Friday, May 9, 2014

Niki Danforth - An Author Interview in the HBS Author's Spotlight

Today our blog puts the Spotlight on Author Niki Danforth. She is the author of Stunner: A Ronnie Lake Mystery. Currently she is doing a Kindle Countdown Deal for Stunner May 5-11.

Author Genre: Mystery, Suspense, Thriller

Website: Niki Danforth
Author's Blog: Niki Danforth
Twitter: @NikiDanforth
Goodreads: Check Out Goodreads
Facebook: Check Out Facebook

Author Description:
Niki Danforth, daughter of a Cold War covert intelligence officer, has the "thriller/adventure" gene in her DNA. After a career as a successful TV/video producer and director in New York, this empty-nester is picking up her first love of mystery books and recreating herself as an author in the genre. Danforth lives in the New Jersey countryside with her husband and two drama-queen dogs. She is hard at work writing the next Ronnie Lake book.

SPOTLIGHT Questions and Answers with the Author

Let’s start with what’s next. Do you have another book Ronnie Lake Mystery novel on the horizon? Can you tell us the timeline for its release and give us a little tease?

Whereas Stunner is more a suspenseful mystery about family loyalty and possible betrayal, Ronnie Lake Book 2 is a traditional mystery that has someone murdered early in the story. There is also an important romance for Ronnie in Book 2. I write daily, and I'm probably two thirds into the first draft. Ideally, I'd love to have Book 2 out by the fall, and definitely no later than by the end of the year.

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 am a baby boomer author, and I consider myself a recent "immigrant" to social media. It's been a fascinating learning process, and my focus has been mostly on FaceBook and then additionally Twitter. I've also found the promotional tools offered by KDP Select on Amazon to be effective in building a following, whether it's doing a free Kindle promotion of Stunner or a Kindle Countdown Deal, which I am doing right now (May 5-11). Whenever I do one of these promotions, I also reach out to the different reader websites that let their subscribers know about these discounted promotions. That strategy has worked well for me.

I like the idea of the audio sample of Stunner. Your readers can get a quick idea of the story by listening to the excerpt. Do you plan on creating a book trailer for any of your books to promote them online?

Further down the road, I may consider producing a book trailer, because I've seen some fabulous ones out there. For the time being, the former TV producer in me is vigilant about watching expenses, and my audio sampler will, I hope, be an effective stand-in for a trailer.

Stunner has been converted to audio books. What has been the impact on your regular sales? Has the audio book gained a new audience?

I worked with a terrific narrator/producer whom I found through, and the Stunner audio book is now available on Audible, Amazon and iTunes. The book just came out last month, and I'm happy with the early results. What I especially like is that Stunner is part of the Audible platform, which is growing rapidly in users -- a great opportunity to find new listener-readers!

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

Instead of a formal writers group, I work with a couple of different writers and readers more informally along the way in the book-writing process. I also have a terrific editor I work with, whom I met taking an online mystery-writing course in order to learn more about developing and structuring mystery clues.

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?

Shortly after publication, I did a book-giveaway on Goodreads, and I was pleased with the response, since my goal was to create awareness of the book. Recently I participated in a group promotion to give away a free Kindle. My goal was to increase activity on my FaceBook page and Twitter, and I was pleased with the success of that response, as well.

Now that you’ve changed hats from a TV/video producer and director to mystery novelist, do you plan on having your novels produced as movies?

What commercial fiction writer doesn't fantasize about having her or his novel produced as a movie? You imagine the actors who would play your major characters, which I actually had to do when I worked with my audio book producer/narrator early in production so that she and I felt confident we were on the same page moving forward. Working on the audio book took me back to my years in television and radio. Turning a novel into an audio book is hard work and time-consuming, and I enjoyed working on it a lot.

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 hope to interest professional reviewers, but I mostly rely on readers who like to review. To a new author such as myself, reader reviews are critical.

Author's Book List
Stunner - A Ronnie Lake Mystery
Beautiful. Bright. And possibly, deadly...

This is all Ronnie Lake knows about her potential sister-in-law, Juliana. But she’s determined to find out the truth about her wealthy brother’s new lover before he throws away his happiness, fortune, and quite possibly, his life. Who is this mysterious woman with two lives–and how deep does her deception go?

As a divorced, downsized, 50-something, Ronnie finds herself becoming an “accidental detective” in order to get to the bottom of things. There are unexplained hang-ups when the phone rings. A disturbing package and sketchy characters appear at her wealthy family’s estate outside New York City. It all pushes Ronnie to step out of her privileged life and into a sinister world where people will do just about anything to escape their past. Is Juliana the most desperate of them all?

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

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