Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Abby L. Vandiver - An Author Interview at the HBS Author's Spotlight

Today our blog puts the Spotlight on Amazon Bestsellers author Abby L. Vandiver. She is the author of Logan Dickerson Cozy Mystery Series and the Mars Origin "I" Series. Abby writes Cozy Mystery novels.

Author: Abby L. Vandiver

Author Genre: Mystery

Website: Abby Vandiver
Author's Blog: INK AND QUILL
Twitter: @AbbyVandiver
E-Mail: abbylvandiver@aol.com
Goodreads: Check Out Goodreads
Facebook: Check Out Facebook

Amazon Author Profile

Author Description:
Through her various occupations, Abby discovered her love of writing. She'd always been told she had a gift for telling stories, combining the two, she became an author.

Her debut novel, the mystery/sci-fi, In the Beginning, Book I in the Mars Origin "I" Series was an Amazon #1 bestseller. It was written on a whim, packed away, and rediscovered some twelve years later. After publishing it in 2013, Abby decided to make writing a full-time endeavor. She's penned a slew of novels since then and has even more in her head. Although she writes mostly mystery, she's written a historical/women's fiction novel. It was co-written with author and friend, Kathryn Dionne under the pen name Kathryn Longino.

Currently she is working on her first cozy mystery series. There will be at least five in the series, three, Bed & Breakfast Bedlam, Coastal Cottage Calamity, and Maya Mound Mayhem have already been published and are Amazon international bestsellers.

Abby, a former lawyer and college professor, has a bachelor's degree in Economics, a master's in Public Administration, and a Juris Doctor. A lifetime resident of Cleveland, Ohio, Abby spends all of her time writing and enjoying her wonderful grandchildren.

SPOTLIGHT Questions and Answers with the Author

Congratulations on your book: Garden Gazebo Gallivant. Rumor has it that you have another book on the horizon called South Seas Shenanigans. Can you tell us the timeline for its release and give us a little tease?

Thank you, and yes, it's true! South Seas Shenanigans will be out April 1. If you've kept up with the series, you'll remember there was a wedding in Garden Gazebo Gallivant. And you guessed it, the South Seas is where the honeymoon takes place. But of course, wherever you find Logan and Miss Vivee, you'll find murder. Check it out, like the others in the series, it's a whole lot of fun!

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?

I worked very hard to get Twitter followers. My daughter teased me that I must have "bought" followers. I didn't, and the main reason is because I think it is important to build a following. Growing Twitter followers is a good way to learn to network. At my age, social media and all the new technology can sometimes be daunting. But I keep at it because it is important on getting your book into the hands of readers. And it does carry over into writing. When I see my followers are happy with my books, it makes me want to give them more.

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 have done all of those things. From brick and mortar appearances to Internet radio and virtual release parties. I'm currently doing a book tour that I set up. Keep up with my goings on by following me on social media and on my website www.abbyvandiver.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 do my own covers. I bought Adobe CS.5 a few years back when I was working on an online magazine. When I first started writing, I found that I couldn't afford the covers graphic artists were offering, so I did my own. My covers are so important to the story, in fact, I do the covers before I even start typing.

I like the idea of bundling a series of novels. You have put together a set of your Logan Dickerson Cozy Mystery novels. What was the impact on your other sales? What was your main objective in bundling your novels?

One of my objectives in bundling novels is to impact sales. I read a marketing article once that said one way to increase sales is to have more books. But really impacted my reason to bundle is because readers asked for more. When my first novel, In the Beginning, came out readers asked when was the next installment set to be released. Next installment? I thought. There isn't any more! That made me want to write more.

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?

At first I thought, I'll never give my books away for free, but then I found that it is a very useful marketing tool. I want, most of all, to give enjoyment to my readers, so it's not necessary I make a boatload of money (but wouldn't that be nice). I found I sold more books when I gave some away free. I haven't done a giveaway on my own yet, but I'm thinking about doing it. Additionally, I'd like to do a perma-free book to go with my cozy mystery series.

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 am just starting to promote through a reader's list and still working on the ins and outs of it. Check back with me in a few weeks, and I'll share what I've learned.

You have a great blog. You do a great job keeping readers informed, marketing your books and providing useful information to other writers. What is your primary goal? And where in the world do you find the time to create great novels, take care of the social media and maintain your blog?

I am bad at time management, and truly doing all those things take up most of my day. I decided to blog once a week, the weeks I don't have the time to write, I do a guest post. My novels don't come as quickly as I'd like them to, but I'm learning to do better planning for them, too.

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've never sought paid reviews, and I used to do book swaps to get reviews. But I did find that sometimes people don't give honest reviews - they'll give a five star if you will - I didn't like that at all. Now I only ask for reviews at the end of my books.

You co-wrote At the End of the Line with author and friend, Kathryn Dionne under the pen name Kathryn Longino. How did that process work? Do you plan on writing more with Kathryn?

I love Kathryn, she is such an awesome writer, and yes, I would love to write more books with her. We were talking on the phone one day, and she said, "What about if we wrote a book together about two friends that have never met?" I thought she was kidding - we'd never met and considered ourselves friends, so I responded, "Yeah, and we can call it "At the End of the Line." and it's just what we did! We had to make it an historical fiction because today everyone can come face-to-face, even if it's only in a virtual world.

Author's Book List
Garden Gazebo Gallivant - A Logan Dickerson Cozy Book 5
There's going to be a wedding! But three days before the nuptials, Logan finds a dead body at the gazebo. And as usual there are suspects galore. But not to worry, Miss Vivee is on it.

Justin, Logan's Biblical archaeologist mother, is on the scene to help, and so is her brother, Micah. They try to piece the clues together, and solve the whodunit before the "I do's."

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Food Fair Frenzy - A Logan Dickerson Cozy Book 4
Archaeologist Logan Dickerson, and Voodoo herbalist Vivienne Pennywell (aka Miss Vivee) are back to solving murder in Yasamee, Georgia (not a real place).

It's the 105th Freemont County Possum Pickin' Food Fair, and everyone is getting sick from the food. Blue faces, fainting, chest pains, it doesn't look good. Then Jack Wagner is found dead. Miss Vivee is called in because with his death came a clue. A note that listed nine deadly flowers. Is that what killed pie-tasting-judge Jack? Only Miss Vivee and her cohorts in crime (solving) can figure this one out!

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Maya Mound Mayhem - A Logan Dickerson Cozy Book 3
The two murders in Yasamee weren’t the first ones Logan had seen . . .

Old enemies come back to haunt Logan as she finally gets to excavate the site in Georgia that she thinks will prove her theory that the Maya migrated to the United States. Miss Vivee and Mac, her partners in crime (solving) come to her rescue when she’s caught red-handed with the bones of the murder victim and she turns out to be the prime suspect.

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Coastal Cottage Calamity - A Logan Dickerson Cozy Book 2
Everyone seems to want Oliver dead.

Local playboy, Oliver Gibbons, turns up dead. And it seems most everyone has a motive for wanting him out of the picture. From the three blondes he promised to marry, to his partner in an illegal fishery, to his long lost cousins, Oliver's death seems like a satisfying option. But when Miss Vivee, the five-foot-nothing, ninety-something, Voodoo herbalist realizes one of the possible suspects is her daughter, she recruits Logan, the resident archaeology to help her find out the truth.

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Bed & Breakfast Bedlam - A Logan Dickerson Cozy Book 1
Logan Dickerson is an archaeologist who feels she'll always live in the shadow of her famous mother. To prove her worth, she jumps the fence at a federally protected archaeological site. Not such a good idea. Now she's on the run from the FBI. Ending up in a small, coastal town in Georgia she discovers that one resident, Gemma Burke, has been found dead, keeled over in her bowl of bouillabaisse. Logan gets all tangled up in a big mystery, (and a little bit of romance), but the fun begins once she falls in cahoots with Miss Vivee, a ninety-something, five-foot-nothing Voodoo herbalist, and owner of a wheaten Scottish terrier named Cat. Of course the elderly sleuth, with Logan’s help, thinks she can solve the murder before the local sheriff can.

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Barnes and Noble

Incarnate - Mars Origin "I" Series Book 3
Justin Dickerson, Biblical archaeologist, has grown weary of the burden she's carried since finding those pesky 2,000 year old manuscripts in the caves at Qumran. She's decided to give the U.S. government all she knows about man's true origin and the proof she's obtained. On a dig in Belize with her daughter, Logan, Justin believes she has found a Maya connection to her origin theory. What she uncovers is too devastating to trust to anyone. But that decision may just cost Justin her life.

The Maya calendar didn't foretell of the end of the world. What it does predict takes Justin and her family on a worldwide adventure through the jungles of Central America, across the Giza Plateau in Egypt, along the waterways of Panama, ending in a train ride from Paris to Istanbul aboard the famed Orient Express.

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Barnes and Noble

Irrefutable Proof - Mars Origin "I" Series Book 2
A 600 year old mysterious codex, written in an unknown language.

Millennia old secret society dedicated to guarding the secrets of man’s true origins.

Ancient biblical text corroborating an alternative history of mankind.

For thousands of years, people have been trying to hide a secret. A secret so obscure that even the markings left around the world as clues have yet to be understood. First held at Göbekli Tepe, a 10,000 year old temple in the Anatolia region of Turkey, stored later in the Library at Alexandria, and found at a Jesuit Catholic church in Italy is a codex, written in an undecipherable language, that may be not only the key to the cure for cancer, but hold the knowledge to traverse the stars.

Justin Dickerson, Biblical archaeologist, pieced together secrets of mankind’s origin that had stayed buried for more than two thousand years. She’s discovered where Atlantis was located and why there were great civilizations in the New World long before European explorers ever thought to embark upon its shores. But to get anyone to believe what she’s discovered, she’ll need to find irrefutable proof of her claims. Trying to get it though, might be the last thing she ever does.

The Bilderberg Group, a clandestine faction comprised of the most powerful and politically connected people in the world. A Professor Emeritus of Semitic at a world class university. A Society of Jesus priest who might not be all he seems. All want to get to Justin and find out what she knows. By any means necessary.

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In the Beginning - Mars Origin "I" Series Book 1
A fifty year old journal.

2,000 year old manuscripts hidden with the Dead Sea Scrolls . . .

The answer to Earth's ancient mysteries revealed.

In 1949, Dr. Amos Sabir is assigned to translate four manuscripts that were found in Cave #4 at Qumran. Dr. Samuel Yeoman, Editor-in-Chief is tasked with presenting the information contained in the Dead Sea Scrolls to the world. Neither is prepared to share what they find. Even if it means they have to lie or kill to keep it secret.

History repeats itself. Unfortunately for mankind, arrogance and greed are a part of human nature. And that same human nature that almost drove mankind to extinction thousands of years ago, is rearing its ugly head - again.

In 1997 Justin Dickerson, Biblical Archaeologist, and self-proclaimed re-creator of history, is finding little purpose to her existence as of late. She jumps at the invitation to attend the 50th Jubilee of the finding of the Dead Sea Scrolls to help with the remaining needed translations. Instead, a chance discovery of a journal of one of the original translators of the famed manuscripts sets her off on a path that will unravel the foundation of mankind’s belief of his origins forever. Obsessed with the possibility that history has purposely been destroyed, she is soon faced with the shocking discovery of what really happened In the Beginning . . .

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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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