Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Dave Zeltserman - An Author Interview in the HBS Author's Spotlight

Today our blog puts the Spotlight on Mystery Author Dave Zeltserman. He is the award-winning author of the Julius Katz mystery series.

Author Genre: Mystery & Thrillers, Horror, Crime

Website: Dark Crime Fiction from Dave Zeltserman
Author's Blog: Small Crimes
Twitter: @DaveZeltserman
Goodreads: Check Out Goodreads
Google+: Check Out Google+
Facebook: Check Out Facebook

Author Description:
Dave Zeltserman is the Boston-based author of the award-winning Julius Katz mystery series. His crime novels have been selected by NPR and the Washington Post as best novels of the year. His first novel, The Caretaker of Lorne Field, was short listed by the ALA for best horror novel of 2010, was nominated for a Black Quill Award for best dark genre novel of the year, and was named a Horror Gem by Library Journal. His most recent horror novel, Monster, was named one of the best books of the year by WBUR and made Booklist Magazine's 2013 list of top 10 horror novels. His crime novels Outsourced and A Killer's Essence have both been optioned for film.

SPOTLIGHT Questions and Answers with the Author

Congratulations on your collection: The Julius Katz Collection. Do you have another book on the horizon? Can you tell us the timeline for its release and give us a little tease?

Overlook Press recently published The Boy Who Killed Demons. This is written as a journal being kept by a very resourceful 15 year-old boy named Henry Dudlow who sees certain people as demons. Henry soon discovers what he believes is a plot by these demons to open up the gates of hell and takes it upon himself to save the world. The reviews for it so far have been very good, with the book receiving a starred review from Publisher’s Weekly.

Along with this, I also have more stories coming out soon in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, including a new Julius Katz detective story in the next issue of Ellery Queen.

You have a good following on twitter. Since you started before the social media buzz, what impact has social media relationships had on your current success? How did you build your following in your niche? How much has it changed your book launch process?

I look at social media as something to do to have fun and connect with readers as opposed to trying to market your books.

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, forums, newsletters and/or support groups to build your list?

I really should’ve been maintaining one, but I’ve been bad in that regards. I’ve been attracting readers the old-fashioned way: writing short stories for magazines, my books being reviewed by newspapers and other review sites, book events, interviews, and if everything goes as planned—a couple of theatrical movies that should be made over the next year.

Do you do any 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’ve done book signings and interviews for all my published books. I’ve also in the past done library events and conferences, which is a great way to connect with readers.

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?

Most of my book covers are done by my publishers with little involvement from myself. Serpent’s Tail published Small Crimes, Pariah, Killer, and Outsourced, while Overlook Press published The Caretaker of Lorne Field, A Killer’s Essence, Monster, and The Boy Who Killed Demons. I’ve been very lucky that they’ve done such a nice job with them.

I’ve also had a lot of foreign editions with some very cool covers—the most spectacular being the German edition of Outsourced where they made the cover look like a 3-D bank vault that’s being opened. Several of my covers for backlist books that I’ve brought back as e-books, like Fast Lane, Bad Thoughts, and 21 Tales, I was able to get from the original publisher. I did put together covers for the books that I self-published—The Julius Katz Collection, The Interloper, and Blood Crimes, and what I learned from that is that you have to get good people to do the artwork, and I was very fortunate with in that regard.

You have a great book trailer. (Killer, see link below.) It looks very professional. Do you know how much impact it has had on your book’s success? Tell us about the process that you used to create your trailer?

I like the trailer for Killer—the publicist Serpent’s Tail hired for it, Meryl Zegarek, put it together, and I think she did an outstanding job. I love the way the cover blends into live action, and it’s almost like a short movie. But I think book trailers—no matter how good—only rarely help sell books. What helped with Killer was it got some great newspaper reviews in the US, UK, Italy, and now Germany.

Several of you novels have been converted into audio books. What has been the impact on your regular sales? Has the audio books gained a new audience?

I don’t know—Serpent’s Tail arranged for two of them. The one I did, Julius Katz and Archie, I don’t think has had much impact. I’ve sold about 5,000 copies of the eBook, and only a tiny fraction of that in audio sales.

I like the idea of bundling a series of novels. You have put together a set of your novels called THE JULIUS KATZ COLLECTION. What was the impact on your other sales? What was your main objective in bundling your novels?

With The Julius Katz collection I took the first 6 Julius Katz stories that Ellery Queen published, and added a new Julius Katz novella to it. The stories have been favorites among Ellery Queen readers, with two of them being voted as favorite stories of the year by their readers. Before I put together the collection I was putting out Julius Katz stories as eBooks after they were published—usually one or two stories per eBook, and I decided to consolidate all of them into one eBook. With the way Amazon’s algorithms work it actually hurt sales by doing this because the previous ones had sold well so Amazon was recommending them. But we’ll see what happens as more Julius Katz stories show up in future issues of Ellery Queen.

You have a great blog (Small Crimes). 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?

What I’m trying to do with the blog is connect with my readers, provide some interesting articles, and keep readers apprised to new stuff of mine coming out.

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?

For my published books, my publishers take care of that aspect by sending out 100s of galleys and having a publicist work on it. Left on my own with my self-published books, I’ve found it’s a lot harder, and I don’t try to get reviews for those books. If they happen, they happen. Reviews sell print books, but not necessarily eBooks. What sells eBooks are placing ads at sites like BookGorilla.

Author's Book List
The Julius Katz Collection - Julius Katz Detective
The Julius Katz detective stories have been a favorite among mystery fans since first appearing on the pages of Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine in 2009, winning a Shamus, Derringer, and two Ellery Queen Readers Choice awards. JULIUS KATZ introduced readers to Boston's most brilliant, eccentric, and possibly laziest detective, as well as his sidekick, Archie, a tiny marvel of computer technology with the heart and soul of a hard-boiled PI.

If you haven't had a chance to meet Julius and Archie yet, now's your chance to get caught up in these clever, funny, and very unusual mystery stories as this collection contains the first six Julius Katz mystery stories originally published in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, as well as a never-before published novella, JULIUS KATZ AND THE CASE OF A SLICED HAM

Julius Katz, winner of the Shamus and Derringer awards
Archie's Been Framed, winner of Ellery Queen's Readers Choice Award
One Angry Julius and Eleven Befuddled Jurors
Archie Solves the Case, winner of Ellery Queen's Readers Choice Award
Julius Katz and a Tangled Webb
Julius Accused
Julius Katz and the Case of a Sliced Ham

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble
The Boy Who Killed Demons
“My name’s Henry Dudlow. I’m fifteen and a half. And I’m cursed. Or damned. Take your pick. The reason? I see demons.”

So begins the latest novel by horror master Dave Zeltserman. The setting is quiet Newton, Massachussetts, where nothing ever happens. Nothing, that is, until two months after Henry Dudlow’s 13th birthday, when his neighbor, Mr. Hanley, suddenly starts to look . . . different. While everyone else sees a balding man with a beer belly, Henry suddenly sees a nasty, bilious, rage-filled demon.

Once Henry catches onto the real Mr. Hanley, he starts to see demons all around him, and his boring, adolescent life is transformed. There’s no more time for friends or sports or the lovely Sally Freeman—instead Henry must work his way through ancient texts and hunt down the demons before they steal any more innocent children. And if hunting demons is hard at any age, it’s borderline impossible when your parents are on your case, and your grades are getting worse, and you can’t tell anyone about your chosen mission.

A very scary novel written with verve and flashes of great humor, The Boy Who Killed Demons is Dave Zeltserman’s most accomplished and entertaining horror novel yet.

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble - KOBO
Small Crimes
Bent copper Joe Denton gets out of prison suspiciously early after disfiguring the district attorney. Nobody wants Joe to hang around, not his ex-wife, his parents or his former colleagues - if he had any decency he'd get out of town and start over. Unfortunately, Joe has precious little decency - and a whole lot of unfinished business to attend to. A tale of redemption and revenge as dark and violent as it's bitterly comic, Small Crimes is the UK debut of hard-boiled hotshot Dave Zeltserman.

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble - KOBO
The Interloper
In The Interloper, Dave Zeltserman's unique talent ("deserves comparison with the best of James Ellroy" - Publisher's Weekly, starred review) is back in full, stunning force. In Part One, The Hunted, Dan Willis is unemployed and desperate when he is recruited by The Factory. Trained to hunt down and kill insurgents hell-bent on destroying the country, Willis methodically and efficiently performs his job. But there's a dark secret behind The Factory, and when Willis discovers it no one is safe. In Part Two, The Dame, Dan finds himself a fugitive and on the run from The Factory. When a misfit group of criminals recruits him to steal The Dame--a priceless Dutch painting--it looks easy enough, at least until another dame gets into the picture. Then all hell breaks loose as double crosses pile up fast and furiously. In the adrenaline-pumping, Part Three, The Interloper, Dan and a gang of thieves pull off a drug warehouse robbery until an interloper comes along, and then it becomes a race to see who can stay alive.

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble
Bad Thoughts
One afternoon 13 year-old Billy Shannon comes home to a living nightmare. His mother being brutally murdered is only the beginning...

20 years later, Bill Shannon is now a cop in Cambridge, Massachusetts. As the twenty-year anniversary of his mother's death is approaching, women are being murdered in the same horrific grisly fashion.

Everything seems to be pointing to one of two possibilities: Shannon has gone insane or his mom's killer is back to his old tricks. Except if it's mom's killer, he's come back a long way to do these new killings... all the way from the grave.

Order the Book From: Amazon
Monster - A Novel of Frankenstein
The supernatural, unmissable new novel by the ALA Best Horror award nominee. In nineteenth-century Germany, one young man counts down the days until he can marry his beloved . . . until she is found brutally murdered, and the young man is accused of the crime. Broken on the wheel and left for dead, he awakens on a lab table, transformed into an abomination. Friedrich must go far to take his revenge --only to find his tormentor, Victor Frankenstein, in league with the Marquis de Sade, creating something much more sinister deep in the mountains. Paranormal and gripping in the tradition of the best work of Stephen King and Justin Cronin, Monster is a gruesome parable of control and vengeance, and an ingenious tribute to one of literature's greatest.

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble - KOBO
A Killer's Essence - A Novel
Stan Green is a New York City Homicide Detective who has seen better days. As his family life threatens to disintegrate and his work partner disappears, he is assigned to the most shocking case of his career-a strange and remarkably violent murder. Stan must look into the crime alone. He finds just one witness, a neurologically disabled recluse who sees through the souls of others as demonic hallucinations. As more murders occur, and he drifts further from his family and friends, Stan's suspicion and rage escalate. Soon he realizes that the deaths fall into the pattern of a serial killer--and starts to believe that his witness is not at all insane, but terrifyingly perceptive . . .

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble - KOBO
Julius Katz and Archie - Julius Katz Detective Book 2
The Julius Katz detective stories have been a favorite among mystery fans since first appearing on the pages of Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine in 2009, winning a Shamus, Derringer, and two Ellery Queen Readers Choice awards. JULIUS KATZ introduced readers to Boston's most brilliant, eccentric, and possibly laziest detective, as well as his sidekick, Archie, a tiny marvel of computer technology with the heart and soul of a hard-boiled PI.

Now in Julius Katz and Archie's first full-length mystery, the stakes have never been higher when a famous Boston mystery writer, Kenneth Kingston, tells Julius he wants to find out who's planning to kill him. The problem is almost everyone in Kingston's life has good reason to want to kill him, and this case soon plunges Julius and Archie deep into the world of murder and publishing.

Order the Book From: Amazon
Blood Crimes - Book One
BLOOD CRIMES is a genre-bending collision of horror, dark urban fantasy and crime that rides shot-gun with Jim and Carol as they carve a homicidal path cross-country. Jim is infected with the vampire virus. Carol isn't. Yet. But they're united in their hunt for society's most dangerous predators for Jim's dinner -- so he can feed without harming the innocent. What they don't know is that they're not alone. There are others on their trail, and the climax of BLOOD CRIMES is a shocking jolt of pure mayhem and rock 'n roll violence.

Order the Book From: Amazon
Leonard March walks free from jail after fourteen years' hard time, served after turning state's witness against his Mafia boss Salvatore Lombard. It's only after Leonard is sentenced that the public learned that he was a Mob hitman with eighteen deaths to answer for.

Book Trailer: Killer

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble - KOBO
Fast Lane
Before there was Dave Zeltserman's acclaimed 'man out of prison' crime trilogy (Small Crimes, Pariah, Killer) there was his first novel, Fast Lane. Published in 2004 by the legendary small independent publisher, Point Blank Press, this seemingly hardboiled PI novel quickly developed a cult following among crime fans. Now Fast Lane is back with a vengeance.

When a young woman approaches Denver private eye Johnny Lane to find her birth parents, he's willing to take the case for almost nothing. Almost. It would be a breath of fresh fresh air compared to all the lowlife cases he is now stuck with . . . and there is something about the woman. The last thing Johnny expects is the path this case leads him down. As the chasm between words and reality grows wider, past and present deeds start unraveling with deadly force.

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble
The Caretaker of Lorne Field - A Novel
Jack Durkin is the ninth generation of Durkins who have weeded Lorne Field for nearly 300 years. Though he and his wife Lydia are miserable and would like nothing more than to leave, Jack must wait until his son has come of age to tend the field on his own. It's an important job, though no one else seems to realize it. For, if the field is left untended, a horrific monster called an Aukowie will grow-a monster capable of taking over the entirety of America in just two weeks.

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble - KOBO
Following on from his ultra noir trilogy - Small Crimes, Pariah and Killer - is Outsourced, Zeltserman's most commercial book to date. A classic heist thriller pitched somewhere between Ocean's Eleven and Dog Day Afternoon, it's the story of a group of software engineers who lose their jobs due to an industry push to outsourcing. Desperate, and seeing their middle class lives crumbling apart, they come up with a brilliant plan to use their computing skills to rob a bank. But not even a systems analyst can foresee every eventuality, so the group falls foul of the Russian Mafia.

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble
21 Tales
21 Tales of dark suspense from Shamus award-winning author Dave Zeltserman.

Stories of desperation, treachery, deceit and betrayal, populated by con men, mobsters, psychopaths, dangerous women and life's losers. Each of these stories with surprise endings and enough twists to leave you dizzy.

Brutal life lessons learned over a game of nine-ball... a war veteran who's been played as a sucker one too many times by his older brother... a salesman who stumbles upon the girl of his dreams only to learn that his dreams have all been nightmares... a con man who gets more than he bargains for when he convinces a wealthy woman to marry him.

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 Author's Spotlight
eBook Author’s Corner
Top Shelf Author Advice
Mystery Reader’s Circle

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

No comments:

Post a Comment