Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Jaclyn Weist - An Author Interview in the HBS Author's Spotlight

Today our blog puts the Spotlight on Author Jaclyn Weist. She is the author of the Luck Series.

Author Genre: Young Adult

Website: Jaclyn Weist
Author's Blog: Jaclyn Weist
Twitter: @JaclynWeist
E-Mail: JaclynWeist@gmail.com
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Facebook: Check Out Facebook

Author Description:
Jaclyn is an Idaho farm girl who grew up loving to read. She developed a love for writing as a senior in high school, when her dad jokingly said she was the next Dr. Seuss (not even close, but very sweet). She met her husband, Steve, at BYU, and they have six happy, crazy children who encourage her to keep writing. After owning a bookstore and running away to have adventures in Australia, they settled back down in their home in Utah. Jaclyn now spends her days herding her kids to various activities and trying to remember what she was supposed to do next.

She has published six books in a year, and her mind is still reeling from the awesomeness. Her books include The Princess and the Prom Queen; Magicians of the Deep; the Luck series--Stolen Luck, Twist of Luck, Best of Luck, and Just My Luck, a novella.

SPOTLIGHT Questions and Answers with the Author

Congratulations on your Novella: Just My Luck. 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! Just My Luck was a lot of fun to write. Right now I’m finishing up book four of the Luck series. I’m still working on a title for it, but I’m hoping to get it released in June so I can do a launch for books three and four.

Here is a teaser -
“Just beware that we are in Scotland. There are creatures here that will trick you instead of helping.”

“You mean like leprechauns?” I raised an eyebrow.

“Worse.” Eoin suddenly took off running. “Watch yourself! I’ll be back.

“Um, okay.” I grabbed my bag and headed for the exit. I turned to look for Mom. She stood, staring at the signs. “Ready, Mom?”

She jerked and blinked. “Sorry. Yes, I’m ready.” She paused. “Do you see the lights flickering?”

“What? No. I—” There it was. The sign had a nice green glow that made it so I couldn’t stop looking. But wait, it moved. It was at the next sign in the airport. This time it was a light blue. I stared at that one until a yellow light showed up on the next sign. Mom walked right along with me.

Eoin suddenly dove at me and knocked me over. “Don’t look at those lights, whatever you do. They’re dangerous.” He tried to shield my eyes, but I brushed away his hands.

“Okay, okay, I got it. What are they?” I wanted to look again, but every time I did, Eoin covered my eyes.

“Those are Will o’ the Wisps. They will trick you and lead you to your death. I warned you that you would find things like this here. Next time, listen.”

“Fine. Now would you get off me?”

“Only if you promise not to go after them.”

I rolled my eyes. “Yes, I promise.”

He scrambled up and dusted himself off.

I stood and picked up my bags. And then my stomach plummeted. Where was my mom? “Eoin, Mom is gone.”

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 will be teaching a couple of classes at Write Here in Ephraim on April 17th in Ephraim, Utah. There is a signing afterward. Then in May, I’ll at Storymakers in Provo Utah. I’ll be signing that Saturday night (May 16th). I keep my event schedule updated on my website, www.jaclynweist.com
so you can check out more there. You can always email me questions at JaclynWeist@gmail.com and I would love to answer questions you have.

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?

Thank you! I love my covers. I have had the chance to work closely with those creating my covers, and I love how each of them turned out. With the luck books, my sister and talked over several possibilities, and then she and her husband put them together. I couldn’t be more thrilled.

Endless is very special to me because my niece is the girl in the photo. We had a photo shoot and then put the cover together from there. Jeff and Rachelle do a fantastic job. I guess you could say I have more of a hands-on approach, but in the end I put all my faith in what they do.

You have just published a novella, Just My Luck. 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? Do you feel short reads are a product of our email and smart phone age?

Just my Luck was a first novella for me. I had a few people ask if I’d ever write a short story about other characters. I did a poll to see who people would want to hear about, and it was unanimous that they wanted to hear from Adam. This is his story.

I think it has help sales a little. I enjoy writing in this world of mine and novellas are a great way to go back there without doing full length stories. I have thought of telling stories in her little sister’s point of view, and I’m thinking that’s where I’ll go next. Maddie is a spunky little five year old and I would love look at the world through her eyes.

As far as the length of novellas, I think they’re a great way to get your work out there to share with your fans. People like easy reads so they go for the shorter books. Of course, I’m almost a fan of some epic fantasy like Brandon Sanderson, and he writes books that are 1,000 pages long.

I like the idea of Author bundles. You are a part of a novel collection called THE GATES OF ATLANTIS. What was the impact on your other sales? What was the main objective of bundling your works with other romance authors? How did you put something like that together?

Wendy Knight originally came up with idea of doing a series together with other authors. She asked a few people and we came together. A few had to back out because of other time commitments so we brought in a couple other people. Atlantis was born that way. We wanted to do Middle Grade which is something only a couple of the authors had ever done, but it was a fun new adventure for each of us. We had our struggles as we’re all artists and have our own set ways, but they’re all among my best friends now.

Doing the series with other authors made marketing easier because it wasn’t just one of us doing all of it. We were able to help each other out. We attended Salt Lake Comic Con in 2014 and had a booth there. We were able to get a lot of sales of both the series together and as individual books. Four of us went back together again for Fan Experience in 2015 and we had several people come back and get other books because they remembered us.

What writer support groups do you belong to? Do they help with the writing, marketing and the publishing process?

I have a few groups that I enjoy working with. iWritenetwork is a great group. They have a chat room where we can all get together and help cheer each other one as we write. That’s actually where I met some of the other group members for our Atlantis series.

Sprintwriters is a great group of friends that also help build each other up as we write.

I’m actually the literary director for the Eagle Mountain Arts Alliance and I’ll be putting a writing workshop in August. I’m hoping to help writers in my city find other writers to work with so they can help each other.

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?

With six kids, I really have to play it by ear. They all play sports, and we have scouts and other activities as well, so I have to fit writing in between everything else. I tend to work better at night—sometimes falling asleep while typing—so it usually works out to wait until they're in bed before I start working.

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 done a few giveaways, but not always with great success. Just My Luck is permanently free and I do that because it’s so much shorter, and because I hope to bring in readers. When I had Endless free on Amazon, it did really well, and I’ve seen a slight pickup in sales since then. Some obstacles come from getting the word out. There are times when I have the same people entering over and over. It’s great for them because they get free books, but I also hope to gain new readers as well.

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 mostly rely on my reading audience for reviews, but I haven’t received a lot of them. I’m glad that those have review them have enjoyed my books. I hope to get professional reviews at some point, but I haven’t had much time to look into get more.

This year’s Tucson Festival of Books was a great event, enjoyed by thousands. A Book festival is a unique selling situation. How did you prepare for the festival? Did it meet your goals? If you had to do something different next year, what would that be?

The festival was a lot of fun. Most of my preparation came from learning what to expect at a big signing event, because of Comic Con. I noticed a large majority of the readers there were looking for good mysteries. While I really enjoy reading mysteries, I have yet to write one. I could attempt to do my own, but I think I would also like to come up with other ways of pitching the books I do write.

Author's Book List
Just My Luck - A Luck Series Novella - The Luck Series Book 4
Adam Crenshaw is tired of living in his little sister’s shadow. She wins everything, and he gets the leftovers. Big brothers are supposed to be the role models, right?

Then one day, all that changes. Louie is a leprechaun who offers him all the luck he could possibly want—for a price. The offer is tempting, but Adam refuses to work with him. To teach him a lesson, Louie steals all of his luck, and Adam’s life is turned upside down. He now has a choice between giving in to the leprechaun’s demands, or losing everything that matters to him.

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble - KOBO
Best of Luck - The Luck Series Book 3
Megan has had it with leprechauns. They want nothing more than to take over her luck-something she's not willing to give up. After finding herself locked up in a dungeon on Christmas morning, she vows to take O'Malley down. Between trying to have a normal life in high school, and fighting various fairy tale creatures thrown in her way, Megan barely has time breathe.

But when a mysterious darkness begins to snatch the fairies and leprechauns that have protected Megan and her family, she must learn the history of her luck and defeat the bad guys once and for all.

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble - KOBO
Twist of Luck - The Luck Series Book 2
Megan finally has her luck back and hopes that life will return to normal. She's determined to make her senior year perfect to make up for the year before.

Unfortunately, the magical world has other plans. She suddenly has a fairy guard who won't leave her alone, dragons become a constant threat, and an imp tracks her every move.

Megan has had it with Louie the leprechaun, and must find a way to get rid of him once and for all. As she fights the creatures he's sent after her, Megan's luck begins to manifest itself in ways she could never imagine. Now, she must learn to harness that power to stop Louie, and protect her family from the evils that threaten her very existence.

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble - KOBO
Stolen Luck - The Luck Series Book 1
Sixteen-year-old Megan Crenshaw has everything going for her, until a leprechaun shows up on her doorstep and steals all her luck. If that weren't enough, he follows her around, making sure nothing goes right.

What Louie didn't count on was Megan's friends standing by her. No matter what he throws at her, they're by her side to pick her back up again.

When Megan learns about Louie's ultimate plan for her family, it's a race against time to stop him before he destroys everything she cares about.

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble - KOBO
Endless - A Modern Cinderella Tale
Sydney lives her nightmares every night. While other teenagers are dreaming of boys or traveling to exotic places, she must run a staircase with no beginning or no end, or a terrible debt will never be paid.

Just before her seventeenth birthday, the dreams change. She is no longer alone.

But her nightmares don’t end when she wakes up. Her stepmother and stepsisters threaten to ruin everything she holds dear. She must protect the secret that both she and her father have magic or they will use it to their advantage.

As Sydney learns to control her magic, what seemed impossible before—escaping her stepmother and those ever-present stairs—is now at her fingertips. When she learns the ultimate plan of her evil captor, Sydney must stop her at all costs, or she will forever be trapped inside her nightmares.

Order the Book From: Amazon
Magicians of the Deep - The Gates of Atlantis Book 4
Thirteen-year-old Colin knew nothing of the magic world until he is bitten by a mischievous pixie. He meets thirteen-year-old Alleya on a secret website devoted to magical creatures. Before he knows it, Colin finds himself thrust into a whole new world.

Alleya has been hidden away from the rest of Atlantis because she's half-mermaid, half-Atlantian. Her father tries to ease her boredom by getting her a computer and finally allowing her to go to school. She accidentally lets slip a dark secret—the gates to Atlantis are being shut and it's destroying magic. Alleya is exiled to Indiatlantis.

There, she learns mermaids are getting sick because of the lack of magic, and the tunnels are beginning to collapse. Together, Colin and Alleya must find a way to bring back the old magic and fight to save Atlantis.

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble - KOBO
The Princess and the Prom Queen
Jenny’s had it with her life. Six siblings in an overstuffed house are enough to drive anyone crazy, and sometimes she dreams of escaping to some fantasy world. When she suddenly wakes up to find herself being kissed by a strange—but very handsome—prince, Jenny knows her life just got a lot more exciting. Now stuck in a medieval land of castles and royalty, when Jenny learns that the queen has agreed to marry her off to the prince, it’s time to take matters into her own hands. She goes on a quest to find out who dragged her to this time while trying to keep from falling in love with either of the boys vying for her attention.

Princess Genevieve has only known life under her mother’s rule. She wants to do more than go to battle or deal with suitors. She wakes to find herself in a new world filled with gadgets, electricity, and moving carriages. She finally has the freedom to be who she wants to be with a family who cares deeply for her and a boy worth any sacrifice. It’s more than everything she always wanted.

As Jenny and Genevieve settle into their new lives, they face an unknown evil which threatens everything they care about and makes them face tough questions—like who they are and what they really want their lives to become.

Order the Book From: Amazon
Author Recommended by: HBSystems Publications
Publisher of ebooks, writing industry blogger and the sponsor of the following blogs:
HBS Author's Spotlight
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