Saturday, 8 June 2013

Bianca Sloane, author of Live And Let Die

Live And Let Die by Bianca Sloane is available for the Kindle app from Amazon:
US: Live and Let Die by Bianca Sloane
UK: Live and Let Die by Bianca Sloane

Live And Let Die by Bianca Sloane
Live And Let Die by Bianca Sloane

On a bitterly cold January evening, Tracy Ellis went for a jog along Chicago’s snowy lakefront and disappeared. Her body was discovered days later, her beautiful face bashed in with a rock. Police determine her brutal death to be a mugging gone wrong and drop the matter into their cold case files.

Over a year later, Tracy’s sister, Sondra, still can’t come to grips with what happened. She throws herself into her work as a documentary filmmaker to try and forget the cruelty of her sister’s death. However, a chance encounter with a man from Tracy’s past rips the wound open and sends Sondra on a desperate search for answers about the secrets from her sister’s life that may have led to her death.

As Sondra struggles to uncover what happened to Tracy, she’s launched into a tangled web of deceit and danger that put her on a collision course with life and death…

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Author Quiz interviews Bianca Sloane

What is it you love most about writing?
I love the creativity of writing, the process of letting your imagination run wild and crafting a story around characters, places and situations that have been swirling around your head for weeks, months, even years. Most of all, writing is just so much fun to me; it’s hard to imagine doing anything else. 

What is it about your usual genre that appeals to you most as a writer?
I write suspense novels about the dark side of love and for me, the suspense genre allows me to delve into the complicated emotional bonds that exist between husbands and wives, lovers, even friends – and how those bonds can fray to the point of murder.     

If you could choose someone famous to record your book in audiobook format, who would you choose as the voice and why?
What a great question!  If I could choose someone famous to record the audiobook for “Live and Let Die,” it would be Halle Berry. Her voice has such a smooth, soothing quality to it, that I think it would really do my characters justice. 

Are any of your characters based heavily on people you know or have met from real life and if so, would they regard it as a compliment or an insult to discover they were the inspiration for the character in question?
Sondra and Tracy, the sisters in “Live and Let Die,” are somewhat based on my two younger sisters – one is a total princess and the other one could care less what she’s wearing.  They think it’s funny I incorporated a bit of them into my characters and take it as a compliment. 

Are there any good book blogs or websites you would recommend, both for discovering new books and authors, and also for promoting your own work?
There are so many incredible websites that are so supportive of indie authors.  Some that I would recommend authors check out are:

Do you foresee more and more authors making a living from their writing?
Definitely.  It’s a great time to be an author, as the role of the traditional gatekeeper has changed, allowing a lot more talented and unique voices to emerge and do really well.  This has been last creative industry to really embrace the indie point of view, as the indie filmmaker and indie musician have been lauded for years.  It was bound to happen in publishing.

What strategy do you use for getting reviews?
I’ve never asked friends or family to provide me with book reviews, nor will I.  It kind of irks me to see a poorly written, poorly edited book bursting with glowing 4 and 5 star reviews.  The only conclusion you can draw is that friends and family provided the reviews, which I think ultimately does more harm than good for not only that author, but all indie authors. 

My personal strategy has been to request reviews from book bloggers and develop those relationships.  I googled “suspense book bloggers,” and started combing the Internet for bloggers interested in reviewing suspense books.  From there, I created an Excel spreadsheet to keep track of the names and just started requesting reviews.  It’s a lot of work, takes a lot of time and not everyone you ask will want to give you a review.  However, I think it’s a great way to cultivate readers over the long haul and worth the investment of time.  I’ve even had some readers say they bought my book specifically because of a good review from a book blogger.

Can you remember the moment when you logged into your author account and discovered you had made your first sale?
I think I may have gasped and then was a little surprised, then a little happy.  Then I went back to working on my next book.

What advice would you give to a new author who has just finished writing their first novel and is unsure as to what steps to take next?
First, once you finish your manuscript, take a little bit of time away from it, then come back and read the work with fresh eyes.  It’s amazing how much perspective you gain when you do that. 

Second, once you feel it’s “perfect,” find a brutally honest friend or family member to act as your “First Reader” and give you feedback.  I’d also recommend finding a critique partner.  I found mine through and she’s awesome.  I think it’s really critical to get the eye of another writer who can alert you to plot holes, structural issues, etc, that you or your First Reader may have missed.  

If you decide to go the Indie route, research, research, research.  Learn absolutely everything you can about this business. A great resource is J.A. Konrath’s blog.  Even better, buy his ebook, “Newbies Guide to Publishing.”  He gives great, unvarnished advice and insight about the publishing industry from all sides. 

Even if you decide to pursue a traditional publishing deal, research, research, research.

Further, if you decide to go the indie route, the three best things you can do are to find a professional cover designer (unless you’re a crack designer) a professional formatter and a professional proofreader.  I cannot stress this last one enough.  Do not put your faith in your own self-editing skills.  I promise you, no matter how good you think you are, you will miss you something.  Do not rely on your best friend or your cousin to proof your book as a favor.  Find someone who charges money and has an extensive background in proofreading.  Readers will nail you for typos, grammar and other infractions.  Hiring a professional is the best and most important investment you can make in your book and ultimately in your career as a professional author.

What sort of audience will your book, “Live and Let Die” most appeal to?
“Live and Let Die” will appeal to women (and maybe even a few men!) who love watching Lifetime movies during the day, then switching over to watch the Investigation Discovery channel at night.

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Bianca Sloane, author of Live and Let Die
Thanks for your comments, Bianca, and good luck with your writing.

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Discover more about Bianca Sloane and her writing at her website and blog:

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Follow Bianca Sloane on twitter and pinterest:
Twitter: @BiancaSloane
Pinterest: Bianca Sloane

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Live And Let Die by Bianca Sloane is available for the Kindle app from Amazon:
US: Live and Let Die by Bianca Sloane
UK: Live and Let Die by Bianca Sloane

And also available from Smashwords, Barnes & Noble and Kobo Books:
Barnes & Noble
Kobo Books

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