Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Carolyn Arnold - An Author Interview in the HBS Author's Spotlight

Today our blog puts the Spotlight on Author Carolyn Arnold. She writes Mystery & Thrillers and Romance novels including the MADISON KNIGHT series.

Author Genre: Mystery & Thrillers, Romance

Author's Blog: Carolyn Arnold
Blog: Linked IN
Twitter: @Carolyn_Arnold
E-Mail: carolyn@carolynarnold.net
Goodreads: Check Out Goodreads
Google+: Check Out Google+
Facebook: Check Out Facebook
Pinterest: Check Out Pinterest

Author Description:
Carolyn Arnold had a love for writing back in her teen years, but her passion was reignited in 2006 when a fellow employee said, "tell me a story". Since then, Carolyn has written 9 novels, 2 short stories, 1 novella, and has plans for many more.

Her Madison Knight series has become an international Kindle best-seller, with all three hitting the top 100 in Police Procedurals in the US. Set in the fictional city of Stiles, the series is designed as a standalone, which means you can read these books out of order and still pick up on the series' characters and the storyline. The series follows Major Crimes Detective Madison Knight who is fueled by determination to find justice for the victims. She is a strong, independent female amidst a career dominated by men. If you love a female protagonist lead, she invites you to meet Madison for yourself. Three novels in the series are currently available: Ties that Bind, Justified, and Sacrifice.

Carolyn has also written Eleven, an FBI thriller, which follows a team of four while they try to stop a serial killer from reaching his eleventh victim. Eleven was noted as a recommended read on The Examiner's "Top 12 Fiction Books of 2011". She is also pleased to announce that the characters of Eleven will be back! Silent Graves is slated for release 2013.

Carolyn was born in 1976 in a rural town of Ontario, Canada. She currently lives with her husband, and two beagles in a city near the well-known Canadian center Toronto.

SPOTLIGHT Questions and Answers with the Author

First things first. Let’s start with what’s next. Can you tell us the timeline for its release and give us a little tease?

Presently I am writing the third in the Brandon Fisher FBI Series called The Defenseless. The second in the series, Silent Graves, is working its way through the final edit stages with a professional and I hope to release it the start of the new year.

In Silent Graves, thirty women have gone missing within the time span of six years. Now, two more have been abducted. Brandon and his team must act quickly to save lives.

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 to me are very important. These are primarily other writers who know what I’m going through, who struggle with the same challenges. I consider these people friends even though the majority I’ve never met face to face.

There is an exchange of encouragement to keep going. For example, if I post that I wrote x number of words and have a bunch of ‘likes’ come back on Facebook, or comments of ‘way to go’, they keep me smiling and keep me writing.

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?

To date I’ve had one book signing, although, I’d be open to doing more. It’s quite the experience being able to get “out there” and meet readers. I have done several interviews over the years, including blog talk radio and more recently a thirty-minute television interview.

As for where readers can see me and keep current, my suggestion would be to sign up for my newsletter, and/or view my “Latest News” page on my website.

I am also more than happy to connect with readers and fellow authors online through my social media sites. (See links above.)

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.

Yes, you will never see a Madison Knight book with the badge, or a Brandon Fisher FBI novel without the seal. When it comes to my cover creative process, I try to go for the feel of the book and match that to a color that creates that energy. From there, my husband makes it happen for me. I’m very spoiled to live with a graphic designer. (A little plug for him. If you’re an author, he might be able to do something for you too. This is the link to his blog.)

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?

Thank you, again. I’m not sure how much impact book trailers actually have on sales. In all honesty, I’ve never bought a book because of one.

As for character development, they grow on their own as I write. Typically they come to me with a strong sense of who they are to start with. My trailers are inspired by the books, not the other way around. As I do with my book covers, I went for the feel of the book when making the trailers.

You have written several short stories. Can you tell us if they had an impact on the sales of your novels? Are shorty’s one of your styles of writing or are they created to give readers a sample of your work?

I’ve only written two short stories. I typically have so much more to say. LOL

I believe that short stories can be utilized as a marketing tool. In fact, I recently made Pearls of Deception, my mystery short, permanently free. It provides the reader with entertainment and gives them a taste of my writing style. I also included excerpts from other published works hoping it will motivate readers to read them, and in turn, buy the books.

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

I don’t belong to any writer support groups, per say, but recently joined Crime Writers of Canada.

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?

Free promotions should always been done with the intention of hooking new readers. I believe it’s a terrific tool to introduce your work, but at the same time shouldn’t be overused.

As for giveaways, I have done a few. I find it best to keep the entry period short so that people don’t lose interest in the contest and neither do you! LOL

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?

Well, I currently have three blogs. (I just started a third recently.) I’ll list them below.

My author blog: This one is going to keep focused on the writing craft, promotion of my work, and forensic topics.

Celebrating Authors: This is where I promote my fellow authors and their books.

I am a Shining Soul: This was created for the purpose of self-discovery and healing, with the goal of also helping others going through hurtful things in their lives. I think it helps to know we’re not alone.

As for how I find the time for writing and the necessary aspects? I just do. I can’t imagine my life without writing being a part of it so honestly it’s like breathing for me.

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 been fortunate to experience success with my work, and as such, I rely on my readers for honest reviews.

Author's Book List
Found Innocent - A Madison Knight Novel
There's one code when it comes to the wall of blue…and Madison Knight may have to cross it.

Any good cop knows you never report a brother for mishandling a case or accuse him of misconduct, but in order to find justice, Madison may not have a choice.

Lacy Rose had one goal for her twentieth birthday—to be found innocent of past sins—but her life is cut short.

When Lacy's remains are found in a garden and the investigation becomes connected to a closed case, Madison must face her past. The lead detective on that case was Madison's ex-fiancé. At the risk of jeopardizing departmental relationships, and churning up the attention of an old flame at the same time, Madison must push hard before the guilty are found innocent.

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble
Life Sentence - A Madison Knight Novel
PLEASE NOTE: Life Sentence is the prequel to the Madison Knight Series but is a romantic suspense. Madison Knight of the best-selling series has a cameo role, and while it was the inspiration for the series, it is not a police procedural.
"If I pay with my life, you will pay with yours."

Defense Attorney Bryan Lexan may have just taken on the case which will cost him his life. When his client, a Russian mafia boss, is convicted of first-degree murder, he vows to make Bryan pay.

Meanwhile, Jessica Pratt has always prided herself on being a modern woman–you know, the kind who doesn't need a man to make her feel complete. So when she finds herself torn between two, she realizes that not all decisions are based on facts. If they were, her boyfriend, Bryan, would be the logical choice. He has the family name, wealth, and a stake in a successful law firm. Only thing is, when she meets Mason Freeman, the chemistry between them is irrefutable and he won't take no for an answer.

With both of them caught up in a struggle for survival, and a powerful enemy on their heels, they'll need to decide where their loyalties lie.

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble
Sacrifice - A Madison Knight Novel
When the son of business tycoon Marcus Randall washes up on the shore of the Bradshaw River, Detective Madison Knight must sacrifice everything--including her career--to find justice for the "perfect murder".

With Randall already on the radar of the Secret Service for fraud and counterfeiting, the investigation sheds new light and they require the full cooperation of the Stiles PD. But with power and money to back him, Marcus has a reach that extends right inside the police department.

If Madison's going to find out the truth, she'll have to sort through the lies and balance diplomacy with politics.

Book Trailer: Sacrifice

Order the Book From: Amazon
Justified - A Madison Knight Novel
This Christmas, murder doesn't take a holiday.

Madison Knight should have ignored the call. Now she is spending Christmas Eve dealing with her least favorite thing...blood and lots of it.

When a female victim is found in her home it has Madison and her partner tapping into the vic's personal life. With a rash of former business partners and lovers, all of whom wanted her dead, there are not enough hours to question them all.

But trying to find the person who had the most motive isn't all that's on Madison's mind. As she struggles to establish balance in her own life, she knows she has to get her focus back. Justice requires it.

Praise for Madison Knight
"I feel like I know Madison well enough to call her Maddy... she could be a less klutzy sister to Evanovich's famous Stephanie Plum."
--Betty Dravis, Award-winning Author and Journalist

"Her sharp, insightful protagonist, Madison Knight, comes to life to kick some ass and take some names."
--Rosa St.Claire, Book Critic, The Examiner

Book Trailer: Justified

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble
Ties That Bind - A Madison Knight Novel
Detective Madison Knight concluded the case of a strangled woman an isolated incident. But when another woman's body is found in a park killed with the same line of neckties, she realizes they're dealing with something more serious.

Despite mounting pressure from the Sergeant and Chief to close the case even if it means putting an innocent man behind bars, and a partner who is more interested in saving his marriage than stopping a potential serial killer, Madison may have to go it alone if there's not going to be another victim.

Ties that Bind is the 1st in the best-selling police procedural Madison Knight Series.

Please note: Ties that Bind was professionally edited and re-uploaded the end of October 2012.

What reviewers are saying

"Arnold's writing style is very close to JD Robb's "In Death" series..."
--Karen DeLabar, Blogger and Book Reviewer

"Here's one new fan of Madison Knight who recommends you meet her in Ties That Bind...Fantastic Suspense!"
--GA Bixler Reviews

"A fast paced crime novel with surprising twists and turns....This detective series has a Law and Order feel to it and the suspense keeps the novel flying."
--The Kindle Book Review

Praise for Madison Knight

"I feel like I know Madison well enough to call her Maddy... she could be a less klutzy sister to Evanovich's famous Stephanie Plum."
--Betty Dravis, Award-winning Author and Journalist

"Her sharp, insightful protagonist, Madison Knight, comes to life -- to kick some ass and take some names."
--Rosa St.Claire, Book Critic, The Examiner

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble
Assassination of a Dignitary
The bad guy you root for.

Raymond Hunter's dark past has returned and demands one final favor. Now fifteen years later, settled as an accountant and family man, he assumed life would be calm. He thought wrong. The Italian Mafia wants him back.

The directions were simple: Kill Governor Behler and be out for good.

In order to protect his family and guard them from the truth, he has no choice but to accept the job. He picks the date and location--Niagara Falls, New York--two hundred and forty miles away. But by the time he returns home, he finds out the assassination attempt failed, his family has been kidnapped, and he has twenty-four hours to set things right if he wants to see them again.

With time running out, Raymond discovers the real reason they wanted Behler dead and finds out he's placed himself and his family right in the middle of a mafia power struggle. What he doesn't realize is that law enforcement is also closing in.

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble
Eleven - Brandon Fisher FBI Series
"Arnold's imagination and attention to detail do not leave any loose ends. Exciting."
--MIAMI BOOKS EXAMINER'S "Top 12 Fiction Books of 2011" list.

Book Overview:
Eleven Rooms. Ten Bodies. One Empty Grave.

Brandon Fisher never expected this when he signed up as a Special Agent for the FBI. Working in the shadow of Supervisory Special Agent Jack Harper of the Behavioral Analysis Unit his career seemed set. But when the team is called to a small rural town where the remains of ten victims are found in an underground bunker, buried in an unusual way, Brandon knows he'll never return to his normal life.

With one empty grave, and the case touching close to home, he fears he's become the target of a psychotic serial killer who wants to make him number eleven. Only thing is, everything Brandon thinks he knows is far from the truth.

Book Trailer: Eleven

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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