Thursday, November 8, 2012

Cheryl Bradshaw - HBS Author's Spotlight

Today our blog puts the Spotlight on Amazon Best-Selling Author Cheryl Bradshaw. She is the creator of the Sloane Monroe series and the founder of the hugely successful Indie Writers Unite group on Facebook.

Author Genre: Mystery/Thriller fiction novels

Website: Cheryl Bradshaw
Author's Blog: A Place to Embrace our Love of Books
Twitter: @cherylbradshaw
Goodreads: Check Out Goodreads
LinkedIn: Check Out LinkedIn
Facebook: Check Out Facebook
Pinterest: Check Out Pinterest

Author Description: Born and raised in Southern California, Cheryl Bradshaw became interested in writing at a young age, but it was almost two decades before she put pen to paper. In 2009 Bradshaw wrote Black Diamond Death (Book One: Sloane Monroe series). Within six weeks it entered the top #100 in two different categories and remained in the top #100 for over a year.

Since that time, she has written two more novels in the series and is working on the fourth as well as other projects she currently has in the works. In August 2012, Bradshaw was named one of Twitter's seven best authors to follow. Bradshaw is also the founder of IWU on Facebook, a writers group with almost 1,400 members.

SPOTLIGHT Questions and Answers with the Author
First things first. I understand you're writing a new book in the Sloane Monroe Series called Stranger in Town. Can you tell the readers when it will be released and give us a quick peak at the plot?
Stranger in Town will be released as an eBook on November 15th and will be in print by the end of the month. Click this link to read the first chapter.

And the description of the book:
Six-year-old Olivia Hathaway tiptoes down the center aisle of Arbuckle’s Market, stopping once to glance over her shoulder and make sure her mother isn’t watching. But Mrs. Hathaway is too preoccupied to notice her daughter has slipped away. Minutes later, a frantic Mrs. Hathaway runs up and down the aisles, desperately searching for her missing daughter. But it’s too late. Olivia’s already gone. Will PI Sloane Monroe find her before it’s too late?

Your twitter followers are growing exponentially (over 22K) at a rate of about 4000 a month. Is social media your primary marketing focus? What types of traditional marketing do you do, like book signings and personal appearances?
Social media is my primary focus, and I’m much better sitting behind a computer connected than in person, I feel. However, I enjoy doing local book signings and connecting with fans in my state. I also do radio interviews and will begin doing television spots in 2013.

I love twitter for many reasons. Of course, I use it to promote, but only when I have a new book out or if I am running an incentive, like a freebie. Other than that, the main importance for me is using it to connect with my fans and fellow authors. Many authors don’t understand why twitter doesn’t work for them—and it’s because they are going about it all wrong. They use it to promote their books 24/7. It’s overkill.

Congratulations on the success of the Indie Writers Unite group on Facebook. It truly is something that indie authors need. Where and when did you come up with the idea? How much interrelationships do you develop with the members? How does the group help you and the other members engage your readers? Is your membership focused on any genre or is it indie author oriented or both?
When I was writing my first book, I had so many questions, and I was frustrated about the lack of groups I found over the internet. I knew some traditionally pubbed authors, but they didn’t know much about the self-publishing industry, so I thought maybe I could create a group where writers could come together and get the answers they need when they’re getting started. I cannot express how important the group is in my life. I’ve made lasting friendships, and I credit much of my success to the helping hands I received from my fellow authors when I was just starting out.

How does an indie author join the IWU group? What qualifications do they need to join?
Any author can join the group. To join click here:

We have no qualifications, but we do have some rules about not spamming the page. I’ve created threads for new books, free book, blog posts, etc. to keep the promotions organized.

So I am cruising along through your novels and reviews, researching for your blog, when from out of the dark I find the: Indie Writers Unite Cookbook. What a great project. Tell us how you came up with the idea? How much fun was it working with your group? How did you coordinate the project? How many authors were involved?
I wanted to do something to unite the group, and a cookbook seemed like a good idea. It was a lot of work, but also a lot of fun, and one day I’ll get around to putting the paperback version together. I believe I had something like seventy-five authors who contributed to it, and the recipes are very fun and unique.

In addition to the cookbook, I also run two or three Indie Writers Unite group blog hop per year. We have one coming up in December and another in January. Usually I coordinate a summer blog hop, and then two more around the winter holidays.

Now to book trailers. I like the idea you have put together in Indie Writers Unite book trailer's section of their blog. Do you use book trailers with your novels? Do you do them yourself or do you outsource the projects?
I don’t use book trailers right now. I’ve thought about it, and I’ve looked into it several times, but the kind I’d want to do would be very high dollar and look more like a movie trailer. I am fairly unimpressed with the low-budget trailers. For now I create my own widgets on Amazon using my book covers.

Your novels are set on the slopes of Park City, Utah. I use old town San Diego for my backdrop. Is that one of your favorite places to visit? Do you form in your mind a variety of character profiles there?
Before remarrying a few years ago, I lived in Park City. It was very hard to say farewell and move to Wyoming, but looking back now, I know it was for the best. I wanted to share a bit of the feel of Park City with others, which is why I chose it as the setting for the first two in the Sloane Monroe series. The third novel in the Sloane Monroe series, I Have a Secret, was actually set in California, in my hometown. I find that writing on a personal level like that really enhances the writing; at least it does for me. Agatha Christie did this also, often writing about places she lived or visited.

I got introduced to the Indie Chicks through Michelle Muto. How much does that group play in your marketing and support?
For me, Indie Chicks isn’t as much about marketing as it is about fellow author support. I like being in a group with other strong women. There’s nothing like a fellow author to lean on and give you help when you need it.

Author's Book List
I Have a Secret
A Sloane Monroe Novel, Book Three
It’s been twenty years since PI Sloane Monroe has returned to her hometown of Tehachapi, California, but when a former classmate is stabbed and tossed overboard during the high school reunion cruise, Sloane isn’t about to allow a murderer to run free in her own backyard. But in a town where everyone is harboring secrets, how many more men will die before she discovers the truth?
Amazon Buy Page
Whispers of Murder
It was Isabelle Donnelly’s wedding day, a moment in time that should have been the happiest in her life…until it ended in murder.

Three women, three motives to kill:

--A jealous sister
--A company CFO
--A newfound friend

But which one is plotting against her? Which one wants her dead?

Think you know who did it? Think again.

Whispers of Murder received 4/5 stars from London's Vine Voice in February 2012--a top 500 reviewer who had this to say: This was an excellent, polished short read, full of interesting characters, a totally unexpected murder mystery, on Isabelle's wedding day of all days. It was very short, but it had warmth, a good mystery, some very believable characters, some humour, some intrigue and even danger, and a couple of red herrings. The explanation was very plausible, and all the characters likeable.
Amazon Buy Page
A Sloane Monroe Novel, Book Two
Mystery and thriller writer Cheryl Bradshaw, author of the Sloane Monroe series, invites you along for the most important ride of Sloane’s life...

What if you’d been given a second chance to catch your sister’s killer—would you take it? And if you did, would a lifetime behind bars be justice enough, or would you need to see him dead?

Private Investigator Sloane Monroe has solved every case that’s come across her desk with the exception of one—the brutal murder of her sister Gabrielle.

Three years have passed without a trace of the killer until today, when a young woman’s body is discovered on a patch of dirt in front of the local supermarket at daybreak. Now Sloane is faced with the most difficult challenge of her life—finding a man who’s a master at concealing his identity before he captures his next victim and sends them to eternal rest.

Park City, Utah was a peaceful place until Sinnerman came to town.

Enter the mind of Sam Reids, a serial killer who slashes his trademark letter S into the wrist of his female victims before he discards their body in the same place he found them.

Who is he, and why does he prey on innocent women?
Amazon Buy Page -- Barnes and Noble Buy Page
Black Diamond Death
A Sloane Monroe Novel, Book One
Cheryl Bradshaw is an Amazon Kindle Best-Selling Author in Mystery: Hard-Boiled and Thriller: Spy Stories & Tales of Intrigue


Enter the world of Sloane Monroe in Black Diamond Death… A SKIER CRASHES On the slopes of Park City, Utah’s newest ski resort a woman is found dead. But what if her death wasn’t an accident at all––what if she was murdered?

A SISTER ON A MISSION In Black Diamond Death, Audrey Halliwell faces a problem: finding someone who believes her story. Enter Private Investigator Sloane Monroe. A SECOND BODY IS FOUND Just as Sloane feels she's close to solving the case, she stumbles on another dead body, moving the case in a whole new direction. Will Sloane uncover the truth before the killer strikes again?
Amazon Buy Page -- Barnes and Noble Buy Page
Dine With Us, A Collection of Recipes from the Authors of Indie Writers Unite
Dine With Us is a collection of recipes from the authors of Indie Writers Unite. It combines our most savory dishes with a sample from one of our novels, allowing you to get to know us while enjoying delicious food in the process. Recipes are shared in the categories of: Appetizers, Breads, Soups, Salads, Sandwiches, Main Dishes and Desserts. Additionally, each recipe has step-by-step instructions along with a full-color photo.
Amazon Buy Page -- Barnes and Noble Buy Page
Author Recommended by: HBSystems Publications
Publisher of ebooks, writing industry blogger and the sponsor of the HBS Author's Spotlight plus the blog: eBook Author's Corner

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