Today, a blog buddy and very talented writer, Mae Clair, is popping over to answer a few questions. We’re talking about her new release, marketing cross-genre fiction, and finding her publisher. Please feel free to jump in with your own questions. I merely got things started with my top 5.
1) Please share your elevator pitch for your upcoming release, Twelfth Sun.
It’s a fun older woman/younger man romantic mystery. My hero and heroine team up in a treasure hunt for a marine artifact and have to solve a series of riddles while trying to keep ahead of the other competitors. And, of course, there’s that attraction thing going on between them, which she has reservations about.
2) Most of your books seem to cross genres, melding romance, mystery, paranormal, and historicals. Was that a challenge to market?
TWELFTH SUN is only my second novel, so I’m learning as I go but, yes, writing a story that crosses genres isn’t easy to market (as I’m sure you know! J). I try to stress the multiple genres wherever I promote, because I don’t want to mislead anyone.
WEATHERING ROCK, my first novel, was a time travel/paranormal with numerous historical references. One critique partner told me she thought it had a 70/30 ratio of romance to mystery. TWELFTH SUN is more like 60/40.
Given there are so many sub-genres of romance, I promote mainly on romance blogs (rather than mystery) with the hopes there is an audience for a romantic story intertwined with a multi-layered plot. To me, romance and mystery are a perfect fit. I know there have to be other readers that feel the same way!
3) How did you find your publisher? (Cold query, referral, conference, contest, etc.)
My editor, Piper Denna of Lyrical Press, was holding a 3-line pitch session on a writing blog. I had only decided the week before to look for a publisher and hadn’t even started. I thought “what’s the worst that can happen?” and pitched WEATHERING ROCK. She asked for a partial, and by the end of the month I had a contract. Everything happened so fast, I’m still astounded by it. And very grateful.
4) What’s been the best and worst marketing tool you’ve used?
Blogging is definitely my favorite marketing tool. I’ve met so many wonderful writers and readers through sharing blog posts and reading the posts of others. It also helps me to define my author brand more clearly. On my blog, I’m able to cross genres and no one thinks it odd, because that’s how I’ve branded myself. I also love Twitter.
As for the worst…I know it has many fans, but I’m not a Facebook girl. It’s one social media platform that doesn’t feel like a good fit for marketing. It’s fun to pop on and socialize for a bit, but I have to force myself to do marketing on FB. Mostly, I can’t find the time for it.
5) What advice would you give a newbie author?
Be prepared to be exhausted, LOL.
Okay, being serious….everyone says not to give up and keep trying, and that’s pretty much what you need to do. Through rejections, impossible deadlines, juggling too much on your plate and yes, exhaustion, because there’s an abundance of that.
I love Stephen King’s quote: “Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work.”
When I’m feeling down and tired and have that insane moment of “why-am-I-doing-this?-I-should-just-toss-in-the-towel,” I remember that quote, dust myself off, and tackle whatever hurdle stands between me and my dream of being a professional writer.
You need to be a whack-a-mole. Every time you get knocked down, you have to pop up and dive back in the game. Sooner or later, the powers-that-be with the mallet, are going to run out of juice. 😉
Bio: Mae Clair
Mae Clair opened a Pandora’s Box of characters when she was a child and never looked back. Her father, an artist who tinkered with writing, encouraged her to create make-believe worlds by spinning tales of far-off places on summer nights beneath the stars. She snagged the tail of a comet, hitched a ride, and discovered her writer’s Muse on the journey.
Mae loves creating character-driven fiction in settings that vary from contemporary to mythical. Wherever her pen takes her, she flavors her stories with conflict, romance and elements of mystery. Married to her high school sweetheart, she lives in Pennsylvania and is passionate about writing, old photographs, a good Maine lobster tail and cats.
Discover more about Mae on her website and blog at www.MaeClair.com
TAG: The hunky young PhD knows all about seduction, but what does he know about love?
Reagan Cassidy is settled in her life. She has a thriving interior design firm, an upscale condo, two cats, and a goldfish. As a favor to her uncle, she agrees to team up with his marine archeologist friend to validate and retrieve a nineteenth-century journal, reputedly that of a passenger aboard the doomed schooner Twelfth Sun. Finding a hunky twenty-five-year-old coming out of the shower in her hotel room wasn’t part of the deal, but it’s hard to complain…
Dr. Elijah Cross is cocky and he knows it. He enjoys trading barbs with the lovely Reagan. Barbs, and some innuendo. He can tell she’d rather get back home to her business than stick around for the extended treasure hunt they’ve been talked into, but he’s fine with the situation. At least, until the “clues” start getting personal.
Reagan finds Dr. Gorgeous is as skilled in matters of the heart as he is behind the lectern. Throw in a series of clues which mean more to Elijah than he’ll explain, several odd-ball competitors out to win the journal, a saboteur, and a lavish seaside mansion, and Reagan has enough trouble keeping her head straight, let alone her heart.
WARNING: Younger man, older woman, nautical riddles and romance.
You can find Mae Clair at the following haunts:
Buy TWELFTH SUN at: