Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Jill Paterson - An Author Interview in the HBS Author's Spotlight

Today our blog puts the Spotlight on Mystery writer Jill Paterson. She is the author of the Fitzjohn Mystery series. Also, Jill is a book reviewer, blogger and creator of several author publishing books.

Author Genre: Mystery & Thrillers, Suspense, Mystery,Publishing Industry Writings

Website: Jill Paterson - The Perfect Plot
Twitter: @JillPaterson2
Goodreads: Check Out Goodreads
Facebook: Check Out Facebook

Author Description:
Jill Paterson was born in Yorkshire, UK, and grew up in Adelaide, South Australia before spending 11 years in Ontario, Canada. After returning to Australia, she settled in Canberra.

After doing an arts degree at the Australian National University, she worked at the Australian National University's School of Law before spending the next 10 years with the Business Council of Australia and the University of NSW, ADFA Campus, in the School of Electrical Engineering.

Jill is the author of three published books, The Celtic Dagger, Murder At The Rocks and Once Upon A Lie. All are part of the Fitzjohn Mystery Series.

SPOTLIGHT Questions and Answers with the Author

What do you have on the drawing board next? Can you tell us the timeline for its release and give us a little tease?

My work in progress is Lane’s End, the fourth book in the Fitzjohn Mystery Series. The story opens at Sydney’s Observatory on a balmy summer evening. A perfect venue for a cocktail party and, it would seem, a murder, for Peter Van Goren’s body is discovered bludgeoned to death in the grounds. The first question DCI Fitzjohn must answer is why Van Goren was present given his name does not appear on the guest list. The second is a whodunit!

Lane’s End should be toward the end of 2014.

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?

My following on Twitter has grown naturally over the past few years and I’ve been fortunate enough to meet many wonderful, supportive people along the way. I find these social media relationships very important because they enable me to converse with my readers as well as other writers.

You have great covers. 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?

For my book covers, I’m lucky to have a most talented cover artist by the name of Renee Barratt from “The Cover Counts”. We discuss what my book is about and I offer my ideas.

At times, I’ve provided an image that pertains to the story, but that’s about the extent of my involvement. Renee goes away and uses her talents and returns later with stunning covers.

I like the idea of bundling a series of novels. You have put together a set of your novels called A FITZJOHN MYSTERY VOL 1-3 BOX SET. What was the impact on your other sales? What was your main objective in bundling your novels?

My main objective in publishing a box set of the first three books in the Fitzjohn series was to present them to readers who were looking for a new mystery series to follow. It has helped sales because it’s another way of presenting my work. Also cheaper for the reader.

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?

Although I rarely do it now, I’ve had very positive results in the past from giveaways. The giveaways I’ve used are Goodreads Giveaways and the Kindle Select 5 Free Days. I’ve also used BookBub a couple of time. My main goal was visibility. Everyone loves a bargain and along the way I gained readers, so we were all happy. There were no obstacles that I can think of.

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?

When my book nears the release date, I put the cover image on my blog and do a post about it. On release, I Tweet its launch. This is where all my wonderful Twitter followers excel themselves because they retweet it. I also tend to do a 5 day giveaway on KDP Select because visibility is key. At the same time, I advertise that giveaway on sites such as Pixel Ink, Kindle Book Review etc.

For my next book launch I will also include using Amazon’s new facility for Indie writers which enables pre-orders of the book as soon as you have a publication date. I’ve also installed a Recent Release subscription button on my blog so that I can email those subscribed when a new book is released.

You have published fiction and non-fiction books. Does changing hats create any problems? Which do you enjoy writing the most? Does moving from one to the other give you some breathing room?

I would say that changing hats between fiction and non-fiction helps to keep my writing fresh. I spend 12 months writing a novel and become so immersed in the story that it rarely leaves my thoughts. Consequently, writing posts for my blog, guest posts and doing interviews like this, gives me a bit of space from my work in progress. As far as which I like writing best, fiction or non-fiction, I’d say I like both. I love writing a mystery that is difficult for the reader to solve before the end of the book, and I enjoy imparting my knowledge of self-publishing etc., to others.

You have a great blog. You do a great job keeping readers informed, marketing your books, and providing useful information to other writers (WRITERS BOOKCASE). 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?

My goal in having a blog is to give aspiring writers and writer’s information on whatever I think might be useful to them. The posts on self-publishing have been very popular in recent times so that is why I decided to publish them together in an eBook. Self-Publishing-Pocket Guide. Even so, I’ve left all the original posts on my blog.

As far as finding the time for all this and life in general, well, that’s a good question. I’m a fairly organised person, however, so that does help. I usually have a plan for my day and decide what I wish to accomplish. A colleague once said to me that it’s best to have small successes. Consequently, I don’t try and build Rome in a day, I just build one building or one road. Also in my plan for the day, I watch how much time I spend on social media because it’s so easy to lose track of time.

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?

On the whole, I rely on my reading audience for reviews if they feel so inclined although I have received a few when I’ve participated in blog tours.

Do you maintain a reader list? What are the methods you use to find your readers and create the list and the relationship? Do you use social media and/or support groups to build your following?

Funny you should ask. As I mentioned above, I’ve recently created a subscription list for new releases on my blog but that’s as far as I’ve delved into mailing lists so far. A reader list does sound like a good idea. I guess if I created one I’d used social media to help get it up and running.

Author's Book List
Writing - Painting A Picture With Words - Create a written Canvas
A painter engages the viewer with the subject of the painting, the colours, style and the medium in which it’s painted. Similarly, writers strive to engage their readers, taking them on a journey into the world they create; using their words skilfully like a painter uses brushes.

To make this world, you need engaging characters, settings in which your story is told, structure, the building blocks, plot, a sequence of events, theme, the message it sends to the reader, and conflict that creates the action. All this and more you will find here to help you create a written canvas.

Order the Book From: Amazon
Self Publishing - Pocket Guide
This self publishing pocket guide takes you through what you need to do in order to self publish. From information on formatting your manuscript, deciding on a cover and book blurb to decisions on price, ISBN, and choice of categories, it also includes helpful web site links plus marketing and author platform ideas to enable you to start your self publishing journey with confidence.

Order the Book From: Amazon - KOBO
The Celtic Dagger - A Fitzjohn Mystery Book 1
University professor Alex Wearing is found murdered in his study by the Post Graduate Co-coordinator, Vera Trenbath, a nosey interfering busybody. Assigned to the case is Detective Chief Inspector Alistair Fitzjohn. Fitzjohn is a detective from the old guard, whose methodical, painstaking methods are viewed by some as archaic. His relentless pursuit for the killer zeros in on Alex’s brother, James, as a key suspect in his investigation.

Compelled to clear himself of suspicion, James starts his own investigation and finds himself immersed in a web of intrigue, ultimately uncovering long hidden secrets about his brother’s life that could easily be the very reasons he was murdered.

This gripping tale of murder and suspense winds its way through the university’s hallowed halls to emerge into the beautiful, yet unpredictable, Blue Mountain region where more challenges and obstacles await James in his quest to clear himself of suspicion and uncover the truth about his brother.

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble
ONCE UPON A LIE - A Fitzjohn Mystery
Little did, businessman and entrepreneur, Michael Rossi know that the telephone call he answered on that fateful Friday would be the catalyst for his death, and the subsequent recovery of his body from the waters of Sydney Harbour the following morning.

Recalled from leave to take on the case, Detective Chief Inspector Fitzjohn confronts the first of many puzzles; how Rossi spent the unaccountable hours before he died. This leads him on a paper-trail into a tangled web of deception, jealousy and greed that unravels the mystery surrounding Michael’s death.

Unaware of her nephew’s fate, Esme Timmons retires for the evening, unsuspecting of the events about to unfold; events that will, ultimately, expose a grim lie, buried deep in the past.

Order the Book From: Amazon
Murder At The Rocks - A Fitzjohn Mystery
When Laurence Harford, a prominent businessman and philanthropist is found murdered in the historic Rocks area of Sydney, Detective Chief Inspector Fitzjohn is asked to solve the crime quickly and discreetly. After barely starting his investigation, uncovering a discarded mistress and disgruntled employees, a second killing occurs.

Meanwhile, Laurence's nephew, Nicholas Harford, has his certainties in life shaken when he becomes a suspect in his uncle's death, and receives a mysterious gold locket that starts a chain of events unravelling his family's dark truths.

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:
eBook Author’s Corner and
Top Shelf Author Advice
HBS Mystery Reader’s Circle

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