Today our blog puts the Spotlight on Author Geoffrey West. He is an editor, proofreader and author of the Jack Lockwood Mysteries.
Geoffrey David West
Geoffrey David West - My Blog
Jamie Dark - Psychic investigator and architect
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I am a freelance journalist/editor/proofreader/photographer and also author of non-fiction (conventionally published by Crowood Press) and fiction books (self-published and available on Kindle). I have just finished the third in the JACK LOCKWOOD MYSTERY SERIES of thriller novels. I maintain a regular blog about general issues, and also another one entitled The Jack Lockwood Diaries, which has regular short stories featuring Jack Lockwood (the protagonist in the novels). Please click on the options to the right to see details of the different things I do.
SPOTLIGHT Questions and Answers with the Author
What do you have on the drawing board next? Can you tell us the timeline for its release and give us a little tease?
I’m on the way to finishing my first Jamie Dark supernatural novel, hoping to get it completed by May or June. I was hoping to try and get it conventionally published, so aim to try this approach first, but since this is unlikely, I’ll then publish it on kindle.
And I’m also well into my 4th Jack Lockwood novel, where Jack, while researching addiction clinics, purposely drinks to excess so as to mimic being an alcoholic so as to test the treatment. While in the clinic he happens to meet a girl (also a recovering alcoholic/drug addict) who confesses to a series of high profile murders which Jack was invovlved with investigating. Meaning that the ‘official killer’ (now dead herself) was innocent. No one will believe that the murderer is still at large and planning more killing sprees, so it is up to him to trap her – she knows this and is out to kill him first.
You have a good following on twitter. Since you started before the social media buzz, what impact has social media relationships had on your current success? How did you build your following in your niche? How much has it changed your book launch process?
Probably mistakenly, I’ve never had any practical marketing strategy, nor have I ever advertised a book before it’s finished. I take the view that if the book cannot be bought why would anyone care if it’s on the way? I don’t know if twitter has helped but I couldn’t have advertised my books in any other way that I can think of. David Perlmutter’s books
My Way and
My Way Too I found very helpful.
When I started on twitter a very nice supportive lady gave me lots of good advice (I can’t say her name in case it would embarrass her). I know that she helps people out all the time, just out of kindness, as do other nice writers on twitter. The advice was to follow lots of other people and be generous with RTs and giving (genuine) reviews of their work, and to join in their advertising campaigns, and generally help them back. And now I’ve met so many really nice kind and generous writers and try and plug their books, as they do mine. I read a long time ago that writers who sell their books on twitter are primarily selfish and only interested in their own sales but I haven’t found that at all, in fact on the contrary I’ve found many people who spend hours reviewing peoples books and plugging them, simply in a spirit of altruism.
Do you do any 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?
Sorry, no I don’t do any. Doubt if anyone would come!
You have great covers. 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?
Thanks again. I just find a photo from 123rf agency and buy a licence to use it. Then hand over to Blondie’s Book Covers (www.blondiebooks.com). Karen and Jody did my last two book covers and they did an excellent job for a very reasonable price.
You have written a short story collection called The Jack Lockwood Diaries. Can you tell us if it has 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? Do you feel short reads are a product of our email and smart phone age?
I did the Jack Lockwood Diaries as a result of my blog The Jack Lockwood Diaries, where I added a short story every week or so, and took these off the blog and into the book. I still do this blog, but have been doing the Jamie Dark stories more recently.
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 you sort of play it by ear?
Definitely play it by ear and usually get things horribly muddled!
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?
The aim was just to ‘get the word out’ and try and appeal to more people, maybe get more reviews. No obstacles. I cannot fathom the philosophy so many people have of ‘It took me Years to write a book so the price must reflect this’ and ‘if you value your books at nothing, people will agree they’re worthless’. The fact is hundreds of people are writing books and nobody cares about the writer. What’s more their ‘reading time’ is as valuable to them as my ‘writing time’ is to me. All they care about is getting a book they enjoy reading.
Do you maintain a reader list? What are the methods you use to find your readers and create the list and the relationship? Do you use social media, forums, newsletters and/or support groups to build your list?
No I don’t have a list. I’m sure I should have, but I’ve never got round to it.
You have two great blogs. You do a great job keeping readers informed, marketing your books and providing useful information to other writers. What is your primary goal?
Just as a means to reach readers and publicize the short stories. I hoped that the short stories would stimulate interest in the novels but it doesn’t seem to have happened.
I like your blog: Jamie Dark - Psychic investigator and architect. (See enclosed link) What is your primary goal? Is this blog an extension of your short story works? Will you publish them as ebooks in the future?
Thanks. The goal is just to put the stories out there and hope people like them, maybe as a forerunner to the novel I’m now writing and to ‘build up’ the character of ghost hunter and architect Jamie Dark.
Author's Book List
The Jack Lockwood Diaries
- Jack Lockwood Mystery Series Book 4
22 short stories relating to the life of Behavioural Investigative Adviser to the police and writer, Jack Lockwood. There are supernatural, mystery, adventure and humorous stories, each one giving an insight into Jack's life, relating to past adventures and incidents.
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- Jack Lockwood Mystery Series Book 3
What happens when your brother is framed for murder, then dies himself?
Just before he dies, David Hart tells his half brother Jack about the conspiracy to protect a famous public figure from allegations of historic child abuse by killing the accusers and framing him for the murders.
How can Jack find justice for his brother and avoid being killed himself? Simultaneously Jack has an unknown enemy who is playing vicious tricks on him, each one deadlier than the last.
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- Jack Lockwood Mystery Series Book 2
What happens if you fall in love with a killer? Jack Lockwood, psychologist/criminal profiler and writer falls in love with Lucy Green, whom he later has reason to believe may be the child-killer, Megan Foster. Megan was held in custody aged eight, in 1982, and released ten years later with a new identity. Simultaneously, Jack is being targeted by a gangster who does not want him to write his (unauthorised) biography. What’s more there’s a serial killer on the loose in historic Canterbury, someone christened called ‘the Bible Killer’, who targets women and kills them in a particularly gruesome manner. Is Lucy the Bible Killer? Jack has to find out, but the answers are far from simple. . .
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- Jack Lockwood Mystery Series Book 1
Action packed thriller/mystery filled with murders and twists. Whilst researching the suicide of rock queen Maggi O’Kane in 1980, ex-criminal profiler Dr Jack Lockwood discovers evidence suggesting that she and her band were murdered to suppress facts she found out about John Lennon’s assassination. First of a series of Jack Lockwood mysteries.
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