Sunday, December 19, 2010

Welcome Kristie Cook author of Promise and Purpose!

Thank you so much, Alison, for having me here! I’m really excited to be visiting your blog and sharing a copy of Purpose.

Tell us about Purpose.
Purpose is the second book in the Soul Savers series that picks up in present day (Promise started 9 years ago). Alexis is going through some pretty rough times and in an unstable state of mind. Much is going on that only exacerbates her condition and she’s faced with a tough decision. Hoping to clear her head and find the answers she needs, she takes off on her own to the Florida Keys, and ends up as the center of another battle between good and evil that requires her to face real-life demons, her own demonic blood…and the worst opponent imaginable.

Was it easier writing a sequel than the first?
Heh, I didn’t exactly write a sequel. I’d originally written Promise and Purpose together as one book. It took a year with many revisions to finally realize that I had two major plotlines. Once I separated the two, Purpose was left as about 2/3 of a book, so I did have to make some new additions. In a way, it was easier because I knew where the story was going and even what happens in book three, so I knew what to add. It was also more difficult because I had to add those new layers within an existing framework, trying not to mess up what was already there.

Your journey to publication is inspiring and different. What led you to that decision?
When it was all one book, the original Purpose, I sent out queries and received some requests for partials. I had already started researching self/indie publication, but wanted to give the traditional route a try. The more I learned about publishing, however, the more frustrated I became. I heard over and over that publishers don’t like college-age main characters. Although readers were still screaming for more vampires, more angels, more paranormal romance, agents were sick of them and wanted something new. My stories are definitely unique, but I could never get that across to agents. Part of the problem was trying to query something that had two different plotlines going on. Then partial responses came back, with most of them saying, “I just can’t market this.” And the number of reports of fewer debut authors being taken on at virtually non-existent advances increased every day, along with publishers saying they expected authors to take on the majority of marketing. eBooks were taking off and the publishing industry, already suffering from the economy, became even more volatile. Finally, I just couldn’t believe how much everyone else gets from a book sale and how little authors are paid. The whole system just seems backwards to me. Add in the facts that I’m an entrepreneur by nature and that I already had a fantastic business partner in another business, we decided to see if we could turn the industry chaos into our advantage. About that same time, I realized the book needed to be split in two. So I never queried what are now Promise and Purpose. Now I have two books released, receiving fabulous reviews and sales numbers growing daily, when they might still be in the querying or submission stages if I’d stuck with the traditional route. I like the idea of earning a bigger share, when the story is the main product and the author has to do the majority of their own marketing anyway. I think authors are sadly taken advantage of and are left powerless to do anything about it – except publish on their own. Finally, I LOVE the idea that readers get to choose what books they want to read – not agents and publishers choosing what they THINK readers want.

Promise is award winning!Congrats! Do you have the same expectations for Purpose?
Thank you! Promise’s award was a surprise to me. I submitted for the award just to see how it would do and to get feedback on the story. I really didn’t expect it to take first place. I don’t know about having the same expectations for Purpose, but I can say that I think it’s a better story, better writing, better everything. So far, reviewers and readers agree. So we’ll see if we enter it in any contests and then see how it does.

Your fan base is remarkable for an indie book. What do you attribute that to?
My background is in marketing. A long time ago, I wrote resumes for a living, which is basically personal marketing. At that time, I had to coach my clients that they MUST learn to sell themselves. I had to drill into their heads that they can’t be afraid to discuss what they’re good at and toot their own horn about their accomplishments. Because no one else will. Promoting your own book is kind of the same way and I had to take my own advice. Authors can’t be afraid to promote and market their books. We can’t be afraid to talk about them. We can’t be afraid to be excited about an award or good review and share it with others. It’s not bragging. It’s marketing. Once your book is going to be published, it becomes a business and all businesses need marketing. So, I reached out to others – other writers, reader sites, book bloggers – and asked them to give my book a chance. Fortunately, the vast majority loved Promise and shared it with their family, friends and followers. So that’s the other key – having a book people enjoy and want to talk about.

If your series was made into a movie who would you cast in the leads?
Don’t be disappointed, but I won’t go here. For one, I’ve searched and searched and can’t find anyone who quite embodies Tristan. He’s just too otherworldly. But, more importantly, I don’t want to give readers a preconceived idea about the characters. I want them to imagine their own version of what “Mr. Beautiful” looks like and form their own idea of the main character that draws them into the story. That’s what reading is all about, why it’s more engaging and more personal than TV or movies – being able to take the parameters the author has given us and using our own imagination to fill in the blanks. Of course, I won’t complain if a movie is ever made and I hope to have say in the selection of the cast. But until then (as if it’ll ever happen), I’ll let you read the books and make up your own cast. It’d probably be different than mine and everyone else’s.

Thanks again, Alison, for having me!! Good luck to everyone who enters the giveaway!

Thank you Kristie! Okay everyone! I'm throwing in a copy of Promise too so there you go! I'm also giving away a $10 iTunes gift card. The give away is as follows:

leave a comment anytime this week on this interview and receive +3 entries
link my giveaway +2
tweet it +2
if you are a follower+5 ((you don't have to be but I sure would love it!)
do the math for me(you know why) +3
REMEMBER!!!YOU CAN ENTER ALL WEEK!!! previous winners and overseas followers are eligible. I'll draw the winner on december 26th.

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