Sunday, April 28, 2013

How I Became a PAN Member!

Sometimes I think it is all a dream. After years of stories running around in my head I finally decided to write them down. Knight of Runes was published November 14, 2011 by Carina Press. I thought I had a lot to learn about story writing but that was only the tip of the author iceberg. I quickly learned that to drive people to buy my book I would have to learn how to promote it and building my brand.
The first things I did was get my web site, blog, Facebook, and Twitter accounts set up. I opted for a professional, Rae Monet, to design and develop my we site. I linked my blog, Facebook page and Twitter so I could cross populate medias. With things set up, I planned my promotion.
I used a simple spreadsheet to track everything:
  • List of bloggers
  • Scheduled a virtual book tour with 20 stops
  • Paid advertising: Eye on Romance, Romance Sells, Kindle Boards, Romance Junkies
  • Group paid ad with other Carina Press authors: RT and RWR
  • I hired a publicist, Binney  to help me with reviews

I also made branded swag:
  • Tattoos
  • Trading cards
  • Magnets
  • Chapter book
  • Pocket tissues
  • Always something chocolate 

I went to Nationals, RT, and my own NJRW conferences to meet writers and readers.
During the year my sales were three digits each quarter. At the beginning of the second year Harlequin picked up the book for their paranormal book club. This meant the book would be in print. I haven't gotten the final information but preliminary sales were over four digits.
When I looked at my April statement I was surprised. I was eligible for PAN. 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Guest Author ~ Regan Walker

Regan Walker
Today, Regan Walker is my guest. Her new book, a historical regency romance, Against the Wind, was released last month. I have a few questions she has graciously agreed to answer. 

First, here is the a hint about her new book, Against the Wind:
Amidst the rising winds of revolution, Agent of the Crown Sir Martin Powell alone can win the heart of--and protect--the elusive Lady Egerton.

1.     How long did it take you to write Against the Wind? About a year, though I was not writing full time.
2.     How much research did you conduct for Against the Wind and what was the most interesting thing you did while conducting your research?
Against the Wind is the second in the Agents of the Crown trilogy. I had already done a lot of research on France and Regency England in the 1815-1817 timeframe for my first novel, Racing With The Wind. Nevertheless, I did a lot more research for Against the Wind, both online and from books and live sources (particularly for some scenes in Derbyshire).
The story of Sir Martin, a spy for the Crown in France who returns to England for one last assignment, and his lady love, Katherine Lady Egerton is a complex tale. It is set in a period when England feared the Revolution in France would spread to its shores. After the Napoleonic Wars, the people of England were tired of the tax burden and an aristocracy that governed them but knew little of their needs. My novel features the Pentrich Rebellion of 1817 in Derbyshire, dubbed “the last revolution in England,” a government inspired uprising when mere villagers challenged the power of the Crown. I had to learn about the Midlands of England in 1817 and what conditions led to the villagers’ unhappiness. I had to research the various players in the rebellion, some of whom are characters in my novel. Then I had to understand each event that led to the uprising on June 9th. Since he’s a character, I also had to research William Cavendish the 6th Duke of Devonshire and his grand estate of Chatsworth in Derbyshire where several scenes take place (it’s pictured on the cover of my novel). There were many ancillary issues to research, as well, like highwaymen’s attacks on the road north of London, Lord Sidmouth’s spies sent out to uncover the “centers of discontent,” weddings, marchpane for dessert and jewelry, and well, you see, it’s complicated.
3.     I understand you have made your own trailers, yes?
Yes, I did and I did it virtually for free using trial software. It was difficult and some days I was tearing out my hair but I felt so good to have done them. Even though they aren’t perfect, they do give you a sense of the books. You can see them on my website on the “Novels” page or here:
Racing With The Wind:
Against the Wind:

4.     Why did you decide to write historical romance? I write historical romance because it’s what I love to read. Then, too, I really am passionate about the research. Diving into the past is interesting to me.
5.     Do you write multiple drafts or barely need revisions when typing, The End? I am compulsive about editing as I go, constantly adding details and nuances in dialog. Then, when I’m done, I reedit the whole thing. When that’s complete, I send it to my beta readers and edit more after I get their thoughts. All that occurs before my editor ever sees it.
6.     When you are writing, who is in control? You or your characters? It depends. I’m inside their heads, and sometimes they surprise me with their thoughts, but I decide the direction of the action.
7.     Have you had any "ah ha" moments as a writer? Yes! Both minor and major moments. Like creating a character and discovering such a person actually existed. Or, in Racing With the Wind (book 1), I conceived of a treacherous scheme against the restored Bourbon king, Louis XVIII, and then learned after I wrote the book that 10 years after the time my story took place such a plot actually happened.
8.     What advice do you have for other writers? Write what you love and do it your way. Get it written, get it critiqued and beta read and get it published. These days there are many options. Hang in there and don’t let the naysayers get you down.
9.     What was the most exciting thing that happened to you after you signed your contract – besides receiving your first check as a published author? Seeing my book on Amazon and getting my first 5-star review (from no one I knew!).
10.  How does your family feel about your career as a romance writer? Amused because I’ve always been so serious, and pleased because I finally have something to do that I love that isn’t dull in their eyes.
11.  What do you want your readers to take away with them after reading the story? I want them to love the characters and grow with them. Oh, and I also like to think they have been swept away to another time and place and loved it.
12.  What was the defining moment that you considered yourself an author? The publication of my first novel. Seeing it there on Amazon and the other online bookstores. It still gives me a thrill.
13.  With so many changes in publishing over the past year, where do you see the future of publishing going? More self-published authors will enter the market and they will write some of the best. More books will be sold as eBooks only. Though I still love reading paperbacks, the world is going to eReaders and so I have one of those, too. I am a major reviewer of historical romance with my own blog, Regan’s Romance Reviews ( and many of the novels I read for reviews are eBook only like mine.
14.  What makes a man attractive to you? Oooo, what a fun question! On the visual side, I like ‘em tall, dark and handsome, always have. But I am most attracted to a man’s mind and his character. He has to be a thinker and a reader to hold my attention, and he has to be honest, patient and courageous. And I should add, a man of faith. I know, I know. Such men are rare.
15.  What is the most interesting thing you’ve ever done?
That would be becoming a mother. It showed me depths in my own character I never realized. The kind of absolute love one can feel for a child is amazing.
16. What’s your biggest dream?
Other than meeting a man to share the rest of my life with or having one of my novels made into a movie, it would be a summer to travel with my best friend and a second home in Scotland or Ireland. And I’d like to do something significant…help others in a way that uses my gifts, perhaps working with children.
17.  If you were a millionaire would you still write? Yes. I don’t make any real money doing this (yet). I write because I love it. 
Back Cover Copy:
A night in London’s most exclusive bordello. Agent of the Crown Sir Martin Powell would not normally indulge, but the end of his time spying against Napoleon deserves a victory celebration. Yet, such pleasure will not come cheap. The auburn-haired courtesan he calls “Kitten” is in truth Katherine, Lady Egerton, a dowager baroness and the daughter of an earl as elusive as she is alluring. She flees a fate worse than death. But Martin has known darkness, too, and he alone can touch her heart--as she has touched his. To the English Midlands they will steal, into the rising winds of revolution.
Regan's Bio:
As a child Regan Walker loved to write stories, particularly about adventure-loving girls, but by the time she got to college more serious pursuits took priority. One of her professors thought her suited to the profession of law, and Regan realized it would be better to be a hammer than a nail. Years of serving clients in private practice and several stints in high levels of government gave her a love of international travel and a feel for the demands of the “Crown” on its subjects. Hence her romance novels often involve a demanding Prince Regent who thinks of his subjects as his private talent pool.
Regan has one grown son of whom she is very proud. She lives in San Diego with her golden retriever, Link, whom she says inspires her every day to relax and smell the roses.

Get your copy of Against the Wind at: 
     and on Amazon:

Find Regan at: 
  • Her website/blog
  • On Twitter @RegansReview 
  • On Facebook Regan Walker
  • And on Goodreads:

She loves to hear from readers so drop her a line via the “contact” page on her website: