Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Sylvie Grayson - An Author Interview at the HBS Author's Spotlight

Today our blog puts the Spotlight on Author Sylvie Grayson. She is the author of The Last War series. Sylvie writes Romantic Suspense and Fantasy novels.

Author: Sylvie Grayson

Author Genre: Romantic Suspense,Fantasy

Website: Sylvie Grayson - Author of Romantic Suspense and Fantasy
Twitter: @SylvieGrayson
E-Mail: sylvie@sylviegrayson.com
Goodreads: Check Out Goodreads
Google+: Check Out Google+
Facebook: Check Out Facebook

Amazon Author Profile

Author Description:
Sylvie Grayson loves to write about suspense, romance and attempted murder and has published contemporary romantic suspense novels, all about strong women who meet with dangerous odds, stories of tension and attraction. She has also written The Last War series, a sci fi/fantasy adventure, the first books, Khandarken Rising, and Son of the Emperor which were released in 2015. Weapon of Tyrants, The Last War: Book Four was released this year.

She has lived most of her life in British Columbia, Canada, in spots ranging from Vancouver Island on the west coast to the North Peace River country and the Kootenays in the beautiful interior. She has been an English language instructor, a nightclub manager, an auto shop bookkeeper and a lawyer. She lives in southern British Columbia with her husband on a small piece of land near the Pacific Ocean.

SPOTLIGHT Questions and Answers with the Author

Congratulations on your book: False Confession. What do you have on the drawing board next? Can you tell us the timeline for its release and give us a little tease?

I also write sci fi/fantasy in a series called The Last War. I have Prince of Jiran: Book Five coming out next. We are just working on the final edits and a cover. Back blurb reads—Prince Shandro disagrees with his father, Sovereign of the Penrhy tribe, on nearly every issue that arises between them. But his goal is to uphold the family values in spite of Sovereign Pollack’s conniving moves. Then he is sent on a mission across the mountains to Khandarken to bring back Princess Chinata, a bride for Emperor Carlton’s Advisor. In exchange, they are able to enter into a peace agreement that provides protection against invasion. This seems a good trade for the Penrhy tribe, as Carlton is hovering on their borders with his need for more land. However, not far into the return journey, it becomes apparent someone is not keeping their part of the peace accord.

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 don’t have any appearances booked at the moment. Summer has been very busy ?? The best contact with me is through my website- www.sylviegrayson.com - or on Facebook I can also be reached by email – sylviegraysonauthor@gmail.com

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?

I use Steven Novak for my book covers. http://www.novakillustration.com/
Steven does all kinds of illustrations, and is extremely patient with me as I muddle through what I am searching for in my covers. The Last War series have a line of similar covers that tie them all together. I have had great feedback from readers on the cover appearances of my books.

I like the idea of Author bundles. You are a part of a anthology called Dreams and Promises. What was the impact on your other sales? What was the main objective of bundling your works with other authors? How did you put something like that together? (What a great group of authors. 
Featured on HBS Author’s Spotlight)

The idea for the Dreams and Promises anthology came out of Canada’s 150th Birthday. The sales impact has been good—we are all pleased with the action on the collection itself and the effect on sales of our other books. I belong to a group of authors who critique and support each other, and we worked together on this. It was a first for us.

With your busy schedule, how do you have time to keep up with your followers? 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 you sort of play it by ear?

I have a large family ??, I work a few days a week, we travel each year. So, yes, I’m busy. But I love to write, so I seize the opportunity when I can. No set schedule, that just puts pressure on when other things pop up that need my attention. But writing is certainly a main focus for me.

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 given books away when engaged in promotions with other authors. I can’t say the effect has been obvious. I am always interested in helping readers find my work, but I think giving away all your books is probably counter-productive. My goal for giveaways has been to build a reader base or a list of followers for my website, and that has worked.

What is your primary genre? What has been your best marketing approach to this group?

I’d love to say I have one genre ?? but the truth is I write in two areas. First is contemporary romantic suspense. I like romance, but I think the suspense element helps to focus the story and add excitement and interest. The second is sci fi/fantasy. I have a series called The Last War. There are four books in the series now—the first, Khandarken Rising, has been very successful and the others are following in that success. One thing I have discovered is that I grow a bit bored writing the same style, and now that I alternate from one genre to the other, it adds more excitement to the process for me.

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’m active on my website and do a blog when I find a topic of interest. I’m also on Facebook and twitter. My newsletter goes out about every two months as I don’t want to inundate my readers, just keep them informed of when a book is about to be released, or other activities.

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?

I have a newsletter readership of between 3000 and 4000. It’s been exciting to share my journey with them, and each time I send out a newsletter, I find a jump in sales and in people signing up to my website.

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?

So far, I have relied on my readers to provide reviews for my books. I know that reviews are important, and it’s always a challenge to get reviews posted that are both helpful and informative. I have had reviews pulled, which is very frustrating. However, I soldier on. Some readers are very generous with their time and consistently make the effort to do a review. I’m very thankful. ??

Author's Book List
False Confession
Did Glory fall for the right man, or was it all a lie?

Music teacher Glory has given up on men, with good reason. Then she meets the handsome lead guitar player in the band she has just joined.

Alex, body builder and construction foreman, is determinedly single because he’s given up on women. But that’s before he meets the keyboard player who just joined his brother’s rock band. Suddenly his interest is revived and he goes on a crusade to gain Glory’s attention.

But when Alex disappears and the police claim they have a confession giving damning evidence against him, Glory has to make a decision.

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Moon Shine
After losing her husband to a deadly illness, Julia Butler is determined to look after her family, but this is the 1930’s and times are tough for everyone. As the endless string of jobless men trudges past her farm, she does her best to hang on. Then two strangers suddenly appear at her home. They are hiding something that places her family in danger, and nothing will ever be the same.

Dr. Will Stofford has become disillusioned with women. In an effort to heal his broken heart, he leaves his brothers behind and sets up his medical practice in the Kootenays where no one knows him.

Meeting Julia throws his plans into chaos. Will can’t turn his back on a challenge and he won’t rest until he solves this puzzle and puts things right. If marrying Julia is part of the solution, then so much the better.

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Barnes and Noble
KOBO Store

My Best Mistake
Jordie was heartbroken when he returned to town to find Jenny had married another man. Now she lives beside him, and he'll either go crazy or do what he should have done before - claim her for his own. Jenny is back and she's angry, her husband cheated and she can't let it go. But when her boss dies and someone comes after her, who will she turn to? With her cousin living right beside her it's becoming harder to ignore the chemistry they have always shared. Can Jordie help put her life back together?

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The Last War: Weapon of Tyrant - Book Four
Damian Stuke was an enforcer for a gamer, but now he is in training as an undercover agent for the Khandarken military. Then he encounters a fascinating woman with a hidden agenda. But when he discovers what she is hiding, his protective instincts kick into high gear.

Fanny Master is from the elite in Khandarken, and when both her parents are murdered, she is forced to run for her life, or be the next victim of her hunter. Amid the chaos of the International Head Ball Games and as Emperor Carlton ramps up his plans for invasion, her attacker makes another attempt on her life. Will Damian save her from her unknown enemy, or is he still working for the other side?

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Barnes and Noble

The Last War: Truth and Treachery - Book Three
Emperor Carlton has made a offer that the Chief Constable of Khandarken may not be able to resist and Khandarken's future hangs in the balance.

Emperor Carlton has been backed into a corner. He holds a bit of land in Legitamia where he marshals his troops, but the skirmishes they've launched to expand his empire have had limited success. Now, his ambitions are aimed at overthrowing everything Khandarken has cobbled together since the Last War. Cownden Lanser, Chief Constable of Khandarken, is a private man with a close connection to the Old Empire that he doesn't divulge to anyone. Although he's dedicated to his position, things are not what they seem in the rank and file of the police. And it's his job to fix it. Selanna Nettles is a sookie, trained in Legitamia but working near her family in the Western Territory of Khandarken, healing the injured mine workers and dispossessed. But her life takes a startling turn when Chief Cownden Lanser hires her to attend a set of high-level meetings in Gilsigg. When these three meet up in Legitamia, the result is explosive. Not just for each of them but for the future of Khandarken. The Emperor makes Cownden an offer that might be everything he's secretly dreamed of. How can he refuse?

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The Last War: Son of the Emperor - Book Two
From the mud and danger of the open road to the welcoming arms of the Sanctuary, from attacks by the dispossessed army to the storms of the open sea, Son of the Emperor takes us on a wild ride into danger and on to the dream of freedom.

The Emperor is defeated but already unrest is growing in the north of Khandarken.

After Julianne Adjudicator's father disappears, she seeks to escape the clutches of her vicious stepmother Zanata, and flees to the Sanctuary. This is the safest place for a woman in a hostile world of unrest and roving dispossessed. But when Julianne seeks asylum, it soon becomes clear all is not as it first appeared.

Then Abe Farmer arrives at the Sanctuary seeking medical help. Abe isn't interested in taking a young woman with them, as he and his injured bodyguard struggle to return to the Southern Territory. Yet when he discovers her fate if she stays, he finds he has no choice.

But the journey becomes more dangerous as they encounter the army of the New Emperor. Caught in the middle of a firefight, they flee toward the Catastrophic Ocean. Can Abe keep her safe till they reach home?

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The Last War: Khandarken Rising - Book One
The Emperor has been defeated. New countries have arisen from the ashes of the old Empire. The citizens swear they will never need to fight again after that long and painful war.

Bethlehem Farmer is doing her best to help her brother Abram hold things together in south Khandarken after their father died in the battles. She is looking after the dispossessed, keeping the farm productive and the talc mine working in the hills behind their land. But when Abram takes a trip with Uncle Jade into the northern territory and disappears without a trace, she's left on her own. Suddenly things are not what they seem and no one can be trusted.

Major Dante Regiment is sent by his father, the General of Khandarken, to find out what the situation is at Farmer Holdings. What he sees shakes him to the core and fuels his grim determination to protect Bethlehem at all cost, even with his life.

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The Lies He Told Me
Romantic suspense

When Chloe Bowman woke to find her husband gone, never did she imagine it would take so long to find him, or that in the midst of the search she'd discover she didn't really know this man at all. She soon realizes she has been left alone with her young son and a time bomb on her hands. Then the earthquake throws everything into question. Lurking in the shadows is the mysterious Rainman who travels under an unknown name.

Police Detective Ross Cullen was already investigating Chloe's husband when he disappeared. Although he's powerfully drawn to Chloe, Ross also knows that when one member of a family disappears, the first place to look for the suspect is among those closest to him. No one is closer than Chloe.

But the deeper Ross digs the less he knows, and the more he's attracted to the young wife as she struggles to put her life back together. Can Ross break through the Rainman's disguises to solve the case so he can be with Chloe?

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Barnes and Noble
KOBO Store

Legal Obstruction
When Emily Drury takes a job as legal counsel for an import-export company, she doesn't make the decision lightly. She needs to get away to someplace safe.

Joe Tanner counts himself lucky. He’s charmed a successful big city lawyer into heading up the legal department of his rapidly expanding business. But why would a beautiful woman who could easily make partner in the high profile company where she worked, give it all up to come to a place like Bonnie? A mystery surrounds her arrival that wraps them both in ever tightening tentacles. As Joe realizes she has become essential to his happiness, his first reaction is to protect her. But he doesn't know the whole story.

Can Emily trust him enough to divulge her secret? Will he learn what he needs to know in time to stop the avalanche that's gaining speed as it races down the hill toward her?

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Barnes and Noble
KOBO Store
iTunes Store

Suspended Animation
Be careful who you trust...
Katy Dalton worked hard to save her money. And working with her friend Bruno to invest it seemed like a safe bet. But her job disappears and she needs her money back, everything Bruno has already loaned to Rome Trucking. When Katy insists he return it, Bruno stops answering his phone and bad things start to happen.

Brett Rome is frustrated. The last thing he wants to do is leave a promising career in hockey to come home and run his ailing father’s trucking company. What he discovers is not the successful business that he remembers, but one that is teetering on the very edge of bankruptcy and a young woman demanding the return of the money she invested.

With the company in chaos, Brett hires her. But danger lurks in the form of Bruno's dubious associates. What secret are they hiding and why are they willing to kill Katy? Can Brett put this broken picture back together, and is Katy part of the solution or the problem?

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KOBO Store
iTunes Store

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
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Check out the index of other Spotlight authors. Spotlight Index.


  1. Hi James,
    Thank you so much for having me on your site. It is a real pleasure to be here, and I hope your readers enjoy the blog,
    Best wishes,

  2. Hi Sylvie, liked reading about your writing journey. I enjoy the world you build in your sci fi/fantasy and romantic suspense is a favorite of mine. Good luck with your latest book!

  3. Reggi, thanks for dropping by and for your good wishes. Glad you enjoy the books!
    Best wishes, Sylvie

  4. Well done! You're on a roll. Great to hear about the success of your newsletter. Sending positive writing vibes your way.

  5. Hi Jodie, thanks for the positive vibes! I can use any help available. Don't know about the roll, but perhaps a slow walk :) Take care, Sylvie

  6. Replies
    1. Thanks for dropping by, Anna. Best wishes, Sylvie

  7. Love seeing all your books on display this way! Congrats on the upcoming release, I enjoyed reading The Last War series!

    1. Hi Jacquie,
      The books look good displayed like that, don't they? I like it. Thanks for the comment on The Last War - I'm still waiting on the cover for the next one, Best, Sylvie