Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing Charlene Hartnady author of A Mate for York. The first book in The Program series.
Were you good at English?
Yes, I’ve always done okay in the languages department. My family moved to Holland for a few years when I was fifteen and English was my second language during that time. As a result, my spelling isn’t the best. My editor and beta readers have to work overtime.
What are your ambitions for your writing career?
I’m hoping to make the New York Times list in the New Year. Otherwise no great ambitions. I’m loving life. I love writing. I’m thankful everyday that I get to be an author as a career. *pinches self*
Which writers inspire you?
JR Tolkien, David Gemmel are two fantasy authors that come to mind immediately. I read a ton of Stephan King and Dean R Koontz growing up. I like to read contemporary romance. Authors like Meghan March and Samantha towle. Even though I mainly stick to romance, I enjoy reading a variety of different works across different genres. It keeps things fresh and interesting.
So, what have you written?
(*Include books, novellas, short stories, poems, blogs, awards or anything of interest.)
The Demon Chaser series were the first set of works that I published. They are all novella length about a Demon Control Agency whose task it is to keep the existence of demons a secret. The agents must keep the demons in line and protect humans at all costs.
Then I wrote a bestselling, six part serial call Chosen by the Vampire Kings. From there things took off for me and I was able to resign from my full time job in order to pursue a writing career. I wrote several books about various characters within the same world of vampires, shifters and elves.
My recent series is called The Program. It is set in the same world focusing on the vampires. The females of the species are mostly unable to birth live young and a program is started to ensure the continuation of the vampires. Human woman apply to take part and are introduced to vampire males, under strict controls, in the hopes that pairings will occur. Of course things don’t always go as planned.
Where can we buy or see them? (* include American, European and any other relevant links. Free, free promotions or prices can be included)
My books are available in all Amazon stores. They are only available on this platform at this time. (See below for all the links)
Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special?
What are you working on at the minute?
I’m working on A Mate for Griffin, Book 4 of The Program series.
What’s it about? (*if relevant)
What genre are your books?
What draws you to this genre?
Who doesn’t love romance? I love all the chemistry and conflict and then of course the happily ever after. Paranormal is so much fun to write. I love being able to let my imagination run wild.
Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead character from your most recent book?
My most recent release was A Mate for Lazarus (The Program Series Book 3). The main character is a really big, gruff vampire. It would need to be a monster of a man. Maybe the guy who played Thor (Not sure what his name is)…only with less hair. My vampires don’t have a ton of hair.
How much research do you do?
Not all that much. I’ve had a couple of books that included child birth, so I had to research that. I’ve had to research birth control. In my most recent book, the heroine is a journalist so there was some research involved there.
Have you written any other novels in collaboration with other writers?
Never. I’m not sure it’s something I would want to do.
Why did you do decide to collaborate and did that affect your sales?
When did you decide to become a writer?
I started writing as a child. I started several novels before finally finishing one in my early thirties.
Why do you write?
I adore reading. I remember curling up with a good book and thinking that there was nothing better. I could read for hours on end and still do. It was a natural progression from reading to writing. I never thought that I would ever publish or make a living at it but looking back it makes perfect sense.
What made you decide to sit down and actually start something?
I’m not sure what it was exactly. I initially, and for many years, wrote for the sake of writing. I didn’t start out writing to be published. I did it for the love of the craft.
Do you write full-time or part-time?
Going on a year full time and loving every minute of it.
Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured?
Do you write every day, 5 days a week or as and when?
I try and take weekends off but it doesn’t always work that way
Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages per day?
I aim for 17k per week. I sometimes hit higher. I think that being consistent is key.
Do you write on a typewriter, computer, dictate or longhand?
I dictate on occasion but prefer to type. It’s not that dictation doesn’t work, I just prefer the process more when typing on a computer
Where do your ideas come from?
Your guess is as good as mine. I think from everyday life. Someone will say something, or I’ll see something and it will spark something. A small idea can grow into something amazing. You just have to be open to the possibilities.
Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?
I do a very basic outline which often changes drastically
How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?
I have definitely evolved since I wrote the Demon Chaser series. It is important to take on a stance of learning and growing. We are never done when it comes to improving ourselves.
What is the hardest thing about writing?
The whole process is hard work but it is also incredibly rewarding. Nothing beats the feeling of writing The End.
What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book?
What is the easiest thing about writing?
For me, it’s the editing. I love bringing out the story. Stephan King likened the process to excavating a fossil. At first it looks like a big rock and after several processes you start to get a skeleton.
How long on average does it take you to write a book?
About a month on average
Do you ever get writer’s Block?
No, you have to write no matter what. Some days I write fast and on others I write slow but I always write
Any tips on how to get through the dreaded writer’s block?
If this book is part of a series, tell us a little about it?
What are your thoughts on writing a book series.
Readers become invested in the characters and the world. That is why a series works so well. I always try to think as a reader when writing and planning. I always ask myself what my readers would want. I often get mails and messages which I also take into consideration. As a reader I love series…I will keep writing them
Do you read much and if so who are your favourite authors.
For your own reading, do you prefer ebooks or traditional paper/hard back books?
What book/s are you reading at present?
Neil Gaiman Neverwhere.
Do you proofread/edit all your own books or do you get someone to do that for you?
I have an editor and 2 beta readers. I’m in the process of appointing a second editor for proofreading a final time.
Do you let the book stew – leave it for a month and then come back to it to edit?
I write a pretty clean first draft (typos aside) which goes straight to my editor. I then start the next book. My editor keeps it for a week on the first run through – this is my stew time.
Who edited your book and how did you select him/her?
Tell us about the cover/s and how it/they came about.
Who designed your book cover/s?
Do you think that the cover plays an important part in the buying process?
Huge. A cover must depict genre and give an overall feel for the book
How are you publishing this book and why?
(*e.g. Indie, traditional or both)
What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing against being published or the other way around?
The advantage to being indie is having control over every step of the process. The disadvantage is that it’s a ton of work
How do you market your books?
Why did you choose this route?
Would you or do you use a PR agency?
Do you have any advice for other authors on how to market their books?
What part of your writing time do you devote to marketing your book?
As little as possible.
What do you do to get book reviews?
I have a small ARC team. My reviews are mostly organic
How successful has your quest for reviews been so far?
Do you have a strategy for finding reviewers?
What are your thoughts on good/bad reviews?
Good reviews make my day. Bad reviews hurt but some of them offer valuable feedback. I try and learn from the helpful ones without taking it personally.
Any amusing story about marketing books that happened to you?
What’s your views on social media for marketing?
Which social network worked best for you?
Any tips on what to do and what not to do?
Did you do a press release, Goodreads book launch or anything else to promote your work and did it work?
Did you get interviewed by local press/radio for your book launch?
Is there any marketing technique you used that had an immediate impact on your sales figures?
Did you make any marketing mistakes or is there anything you would avoid in future?
Why do you think that other well written books just don’t sell?
What do you think of “trailers” for books?
Do you have a trailer or do you intend to create one for your own book/s?
(* please provide a link to trailer if you have one)
Do you think that giving books away free works and why?
Did you format your own book?
In what formats is your book available?
If formatted by someone else, how did you select them and what was your experience?
How do you relax?
What is your favourite motivational phrase.
What is your favourite positive saying?
What is your favourite book and why?
What is your favourite quote?
What is your favourite film and why?
Where can you see yourself in 5 years time?
What is your favourite movie and why?
What advice would you give to your younger self?
Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why?
If you could have been the original author of any book, what would it have been and why?
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Where do you see publishing going in the future?
Is there anything else you would like to add that I haven’t included?
How can readers discover more about you and you work?
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Charlene-Hartnady/e/B00HP06WKA
Book Links: (* American, UK, etc.)
(* Any order you like and if I’ve missed anything, just type it in.)
Thank you very much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to take part in this interview.
Demon Chaser Series
Book 1 Omega
Book 2 Alpha
Book 3 Hybrid
Book 4 Skin
Demon Chaser Boxed Set Book 1-3
Serials Reading Order:
2# Stolen by the Alpha Wolf (3 part serial) or the bundle
3# Unlikely Mates (3 part serial)
4# Awakened by the Vampire Prince (3 part serial)
5# Mated to the Vampire Kings (Novel)
The Program Series (Vampire Novels):
Book 1: A Mate for York
Book 2: A Mate for Gideon
Book 3: A Mate for Lazarus
Book 4: A Mate for Griffin (Available for Pre-order)