Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Interview: "Tough Little Cookie" Author Celia Conrad on "A Model Murder" & KDP Select Giveaway 5/31-6/2/14

"He told me he was used to getting what he wanted." 
A Model Murder

Interview with "tough little cookie" Celia Conrad: The British author speaks out on abuse of women in male dominated hostess clubs and law firms, and endorses the Barcham Books launch of "A Model Murder” as a free e-book via KDP Giveaway 5/31-6/2/14.

What do law firms and hostess clubs have in common? The answer lies at the heart of British author Celia Conrad’s “A Model Murder,” a crime fiction novel featuring the murder of a young model moonlighting as a stripper and the harassed-at-work London woman lawyer who sets out to bring the murderer to justice.

The thriller appeared on the literary scene in 2011 before news events made its plot points seem positively prescient. Last April, a stripper was found murdered after work in Atlanta, Ga.; and last year, a gender discrimination lawsuit against a prominent American law firm settled in favor of its women lawyers. 

Los Angeles journalist Marlan Warren (MW) caught up with Celia Conrad (CC) to discuss the origins of “A Model Murder” (AMM) and why publisher Barcham Books has decided to launch the e-book as a giveaway via Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) Select program May 31 through June 2.

MW: In AMM, the moonlighting model tells someone, "He told me he was used to getting what he wanted..." when describing an aggressive club customer. Later your heroine Alicia Allen also encounters this attitude with the boss at her law firm. You had a career in London working "within the law" (as they say in the U.K.). How much of your own lawyer experiences found their way into Alicia's world?

CC:  AMM is autobiographical in parts, which probably makes this story even darker because it is real. The legal profession is still male dominated despite what we are told about more women qualifying or more women reaching top jobs. I think for a young woman within the law it can still be quite hard.

MW: What kind of research did you do?

CC: While I was doing a little modeling,  I met a model who worked in a club to supplement her income. To research, I talked with women at the clubs. They told me how they got treated depended on the "boss." They had to generate money for the club by being "nice," but the degree of how “nice” came from the top. Some bosses looked after their employees better than others. Some women felt pressured, and some did not.

Book Trailer for Book 1 in the Alicia Allen Investigates Trilolgy: A Model Murder

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Getting Started: Before you publish

A few helpful hints as you embark on the first leg of your publishing journey:

So you have your manuscript written and formatted and it's ready to be published. Whether you are "self-publishing" (no longer considered a "Vanity Press" as technology refines our ways of communicating our ideas and stories in order to make them more accessible, as well as more "commercial" in their style) or are affiliated with a "small press" (aka "indie publisher") OR have actually landed a known publisher, you will need to know all you can about grassroots marketing and public relations.

Here are some guidelines to remember (if you'd like links to longer essays by experts online, send me a message and I'll supply them).

Not necessarily in chronological order:

1. Do not trust your own proofreading and editing abilities for that final polish. Hire or sleep with someone (yes, it's a joke) who can assist your tired eyes and brain with this very important task. All it takes is one typo on page 1 or on the back cover (Hint: If you think you know how to spell someone's name, don't trust to memory or spellcheck---look it up! Even famous people. Yes, I've seen famous names misspelled on the back cover! It happens.)

The hardest to proof is grammar. And that is really where the expert editor comes in at the very moment when the author just wants to "feggedaboutit" and just get the darn thing "out there."