Thomas: This afternoon, UK based author Mel RJ Smith has dropped by for a visit on my blog. Mel, thank you for accepting my invitation to stop by for a chat. Can I offer you anything, coffee perhaps?
Mel: Thomas, I’ll take tea if you have any.
TJB: Here you go Mel.
Mel: That was fast Tom. 🙂
TJB: I would like to say it was magic Mel, but I anticipated you would go for tea. 🙂 Mel, can you tell my readers something about yourself and your books please?
Mel: I started writing my first book “Memoirs of an Ordinary Guy” way back in the 80’s during my first marriage. I wrote the first paragraph and put it to one side, only to pick it up again in 2011 when I was laid up ill with septicaemia. I completed and self published it in 2015.
TJB: So, this book was 25 years in the making.
Mel: More like 35 years Tom. Hahaha! This year, 2016 I published my second book and am currently writing my 3rd/4th.
TJB: The story of your first book is amazing Mel. What is the name of your new book?
Mel: A Time for Adventure
TJB: That’s a very attractive cover. A Time For Adventure gets my vote for the Cover of The Year Award. The artwork definitely helps readers to predict the contents between the covers of the book. It kind of reminds me of the movie, The Great Gatsby, with Leonardo DiCaprio. What is the book about?
Mel: It’s the first in the Gerry MacNeil time travel adventures.
TJB: You are way too modest Mel. Let me just read the book description out loud here. Where’s my camera?
Mel: Right in front of you Tom. 12 o’clock.
TJB: Thanks Mel. (reading out loud while looking directly into the camera)
A RIP ROARING TIME TRAVEL ADVENTURE
An unexpected blow from a stray golf ball sends Gerry MacNeil back in time to the 1920’s. After a chance meeting and falling in love with Eloise Ponsonby, Gerry is thrust into a world of adventure and a race against time.
Under instructions from Al Capone, Eloise is kidnapped by her father’s business partner David Steinberg. Now both Gerry and her father Georgie follow a trail of double crossing gun-runners, gangsters and Nazi collaborators from England, Germany and the USA in their attempts to rescue Eloise.
And that’s just the start of their adventures.
With the help of Peter Dann, one of MI6’s finest agents, Al Capone’s most feared adversary and a time traveller himself, Gerry not only discover the truth about time travel but must also thwart a plot to assassinate an important future political leader or see the world fall under the Nazi’s rule.
Mel: I just got a couple of great reviews on this book Tom.
TJB: I’m glad you mentioned reviews Mel. I have to do a commercial / info spot for my readers. Like you, I get a lot of wonderful feedback on my books, but readers are sometimes hesitant to leave a review.
All reviews, good, bad and ugly, help authors to improve their craft. And especially nowadays, we have the ability to respond in a matter of hours to reviews by making corrections, changing cover artwork, adding entire chapters or deleting chapters.
Indie authors are much more flexible and able to benefit from reviews to ensure our product is the best reading experience we can possibly provide for readers. Wouldn’t you agree Mel?
Mel: Absolutely Tom. But not only that, reviews are the best way readers can say thank you to an indie author. It helps us to get the attention of readers, and ultimately to sell more book. A review can save an indie author. To leave a reviw is not complicated.
Tom: I’m speaking here as an indie author Mel. Just a few simple words is all it takes. It could be really simple. I’ve got three example book reviews I recently saw:
1. A true gem!
2. Hotter than lava!
3. Thoroughly enjoyable!
Mel: Exactly Tom. That’s three book reviews right there. And like I said before, a reviw can save an indie author. Help to pay the rent, buy gas, keep going until the end of the month.
Tom: Mel, honestly, which one of those three reviews, number 1, 2, or 3, which one best describes your latest book?
Mel: All of them! 🙂
Tom: Let’s change the subject and talk about your writing process Mel. I know you have to go pretty soon, so I’ll be quick. Do you have any unusual writing habits?
Mel: Yes, I use my phone to write with.
Tom: What authors, or books have influenced you?
Mel: Well for horror it has to be James Herbert, for thriller it’s Jack Higgins.
Tom: What other books are you working on now?
Mel: “Escape” is basically a thriller set in the UK and loosely based on the migrant crisis but it’s Britain that’s in a state of civil war. Charlie, the protagonist, gets caught up in the troubles and had to flee to safety with his family but with villains on his tail.
Tom: What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
Mel: Having just got a new author website up and running, I’m hoping to use that for promotion purposes, other than that, I use Twitter and Facebook and of course word of mouth.
— Mel RJ Smith Author (@Melrjsmith) May 4, 2016
Tom: Do you have any advice for new authors?
Mel: Never give up on your dreams.
Tom: What is the best advice you have ever heard for authors?
Mel: Promote, promote and promote again.
Tom: What are you reading now?
Mel: I’m currently enjoying a book titled “Payback” by Kimberly Chambers.
Tom: What’s next for you as a writer?
Mel: Well, between work and family life I hope to keep writing and make it up there with the big boys.
Tom: If you were going to be stranded on a desert island and allowed to take 3 or 4 of my books with you, what books would you bring?
Mel: A horror, a thriller and one on how to survive on a desert island with just three books. (smiling)
Tom: Mel, I haven’t written a horror, a thriller, or a survival guide…
Mel: (interrupting) I know that Tom. (smiling)
Tom: …but my latest book includes all of that: horror, thriller, and a survival guide! 🙂
Mel: Oh really? I thought your book was Christian Fiction? What’s it called Tom?
Tom: Emily and David’s Quest. It’s about…
Mel: Tom, sorry to interrupt again, but I really must be going. It’s been a pleasure chatting with you today. (standing up to go, drinking the last of his tea)
Tom: The pleasure was all mine. Have a wonderful day my friend! 🙂
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— Mary Anne Yarde (@maryanneyarde) April 19, 2016
— Readers Gazette (@ReadersGazette) April 15, 2016