Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Katie Jennings - HBS Author's Spotlight

Today our blog puts the Spotlight on Author Katie Jennings. She writes the Dryad Quartet series.

Author Genre: Literature & Fiction, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Romance

Website: Katie Jennings
Blog: Google +
Twitter: @dryadquartet
Goodreads: Check Out Goodreads
LinkedIn: Check Out LinkedIn
Facebook: Check Out Facebook
Pinterest: Check Out Pinterest

Author Description:
Nothing can compare to the exhilaration of discovering, at last, a mode of release for the imagination. Mine came, after years of struggling to visualize my creativity, in the form of written word. I found myself with my nose constantly in a book, absorbing the life of the characters and the beauty of the setting. It was intoxicating, to say the least, and the only thing I knew was that I wanted to give writing a shot, and take the thousands of characters and storylines in my head and put them down on paper, and form them into something real and compelling.

In truth, I'm just a girl from a small town north of Los Angeles, with an imagination for days and thank goodness a keyboard at my fingertips. And even though my husband thinks I'm a nerd and my mom is undoubtedly my biggest fan, at the end of the day I'm loving life and enjoying giving breath to the characters living in my heart, and sharing with others all the creativity I can harness.

I believe in true love, and I've always believed in happy endings. And that is just the beginning of the story.

SPOTLIGHT Questions and Answers with the Author

Let’s start with what’s next, a ghostly romance called So Fell the Sparrow. Can you tell us the timeline for its release and give us a little tease? Also, do you have another book on the horizon? Rumor has it that there is a third Vasser book in the works.

So Fell the Sparrow will release on November 21st, with a prequel short-story releasing September 21st that will offer a sneak peek of the main book. Here is the blurb for So Fell the Sparrow:


Grieving the tragic death of her parents, Dr. Grace Sullivan travels to her father's secret home in Massachusetts, only to discover the house, and the spirits within it, are a terrifying addiction she can’t shake. Joined by a ghost hunter duo and a medium, skeptical Grace finds herself not only becoming a believer, but falling in love, as well.

View the Book trailer here:

There is a third Vasser book that I was talked into writing, given that so many readers wanted more of the Vasser family. I just started outlining it, but it’s tentatively scheduled to release in May or June of 2014.

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

Social media relationships have been everything to me. Through interacting with the author community, I have met so many wonderful people and forged lifelong friendships. The most important contact I’ve made was with the brilliant team at Blue Harvest Creative, who does all my book design work and created my amazing website. If it wasn’t for social media, I wouldn’t have the success I have today.

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?

Most of my presence is online. I’m very active with Facebook and on Twitter, and love to communicate with readers that way. I also have a blog where I try to post regularly and reach out to people who enjoy my work.

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?

Thank you! I create my own covers, but always seek the opinions of those I trust to be sure I got it right. For me it’s all about the imagery. Once I find my image, the cover pretty much creates itself. Of course, there are so many crucial elements to make a cover extraordinary, so I make sure to get professional opinions as well. I haven’t gotten readers involved before, but it’s something I may do in the future!

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

I think book trailers are a crucial part to any book marketing plan. As long as they are done correctly and look professional, they can be a great way to entice readers. Who doesn’t love watching movie trailers? Book trailers are the same way. There’s a lot of emotion you can convey in a one minute trailer, using both music and imagery, so there’s no reason not to take advantage of it. It’s hard to say how they impact sales, but if the big guys are doing them, then it must be worth doing. For those looking to get a book trailer made, mine are done through Blue Harvest Creative.

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

As an official author of Blue Harvest Creative, I have so much support coming from them and from the other official authors. BHC isn’t a publisher, so we are all still self-published and in full control of our work, but we get beautifully designed books, marketing advice and promotion, and unrivaled industry experience to help us navigate the waters of publishing. We also support each other by beta-reading, which is so crucial when writing a book.

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?

If you had asked me this same question exactly one year ago, I would have raved to you about the success I’ve had doing free promotions on Amazon. Sadly, the landscape has changed dramatically in that short time as the market became flooded with so many free books, readers couldn’t sift through them all. I have since removed my books from Amazon’s exclusive program and am now putting them up on other sites like Barnes and Noble. I was fortunate enough to catch the free promotion wave at a good time and saw amazing sales numbers from it, but these days things are much different. I don’t know if I’d recommend it now.

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

I have, and no, not really. I think some blog book tours can be successful, as long as they are done right. If the blogs you are featured on are big name blogs with thousands of followers, then you stand a chance at making sales. Sadly, most blogs out there only have a few hundred followers and honestly it’s more authors than readers populating those blogs, anyway. However, if you find a website, such as, and utilize their paid service for book tours, you will find it is much more successful. Websites such as this one have connections that we as authors don’t have, and they will run the whole tour for you which is amazing.

You have a great 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?

Thank you! I’m trying to update my blog much more regularly these days by posting things that interest readers. I’m doing a fourteen week blog series about ghosts and ghost hunting to help promote So Fell the Sparrow, which I hope will build up lots of hype for the book. I have no idea how I have time for everything, as I always feel like I’m behind. I have a backlogged list of things to do and it seems there aren’t enough hours in the day!

What is your method of getting reviews for your novels? Do you seek professional reviews or no you rely on your reading audience to supply them?

I seek professional reviews by sending out a few advanced review copies of my books, and after that I leave it up to my readers to review. Getting reviews is something that plagues so many of us authors, but we need to be patient. Readers are not easily fooled; if they see a book with two hundred glowing reviews, they may get suspicious. Better to have only a few, verified, thoughtful reviews that truly reflect the book. Quality over quantity, as they always say.

Author's Book List
Rise of the Notorious
When their empire fell, darkness descended upon the Vasser Hotel family and shrouded them in chaos. It was a darkness layered in violent sins and staggering deception, made only more potent by a haunting truth. Murder, it seemed, was a burden they couldn't escape.

With a scandal plaguing the family's reputation, the Vasser heirs must rise to the occasion and utilize a killer's advice to turn bad publicity into good, and tradition into innovation.

If only it was that easy.

In an elaborate game of hidden motives and sinister agendas, more dirty truths from the past will resurface, truths that could bring about victory or bloodshed. But how will the Vasser siblings react when the real threat to their family not only has power and control on the mind, but assassination as well? What will they do when it becomes clear that someone out there wants them destroyed, no matter the price?

The Vassers may have fallen from grace, but now they will rise as notorious.

Book Trailer: Rise of the Notorious

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble
When Empires Fall - A Vasser Legacy Novel
The Vassers are America's greatest family, an empire forged in steel and stone, wealth and prestige. They're in the business of luxury hotels...and murder.

When the truth is exposed through the letters of a dead woman, all hell breaks loose. The family tries to cope with the allegation that what they thought was a decades old suicide was actually the cold-blooded murder of one of their own.

Things only get worse when they realize the killer is still among them.

Enter the newest generation of Vasser heirs: three siblings now running the Vasser Hotel in New York City, each with their own agenda. Principled and serious Grant; charming playboy Linc; and ruthlessly secretive Madison. They soon discover that swimming in the undercurrents of their own family's dark past could prove to be disastrous.

Family may be the ties that bind, but When Empires Fall, they are the ties that kill.

Book Trailer: When Empires Fall

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble
Of Water and Madness - The Dryad Quartet
Loving her is everything.

War looms on the horizon.

And madness has consumed his mind.

When Liam freed Rhiannon and won her heart, he finally had everything he wanted. Meanwhile, Euphora sits in limbo, waiting for an act of war. Dante is nowhere to be found, but it's clear their enemy is biding his time.

A casual run in with a pretty blonde on the Gulf coast haunts Liam. He comes back to Euphora, changed, his mind no longer under his control. When the blonde joins him, accusations and suspicions run rampant. No one understands his sudden change of heart.

Neither does he. But by the time he figures it out, war is upon them and Rhiannon's life is at risk. With all of Euphora in turmoil, will Liam be too late to save her? Or will war and madness consume him once and for all?

Book Trailer: Of Water and Madness

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble
A Life Earthbound - The Dryad Quartet
Her perfect life is a lie.

She's bound by chains the others can't see.

Until love and murder combine to break them.

All her life, Rhiannon bent to the will of her family. Under the strict, often unloving guidance of her parents, she grew into a young woman with eyes like ice and an unwillingness to feel. A protected heart is a safe one, and love is something much too destructive to enjoy.

With Dante a real and imminent threat, all of Euphora is on edge. Rhiannon finds herself caught between her unfaithful mother and miserable father, and as a result she gives in to the one thing she's always refused to feel. Love.

She soon realizes that opening her heart to Liam won't be enough to save her. Murder knocks on the doors of Euphora, and life as Rhiannon knows it is about to change forever.

Book Trailer: A Life Earthbound

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble
Firefight in Darkness - The Dryad Quartet
Her father was framed

The plot against him thickens

She's his only chance of retribution.

When Capri returned to Euphora, Blythe gained a close friend. Yet with her return also came the alarming truth about Blythe's father, a man she has never known. She learns that he was framed by a murderous traitor, and by his own blood.

Now a thirst for revenge haunts Blythe, bringing her to hunt for her own uncle, the half demon, half Fire Dryad, Dante. Joining her is a lethally dangerous bounty hunter with a slow, Texas drawl and a hunger for slaughtering demons. He'll take her across the country on a cat and mouse chase that will end where it all began.

Fire runs hot in Blythe's veins, and she'll need every last ounce of it to take on the most ruthless of enemies. Her own flesh and blood.

Book Trailer: Firefight in Darkness

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble
Breath of Air - The Dryad Quartet
Her life was stolen from her.

She remembers nothing.

Now all she has is the gift of Air.

Capri Summers earned her last name in honor of the season she was found, abandoned in a dark alleyway in Richmond, Virginia. The orphanage remained her home until her eighteenth birthday, when she had no choice but to leave with nothing but a duffle bag and the clothes on her back. That, and her secret gift.

Her ability to call upon the wind, to form clouds out of thin air, and to coax birds into dancing on her open palm. It made her different, when all she wanted was to be normal.

Little did she know, her gift made her extraordinary.

When a chance encounter with a person from her past occurs, Capri is whisked off to a land she thought only existed in her dreams. A land filled with beautiful beings of mythological origin, who welcome her as one of their own.

Her newfound life unexpectedly turns from perfect to dangerous. Deception lurks around every corner and a ruthless killer will do anything to keep her from learning the truth about her disappearance.

Now she'll have to find courage in despair, or risk losing everything.

Book Trailer: Breath of Air

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble
Author Recommended by: Judy Shafer
Judy Shafer is a Book Reviewer and Voracious Reader. She is a must contact for authors seeking honest reviews. Her Five Star Ratings are a badge of honor.

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