Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Amalie Jahn - An Author Interview in the HBS Author's Spotlight

Today our blog puts the Spotlight on Author Amalie Jahn. She is the award-winning author of The Clay Lion Series and The Sevens Prophecy Series. Amalie writes Suspense, Young Adult, and Science Fiction novels.

Author: Amalie Jahn

Author Genre: Suspense, Young Adult, Science Fiction

Website: Author Amalie Jahn
Twitter: @AmalieJahn
E-Mail: theclaylion@gmail.com
Goodreads: Check Out Goodreads
Facebook: Check Out Facebook

Amazon Author Profile

Author Description:
"I spent my childhood writing journals about the boys I loved, especially the ones who never loved me back. I never imagined I'd be channeling those emotions into full-length novels later on in my life." - Amalie Jahn

Undeterred by fickle teenage boys, Amalie won her first literary award in seventh grade for a fictional short story about a girl struggling with accident-induced hearing loss. She's been writing ever since.

After briefly setting aside the creative writing of her youth to pursue a career in education, she found that creating lesson plans for her elementary school students cultivated a desire to write for young adults. However, it would be many years before her first full-length YA novel, The Clay Lion, written as a tribute to a pair of siblings who were close to her heart, would eventually be published.

The Clay Lion's Best-Selling March 2013 release was followed by the publication of Tin Men, the second in the time travel series, in July of 2014 and the final installment of the series entitled A Straw Man was published in July of 2015. Among the Shrouded (2013) was the first in a series of novels exploring real-world issues under the umbrella of paranormal suspense. Gather the Sentient (2016) and Beyond the Sanctified (2017) were the second and third books in the Sevens Prophecy Series.

SPOTLIGHT Questions and Answers with the Author

First things first. Let’s start with what’s next. Can you tell us the timeline for its release and give us a little tease?

The Next to Last Mistake is a YA contemporary releasing March 19, 2019 from Light Messages. It’s a story about Tess Goodwin, whose life in rural Iowa is sheltered and uncomplicated. Although she chooses to spend most of her free time playing chess with her best friend Zander, the farm-boy from next door, her skills as a bovine midwife and tractor mechanic ensure that she fits in with the other kids at West Hancock High. But when her veteran father reenlists in the Army, moving her family halfway across the country to North Carolina, Tess is forced out of her comfort zone into a world she knows nothing about.

Tess approaches the move as she would a new game of chess, plotting her course through the unfamiliar reality of her new life. While heeding Zander’s long-distance advice for making new friends and strategizing a means to endure her dad’s imminent deployment to the Middle East, she quickly discovers how ill-equipped she is to navigate the societal challenges she encounters and becomes convinced she’ll never fit in with the students at her new school.

When Leonetta Jackson is assigned as her mentor, she becomes Tess’s unexpected guide through the winding labyrinth of cultural disparities between them, sparking a tentative friendship and challenging Tess to confront her reluctant nature. As the pieces move across the board of her upended life, will Tess find the acceptance she so desperately desires?

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?

My social media relationships are extremely important to me and I built my following by simply putting myself out there and offering to help other people in any way I could. I think the biggest mistake authors make on social media is using it purely as a sales platform. I’ve always made sure my focus was connecting with fans, authors, and other like-minded people as well. I’ve established wonderful relationships with readers who’ve enjoyed my books which is hugely rewarding. Hearing positive feedback is the only thing that keeps me writing some days! The young adult community on Twitter is a supportive wealth of information and I have developed some amazing friendships inside the group.

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 many book signings and appearances over the years and they’re one of the things I love most about my job. I especially love going into classrooms to share my love of writing with students. Most of my interviews (like this one!) are online, but I have had several speaking engagements, the most exciting of which was the Ted Talk I gave in 2015. My publicist is working now to set up events to promote the release of The Next to Last Mistake next spring. Those events will be posted on my website at www.amaliejahn.com and the publisher’s site at www.lightmessages.com.

You have great covers. 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?

Thanks so much, James. I appreciate that. The Clay Lion Series recently went through the rebranding process which ended up being a lot of fun. I began the process by interviewing several designers whose work I thought would be a good fit for the feel I wanted for the series. Once I selected the artist, she created several templates to start from and after selecting the one with the best theme, we worked together to create the perfect look. I’ve polled readers for their opinions in the past, but I wanted this particular endeavor to be a surprise. For The Next to Last Mistake’s cover design, I’m lucky enough to have a publisher who will take my ideas into consideration. As with any traditional publisher, however, the final design will ultimately be their decision.

A couple of your novels have been converted into audio books. What has been the impact on your regular sales? Has the audio books gained a new audience for you?

The conversion of The Clay Lion Series into audio is an interesting story. Quite by accident I began corresponding online with the amazing audiobook narrator Lorelei King. (Never underestimate the power of an online relationship!) After chatting back and forth for several days, she took it upon herself to read The Clay Lion and approached me afterward about doing the narration for the book herself. A couple months later Creative Content agreed to produce the series and contracts were signed. Having someone of Lorelei’s caliber on my team has been an incredible asset. Not only does she have a tremendous following, she’s also an amazing human being with a big heart and a wicked sense of humor. Of course, having audio versions of the books are helpful (most of the books I ‘read’ these days are on Audible!) but the relationships I now have with Lorelei and Ali Muirden (head of Creative Content) are far more valuable to me.

I like the idea of bundling a series of novels. You have put together a couple of sets of your novels. What was the impact on your other sales? What was your main objective in bundling your novels?

I have two trilogies – The Clay Lion Series and the Sevens Prophecy Series. The SPS is a more traditional ‘series’ in that book two picks up where book one left off and so forth. It’s basically one long story broken into three parts. TCLS is different in that The Clay Lion was originally written as a stand-alone novel but readers begged for more from the characters so I happily obliged. Book two, Tin Men, is its own independent story, as is book three, A Straw Man. What makes them a series is that the characters are the same in each book, although each is told from a different main character – Brooke, Charlie, and Melody respectively. I found that writing a series gives readers a longer opportunity to become invested in your characters, making them

What is your primary genre? What has been your best marketing approach to this group?

I write mostly for a Young Adult audience but unlike adult readers, teens can be fairly tricky to find! Most teens don’t use Facebook and opt for other social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat. I’ve found a great number of teen readers are also Bookstagrammers or Book Bloggers. Reaching out to them on their own platforms is helpful. Many also review on Goodreads or Netgalley. The most important thing I’ve learned with any reader is to respect their opinions – it goes a long way toward forming lasting relationships.

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?

My books are often featured in multi-author giveaways. I think giveaways provide a great opportunity for readers to find new authors to enjoy without the risk of purchasing something they might not like. I’ve heard from readers that they end up reading books they might not typically gravitate to because they won them in a giveaway. Sometimes they even find a new favorite author!

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 maintain a reader list and find a good number of my subscribers through giveaways or sites like BookFunnel or Instafreebie. Quite a few fans find me through my website submission form as well. When readers opt in they receive one email a month full of up-to-date information about my own journey and exclusive discounts and giveaway information. I also have a featured author every month and share the book I’m currently reading. Best of all I always share great discounts for some of my favorite books.

What is the objective for your newsletter? Do you try to build a list of readers? Do you see a carryover to the sales of your novels?

The main objective for my newsletter is to connect to fans on a more personal level and open a door for discussion. If this converts to sales, I’m happy. If not, I’m still happy. Hearing from readers every month is such a joy.

Author's Book List
The Clay Lion - The Clay Lion Series Book 1
What if you could go back in time to save the person you love the most?

The rules are simple. If you want to travel back in time, you need to be at least eighteen years old. You can only travel within your own lifespan for a maximum of six months. And above all else, you must never, ever, change the past.

But that's exactly what Brooke Wallace plans to do.

As Brooke faces existence without her beloved brother, his life cut short by a rare disease, she can think of only one solution - travel back in time to prevent his death. However, her attempts at fixing the past challenge her to confront everything she believes to be true about herself. And ultimately, she is forced to discover whether or not we can ever truly be in charge of our own destiny.

Order the Book From:
Barnes and Noble

Tin Men - The Clay Lion Series Book 2
What if you could go back in time to save the person you love the most?

When his father dies in a tragic climbing accident, Charlie discovers a well-hidden family secret which turns his life upside down and threatens to destroy his sense of self as well as his relationship with his girlfriend, Brooke.

Although deep down Charlie always suspected his family wasn't what it seemed, the truth of his adoption compels him to search for his birth mother. In the quest to find her, he realizes traveling to the past for the truth he seeks will jeopardize his relationship with the person he cherishes most in the world.

Brooke almost lost everything traveling back in time to save her brother. Will Charlie make the same mistake?

Order the Book From:
Barnes and Noble

A Straw Man - The Clay Lion Series Book 3
What if you could go back in time to save the person you love the most?

Nate's funny. He's a football player. He's ridiculously handsome. In fact, it seems as if Melody's dating the perfect guy, until an unexpected tragedy changes everything about him.

Based on her own family's experiences, Melody knows traveling in time to help him could have disastrous results - the tiniest alteration of the past can have huge repercussions on the future. But with careful planning, she's confident her trip will be a success.

What she doesn't anticipate is that sometimes there are consequences which can never be foreseen and changes that can never be undone.

Order the Book From:
Barnes and Noble

Under the Rainbow - A Prequel Companion to The Clay Lion Series
Long before there was a grieving sister, a dying brother, or an adopted boyfriend, there was a teenage boy who made a promise he wasn't able to keep. When the only way to correct the past is to travel back in time, lives will be forever changed in this prequel companion to The Clay Lion Series.

Order the Book From:

Among the Shrouded - The Sevens Prophecy Book 1
What if a group of psychic strangers came together to save the world?

Mia, Thomas, and Kate have paranormal abilities.
And a common destiny.

They just don’t know it yet.

Mia Rosetti is used to being different, especially since she can tell if people are good or evil just by looking at their auras.

But when a mysterious (and handsome) stranger walks into her life without one, she starts questioning her power and begins a search to find the true purpose of her gift.

What she doesn’t know is that aura-less Thomas harbors secrets of his own - an abusive past and the ability to avoid danger.

Halfway around the world, Kate uses a form of telepathy to provide for her sisters and is excited by the prospect of going to the United States to secure their financial independence.

None are aware of the ancient prophesy foretelling the birth of seven psychics destine to change the world. Among the Shrouded follows Mia, Thomas and Kate, three unsuspecting strangers whose lives intertwine to reveal the significance of their gifts and the greater purpose of their collective lives.

Order the Book From:
Barnes and Noble

Gather the Sentient - The Sevens Prophecy Book 2
The Sevens Prophecy (With Regard to the End of Days)

There will come a day when seven psychic children of the light and seven psychic children of the dark will be born. From the moment of their birth, strong powers will be in place to bring the seven light together and the seven dark together to form two separate but equally powerful groups. The first seven to gather all in one place will seal the fate of the world – dark for hell, light for heaven. At that point the seven deadly sins will take over the world or cease to exist.

After Mia is rescued from the trafficking ring’s basement brothel, she and Thomas begin putting both their lives and the well-guarded pieces of the Sevens Prophecy together. Although they quickly discover their cause may already be in jeopardy, they are unaware that the powerful forces alluded to in the prophecy have begun working to unite the light psychics together with them in Baltimore.

Unfortunately, those same forces are assembling the dark psychics as well.

As both sides of the prophecy gather, which group will ultimately decide the fate of the world?

Order the Book From:
Barnes and Noble

Beyond the Sanctified - The Sevens Prophecy Book 3
What if a group of psychic strangers came together to save the world?

"?There will come a day when seven psychic children of the light and seven psychic children of the dark will be born. From the moment of their birth, strong powers will be in place to bring the seven light together and the seven dark together to form two separate but equally powerful groups. The first seven to gather all in one place will seal the fate of the world - dark for hell, light for heaven. At that point the seven deadly sins will take over the world or cease to exist." - The Sevens Prophecy

As the dark psychics search for the final member of their group, the light psychics struggle to find a way to prevent the dark from fulfilling the prophecy,

As both sides of the prophecy gather, which group will ultimately decide the fate of the world?

Order the Book From:
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.

No comments:

Post a Comment