Marketing with Mandy Author Spotlight: NJ Walters
Q: Tell us a little about your experience with Samhain Publishing and Ellora’s Cave.
A: My first ebook was released back in October of 2004 and, since that time, I’ve had 56 books published and have more under contract. My experience has been an incredible one. I’ve worked with many different editors, all whom have all made me a much better writer. The production staff at both companies has been extremely professional and wonderful to work with. The authors I’ve met and worked are the kindest and most generous people I’ve ever known. I’ve seen my readership grow and I am very grateful to all the people who have paid their hard-earned money to purchase my books. It’s been an incredible journey and I feel as though I’m only getting started.
Q: What tips/tricks do you use for marketing or promoting your own titles?
A: I’m not very comfortable with technology and I’ve had to step way beyond my comfort zone the past six years or so, learning skills I never dreamed I’d need. Time is precious to a writer, so I try to focus on venues where I know readers will be. Social media has opened up many new opportunities for writers and I enjoy chatting to readers at Yahoo groups and on Facebook. Blogging is fun too and I also have a newsletter. There are always lots of opportunities for networking with other authors or with romance review websites. I’ve done interviews, guest blogs and been part of group contests as well.
Q: What is one thing you’d want to tell a newer author, just coming into the game?
A: Don’t be afraid if you aren’t the most techno savvy person out there. It can be very overwhelming, believe me I do understand. Start simple with a website and blog. When I started you had to pay someone to build your website for you unless you were a computer geek. Now there are many sites that offer easy website building software as part of the packages they offer. They’re easy for you to use and update. I know this only because my hubby recently got his own website. I’ve taught myself to update my original website and have made some changes over the years.
And Blogger is great place for a beginner. If I can build my own blog there, so can you!
Q: Could you tell us a bit about your latest release?
A: My latest book is Quinn’s Quest (February 21, 2012) and it’s part of my Legacy werewolf series being released by Samhain Publishing.
Kidnapped and held in a crazy doctor’s underground laboratory, Bethany Morris only manages to escape because Chrissten, one of her fellow abductees, creates an opportunity—by shifting into a werewolf.
Bethany’s desperate for help, but who’ll believe her story? The police? That’ll just buy her a one-way ticket to a padded room—because here’s the kicker: she’s discovered she’s a half-breed werewolf. Her only hope is to find Chrissten’s brother.
Quinn Lawton’s long, grinding search for his missing twin has turned up nothing…until Bethany rekindles his hope. Something else catches flame too—her heat cycle and a searing attraction branded with the word mate. Yet with so much blood on his hands, any future he might offer is already tainted beyond redemption.
Desperate for Quinn’s touch alone, Bethany has no choice but to take Quinn up on his offer to quell her terrifying need, no strings attached. And hope that as the search for Chrissten intensifies, the battle with their personal demons doesn’t destroy their razor-thin chance at forever.
Q: Can you tell us a little about your current WIP’s?
A: I’m currently working on another Awakening Desires book for Ellora’s Cave. This one features one of the remaining Jewel sisters that readers met in Jackson’s Jewel, an earlier book in the series. Take one hunky bodyguard, one very independent woman and put them in a secluded cabin for two days and what you get is a whole lot of sexual tension that eventually boils over.
After this book I’ll be working on a brand new paranormal quartet, which I’m very excited about. But don’t worry Legacy fans, the next two books in the series have already been written and contracted.
Q: How did you get into writing?
A: Like many writers, I was a reader first. Back in the mid-nineties, I had some time off and, with my husband’s encouragement, decided to try my hand at writing my own book. Of course, it was a romance. That’s what I read.
That original manuscript was turned down by an early epublisher, but the editor took the time to give me some good advice. Many, many rewrites later, that book became my very first Samhain Publishing release—Discovering Dani—which came out in 2006, more than ten years after I first wrote it. It’s amazing how much I’ve changed as a writer since that first book, but I still love that story!
Q: How do balance family and writing?
A: That’s a trick question and one I struggle to find the answer to almost daily. I honestly don’t know how women with kids manage to balance everything. I find it difficult enough with my husband and the rest of my family.
I love writing but there is no nine-to-five as there used to be with set days off. I write in the mornings because that’s what works best for me. The afternoons are reserved for the myriad other tasks that come with being a published writer. I try to take weekends off but even then I check my emails, Facebook and various groups I belong to. But if I have edits from my editor then I’m working weekends too.
I think this is something most writers struggle with. When you love what you do the tendency is to always be doing it. That’s the way it’s been for me the past seven years. My goals this year are to develop some other interests away from reading and writing and to focus on my health.