Author Interview: Carrie Green
The interview series with members of my Twitter community continues with #TeaserTrain co-founder and author Carrie Green. Enjoy!
Author Carrie Green
Bio: Carrie Green "a powerful new voice in horror and suspense" will have her first novel, 'Walk a Lonely Street,' published by McMullin Press in 2012. Set in Chicago, a jazz nightclub owner is found dead in the parking lot with a bullet to the brain. Police have written it off as a suicide, but his wife and best buddy think that it's a murder and they embark on their own investigation. Carrie is excited to build her audience, in the meantime, with the 'Roses are Red,' 'Violets are Blue,' and 'Sugar is Sweet,' trilogy of shorts stories and a novella being released as eBooks for a limited time. Born and raised in Chicago, Carrie now lives with her husband in the northern suburbs of the city. Contact Carrie or sign up to receive notification of the publication of her next book at www.CarrieGreenBooks.com.
Q: Welcome, Carrie! Thanks for being here today. What is your genre? Why did you choose it?
CG: I write in the horror/thriller genre. It really chose me. I write what I love to read...
Q: How many books have you published? Are they traditionally published, self-published, or a combination?
CG: Currently, I have self-published 3 books which are a collection of my short stories, Roses Are Red, Violets Are Blue, and Sugar Is Sweet. Some of my short stories were traditionally published, previously, so I guess that it's a combination.
Q: You and Kellianne Sweeney are co-founders of #TeaserTrain. Please tell us about #TeaserTrain, and where it's headed in 2012.
CG: Kellianne should receive all the credit for #TeaserTrain, as it was her idea and I just jumped aboard! We hope to continue to grow the #TeaserTrain concept over time. We're very excited to have our first Supersonic #TeaserTrain promo hosted by the WLC at www.WoMensLiteraryCafe.com on Thursday, February 2nd - Friday, February 3rd. Readers will have the opportunity to purchase many of the books that they have been reading teasers from over the past few months!
Q: What advice would share with other authors who want to create their own version of #TeaserTrain?
CG: I'd suggest joining us to learn the concept. Eventually, our hope is that multiple #TeaserTrains will run concurrently every Thursday! I think that once an author has participated in a session that they'll be knowledgeable enough to organize their own #TeaserTrain. In a nutshell, they'll need to gather a group of like-minded authors who exchange teasers on their blogs and then tweet about it on Thursdays using the TeaserTrain hashtag. The goal is to keep it a simple commitment that is fast and easy.
Q: Do you sell copies of your novel, or other works, directly from your website?
CG: Nope, all my books are available at bookselling sites.
Q: How much time do you spend on Twitter each week? Do you have a Facebook Fan Page?
CG: I spend way too much time on Twitter, but I recommend using Twitter schedulers (there are many free ones, just search Google), to use your time more effectively. I do have a Facebook Fan page, but it is underutilized by me, right now.
Q: Do you blog? How often? Strictly professional or a blend of all things?
CG: I do blog, for my own website as well as blogging every Tuesday on the WLC site about Author PR 101. Although I'm new to publicizing fiction authors, and indie authors, in specific, I ran the PR campaigns for several traditionally published business book authors. I try to share best practices that will apply to all authors. On my own blog I write about topics that, hopefully, may interest readers.
Q: Do you have a motto or favorite quote you turn to on tough writing days?
CG: I'm going to quote the late Howard Hopkins, a really talented author and friend, "“I read to escape…I write to help others escape…” That sums up writing for me.
Q: Have you outsourced editing, cover design, formatting, web design, marketing, etc?
CG: Nope, I do it all with a little help from my friends. I was lucky enough to connect with other supportive authors on Twitter. Anyone interested in self-publishing needs to open a Twitter account and network—there are some great people out there willing to help you. I firmly believe in 'authors helping authors.' I've seen it in action, it works. It's the idea behind #TeaserTrain.
Q: Do you work with a writing group?
CG: I participated in a bunch of writing workshops during college, and after—the most notable was with Sue Grafton. She's a great author and her workshop inspired me to improve my writing in many ways.
Q: When you did you first decide to self-publish? How much time did it take to get from an idea to an ebook on Amazon?
CG: I decided to publish just a few months ago. As part of my other life, PR, I've ghostwritten eBooks for clients and researched Amazon as an eBook retailer and I thought, why don't I do this with my fiction? It took maybe two months from that initial thought to being available for purchase on Amazon.
Q: Have you published any of your work for free? Why or why not?
CG: No. I do provide one sample story that I publicize from time to time. I may go that route, in the future, I'm looking closely at the results for authors enrolled in KDP Select. So far, it has been mixed, but I'll wait and see...
Q: What tips or advice would you offer to writers who are about to join the self-published community?
CG: Create the best product possible and then realize that you're going to have to market. Traditional authors, unless they are in that select group of bestsellers, must market. Know that it's the second step in becoming a successful author.
Q: Is there another writer (or two) in the Twitterverse that you would recommend newbies follow?
CG: Too many to mention, but a great place to start would be all the wonderful authors participating in #TeaserTrain!
Q: Do you create an outline before beginning a new book?
CG: I do outline, but I also like to leave room for characters to surprise me. A tangent can often be the best scene that you never planned!
Q: Do you work on more than one manuscript at a time?
CG: Yes, but that comes from my PR background and from handling multiple clients and projects.
Q: Tell us about some of the hurdles you've cleared on the path to becoming an author. Did you have any idea at the start what the process really entailed?
CG: I went in this with my eyes wide open since I had worked with client eBooks, plus a real understanding of author PR and marketing. I think that many new authors are shell-shocked that marketing is required, but they can make that leap. If you can write, you can market.
Q: What is the best comment/compliment you have received about your work?
CG: There are bunch of reader and blogger reviews that I love—I feature them in my product descriptions on Amazon.
Q: Let's flip things around for a moment. As a reader, what factors do you consider when deciding whether or not to purchase a book?
CG: First, I need to have heard of the author, then, the standard influences apply—is it a genre that I enjoy? Am I attracted to the book cover art? Did the product description, the reviews, or the teaser/excerpt interest me?
Thank you, Carrie, for sharing your publishing experiences with us. We wish you continued success, and hope you'll come back and share updates with us in the summer.
Amazon Roses Are Red
Violets Are Blue
Sugar Is Sweet