In this podcast episode, Melissa reviews a paranormal romance from indie author, Tricia Barr.
First, Lisa and I chatted about our week. We are really on a roll with writing! Lisa's working on her Motherboard series (cyberpunk), and I'm working on a young adult romance about an android who fall for a human. Our creative juices are flowing. Must be the heat? Well, maybe for me. I'm writing romance and, last I checked, Lisa was writing something gory. Yikes!
Next, I reviewed Devilish by Tricia Barr.
Here's the description of Devilish from the back cover:
Tired of Hell, the Devil has escaped his prison and come to Earth to revel in the pleasures of the light, eventually becoming somewhat of a feared celebrity.
Felicity Claire has always sought out adventure and danger. As a journalist for the New York Times, she is working on breaking a big story about a viral weapon being manufactured by a pharmaceutical company. But her plans get derailed when she is assigned to interview the Devil himself. Lucifer turns the interview into a game of seduction, and Felicity gets pulled into a world that blurs the lines between lust and love, and between good and evil. Passion, thrills and danger ménage as this story of revenge and redemption unfolds.
Can you resist the original bad boy?
So, this was my first dive into a more explicit romance novel. I write in the romance space, both YA and NA, so clean for the most part. Tricia also writes both YA and adult romance. So, I was curious about her experience with writing an explicit adult novel like Devilish. And...here's my review on Amazon:
First, and foremost, how about that title?!? Wow!
The story opens with Lucifer, yes, you heard me right, the devil crash landing on Earth in the middle of Central Park in NYC. He’s decided he needs a break from Hell and Earth seems like a great place to vacation. Enter journalist, Felicity Claire. She’s been assigned the story of a lifetime. Well, she’s actually working on two stories, but the one that’s about to make her toes curl up is an interview with the Devil, himself! From the point at which Felicity and Lucifer meet, there’s instant chemistry. Barr does an excellent job at storytelling, especially between the two main characters.
As far as the romantic scenes, I did find them to be a little over the top, but that’s a personal preference. Some of the descriptions threw me for a loop and essentially took me out of the story. But, the characters and my desire to know what would ultimately happen drew me back in for more. Honestly, now that I’m thinking about it, perhaps the dramatic descriptions might be a stroke of marketing genius. I thought about them for a long time, wondering.
Hmm…see, here I am, again, staring at my upper arm, thinking about those outlandish descriptions.
In any event, the plot was fun and exciting. Barr’s story is a fresh take on the story of Lucifer—he’s not nearly as bad as one might think. I’d never believed that I’d root for the devil, but I did! Learning about why Lucifer was sent to hell in the first place and his ultimate redemption was cool. I would recommend this book and the author to anyone who is interested in a fun and entertaining religious/spiritual romance.
From a self-publishing standpoint, I thought the book had good editing, fantastic cover, the interior layout was good, and I liked the singed hearts overlapping chapter numbers. She also chose spaces between each paragraph, which was inviting for readers.
AND, now, lucky us and you, here's Tricia's interview with us! We promised you and now, we're delivering! She has a lots of great tips for indie authors!
What inspired you to write Devilish?
I had this idea for years, but as a long time YA writer, I was hesitant to enter the adult romance world. But a marketing company I'd had good experience with decided to put together a romance boxed set and invited me to write for it, so I saw that as my chance to bring Devilish to life :)
How do you come up with ideas for your books?
Mostly from dreams. I dreamt book 1 of my Bound Ones Series, which, if you've read it, you can imagine was an intense dream! But sometimes I even get inspiration from songs. "Genie in a Bottle" inspired me to write a YA book I'll put together in 2020, so if you like genies, keep an eye out ;)
In regards to your writing, are you a plotter or a pantser?
Definitely a plotter. If you want to write books that really grip your readers in the right way, I feel you have to be a plotter, otherwise you end up with a lot of filler that doesn't really further the story. I actually really hate outlining, so I'll be honest--I use The Plot Genie to outline my books for me, and she's amazing! No more writers' block, I know exactly what to write when I sit at the computer, and it just flows so much better when you have a well-done outline to go off of. You can find The Plot Genie on Facebook, I highly recommend her for any authors who believe in outlining but personally hate doing it lol
Do you listen to music when you write? If so, is there a genre/type you listen to?
Actually, I have to have complete silence. I'm a stay-at-home, so I have my two little girls yelling and laughing and just jibbering all day lol so I have to have silence for my sanity, and can only write when they're sleeping. Thank god they both still nap!
What is your favorite part about self-publishing?
I love the full control I have. I get to hire out my own covers (and truth be told I have a bit of a premade cover addiction lol). I get to format my own paperbacks, which I love. And I get to enjoy the full amount of my royalties, which, now that I know how to market, is quite a lot. I make about $150-200 a day on $80 adspend using Facebook ads. If I was a trad author, I'd only get 20% or less of what my books actually made. I'm hoping to double that income next year.
Biggest headache about self-publishing?
Editing. I hate it. I just don't have the time to go through and read my own writing--I only get 2 hours a day to write, and for an author who likes to produce a book every 3-4 months, every second of that has to be spent writing, not reading. And finding a reliable editor who catches all my little grammatical errors or misused words, and is affordable, has proven very difficult. The best editor I ever had was actually my cousin Haley. She did it all--grammar usage, sentence structure, plot development. And as my cousin, she only charged me like $100 per book! But sadly, she got a new job that required much more of her time, and since then I've not had the best of luck. My best author friend, Tamar Sloan, is an amazing developmental editor, and she has made my stories so much better (but she's in the same boat as me grammar-wise lol). But I'll keep looking, and hopefully one day I'll find someone who's so thorough that I can just click accept on all the changes in Word and be confident that nothing was missed.
Do you have a small tip about self-publishing you’d like to share with our listeners?
I have so many tips, it's pathetic! I have learned so much this about releasing books so they stick. The truth is, guys, you need to invest if you want your books to really succeed. I always invest at least $1000 into marketing a new release, with a combination of newsletter swaps, reliable promo services like Bargain Booksey and I Love Vampire Novels, but Facebook ads are the real secret to my success. I've learned to structure ads so that I pay about $0.13 per click, and I can keep a book in the 2000-3000 bestseller ranking on Amazon with a $40 spend (or at least I did before Facebook shut off my account during fourth of July over a copyright misunderstanding). If anyone wants further tips, reach out to me on Facebook! I've made it a hobby lately to coach authors on their releases. I coached Tamar Sloan through her release of Prophecy Awakened, and her book is STILL in the top 300 on Amazon! She's watched me learn through all my mistakes this year, so I told her what to do and what not to do, and it worked spectacularly!
Time for the Tip of the Week!
We had a question from a listener about partnering with authors in their genre for events and festivals. Shout out to Elizabeth for her great question! So great that we made it our tip of the week! Lisa discussed why it's a good idea to partner with other authors in your genre at events from a readership perspective and cost-wise. She mentioned that indie authors should attend events and festivals to meet other authors just like Lisa and I did at the Tucson Festival of Books.I added that if you can't attend a festival, you should join groups on Facebook or connect with other authors on Twitter or Instagram. Lisa recommends bringing business cards with you when you go to an event! AND...she has a great discount code for your to get cards on Moo! Here's the link for 20% off- http://refer.moo.com/s/lisacaskeyauthor.
On our next podcast, we will be talking about publishing platforms and I will have a Tip of the Week. So, remember, we’re an indie author community, be kind and review your fellow indie authors’ books!
Indie Chicks out.