Friday, May 12, 2017

Chris Birdy - An Author Interview at the HBS Author's Spotlight

Today our blog puts the Spotlight on Author Chris Birdy. She is the Award winning author of the Pajama series adult mysteries. Susan writes Mystery and Suspense novels.

Author: Chris Birdy

Author Genre: Mystery, Suspense, Fiction

Website: Chris Birdy .com
Author's Blog: Chris Birdy
Goodreads: Check Out Goodreads
Facebook: Check Out Facebook

Amazon Author Profile

Author Description:
For almost twenty-five years, I did investigative work for small law firms conducting business in rough housing projects and crack house neighborhoods. I met with clients in every jail in the area even the now defunct Charles Street Jail and Deer Island House of Corrections. On good days, I got to take the .25 caliber handgun out of my pocket and the 9mm out of my purse and go to court. Then the real show began!

Several years ago, while sitting in a courtroom with a client, I watched as a police officer was lambasted by an attorney. The attorney was defending a young woman who crashed her car into two other vehicles before she passed out drunk behind the wheel. The occupants of the other cars were seriously hurt and the cop, a former EMT, tried to assist the injured while waiting for ambulances to arrive. The attorney questioned the cop's every move, shredded his testimony and made him seem inept.

Embarrassed, the cop returned to his seat beside me and muttered, "Everybody lies. The judges lie, the lawyers lie, the witnesses lie.." I wanted to tell him not to worry that in about five years he'd be just as good a liar as they were.

The seeds for The Girl in White Pajamas were planted in that courtroom.

SPOTLIGHT Questions and Answers with the Author

First things first. What do you have on the drawing board next? Can you tell us the timeline for its release and give us a little tease?

The next book I have coming out is is entitled The Shameless Bastard. The story begins in Tehran, Iran in 1969 and moves on to the present day. If follows the lives of the American and Iranian principals and comes together in Palm Beach, Florida where Bogie McGruder lives with his family. It is a suspense, and my editors believe it's my best book yet. I'd like to have an agent for this one - that's the holdup.

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 have many people I interact with on Twitter and Facebook. It's been a slow process that's been going on for years. Some of my friends on Facebook are people I tweet. One builds on the other. I try to hook up with people of different backgrounds; otherwise, I'd have the same group of people writing the same things to each other.

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 done book signings and talks wherever I can. I've traveled to several states doing book signings. With so many book stores closed, it's difficult to set up signings but I'm persistent. When the next book is ready to come out, I'll set up signings and talks to promote the book. I have a newsletter that lets my readers know when something exciting is about to happen. I also let people know through Facebook and Twitter.

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? Tell us about the process that you used to create your trailers? Do you use the trailer in your character development? Are the pictures and background the way you see your characters and scenes?

The trailers are a good means of advertising. I used DGT Productions for the trailers. Dee Thomas does an excellent job. The trailers are a 1 minute snapshot of the story. It gives a potential reader a glimpse of the story and its tone. If someone is interested in the trailer, they'll buy the book or listen to it.

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?

As with all merchandising, one thing feeds off the other. People who normally don't have the time to read are more likely to listen to the books on their i-pod or in their car. Some prefer reading on a kindle or nook while a few want to hold the physical book in their hands

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 given many books away. Giveaways are great as long as the writer understands that people do not feel obligated to write a review because you gave them a book. They also don't believe they must give you a positive review. It's a real crap shoot.

How do you manage your plots, characters and timelines to keep your stories going? Do you use any software to keep track of your books?

I have the plot firmly in my mind before I start typing. I use an outline. I don't always stick to it, but it's a good starting point. I have no problem keeping my stories and plots straight. My protagonist is Bogie McGruder, a private eye and hacker. Bogie's life changes with each book as he gets older and his family grows.

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 have a readers' list of people who sign up for my newsletter. Being on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads are also forms of advertising.

What is the objective for your newsletter? Do you try to build a list of readers? Do you see a carryover to the sales of your novels?

The newsletter is a way of staying in touch with readers and trying to acquire new ones through referrals.

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?

All of the above. I've requested reviews from other writers. Some are very generous with their time, others not so much. I've been part of online promotional book tours which were very successful. I'm always requesting reviews from people without hitting them over the head with my book. For all my asking and cajoling, I get about a 10% response for reviews.

Author's Book List
The Girl in Red Pajamas - Pajama Trilogy Book 3
The Girl in Red Pajamas begins when two lesbians have a smack down in a Boston restaurant. After one is found dead stuffed in the back of the other’s SUV, their families line up and point fingers. Tensions mount as relatives question religious beliefs, and the police gather evidence to build a case against the survivor. Bogie McGruder becomes deeply involved in the investigation because one woman is his sister and the other, his old girlfriend. This third book in the Pajamas Trilogy brings the series to a glorious end.

Book Trailer: The Girl in Red Pajamas

Order the Book From:
Barnes and Noble

The Girl in Black Pajamas - Pajama Trilogy Book 2
R&B Investigations is under attack. Their employee is shot in the back as he enters the building, and a hacker is trying to compromise their secure network. While the Boston police investigate the shooting, Bogie McGruder needs to find the culprit who is trying to put them out of business. Bogie and his partner Rose Jones can’t disclose their internet problems to the cops since Bogie is a hacker himself.

Bogie McGruder returns to Boston with his four- year-old daughter Isabella. He joins up with Rose Jones’ uncle Walter who is fresh for Lompoc Prison. Bogie and Walter strengthen their firewalls while they try to determine who is behind the invasion. As the R&B team hones in on the culprit, they uncover several murders and discover a plot to wipe out the financial institutions in Boston.

While Bogie is in Boston, his extended family in Palm Beach becomes enmeshed in a sex scandal that threatens to ruin lives and careers in the Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office.

Feeling like a wishbone about to snap, Bogie tries to handle problems in both cities while Isabella continues her quest for someone to teach her the Five-Point-Palm-Exploding-Heart technique as seen in Kill Bill Volume 2.

This tale of murder, revenge and greed takes the reader on a whirlwind trip from Boston to Palm Beach and back. Buckle your seatbelt!

Book Trailer: The Girl in Black Pajamas

Order the Book From:
Barnes and Noble

The Girl in White Pajamas - Pajama Trilogy Book 1
Bogie McGruder returns to Boston after his brother, a cop, is gunned down on the street. Since the Boston police are investigating the death of one of their own, Bogie believes his trip will be a short condolence visit and a chance to meet his secret love child.

Although Bogie wants to contact his ex-lover, Bailey Hampfield, he’s reluctant to do so since Bailey dumped him four years earlier. Knowing that Bailey had his child after she cut him loose, Bogie thinks it’s time to establish a relationship with the three year old daughter he’s never met. While he considers his options, Bailey gets in touch with him and asks for protection.

Someone is trying to kill her.

Bogie doesn’t want to get involved in the BPD investigation into his brother’s death, but he continues to be drawn into it while trying to discover who is attempting to kill Bailey Hampfield. The investigations seem to parallel each other, then intersect and become intertwined. As the story develops, Isabella, a precocious child obsessed with martial arts, slowly becomes the focus.

The underlying theme of this fast-paced mystery is lies. Everyone seems to be running on lies and half truths. The only true character is The Girl in White Pajamas.

Book Trailer: The Girl in White Pajamas

Order the Book From:
Barnes and Noble

Author Recommended by: HBSystems Publications
Publisher of ebooks, writing industry blogger and the sponsor of the following blogs:
eBook Author’s Corner and HBS Mystery Reader’s Circle

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