Thursday, November 14, 2013

Liliana Hart - An Author Interview in the HBS Author's Spotlight

Today our blog puts the Spotlight on Author Liliana Hart. She is a NYT and USA Today Bestselling author of romantic mysteries and suspense.

Author Genre: Romance, Mystery & Thrillers, Humor,non-fiction

Website: Liliana Hart
Twitter: @Liliana_Hart
Goodreads: Check Out Goodreads
Google+: Check Out Google+
Facebook: Check Out Facebook
Pinterest: Check Out Pinterest

Author Description:
Liliana Hart spent five years teaching music in the public education system. She molded America’s youth, busted kids for smoking pot in the restrooms, and broke up illicit affairs behind the stage on a regular basis, so she finally decided to hang up her hat and let someone else have all the fun.

Liliana’s Addison Holmes Mystery Series, about a small town teacher who gets into a whole lot of trouble, is somewhat autobiographical, but she won’t confess to which parts).

Liliana began reading romance novels with all her new found free time, and when she ran out of things to read, she decided to write her own novels. The result was a 150,000 word thriller--a dazzling adventure--where the heroine was a thirty-year-old virgin assassin (Yes, you read that right). She couldn’t imagine why people weren’t knocking down her door to read it, but she persevered and began writing a second book. She finally got the hang of things, and eventually learned that losing one’s virginity wasn’t all that romantic after all. All of her books involve some kind of suspense (she just can't help herself), laughter, and a lot of steamy sex.

Since the failure of her first attempt, Liliana’s books have won awards such as: The Daphne Du Maurier, The Suzannah, The Linda Howard Award of Excellence, The Maggie, and many others. Her affiliations include Romance Writers of America and Mystery Writers of America. Liliana loves to cook, and is addicted to reading, Internet Boggle, kickboxing, and Bones. She lives in a big, rambling house in Texas with a couple of cats to keep her company. She loves to get emails from readers.

SPOTLIGHT Questions and Answers with the Author

Congratulations on your book: Dirty Rotten Scoundrel. 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 so much! The J.J. Graves mysteries are some of my favorites to write because I never know what might happen.

Next up for me is another MacKenzie book. It’s called A Christmas Wish: Dane and it’ll be out on December 10th. This is a continuation of Dane’s story, which can be found free at all retailers. When I originally started writing the MacKenzie series, the four novellas—Dane, Thomas, Riley, and Cooper—were only supposed to be prequels that introduced the series and led into the MacKenzie Security novels that are all full length. I had no idea readers would want to know more about the four brothers, and I got so many emails about them that I finally decided to give the readers what they asked for. So all four brothers will be getting another novella.

You have a good following on twitter. How important have your social media relationships been? How did you build your following in your niche? Did you use forums, newsletters and methods like that?

I think social media in today’s publishing world is really important. I love connecting with my readers and I think they really enjoy having access to me and knowing what I’m working on as well. My Twitter, Facebook, and newsletter followers and subscribers have all grown steadily in tandem. I make sure they can find me easily from my website as well as in the backmatter of all my books. I love to hear from readers, so when they contact me through social media I always respond (though I always ask that they be patient because it usually takes me about a week to answer).

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 do a lot of personal appearances with both signings and speaking engagements. It’s another way to connect to my readers and be more accessible. My next event is actually this weekend at the Readers n’ Ritas conference in Allen, TX. But I have a full listing of future events for 2014 on my website at

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?

Covers are one of the most important parts of the book publishing process. It’s what has to catch the eye of your readers. When I’m writing a series, I have a general idea of what I want for the cover, and I’m lucky enough to have an amazing cover artist who can make what I see a reality and improve upon it. I’m very hands on in the process because I’m extremely picky with the end result, but I love all of my covers and I think they’ve become recognizable with my brand.

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

I belong to a couple of different groups. The Indie Voice was formed as a way for ten authors who write in different genres to cross promote to each other’s readership. We brainstorm marketing ideas and discuss the business aspect of writing. I have another group of very close friends who are all published authors, and we get together for plotting sessions and to discuss each of our books or ideas. So one group is for business and the other for creativity.

Between your book writing, social media, 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 really like to stay on schedule with my writing. I have a daily routine, and I function much better if I do the same thing every day. That doesn’t always happen because of all the traveling I do, but I’ve learned to write well while on the road this year. I try to get all of my writing done while my kids are at school in the daytime, and then I’m free once they get home. Then I start back up again after they go to bed. My normal workdays are at a minimum of 12 hours, but usually around 14 hours a day. Writing and staying on top of deadlines is all consuming.

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

That’s a great question. I think ebooks have really opened up a lot of opportunities for authors. When I sit down to write a story the only thing going through my mind is the story. I don’t worry about what’s selling in New York or what publishing houses want. I worry about what my readers want, and to me that’s the only thing that matters. Writing is a relationship between me and my readers. Period.

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 personally think doing a first in a series free book is one of the best marketing devices there is. If book one in your series is good then people are going to automatically go out and buy the other books at a higher price point. It’s a great way to get new readers to try you out. My goal is always to get more readers. I haven’t seen any downsides to running a book for free. It always works in pushing the sales of the rest of the series.

What is your method of getting reviews for your novels? Do you seek professional reviews, use social media or do you rely on your reading audience to supply them?

I’ve never sent ARCs to reviewers or asked for reviews from bloggers. Mostly because my production schedule is so tight I don’t have time for them to read it before the book comes out. I get reviews mainly from my readers. At the end of my books I always ask that they leave a review if they feel so inclined. I also have a really amazing street team who reminds other readers that one of the best ways to help an author is to leave a review. I leave reviews solely in the readers’ hands. I love to get them, good and bad, because that means people are reading. And my readers are all very supportive and seem happy to leave reviews after they’re done with a book.

How did you come up with the idea for The Naked Truth About Self-Publishing? What a great source for indie authors. How did you coordinate so many high-powered authors with, I am sure, limited time?

The Naked Truth About Self-Publishing came about during a meeting held by The Indie Voice. We’re an LLC of 10 NYT and USA Today Bestselling authors, and we came together to promote each other, mentor other writers, and keep each other motivated to keep up with the hectic scheduling publishing today now warrants. By June of this year I’d made more than 17 trips to different states giving self-publishing workshops, and I knew I couldn’t keep doing that and make all of my deadlines. So I thought it would be a good idea if we could all combine our knowledge in one book for people to read.

My hope was the book would cut down on my travel schedule as well as the numerous emails from other self-published authors we were all getting. We each have strengths, and I think that’s what makes the group such a good fit. So we decided we’d each write chapters about the things we excelled at. We gave ourselves a deadline and had to squeeze it in between multiple books that were due, but we finished and were able to debut it the week of the RWA National Convention in Atlanta. I think The Naked Truth is one of the best guides for authors who want to self-publish or traditionally publish, and I’m very proud to be included with all of the other ladies in the book.

Author's Book List
Dirty Rotten Scoundrel - J.J. Graves Mysteries
Can ghosts really talk?

J.J. Graves is about to find out when her past comes back to haunt her. But before she and Jack can resolve her past, they need to deal with his.

Six years ago Jack was left for dead during a SWAT raid he commanded. He never speaks of what happened that day, but he doesn't have a choice after someone starts murdering his men. According to the FBI, Jack is either next on the list, or he's the one behind it all.

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble
Whiskey For Breakfast - Addison Holmes Mysteries
The Private Investigator's Handbook

Rule #1: Don't break the law
Rule #2: See Rule #1
...And then there's Addison Holmes, who makes up her handbook as she goes along.

Addison is licensed to carry and she means business. The only thing getting in her way is a sexy detective, a neighborhood watch from hell, a dead billionaire, a black market sperm bank, and a long lost heir.
Piece of cake…

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble
The Naked Truth About Self-Publishing
The Naked Truth is not just another book about self-publishing. Ten New York Times Bestselling authors share their knowledge, their experiences, and their souls.

Jana DeLeon- A former CFO discusses taxes, corporations, LLCs, employees, deductions and many other things to help form your own author co-op.

Tina Folsom- An expert and bestseller in the foreign market. What to watch out for when dealing with translators, how to attract foreign readers, what countries are hot, foreign rights and much more.

Colleen Gleason- How does an MBA and two decades of sales and marketing experience translate into creating and promoting a brand that represents YOU and your work? Learn how to tackle an important element of self-publishing.

Jane Graves-What’s it like to spend more than a decade as a traditionally published author and make the switch to indie? Jane will offer guidelines to help you determine if you’re ready to make the leap.

Liliana Hart- An expert in marketing and social media, Liliana will delve into how to find your audience and keep them, and how to navigate the pesky algorithms that can make or break a career.

Debra Holland- With a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology, Dr. Holland knows the mind of a writer. How do you stay sane and run a business, while trying to meet deadlines and run the emotional gauntlet caused by being an author.

Dorien Kelly-A tough and practical attorney who will share legal pitfalls that could arise while self-publishing. She’ll also delve into contracts and clauses that can tighten the noose around an author’s neck.

Theresa Ragan- Finished your book and don’t know what to do next? Theresa Ragan shares the basic steps to get you started on your self-publishing journey. Theresa also talks about money and shares real data.

Denise Grover Swank-Thinking of hiring an assistant? Where do you find one? And how do you form a business plan for a business that can be anything but consistent?

Jasinda Wilder-What happens when you have a book that skyrockets? Do you take the traditional deals thrown your way or stay indie? How to make hard decisions from multi-New York Times bestselling author Jasinda Wilder

Get the naked truth from ten women who know.

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble
Kill Shot
Grace Meredith is the CIA's most deadly assassin. Too bad she's gone off the grid and become a mercenary for hire. After the death of her daughter by a sniper's bullet, Grace can no longer stomach the demands of agency life or keep herself from blaming the only man she's ever loved. Her mind and body are fragile, and she knows she's just a step away from breaking down completely.

Gabe Brennan holds the weight of the world on his shoulders. As one of the most brilliant black ops agents the CIA has ever employed, he knows it's no one's fault but his own that his child was gunned down in cold blood. He might not have been able to save his daughter, but he's determined to save his wife. He only has to find her first.

Sexual tension crackles between Gabe and Grace from the moment they're reunited, but between the man who is hunting them, a secret that's been buried for eighty years, and a turbulent past--the odds are stacked against them.

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble
Sins and Scarlet Lace - A MacKenzie Family Novel
Declan MacKenzie has loved the same woman for as long as he can remember, but after a mission early on in his career turns deadly, he realizes he can never have a wife or family and keep them safe. So he watches her marry another man.

Sophia Huxley is involved in a nightmare. Her late husband has been labeled a traitor and he's made her the fall guy. There's no one she can call to prove her innocence. Except the man who broke her heart.

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble
CADE - A MacKenzie Family Novel
Cade MacKenzie is prepared to give his life to destroy the cartel that killed his lover, but the only way to draw them out is to present them with the perfect bait.

Bayleigh Scott has no idea who her new neighbor is, only that her body is drawn to him in ways she can’t explain, and the danger that surrounds him isn’t the deterrent she knows it should be.

More than fireworks explode between Cade and Bayleigh when she discovers the real reason he relentlessly pursued her, but by then it’s too late, because she’s already been drawn into a deadly game of desire, deception and revenge.

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble
Secrets and Satin - A MacKenzie Family Novel
No one knows heartbreak like Jade Jax. After losing her husband to a tragic death, she doesn’t believe love can happen twice. But after years of living a half-life without her husband, her body starts to waken again, and needs she’d forgotten come to the surface.

Max Devlin never thought Jade would want him outside of his dreams, but fate plays a helping hand when they’re thrust into a high stakes mission, protecting each other’s backs like old times. Max decides he’s finally ready to end his bachelor ways, but he learns quickly that happily-ever-after isn't always possible. Because Jade has no desire to ever love again. Not when she knows how painful it can be.

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble
Shadows and Silk - The MacKenzie Family
Agent Brant Scott knows when a battle is lost. He’s been an integral part of hunting down members of the del Fuego cartel for years, but it’s not the violent criminals that have the ability to bring him to his knees. That honor belongs to one woman. And after spending a night in Darcy MacKenzie’s bed, he knows he has to disappear from her life or risk her finding out the one secret that can make her despise him forever.

Darcy MacKenzie is hell on wheels. At least that’s what her brothers tell her. And when she has the chance to work with the elite team assigned to destroy the most dangerous drug cartel in the world, she jumps at the chance to lend her expertise by deciphering the Mayan hieroglyphs the cartel is using to send messages.

The only problem is her partner is none other that Brant Scott—the only man she’s ever loved and the one who left her without a backward glance. With secrets of her own—and a body built for sin—Darcy is more than an equal match for the stubborn Brant. But loving each other could be more of a risk than either is willing to take.

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble
A Dirty Shame - J.J. Graves Mysteries
J.J. Graves is back in Bloody Mary, but she's a long way from feeling at home. Between her physical scars from being the target of a murderer and the emotional scars left by her parents, she doesn't know who she can trust. But death doesn't stop for anyone.

The first murder is grisly. The second even more so. And though things are shaky between them, she and her best friend, Jack, have no choice but to join forces and find the killer. Because the life of someone they love dearly hangs in the balance.

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble
Whiskey Sour - Addison Holmes Mysteries
Addison Holmes is at it again. When priceless Russian gems are stolen on their way to Savannah and the courier is murdered, all the clues lead back to an escort service that seems above reproach. But looks can be deceiving.

Throw in a sexy detective and a dangerous FBI agent, and Addison finds out very quickly that she's in way over her head. But nothing is going to stop her from getting her man.

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble
Whiskey Rebellion - Addison Holmes Mysteries
My name is Addison Holmes, and I teach history at James Madison High School in Whiskey Bayou, Georgia. You might be under the assumption that my life went to the dogs when my fiancé left me at the altar for the home economics teacher, or when I got notice that my apartment building was going to be condemned, or even when I was desperate enough to strip to my unmentionables to earn some extra cash. The truth is that I'm pretty much used to disasters following me around on a daily basis, but I could have gone without finding my principal dead in the parking lot of a seedy gentlemen's club.

After the initial shock of finding my first dead body, which included throwing back shots of Jack Daniels like it was water, I decided to take stock of my life. I was in a desperate situation and if the school board ever found out I'd been a stripper, even a bad stripper, I'd be jobless as well as fiancé-less and homeless. Fortunately, I had a friend who felt sorry enough for me to give me a job doing some surveillance work at her detective agency. Not to mention the fact that I was now able to stick my nose into other people's business for a good cause, find a murderer, and pick up helpful tips from an incredibly attractive detective.

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble
Author Recommended by: HBSystems Publications
Publisher of ebooks, writing industry blogger and the sponsor of the following blogs:
HBS eBook Author’s Corner
HBS Mystery Reader’s Circle

Check out the index of other Spotlight authors. Spotlight Index.

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