Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Anne Carter - HBS Author's Spotlight

Today our blog puts the Spotlight on self-published Author Anne Carter (aka Pam Ripling). She is an award-winning author of romantic mysteries, lighthouse fiction and a variety of other works!

Author Genre: Romance, Mystery & Thrillers, Young Adult

Website: Beacon Street
Twitter: @PamRipling
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Author Description:
Anne Carter feels like a Southern California native since she's lived there all but two years of her life. Anne, who also writes under the name Pam Ripling, started her writing career as a short story author and poet. She later found success in full length fiction and has authored a series of paranormal romantic mysteries set in California lighthouses, among them POINT SURRENDER and CAPE SEDUCTION. Her regional short story mystery, "Just Like Jay," appears in MURDER IN LA LA LAND, 2010 anthology published by Sisters in Crime Los Angeles. Anne lives in Los Angeles with her husband and three children, and says she wouldn't live anywhere else. Visit her at

SPOTLIGHT Questions and Answers with the Author

Congratulations on Unmasking Paulie Bingham. So what do you have on the drawing board next? Can you tell us the timeline for its release and give us a little tease?

Thank you, James! Paulie Bingham was just released today, as a matter of fact. Following in September is Part 2 of this 2-book series, titled, For the Love of Katrina Bingham. In Book 1, 1980s British glam rocker Paulie Bingham experiences many life-changing challenges, not the least of which is being accused of murder. He is a particularly vulnerable character because of his notoriety as a gay pop star. His small circle of close friends and lovers harbors someone who wishes him ill. Part 2 wraps up both the murder mystery and Paulie’s personal goal of achieving love and acceptance.

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 much has it changed your book launch process?

Watching the social media landscape bloom and explode has been interesting. I’ve had lots of opportunities to explore these newer facets of marketing and to determine what works (and what is a waste of time.) I’ve found it’s not so much about the paper/tangible vs. virtual, it’s really all about where the readers are; if more of today’s readers are leaving the bricks-and-mortal stores and hanging out in cyber cafes and book blogs, then authors need to follow. Planned correctly, a cyber launch trumps a book signing event—especially for small press and indie authors, who have such limited resources.

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?

I attend 3 or 4 book festivals a year, and an occasional speaking engagement here and there. I find some people are fascinated by lighthouses, so I’ll present a history of the beacons in the area and talk about how my books relate. Next up, I’ll be joining fellow MURDER, WE WROTE authors at the Duarte Festival of Authors on October 5, 2013.
There will more information on this and other events on my website.

You have great 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?

Several years ago I worked for a small online ebook publisher as their Art Director. Since then, I’ve created all my own covers. So hands-on, yes! It’s important to decide upon a thematic “template” when offering a series—fonts & layouts should match, as well as general feeling of the artwork. Thus far, I have not asked for input from readers, but am open to the idea in the future.

I saw you belong to Murder We Wrote. What a great group. What kinds of other writer support groups do you belong too? Do they help with the writing, marketing and the publishing process?

Over the years, I’ve been a member of Romance Writers of America, Gold Coast Fiction Writers, Sisters-in-Crime/Los Angeles—even the United States Lighthouse Society! Each has provided very valuable information and I’m so thankful to have had exposure to these outstanding groups. Murder, We Wrote has been lots of fun. We are all like-minded, indie mystery authors who write in a wide variety of sub-genres and each brings specific gifts and value to the group. I’ve learned so much from my fellow MWW friends.

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 your sort of play it by ear?

I wish I had a set schedule! No, I’m strictly a random, spontaneous person when it comes to schedules and time management when it comes to my writing career (probably because everything else in my life IS scheduled!)

I noticed you have a computer background. 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?

Nothing aside from MS Excel. I use it to keep tract of character names, birthdates, locations, etc. All that “bible” stuff. I also use it to manage review requests and responses.

You are published under two different names. Does changing hats create any problems? Any tricks you can share with us? Does moving from one to the other give you some breathing room?

The initial reason for two names was that I wrote both romance novels and middle grade readers, and I didn’t want any confusion on the audiences for each. “Some material may not be appropriate for children,” as they say. I chose “Carter”—my maiden name—in homage to my late father.

Being a self-publisher myself, I have to ask this question. How does doing everything yourself work out? Do you outsource much of the process?

The only thing I outsource is editing. Nothing will kill an indie author faster than bad editing, which I’m sure you know! I’m fortunate that I can design and create my own covers that I can absorb and understand formatting and different devices. So far, so good. I really love having control of my own work.

Does being published traditionally and then switching to self-publishing create any problems? What about backlist titles?

Good question! Some of my backlist I pulled and republished myself; others remain with a former publisher. It depends on my relationship with the publisher and how sales are going and how much time I can devote to re-releasing. I think having been traditionally published first gives an author a sense of accomplishment, possibly confidence, that might really be unfounded. If nothing else, it gives one an education on the process from the author’s point of view and an understanding of how much of the marketing is left to the author in any case.

Author's Book List
Unmasking Paulie Bingham (Paulie & Kate)
The last thing he expected was to fall in love with a woman.

Until Katrina Newman touched his face for the first time, 80's British pop star Paulie Bingham was content with his flamboyant, gay lifestyle. That he could be any other way never entered his mind. Now, with Kate tugging at his heartstrings, he begins a journey of self-discovery that will lead him through the best—and worst—times of his life.

Though her faith in him sometimes falters, Kate’s love for Paulie never ebbs despite his obsessive ways, his foray into drugs and his habitual infidelity. But will his connection to a high-profile London murder case prove more than Kate & Paulie’s tattered relationship can handle?

Order the Book From: Amazon
A Hero's Promise
Dane Pierce is back. Once, he was able to walk away from the one woman who set his soul on fire. Now, things have changed. Dane returns to Hollywood to play the greatest role of his life: that of an old friend, upholding an impossible promise he made to a man who will never know if the promise is kept. But promise or no promise, Dane cannot hide for long his desire for Jessica MacKendall in this heart-stopping sequel to STARCROSSED HEARTS.

Order the Book From: Amazon
StarCrossed Hearts
On screen and off, silver screen heroes Dane Pierce and Cory "Mac" MacKendall are as different as cognac and Perrier, and newcomer Jessica Taylor loves them both. Despite his tantalizing green eyes and raw sexuality, Dane is not the man she thinks she needs. It is the solid and devoted - if hot-headed - Mac who wins her hand and her heart, and who must endure a lifelong challenge to keep that heart safe from Dane's unending pursuit. From Hollywood soundstage to the Grenadine Islands, STARCROSSED HEARTS makes a journey around the world and through the lives of some very real characters you will not soon forget.

Order the Book From: Amazon - Smashwords
Cape Seduction
After being the backdrop for 1948's critically acclaimed tragic romance, Cape Seduction, Northern California's Dragon Rock Lighthouse sat shuttered and abandoned for decades-and it also happened to be the last place up-and-coming Hollywood starlet Darla Foster was seen alive. When photojournalist Rebecca Burke locks horns with Los Angeles attorney Matt Farralone while trying to gain access to the derelict off-shore beacon, she encounters the spirit of the sassy, once-promising Oscar-hopeful Foster, and uncovers a 60-year-old secret that sets her world on end.

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble
Point Surrender
Amy Winslow isn't looking for a mystery; she doesn't even like secrets. In fact, secrets have nearly destroyed her life. So, when a terrible accident forces her to take control of her brother's mysterious California lighthouse, Amy finds herself immersed in its shocking past and uncertain future. Enchanted by the mystery, she refuses to rest until she finds out who died in the aging white beacon, and why. Case McKenna hasn't quite reconciled his own painful history when he sails his crippled boat into Newburg Harbor, intending to stay only long enough to make repairs. His plans change when he becomes entangled with a local couple intent on restoring a long-shuttered lighthouse. Despite an overwhelming urge to flee, Case follows intrigue and passion, as he, too, finds himself drawn in by Point Surrender…

Book Trailer: Point Surrender

Order the Book From: Amazon
Author Recommended by: Terry Ambrose
Terry Ambrose is an Author of Mystery & Thrillers as well as a blogger. He writes Mysteries with character.
Check out Terry's Author's Spotlight.


  1. Many thanks go out to Pam for organizing the Murder, We Wrote group and allowing me to join in at LA Times Festival of Books. It really is a great group!