Monday, June 5, 2017

Caroline Bell Foster - An Author Interview at the HBS Author's Spotlight

Today our blog puts the Spotlight on Author Caroline Bell Foster. She is the bestselling author of Author of DIVERSE romantic fiction. Caroline is known as 'The Caribbean's Leading Lady of Love'.

Author: Caroline Bell Foster

Author Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Multicultural & Interracial

Website: Caroline Bell Foster
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Twitter: @cbellfoster
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Amazon Author Profile

Author Description:
Caroline Bell Foster was born in Derby, England and with her family went on a six week holiday to Jamaica. She stayed for 18 years!

Ever the adventurer Caroline bought her first pair of high heels in Toronto and traded her pink sunglasses for a bus ride in the Rift Valley at 18. She wrote her first short story on that bus and had it published the following year in a local newspaper.

Caroline has always written in one form or another from a very young age. She started her first diary at age 7 and short stories and articles kept her occupied throughout her teens. Feeling the restrictions of short stories for newspapers, Caroline switched to full length novels letting her creativity flow.

Caroline is also known as 'The Caribbean's Leading Lady of Love' as her novels Ladies' Jamaican, Caribbean Whisper's, Saffron's Choice tend to reflect her love for the Islands. Her lastest novel, Convincing Kyle, is how available for pre-order.

The author now lives in Nottingham, England with her husband and two children.

SPOTLIGHT Questions and Answers with the Author

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

Thank you. I’ve never been so busy, as for the very first time I’m writing two novels at the same time. To say it’s a bit full on, is an understatement, but I’m enjoying the process.

Country Boy is actually the working title, who knows I may just keep it though as it is so fitting. The idea for the novel came whilst writing a novella, but the characters had a bigger story to tell and it went way beyond the stipulated 25K word count, hence why I’m writing two novels.

Country Boy is going very well and what is really fun is that I’m learning so much about the American culture, especially Georgia. I can’t wait to have my first cup of sweet tea! Noah, my main character is a country music singer, so I’m listening to a lot of Country music at the moment, which is great.

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? How much has it changed your book launch process?

I started, but was really slow to actually start posting. I’m actually more active on Facebook. With Twitter, I make good use of 'writerly' hashtags and for each title I publish, I research hashtags and join conversations. It’s quite unique, developing a 140 character at a time conversation!

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 just finished a batch of signings and speaking events, and I do try to keep those as local as possible nowadays. However, I do a lot of radio interviews which is great. I can be in my living room and speaking to someone in Australia.

I do get invited to speak to aspiring writers at University Conferences, sharing my writing journey and wha’s going on in the industry, but I also do a few Keynotes speeches where I hopefully inspire young adults. I was just interviewed by some university students for a cultural event that will be showcased at an art gallery on the 20th May. It was quite different and I was able to talk about my writing from a unique perspective, as I’ve travelled extensively and my characters are culturally diverse.

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 like the challenge, and find myself having to rein my characters in as I’m a 90,000 word kind of writer. But I do enjoy writing them and yes, it opens a whole new audience for me. There isn’t much of an impact, but they do introduce me very gently to a new audience and that is what being an author to me is about. Reaching people with your stories.

I like the idea of Author bundles. You are a part of a two novel bundles called Valentine Pets & Kisses and 2. What was the impact on your other sales? What was the main objective of bundling your works with other romance authors? How did you put something like that together? (What a great group of authors. Valentine Pets & Kisses Featured on HBS Author’s Spotlight)
Valentine Pets & Kisses 2 Featured on HBS Author’s Spotlight)

I had so much fun with the Valentine Pets & Kisses bundles, I was the only British author in the box and it wassuch an honour to be invited in by such esteemed authors.

It was a steep learning curve for me, as I’m what is called a Hybrid author (Traditionally and Independently published) I’d never been in a boxed set or worked alongside other authors so closely before. But it was so much fun, each of us taking on a role. I did a lot of the social media and of course the European radio promo’s.

As the boxed sets were themed for Valentine's, it enabled me to have a title out for that time of year, something I don’t usually do.

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

I’ve been a member of The Romantic Novelists’ Association for almost ten years. It is such a supportive group and I certainly couldn’t continue doing what I do, without their encouragement.

We have twice yearly parties in London, and an annual conference. Most importantly, my region has a monthly meet up, where we talk about our works in progress, what's going on in the industry and basically chat over nice food and wine. It’s great.

I’m also a member of The Society of Authors and have been for many years. Being a member allows me to have access to their extensive library of information and I can go to them for any questions I may have.

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 don’t do it very often and the last time was on my Birthday, for a day. So nothing major. But I have Distracting Ace (International Heroes Book 1) scheduled for a free May 26th - 30th as a run up to the second book in the International Heroes series, Convincing Kyle.

I’ll be watching it closely.

I do giveaways sometimes, but again as I discount my books periodically and enroll them in Kindle Unlimited, I keep that to a minimum. For me it’s all about getting out there and being present.

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 do. It’s about developing relationships with those people who have taken the time to engage with you. I’ve practically reached my limit on one Facebook page and have a following on another. I have a twice yearly newsletter and a page on my website inviting anyone to join my review team. But honestly, I’m just me and I love when my fans get in touch and we have a chat via email or behind the social media scenes.

Living in England creates a unique selling and marketing situation. Where is your biggest audience? Does marketing online help in this situation?

I’m actually 60/40 with my fan base, tipping more North American of late. My American friends like my British settings and multicultural characters. My writing does reflect British society.

I do wave my flag every time I get though. There are a lot of authors out there and if you’re different, shout it out loud!

You have put together a Review Team. Could you explain to us how that works and most important how can our readers join? What other methods do you use to get reviews? Do you seek professional reviews, use social media or do you rely on your reading audience to supply them?

Reviews are important, and I think England is a little behind America, when it comes to reviewing everything. I have a sign-up page on my website offering free reads and peeks into current projects. The questionnaire is quite extensive, but you have to be a dedicated readers. It works well.

On occasion, I’ll ask for new reviewers via social media, but it can be a challenge to get them to review. So normally a nice little request at the end of each title is what I normally rely on.

Author's Book List
Convincing Kyle - International Heroes Book 2
A kiss. A promise. A mistake.

Banished to England, to ‘cool off’ Kyle Mannino met and fell in love with rich, standoffish boarding school brat Camille, two weeks before he was due to fly home.

Cultural clashes and family interference ensured the two young lovers parted ways in the most vicious of ways. Only for them to reconnect, by accident, years later.

She is now an overindulged movie star. He is a rich globe-trotting player. They make a go of it for a while, until an accident caused one to stubbornly pull away, and the other, trying to hold on to what they always were.

Can Kyle and the movie star ever live a normal life? Was their present forever shaped by their past? Only time and patience can tell.

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Distracting Ace - International Heroes - Book 1
A kiss. A promise. A mistake.

Hollywood stuntman Ace had life changing decisions to make and time was running out. Bleakly, he saw a future of always being different, that was, until he met British beauty Nina Mae. Her enthusiasm for life was addictive.

Rich, party girl, Nina Mae was in love. But a demand to come home early and a simple mistake, changed the course of both their lives.

Would she ever get back to America? Or were they destined to be two people who met and enjoyed one unbelievable weekend, tied by the repercussions of those hours. Or was she simply his distraction?

Order the Book From:
Barnes and Noble

The Cat Cafe'
Trinity Peters has three great loves in her life; books, cake, and mostly cats - her CAT CAFÉ in Nottingham allows her to indulge in all three. Amiable, attractive and ambitious, she knows what she wants in life and sets about making it happen. Everything is going nicely for her until a handsome city slicker, with the suits to match, enters her café by mistake one evening. Nothing would ever be the same for her again.

Blake Lawrence is the well heeled city boy who loves to play big city games. He wouldn't normally venture too far from the bright lights of London, but business interests direct him to the East Midlands. He meets, and is captivated by, the sexy, mad cat woman Trinity Peters.

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Barnes and Noble

Call Me Lucky - The Call Center - Book 2
What happens with the night team…

Felicity ‘Fliss’ Pecora didn’t like people. Her background meant she didn’t trust easily and the night shift suited her perfectly. Forced to go on a team night out she bumps into the one person who knew her at her worst.

Teddy couldn’t believe the foul mouthed girl he once knew had changed so little, but still he felt an attraction towards her. He helped her overcome her insecurities and health scare and they were happy and in love until the night their pasts collided.

Teddy has no choice but to watch from afar as she takes control of her destiny.

To love her, was to let her go.

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Barnes and Noble

Call Me Royal - The Call Center - Book 1
What happens on the night shift...

Call Centers' are all the same. Loud, target driven environments of scripted speech and emotional shifts.

Della lived her life by one word. Safe. She worked nights. She didn't do excitement. Everything and everyone had their place. Then Spencer Chandler-Wright walks onto her floor demanding answers to questions he had lost the right to ask.

Spencer refused to believe Della could turn her back on all that she was. Now she lived her life by the Livity. He wanted her back but could he really get past all the changes?

To love her was to accept her.

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Barnes and Noble

Saffron's Choice
Compassionate, thoughtful and engaging, Saffron's Choice is driven by its earnest and unyielding exploration of matters of the heart - and what happens when we pay heed to that small voice within. Written with unsparing beauty and emotional honesty, the novel transports readers to the lively streets and buzzing neighbourhoods of London and the peaceful, relaxing hills of rural Jamaica as we follow the book's sassy title heroine, the two starkly different men she must choose between - and her best girlfriend, who has her own dilemmas to tackle.

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Barnes and Noble

Caribbean Whispers
Can one truly escape their past?

Raped and battered by her jealous and malevolent step-brother, Miriam narrowly escapes death when she is rescued by Thomas Walters, a wealthy tycoon who migrated to Jamaica. She is given a new life and identity as his daughter, Merissa Walters, but is constantly haunted by the traumatizing events of that dismal night on the beach and finds it hard to really trust anyone to get close. Merissa meets Alex York and immediately their attraction is apparent. However, her constant mistrust leaves them entwined in a turbulent relationship. Will she ever be able to realize that what she has may be true love?

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Barnes and Noble

Ladies Jamaican
A tongue in cheek novel, steeped with raging, raw emotion that is guranteed to raise many eyebrows. This is the exciting story of three divergent personalities with different backgrounds and skin tones. All are lost in the murky fogs of self doubt and insecurity that ruled their lives, shadowing their self-respect, independence and values. NADIA - A victim of abuse and betrayal. A young mother who is afraid to move forward, afraid to let go. HELEN - Brought up to believe that, "Anything darker than a grain of sand is no good." Yet she falls in love with a dark-skinned, dread-locked Rasta she wants to hate. MARJORIE - The eldest, is trapped by routine, low self-esteem and bulima. She is still involved with her re-married ex-husband of eleven years. Unlikely friends, Nadia, Helen and Marjorie, as only real friends can, empower each other to love , trust and explore their passions. Together they stand tall, with the warmth of the sun on their faces. They are strong, proud Jamaican women-Ladies Jamaican.

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

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