Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Terry Keys - An Author Interview in the HBS Author's Spotlight

Today our blog puts the Spotlight on Author Terry Keys. He is a USA TODAY Bestselling novelist. Terry writes crime thrillers and suspense novels.

Author: Terry Keys

Author Genre: Crime, Fiction, Suspense

Website: Terry Keys
Author's Blog: Terry's Blog
Twitter: @tkeys15
E-Mail: terry@terrykeysbooks.com
Goodreads: Check Out Goodreads
Facebook: Check Out Facebook

Amazon Author Profile

Author Description:
USA TODAY Bestselling author Terry Keys is an award winning novelist, songwriter, and poet. His first novel 'Chained Guilt' won the NIEA Thriller of the year award. A native of Rosharon, Texas, Keys spends his free time reading, hunting, fishing, and working out. He lives in Dickinson, Texas, with his wife and two children.

SPOTLIGHT Questions and Answers with the Author

Congratulations on your book: Chained Guilt. What do you have on the drawing board next? Rumor has it that you have another book on the horizon called Terror Lane. Can you tell us the timeline for its release and give us a little tease?

Thank you James! Terror Lane is on the horizon. This book has taken me a little longer than I‘d like to get finished. Life (I have a couple of teen-agers one in college) kind of got in the way. But yes I hope to have Terror Lane finished by summer – maybe mid-summer. I am working on another shorty now that will release before Terror Lane. No title yet but it will be YA focused with a powerful message for both teens and adults.

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 doing a speaking engagement at a local high school in a few months. And so far my book signings have been at ½ Price Books in Webster, Texas. I’ll probably do another here in a month or so. I am on Facebook and Twitter and my email address is terry@terrykeysbooks.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 am very picky when it comes to my covers. I strongly feel that you must have a good title and a great cover FIRST – then you can reel in a new reader with the synopsis. If the cover doesn’t say READ ME NOW then it’s a no go for me.

You have converted Chained Guilt into an audio book. What has been the impact on your regular sales? Has the audio books gained a new audience for you

That was a fun process. I’d like to get the rest of my books converted. There is a huge audiobook audience that don’t really do much conventional reading. Its help me pick up some additional income and like I said it was really fun to produce.

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 can write a shorty/novella in a month… probably three weeks if I really wanted to. There is a different style to writing a novella because you are trying to cram novel level material and story arc into 30k words. And make it not feel rushed. It allows me to introduce new characters and get a feel for how my readers like him or her. And new readers can nab one read it in 2-3 hours and decide if they want more from me.

I like the idea of Author bundles. You are a part of a novel collection called Dead And Gone. What was the impact on your other sales? What was the main objective of bundling your works with other mystery authors? How did you put something like that together? Read more about Dead and Gone: A Collection of 13 Serial Killer Mysteries and Thrillers - http://bit.ly/2UYmEy7

I’ve been a participant in 4-5 boxed sets the past few years. And I’ve met some amazing people along the way. Some that I still keep in contact with. I put one together a few years ago and it was a lot of work… a lot more than I thought it would be going in. But we agreed that we would list it for free as a reader magnet. We all wrote a short story 10k words and now it’s permafree on Amazon. We get about 50 downloads a day. It’s another great way to reach new readers. If I have a 20k audience and my fellow authors each have the same then I’m reaching ya know 200k more people than I could on my own. We are sending 10% of our proceeds for Dead and Gone to help save animals from being put to sleep.

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

My primary genre is Thriller’s. I love reading and writing them. James Patterson and Harlen Coben are my fav’s. I market on Facebook, Amazon, Bookbub and I use several promo sites like Bargain Booksy and Fussy Librarian. The months that I spend more on marketing I sell more books – it’s pretty simple. There are tons of articles etc. available online that will help you get started. I will say it’s easy to blow through a marketing budget pretty quickly so you just have to be careful and keep a close eye on campaign budgets.

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?

Writing a novel and having it edited takes a lot of time and money. It’s not easy to decide I’m going to give this away for free. But it does work. It’s the reason HEB gives out little wine samples when you go grocery shopping. You have to understand that readers have a time budget. They can only read so much each day and week. With the Stephen Kings, Patterson’s, Coben’s why is someone who doesn’t know me going to read a Terry Keys book? Is he any good? Will he keep writing books? It’s a way to gain a new reader for life that otherwise may have never given my work a chance. There are a few websites that run giveaways where many authors all giveaway a book for free. Again it’s another great way to reach 30, 40, 90, 200k people at once with little risk for the reader. I’ve run into a few readers that sign up for the free book – and then when you email them they are like “who are you?” “I didn’t sign up for your newsletter?” I’ve only gotten 4-5 of those so it’s worth it.

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?

There’s a way to sign up for my newsletter right from my webpage. And yes I do maintain a list. I’m almost at 30k and growing. I send out newsletters about 3 times a month. More when I’m releasing something new. I also giveaway signed copies of my books to random readers that open my newsletter just as a fun way to give back.

What is your method of getting reviews for your novels? Do you seek professional reviews, use social

I have an ARC team that reads my books and leaves reviews. But most of my reviews are purely organic. I also ask for them at the end of my books. It only takes a few seconds but it’s a big deal for authors. I really don’t think most people understand just how important they are.

Author's Book List
The Missing
“I could feel his evil in my bones.” After his wife was murdered CID operative Tanner Storm moved to Houston to start his life over. His plan to PI petty crime cases and catch a few cheating husbands was quickly dashed when a sinister serial struck again. Within hours of his arrival Storm, was entangled in the maze of murderous violence that was every investigators worst nightmare. Nothing he has ever seen has prepared him for being face-to-face with this killer.

Order the Book From:
KOBO Store
iTunes Store

Lie No More
Love, Lies, and Lust . . . some marriages have it all.

Stay-at-home mom Candice Harstow started her day just like any other. Her lawyer-husband, John, was already off to work, and her son, Max, a high school senior, had left for school when a routine bout with household chores led to a discovery that would change their lives forever.

Soon, Candice was fully entangled in the criminal world of guns, drugs, and international espionage, and someone wanted her dead. With no one to trust and time running out, she found herself playing a game that she just might not win.

Order the Book From:
Barnes and Noble
KOBO Store
iTunes Store

Death Toll Rising - David Porter Mystery #4
US President Jackie Wilson fresh off her election victory wasted no time pushing for the change her campaign promised. World leaders descended to her hometown of Houston, Texas to attend the first World-Wide Religious Summit. As the eve of the summit approached Japan’s Prime Minister, Akio Yoshida, suddenly falls dead… murdered in Houston’s Chinatown. His final moments had been broadcast live for the entire world to see. During the stream a chilling death threat was made to the remaining world leaders and America was named as the mastermind behind the terror sending shockwaves across the globe. Leaping into action the FBI, CIA and Homeland Security attempt to pursue the real murderers but are left with no clues, no leads and ultimately no direction. As promised the following day at noon another world leader suddenly dies. In a desperate attempt to restore order to chaos, HPD Detective David Porter and his team are summoned to help with the case. As global panic sets in and the world begins to lose patience as the possibility of nuclear Armageddon lurks in the shadows.

With everyone paralyzed by fear and time quickly running out, the fate of earth as we know it hangs delicately in the balance. The world could be coming to an end... no one wanted to watch… but no one could look away… The war on terror has reached home…

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Barnes and Noble
KOBO Store
iTunes Store

Games of Guilt - David Porter Mystery #3
A couple in Jamaica. A local cop. A homeless man. All brutally murdered and those are just the beginning. As the bodies pile up the people of Houston are growing uneasy. The killer is calling out one person – one man… the only man he wants to see suffer before he kills him too.

HPD Detective David Porter has endured the most painful eighteen months of his life. The unexpected kidnappings of his wife and daughter and now… Porter is tracking a new serial killer. Quite possibly the most cunning of his career. Someone that has studied him since he was a child someone that knows his every move. A killer that shares his very own DNA his very own son – Caleb. Now Caleb has Porter and his friends squarely in his crosshairs and he won’t stop until everyone Porter loves is dead. Porter must use all of his detective skills, shelve his wrangled emotions then bring Caleb to justice – and fast.

How many will die before Caleb is found or will he slip back into the shadows from whence he came forever? The climatic ending to the Hidden Guilt trilogy will keep you on the edge of your seat. Let the Games begin…

The crime thriller mystery that will keep you up at night.

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Barnes and Noble
KOBO Store
iTunes Store

Maximum Guilt - David Porter Mystery #2
In the thrilling sequel to Chained Guilt, Detective David Porter returns and again comes face to face with the harsh reality that a loved one is missing.

He is also chasing a twisted, sadistic serial killer known as the Widow Maker who is murdering some of Houston’s most powerful men in some of the most gruesome ways imaginable.

Follow Detective Porter across the swamps of Louisiana and the country roads of Mississippi as he tries to solve both cases and save the life of his little girl. Will this mystery final stomp the famed detective?

All of his detective skills will be put to the test in this fast-paced game of cat and mouse!

Detective David Porter is a former Army Ranger and a leading criminal profiler specializing in serial killers. He works for the Houston Police Department and lives just south of Houston with his wife Miranda and their two daughters.

Order the Book From:
Barnes and Noble
KOBO Store
iTunes Store

Chained Guilt - David Porter Mystery #1
Love is blind and lust is too...

Detective David Porter had just closed the file on his latest serial killer case when horrific murders with the same MO start happening in and around Houston. A fifteen-year veteran of the Houston Police Department, Porter was one of the best serial killer detectives in the country, his talents known worldwide. The recently promoted officer couldn’t ask for much more. He was husband to one of the hottest women on the planet, former-model-turned-news-anchor Miranda Porter. He also had two beautiful daughters. Yes, life was good . . . or so it seemed.

A cunning serial killer was on the prowl, brutally killing every child he could get his hands on. Porter was hot on his trail, but the killer was an expert – no mistakes. A late night of work, a storm and a car accident would lead David head first into another case – a kidnapping – and this time it was personal. Could there be a connection between the two? David was staring face-first down the barrel of both cases and time was running out.

Does Detective Porter have what it takes to bring these criminals to justice and solve they mystery? Will the good life he once enjoyed elude him forever? Only time will tell.

Detective David Porter is a former Army Ranger and a leading criminal profiler specializing in serial killers. He works for the Houston Police Department and lives just south of Houston with his wife Miranda and their two daughters.

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

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