Today our blog puts the Spotlight on Author Caroline Mitchell. She is the author of the Detective Jennifer Knight Crime Thriller Series and the Detective Ruby Preston Crime Thriller Series. Caroline writes Paranormal, Crime, and Thriller novels.
Paranormal, Crime, Thriller
Caroline Mitchell - thriller author
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Caroline lives with her husband, four children and two dogs in a pretty village on the coast of Essex. Five years ago Caroline and her family encountered real life paranormal activity in their home. Paranormal Intruder is her best selling true story.
Caroline's new novel, Love You to Death has recently been published as part of her Detective Ruby Preston Crime Thriller Series. These edge of your seat crime thrillers are infused by Caroline's experience in both the police and the paranormal.
SPOTLIGHT Questions and Answers with the Author
Congratulations on your new release: Love You to Death. Rumor has it that you have another book on the horizon called Witness. Can you tell us the timeline for its release and give us a little tease?
Thanks, yes I’ve been super busy this year and will have released three books in total. Witness is released 20th December, just in time for Christmas. It’s my first psychological thriller and I’m very excited about its release. Here’s a teaser: It’s been ten years since Rebecca’s testimony saw Solomon locked away. Enough time for the nightmares to recede, the nerves to relax; enough time to rebuild her life and put the past behind her.
Then one day a phone rings in her bedroom—but it’s not her phone. Solomon has been in her home, and has a very simple message for her: for each of the ten years he has spent in jail, Rebecca must witness a crime. And, to make matters worse, she has to choose the victims.
Fail to respond and you get hurt. Talk to police and you die. Ready to play? You have sixty seconds to decide…
As the crimes grow more severe, the victims closer to home, Rebecca is forced to confront a past she had hoped was gone forever.
You have a good following on twitter. How important have your social media relationships been? How did you build your following in your niche? Do you see a carry over to your writing success?
I’m very pleased with my Twitter following, although it has taken several years and a lot of work to build. I believe a strong social media platform is very important for all authors, as long as it’s organically grown. I advise against buying followers because they are of no value at all. Most are bots and they certainly don’t have any interest in what you have to say. I follow readers, authors and book bloggers. I keep lists and check them regularly so I don’t miss important tweets. Certainly, my strong social media platform was one of the things that my agent and editor picked up on when they expressed interest in my work.
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 have very tight writing deadlines to I don’t get away as often as I like. However, I always make an appearance at Bristol Crimefest in May and Theakston Crime Writing Festival in Harrogate in July. I love chatting to readers and fellow authors both online and at events such as these. Readers can receive updates by subscribing to my site
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?
Thanks. My publishers Bookouture have created some great covers which I’m very happy with. They take over full development so I don’t really have a hands on approach. Because they’re digitally published I might not see my cover until just days before it is due to go on pre order. My other publishers, Thomas & Mercer offer author involvement, but I was happy to leave the cover production with them. They all carry the creepy thriller theme that I have become known for.
Several of your novels have been converted into audio books. What has been the impact on your regular sales? Has the audio books gained a new audience for you?
I self-published my first book and took it upon myself to get an audio book produced. Most of my subsequent books have been produced on audio through my publishers. I love audio books, being a fan myself. Although sales are not in the same realm as ebooks, I do believe they are growing in popularity. I created mine on ACX.com for free by splitting the royalty with my narrator and I really enjoyed the process.
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’ve never given books away for free on Amazon, although I do understand why authors do this. I think it’s my stubborn streak, I value my work too much to give it away. Having said that, my novels are regularly promoted in 99p special offers, I often give away signed copies in my reader’s club, and it is available on Netgalley to reviewers pre-launch.
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 believe that all authors should treat their books as a business and a reader’s list is integral to promoting your work. I’m very grateful to my readers and reviewers and as well as sending out updates, I conduct free prize draws as a thank you for their loyalty. Other authors give away free short stories, which are also very popular. I use social media and my website to gain subscribers. It takes time but it is worth building. Here’s the link:
You have a great blog. 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?
I’m glad you like my site, I’ve recently had it redesigned to give it that dark, gritty feel. I love blogging. I write regular pieces on writing and strive to inspire others to keep going. But yes, I’ve been pretty much working sixteen hours a day, every day for the last few years. It has become easier since I left my job in the police to write full time. I carry my laptop with me all day. Apart from caring for my kids and hitting the gym, I write every spare moment I get. When I’m not writing, I’m on social media. I hope to slow down in a year or two, but for now I want to keep building my backlist. In that respect, my primary goal is to keep writing and be grateful that I get paid to do a job that I love.
Living in England creates a unique selling and marketing situation. Where is your biggest audience? Does marketing online help in this situation?
My biggest audience is in the US and I have a great following in the UK and my home country of Ireland too. I love hearing from readers, and it’s a great feeling when I hear from readers from across the globe. Social media is great for this and I use Twitter in particular to chat to readers online. I have easy access to London by train, which is very convenient for meetings and networking.
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?
When I self-published my first book I found it very difficult to get reviews, but slowly built a network of readers online through social media. It’s never been a better time to self-promote, given the amount of book clubs on Facebook and other online sites. But it’s not all about self-promoting. I’ve been lucky enough to meet and befriend some fantastic people since I began writing. It’s thanks to these friendships that they have taken the time to read and review my books. Having said that, they will give their honest opinion when conducting a review, so as an author you owe it to your readers to make your work the best it can be. These days my publishers use Netgalley to reach out to reviewers. I’m also active on Goodreads.
Author's Book List
Love You to Death
- Detective Ruby Preston Crime Thriller Series Book 1
wenty years ago you were forced to give your daughter up. Now she’s back. Or is she?
Women who’ve had to give up children for adoption are being killed. A knock at their front door begins a nightmare from which they will never wake up.
East London Detective Ruby Preston and her team must hunt down a disturbed individual before someone else is taken. But when bodies start turning up, staged in perfect, domestic scenes, it carries the echo of a memory in Ruby's mind. The tinkling of a music box. A mother and child reunion...
Then just as Ruby thinks they've made a breakthrough, she receives a sinister email, and the case takes a terrifying personal twist.
Can Ruby catch the killer before they strike again? Or will her troubled past catch up with her first?
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The Silent Twin
- Detective Jennifer Knight Crime Thriller Series Book 3
I’m alone in the dark, please can you find me …
Nine-year-old twins Abigail and Olivia vow never to be parted. But when Abigail goes missing from Blackwater Farm, DC Jennifer Knight must find her before it’s too late.
Twin sister Olivia has been mute since Abigail’s disappearance. But when she whispers in Jennifer’s ear, Jennifer realises it is Abigail’s voice pleading to be found.
A damp and decaying house set in acres of desolate scrubland, the farm is a place of secrets, old and new – and Jennifer must unravel them all in order to find the lost girl. But could Olivia’s bond with her twin hold the key to finding Abigail? And can Jennifer break through her silence in time to save her sister’s life?
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Barnes and Noble
Time to Die
- A gripping serial killer thriller - with a twist (Detective Jennifer Knight Crime Thriller Series Book 2
Don’t ever cross his palm with silver.
He will reveal your most shameful secrets.
He will predict your death.
He is hiding a secret.
He is hiding a monster.
And all his predictions come true.
Investigating a series of chilling murders, Detective Jennifer Knight finds herself tracking a mysterious tarot card reader known only as The Raven.
As the death toll rises, Jennifer and her team build a picture of a serial killer on the edge of sanity, driven by dark forces. But these are not random killings. And the method behind the madness could be the most terrifying thing of all …
Especially when it seems the death of one of their own is on the cards.
Time to Die is an absolutely gripping serial killer thriller with a breath-taking supernatural twist.
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Barnes and Noble
Don't Turn Around
- Detective Jennifer Knight Crime Thriller Series Book 1
Soon he would be able to touch her, to feel the warmth of her blood. And when the time came, nothing would stop him.
As D.C. Jennifer Knight investigates a routine stabbing in the quiet town of Haven, she is shocked at what seems like a personal message from beyond the grave.
When more bodies are found, Jennifer is convinced the killings are somehow linked. What she discovers is more chilling than she could possibly imagine. The murders mirror those of the notorious Grim Reaper – from over twenty years ago. A killer her mother helped convict.
Jennifer can no longer ignore the personal connection. Is there a copycat killer at work? Was the wrong man convicted? Or is there something more sinister at play …
With her mother’s terrifying legacy spiralling out of control, Jennifer must look into her own dark past in a fight not only to stop a killer – but to save herself and those she loves.
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Barnes and Noble
- The Terrifying True Story of a Family in Fear
The terrifying true story of a family in fear
An innocent family finds itself completely helpless against the sudden onset of paranormal activity in their quiet rural home. A knife embedded in a kitchen cupboard, crockery smashed by invisible hands, and blood-chilling growls emit from thin air. Caroline and her husband Neil search for answers as they try to protect their family from the unseen entity that seems determined to rip them apart.
The biggest question looms over them like a dark cloud who is going to help us? There are emergency services for many things, but not of this nature. It might be easier to believe temporary insanity, if not for the vast amount of witnesses. Police, fire services, mediums, priests and investigators all become embroiled in the mystery. The family struggles to cope, and Caroline grows concerned for her husband’s failing health as he withdraws from the world. However, the entity has only just begun.
Paranormal Intruder is the true storyof one family’s brave fight against an invisible entity. Described as one of the best documented cases of paranormal activity, this best selling book will stay with you long after you have finished reading it.
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