Wishing everyone, and their family and friends, a very happy and safe Thanksgiving, looking forward to Christmas, and the New Year ahead for 2016.
Today we have the immense pleasure of welcoming author Dominic Piper to Marcia’s Book Talk. Dominic, the author of mystery thriller novels DEATH IS THE NEW BLACK and KISS ME WHEN I’M DEAD, provides a character analysis of Daniel Beckett, the protagonist of both his books, and answers questions which readers have posed about this intriguing private investigator. Let us find out more about Daniel from Dominic…
Who is Daniel Beckett?
Daniel Beckett is the name of the enigmatic, fictional private investigator whose adventures can be found in the novels Kiss Me When I’m Dead and Death is the New Black, both written by Dominic Piper, which is me.
A lot of speculation has been made about Beckett, by characters in the novels and by people who have read them. Where he came from, how he has such a wide variety of skills and why he’s working as a private investigator in the first place.
Here are some answers that will only give rise to more questions, which is as it should be.
There’s no doubt that Beckett is in it for the money. He doesn’t do freebies, charity cases or special discounts. He may not charge impossible amounts, but his fee is pretty high. It’s mentioned that he charges one thousand pounds a day (that’s about fifteen hundred dollars), plus non-negotiable expenses. For the type of service he provides, he could doubtless charge more, but then he’d be in danger in pricing himself out of the market and attracting undue attention, something that he doesn’t seem to be too keen on.
HOW DO PEOPLE GET IN TOUCH WITH HIM?
Beckett doesn’t have an office. He doesn’t advertise. He does have a business card, however. This card is made from a thin, silvery metal with miniature micro-grills on the top and bottom, and often gets comments from people who see it. It’s designed like this, he says, so people will want to keep it and not throw it away. The only information on it is his name and mobile number. He seems to rely on recommendations to get work. In Kiss Me When I’m Dead, he was recommended to his client by an Italian called Athos Baresi, who he worked for in Milan as an insurance investigator. This presupposes that Beckett speaks fluent Italian. No reason is given for his presence in Italy or why he returned to the UK, or even if that story was true and the reference somehow faked.
IS BECKETT EX-POLICE?
This seems very unlikely. Many people who he encounters ask him this question. Some of his skills might point to a background in law enforcement, but most of them don’t. He’s wary of the police in general, and even when he has to speak to them in the course of a case (such as DS Olivia Bream in Kiss Me When I’m Dead and Death is the New Black), he keeps them at arm’s length and prevents himself getting involved with them on a personal level. His attitude to what is legal and what is not legal also makes it unlikely that he was a member of the police force, either in the UK or elsewhere. He has no hesitation in breaking the law when he feels it’s necessary and is rarely judgemental about those who do.
WHAT’S WITH ALL THE WOMEN?
Beckett definitely loves, appreciates and respects women and they are very attracted to him, something which he will always take advantage of, unless there are negative connotations (see DS Bream, above). He always treats them as equals. He doesn’t seem to have any preference as to their age, occupation or social standing. If he finds them attractive, he’ll sleep with them, if at all possible. It’s hinted that he is no stranger to deviant sexual practices. He dislikes violence against women and loathes seeing them being insulted or disrespected. He’s comfortable in their presence whether they are top fashion designers like Sara Holt (in Death is the New Black) or the several call girls/madams he encounters in Kiss Me When I’m Dead. In fact, he has more in common with the latter, outsiders in society like he is. Beckett is a somewhat haunted, paranoid character and it may be that he intentionally avoids long-term relationships because of the danger it could bring to any permanent girlfriend.
WHAT’S WITH THE LITTLE PEN?
The only weapon Beckett carries is a tactical pen. It’s made out of aircraft grade aluminium, making it light but tough. This is a harmless-looking substitute for a Kubotan, a small martial arts weapon invented in the 1960s by karate master Takayuki Kubota for use by the American police force. The pen version can also be used as a pen. To the untrained eye it seems innocuous, but can be used to effectively attack pressure points and soft parts of the body. It can also be used for hardening the fist for punching and for manipulating opponents using pain. It’s an unusual skill to be proficient in, and whatever Beckett’s level is, it’s unlikely he was taught it in the UK.
HE SEEMS TO BE A TOUGH BASTARD IN A FIGHT.
Beckett’s reaction to any attempted assault on his person could be described as ‘cold and calculating’. He makes very speedy assessments about an opponent, which takes in their build, weight, intelligence, reaction times and how emotional they get during an altercation. Beckett does not get emotional at all when he’s in a fight. He seems to use a variety of techniques, including karate, aikido, krav maga, KFM and his own brutal version of street fighting. How he learned so many different types of martial art and how long it took him is difficult to calculate. Although he is capable of ending fights efficiently and quickly, it sometimes seems as if he chooses not to, for his own gratification. This would depend upon the opponent and how he felt about them. He doesn’t seem to be keen on people who use knives or other weapons.
WHY IS HE SO SECRETIVE?
There’s a definite feeling that Beckett expects to be pursued. By whom and for what purpose we have yet to find out. He lives in a built up area of London (Covent Garden) where there are lots of crowds. It’s noticeable that his routine constantly changes whenever he returns to his flat on foot. He’s continually taking evasive action and utilising counter surveillance techniques and ins plainly skilled in these things. His flat contains security measures (like the Nightingale Floor), but he never uses electronic security. It’s also remarked upon by visitors to his flat that he has iron bars on the windows when he lives on the third floor. In Death is the New Black, he’s being trailed by another private investigator, but we never find out why.
If you’re interested in reading about Daniel Beckett’s exploits, visit Dominic Piper’s Amazon page here.
Dominic Piper Bio
Dominic Piper is an author living in London, UK. His first novel, Kiss Me When I’m Dead, featuring the enigmatic London-based private detective Daniel Beckett, was a critically acclaimed best-seller. The second Daniel Beckett mystery, Death Is The New Black, has just been released. Both books are published by Endeavour Press, the UK’s leading independent digital publisher.
Dominic Piper Links
In today’s guest post we warmly welcome author Bernard Foong to Marcia’s Book Talk. Bernard, who has written the A HAREM BOY’S SAGA series of books, answers questions about his books, his life, how, and why, he chose to make this the topic of his novels. This makes for compelling and honest reading, written with sincerity, and understanding for this time in Bernard’s life. I shall now move to the side, and let Bernard provide answers to burning questions he has often been asked when these topics arrive for conversation…
Character’s Name: Young
Part I: Let’s Start at the Beginning…
1. What’s your name?
Bernard Foong (a.k.a. Young)
2. Give me your full name…
Bernard Foong (a.k.a. Young)
3. Do you have a nickname?
Yes, Young. If yes, what is it and how did you come to have it?
My classmates in my UK boarding school couldn’t pronounce my Chinese name Yoong, so I became Young.
4. What species are you?
Human (Human, werewolf, etc? Or are you an alien?) I know you have some special gifts that aren’t entirely human.
5. Where/when were you born?
I was born in 1953 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (Malaya at the time of my birth. Now it is Malaysia after it obtained its independence from the British Empire).
6. Okay, now…do you believe that you are good or bad or are those terms not definable?
Part II: Tell Us More About Yourself…
8. How would you describe your personality?
Inquisitive, smart, intelligent, creative and full of vigor/vitality.
9. Would you say you’re someone who can handle pressure?
Yes. What’s a good example? When I was being summoned into the headmaster’s office to be told that I’m 5 boys (from a school of approximately 200) that I’ve been specially selected to enter a sexual secret society – The Enlightened Royal Oracle Society (E.R.O.S.) to be further educated in a more exclusive boarding school in the United Arad Emirates to be groomed to enter several Arab Household harems.
10.. Do you get along with others?
13. Who are your main enemies, people you would like to see stopped from whatever they are doing?
None. Since I’m writing about my (true-story) unique harem experiences of my adolescent life. I don’t have any enemies.
14. How about allies?
Mainly my “big-brothers”, Valets, teachers.
15. What is one things that you would like to see happen in the immediate future?
That A harem Boy’s Saga; a memoir by Young series will shed a positive and an enlightening light on main-stream society (worldwide).
Part III: Hypothetically…
16. Suppose that you could become any creature you know of. What would you pick, and why?
I wouldn’t want to be any creature but myself because I had such a positive experience during my young years in harem services.
17. One of your enemies in question 13 just complimented you. What is your response?
Love him/her unconditionally.
18. One of your friends in Question 14 just insulted you. What is your response?
At our unique education, we are specially selected by the secret society because of our positive and loving traits. Therefore, students and “big-brothers/Valets would treat insults with a grain of salt and us our positivity to dissipate the negativity.
19. If you could change anything about yourself…
I love and embrace who I am. I’m a perfect me, I don’t need to change and be somebody I’m not.
20. Tell me about where you grew up…
My childhood until 13 years of age was spent in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. From late 13 to 26 I was educated in the United Kingdom. From 14 years on, I’ve been travelling, studying, teaching all over Europe and Asia.
Part IV: Now We Get Personal…
21. What’re your parents like?
Love my nurturing mother. Did not get along with my tyrannical dad. They are both deceased.
22. Do you have any siblings?
I have 2 blood brothers, one half-brother and a half-sister.
23. What’s your occupation?
I’m a semi-retired fashion designer. I’m also an established artist. Now, I’m writing my 7 books memoirs. Do you like it? I love everything I do.
24. Are you seeing/dating anyone?
I’m in a long-term relationship. My life-partner and I have been together for 19 years.
26. If not, did you ever think about getting engaged or married and to whom?
In my memoirs, I’ve recently reconnected with my ex-big-brother/Valet/lover. If and when we do meet up and if the circumstances and situations permit, we (my life-partner, Walter, Andy – my ex-lover “big-brother”/Valet and I may decide to have a triplet relationship.
27. Tell us your biggest secret.
I had kept my E.R.O.S. and harem experiences a secret close to 40 odd years. Now, I’m ready to tell my story. Therefore my biggest secret (that is no longer a secret anymore). I’ve included a synopsis below of what my secret was.
*Synopsis: A Harem Boy’s Saga – I – Initiation; a memoir by Young.
This provocative story is about a young man who was initiated into a clandestine sexual society. He was spirited to the Middle East, from his UK boarding school. He attended the Bahriji School (Oasis,) in The United Arab Emirates in preparation for serving in Harems for the wealthy and elite.
It is also a love story between the young man and his ‘Valet’ who served as his chaperone and mentor during the boy’s Harem service.
I had a privileged and unique upbringing in Malaysia. Following in my brothers’ footsteps, I was sent to an exclusive boarding school in England. It is there that I was inducted into a clandestine organization, E.R.O.S. The Enlightened Royal Oracle Society. For four years, unbeknown to my family, I was willingly and happily part of a Harem.
My story has been kept under wraps for close to 45 years. The correct moment has arrived for me to make known my unique education.
28. Your worst fear?
One of the reason I’ve changed the actual names of people and places in my memoirs is to protect their identities so I will not be sued or have a ‘Fahwah’ put on my life because of my controversial experiences. This is not so much fear but a precaution I took to protect all the people and institutions involved. You don’t have to answer this one if you don’t want to.
29. Tell us one thing you’re the most proud of and why?
To be given this enlightened educational opportunity within such an opulently, wealthy and unique setting, to grow into a responsible citizen of the world. This, I’m grateful and truly proud of.
Bernard Foong Links
*A Harem Boy’s Saga amazon sales site (E-books and Print books for Initiation, Unbridled and Debauchery) links shorten:
*No Distance Between Us amazon sales link:
*Pinterest (contains adult content)
*Tumblr (contains adult content)
***Video trailer for all the 3 books in A Harem Boy’s Saga series (conservative version)
*Video trailer for INITIATION (sensual version)
*Video trailer for UNBRIDLED (sensual version)
*Video trailer for DEBAUCHERY (sensual version)
This is something I often consider when writing; should I leave the draft at a pivotal story moment, or at the chapter’s end. There is no straight answer, but I think it is great to do both – in other words, have one’s cake, and eat it too! But on a more serious note, it has more to do with the writer, and what they are writing – that is, the story itself.
If you find that leaving the story at a section makes you salivate to write the next instalment then this is good; it shows that the story is having an effect on you as a writer, which can make the story all the more delicious to write! On the other hand, if you find it is easier to complete the chapter, and this leaves you hanging, and anticipating to write the rest of the story, why not. It’s whatever we are comfortable with, can manage, and find stimulating in the writing process.
It also depends upon the story, and what we wish to convey through it to the reader. I am currently in this process with a mystery-romance story I’ve been working on, and I have found that leaving the story at a main point is making me want to finish it when I can, as the suspense is exciting during the writing. As a backup with everything, it is always helpful to have a breakdown of events, the ‘bare bones’ of the story that you can refer to whenever necessary, to keep you on track when completing the project.
It doesn’t mean, though, that everything has to be cut and dry; changes always occur when writing, ideas and concepts crop up that didn’t previously enter the mind, and these spur you on to write, and make the story the best it can be. And, of course, finding those ‘ah’ moments that leave you excited, and aiming to finish your manuscript!
In today’s guest post, we have the great pleasure of welcoming author Stephen Douglass to Marcia’s Book Talk. Stephen, the author of THE KING TRILOGY mystery suspense books, answers questions which he is often asked by readers, such as how he came to write, the creative process, and many other incisive questions to which Stephen provides interesting, and fascinating responses. It’s time for me to now move into the background and let you find out more about Stephen…
The first thing I want to do is to thank Marcia for the opportunity to guest post on her wonderful “Book Talk” blog.
You’re welcome Stephen, my pleasure, it’s great to have you on the blog.
One of the most effective ways an author can introduce himself to readers is to answer their questions. Here are my answers to a number of them:
Q: How did you come to writing?
A: I escaped from the daily races and disappeared into obscurity at the tender age of forty-nine. Obscurity for my wife, Ann and me was a lovely cottage on the shore of Lake Rosseau, Ontario, Canada, with a view of islands, rocks and beautiful sunsets. The area, known as Muskoka, is a destination for business owners, financial engineers, movie stars, and overpaid hockey players, all anxious to get away from the stress of it all.
Shortly after our arrival, I accepted a dinner invitation from our newest closest neighbor, the owner of another lovely cottage on the shore of an adjacent bay. While sipping brandies with our host and hostess at the conclusion of a sumptuous meal, small talk dominated until our host smiled at me and said, “It’s rather unusual for someone so young to retire and build a cottage on Lake Rosseau. What did you do for a living, Steve?”
I risked boring him with the story of my crazy life in the Canadian oil business. The brandy encouraged me to give him the longer version.
His stunned expression spoke volumes. “Holy shit!” he exclaimed. “That’s an incredible story! Have you ever considered writing a book about it?”
I shook my head and replied, “I’ve never written anything longer than an essay in university.”
“That shouldn’t deter you,” he insisted. “Your story is a piece of international crime lore. It has to be told.”
The thought of writing an entire novel brought back vivid memories of writing that essay. It was akin to root canal. I thanked him and suggested politely, “Let’s change the subject and have another drink.”
As years went by, my neighbor’s suggestion stayed with me. It continued to pester and gnaw until I finally had written The Bridge To Caracas, entirely in long hand. “Why not tell the story?” I asked myself. “It’s arguably one of the most unique crime sagas ever.” I subsequently typed it, using four fingers on a now ancient Apple 2e.
Q: How did you come up with your stories?
A: Having spent my entire working life in the oil business, the stories were choices, not decisions.
Now that I had written The Bridge To Caracas, (Vol. 1), a story requiring essentially no research, (“My crazy life in the oil business” had eliminated that requirement), The Tainted Trust,(Vol. 2), was a challenge. Suddenly I was in unchartered territory. I had not lived the story, whatever that was to be. It was obvious that the novel had to deal with the continuing destruction of Jim Servito’s stolen fortune, but I wanted it to have heart and color. Sadly, the intensity of “crazy life in the oil business” had resulted in the loss of my first marriage and custody of my daughter. I had not seen my daughter since she was nine years of age, so I decided to incorporate a less than veiled attempt to reach out to her into the plot. To this date my reach has been unsuccessful, but I remain hopeful.
Completion of The Tainted Trust, (Vol. 2), made it necessary to complete the trifecta. “You need a trilogy and you must deal with the ultimate disposition of Servito’s inconvenient fortune,” I told myself. So I did just that. This volume is from the heart of an incurable romantic. Even better, my daughter is the lead character. Maybe this will work.
Q: You have created great characters. Which one is your favorite?
A: I have three favorite characters in The King Trilogy: two antagonists, (both male), and one protagonist, (female).
The first, Jim Servito, the unscrupulous criminal in The Bridge To Caracas.
The second, Louis Visconti, the larcenous money manager in The Tainted Trust.
The third, Kerri King, the heroic survivor in Kerri’s War.
Q: Who would you cast to play the characters in a movie?
A: Jim Servito, (The Bridge To Caracas): Al Pacino.
Louis Visconti, (The Tainted Trust): Leonardo DiCaprio
Kerri King, (Kerri’s War): Jennifer Aniston, (or perhaps my daughter)
Q: Are you like any of the characters (and how so)?
A: The Bridge To Caracas, (Volume One of The King Trilogy), is faction. I am Mike King.
Q: Were the plot and subplots completely planned from the start or did they change during the process, and if so, how?
A: Both plot and subplots of all three volumes were unplanned. They changed as quickly and capriciously as the weather. The common thread throughout the trilogy is the inconvenient fortune, the enormous fruits of Jim Servito’s crimes. My objective from beginning to end was to confront the principal characters with stressful situations, then to describe their thoughts and reactions. I discovered the best way to do this is to imagine myself in the same situation, then ask myself how I would respond. Having been in stressful situations throughout my working life, this process made writing fun for me, a long way from the “root canal” of writing that essay in university.
Q: What is your main reason for writing?
A: Writing was meant to be a hobby for me, and nothing more. Shame on me for ever treating it as something more, although there is a constant temptation so to do.
Q: I’ve read only one of the books so far. What is the idea behind the series?
A: The accumulation of a gigantic and illicit fortune and its catastrophic effect on the lives of everyone who touches it. The Bridge To Caracas, (Volume One), described the accumulation of the fortune and only the beginning of the catastrophic effects. The Tainted Trust and Kerri’s War, (Volumes Two and Three), take the reader through a litany of horrific developments, all leading to and beyond the final disposition of the inconvenient fortune.
Q: What do you do when you don’t write?
A: I have a summer home near Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada, and a winter home in Port St. Lucie, Florida, U.S.A. Both homes require a considerable amount of my attention. My wife, Ann, the love of my life, and our two cats, Abby and Samantha, also require, demand my attention. To satisfy bucket list items, we travel often. Finally, when I’m free from all of the above, I play horrifying golf.
Q: Tell us one odd thing about you and one really mundane thing.
A: That’s a very difficult question. There are so many odd things about me I strain to pick one. I suppose one of the oddest is that having retired at age forty-nine, I get up in the morning with nothing to do, then return to bed at night with only half of it done.
One of the most mundane things about me is that I am an incurable romantic.
Q: Who are your favorite authors?
A: Daniel Silva
Q: What is your advice to new authors?
A: There is an inverse relationship between the level of expectation and the degree of satisfaction.
Q: What are you currently reading?
A: The Boys in the Boat. (ebook).
Q: What is your favorite book?
A: The Prize, by Daniel Yergin.
Q: What makes you laugh?
A: A politician asking me to trust him.
Q: What would you take to a lonely island?
A: A large box of matches. Rubbing sticks together takes a dreadful amount of time.
Q: How have you found the experience of self-publishing? What were your highs and lows?
A: Self-publishing a trilogy has truly been one of the most exciting things I have ever done. If I never sold a single book, all of the effort and expense would still be worth it.
If I manage to remind myself that writing for me was never meant to be anything more than a hobby, there are no lows. If I forget and allow my ego to rear its ugly head, my status as an unknown and obscure author becomes a low.
You can find me here:
*Stephen Douglass on FACEBOOK
*THE KING TRILOGY on FACEBOOK
*Stephen Douglass on LINKED IN
*Stephen Douglass on TWITTER
*Stephen Douglass GOOGLE
*Stephen Douglass on GOODREADS
-THE BRIDGE TO CARACAS
-THE TAINTED TRUST
– KERRI’S WAR
Stephen Douglass Bio
Steve spent the first half of his working career with the two largest oil companies in the world: Exxon and Royal Dutch Shell. The second half was with one of the smallest oil companies in the world: his own. Now retired, he spends his summers in Niagara Falls, Canada, and his winters in Port St. Lucie, Florida.
When he’s not reading, writing, or traveling, he’s playing bad golf.
He plans to continue writing until the day he dies, probably longer.
Today we warmly welcome author I.C. Camilleri to Marcia’s Book Talk. Isabella, author of the BLAKE mystery-thriller book series, in a brief interview, discusses her background, hobbies, and gives readers an insight into the BLAKE series, as well as her other books. And now, over to I.C. for more…
Q: Please introduce yourself and tell us something about your books.
A: I was born in 1969 on the Mediterranean island of Malta, and I was born wanting to study Medicine. My parents strived hard to give me the best education on the island. You see, life is all about priorities and my mother would buy a book for me rather than a shirt for herself. And so my parents nurtured my ambition and in 1993 I graduated in Medicine and Surgery. Shortly afterwards I moved to the UK, and this is where I still live. Medicine and writing are my passion. The Blake series is my first published work. All books in the series could be read as a stand-alone. Suggested order of reading;
The Blake Soul
The Blake Curse
The Blake Mistake
The Blake Legacy: A Fracture in Time
Q: What is the idea behind the Blake series?
A: The Blake books are supernatural thrillers with a dash of romance. I try to mould that moral fibre inside the heart of all my novels: The sanctity of human life is highlighted in The Blake Soul, the susceptible young mind lost to alcohol and drugs features in The Blake Curse and the detrimental effect of childhood psychological trauma features in The Blake Mistake. And my latest novel, The Blake Legacy: A Fracture in Time is all about peer pressure, intimidation and that desperate search for an exquisite type of pure love, a love untainted by monetary gains or sexual intentions, a love for the sake of love itself. I try to raise awareness…whether I succeed to do this in all my novels remains debatable, I guess, but the intention is there.
Q:What else have you written?
A: Week of Lies is a revenge thriller and romance set in London and it spans a fateful week of lies and deceit. The opening chapter takes us to New Year’s Day where Beth Banks wakes up to find her father dead in their multimillion pound house in London. It appears to be a suicide, but Beth has her doubts. She looks back on her previous week, her introduction into the cryptic world of Rob Menezes, the righteous law graduate desperately seeking a living, the man she has grown to love and trust despite his many facets. She sets out in search of the truth and she uncovers a dark secret that could radically change her life.
Q: Have you won any awards for your writing?
A: The Blake Curse was nominated for The People’s Book Prize UK, a national competition voted for by the public. After a three month vote The Blake Curse became one of the three finalists in the Summer 2013 Collection.
Q: What do you do when you are not writing?
A: I wish I could say cycling or swimming or something equally active but I guess I can’t lie. I should be promoting exercise but alas, listening to music and reading are my only other interests.
Thank you for reading!
Thank you for your answers I.C., I am certain readers have found your interview very interesting, and informative.
I.C. Camilleri Links
Today we have the immense pleasure of welcoming author Eve Paludan to Marcia’s Book Talk. Eve, the author of many paranormal romance and science fiction books, discusses her experience writing books on Amazon’s Kindle Worlds, and how wonderful it was to be able to write in collaboration with author J.R. Rain. This is an incisive and very helpful essay, with much pertinent information for those writers who are thinking of writing for Kindle Worlds. For more about this, here’s Eve…
Kindle Worlds: Writing Books with Other Authors’ Characters by Eve Paludan
So far, I have two Kindle Worlds titles: The Abnorm Chronicles: Glimmer and Vampire for Hire: Wolf Moon (Kingsley Fulcrum, Werewolf for Hire Book 1).
My entry into Kindle Worlds was unexpected and thrilling. In February 2014, bestselling author J.R. Rain honored me by asking me to collaborate on a novella with him for The Abnorm Chronicles. Oh, that was a fun project to write with such a professional storyteller—J.R. is a guy who can write great fight scenes and offer unexpected plot twists! It was such a joy to collaborate with J.R., who is a successful indie author in his own right. He is a million-selling author whose titles have even landed on the USA Today bestseller list. Glimmer was released on April 2, 2014, and by April 4, 2014, it was a #1 bestseller in Kindle Worlds Mystery, Thriller and Suspense Category. Even though Glimmer is not a new title, it still sporadically appears on the bestseller rankings.
Our collaborative Kindle Worlds novella, Glimmer, is based on the first book in a series, Brilliance, by Marcus Sakey and takes a cue from a character who is only mentioned offhand and not even by name in Sakey’s first book, which I thought gave us a lot of creative room to choose her for a heroine. J.R. and I gave the heroine a name, a career, a personal life, and daunting conflicts that fit the trope of Brilliance, a book in which very intelligent people are about to be microchipped by the government, tracked, and ultimately, controlled. We invented the character of Dana Marlowe, a woman whose job it is to seduce and collect genetic samples from specific brilliant men who are targeted by the company she works for—among them, Senator Blake Crouch, who is a character in Sakey’s original series. Dana’s job is tough, but someone has to do it in order to make a better world for everyone. But Dana’s boss, a scientist, may or may not be all that she seems.
Although I absolutely love writing for my own series, with my own characters, if I fall in love with a hero in someone else’s books, and he becomes my serious book boyfriend—a hero I can’t stop thinking about multiple times per day—I get quite a thrill when I see the creator of that series has a Kindle World based on his or her series. This means I can go and play in another author’s world with the hero whom I want to know, and love, and have adventures with—if only he were real, right? When, this time, J.R. Rain invited me to be a launch author, I was over the moon, and I wrote like mad. And, I had this big secret to keep for a month, until launch day for the Vampire for Hire Kindle World—I couldn’t tell everyone that I had a Kingsley and Samantha book of my very own coming and it was pure torture!
Vampire for Hire: Wolf Moon was published by Kindle Worlds on June 14, 2015, and it has been a success so far. It’s hit number one in its category quite a few times and has stayed on the bestseller rankings for 14 weeks, mostly in the top ten of Kindle Worlds Science Fiction and Fantasy. Now, I’m working on Vampire for Hire: Wolf Crimes (Kingsley Fulcrum, Werewolf for Hire Book 2). I can’t wait to again play with Kingsley Fulcrum in a new adventure where he, Samantha Moon, Fang, and others from the original series, love, fight, laugh and solve crimes—or sometimes, commit them.
Kingsley is currently my favorite book boyfriend—he’s a very sexy and funny werewolf and when he blows it, he always manages to redeem himself in the last few pages. The most fun I ever had writing a novella was when I wrote Wolf Moon and apparently, it shows, because many readers like my own take on the big, hairy, strong Kingsley, the wonderful werewolf lawyer character who was created by J.R. Rain.
KINDLE WORLDS TIPS
1. SERIES: If you get an idea for a Kindle Worlds novel, based on a series that you know well and love, think about creating your own series within that World, which Kindle Worlds allows you to do when submitting your book or novella. During the submission process, you will have a chance to fill in the blank (or not) that lets you name your series in the Amazon catalog. I recommend you think in terms of three books for your Kindle Worlds series within that world. If you only write one book in a World, you are not going to have quite the stunning reader reception that a series elicits. Trust me on this.
2. PRICING: The prices of Kindle Worlds books and stories are based on word count, and Kindle Worlds has all of the price control. Authors do not. KW may also put your book on sale for 99 cents on occasion, even if it is $1.99 on the launch. I cannot get a definitive answer in writing, but I was told that if my book’s word count surpassed 50,000 words, then Kindle Worlds would offer my book at a higher price. To me, that meant that I would likely have less sales at the higher price. My opinion is that Kindle Worlds authors should aim for volume sales because the royalty is only going to be 35%, so you’ll need a lot of sales to make it into the black (if you pay professionals for editing and a book cover). Authors, I recommend that you keep your Kindle Worlds works under 50,000 words and hopefully, that will mean a $1.99 price point. At the $1.99 cover price, the author’s royalty would be just under 69 cents per sale. So, if your book sold 400 copies in a month, that would be roughly $272 in author royalties.
The minimum word limit for a Kindle Worlds story is 5,000 words and the price point for those shorts seems to be 99 cents. As a reader, I think that’s too short. But then, I like to spend time with a story’s characters and get to know and love them before I arrive at THE END.
3. LIMITED DISTRIBUTION: So far, the Kindle Worlds novels that I have written were only sold through Amazon.com and were not offered in any international Amazon venues. I am not sure if this is across the board with every “World,” but I’m hoping that my Kindle Worlds titles will soon be offered to my reader fans in other countries. It has been very hard for my die-hard international fans that they are not permitted to purchase Vampire for Hire: Wolf Moon.
4. ROYALTY STATEMENTS: Authors have to log into Author Central to see their Kindle Worlds sales and they are not posted daily, as they are in KDP. Once a month, you will get your royalty statement via Author Central that shows your Kindle Worlds sales. And, they lag behind the KDP reporting, which is a completely different reporting system. If you are looking for your August Kindle Worlds royalty statement, it should show up on September 30th. The sign-ups for Kindle Worlds and Author Central are separate, but if you submit a Kindle Worlds title, you need to also sign up with Author Central since that’s where your royalties are reported.
I’ve written more than thirty titles, but I hope you’ll first check out my Kindle Worlds novellas:
Vampire for Hire: Wolf Moon (Kingsley Fulcrum, Werewolf for Hire, Book One) by Eve Paludan
The Abnorm Chronicles: Glimmer by J.R. Rain and Eve Paludan
I think you will love Kindle Worlds as much as I do. As a reader, and as an author. Kindle Worlds offers wonderful opportunities to play in other authors’ worlds. You should check it out. It’s a blast!
If you want to know more about writing for the Vampire for Hire Kindle World, please check out “10 Tips for Writing for the Vampire for Hire Kindle World” here
Thank you to Marcia Carrington for this terrific guest blog opportunity. You are an amazing Twitter friend and author!
Likewise Eve, it was lovely to have you on the blog today!
EVE PALUDAN BIO: Eve Paludan is a bestselling author of more than thirty books. She lives in Mesa, Arizona, where she writes fiction and enjoys reading paranormal fiction, urban fantasy, romance and mysteries. She also enjoys taking scenic photos and swimming. All of her books are exclusively available on Amazon here
Eve’s Goodreads Page
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