Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Jessica Kristie - HBS Author's Spotlight

Today our blog puts the Spotlight on award-winning Author Jessica Kristie. She is author, poetess and an activist against human trafficking.

Author Genre: Poetry, Literature & Fiction

Website: Jessica Kristie - Author & Advocate
Author's Blog: Google +
Twitter: @jesskristie
Goodreads: Check Out Goodreads
LinkedIn: Check Out LinkedIn
Facebook: Check Out Facebook
Pinterest: Check Out Pinterest

Author Description:
Jessica Kristie is an award winning author, a writer, and a lover of poetry. She is an advocate for art, an activist against human trafficking, and a soulful contributor to the strengthening of our creative communities.

Barbed-Wire Butterflies, her first novel, released January 2013, is a fiction account of a young girl faced with the atrocities of human trafficking and her struggle to find freedom. Jessica has committed 100% of all print royalties and a percentage of digital copies and merchandise to Courage Worldwide, an international non-profit organization that is building homes around the world for children rescued out of sex trafficking.

Dreaming in Darkness, Jessica's first volume of poetry, was the winner of the 2011 Sharp Writ Award and was nominated for a 2011 Pushcart Prize. Jessica's second collection, Threads of Life, published through Winter Goose Publishing, along with her eBook offering to writers, Weekly Inspirations for Writers & Creators. She is also the co-creator of the art and poetry collaboration Inspiration Speaks Volume 1.

You can find her fusion of poetry and music with the collaboration, KRISTIE & CLOVERFIELD, released through Ultrasonic Music Germany, and available everywhere.

SPOTLIGHT Questions and Answers with the Author

Congratulations on your newly released book, Barbed-Wire Butterflies. I know the dust hasn’t settled yet but I have to ask 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?

I actually have a finished manuscript that is a psychological thriller. It is a break from my advocacy but a genre I’ve always been interested in. The book takes you into the psychotic break of a murderer, and it allowed me to dig deep into the human condition which I’ve enjoyed so much with my poetry and writing in general. The release is a little up in the air but might not be till early next year with my focus in 2013 being on my speaking engagements and advocacy.

You have a great following on Twitter. How important have your social media relationships been? Do you see a carry over to your writing success?

There is no doubt that social media plays a heavy roll in the success of a book or any product these days. If used correctly you can strengthen and expand your readership. It has been instrumental in the success of my blog and my focus is building relationships through this tool.

Do you do book signing, interviews, speaking and personal appearances? If so, when is your next place where your readers can see you? Where can they keep up with your personal contacts online?

I am currently building my events for this year. My next event is a speaking engagement and signing at the 2013 Annual Sex Trafficking Conference—The RESPONSE in Sacramento on February 22-23 (tickets still available). I will be on two panels for that event. I am working on setting up signings in bookstores as well as another conference in July. You can keep up with all my events and signings on my website under my BWB Media & Press Page. I will also announce all my events on Facebook and Twitter.

You have very unique 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?

My publisher is great in getting feedback and original concepts from their authors. My first two poetry books actually feature pictures taken by my father who is a professional high-end photographer. He had these wonderful somber and dark photos that I felt fit perfectly for the theme. For Barbed-Wire it was just a collaboration of ideas and tweaking for a final. That one actually had a different black & white minimalist idea that after some feedback we scrapped. I don’t get my readers involved but that might be an interesting idea for the future.

Have you created a book trailer for any of your books to promote them online?

I have the most fantastic book trailer for Dreaming in Darkness. It was a trailer that I think raised the bar for trailers and I’ve rarely seen one as amazing as it since. It was done by ScreescapeS, who is very talented and surpassed my expectations. Trailers can be expensive and it is difficult to measure their success. I have not had one made since then but would consider it only if it would be high quality. (Trailer link included below.)

What kinds of support groups do you belong too? Do they help with writing, marketing and the publishing process?

My biggest support group is all the other authors at Winter Goose Publishing. They are wonderful and talented authors who are always willing to lend their time to support what you are doing. I don’t belong to any other ones but know there are plenty of supportive groups out there that will walk you through every process from writing to publishing and marketing.

I think your cause against Human Trafficking is a very important one. We have had several authors in the HBS Author’s Spotlight that have noble causes like yours. I thought I would give a plug for the Courage Worldwide Organization.

As advertised: 100% of my author print royalties and a percentage of digital copies and other selected Barbed-Wire Butterflies associated merchandise will go to Courage Worldwide, an international, non-profit organization that is building homes around the world for children rescued out of sex trafficking.

How can I our reader’s get involved in this great cause?

There are so many ways to get involved from donations to just being aware and educating our children. Depending on your desire to participate, there is a way for you to contribute. Find a local organization and click on their action or contact pages to find out what you can do. You have talents that can be used to volunteer or you can take more of a backseat and just donate. Donations are vital in keeping non-profits alive and making change. You can check my advocacy page on my website for a list of resources and to get more information.

With your busy schedule, how do you have time to keep up with your followers? Between your writing, advocacy, 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?

It can be tough. J The hardest part comes after you finish your book, but you do have to finish it. Marketing is so important that I make sure to spend ample time on social media and building my readership each day. Success is rarely overnight and needs to be cultivated and nurtured over time and with many books. I have learned to manage my time to work for me and my life. I don’t have a set schedule but know the things I need to get to each day. I’m not a procrastinator so I think that has really helped me to stay on top of things. Life does get in the way. the trick is to reign it in as soon as you can. Giving up or letting things go is not an option. Stay positive and stay inspired and you will find happiness which is far more important than conventional success.

What has been your experience in giving your books and poetry 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?

I’ve had tremendous success with Goodreads giveaways. The Kindle free days have found some success but the market is now flooded and the competition is great to even be successful giving it away free. You have to go into it knowing that you’re growing your readership and getting your name out there. There is absolutely value in that no matter how you look at it. But it needs to be done lightly and seriously, meaning plan well for free days and don’t overuse it. I tend to stick to individual giveaways and rarely use KDP free days at this point.

You publish novels and poetry. Which do you enjoy writing the most? Does moving from one to the other give you some breathing room or a change of pace?

I love and enjoy both. Poetry feeds the emotional side of me and has always been my vent. It is a necessary part of my world and will never be something I can give up. Going between fiction and poetry keeps the inspiration going and I’ve enjoyed that process.

In my research, I saw you were the Writing Curator for ArtPlatform and the Co-Creator and contributor for the ArtPlatform’s book Inspiration Speaks, highlighted below. Tell us something about the group and what your duties are?

Artplatform is a great UK project by Nicole Herbert who is talented and flowing with entrepreneurial spirit. She asked me to curate writers for a project that would donate to a charity of her choice. The book was a lot of work but a wonderful experience. Artplatform is in the process of a metamorphosis and I don’t work with them much anymore. I hope that someday down the road we can partner again as I enjoyed the project very much and am proud of the end product.

Author's Book List
Barbed-Wire Butterflies

Just Released

Elani Benjamin had never imagined the level of fear and uncertainty that was now a demoralizing part of her everyday life. With freedom ripped from her world, Elani must stand alongside the hundreds of other women forced into slave labor by the mysterious organization that runs The Hub. At only thirteen years of age, she must decide if she will give in to the daily atrocities surrounding her or keep fighting her courageous, emotional battle for freedom. Malnutrition, intimidation, and abuse force them all into an isolated depression that guarantees compliance. On the edge of surrender, Elani finds an ally in Eddie, a repentant long-term employee of The Hub who gives her the resolution to find a way out of her imprisonment and the hope of reclaiming her stolen freedom.

As highlighted above, 100% of all print royalties and a percentage of digital copies go to Courage Worldwide, an international non-profit organization that is building homes around the world for children rescued out of sex trafficking.
Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble
Weekly Inspirations for Writers & Creators
Writers and creators can often face a rollercoaster of emotions that build unnecessary barriers to the artistic flow. Weekly Inspirations for Writers & Creators contains fifty-two topics followed by affirmations and writing prompts, tips and inspiring activities to engage and build confidence. Each week you will have an idea to focus on and a small task to complete that help you in your journey to overcome, and keep creating.
Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble
Threads of Life
Enter the astonishingly honest world of American poet Jessica Kristie. Her new book, Threads of Life, is a crushing testament to the pain and anguish surrounding dysfunctional relationships. This author of the award winning and Pushcart Prize nominated volume, Dreaming in Darkness, has gone deeper into the human soul, revealing a fascinating understanding of those who are forced to endure the bleakest of circumstances, and affirming that true forgiveness is achieved through one's own inner peace.
Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble
Dreaming in Darkness
Immerse yourself in the award winning and 2011 Pushcart Prize nominated poetry collection, Dreaming in Darkness, from writer Jessica Kristie. Share the passion and anguish, the acceptance and regret that life imposes on us all. Feel the validation of your pain, discover empowerment through understanding, and be reminded that a light always exists when you are Dreaming in Darkness.
Book Trailer: Dreaming in Darkness
Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble
Inspiration Speaks Volume 1
Inspiration Speaks is a perfect coalescence of the beautiful worlds of art and literature by the not-for-profit organization ArtPlatform.org. Step inside these pages where heartfelt emotional writing collides with breathtaking art to produce a captivating world of imagination. A large portion of all profits will be going to benefit ColaLife; dedicated to helping remote communities in need. So open your heart - then open your mind - and allow inspiration to speak to your soul.
Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble
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.
Check out the index of other Spotlight authors. Spotlight Index.

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