Tuesday, July 22, 2008
FEATURED AUTHOR: L.A. BANKS
L. A. Banks, is the recipient of the 2008 Essence Storyteller of the Year award has written over 30 novels and contributed to 10 novellas, thus far, in multiple genres under various pseudonyms. She mysteriously shape-shifts between the genres of romance, women's fiction, crime/suspense thrillers, and of course, paranormal lore. A graduate of The University of Pennsylvania Wharton undergraduate program with a Master's in Fine Arts from Temple University, one never knows how or when this enigma will appear… her forms are many, her secrets of crossing genres vast, and she does this with her teenaged daughter and her black Lab from some remote, undisclosed lair in Philadelphia.
The Dark Realms are taking cover after an angel onslaught from On High. The Antichrist has been injured and the fourth Biblical seal has been broken.
Seething in the underworld is the Unnamed One—so furious that he’s bringing the battle topside, unleashing a full frontal assault on mankind for the offenses committed by the Neteru Squad.
Better ThanWith a New Year beginning, twenty-five-year-old Deborah Lee Jackson has a major list of resolutions. Newly divorced, unfulfilled by her job, and carrying a few extra pounds, Deborah's ready for a mind, body, spirit makeover, and she's starting at the local university. From yoga to painting to healthy cooking, finding a man is the last thing on her mind. But fate has other plans...
What would you like your readers to take away from your book?
Hope... that there is always hope, no matter what is going on in your life or in the world.
What did you learn while writing this book?
Each book an author writes, if he/she is going to be true to the craft, makes you examine your own life, where you've possibly lost hope, and makes you have to find the silver lining in your own storm clouds.
What is the hardest part about the writing business?
The marketing. Once you write the book, the real work begins. I'm in the process of touring now, and although I LOVE people, it's a grind being away from home and away from family during that period.
Do you still experience self-doubts regarding your work?
LOL, always! I think when you get too comfortable you get sloppy.
What one thing about writing do you wish other non-writers would understand?
I wish non-writers would understand that we are always writing. It's not just when you're sitting in front of the computer... but when I'm off "thinking" I'm working, LOL... when I'm watching a documentary, I'm working. I used to get into ALL KINDS of struggles with my family because they thought the moment I left my desk and clicked off the tube, I was done. They had a very hard time understanding that it's a creative process and it's not like a 9-5 job where you can interrupt me and I can get right back on task. Interrupt the writer and you may have blown a scene, a story arc or their writing day.
What marketing have you found that particularly works well for you?
Having a committed, loyal Street Team has been a blessing from On-High. Those folks take care of advance publicity, make people who attend book-signing events feel a part of something bigger, and support the stores. I bow to them, BIG SMILE--for real!
What are three things you wish you'd known before you reached where you are now?
I wish I had known some of the behind the scenes ways publishers look at writing, packaging the books, and how book store really buy. I've learned how important a cover really is and to ask for cover art approval... have learned to understand that the publishers actually pay for positioning in the stores, and have learned that you're only as good as your last sales numbers indicate. This is a tough business and it's all about sales, not art or literature.
This month our theme is Agent Hunting. Do you have any advice for finding an agent?
Go to the conferences where agents attend, hunt them down, but be ready to pitch your book or project in terms of the market slice it hits and the target audience that will buy it. This is what they understand and this is how they get paid... remember, they don't get paid until they land you a deal--so they are so NOT interested in your book if they don't think they can sell it. They work for you, but you're a bad employer of their time and energy if they can't make a commission quickly because your work is not selling at the time. This is why agents brush people off... they will tell you straight up, they can't make their bills on charity cases. So go in strong, confident, and talk like a business person (about the money) not an artist hoping someone will pick you up. Let them know you can crank out the volume so they also understand you are the goose that lays the golden eggs.
Do you have any advice for the aspiring writer?
Finish the book. Pay attention to craft and format and grammar. It is your baby, but it is a product. An agent can't sell it, the publisher can't sell it (to book store chains until the book is complete. It is the engine to the train. So don't go around "talking" about your work or your idea, go home and finish your work, polish it, and then you have a 120% better chance of no longer being aspiring. I'm serious--it's as simple as that.
How can readers get in contact with you? (mail, email, website)
email is Vamplegend@aol.com
- I believe in promoting authors and their books. Let me introduce you and your books to online readers.
I'm also a happily married mother of three who's trying to break into the Christian writing field. The writing road can be rocky.
I’m available for:
Online promotion coaching
Contact me at:firstname.lastname@example.org