Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Nathan A. Goodman - An Author Interview in the HBS Author's Spotlight

Today our blog puts the Spotlight on Thriller Author Nathan A. Goodman. He is the author of THE FOURTEENTH PROTOCOL.

Author Genre: Thriller, Christian, Crime

Website: Nathan A. Goodman Author
Blog: Facebook
Twitter: @NathanAGoodman
E-Mail: Nathan at NathanAGoodman dot com
Goodreads: Check Out Goodreads

Author Description:
Nathan A. Goodman lives in the Atlanta, Georgia, area with his wife and two daughters. His belief is that stories are living, breathing beings that are not simply created, but are buried deep within, waiting only to be excavated from the depths.

SPOTLIGHT Questions and Answers with the Author

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

Next up is a sequel to The Fourteenth Protocol. The novel has had very positive reviews (4.5 star reviewed after 77 reviews), but I find I get one of two reactions to the cliffhanger ending. Either I hear, “But what happened to her? What were all those open ended questions about the other characters? I can’t decide if I loved it, or if I want to kill the author.” Or, I hear, “That was the most exciting thing ever. I loved how you left me to decide the ending, and left me hungry for a sequel!”

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?

Twitter is a powerful outlet, if you use it correctly. Social outlets are only worthwhile if you engage with individuals directly. I reach out to individual people on Twitter and they respond. They appreciate me retweeting their tweets. They also engage in conversation with me. That opens the door to me finding out j ust enough about them to find out that they might either enjoy a thriller (The Fourteenth Protocol), or a Christian epic journey of hope (Twinkle). When you are a new writer, you should spend time on social media. It can be a powerful ally in getting your title into the right hands.

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 offer readers the opportunity to sign up for my email list ( I tell them about it on Twitter after we’ve engaged with one another, it’s listed at the back of my novels, it’s on my website, on my Amazon author profile, and anywhere else that writers congregate. And, I only send email when it makes sense. I never use the list for any purpose it wasn’t intended for.

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’ve done speaking engagements at bookstores and other venues. I even do talks to bookclubs. If your bookclub would like to have me speak, reach out using my email address (on this page), and we can even set it up via Skype if necessary.

You have a great book trailer. (The Fourteenth Protocol, see link below.) It looks very professional. Do you know how much impact it has had on your book’s success? Tell us about the process that you used to create your trailer?

The trailer takes time to craft. I started by free-form writing the script. Then, I re-wrote and re-wrote it until it fit into a concise span of time. Your trailer needs to be concise because readers don’t want to sit and watch for more than 2-3 minutes maximum. In all honesty, it can be hard to judge how much it lends to the success of a novel. There is no data to tell an author how many readers decided to purchase based on the trailer, but I do think it is a very powerful tool.

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?

Aside from giving away print copies to professional novel reviewers, we ran one giveaway for The Fourteenth Protocol in e-book format on Amazon. Since the novel is in a thriller category, a huge number of people are exposed to it. And, since the novel had already obtained so many positive reviews, by the time the free promotion hit, it was a runaway success. It became the #1 free download on Amazon. Due to all those readers finding the novel, that boosted the number of reviews which is a definite help. Once the free period ended, the novel vaulted onto the Amazon top 100 list in the Mystery/suspense category. That brings even more readers into contact with the title, and sales soared. The only obstacles Indie writers should be aware of is that these free events have to be scheduled and can’t just start on the spur of the moment at a specific time of day.

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 write with Scrivner with is a nice tool. It allows me to rearrange sections as needed with ease. Once I’m ready, I can output to MS Word and work on the novel’s final format from there. I keep track of all the details inside of Scrivner. My biggest piece of advice is to write every day. The more you write the easier it is to keep track of all the details of your stories and characters. It sounds counterintuitive, but writing a lot every day is easier than writing a little, and stretching it out over a long period of time. And as far as plot goes, I write the way Stephen King writes—I write in the absence of plot. I write without knowing where the story is going. That’s one of the things that keeps me writing; I want to find out what happens to the characters as much as the readers do.

You have a great blog. You do a good job providing readers with reviews of books in a particular niche (Strong Female Leads). What is your primary goal? How do you select the books for review? Do have a specific group of reviewers that provide you the reviews?

The blog was put together as part of the focus of The Fourteenth Protocol. The main character is Jana Baker, a fledgling FBI agent trying to prove herself in a man’s world.

I have two young daughters of my own. My goal in writing the novel was to show them that they can do anything they set their minds to. If they just have guts and determination, they can be successful. Jana Baker is the mental persona that I bled onto the page to show them that very thing.

Readers often email in and suggest books to include. The Facebook page is set up for them to be able to submit their own book review.

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?

Lots of reviews have come from the reader audience. Some have come from reaching out to members of the press in cities that are used in the novels. Here are some of the articles:
Cut Bank Pioneer Press
Connect Statesboro
Middlesboro Daily News

Author's Book List
Salvation is a funny thing. It can show up in the most unlikely place, in the most unlikely way. Nathan A. Goodman's compelling story Twinkle has been hailed as a modern day Christian rekindling in the spirit of Uncle Remus. As the endearing old storyteller hobbles toward the group of unwitting school children, none suspect that he will bring them back in time to witness history, and to confront their most daunting questions. Why do bad things happen to good people? What happens to us when we die? What is heaven like? Are we in control, or does God control everything we do? Jupiter, a slave boy, and his best friend Remmie, the daughter of the plantation owner, together discover a magical place in the forest, and their lives are changed forever. Twinkle will tug at your every heart string, and tickle your soul. Come on inside to the windey, warm, waterway, for the Magic Place lies within...

Order the Book From: Amazon
The Fourteenth Protocol - an FBI terrorism thriller
What would it take to infiltrate a terror cell and eviscerate it?

Waseem Jarrah is the new, ruthless face of terror in the United States, and the CIA will stop at nothing to break him. But how far is too far? As the lines blur between good and evil, fledgling FBI agent Jana Baker thrashes in the midst of an epic battle to prove her worth, not only to fellow agents, but to herself. In this spider's web of conspiracy and intrigue, Agent Baker's struggles against evil and her own fears take her to the edge of the abyss, and the clock is ticking.

The Fourteenth Protocol, a tale of loss, corruption, and the power of the one.

Book Trailer: The Fourteenth Protocol

Order the Book From: Amazon
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
Top Shelf Author Advice
Mystery Reader’s Circle

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

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