Monday, May 19, 2014

Traci Hilton - An Author Interview in the HBS Author's Spotlight

Today our blog puts the Spotlight on award winning author and playwright Traci Tyne Hilton. She is the author of the The Mitzy Neuhaus Mysteries and The Plain Jane Mysteries series.

Author Genre: Mystery & Thrillers, Religion & Spirituality

Website: Traci Tyne Hilton
Twitter: @TraciTyneHilton
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Author Description:
Traci Tyne Hilton is an award winning author and playwright from Portland, Oregon. Her newest book Good, Clean, Murder won the Mystery/Suspense category in the Christian Writers of the West Phoenix Rattler Contest, and was a finalist in the Write Integrity press Books of Hope contest.

Traci has a BA in History from Portland State University and lives in the rainiest part of the Pacific Northwest with her husband the mandolin playing funeral director from Kansas, their two daughters, and their dog, Dr. Watson.

SPOTLIGHT Questions and Answers with the Author

Congratulations on your book: Health, Wealth, and Murder. What do you have on the drawing board next? Can you tell us the timeline for its release and give us a little tease?

Thanks so much! I am now working on three titles at once, which is not brilliant of me! The one I think will be published first is Spoiled, Rotten Murder and I’m hoping for an early July release date. There’s also a new Mitzy in the works and one that is a bit of a surprise…

You have a good following on twitter. How important have your social media relationships been? How did you build your following in your niche? Did you use forums, newsletters and methods like that?

I have a lot of followers on Twitter, but very little interaction so I think it’s sort of gives a false impression. I find that folks who like my books enjoy interacting on Facebook the most. For a long time I had links to Facebook, Twitter, email, and my blog in the back of my books, but when I saw them gravitating to Facebook I streamlined the back matter.

Linking to places to connect with me in the back of the books has proven the most effective way to get to meet readers for me, so that’s where I put my effort and time.

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?

I do have a hand in the theme. My brother designs my Plain Jane covers. I like to pick out a couple of different shots of my cover model and suggest a layout design, and then let him go to it.

He also designed my original Mitzy covers, which I loved, and still use for audio and paperbacks. But I wanted to give them a light hearted makeover this year, so I turned to Elizabeth Mackey. She’s fantastic to work with as well, and let me have a lot of input on the designs she came up with.

Several of you novels have been converted into audio books. What has been the impact on your regular sales? Has the audio books gained a new audience?

I don’t know that audio books have gained me many new readers (listeners) but I like to have them out there for people who prefer to listen.

You have written several short stories. Can you tell us if they had an impact on the sales of your novels? Are shorty’s one of your styles of writing or are they created to give readers a sample of your work?

I went through a short story phase early on. They are fun to write, but I haven’t found them to be big sellers, so I haven’t done much of that lately. I want to spend my time writing what my readers like the most, so I’m focusing on full length mysteries for the foreseeable future.

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?

Freebies are my bread and butter. Making the first book in both of my mystery series free has revolutionized my career. I can’t say enough about how giving away one or two books will help you find the readers that like what you write.

What is your method of getting reviews for your novels? Do you seek professional reviews, use social media or do you rely on your reading audience to supply them?

For the most part I let reviews take care of themselves, but I do offer around ten copies for free to fans that have been extremely supportive through the years. I want to thank them for all of the encouragement they give me, and a free book or two seems like the least I can do.

On a more personal note, does your dog, Dr. Watson, become a catalyst in your writings? You know someone to bounce an idea off of when things start to slow down.

Dr. Watson is my writing buddy, definitely. I don’t tend to talk to him while I work or he wakes up and wanders away, but he is always asleep at my feet while I write. I’d be so lonely without him! We added a second dog to the mix this year, too. He’s a pill, and they don’t get along too well yet but I guess life was too easy the way it was and I needed some conflict to keep life interesting!

Thanks so much for the interview! I enjoyed talking to you.

Author's Book List
Health, Wealth, and Murder - A Plain Jane Mystery
Popular prosperity preacher Josiah Malachi teaches that God will make us healthy and wealthy, so why did he just drop dead with a knife in his back?

Jane Adler, housecleaning college student with dreams of foreign missions, is tired of solving crimes by accident, so she’s enrolled in criminology classes at Portland State University. Getting the gig as house cleaner for the Malachi family is the perfect opportunity to put theory to the test.

Things aren’t easy at home, either. Her small group leader is pestering her to marry her boyfriend Jake, but Jake has been growing distant. And if she doesn’t get her amateur detective agency into city licensing compliance, the Malachi case may be her last one.

Josiah Malachi’s teaching might not have been Jane’s cup of tea, but her future hangs on solving his murder.

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble - Smashwords
Good, Clean Murder - A Plain Jane Mystery
Hardworking and hungry Bible school student Jane Adler cleans houses to make ends meet. But finding the money to pay for the last semester of school is the least of her problems when she uncovers a body in her boss's bed.

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble
Dirty Little Murder - A Plain Jane Mystery
College student and housekeeper Jane Adler dreams of being a missionary but the road there is littered with corpses.

Jane found the most recent body floating in the hot tub at her newest client's house. The dead guy was a notorious flirt and carouser. Had his romantic shenanigans gotten him killed?

Cleaning up a murder was bad enough, but Jane's love life was a mess too. Usually absence makes the heart grow fonder, but her boyfriend Isaac's overseas teaching job seems to be driving them apart.

On top of it all she's been hand selected by her church as a candidate for one of their few fully funded missionary support positions. But can she solve a murder, keep her boyfriend, and follow her dream all at the same time?

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble - Smashwords
Bright New Murder - A Plain Jane Mystery
Jane Adler is keen to try on her detective hat, and the dead lady at the Christmas fundraiser is her perfect shot.

Timing is everything and this murder was timed perfectly to destroy her best friend Jake's growing Fro-Yo business. He's a great friend--just a friend, honest-- and she owes him a favor or two.

But discovering who would want to kill the town's favorite preschool teacher is messy business, and Jane doesn't have a moment to waste!

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble - Smashwords
Frozen Assets - A Mitzy Neuhaus Mystery
When a local architect and notorious lothario gets himself impaled on a wrought iron fence it pretty much ruins Mitzy's Christmas.

With her client--the dead guy's most recent ex-wife--in crisis and the custom Tudor home now a murder house, Mitzy will need to work a lot of overtime to unload the unsellable property--and catch a killer.

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble - Smashwords
Buyer's Remorse - A Mitzy Neuhaus Mystery
Mitzy Neuhaus had an easier time selling her condo before the mystery buyer "bought it" on her patio. Mitzy stumbled over the body and knew she had to get involved in the case—if only because the corpse was a dead ringer for herself.

At first it seemed like a clear case of mistaken identity and Mitzy feared the Mafia wasn’t done with her yet. But digging into the life of the dead buyer uncovered a peculiar little dress shop where nothing added up.

Can Mitzy untangle the mystery before she ends up with her own case of buyer's remorse?

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble
Eminent Domain - The Mitzy Neuhaus Mysteries
Mitzy Neuhaus is dying to get back to business as usual, but The Worst Economy Since The Great Depression has just about killed her real estate business. But when the excessive interest of the FBI, city planners, and possibly the Mafia, threaten to derail Mitzy's plans things really get dangerous...

*Christian Cozy Mystery*

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble
Foreclosed - A Mitzy Neuhaus Mystery
Mitzy Neuhaus is the top selling Realtor in Portland, but even her office is dead in this economy. Foreclosed is the word no homeowner wants to hear and Mitzy is determined to save the incredible mansion on her street from that fate. But with the homeowner desperate to keep Mitzy away from his property and Alonzo, the dangerously hot rival investor trying to snatch it out from under her, Mitzy knows she has to work fast, or the economy won’t be the only thing dead…

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble
Hearts to God - The Hearts to God Series
Orphaned as an infant, Madeline Snow grew up in the Shaker community—the perfect place to learn reverence, hard work, and a love for God that surpasses the need for an earthly family. But the difference between what the Bible says and what the Shakers taught was too much for Madeline, so when she came of age, she left the safety of her home for a new life with her much older sister.

Madeline had been trained to grow herbs and make medicine by the best herbalists in her community, but in the wild Oregon Outback finding a husband is the only proper occupation for a single lady. Madeline left the Shaker community, but her devotion to God and the principle of celibacy, are unchanged. Finding a husband to direct her life is her last priority.

But her sister and guardian is just as stubborn as Madeline. Madeline will marry, whether she wants to or not.

Unfortunately for Madeline, finding a husband isn’t simply a matter of falling in love. Some men are off limits, no matter how they make your heart thunder.

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

1 comment:

  1. Thanks so much for hosting me on your blog! I enjoyed our interview.