Thomas: Today I’m here with the fabulous Ms. Grace Hudson, and she has kindly agreed to give me this exclusive interview. Readers, you’re in for a real treat because Grace is an incredible indie author who is just starting out on her author journey. Welcome to my blog Grace.
Grace Hudson: Thomas, thank you for that lovely introduction. It’s an honor for me to be here with you.
TJB: Grace, I want to let my readers get to know you a little better. Can you tell us something about yourself and your books please?
GH: Well, I’m from Melbourne, Australia. I like coffee. I have released 2 books so far and I’ve written a few more due for release in 2016.
TJB: You’re very modest Grace. My blog is all about helping you to shine a light on your fabulous work. Being an author is a dream come true, and I hope to bring that out in our interview. And have I said “Wow” yet? I meant to say, “Wow”, you’re the first author from Melbourne who has ever been on my blog.
GH: What an honor for me Tom. I can call you Tom, can’t I? 🙂
TJB: Of course you can, if I can call you Grace.
GH: Tom, my name is Grace.
TJB: Hahaha… Where were we? Grace, you were going to mention your new book, right? What is the name of your new book?
GH: “Open Doors” is my latest, released on 27 February 2016.
TJB: Grace, that cover has got my vote for the Cover of the Year Award.
It’s gorgeous, absolutely stunning, visually attractive and enticing.
To that, let me add that it is colorful, eyecatching, and engaging.
It makes me want to buy a copy of the book just for the artwork alone.
By the way, not that it would matter much in my buying decision, but what is the book about anyway?
GH: It’s a book about an Aussie guy who loves beer, rock music, classic cars and painting. It’s an unusual combination of swearing Aussie blokes, love, friendship and fairies!
TJB: I’m stunned Grace. How did you know that I like beer, rock music, classic cars, and painting? People like me are going to really love this book. Grace, let’s talk about your writing process now. Do you have any unusual writing habits?
GH: Tom, I realy don’t know. I don’t know if they’re unusual or not but I can be found at 5am drinking coffee and writing. I can also write while there’s TV on in the background and also while having a conversation. I guess I like to multitask or something.
TJB: I see. Grace, take it from me. You’re a writer. There’s nothing unusual about drinking coffee at 5am and writing. Or writing with the TV on. Or having a conversation while writing. We all do that. Welcome to the club. 🙂
GH: Thanks Tom. I knew there was a place in this world where I fit in perfectly. 🙂
TJB: As a writer early in your career, Grace, please share with my readers what authors, or books have influenced your writing style.
GH: I own heaps of books by Stephen King, Patricia Cornwell and a couple by Sylvia Plath and Jack Kerouac. My influences would have to include JRR Tolkien and William Shakespeare as well. I’m sure there are a bunch of classics that I can’t remember right now but they would have made their way into my DNA somehow. I would like to add that I have also discovered a heap of new indie authors during 2015 and 2016. There’s a lot of great stuff out there if you know where to look.
TJB: Very interesting. 9 out of 10 writers are like you Grace. Reading a wide variety of writers and genres help us to find our own style of writing. It’s like food for the soul, sunshine for the spirit. Grace, you mentioned that you have some new projects. What other books are you working on now?
GH: I’m working on some dystopian, some mystery/crime and a bunch of horror short stories. I don’t know which ones will be released as yet, I’m just playing it by ear.
TJB: That’s a very good strategy. One of those books will emerge and almost insist that you work on it more than the others. When it happens, just go with the flow. Now, believe it or not, writing is the easy part. As an indie author, we have to promote and market and sell our books also. How do you go from writer to entrepreneur Grace? Can you tell me what is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
GH: Tom, I’ve got a great social media marketing platform. I use Facebook and Twitter. Those two are a must.
TJB: I totally agree with you Grace. Is there anything else that you use?
GH: My secret weapon is BooksGoSocial. I recommend BooksGoSocial to any author who wants to sell more books.
TJB: Grace, I’ve been hearing a lot about BooksGoSocial recently. Indie authors the world over are literally raving about them. Can you tell my readers a little more about them please? And since this tip is really hot, spreading like wildfire, can I get you to look directly into the camera please?
GH: Where do you need me to look at Tom?
TJB: To your left Grace. About 9:00 0’clock. That’s perfect, go ahead please.
GH: What can I say about BooksGoSocial without making this sound like propaganda? For me, ever since I joined them, I’ve increased my sales. That’s partly because they have over 700 thousand followers who are readers.
TJB: That’s very important, to have access to readers and for readers to have access to you. So BooksgoSocial brings readers and writers together, right?
GH: Yes, but that’s not all they do. They are professionals who work very hard to support authors in a variety of ways. They track results, have conferences, provide helpful hints and suggestions about anything related to writing and promoting a book.
TJB: Thank you for that Grace. I’m sure it will be helpful for some other indie authors to contact BooksGoSocial and find out how they can help them.
TJB: Grace, would you consider BettyBookFreak to be a hot tip?
GH: Absolutely. Betty is so hot you could fry an egg just by landing on their page.
TJB: Grace, that’s a good one, and I can tell by the look in your eye that you mean it too.
GH: I’m not finished yet Tom. I also use BookBub.
TJB: BookBub? Tell me more about BookBub please.
— Grace Hudson (@GraceHudsonAU) April 22, 2016
GH: BookBub is a free daily email that notifies readers about free and discounted ebooks. Readers choose the types of books they want to get notified about. BookBub sends great deals in those genres to readers.
TJB: Sounds like heaven. Your book goes to readers who are literally waiting for the books to be delivered to their inboxes. What’s the catch? Sounds too good to be true.
GH: BookBub’s targeted daily email reaches millions of readers every day. The most difficult thing about them is taking the time to understand how they work. It’s not complicated, but if you have time to invest in your future success, it would be wisely invested in BookBub. As a starting point, their blog is very useful.
TJB: Thanks for all those social media and author’s services tips. Grace, let’s be inspiring now. Many young writers need encouragement. What words of wisdom, advice, encouragement do you have for new authors?
GH: Have faith. Confidence. Believe in yourself. Don’t freak out and think you’re not good enough. Just write one book, then write another one. Rinse, repeat.
TJB: We’re almost finished, and thanks for your patience with me so far. Let’s pick up the pace and close out. What is the best advice you have ever heard for authors?
GH: This is a good one from Stephen King: Don’t use long words where short ones will suffice. (I’m paraphrasing here) He makes a good point. Not to say you shouldn’t ever use a big word, but its more of a rule of thumb. If your readers are spending more time looking at the dictionary to find out what the heck you’re trying to say, it’s probably not the most enjoyable reading experience.
TJB: What are you reading now?
GH: “Demon Frenzy” by Harvey Click. I have only just started it but apparently it’s scary. I’m a big fan of horror, books or movies.
TJB: What’s next for you as a writer?
GH: I’m going to write some words. Then I’ll probably write some more. Then I’ll get some covers done and release some books. 🙂
TJB: Desert Island. You get 3 books. Grace, which ones?
GH: That’s a tough one. I’d have to go with the SAS Survival Manual, a book on DIY rescue signals and maybe the complete works of William Shakespeare (that counts for 1 book, I already own it!). One of two things would happen. 1: I get rescued because of my new found techniques from the first couple of books or 2: I get stranded indefinitely and I finally get to finish the complete works of William Shakespeare!
TJB: 🙂 Grace, it has been a pleasure. I predict your interview is going to become required reading for new indie authors. You provided an incredible amount of important tips and advice about writing and promoting your books. I appreciate you taking two hours of your time to be here with me. Thank you so much.
GH: You’re welcome Tom. I didn’t even notice we had been chatting for so long! Time just flew by.
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— Grace Hudson (@GraceHudsonAU) April 24, 2016