Monday, 27 August 2012

I Love the City of Chester

I recently hosted a book signing event at Waterstones book store in Chester, UK. The city is a beautiful place, steeped in Roman history, crammed with original Tudor buildings and a wonderful Victorian shopping arcade in the city centre. Whenever you visit the place you will find people dressed up for weddings and formal occasions, mixing with people who are relaxing on a day off from work or domestic chores. It is wonderfully eclectic! I have also attended ghost hunts before now in a Tudor house called Stanley Palace, and that holds a special place in my heart from the experiences I had on those events.

Anyway, back to the book signing. What I am beginning to learn about doing these events, is that no store is the same. Even though they are all part of the same chain, Waterstones, they are adapted to suit the needs of their customer base, and the aesthetic qualities of their location. My last book signing event was in Warrington, Cheshire, which is a fairly modern town to my knowledge. That store was inside a large, purpose built shopping mall, and the intention was definitely commercial above all else.

The first things I noticed about the Waterstones store in Chester was its position and the classical music that played in the shop all day long. This store is on one of the historic Victorian shopping terraces right in the heart of Chester. It is on the first floor, and you have to climb a set of steep, stone steps to reach it. There must be lifts available in some of the neighbouring shops though, because plenty of families came into the shop with pushchairs and prams.

My opinion of the Waterstones store in Chester is that of a neat, orderly and organized space. There are no books stacked up on the floor like there were in Warrington. Everything is minimalist, with tables neatly spaced and no garish posters or signs to fight for your visual attention. The Warrington Waterstones store felt more chaotic, crammed with tables and promotional stands. I noticed also that in Chester there were more hardback fiction books for sale than there were in Warrington.

I was not bombarded with the now-famous book 50 Shades of Grey in the Chester Waterstones store, like I was in Warrington only a month ago. Does this mean the furore has died down? The book is still no1 in the Waterstones charts, but apparently not so popular in Chester, or at least not now. The promoted book in this store was The Kingmaker's Daughter by Philippa Gregory, one of my favourite historical authors.

All in all, I had a very pleasant day in Chester. I sold a respectable number of books, despite it being very quiet. I decided that a Bank Holiday weekend is not a good time to do a book promotion, unless I am a famous author. I did meet a fellow Indie author in the science fiction genre, Geoff Nelder. He was very supportive and friendly, and I look forward to continued correspondence with him. I had conversations with some lovely people who took pity on a poor, lonely, neglected author, and I enjoyed the beautiful city. Happy days!

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Book Promotion and the Indie Author

I feel a little frustrated this morning. No, I feel very frustrated actually. My Redcliffe novels are not selling as well on Amazon as they were earlier in the month, and although I understand that the Author Central feature is not always completely accurate, I use it as a guide in the absence of regular sales figures. My books do sell in other formats, but Amazon is still the most popular, probably because it is the most accessible.

Like most of my fellow author friends, I simply do not have the money to pay for promotional advertisements in big publications and on popular websites. All I can do at the moment is flog my wares across the free social networks, and keep trying to build a fan base using Twitter and Facebook. It is working. My numbers have increased significantly during the last 3 months alone. But it isn't good enough. I want to be an international bestseller. That is my ultimate goal. And dammit, I will succeed!

So, what do I try next? My plan now is to do another round of letters to literary agents, and try to get my books sold to a big publishing house that can afford to promote me. I know this is a very long shot. I also know that it isn't always as straightforward as that. All I can do is try. At the very least my books will seep into the public consciousness if I keep on talking about them to anyone and everyone. Never give up. Never back down.

If anyone has suggestions on how I could promote my books more effectively, or any advice based on personal experience, please do let me know. I am eager to learn, eager to expand, and when I do finally have some spare cash, I am willing to spend it on advertising. I am also not averse to assistance with funding from a willing benefactor or organization... just saying!

Monday, 20 August 2012

Moving away from the Redcliffe Novels

I have finished writing the third novel in my Redcliffe series.  Love Redeems (A Redcliffe Novel) is complete and has been edited, but I am hanging on to it for just a little longer before I send it to my publisher.  At just under 90,000 words, this novel is longer than the first two.  It is certainly more fantastical than Love Hurts (A Redcliffe Novel) and Love Kills (A Redcliffe Novel), and I am interested to see what sort of response it gets from readers. 

Therein lies part of the problem. I am anxious about letting go of a story that has haunted me for ten years. It is finally written, and the first two sections are already in print and being consumed by readers the world over. Of course, that is what I want, otherwise I would never have submitted my work to a publisher. I want my Redcliffe novels to be enjoyed and celebrated, and I want to be a best selling, popular author in my genre. I even want to see a film or a television series about my stories one day.

But what happens next? Where do I go from here? The Redcliffe novels will definitely continue. My heroine, Jessica Stone, has made that perfectly clear. She has lots more stories to tell about her complicated relationship with two vampires and a werewolf, and about her personal journey into the world of magic and mystery as a witch. Book 4 in the Redcliffe series will be something very different to book 1 I am certain, and I feel that the witches will play a far more prominent role than they have so far. I also don't know what will happen, because my original plans have been changed after I rewrote the ending to Love Redeems (A Redcliffe Novel).

There is yet more news. Today I received inspiration from my muse for a completely new novel. This one tells the story of a female vampire hunter in the UK. I won't give too many details at present, indeed I don't even know very much myself. So far I have written the first chapter and become acquainted with my new heroine, Dr Jennifer Worthington, and her protagonists. The story came to me while I was out for an early morning walk with my family, and I spent all afternoon in a daydream until I could find the time to sit down and write properly. Now it is out of my head, on the computer, and I am very excited about what will arise.

Happy days, my friends!

Catherine Green in the Middlewich Guardian Newspaper

I am in my local newspaper, the Middlewich Guardian, again! Just thought I would share the link for those who are interested...

Monday, 13 August 2012

Catherine Green on the Vampire Book Realm

Today I have a guest blog on the Vampire Book Realm. You can read about the Redcliffe Novels, and a little of my insight into the history of vampires in Britain in popular culture. Learn about our heroine, Jessica Stone, and the vampire and werewolf she becomes entangled with...

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Wednesday Wordsmith Author Interview - Catherine Green

Here is an interview I did for the very lovely Stephen C. Ormsby, author of Long Lost Song. Enjoy!

Mind, Body and Spirit Event – Stockport, Cheshire

Join me on Saturday 1st and Sunday 2nd September 2012 from 10:00am – 5:00pm for a Mind, Body and Spirit Event at the Masonic Guild Hall, 169 Wellington Road South, Stockport, Cheshire.

At this event I will do Tarot and Oracle card readings offering spiritual guidance and a new perspective on the trials of everyday life. If you have a question that needs an answer, I will help you understand a little more. If you feel a little lost or unsure about your current situation, the cards may guide us towards a positive and fulfilling resolution. I draw upon my experience as a witch and a shaman in training when I do my readings, which means you may not always receive the answers you expect. I am always genuine, and I believe that we must all learn to take responsibility for our own lives, however that may be.

I will also sell signed copies of my adult paranormal romance series the Redcliffe Novels. Set in Cornwall, England, the Redcliffe novels follow the adventures of bookshop owner Jessica Stone as she unwittingly falls in love with a vampire, becomes entangled with his identical twin brother's werewolf pack, and then discovers she is a witch.

In the newly released sequel Love Kills (A Redcliffe Novel) Jessica Stone recovers from an horrific werewolf attack and comes to terms with revelations that her lover, Jack Mason, is a vampire, his brother, Danny, the werewolf pack leader, and her best friend, Simon, is a werewolf.  Add to that her discovery that she is a witch, and life is suddenly a whole lot harder than it used to be. Jessica has to fight for her own life and Jack’s when faced with his jealous vampire master who wants her old lover back. But things are never easy, and a vampire master is not so easy to defeat…

There will be lots of other exhibitors at the event, offering anything from Tarot readings, aura readings, mediumship demonstrations, holistic therapies and healthy living products and gifts. See you in Stockport, come and say hello! 

Saturday, 4 August 2012

Book Signing Event – Waterstones, Chester

Join me in Waterstones, Chester on Saturday 25th August 2012 from 11:00 – 4:00pm.

I will be on hand to sign copies of my adult paranormal romance novels Love Hurts (A Redcliffe Novel) and the newly released Love Kills (A Redcliffe Novel).

Love Kills (ARedcliffe Novel) is book 2 in the developing Redcliffe series. In the quiet Cornish seaside town of Redcliffe, Jessica Stone recovers from an horrific werewolf attack and comes to terms with revelations that her lover, Jack Mason, is a vampire, his brother, Danny, the werewolf pack leader, and her best friend, Simon, is a werewolf.  Add to that her discovery that she is a witch, and life is suddenly a whole lot harder than it used to be. Jessica has to fight for her own life and Jack’s when faced with his jealous vampire master who wants her old lover back. But things are never easy, and a vampire master is not so easy to defeat…

If you are interested I will also tell you about my work as a spiritual advisor for Spirit Sisters, and my training as a shaman… See you there!