Today our blog puts the Spotlight on Author Carolyn Hughey (K. T. Roberts). She is a published author of humorous contemporary romance and mystery novels.
Humor, Mystery & Thrillers, Romance
Carolyn Hughey/K. T. Roberts ~ Romance and Mystery Writer ~
Carolyn Hughey/K. T. Roberts
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K. T. Roberts is the alter ego of Carolyn Hughey who writes mysteries and contemporaries with a touch of sizzle. Also available in eReader format from K.T. Roberts is The Last Witness, Magnetic Attraction and Educating Daphne, with the second in the Kensington-Gerard Detective series, Elusive Justice, right on its heels having been released in December, 2012.
Originally a Jersey Girl, K. T. lives with her real-life hero, Bob, in Arizona. They have four children and when she's not writing; she's studying her craft, or whipping up some gastronomic delight for family and friends.
As an author under Amazon's Montlake Romance imprint, all of Carolyn's books will now be available in paperback and digital formats. Cupid's Web and Shut Up and Kiss Me were her first two releases with the latter being a best seller for Avalon Books. As a former chef, Carolyn was commissioned by her publisher to write a cooking series, Romancing the Chef's Toque. The first in that series was Dishing Up Romance. Book #2 in the series, One Menu at a Time was released December 11, 2012. Book #3, Catering to Love, has just been released on October 8, 2013 and is available now.
If you like to cook, if you like to eat, and if you'd like to find out some of the hilarious things that happen in restaurant kitchens, then these books are for you.
A more Holiday-inspired offering was released in October, 2012--Mistletoe and Magic, the creative work of Carolyn Hughey and Gina Ardito. Under the cover, you'll find Insanity Claus and The Gift of Magic.
Visit Carolyn. She loves to hear from her fans. Drop her a line and she will respond to you personally.
SPOTLIGHT Questions and Answers with the Author
Congratulations on your book: Deadly Obsessions. 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. I'm very excited about my latest release and delighted with the feedback its receiving. As a bonus for my fans, and new fans out there, I've just lowered the price of the novel to $0.99 as a short introductory offer.
I'm currently working on Diamonds in the Ruff, the first in a cozy mystery series which takes place in Cape May, New Jersey, a favorite vacation spot for us. The story is about triplet sleuths who return home for their fifth year high school reunion. Awakened in the wee hours of the morning by a former classmate who has found a dead body shoved inside a clothes closet in her room at the B&B when she awakens after a night out on the town, and her jewels are missing. When the police arrive, one of the sisters checking the victim's pulse, and the classmate are taken into custody because the dead woman turns out to a long standing arch-enemy of the former classmate. This sets the Sister Act in motion. I'm shooting for an August release. After that though, I'll be starting Innocence Corrupted, the fourth in the Gerard-Kensington Detective series. That will take me about six months to write and edit.
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?
Thank you. I was pretty impressed with the amount myself.
I've met so many wonderful people on these venues, connected with long lost friends, and developed new ones. I've found it effective for building a readership. That's not to say it has pushed my sales to best seller status--at least, not yet, but I do find if I advertise, they will come.
Just being myself on them and commenting on other posts. I've managed to build a nice group of friends, writers and fans.
I do send out a newsletter, but I'm not sure how effective it is. It continues to give my list of contacts information about what I'm up to next.
You do a lot of book signings, interviews, speaking and personal appearances? 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. Since I started writing, I've moved two times. Book signings offer name recognition. I've done library panels as well. Anything I can do to get my name out there, I'm raising my hand.
I'm currently organizing a few signings here in Arizona, mostly in a coffee house environment, and I will be signing at the 'Readers for Life' literacy signing at the next RWA conference in San Antonio. The signing will be held on July 23rd from 5:30-7:30 and it's open to the public. The autographing takes place at the Marriott Rivercenter Hotel on the 3rd floor. The proceeds from the book sales go to literacy organizations.
You can keep up with my contacts at my website, my blog or social media. (See contact information above.)
You have great covers for both Carolyn and K.T’s novels. 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?
Avalon Books and Montlake Romance did the covers for my sweet romances. Avalon Books asked for suggestions but never used any of them. But when Montlake took over, they did ask for input and were so accommodating, I still can't believe it. K. T. Roberts' covers were done by Carol Webb, owner of Bella Media Management and, as you can see, they follow the same theme. All the stories take place in New York, so it only seemed fitting to use the New York City skyline as my backdrop.
I actually had other covers for my mystery series that I created myself with a limited program. I found the photo I was looking for on iStockphotos and made them. Once that was done, I posted on Facebook asking for feedback and received suggestion for changes--none of which I could do with the program. But, when I saw Carol's work, my own creations paled by comparison--not that my sales suffered, but the nicer looking covers are a draw. When I started Indie publishing, I was looking for an inexpensive way out. My current covers look more professional and sends a strong message that to perspective buyers, I'm serious about my writing.
You have written a Kindle Serial called: Murder and Mayhem. 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?
Actually, I wrote two Kindle Serials. Gossip Girl: Lovers, Liars and Thou, which is a novella, and Murder and Mayhem.
Yes, I think they did have an impact.
Shorty's are not usually my style. I tend to write much longer stories, but my Kindle Worlds had a deadline with a specific wordcount and that's what I did.When Avalon Books was publishing my work, the editor would frequently delete anything over 60,000 words. However, Montlake Romance gives its authors carte blanche.
Some complained, but overall the two week wait time for delivery was well received.
What writer support groups do you belong to? Do they help with the writing, marketing and the publishing process? Can you tell our readers about The Write Authors Book Signing and Valley of the Sun Romance Authors events and how to get involved with those groups?
I organized The Write Authors last year. We're a group of seven Indie published authors who attend the book signings all over the valley. The signing at the Women's Expo was the most elaborate signing we've done so far, and I believe I've made some new fans. I'm also a member of Sisters in Crime and attend monthly meetings at Desert Sleuths. The group's core membership is made up of several law enforcement professionals where I learn so much. I also attend The Writers' Police Academy held every year in September in Greensboro, NC where the instructors are in some form of law enforcement and teach everything from forensics to Secret Service--you name it, they've got it. Here's the link in case anyone is interested.
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?
When I published my first Indie, I gave the book away for free for three days. Unfortunately, it never garnered any reviews until I started charging.
I've done basket giveaways, gift cards and book giveaways for leaving comments.
My goal was name recognition and a review of the book. I did receive comments on Facebook, but not always a review.
How do you start your book launch process for a new book? Give a brief outline of the steps you go through to get your book to market. What methods were the most successful?
I typically start with the cover reveal on Facebook to get attention, and then I post scenes. I've joined about twenty online groups on Facebook where I advertise twice a week, and also on Twitter. Any more than that is overkill and people stop paying attention to your posts. I also do a blog with excerpts, and post excerpts of all my books on my website. Then, I'll arrange for a book signing and take it from there. Once I have ten reviews, I register for E-reader News Today to advertise my book(s). I've had fantastic results with that.
I don’t know which of you to address this question too but I will give it a shot. You are published under two names and genres. Does changing hats create any problems? Any tricks you can share with us? Which genre did you enjoy writing the most, Romance or Mystery? Does moving from one to the other give you some breathing room?
I was worried about that in the beginning, and although it took a while for people to realize I was the same person creating those sweet romances, and writing gritter for my mysteries, things fell into place.
I think my forte is mystery. I love reading and writing it and enjoy it more because you never know what's going to happen. Contemporaries are pretty set in the standard. You know, it's like a Disney movie--no one dies at the end.
I guess you could say that, but I do find when I writing a contemporary then I'm anxious to finish so I can go back to my writing world of crime.
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?
As of late, I've been successful in getting reviews from the reading audience. One of the Indie groups I belong to provide a list of reviewers, but they're so inundated with submissions, they don't guarantee reviews.
Thank you so much for this opportunity, James. I had a wonderful time answering your questions. I'm very excited about my career and where it's headed. If anyone has questions or wants to contact me, I can be reached at
Author's Book List
- Gerard-Kensington Detective series Book 3
Three bodies and counting . . . a manifesto with a long list of names . . . an abducted child, and the killer is using a familiar MO that was the trademark of a serial killer still at large. Is it possible this so-called copycat spurred the Red Reaper into a jealous rage and he’s doing what he does best . . . killing? Or is this someone who’s having too much fun impersonating him and killing everyone on his list?
When two unrelated killings take place, it sends the detectives into a tailspin . . . and now it’s a race against the clock before he kills the next person on his list . . . Detective Jesse Kensington!
Order the Book From: Amazon
The Last Witness
- Gerard-Kensington Detective Series
Book One in the Gerard-Kensington Detective Series UPDATED AND REVISED
Two crimes...one crime scene...one vanishing victim...
NYPD detectives Tate Kensington and Zachary Gerard are convinced one killer is at work, but proving it seems an impossible feat until a pre-teen prank blows the case wide open. Both detectives have their own pasts to haunt them - Tate's ex-flame is now her boss, and Zach's estranged father is counsel for the defense. Complicating things even more are death threats, witnesses going AWOL, and an increasing attraction neither of them can keep denying. Can the pair put away a killer on a paper-thin case? Or will their disappearing Jane Doe prove to be…THE LAST WITNESS…
Order the Book From: Amazon
- Barnes and Noble
- Gerard-Kensington Detective Series
Book Two in the Gerard-Kensington Detective Series
Two detectives, two cases . . . seemingly unrelated until a baffling discovery entwines them forever . . .
Tate Kensington thought she was out of homicide for good. Missing Persons is hard on the heart, but it gives her the resources and spare time she needs to help a young girl desperately searching for her beloved brother.
Meanwhile, with a murder case that has him stumped, Zachary Gerard is beginning to resent all the time Tate's been devoting to her pet project instead of him. Zachary's murder victim is turning out to be way more than anyone ever suspected, and the red tape isn't making this case any easier.
When it suddenly becomes clear that the two cases are not as independent as Kensington or Gerard thought, secrets long buried will be revealed, and the pair will team up once again on the hunt for . . . Elusive Justice.
Order the Book From: Amazon
Isabella Carrington really screwed up this time!
It took her three years to build her reputation as a political columnist and only minutes to watch it nosedive, all because of a dumb mistake. Okay, so she got a little sloppy when she convinced her peer to let her write the Valentine's Day column so she could dedicate it to her boyfriend. Too bad she didn't pay more attention to the photograph she used for the column: a picture of the Mayor's wife kissing another man! Now...she's lost the job, the career, and the boyfriend!
But you can be sure it won't take long for Rory Winters, editor at the Globe to take control. He's ready to hire her on the spot. And speaking of spots--he's always had a soft one for her. Issie's the one who got away before it got started. But this clever man has it all figured out now. Let her write Dear Daphne, a column where she'll be dishing out advice to the masses on how to snag a lasting love. He doesn't know she's down on love these days. But ole Rory thinks it's a win-win. He's banking on the column increasing the papers circulation and while that's taking place, he's getting an education on how to snag her love...and she's learning how to love. How clever is that?
And then there's that little matter of ROSES . . lots of roses. So who's the secret admirer?
Oh, and just wait until you see what happens when the Mayor cuts in on Rory's territory. And that smoldering fire turns into intense heat...and this time, he's willing to do whatever it takes…except let her get away!
Order the Book From: Amazon
JORDAN BAILEY has issues. She wants it all—like loving and being loved, the flowers, the candy, the romance, and please, a relationship that doesn’t end in disaster. That’s not asking too much, is it?
Apparently so. Discovering her boyfriend of three years is a two-timing dirt-bag isn’t her idea of the happily-ever-after kind of relationship. And while she’s getting even, who could have predicted she’d have a chance encounter with Dr. Jeffrey Mitchell who teaches her how fate, friendship and passion all contribute to “having it all” or will he be swooped up before Jordan ever gets that chance?
Order the Book From: Amazon
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