Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Annamaria Bazzi - HBS Author's Spotlight

Today our blog puts the Spotlight on Author Annamaria Bazzi. Annamaria is a Mystery & Fantasy Writer. She is noted for her White Swans series.

White Swans: A Regency Era is FREE May 1-3 - Amazon KDP program.

Author Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Author's Blog: annamaria's writing corner
Blog: Google +
Twitter: @AMBazzi
Goodreads: Check Out Goodreads
LinkedIn: Check Out LinkedIn
Facebook: Check Out Facebook

Author Description:
Although born in the United States, Annamaria Bazzi spent a great deal of her childhood in Sicily, Italy, in a town called Sciacca. Italian was the language spoken at home. Therefore, she had no problems when she found herself growing up in a strange country.

Upon returning to the states, she swore she would speak without an accent.

She attended Wayne State University in Detroit Michigan, where she obtained her Bachelor of Science in Computers with a minor in Spanish.

Annamaria Bazzi spent twenty years programming systems for large corporations, creating innovative solution, and addressing customer problems. During those years she raised four daughters and one husband. Annamaria lives in Richmond Virginia with her small family where she now dedicates a good part of her day writing.

SPOTLIGHT Questions and Answers with the Author

What do you have on the drawing board next? Do you have another book on the horizon? Can you tell us the timeline for its release and give us a little tease?

At present, I’m concentrating on the White Swan series, since it is a young adult, fantasy designed to attract teens like my daughter who won’t read novels because they are just too long.

To keep these young readers interested, I publish a short story per month. The timeline is rough.

While I’m editing one book, I’m writing the next, leaving no time for other projects.

How important have your social media relationships been? Do you see a carry over to your writing success?

The relationships I’m building are important because these individuals are very supportive and helpful, especially in spreading the word about my books. As my relationships increase, helping me to reach more readers, the sales increase. Social media is the rock for Indie authors.

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?

Being new to the world of Indie publishing, I’m still learning and ending up in deep muddy puddles as I learn the ropes of marketing. So far much of what I’ve learned I give credit to the wonderful Melissa Foster and Fostering Success. Secondary help comes directly from the Indie author community—some of the most wonderful people. At present, I’m doing blog tours and the schedule with each stop with links can be found on my blog’s home page.

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?

As an art lover and painter, I’m a hands-on when it comes to the design of my covers. Now, I’m working with two different artists. My daughter, Amanda, designed the covers for A Simple Matter of Justice and Revelation of Abaddon. It was a joy working with her and I look forward to working with her soon.

For the White Swans series, I’m working with Jennifer Donohoe, and again I’m hands on. I give her the explicit idea that I’d like to see on the cover and then we go back and forth perfecting it.

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

On and off I’ve belonged to several writing clubs. At the moment, I belong to a very small group where we all get a great deal of individual attention. Because the group is small, we all have a change to submit chapters every week for critique. I also belong to, a place that has thought me how to shape a story, give characters depth, and how to eliminate plot holes. Definitely, is a keeper.

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?

I did a free giveaway through Smashwords for Revelation of Abaddon, and although it wasn’t advertised too much, I did experience a great deal of down loads, but once the price went back to its normal $0.99 I saw no more sales.

During my blog tour for White Swans: The New Girl in Town, for a few days, I’ll be offering the first book, White Swans: A Regency Era, free, hoping to increase the sales of the second book.

The book will be offered free from May 1 to May 3.

Have you ever done a book tour? If so, did it contribute to the success of your book sales?

It’s all about the learning curve. The first blog tour I did, for White Swans: A Regency Era, I had no giveaways or prices, no drawing, so I didn’t attract much of a following, leading me to believe that giving away things is very important to readers. Therefore, during my second tour for The New Girl in Town I’ll be offering the first book free.

With your technical background, I have to ask this question. 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?

First off, even while in the technical world of software engineering, my thought process was never the same as the typical engineer—they only see the individual trees in the forest, while I saw the entire forest. As I confronted specific problems, for my customers, I always kept in mind the bigger picture the system had to tackle. So it is with my writing. I know and understand the overall picture, which is where I need the novel to end. I always know where it begins, but I stray from my training when it comes to the middle—it is the journey where I have fun. I do not plot, I do not have timelines, my characters drive the story and, at times, even I’m shocked when a new character walks into the plot unannounced, like Jillian did in book II of the White Swans series.

Now to your blog. You do a great job keeping readers informed, marketing your books and providing useful information to other writers. What is your primary goal? And where in the world do you find the time to create great novels, take care of the social media and maintain your blog? Did you design the blog yourself?

Having worked in the information systems world for twenty years, I felt compelled to design my own website. Every so often, I make major changes to it. I think the computer scientist in me resurfaces, at times, with the need to program. After all, it is a very creative process.

I like to introduce my readers to the many talented Indie authors, bring forth the books they write and why, but I also have guests that are not writers to bring a variety to my blog.

Primarily the blog is make readers aware of my writing.

Do you think spending your childhood in Italy influences your writing?

Absolutely. Not just the fact that I grew up in Italy, but also the reality that my parents both felt a need to kidnap their children throwing them into a whirlwind of different cultures. As a five year old, my father took his three children and flew us to Italy where, in my mind, I lived an adventure that lasted six year before my mother found the opportunity to steal us back and whisk us to the US. Many of my main characters experience such adventures, finding themselves in new and challenging worlds where they need to adjust to an entirely different culture to survive, and the White Swans series is a great example of this.

Author's Book List
The New Girl in Town (White Swans)
All it takes is a wish upon a star, and Jillian finds herself in a Regency world she only read about in romance novels. She wakes in an exciting world of adventure and challenges but didn’t expect the new life she received. A maid? OMG!

An ambitious girl, she schemes to rise above her station and become a lady with a title and wealth. She’ll go to any lengths to achieve her goals—even risking the anger of her captors, the hazy eyes always gazing down upon the ancient world. Will her attempts to climb the social ladder get her into trouble?
Order the Book From: Amazon
The White Swans - A Regency Era
Left an orphan, Kendíka cries herself to sleep and startles awake in a Regency castle. Terror consumes her, and she attempts to escape only to discover the new world is her prison. Having no choice, she attends a ball given by her guardian, Lord Deverow, to introduce her into society. He admonishes her to follow the rules and promises to protect her from the wrath of the strange, hazy set of eyes spying on everything. But when she ignores his warning, Kendíka learns firsthand what it means to be disobedient.
Order the Book From: Amazon
Revelation of Abaddon
Freelance programmer, Mia notices two men moving into the house across the street. She’s immediately attracted Andrew. Handsome and charming, he sweeps her off her feet—yet there’s something else about him, too. Whenever she’s close to him, her mind and body crave pain. Confusion overwhelms her senses. Will falling in love with such a strange man be worth it?
Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble - Smashwords
A Simple Matter of Justice
Abducted, raped and killed, Samantha is given a chance to bring her killer to justice. In accepting the challenge from a talking wolf, she never imagined she would become a spirit hawk by night. In the turmoil of her new existence, would she find the courage to bring the killer to the forest where she knows he will receive justice?
Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble
Author Recommended by: Rachelle Ayala
Author Rachelle Ayala is an author, blogger and a member of the World Literary Café.
Check out Rachelle's Author's Spotlight.


  1. James, thank you so much, it was fun being under the HBS spotlight :)

  2. Hello again, Ammamaria. You're a hard person to keep up with :) I think it's nice to see how your projects have come along, after I've had a hand in critting them.