Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Katia Lief - An Author Interview in the HBS Author's Spotlight

Today our blog puts the Spotlight on Author Katia Lief. She is the USA Today and Internationally bestselling author of the Karin Schaeffer series.

Author Genre: Mystery & Thrillers, Literature & Fiction

Website: Katia Lief
Blog: Mailing list
Twitter: @KatiaLief
E-Mail: katia@katialief.com
Goodreads: Check Out Goodreads
Google+: Check Out Google+
Facebook: Check Out Facebook

Author Description:
Katia Lief is the USA Today and internationally bestselling author of several novels, including THE MONEY KILL, book 4 in the acclaimed Karin Schaeffer thriller series published by HarperCollins. Katia teaches fiction writing at The New School for Social Research. She lives in Brooklyn with her family.

SPOTLIGHT Questions and Answers with the Author

First things first. Do you have another book on the horizon? Can you tell us the timeline for its release and give us a little tease?

I do have a new book in the works (two, actually), but no publication date yet to report. Stay tuned.

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?

Yes, I do keep a mailing list. I love being able to get in touch with readers directly when there’s something new or interesting to report. I’m also on Facebook and Twitter, and love connecting with readers there. (See contact information above.)

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 love getting out to meet and greet readers or anyone else who likes to listen to writers read their work and talk about the writing process. To find out what I’ve got going on, you can always check my web site: http://katialief.com/events.php

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 created by the wonderful designers at my publishing house, which at the moment is HarperCollins.

However, when I decided to re-release some of my novels that had gone out of print, I went to Madeira James, my website designer and wizard at Xuni.com, who designed beautiful covers.

You have several great book trailers. (See links below.) They look very professional. Do you know how much impact they have had on your book’s success? Do you use the trailer in your character development? Are the pictures and background the way you see your characters and scenes?

Making the book trailers was a lot of fun. My husband Oliver, who is an Emmy-award winning television editor, jumped in to make me two fabulous trailers. I have no idea if they had an impact on my books’ sales, but I do know that people love them.

Since the novels were written before the trailers were made they didn’t effect character development; in fact, it was the other way around. And yes, the settings definitely reflect what I saw in my mind when writing the scenes.

You have written several short stories. 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?

I love writing short stories, which I do for fun when the spirit strikes, though I don’t have a clue as to whether they bring readers to my novels (though I hope they do).

Besides the Mystery Writers of America, what other writer support groups do you belong too? Do they help with the writing, marketing and the publishing process?

I’m also a member of International Thriller Writers (ITW), Sisters in Crime, and the Authors Guild. Each of these groups, along with Mystery Writers of America, have been of great value to me, both in offering opportunities to meet other writers and in focusing on relevant issues about the life and business of a writer.

Has the advent of ebooks changed anything in your writing, getting the book to your readers and the relationship with your readers and fans?

Ebooks are a great new venue for bringing authors and readers together. I love that we have a new way to read now in addition to print books, which are irreplaceable. My writing hasn’t changed because of ebooks, but the format has brought my work to new readers, for which I’m grateful.

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 have only done a few giveaways, and it’s always in conjunction with a new novel coming out, particularly when it’s a continuation of a series. I suppose the goal is always to attract new readers to the series as well as other novels. As for obstacles—none, as long as the book is free because the author or publisher have offered it directly. Everyone loves a free book—though I wish people would stop taking illegal free downloads off the Internet, as it seriously erodes an author’s ability to earn a living. (Remember, authors have kids to feed, too.)

Author's Book List
The Money Kill - Karin Schaeffer Book 4
Former New York City police detectives-turned-Brooklyn private investigators Karin Schaeffer and her husband Mac survived when brutal terror invaded their lives more than once. Now the offer of thirty thousand dollars for one day's work in London, followed by a family vacation in an exotic locale, seems too good to be true. And then they discover that it is.

Putting Mac's investigations into the alleged marital infidelities of billionaire Godfrey Millerhausen on hold, the family finds paradise in the sun-drenched Mediterranean island of Sardinia. But the holiday turns dark and terrible when the children vanish. Suddenly Karin and Mac must unravel a deadly web first spun when wronged wife Cathy Millerhausen walked into their world--as they discover firsthand the true evil of big money: how far it reaches, what it buys . . . Who it kills.

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble - KOBO
Vanishing Girls - Karin Schaeffer Book 3

Book 3 in Karin Schaeffer series

...and young women are being murdered. When the violence descends on Karin Schaeffer and Mac MacLeary's comfortable Brooklyn neighborhood, and their best friend becomes the lead investigator, they are drawn into the bewildering series of crimes. As the mystery deepens, what looks like the work of a garden-variety serial killer turns out to be an evil darker than anyone imagined, with roots shockingly close to home.

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble - KOBO
Next Time You See Me - Karin Schaeffer Book 2

Book 2 of the Karin Schaeffer series.

Just when their new life together has settled in, Mac vanishes, unearthing secrets and dangers that force Karin into a face-off with a deadly Mexican queenpin whose son has an agenda of his own. Along the way, nothing is quite as it has seemed. Her husband has a dark past she had never imagined, including a revelation that shocks everyone who thought they knew him.

Enemies become heroes. Friends reveal secret identities. And Karin, as always impulsive to a fault, learns that even she has limits.

Book Trailer: Next Time You See Me

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble - KOBO
You Are Next - Karin Schaeffer Book 1

Former Detective Karin Schaeffer has nothing left to live for after serial killer Martin Price destroys all she holds dear. Known as "The Domino Killer," Price doesn't stop until an entire family is destroyed. When he leaves a message, scrawled in blood, on her bathroom mirror, she knows what's coming--You are next. But Karin Schaeffer refuses to run and hide.

Book Trailer: You Are Next

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble - KOBO
Soul Catcher

Fifteen-year-old Kate Steiner is not sure why she is suddenly boarding at an East Coast school for troubled kids, though there is evidence that her lawyer parents are having marital problems. It is the mid-1970's, and at the progressive school where she has landed, Kate is initiated into a stratified society inhabited by kids who fell through the cracks.

Kate must grapple with moral ambiguities when she discovers that Patrick, her first boyfriend, is also a slip-sliding drug addict. In the loosening of family ties, and faced with an inscrutable headmaster, uncommunicative parents and a doomed first love, Kate makes shadowy passage through her questioning adolescence...finding solace in a 'soul catcher' dangling inside a geodesic dome built by a quirky boy who surprises her with an unexpected friendship.

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble - KOBO
The Rise and Fall of Rocky Love

Aspiring cartoonist Catherine "Cat" Gold earns her living as a celebrity assistant in uptown Manhattan, while navigating the cramped downtown spaces of life, love, and alternative art. Her boss is Rochelle "Rocky" Love, a celebrated 1970s feminist and has-been '80s radio and television star who is convinced she can forge a '90s comeback with an autobiography.

But the ghostwriter hired to glorify her life instead reveals a battleground of treachery and hypocrisy, littered with lies and sex that cross all the boundaries. When Cat herself experiences Rocky's duplicity and learns that the icon is a fraud, she is fueled by a sense of disappointment and conspires with the ghostwriter to reveal the unspeakable truth about their narcissistic boss.

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble - KOBO
Love, Sex & the Wrong Bride

Dawn is still in love with Hank, who dumped her for Christine--and they're living together now. But when Dawn realizes how much Hank misses her, and might even regret their breakup, the game is on.

Dating in 1980s Manhattan is confusing enough. Then Mike Blitsky--a.k.a. Mike Mauvais of "Misled Mike's Marvelous Men," a transvestite escort service--bursts into Dawn's life when she becomes the editor of a tell-all memoir he's writing to pay for his legal defense. Unbeknownst to Dawn, Hank is Mike's lawyer, defending him against charges of running a male prostitution ring. Dawn's friend Katherine, a doctoral student in eighteenth century literature, is hired to do research for Mike's book. With everyone working at cross purposes, the result is a modern day comedy of errors that doesn't wind up until the wedding bouquet goes flying in the final scene.

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble - KOBO
Five Days in Summer
A serial killer is loose on Cape Cod. Retired FBI profiler John Geary has five days to stop him--before it's too late for a mother and her son.

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble - KOBO
Names of the Dead

Darcy Mayhew, a recently widowed young mother, relocates to New York City to pursue her career as an investigative journalist for the New York Times. On her first day on the job, she meets Joe Coffin, an ordinary young man who hails from her hometown of Martha's Vineyard, and agrees to accompany him to lunch. But one lunch with Joe quickly turns into a series of unwanted gifts, midnight phone calls, and even several break-ins.


Joe's fixation begins to threaten Darcy's job, her friendships, and even her family. She goes to the police, only to realize how powerless she is in the face of a stalker who hasn't officially done anything worthy of a night in jail. So when Joe attacks someone very close to Darcy, it's up to her alone to bring down the worst threat she has ever had to face.


Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble - KOBO
Waterbury - a crime novel

In this gripping psychological thriller, a home invasion becomes a dangerous battle of wills when an artistic family is pitted against a pair of career burglars. From the international bestseller Katia Lief whose work Lisa Gardner calls “Mesmerizing” and Richard Montanari calls “Nail-biting suspense.”

A family gathers for the holidays in Connecticut, bringing with them confessions, accusations, demands. But suddenly personal agendas become meaningless as the priority shifts to survival. Two burglars break in, believing the house to be empty. In their panic they take the family hostage—and the crime that follows spirals out of control.

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble - KOBO
Seven Minutes to Noon

On a day that seems perfectly ordinary, Alice Halpern waits for her best friend at the playground where they always meet with their children in their comfortable Brooklyn neighborhood. But when Lauren doesn’t come home, then fails to pick her son up from school, a normal day turns into a nightmare—and Alice begins to realize that nothing will ever be ordinary again.


The police desperately search for Lauren, who is nearly nine months pregnant. Alice, herself pregnant, realizes she’s being followed and has the creeping fear that she and her unborn twins are in danger. As the investigation intensifies, Alice is shocked as her familiar world begins to unravel. And as new life grows within her, she must fight to save her family—and herself…

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble - KOBO
One Cold Night

New York Police detective Dave Strauss is haunted by the one case he couldn’t solve. A schoolgirl vanished off the streets of Brooklyn, with only a trail of blood and a series of untraceable phone calls from “the Groom” hinting at her fate. Now the cold dark night has engulfed another young girl—but this time she is part of Dave’s family. He and his wife, Susan, know fourteen-year-old Lisa has not run away, and they know her disappearance is not just a tragic coincidence. And once the first phone call comes, they know she’s not alone….

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble - KOBO
Here She Lies

After discovering an email revealing her husband's infidelity, Annie Milliken is shattered. Dismissing his pleas of innocence, Annie takes their baby daughter and goes to the one person she has always trusted: her twin sister, Julie. Annie and Julie soon become as close as they were growing up, spending their days together, dressing the same, sharing the baby. But when Annie applies for a job, everything comes undone. Her credit cards are stolen just a she's arrested for grand larceny.

The police realize she is the victim of identity theft, but she has yet to understand the true scale of the crime. And when Annie turns to Julie for help, she finds that her twin sister has disappeared...along with her baby. Now with her daughter--and her own life--on the line, Annie is going to fight for what is hers.

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble - KOBO
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.

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