Today our blog puts the Spotlight on Author Garrard Hayes. He writes Crime, Mystery and Thriller novels.
Crime, Mystery, Thriller
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Garrard Hayes is a lifelong New York resident whose ancestors made their living on the streets of Manhattan and Brooklyn. His love of action and crime fiction, together with a knack for good, gritty story telling, sparked him to write. He lives in New York with his wife, two children, and three dogs.
SPOTLIGHT Questions and Answers with the Author
Congratulations on your book: Bourbon & Blood. Do you have another book on the horizon? Can you tell us the timeline for its release and give us a little tease?
Thank you for the Kudos. Bourbon & Blood is one of those unbelievable dreams that came true for me by carving little time out of each day in between my day job and family activities. I constantly think about my character and chip away at my plot on my iPad during my commute into New York City.
I’m currently on tract to finish the first draft of the sequel to Bourbon & Blood in the next few months. Then starts the exciting and painful process of editing. During this phase I find that with each pass of complete editing the novel becomes more polished and ready to go to my editors for feedback.
In Book 2, Bill Conlin has fled the city he grew up in city and country he loves. Driven out by betrayal, corruption and dangerous rivals, he vows to track down the men who’ve ruined his life. He’ll go to the ends of the earth to kill them or die trying.
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?
As an indie author social media is my main marketing tool. I use all social sites Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Wattpad. I’ve been building a platform for the last year and I share author’s post daily along with my own.
I’ve found that Twitter has the strongest community of authors that share and inspire each other. I have a book blog (www.garrardhayes.com) that has been slowly gaining followers by highlighting new talent and old favorites.
You have a great cover. 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?
I created my own cover from pictures I’ve taken while exploring New York City. I have a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Art and been a commercial digital artist for over twenty years. It happens to be what I do in my day job and is one of the reasons why I post a lot of art and business leadership related topics.
What writer support groups do you belong to? Do they help with the writing, marketing and the publishing process?
I’m currently a member of kindlemojo.com and kboards.com, they both have extremely strong author communities. I’ve recently signed up for the Independent Authors Network. I’ve had many authors friends contact me and sing their praises.
Between your book writing, blogging, marketing, family and all the other things that can get in your way, how do you manage your time? Do you have a set schedule or do your sort of play it by ear?
I definitely have a schedule and write everyday on my commute into New York City. Some nights I stay up late and write while drinking coffee and Bourbon. I find that the coffee keeps me awake and the bourbon allows my creative muse to flow.
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?
I was shocked by 30,000 + downloads when I first introduced Bourbon & Blood free on Amazon. During that launch I remained active day and night on Twitter and Facebook. I also posted my free offer on over fifty ebook promotional web sites and paid for featured spots. Since then I’ve had moderate success with a Goodreads giveaways, book blogger sites and other promotional sites.
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 feel that Indie authors must make their books free at launch to create a buzz. Most Indie authors continue to make their books free or available at a large discount monthly. It’s a way to get your product into as many hands as possible and helps to improve search ranking on Amazon. For me the best way to reach readers has been Twitter. The main advantage on Twitter is authors help authors by sharing their tweets with their followers. This is something that is weak on Facebook. There it’s become more about spamming book groups than about sharing with readers. I use hash tags that relate to my genres and trending topics. I scheduled tweets worldwide targeting cities and countries when I feel users are most active.
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 submitted my novel to many book bloggers but the turnaround time is slow and finding reviewers that specialize in my specific genres has been difficult. Goodreads.com and kboards.com has been the best so far. These communities have avid readers and avid reader/authors who are active, opinionated and I appreciate their honest reviews.
Does living in New York City give you a lot of ammunition for your stories? Do you use an ideas book to keep up with your plots
Working in New York City has been the ammunition for most of my ideas. I’ve grown up here and I’m still exploring the New York City Culture. I use my iPhone all day long for writing outlines of ideas and situations for later use. If an idea comes to me while riding the Subway I pull out my iPhone and tap it in. If I don’t then the idea or marketing tag line is lost in minutes.
Being an independent author is a 24/7 job and I love it. I’m never bored and always have something to look forward to. Lastly I’d like to say that we all have fathers and mothers of our success, the people who have encouraged and inspired us. I owe a lot of gratitude to my family and close friends. Many of my teachers and mentors I’ve never met authors like: James Lee Burke, Ken Bruen, Adrian McKinty, Denis Lehane, Stephen King and many others. I’m an avid reader and believe that an author must read as much as he/she writes. Writing is not easy, but I appreciate the effort and artistry like that of fine wine or better yet aged
Author's Book List
Bourbon & Blood
- A Crime Fiction Novel - Bill Conlin Thriller
In the tradition of action-packed noir thrillers, comes a crime fiction story about an otherwise good guy "bent" bad when he's pulled into the underbelly of the New York City crime scene.
Drugs, white slavery, prostitution, murder... Former soldier and decorated war hero Bill Conlin finds himself immersed in it all when he can't find "respectable" work after his tour in Afghanistan. When his cousin, Jimmy, first tries to talk him into joining Irish mafia boss Frank Sullivan's gang, Bill brushes him off.
All Bill really wants is a normal life with a nice girl, and he's pretty sure the waitress he just met, Dana, is the one. But with his savings running low, and desperate to get out of his Hell's Kitchen near-tenement apartment building, Bill, against his better judgment, agrees to a meeting with Mr. Sullivan--and immediately hits the point of no return... Now with a brand new Lincoln and fancy new uptown digs (complete with a live-in girl whose only purpose is to serve him, and a wardrobe packed with weapons), Bill's tasked to take down a Harlem-based Mexican prostitution ring.
One thing leads to another, however, and the deeper he gets, the more he learns, and the more tangled up he becomes in a lifestyle he never wanted. But how long until he takes matters into his own hands... And what will the ultimate cost be...
Mystery & suspense lurk around every corner in this action & adventure novel based in New York City.
Order the Book From: Amazon
Author Recommended by:
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