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Author: Anna Abner

Interview with 13th Floor Author Christine Rains

Or, Why I Can’t Wait to Read Dragonslayer!

Firstthreenovellas13thFloorsmall

Christine Rains is a writer, blogger, and geek mom. She has four degrees which help nothing with motherhood, but make her a great Jeopardy player. She lives in southern Indiana with her husband and son in a cozy little house stuffed full of books and games. She’s a member of Untethered Realms and S.C.I.F.I. She has twenty short stories and five novellas published.

Anna Abner: First, thank you so much for stopping by on your blog tour for the third novella in the 13th Floor Series, Dragonslayer. Can you start by telling us about your writing schedule?

Christine Rains: As a stay-at-home mom, I have no specific writing schedule. If my son naps, I’ll get an hour or two in the afternoon. I might get an hour at night if I’m lucky. My son also goes to preschool twice a week, and I use those few hours in the morning to write. That is the only time I can be certain I’ll get to write.

AA: Your hero and heroine in 1301 are old enough to have a few wrinkles and a little gray in their hair. What made you choose to write slightly older characters?

CR: I read a lot of paranormal romances. There are a lot of young and rash characters. Even if they’re thousands of years old, they still behave that way. I wanted a couple who were more set in their personalities. I wanted strength through wisdom, and besides, a little gray hair can be sexy.

AA: I agree! Speaking of rash, supernatural characters, do you feel like your writing is more character or plot driven?

CR: Definitely character driven. I focus much more on my characters and let them propel the story forward. One of my idols, Stephen King, has amazing characterization skills. I strive to bring the people who live in my head to life on paper as brilliantly as he does.

AA: I’d say you’re doing a great job. Up to this point you’ve written about demons, vampires, and werewolves. What characters do you have planned for upcoming stories in the series?

CR: In my newest novella, there are dragons. Modern day dragons who are still hoarding and seeking power. The next book will feature a harpy who works for Zeus, and you’ll see my twist to the Greek pantheon. The vampire will return in the fifth story narrated by a banshee named Harriet. Poor girl has a rough life!

AA: 1301 and 1302 take place in Carmine on the same night. Will all the 13th Floor stories take place around that same time?

CR: Yes. All the books will take place around the same time period in the city except for the fourth book which will mostly take place out of this realm of existence. It will still be during the same time as the other stories, though.

AA: How do you develop new characters and story ideas?

CR: A lot of my ideas come from dreams and simple wonderings about the world. I like to play with ideas and characters in my head before I put pen to paper, or rather, fingers to keyboard. I’m a pantser, so all I need is one good character and I can start writing.

AA: When you’re not writing what do you enjoy doing?

CR: I love to spend time with my son and see the world anew through his eyes. I’m an avid reader and movie addict. I also love the outdoors and would happily spend my days walking in the woods if the weather was nice.

AA: What advice would you give to struggling writers just starting out?

CR: Don’t be intimidated by everything you read. Write what you love and don’t stop writing. Not for anything. Never give up on your dreams. Perseverance will see you through.

AA: Finally, what can you tell us about 1303: Dragonslayer?

CR: Dragons have not gone extinct. They have taken on human form and blended in with our society, hiding in plain sight as famous and powerful individuals. While the dragons use their influence to gain more power, dragonslayers are forced into the shadows and deemed outlaws. In my novella, a dragonslayer named Xan misses his target and incurs the dragon’s wrath. He also picks up an unwanted passenger in the form of hard-edged reporter Lois King. She’s a skeptic and won’t believe him, but he must convince her or else they both could die.

AA: Sounds exciting! Thank you again for the interview, and good luck with all your future projects.

Christineauthorsmall

Contact Christine:

Website: http://christinerains.net/

Blog: http://christinerains-writer.blogspot.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/@CRainsWriter

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorchristinerains

Email: christinerains.writer@gmail.com

 

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Tuesday Tease #4

Or, A Short Excerpt from my Paranormal Romance Spell of Binding!

(Book 2 in the Dark Caster Series is a romance between the witch Daniela Ferraro and David Wilkes, the man she can never have. However, this scene I wrote for the novel in Cole Burkov’s point of view excited me so much I wanted to share it first.)

Cole drew the knife across his forearm, avoiding the raised scars laid out like tally marks. A running count of accessed power. Necromancy had never belonged to him, just lived in his veins.

Blood bubbled up from the new wound and rolled down the length of his arm. Power sizzled into his fingertips.

Spell of Binding, ms pg. 22

<3 Anna

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12 Free Promotion Ideas That Work

Or, How to Get People to Notice Your Book

I’m a new indie author with a book to promote, but I don’t have a lot of money to spend on marketing. So, I’m all about free easy ways to get my name and novel out in front of a lot of different people. Here is a list of things (in no particular order) that have worked for me.

I’m assuming you have a website or a blog already set up.

  1. Write a press release with a “local girl (or boy) does well” spin and send it to your hometown newspaper.
  2. Reach out to book clubs and offer your novel for them to read. Be prepared to visit the group for a Q&A.
  3. Set up an author page on each of the sites you publish on. And don’t forget Goodreads!
  4. Write an article and be the guest speaker on a blog. Invite other authors to guest on your blog.
  5. Write interesting and topical blog posts at least three times per week.
  6. Post an interview with another new, indie author on your blog. Ask if they will reciprocate.
  7. Give away a free copy of your book through your site or on Facebook.
  8. Publish your novel on other sites besides Amazon, like Barnes and Noble, All Romance eBooks, Smashwords, Lulu, and CreateSpace.
  9. Become an expert in social media. Blog, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, TumblrGoogle+, etc., etc.
  10. Launch any new blog series, event, and definitely your latest book release with social media fanfare.
  11. Comment on popular blogs in your genre.
  12. Get your novel reviewed by popular book bloggers. If it’s a positive review, use it as free advertising on your site and your author pages.

<3 Anna

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The Real Buster(s) From S.O.S.

Or, Photos of the Sweetest Labradors in the Whole World

Can you picture Buster in these two beautiful dogs? Change one’s fur to blond and give him a bit of a jumping problem, and it’s Holden’s little buddy in my new release, Spell of Summoning.

 

Buster 4 SOS

 

Buster 1 SOS

 

Below is the view I imagine Rebecca had moments before this scene: (Sorry, Becca!)

          Buster’s ears perked up. Holden dug in his heels, but Buster was eighty-five pounds of overgrown puppy. He launched himself at Rebecca full force as if he had springs for feet. The leash jerked out of Holden’s hand, and before he could stop him, his dog scratched both her knees, untucked her white blouse, and slammed her against her car. 

 Spell of Summoning pg. 2

Buster 2 SOS

 

As a bonus, here is the (fictional) Bull Dog Inn in (the very real) Jacksonville, NC–external staircase and all. This is not Rebecca’s favorite place. 😉

 

bull dog inn SOS

 

What I imagine the Powell House looks like. Just picture a bigger tree in the yard and missing roof tiles.

 

Powell House 3 SOS

 

Holden’s stripped down 1979 Jeep. Can’t you see Buster sitting in the front seat?

 

1979 jeep cj5

<3 Anna

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Christine Rains’ 1303: Dragonslayer Blog Tour Announced

Or, Check Out Christine Rains’ Exclusive Interview Right Here on Feb. 15

I’m thrilled to announce that Christine Rains, author of the 13th Floor series, will be stopping by on Feb. 15 for an interview to promote her new release, Dragonslayer.

Check out the new cover! And if you haven’t read her first two volumes in the series, they’re fantastic!

TheDragonslayercoversmall<3 Anna

 

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Write a Press Release in 10 Steps

Or, How I Taught Myself Promotion

When you’re a small-time, self-published author like me you have to be your own PR department and take over everything from running a website to convincing bloggers to review your book. Throw into that list writing your own press releases.

Unless you’re super famous or have a topical book to promote you probably won’t see any stories in national newspapers and magazines about you or your book. But, just maybe, your local newspaper will be interested in printing a story about a local girl (or boy) who followed her (or his) dreams to publication. I believe it’s worth your time to write a press release and email it to your local journalists and news desks.

1. Start your email with your full contact info and a friendly greeting (personalized, if possible). You can find the appropriate editors and email addresses on the newspaper’s website.

2. Print FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE at the start to signal the journalist when the actual article begins and that it is news ready to be printed.

3. Write a catchy headline. This is the first impression most people will have of the article and, by extension, you and your book. I followed the same rule of thumb for billboards–7 words or less. And capitalize the first letter of each word.

4. At the beginning of the first paragraph print your location in all caps and then the date.

5. The first paragraph should have the most important information about you and your story and the reason you’re both interesting or topical enough to warrant printing the article. Think about the 5 W’s of journalism. And don’t forget quotes or snippets of reviews (if you have them). End with a hook. But you knew that one already!

6. The next one or two paragraphs give more information on you, your story, and your book. But keep the whole thing short and snappy. Shoot for between 200 and 500 words.

7. Include where the book is available and add a link to your website or blog.

8. Attach your cover art or an author photo.

9. End the press release with ### to let journalists know the article is finished.

10. Final reminders: Write the release in the 3rd person and the way a non-partial  professional journalist would write it.  It should look like other, similar stories printed in that publication. And don’t be afraid to send a new press release out if your novel suddenly becomes topical or you can link it to a current event.

If you’re a new author and you’re not sure how to get the word out about your book, a nicely worded press release to the local paper can wield positive results.

<3 Anna

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My (Imaginary) Love Affair with Eddie Redmayne

Or, Why I Can’t Get Les Miserables Out of My Mind

Eddie Redmayne

I will admit I have a thing for redheads. When I was younger Eric Stoltz made me all fluttery. I think Prince Harry is way hotter than his brother. And Seth Green’s Oz from Buffy the Vampire Slayer starred in many of my adolescent daydreams.

So, when I saw Les Miserables it wasn’t Hugh Jackman’s scruffy Jean Valjean that grabbed my attention, but Eddie Redmayne’s lovesick Marius.

Naturally, I needed to see more of my new crush, which meant discovering heart-breaking little gems like Birdsong and Tess of the D’Urbervilles. It turns out Mr. Redmayne not only sings like an angel, but he’s a talented and award-winning actor. Check out his IMDB page for “date night” ideas here.

And don’t be surprised when the hero of my upcoming young adult series has shaggy auburn hair and soulful green eyes reminiscent of a certain British actor.

<3 Anna

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My New View

Or, Congratulations to Me

Anna'a Flowers

 

Three very special fans sent me bouquets of flowers in honor of the launch of Spell of Summoning. Now I get to write seeing and smelling the most beautiful flowers. Thank you for brightening my week!

 

<3 Anna

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Tuesday Tease #3

Or, A Short Excerpt from my Paranormal Romance Spell of Summoning!

April in North Carolina didn’t have the sticky heat that would settle over the state during the summer months, but it was warm. Sweat tickled at the back of Holden Clark’s neck. But not because of the weather. He’d lied to a woman to get her here.

Well, lie was a strong word. He’d rather say he’d persuaded a woman to join him for lunch under false pretenses. Because he wasn’t a liar. In fact, he prided himself on his honesty.

But he couldn’t think of any other way to get Rebecca Powell to meet him here. Telling her the truth over the phone was out of the question.

Buster, Holden’s yellow Labrador, sat up off the asphalt and whined at an approaching, slow-moving vehicle. This must be her.

A silver Lexus pulled over and parked two spots down in the half-empty lot, giving Holden plenty of room to watch Rebecca Powell through her car windows. Grams was right. No doubt about it, the woman was under a summoning spell, and the demon trying desperately to break into their world clung to Ms. Powell’s blonde hair and narrow shoulders like a filthy veil.

“Tell her whatever you have to,” Grams said, rounding the hood of his stripped-down 1979 Jeep. “She doesn’t have much time.”

He leaned against the passenger door, his fingers tightening to the point of pain around Buster’s long, braided leash. The air between him and Rebecca crackled with magical energy. The spell on her was no amateurish accident. It was stronger than anything he’d ever experienced. Fear coiled inside him. He couldn’t help her. No matter what his Grams said.

Spell of Summoning, ms pg 1

<3 Anna

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Tuesday Tease #2

Or, A Short Excerpt from my Paranormal Romance Spell of Summoning!

Holden frowned, his gaze criss-crossing her face. “Am I wrong?”

“That’s private.” Rebecca pointed at her car. “I have a lot of work to do.” That wasn’t true. Not completely. She owned her own office. She made her own schedule.

He looked her right in the eye and leaned in even closer. Way too close. Kissing range close. “A necromancer is targeting you for a full blown demon possession. I can help you, if you let me.”

Becca swallowed, overwhelmed with the urge to retreat. His body heat rolled over her like a wave. “What do you–”

“I know what’s happening because I’m a necromancer, too.”

Spell of Summoning, ms pg. 11

<3 Anna

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