Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Maggie Shayne - An Author Interview In the HBS Author's Spotlight

Today our blog puts the Spotlight on New York Times Bestselling Author Maggie Shayne. She is an author of the The Portal Series and over 50 other novels.

Author Genre: Thriller, Paranormal, Romance

Website: Maggie Shayne
Author's Blog: Maggie's Bliss Blog
Blog: Maggies Coffee House Blog
Twitter: @MaggieShayne
E-Mail: Maggie@maggieshayne.com
Goodreads: Check Out Goodreads
LinkedIn: Check Out LinkedIn
Facebook: Check Out Facebook
Pinterest: Check Out Pinterest

Author Description:
Sixteen-time RITA Award nominee, New York Times Bestselling author Maggie Shayne has published 53 novels, all for major NY Publishers, in her 20 year career. So far. This past year saw the release of her trilogy, "The Portal Series" and its books include MARK OF THE WITCH, DAUGHTER OF THE SPELLCASTER, and BLOOD OF THE SORCERESS all from MIRA Books.

Coming this Fall, the hottest novels yet, a set of thrillers like nothing you've seen before. SLEEP WITH THE LIGHTS ON releases September 24th, and WAKE TO DARKNESS at Thanksgiving. Pre-order links are already up. Excerpts coming soon.

Maggie has published westerns, category romances, romantic suspense, paranormal romances, urban fantasy, women's fiction, and just about everything in between. She's a winner of the RITA Award, the romance fiction industry's most prestigious prize, and has won countless others including several RT BOOK RREVIEWS "Reviewer's Choice" Awards, two RT Career Achievement Awards, the Daphne du Maurier Award, The Golden Leaf Award and numerous others.

Maggie's "Twilight" series of vampire novels, officially known as Wings in the Night, began in 1993 with TWILIGHT PHANTASIES from Silhouette Shadows. The series concluded with TWILIGHT FULFILLED in October 2011.

SPOTLIGHT Questions and Answers with the Author

Congratulations on your book: Sleep With The Lights On. What do you have on the drawing board next? Rumor has it that you have another book on the horizon called Wake to Darkness. Can you tell us the timeline for its release and give us a little tease?

WAKE TO DARKNESS is the second installment in my Brown and De Luca series of thrillers, and it will be released Thanksgiving week. In this one, Rachel de Luca is being stalked, as are members of Detective Mason Brown's family. To buy some time, they retreat to an idyllic ski resort for the holiday season, but when a blizzard strands them there, it soon becomes apparent that the killer is closer than they realized.

Since you started before the social media buzz, what impact has social media relationships had on your current success? How much has it changed your book launch process?

Social media has changed everything for me, as has the rise of the ebook phenomenon. I love the way I can interact with my readers now, on a daily basis. And I love using backlist books whose right have reverted to me, to help promote my front list titles.

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 seldom do personal appearances and have none scheduled at the moment. However, readers can get to know me online. Facebook: www.facebook.com/MaggieShayneAuthor and @MaggieShayne on Twitter. And via my website, Maggieshayne.com.

You have great covers. They carry a theme and your brand with them. How does your book cover creation process work? Do you hand over the basic theme or do you have more of a hands-on approach? Do you get your readers involved in its development?

There are two very different answers to this question. With my front list books, the cover art is handled by my publisher, MIRA. I fill out extensive art information sheets and the art department runs with it. I've never had a bad cover from them. For my backlist books, books that I've regained rights to and am now self-publishing, the cover art is done by my daughter, Jessica Lewis at The Author's Lifesaver (www.authorslifesaver.com). She's an absolute genius. I wouldn't have a career without her.

You have several great book trailers. (See links below.) They look very professional. 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?

It's impossible to measure the impact of the book trailers. I didn't do any for the current series (not yet, anyway. Been too busy.) But I thank you for the compliment. I make my book trailers myself using iMovie on my Mac. I buy stock video clips and background music, or have musical friends who sometimes let me use their songs, which is just the best thing ever. I enjoy making videos almost as much as I enjoy writing novels.

Besides the RWA, what other writer support groups do you belong too? Do they help with the writing, marketing and the publishing process?

I belong to RWA, but aside from the annual convention (which I love) I rarely go to chapter meetings anymore. The group is essential to an aspiring romance writer. Helps you learn the craft and make the connections to break into the biz. I'm not sure it's quite as helpful to authors who are further along in their career, and that's fine. It's still fun.

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?

I always do what's going to make me feel best. It's a lifestyle choice. I don't believe in nose-to-the-grindstone work ethic. I believe in writing when the passion takes me over, and playing with my fiancé and family and dogs as much as humanly possible.

Has the advent of ebooks changed anything in your writing, your marketing and the relationship with your readers and fans?

It's given me more control over my career than I've ever had in twenty years as a published author. I am now learning to become a marketer, a promoter, a publisher, an editor, a copy-writer. I set my own prices, (on the books I've self-published, not the front list) and change them whenever I want. It's absolutely amazing. I am just now concluding a promotion where I gave away one of my best thrillers ever, The Gingerbread Man, for free in ebook format.

I included an excerpt to my upcoming front list book, SLEEP WITH THE LIGHTS ON. So far (as I'm writing this, with 19 days left in the free period) we have given away over 200,000 copies. Most of them to readers who had never read me before. I could not get better publicity than this. And I did it myself, well, my daughter and I did it ourselves. :) SLEEP WITH has risen in the Amazon rankings from 28,000 to 5,000 during this free period, and it's not on sale yet. This is all pre-orders. My publisher is over the moon about this. And I did it on my own!

Let me go off the track here. While I was doing the research for your post I ran across the dog picture. He is huge. How does he fit into the world of Shayne?

That's Dozer, one of my three dogs. He's an English Mastiff and he played Freddy in my romantic thriller Kill Me Again. I often use my pets in books. Dozer has a female counterpart, also a brindle English Mastiff, Daisy, and the two are firmly ruled by my little English Bulldog, Niblet, who plays Myrtle in SLEEP WITH THE LIGHTS ON.

Author's Book List
Through the eyes of a killer…

Rachel de Luca has found incredible success writing self-help books. But her own blindness and the fact that her troubled brother has gone missing have convinced her that positive thinking is nothing but bull.

Her cynicism wavers when a cornea transplant restores her sight. The new eyes seem to give her new life, until they prove too good to be true and she starts seeing terrifying visions of brutal murders—crimes she soon learns are all too real.

Detective Mason Brown's own brother recently died, leaving behind a horrific secret. In atonement, Mason donated his brother's organs, though he's kept the fact quiet. Now he wants to help Rachel find her brother, but when he discovers the shocking connection between her visions and his own brother, he suddenly has to do everything in his power to save her from a predator who is somehow still hunting from beyond the grave.

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble
Gingerbread Man
Publisher’s Weekly Raves: “A moving mix of high suspense and romance, this haunting Halloween thriller will propel readers to bolt their doors at night.”

“A gripping story of small town secrets. The suspense will keep you guessing. The characters will steal your heart.” –New York Times Bestselling Author Lisa Gardner

Since the day her baby sister was taken, Holly’s mind hasn’t been the same. PTSD, panic attacks, nightmares and blocked memories have plagued her ever since. And now they’ve returned.

Hard-edged Detective Vince O’Malley’s most recent case penetrated even his protective shell. Ordered to take time off to recover, he can’t let go, and on his own, follows the clues to Holly’s small upstate NY town.

His presence stirs ghosts from the past, shadows of a little girl lost, the suspicions of some tight-lipped locals with secrets to hide, and more than that inside Holly’s fragile mind and untouched heart.

“Maggie Shayne's books have a permanent spot on my keeper shelf. She writes wonderful stories combining romance with page-turning thrills, and I highly recommend her to any fan of romantic suspense.” –New York Times Bestselling Author Karen Robards

Want more novels like this one? Look for SLEEP WITH THE LIGHTS ON and WAKE TO DARKNESS, beginning in September 2013. Gingerbread Man includes an exclusive extended excerpt from SLEEP WITH THE LIGHTS ON.

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble - Smashwords - iTunes - KOBO - Kindle CA
Blood of the Sorceress - The Portal
From New York Times bestselling author Maggie Shayne comes the final novel in her thrilling new trilogy, THE PORTAL

As an ancient king's favorite harem slave, Lilia committed the worst of all possible crimes: loving another man. When the king discovered her treason, her lover was sentenced to lose his soul and linger in eternal imprisonment, and Lilia herself was executed alongside her sisters. While they reincarnated through countless lifetimes, she lingered alone between worlds for thousands of years, waiting for the moment to rescue her beloved Demetrius.

Now that moment has come. Demetrius has broken free, but without his soul and in the thrall of the same high priest who betrayed them so long ago; he has become a ravaging demon, devoting himself solely to pleasure and power. Somehow Lilia must convince him to reclaim his humanity, to abandon the enemy tempting him to give in to his cruel desires—or her life will be lost alongside his, both of them condemned to eternal damnation, eternal isolation, their love lost one final and irrevocable time.

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble
Daughter of the Spellcaster - The Portal
Anything for their child

Lena Dunkirk is a practicing witch, Ryan McNally a wealthy playboy. Logic says mismatch, yet from the first they share a passion that defies reason, as if they know each other from another place, another time. Then Lena gets pregnant and runs for the safety of home.

Months later, when Ryan appears at her door looking to help raise their child, Lena doesn't know whom to trust—particularly now that "guru to the stars" Bahru has taken an interest in her baby, offering gifts forged of magic.

Soon she and Ryan are sharing eerie dreams of ancient lands, while a vengeful demon plots to take possession of their child. As the moment of birth approaches, the demon's power rises, forcing the hand of love to wield the blade that will decide the fate of a child's soul—and the future of the world.

Book Trailer: Daughter of the Spellcaster

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble
The Fairy's Wish
“Such a sweet read!” ~Martha R, Paperback Swap

Original title: Fairies Make Wishes, Too

Enya is from an enchanted realm of fairy wings and magic, but she’s given up everything in exchange for three days in the mortal world with the man she’s loved her entire life. If she can’t make him fall in love with her before her time expires, she will die.

A grownup re-tooling of The Little Mermaid with wings instead of tails, and sizzle added to the sweet.

“Maggie Shayne is better than chocolate!” ~NY Times Bestselling Author Suzanne Forster

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble - Smashwords
Mark of the Witch - The Portal
She was born to save what he is sworn to destroy

A lapsed Wiccan, Indira Simon doesn't believe in magic anymore. But when strange dreams of being sacrificed to an ancient Babylonian god have her waking up with real rope burns on her wrists, she's forced to acknowledge that she may have been too hasty in her rejection of the unknown. Then she meets mysterious and handsome Father Thomas. Emerging from the secrecy of an obscure Gnostic sect, he arrives with stories of a demon, a trio of warrior witches—and Indira's sacred calling.

Yet there's something even Tomas doesn't know, an inescapable truth that will force him to choose between saving the life of the woman he's come to love—and saving the world.

Book Trailer: Mark of the Witch

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble
Forgotten Vows - A Maggie Shayne Classic
“This fast-paced romantic suspense is sure to keep readers up all night with spines that tingle, hearts that race, and spirits that soar. A definite winner.” ~The Gothic Journal

Ash is a slightly claustrophobic investigative reporter on the trail of a serial killer, who thinks his Ms. Right is Suzy Homemaker. As part of his investigation, he's pretending to have amnesia.

Joey is a Harley-riding psychic with a penchant for caves and a vested interest in catching the same killer. As part of her investigation, she's pretending to be Ash's wife.

Neither can admit the truth, nor deny the passion that flares with every touch, and might just cost them their lives.

This 1994 Maggie Shayne Classic was her first serial killer story, (featuring the dreaded Syracuse Slasher) and one that holds up every bit as well today as it did when it was first released.

Be sure to check out the other books in the Maggie Shayne Classics Line: Miranda’s Viking, Dr. Duffy’s Close Encounter, Annie’s Hero, Fairytale and Forever Enchanted.

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble
Miranda's Viking
MIRANDA’S VIKING, winner of the 1994 GOLDEN LEAF AWARD, is the book that launched Maggie Shayne’s reputation as an author of “the weird stuff,” and began to define the genre that would soon become known as Paranormal Romance.

“Just when you think there’s nothing new under the sun, Maggie Shayne reinvents Romance!” RT Bookclub Magazine.

When Professor Miranda O’Shea uncovers the perfectly preserved body (and what a body!) of the legendary Viking known as The Plague of the North, the last thing she expects is that he isn’t quite dead.

Frozen for 9 centuries, Rolf Magnusson awakens to a strange new world, and a woman who is more in need of thawing than he had been. Dark forces conspire to take what is theirs–including his long hidden plunder and their very lives! Miranda seeks to uncover the secrets of her warrior’s past while Rolf works to awaken her wounded, wary heart to the passion she doesn’t know she’s capable of feeling.

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble
Author Recommended by: HBSystems Publications
Publisher of ebooks, writing industry blogger and the sponsor of the following blogs:
eBook Author’s Corner and HBS Mystery Reader’s Circle
Check out the index of other Spotlight authors. Spotlight Index.

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