Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Luke Romyn - HBS Author's Spotlight

Today our blog puts the Spotlight on International Best-Selling Author Luke Romyn. He writes Mystery & Thrillers, Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy novels. He has written The Dark Path, Beyond Hades, Blacklisted, Slaves of Valhalla, Corpus Christi, and Sins of the Father. Also he is a prolific twitter host.

Author Genre: Mystery & Thrillers, Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy

Website: Author Luke Romyn
Author's Blog: Luke's Blog
Blog: Google +
Twitter: @LukeRomyn
Goodreads: Check Out Goodreads
LinkedIn: Check Out LinkedIn
Facebook: Check Out Facebook
Pinterest: Check Out Pinterest

Author Description:
Luke Romyn spent many years, over nineteen in fact, working in the security industry. From doorwork in some of Australia's roughest pubs and clubs to protecting Mickey Mouse and the Disney crew from the overzealous jaws of tenacious toddlers, Luke has worked throughout Australia and internationally in a vast array of roles. He's done close protection for UK celebrities in Fiji and chased feral pigs and snakes out of the jungle film sets on Steven Spielberg's and Tom Hank's epic: The Pacific. There are few things Luke hasn't seen. With all this experience behind him, it would have been tempting to write a set of memoirs. Instead, Luke utilized it to fuel his own expansive imagination and began writing fiction. Initially starting with short stories, Luke rapidly progressed onto novels. All three of Luke's books have been category best sellers on Amazon, with over a quarter of a million copies being distributed to date.

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 have a lot of things in the works, the main being the continuation of the Legacy Chronicles series, of which Sins of the Father is in final edits and should be released in the next couple of months. This is a four-book series.

Once that series is out I have plans for another Prometheus Wars book due to the clamouring of Wes’s thousands of fans. After that I might go back to something I worked on many years ago but put aside. I have some great new ideas for the story which never truly left me; it’s like the one that got away.

You have a great social media following. How important have your social media relationships been? Do you see a carry over to your writing success? How much has it changed your book launch process?

My followers on Twitter and Facebook (along with Goodreads and all the others) are utterly phenomenal. Getting the word out has never been easier, especially when others are so gracious as to share what you have to say. My main focus is to avoid overloading people with nonsense. I try to be entertaining, gain their attention, and then inform them what I’m about. Those who endlessly bombard others with postings about their books will get attention, but usually the wrong kind. But hey, that’s just my opinion, I’m no guru.

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?

That’s one regret I have. My schedule these days simply doesn’t allow for it. Besides my writing I have two businesses and on weekends I help my buddy out who runs the security at a local club. That’s kind of my ‘social time’. Sounds weird, but all my friends work there and it’s the one time we all get to hang out.

Your book covers 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 all my covers, from start to finish, with very little assistance. A friend of mine in Holland who designs covers professionally occasionally gives me a nudge in the right direction, but for the most part I simply go with my gut. I start looking for images usually around the time I begin final edits on a novel, and it sometimes takes months. Plus there’s the fact I’m a Photoshop noob.

I have involved fans before, but these days I usually prefer to do my own thing. It’s very hard to ask an opinion about something without releasing a lot of details about the book.

You have several great book trailers. (See links below.) 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? They look very professional. Do you use the trailer in your character development? Are the pictures and background the way you see your characters and scenes?

I have no idea on their total impact, but I’m a great believer in using all the weapons at my disposal. If it takes me a few days to put together a trailer and it only gains me one reader, that’s one reader I wouldn’t have had without it.

Thank you for the comment about them looking professional, but the truth is I tend to fumble around with them even more than my book covers. I’m simply so obstinate that I just keep going, beyond all the crap designs, not stopping until I find an effect I like. As to whether or not I think they look like my characters, the answer is they look like generic possibilities of what my characters and scenes might look like. I would hate to box things in for the reader, who will always picture things differently to the person next to them.

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

Once again time forbids me to engage with such things. I have tried, but it ended up cutting into either my writing time or my social media time. I have a huge network of writing friends on Twitter and Facebook, including several New York Times bestselling authors and multi award winning scribes. I find Twitter great in that you can just throw something out there and chances are you’ll get an answer you can use... plus some creepy stuff from a weird old white guy in Bangkok.

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

Not really. I pretty much came onto the scene along with the advent of ebooks, so I have just adapted along with them. The early ebooks were crap – in quality as well as sales – and people pretty much laughed them off as a fad, but then Kindle came along and pretty much revolutionized everything. Whereas self-published authors were scorned in the past, they’re now accepted alongside traditionally published veterans, even outselling them in some instances. As an indie author I can now control my promotions, doing giveaways and price reductions pretty much whenever I want, without having to cater to the whims of a publisher who may or may not remember my name. Plus I make a ton more money without them taking their cut. It’s kind of awesome.

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?

My book giveaways are usually extremely successful, generating huge buzz for my books and large sales afterward. But even the ones that didn’t end up selling me heaps of books were beneficial in that they help get my name out there, with new people reading my words, and hopefully making fans of them for my other works. Like everything there are obstacles, but you simply overcome them, or at least try to overcome them. Otherwise you might as well simply not bother and just take up pole dancing; it’s easier and much less traumatic than being an author.

How do you manage your plots, characters and timelines to keep your stories going? Do you use any software to keep track of your books?

They have software for that? I really need to keep more up to date. I just make lots and lots of notes, then hopefully pick up any mistakes in the copious amount of editing myself and my team go through.

Does living in Australia present any unique selling/marketing situations? Where is your biggest audience? Does marketing online help in this situation?

All of my marketing is online. With Amazon being my biggest distributor for both print and Kindle books I simply spend profuse amounts of time marketing online through any avenue I can think of – along with several that others suggest to me.

Do you publish your books in other languages? How is your audience abroad?

I’ve been on several bestseller lists around the world, despite my books currently being only available in English. My first four books are under contract with a German publisher and are currently in the midst of translation. There’s also been interest from Spanish and Dutch publishers, but as yet nothing’s written in stone. Just the fact I’m selling books in such differing markets as Japan and France shows how appealing these books are to people from all walks of life.

Author's Book List
Nobody can escape their past. It will always be there, returning to haunt you in the darkest times of your life. Mike Swanson knows this - his past torments him daily and he sets himself upon a path of death and misery. He justifies his dark deeds by enacting them upon those he perceives as evil, not knowing that the real evil lies within himself. Killing the scum of society, Mike becomes one of them and draws the attention of a group who require people with his skills. Unwillingly enlisted into the notorious 'Blacklisted Brotherhood', Mike must first survive horrendous training in order to hunt down a madman whose deeds will see the world plunged into anarchy if he succeeds. Blasting across continents in their pursuit of justice, the team will come together in ways that they had never imagined and must learn to trust each other if they are to survive. For if they die, it could mean the end of freedom. Will Mike survive the confrontations in order to see out the mission? Or will he cut loose and run from the responsibility that has been placed upon him? Why should he care for the people of the world when they have never cared for him? Why indeed...?
Book Trailer: Blacklisted
Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble
Slaves of Valhalla - The Prometheus Wars (Volume 2)
"Couldn't put it down... To me, if I can lose myself in the story, that is a great read...I won't do a spoiler, you'll just have to read it yourself, but will say well done and thank you, Mr Romyn, may you continue writing forever." -- Diane Gilbert "Right up to the final pages, the surprises are so constant that I found myself commenting out loud, "oh, that's not good," or "noooo!" or just sighing with relief." -- Adina Fenrir the wolf howls. Bifrost beckons. And Wes answers. The enigmatic Australian SAS commando awakens into a maelstrom of death and destruction, his memory in tatters, and his former friend and companion dead. In his hunt for answers, Wes uncovers much more than he was searching for, and enters a war which could see the entire planet destroyed as beasts of ice and perils from outside our realm of reality threaten humanity's very existence. Wes must try to find a way to stop a foe that cannot be stopped, and will use anything at his disposal to ensure mankind is not reduced to slavery by the creatures which founded some of the most terrifying fables of all time. This thundering sequel to Luke Romyn's bestselling novel, BEYOND HADES, is certain to blow readers away with blistering action and thrills which would humble the very gods.
Order the Book From: Amazon
The Dark Path
New York's underworld quivers at the mention of his name. Evil courses through his veins like blood and his conscience has lain dormant for over a decade while he has slashed and burned his way to the top of the food chain. Vain. The Dark Man, born of torment into an existence of death. In the underworld of killers he reigns supreme. And yet he is chosen for a task of supreme benevolence. Why would he be selected to save a young boy, the Avun-Riah, and then protect him against a horde of enemies, both mortal and demonic? Because he is the only one with any hope of success. The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse have risen from the pits of Hell and, along with a fanatical army of cultists, are ranged against Vain. If the boy is slain then Sordarrah will be raised to destroy the Earth, a feat even Lucifer never managed. Evil is being used to fight evil in the ultimate battle for the outcome of all existence. Armageddon sits upon the horizon and all that stands in its way is a man whose path has always been dark.
Book Trailer: The Dark Path
Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble
Corpus Christi - The Legacy Chronicles - Book 1
Haunted by the toxic memories of a torturous foster-father, Jacob Hope yearns to make a difference in a world gone awry, trying to accomplish some small scrap of good in an ocean of wrong. Tumbling through life with no true direction, Jake unwittingly reveals a nightmare. The gates of Hell have been unlocked, and something long imprisoned has broken loose from its shackles to roam free upon the Earth. It cannot be bargained with, it cannot be defeated, and it exists with only desolation in its heart.... Longing to confront such evil but not knowing how, Jake must embark upon a journey not only of destination, but of self-discovery. In his attempts to thwart a fallen angel, Jake must also come to grips with his own part in this almighty drama. For above it all haunts the legacy, a prophecy of who Jake truly is: Christ reborn - the new messiah.
Book Trailer: Corpus Christi
Order the Book From: Amazon
Beyond Hades - The Prometheus Wars (Volume 1)
What if mythology isn't myth? The ancient Greeks told fabulously detailed stories involving unbelievable creatures - monsters dominating all tales from that time. Were they just highly imaginative, or was their inspiration from somewhere else? Doctor Talbot Harrison, a professor in archeology, receives a phone call one day which will destroy everything he perceives as reality. His brother has been mysteriously killed and within moments the United States Military appear at his door, literally dragging him from his home. Thrown into a helicopter under intense armed guard, it doesn't take long until they are attacked by something which cannot possibly exist, something drawn to destroy the one man who can stop the beasts from a land beyond Hades....
Order the Book From: Amazon
Author Recommended by: Claude Bouchard
Best-Selling Author Claude Bouchard writes Mystery & Thrillers novels in the Vigilante Series. Also he is a prolific twitter host. See Claude's Author's Spotlight post.