Monday, May 11, 2015

C. Michael Bennis - An Author Interview in the HBS Author's Spotlight

Today our blog puts the Spotlight on Paranormal Romance and Suspense Author C. Michael Bennis. He is the author of Dangerous and Desirable, Signs of Destiny and Rules of Engagement.

Author Genre: Romance, Paranormal, Suspense

Website: C. Michael Bennis
Author's Blog: C. Michael Bennis
Twitter: @CMBennis
Goodreads: Check Out Goodreads
Google+: Check Out Google+
Facebook: Check Out Facebook

Amazon Author Profile

Author Description:
C. Michael Bennis is bilingual and lives in Tucson, Arizona as a former advertising and toy industry executive. He is the author of three best selling novels: Dangerous and Desirable (Oct.19, 2013), Signs of Destiny (2012) and Rules of Engagement (2009), and he is currently editing his fourth novel between speaking engagements.

The glistening razor like actions of this narrative cut across unexpected consequences. Julio's exploits are legendary. It is almost as if this former champion boxer can draw and fire his weapon before an adversary's brain registers the movement. He has one weakness: he cannot refuse helping vulnerable, innocuous victims. It is a carry over from when his survivor Jewish parents were killed in a train accident and he left the orphanage to live on the streets of Buenos Aires, an eight-year old with a dog for his only friend. Ironically, his combat skills draw the attention of an ambitious female war correspondent that seeks to discover his true identity. The hunter becomes the hunted when her article is published in a revealing expose. She believes Julio Navarro's true identity will win her international recognition, but in fact it might only make her dead as Julio Navarro goes on the lam and Ziv fears the worst for this incredible man. Suspense Romance. Setting: New York City, Madrid, Culiacán, and Mazatlán, Mexico.

SPOTLIGHT Questions and Answers with the Author

Let’s start with what’s next. Rumor has it that you are working on a fourth novel. Can you tell us the timeline for its release and give us a little tease?

My fourth novel will be released 4th quarter 2015. The book features an 8-year-old boy who lives in the wilderness of Northern Wisconsin where his best friends are talking animals. The stories were a nightly creation for my boys.The narrative features some very zany creatures. I won’t say more, except I was just blessed with my first grandchild a girl! And the storytelling will be ongoing.

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?

It’s immeasurable, but I believe social media definitely boosts book sales, visibility and URL traffic. I have a select group of followers. We support one-another and often review each other’s books. The relationship is very caring. My most successful are Twitter and LinkedIn.

You do a lot of book signings, interviews, speaking and personal appearances. When and where is the next place where your readers can see you? Where can they keep up with your personal contacts online?

Mostly Books, Tucson – date to be determined.

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

Tucson Sisters In Crime, Sisters in Crime Inc., Romance Writers of America (where I have a home page) and Society of Southwestern Authors. The three memberships provide an indispensable source of fellowship, information as well as the opportunity to share experiences with other writers and readers.

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’m a former Ad Sales guy, readers-per-copy build audience.. I speak to senior living residences where I give autographed free books (beforehand) to all scheduled attendees. They forward the books to their families who then forward them on… I’m not losing book sales but gaining readers. Often, I donate books to libraries before a speaking gig.

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 begin with an outline (25 chapter headings & short chapter synopsis), then prepare character profiles. I include the book buyers with the ongoing list of URL respondents into MailChimp for email campaigns.

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?

Yes, [I maintain a reader list using] Prospects & Contacts in MailChimp. [Other methods are ] Public speaking to book clubs, author book signings, email comments on my url via where I use the list for marketing/newsletters on MailChimp.

[Using social media?] Carefully and limitedly. Plenty of book videos, copy of Blog Posts, Book promotions. I believe social media contacts resent direct and unsolicited promotional contacts.

You have a great blog. You have posted several very interesting articles, as well as, providing useful information to other writers. What is your primary goal?

Strictly Entertainment, to offer readers an insight into my personality. The URL respondents are then reached out to via future blogs and MailChimp posts.

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?

I'm negligent on this very important issue. I solicit reviews from friends & colleagues on Twitter and from a few book reviewers. Usually the best route to a good review is by exchanging book reviews with another author of the same genre.

This year’s Tucson Festival of Books was a great event, enjoyed by thousands. A Book festival is a unique selling situation. How did you prepare for the festival? Did it meet your goals? If you had to do something different next year, what would that be?

First, by becoming a friend of the festival in order to receive primordial emails and show updates. Secondly, place an all-weather banner with images of the three novel covers across the front of the booth table. Thirdly, assemble bookmarks, book flyers, promo cards and recent publicity (This year it was being the author of the month by Book World with cover photo and lead article about Dangerous and Desirable. This year I did not advertise in the TFOB/ AZ Star program because the ad guy never returned my calls and I forgot! Oh, after four TFOB events I would warn every writer, when asked about the novel to keep it simple, no more than three sentences, and don’t become sidetracked with the plot unless asked. Always say, you should buy it, it’s a fabulous read. Ask for the order (Keep-it-Simple-Stupid). Hopefully, there will be more people than you can handle with introspective info.

[Did it meet your goals?] YES If you had to do something different next year, what would that be? Buy the AD!

Author's Book List
Dangerous and Desirable
Julio Navarro is the world's foremost assassin for hire.

(Romantic Suspense) To know his identity is terminal with extreme prejudice. Only three international espionage directors know of his existence. Ziv Yadin is Mossad's foremost assassin. Her last assignment went awry and political motives suggest the Knesset may have directed Mossad to sanction Yadin. Navarro first accepts the hit, then refuses after meeting Yadin. Now Mossad's double-sanction has Navarro guarding the very person he was hired to kill. Julio saves Ziv's life but reveals talents she never expected from the perceived wealthy businessman who now suddenly rushes to Madrid, while leaving Ziv in a safe house fortress. Ziv follows to discover who this incredible man really is, and finds the ashes of his past when the mother and ten-year old sister he was living with six-years ago vanished without a note. A kidnapping, a champion boxer's past and a warrior's agenda mark this non-stop action-suspense thriller as Julio, the merciless killer, puts his life in extreme danger to save a little girl he never admitted to loving.

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble
Signs of Destiny
Have you ever feared going to a Fortune Teller?

(Paranormal Romance) Alison's worst fears begin when the palmist refuses to reveal her fortune. Alison is seventeen-years old when she steps into Destiny's doorway. This unique story grips the reader's attention as Alison lives with her horrifying prophecy that unravels with exactitude, including the incredible love she was always destined to have. Alison must deal with the vortex of fate and find a way to save her life.

Order the Book From: Amazon
Rules of Engagement
Unrestrained passions and exotic locales are key elements of Rules of Engagement, a savvy debut by C. Michael Bennis. With a pitch perfect prose and unforgettably naughty characters, new romance author Bennis offers a winning combination that tells of the underbelly of the advertising world and the softest sides of true love. In the summer of 1964, two college graduates meet in a London club. While their attraction is palpable, Nicole is engaged to the premier’s son and is Parisian aristocracy; dutiful to a fault she can’t help but fall headfirst for Alec, a Colorado native who is a little rough around the edges. As they decide the course of their affair, Nicole comes up with the Rules of Engagement. Over the next nine days they agree not to fall in love and not to reveal their identities. Reunited by chance over two decades later, the magic is still there. One is married, one is not—both will begin to understand that love and passion endures despite time, circumstance, and reason.

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:
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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