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Author Interview: Jerri Hines

The interview series with authors in my Twitter community continues with Jerri Hines. Happy reading!

Jerri Hines Author Photo

Twitter: @jhines340 and @CarrieJHaynes

Q: What is your genre? Why did you choose it?

JH: Whispers of a Legend saga is an epic fantasy series under the new genre of New Adult. I love a good epic fantasy where you are taken to a different time and place. A place where you can let your imagination fly!

Q: How many books have you published? Legacy published, self-published, or a combination?

JH: Whispers of a Legend series has been published under my pen name, Carrie James Haynes. I have released two books in the series- Part One- Shadows of the Past and Part Two- The Path Now Turned. The third installment, Vision of Destiny, should be published late January, early February at the latest. I’m also hoping to publish a paranormal/historical romance book in the spring, Daughter of Deceit.
Under Jerri Hines, I have two books out with Wild Child Publishing. Dream Walker, a paranormal suspense book, and Patriot Secrets, a historical fiction book. I have a new historical romance series with Whiskey Creek Press being released in January- Tides of Charleston Series, beginning with The Judas Kiss.    

Q: Tell us more about WHISPERS OF A LEGEND, the series you write under the pen name Carrie James Haynes! How did this story idea come about? And the new name?

JH: I began Whispers of a Legend with the idea of having a young strong woman as the heroine. I love adventure tales and creating the new worlds such as Scarladin and Witheleghe- magical beings flying hawkmen, good versus evil and in the midst of a love triangle.

Kela, the heroine of the story, is young woman who has a destiny to follow. The story is about the path one goes down to embrace one’s purpose. I wanted to parallel some of the hardships on becoming an adult in Kela’s journey. No one’s perfect even with a destiny. As Gunilda tells Kela, “The road you walk is not straight, my child. Remember that. All roads wind.”

My intent in writing this story was to show that mistakes can be overcome. Life isn’t fair, but it’s what we do with what we are given that matters. Who we become is up to us.

The new name? I love my new name. I have always wanted to use a pen name. Excited now to have my chance. My purpose behind the pen name is because I write different genres. In the future, I would like my fantasy and paranormals to be under Carrie James Haynes and my historical romances under Jerri Hines.  

Q: Do you sell copies of your novels, or other works, directly from your website?

JH: I don’t sell from my website. My website will direct readers to the store they want to use such as Amazon or Barnes and Noble. If its one of my books from a publisher it will be on their site also. My self-publishing works I went through Smashwords.
               Whispers of a Legend, Part One- Shadows of the Past
               Whispers of a Legend, Part Two- The Path Now Turned
Barnes and Noble
               Whispers of a Legend, Part One- Shadows of the Past (FREE)
               Whispers of a Legend, Part Two- The Path Now Turned

               Carrie James Haynes           

Q: How much time do you spend on Twitter each week? Do you have a Facebook Fan Page?

JH: I’m addicted to Facebook. I have the most wonderful time on one of my fanpages, Novel Works. I help promote other authors work as well as my own. A lot of fun. The link to Novel Works is here. Novel Works has something for everyone, reader and author alike.
I have two twitter accounts @jhines340 and @CarrieJHaynes which I’m also active. 

Q: Do you blog? How often? Strictly professional or a blend of all things?

JH: I have three blogs that I’m associated with- Roses of Prose, Castles in the Air, and my author’s blog under Jerri Hines. Roses of Prose blog is a combination of 14 authors where I blog twice a month. Castles in the Air– you guessed it- is devoted to Whispers of a Legend. My Jerri Hines Author’s blog is more laid back. Some days I even talk about my dogs, but I’m beginning to do more guest blogs with authors associated with the Novel Work week I’m hosting at the time.
Q: Do you have a motto or favorite quote you turn to on tough writing days?

JH: I have so many quotes I love to turn to, but one in particular has stayed with me. I love Robert Frost’s poetry. My favorite poem of his is the Road Not Taken. The last lines of the poem…

                                        Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
                                        I took the one less traveled by,
                                        And that has made all the difference.

Helps me remember that nothing good comes easy.

Q: Have you outsourced editing, cover design, formatting, web design, marketing, etc?

JH: Taking the leap into self-publishing has its pros and cons. I miss my editor terribly. Professional editing is expensive. As for cover design, I was fortunate to have found the perfect fit and feel for my Whispers of Legend series. Graphicz X Designs.
Marketing…I have found a wonderful community within the Indie group of writers.

Q: Do you work with a writing group?

JH: Unfortunately, no. I wish I had the time. The only groups I’m associated with are online.

Q: When you did you first decide to publish? How much time did it take to get from an idea to a book on Amazon?

JH: Writing has been a journey for me. Submitting manuscripts to publishing houses can be time consuming on the front that for them to get back with you can take months. I toyed with the idea of self-publishing for a while, but when the Roses of Prose hosted Ruth Cardello I decided to take the leap. Whispers of a Legend was being considered at a publishing house at the time. After looking over my options I decided that if I was going to try going the Indie route, Whispers of a Legend was my perfect choice. I withdrew Whispers of a Legend from consideration, which the publishing house couldn’t have been more understanding. From there publishing on Amazon wasn’t hard. I went the Smashwords route, but they don’t submit to Amazon. Amazon and Barnes and Nobles both have made the process extremely easy once your book is ready.

Q: Have you published any of your work for free? Why or why not?

JH: Whispers of a Legend, Part One- Shadows of the Past is free. Reading over Ruth Cardello’s blog she had taken that route. Smashwords advises giving a book away free. I believe it has made a world of difference. Shadows of the Past has done extremely well on the sites it’s free. Shadows of the Past has done well on Barnes and Noble. Surprisingly, Shadows of the Past hasn’t gone free on Amazon. Amazon doesn’t allow you to put your work up free, but will adjust at their discretion. At the moment, their discretion hasn’t put Shadows of the Past up for free. I believe people are more than willingly to give a new author a chance if their work is free. I would highly recommend the route if you’re a new author.

Q: What tips or advice would you offer to writers who are about to have their first work published?

JH: I would tell them that writing is the easy part. What I wasn’t prepared for on my first book was the promoting. Promoting is part of writing. Promote…promote…promote.

Q: Is there another writer (or two) in the Twitterverse that you would recommend newbies follow?

JH: Ruth Cardello. If you go the self-published route, I would highly recommend following Ruth.

Q: What is coming up for you in the next few months?

JH: Whispers of a Legend, Part Three- Vision of Destiny will be released at the beginning of 2012. I’m also excited about the Tides of Charleston series with Whiskey Creek Press. The Judas Kiss will be released in January, followed by The Promise hopefully around July. Then I’m planning on releasing Daughter of Deceit sometime in the Spring.

Q: Do you have (or are planning) any audio books?

JH: I am planning on it. It’s on my list of things to do.

Q: Have you done a blog tour? Any advice or cautions?

JH: Would love to do a blog tour. They’re fun, but at the moment I haven’t any planned.

Q: Do you create an outline before beginning a new book?

JH: No. I tried doing an outline, but found when I write the story takes on a life of its own.

Q: Do you work on more than one manuscript at a time?

JH: Most authors advise just working on one manuscript at a time which is probably the best way to be. I’m bad. At the moment, I’m revising Daughter of Deceit and working on another manuscript, Broken Legacy. I also have a huge project that I need to turn my attention to at some point, Belle of Charleston.

Q: Do you use specialty software?

JH: No.

Q: Tell us about some of the hurdles you’ve cleared on the path to becoming an author. Did you have any idea at the start what the process really entailed?

JH: Writing is my obsession. I have always wanted to write, but my parents encouraged me to take another route when in college. Getting a job, getting married, having children all came before I realized my desire to write. Only I found that writing didn’t come easy. Honing my writing ability took time also. Now I the biggest hurdle I face is promoting my writing which I have found the hardest challenge to date.

Q: What is the best comment/compliment you have received about your work?

JH: My mother has been my biggest critic when it comes to writing. So when she told me she absolutely loved Patriot Secrets and was certain it would be a best seller it meant the world to me.

Q: Let’s flip things around for a moment. As a reader, which of the following do you take into consideration when deciding whether or not to purchase a book?

JH: Reader reviews: Most of the time.

      Number of books already sold: Not so much

      Book cover: Always. First thing that draws you to a book.

      Word-of-mouth: Always.

      Book summary: Always. First thing I look at after the cover.

      Author’s blog: I have found great books by going to an author’s blog usually to read a certain posting. Great way to find a writer.

      Author’s Facebook, Twitter, and other social media: I live on Facebook so of course I use Facebook to consider a book. Facebook and Twitter are great ways of knowing what’s coming out also. I’m not only an author, but an avid reader. I love keeping up with my favorite authors.

      Book price: If I haven’t read an author, I don’t mind giving them a shot if the price is right. I live off my kindle.

Thank you, Jerri, for sharing your publishing experiences with us. We wish you continued success, and hope you’ll come back and share updates with us in the spring!

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