Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Praise Her, Praise Diana

Today  I am delighted to host Anne Rothman-Hicks and Ken Hicks, authors of PRAISE HER, PRAISE DIANA. There is a fantastic giveaway at the bottom of this post. Don't miss it!
Call it life imitating art—author Maggie Edwards publishes a chapter of a book detailing seduction, murder and castration by a protagonist named Diana, and suddenly a woman code-named Diana begins to mimic her actions in real time. Women who have been abused find Diana to be an inspirational figure, and begin to fight back in her name. Soon violence erupting throughout New York City threatens to spiral out of control. As the police try desperately to identify Diana, Maggie's high-powered lawyer, Jane Larson, finds herself at the center of an investigation that threatens to upend the entire world around her.

About the authors

Anne Rothman-Hicks and Kenneth Hicks have been married for a little over forty years and have produced about twenty books and exactly three children so far. At press-time, they still love their children more.

Their most recent novels have been set in New York City, where they have lived for most of their married lives. Anne is a graduate of Bryn Mawr College where, in nineteen sixty-nine, as the fabled Sixties were drawing to a close, she met Ken, who was a student at Haverford College. They don't like to admit that they met at a college mixer, but there it is!

Together their books include Theft of the Shroud, a novel; Starfinder, a non-fiction book about the stars for children; a series of books on individual names for children (for example Michael's Book, Elizabeth's Book, John's Book, Jennifer's Book, David's Book, Amy's Book); and, most recently, Kate and the Kid, Mind Me, Milady, and Praise Her, Praise Diana, three adult novels, and a middle reader/tween novel, Things Are Not What They Seem.

Ken and Anne have a website with the address set out below. There they have links to some of their books and display images that they hope will be used in future efforts. In case you were wondering about the website address, "R" is for Rothman, "H" is for Hicks, and 71 is the year of their marriage. No secret codes or numerology anywhere. Sorry.
Author Links


$35 Amazon gift card


Sunday, 3 May 2015

Chocolate biscuits and Author Talks!

How to hold a successful author talk...Or 5 things I will do next time!

A few weeks ago, I held my first ever author talk at my local library, a very small, but very friendly place.  

In preparation for the event I designed a powerpoint presentation about how I became a published author, about my writing in general, and the inspiration behind A SPELL IN PROVENCE, my contemporary romantic suspense. I rehearsed and timed the talk to make sure it wouldn't be too long, and selected a couple of excerpts from the novel to read out. On the day of the talk, I went up to the library early to set up a display of books and postcards.  

All I needed was enough courage to get through the afternoon ... and an audience.

Sadly, if I managed to overcome my nerves, the audience did not materialise. Only three people came - and one of them made no secret of the fact he was only there for the librarian's offer of tea and McVities' chocolate biscuits!

Although disappointed at first, I decided to be positive. It was after all my very first chance to talk about myself as a writer, and the ideal opportunity to put into practice an excellent piece of advice I had been given: to make direct eye contact with as many members of the audience as possible. With only three people in attendance, this was going to be easy!

So what did I learn from the event and what would I do differently if I had the chance to do my talk all over again?

Next time...

1. I will be been less self-conscious and advertise the event more widely, for example by contacting local book clubs and other libraries in the area.

2. I will prepare for technology failure and have backup visuals. My powerpoint presentation didn't run as smoothly as planned because the library's computer froze several times.

3. I will not hesitate to tactfully interrupt people who are voicing opinions or talking about things which are not exactly relevant and tell them there will be time for questions and discussions later.

4. I will make the event a multi-sensory occasion. If the talk is about A SPELL IN PROVENCE once again, I will have a display of lavender sachets, scented savons de Marseille or samples of typical Proven├žal products. I could even have music in the background before and after the talk. 

 5. I will organise a giveaway or a competition to attract more people.

Of course, I could just forget all that and make sure I have plenty of chocolate biscuits!
What do you think of my tips for a successful author talk, and do you have any great tips you have used yourself?