Monday, April 28, 2014

Luke Jennings - An Author Interview in the HBS Author's Spotlight

Today our blog puts the Spotlight on Author Luke Jennings. He is an author and journalist who writes Biographies & Memoirs and Conspiracy Thrillers Novels.

Author Genre: Biographies & Memoirs, Conspiracy Thrillers

Website: Luke Jennings
Twitter: @LukeJennings1
Goodreads: Check Out Goodreads
Pinterest: Check Out Pinterest

Author Description:
Luke Jennings is an author and journalist who has written for Vanity Fair, the New Yorker and Time. He is the author of BLOOD KNOTS, short-listed for the Samuel Johnson and William Hill prizes, and the Booker Prize-nominated ATLANTIC. With his daughter Laura, he wrote the teenage stage-school novels STARS and STARS: STEALING THE SHOW. His latest publication is the Kindle Single CODENAME VILLANELLE, the first in a series of thrillers about a female assassin.

SPOTLIGHT Questions and Answers with the Author

Congratulations on your book: Codename Villanelle. 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 second Villanelle novella is coming out as a Kindle Single soon, probably in May. Lots of fast-paced action, and a twist. Let's just say that Villanelleacquires a very dangerous enemy.

You have a good following on twitter. Since you started before the social media buzz, what impact has social media relationships had on your current success? How did you build your following in your niche? Did you use forums, newsletters and methods like that?

I've probably made sales via Twitter, but in general I rely on strong, accurate book descriptions on Amazon and word of mouth recommendations.

Do you do 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 do all those things, but the best way to get in touch is probably via Twitter. My username is @LukeJennings1

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

I don't belong to any writer support groups. I've got quite a few friends who write, and when we get together, it's usually over a few beers.

Has the advent of ebooks changed anything in your writing, getting the book to your readers and the relationship with your readers and fans?

Villanelle exists only in the e-book format, which means I can get the novellas out fast. I've had several books published traditionally, and of course this is still the gold standard, but it's a much less immediate process.

How do you start your book launch process for a new book? Give a brief outline of the steps you go through to get your book to market. What methods were the most successful?

I might put out a couple of posts on Twitter, but that's about it. I'd rather spend the time writing the best book I can, and hope that people enjoy it and pass the word on. Villanelle's easy to find on Amazon.

You have published fiction and non-fiction. Does changing hats create any problems? Any tricks you can share with us? Which type did you enjoy writing the most?

I'm a journalist as well as a novelist, and I like to move between fiction and non-fiction. No tricks, sadly. Writing's all about rigour, and being your own toughest critic. But I'm happy with my own company. If you don't like solitude, and lots of it, don't become a writer.

What has been your experience publishing in the Kindle Singles forum?

Very positive. Kindle Singles are a terrific idea. They acknowledge that people's reading habits have changed, and that some books work best in a shorter format. It's great to be able to download a thriller for less than the price of a cappuccino.

You have written a couple of teenage novels with your daughter, Laura. What was that experience like? Do you plan on writing more with her?

Laura and I had a fantastic time writing Stars and Stars: Stealing the Show for Puffin. They were books about teenagers at a stage school, and we got a lot of feedback from readers saying how much they enjoyed them. For the moment Laura's very busy with school, and her own acting and singing classes, and I'm busy with Villanelle. But who knows, we may write more together. Never say never!

Author's Book List
Codename Villanelle - Kindle Singles
In a remand centre in the Ural Mountains, Oxana Vorontsova awaits trial for triple murder. One man with his throat slashed to the bone, two more shot in the face. Not what you’d expect from a star linguistics student at one of Russia’s top universities. But then the signs were always there. Oxana is a sexually predatory psychopath.

Half a world away, her potential has been noted. Sprung from prison and trained in the dark arts of assassination, she’s reborn as the beautiful, lethal Villanelle. The price of her luxurious new life: to eliminate targets assigned to her by a shadowy group of all-powerful businessmen. Her latest target is the ruthless mafia boss Salvatore Greco. Can Villanelle take Greco out at close quarters, surrounded by his bodyguards? It looks impossible, but she's been trained to be the best…

Order the Book From: Amazon
Blood Knots - A Memoir of Fathers, Friendship, and Fishing
Blood Knots is a brilliant and dramatic memoir of an angler’s life. It places Jennings in the front rank of natural history writers. As a child in the 1960s, he was fascinated by the rivers and lakes around his home. Beneath their surfaces waited alien and mysterious worlds. With library books as his guide, he applied himself to the task of learning to fish. His progress was slow, and for years, he caught nothing. But then a series of teachers presented themselves, including an inspirational young intelligence officer, from whom he learned stealth, deception, and the art of dry-fly fishing. So began an enlightening but often dark-shadowed journey of discovery. It would lead to bright streams and wild country, but would end with his mentor’s capture, torture, and execution by the IRA. Blood Knots is about angling, about great fish caught and lost, but it is also about friendship, honor, and coming of age. As an adult, Jennings has sought out lost and secretive waterways, probing waters at dead of night in search of giant pike. The quest, as always, is for more than the living quarry. For only by searching far beneath the surface, he suggests in this most moving and thought-provoking of memoirs, can you connect with your own deep history. Jennings offers here a striking, elegiac narrative for lovers of unique memoirs and the finest fly-fishing literature.

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble
Beauty Story
Set in the fashion world, this is a story about the manipulation of our perceptions of sexuality and desire, the corruptive, destructive nature of the beauty business, and its impact of the people within it and upon the morality of the world. By the author of "Breach Candy" and "Atlantic".

Order the Book From: Amazon - 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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