann. There is a bigger story to be revealed in the 3rd novel entitled The Vampire King revolving around Romann. I am currently writing the 3rd book now and it is due out next year, 2014.
I won’t stop with these three books as there is more to tell and more amazing stories for everyone to enjoy.
You have a good following on twitter. How important have your social media relationships been? Do you see a carry over to your writing success?
Social media endeavors are a must for any author, but I find that building relationships with fans and readers is the best format on these sites. When you get blasted with “buy my book” (which is necessary also) and never any interaction with someone then you don’t really take notice of the person trying to get your attention.
I make sure to contact people directly, like statuses, wish them happy birthday, etc. My twitter is linked with my facebook page so my posts also get tweeted. I mix and mingle my personal interactions with my marketing efforts.
I discovered an amazing person, Aileen Aroma, who is my PR Manager. She really helps in marketing me on all fronts of social media. She is amazing and helps many authors. You can find her on facebook.
Do you do book signings, interviews, speaking and personal appearances? If so, when and where is the next place where your readers can see you? Where can they keep up with your personal contacts online?
I have many things going on each given week. Signings, interviews, speaking engagements are sprinkled throughout the year. I have one coming up in June at a local college where I will be doing a book signing. Later this year I will be speaking to college students in a Creative Writing class.
Anyone can follow along with me on my crazy adventure by joining my fan club on facebook, goodreads, google+, twitter, linkedin, pinterest, and more.
You have a great book trailer. (See link below.) Do you know how much impact they have had on your book’s success? Tell us about the process that you used to create your trailers? They look very professional.
Well, you hit it. I had my trailer professionally done. I called in a favor to someone I knew within the industry and he came back with this great trailer. It is hard to measure one tactic over another in this industry but everything goes hand in hand.
The trailer will invoke emotion behind the book and has drawn people in to buy the book so it is effective, but only if it is done right. Marketing is a balancing act and people will vote on your book by the cover, by your interaction with them, and by a professional trailer. The idea is to be professional in everything you do to market yourself and have a solid book to back it up. Check out the reviews coming in on Amazon…that is the real proof.
What kinds of writer support groups do you belong too? Do they help with the writing, marketing and the publishing process?
I belong to a prestigious writers group in Rancho Bernardo. The facilitator is an Academy Award winner and author. We have about 8 members and we read 5 pages of our work each week where everyone critiques the work out loud. I bring my digital recorder to capture their comments and yes, we give brutal feedback, but healthy and concrete feedback. This is not a fluff group and no one is afraid to tell you what they think. I highly value this feedback as it helps to hone the story, the characters, and overall content before I deliver it to my editor.
I also interact with a lot of writers group on facebook where people share ideas for writing, marketing, and publishing. One can get quite a lot of information from everyone.
Between your book writing, blogging, marketing, family and all the other things that can get in your way, how do you manage your time? Do you have a set schedule or do your sort of play it by ear?
Yes and no. I try to write each day, but marketing takes a bit of time to manage so that can detract from writing consistently. I will take myself to Starbucks (which I call my office) and write for a few hours there. I will take mini vacations to the local mountains with my wife and rent out a cabin to do some writing. I bring my laptop when traveling to write. I am also editing the 2nd book currently with my editor and we work late nights. I am juggling interviews such as this one and keeping up with social media demands.
An author must be diligent and stay focused on writing. Interesting fact I discovered on facebook last year. Someone created an app that goes through all of your postings and when it came to mine it said I wrote over 80K words. That is a book ladies and gentlemen. If you can write on facebook each day then you can write a little each day to get your book out. It can be done.
What has been your experience in giving your books away free? Have you been involved in any other type of giveaways and how did that work out? What was your main goal in doing this? Did you run into any obstacles?
My PR Manager has done contests for book giveaways, I have given books to reviewers, I also do some giveaways on Goodreads. I have not done an ebook giveaway on Amazon and I am not so sure it is effective. I see a lot of people wanting free books but few actually read them. I think we have book hoarders out there that just love downloading it and knowing they have it. I have downloaded several books myself but have not gotten to read them and not sure I will.
I have even had people ask me point blank when will I be doing a free Amazon ebook giveaway and when I told them I had no intentions of doing that the responded, “Well, I guess I won’t be reading your book then.” I guess a couple dollars is too much for people. If every author just gives their book away then how are they going to put food on the table for their family? I understand that an author needs to give some books out in hopes of getting those much needed reviews in return, but just to give for giving sake is a bit much. People need to support authors they love and trust. Don’t spend your money foolishly but really look at what the author has written by downloading a sample and seeing if it is something you would want to read. Check out the reviews people are placing and then make that buying decision. Authors spend years making these stories, crafting their skills, and delivering something special for the world.
Have you ever done a book tour? If so, did it contribute to the success of your book sales?
I just finished a month long blog tour which proved effective. I was blogged and interviewed each day for the month of April.
I plan on doing a book tour next year. There is a lot of planning involved and fan support is much needed. I need to effectively plan out where to attend for a book tour to be the best it can for the fans and for me.
How do you manage your plots, characters and timelines to keep your stories going? Do you use any software to keep track of your books?
I use excel to keep track of character dynamics. I am pretty well versed with my characters so I don’t look at it too often. I also outline my books before writing them as this keeps things in check and keeps my eye on the end game.
I write my books in Word. My editor and publisher handle cleaning it all up for me…that is why they get paid the big bucks.
Tell us about the
Blog Talk Radio Show- Broadcast Muse . How did that start and where can readers hook up with the Broadcasts?
Broadcast Muse started early this year. I launched it with the intention of helping other authors market their material and to interview some amazing people I have been blessed to meet in my life. I have interviewed Academy Award winner Peter Berkos, American Idol contestant MissLadybug from season 6, and some amazing authors in all genres.
You can visit my website www.braewyckoff.com to find out about my radio show to hear recorded interviews and to even schedule your own 30 minute show with me.
Author's Book List
The Orb of Truth
- Volume 1
Voted #1 Best Fantasy Book Under the Radar! Voted #1 Best Christian Sci-Fi/Fantasy Book! Voted #1 Best Indie Fantasy Book! Voted #1 Best World Building! Voted #1 Epic Fantasy Worth Your Time! Voted #1 Awesome Action! Voted #1 Best Supporting Characters! In the hundreds of years since the Holy City disappeared, darkness has fallen over the land. Human kingdoms have seized control of the realm, scattering the other races into hiding. Bridazak, a skilled thief, and his friends, a Dwarf and a fellow Ordakian, have dared to remain within the human communities and live relatively quiet lives, until they discover a mysterious, magical artifact. The three friends are thrust into an adventure that will challenge their faith, their purpose, and their destiny as they chase a forgotten and lost prophecy across the realm of Ruauck-El, where they hope to discover the origins of the strange item and their place in its history. An ancient, unknown enemy threatens the completion of their journey at every turn. Bridazak is about to face the biggest adventure of his life, one that may change the known realm, and answer the questions he has carried all his life. Will they unlock the truth? The Orb of Truth is the first book of The Horn King Series…
The Orb of Truth
Order the Book From: Amazon
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