Monday, August 25, 2014

Teri Harman, author of Blood Moon

Author Bio:
Teri Harman is an author of magic and wonder. Her debut novel, BLOOD MOON, a witch fantasy is now available. The sequel, BLACK MOON, hits shelves fall 2014 and her gothic romance, A PAINTED LIFE, early 2015. Currently, her bookshelf is overflowing, her laundry unfolded, and her three small children running mad while she pens bewitching novels. She also writes a book column for, and contributes regular book segments to Studio 5, KSL’s popular lifestyle television show.  

Title: Blood Moon
Author: Teri Harman
ISBN: 13:978-1-939967-00-8
Page count: 320
Genre: Fantasy/Juvenile Fiction
Price: $14.99

Tell us about your book:
BLOOD MOON and its sequels BLACK MOON and STORM MOON are thrilling, alluring explorations of witchcraft based in natural magic. Or the belief that every rock, tree, plant, herb, and drop of water has magical properties. As Willa and Simon, the main characters, struggle to deal with their newly discovered magic and their new relationship the past and present collide in unimaginable ways. Fans of A DISCOVERY OF WITCHES and WITCHES OF EAST END should enjoy the Moonlight Trilogy.

How long did it take to write the book?
It took me about eight months to write the first draft. I continued to revise it as I submitted it to agents and publishers over the next two years.

What inspired you to write the book?
Funny enough, a Halloween party. Every year I throw a witch-themed party for the women in my family. In 2010, I found a killer location: The Fairfield Schoolhouse at Camp Floyd State Park, Utah. It’s one hundred years old and has great atmosphere. With this great location, I needed the party to match, so I started doing some casual research into witches to get ideas for décor, games, food, etc. I stumbled on an off-shot of Wicca – Natural Magic – and was fascinated. I kept reading and finally my husband suggested I write a book.

Talk about the writing process. Did you have a writing routine? Did you do any research, and if so, what did that involve?
Yes, as much as a mother of three young kids can, I have a routine. I write in some way every day. I write at my desk in our bedroom so I have a little privacy but can still hear and see what’s going on with the kids. I write on a MacBook Air with a large monitor attached. I keep notebooks. One general writing notebook for ideas, words, characters names, etc. and also a notebook for each book. It’s the only way I can keep track of all the details.

The research I did for the Moonlight Trilogy involved reading books on Wicca and Natural Magic. Each one is marked up, dog-eared, and close at hand while I write.

What do you hope your readers come away with after reading your book?
Most of all, I hope readers have fun when they read my books. Reading should be an escape – an adventure. I hope they love my characters and story and think about them after the last page.

Excerpt from book:
From Blood Moon:
White lines spread across the sky like cracks in dried mud, as bright and terrifying as lightning, and moving alarmingly fast. Then, like a million mirrors dropping onto a stone floor, the sky shattered, snapped and fell apart. Sharp shards, as bright and silvery as glass, tumbled down toward the earth. All around her the shards struck the ground, slicing and stabbing. Some were as big as a house while others as small as raindrops.
            She spun around and peered into the cave. Simon was gone; her chest tightened with fear and pain.
            Thud thud thud.
            The shards fell faster. As Willa struggled to her feet, scrambling to get out of the way, one of the pieces of sky tore a deep gash in her forearm. The pain pushed her onward, her need for shelter overwhelming her horrified fascination. She searched frantically for a place to hide and found a small opening in an outcropping of rock coming off the cave.
            She put her head down and ran, the shards slicing and bruising her. The dark area between two large boulders winked at her. She skidded to a stop, slamming into the rocks, before dropping to the ground to try and squeeze her battered body into the space. She managed to push her head, torso, and hips inside, almost safe, when a large dagger-shaped shard pierced her calf, slicing all the way through the muscle, pinning her to the ground.

Where can we go to buy your book?
My books are available everywhere, in stores and on-line.

Any other links or info you'd like to share?
Instagram: @teriharman
Twitter: @TeriHarman,

Book Trailer Link:

Teri Harman will be one of the Featured Guest Authors speaking at the 2014 St. George Book Festival. To learn more and see a full list of events, visit

Monday, August 18, 2014

Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of HowToDoItFrugally series

Carolyn Howard-Johnson’s several careers prepared her for promoting her own books and those of others and for editing many genres from nonfiction to poetry. She was the youngest person ever hired as a staff writer for the Salt Lake Tribune—“A Great Pulitzer Prize Winning Newspaper”—where she wrote features for the society page and a column under the name of Debra Paige. That gave her insight into the needs of editors, the very people authors must work with to get free ink and the ones likely to spot unprofessional editing when they see it. Being familiar with the way news is handled helps her see how different books fit into different news cycles.
Later in New York, she was an editorial assistant at Good Housekeeping Magazine.
In the Big Apple she also handled accounts for fashion publicist Eleanor Lambert who instituted the first Ten Best Dressed List. There she started writing media releases (then called press releases) for celebrity designers of the day including Pauline Trigere, Rudy Gernreich, and Christian Dior instead of being one of those dreaded gatekeepers of releases who get to say yay or nay. She also produced photo shoots for Lambert’s clients.
She worked as columnist, reviewer, and staff writer for the Pasadena Star-News, Home Décor Buyer, the Glendale News-Press (an affiliate of the LA Times),, and others.
She learned marketing skills both in college (University of Utah, and University of Southern California) and as founder and operator of a chain of retail stores. That molded her understanding of how authors might best collaborate with retailers to affect both of their bottom lines.
Carolyn’s experience in journalism and as a poet and author of fiction and nonfiction helped the multi award-winning author understand how different genres can be marketed more effectively. She was an instructor for UCLA Extension’s renowned Writers’ Program for nearly a decade and earned an instructor’s certificate from that school. She studied writing at Cambridge University, United Kingdom; Herzen University in St. Petersburg, Russia; and Charles University in Prague.
She turned her knowledge toward helping other writers with her HowToDoItFrugally series of books for writers. Her marketing campaign for the first edition of this book won the Next Generation Indie Best Book Award, Reader Views Award, and USA Book News award. She also has a multi award-winning series of HowToDoItFrugally books for retailers.
Howard-Johnson was honored as Woman of the Year in Arts and Entertainment by California Legislature members Carol Liu, Dario Frommer, and Jack Scott. She received her community’s Character and Ethics award for her work promoting tolerance with her writing and the Diamond Award in Arts and Culture. She was named to Pasadena Weekly’s list of fourteen “San Gabriel Valley women who make life happen” and Delta Gamma, a national fraternity of women, honored her with their Oxford Award.
Carolyn is an actor who has appeared in ads for Apple, Lenscrafters, Time-Life CDs, Disney Cruises (Japan), and Blue Shield and has presented at writers’ conferences and tradeshows across the US.

Title: The HowToDoItFrugally series of books for writers including multi award-winners The Frugal Book Promoter and The Frugal Editor
Author: Carolyn Howard-Johnson

The Frugal Book Promoter:
How to get nearly free publicity on your own or partnering with your publisher
(Second Edition).

From the HowToDoItFrugally Series of books for writers
First Edition Awards: Winner USA Book News, coveted Irwin Award
Award for Second Edition: USA Book News winner, silver medal from Military Writers Society of America, honored b Global Ebook Awards
ISBN: 9781463743291
To order paperback or e-book:

For only a few cents a day The Frugal Book Promoter assures your book the best possible start in life. Full of nitty-gritty how-tos for getting nearly-free publicity, Carolyn Howard-Johnson, an instructor for UCLA’s Writers’ Program and former publicist and journalist, shares her professional experience as well as practical tips gleaned from the successes of her own book campaigns. She tells authors how to do what their publishers can’t or won’t and why authors can often do their own promotion better than a PR professional. The first edition is a multi award winner and the second edition is a USA Book News winner. It is updated and expanded by more than 100 pages.

A recommendation from Feather Schwartz Foster, an author, September 9, 2004, 5 out of 5 stars
Packed With Wonderful Information! For anyone who has written a book of any kind - this is a must-have, and must-keep guide! Every chapter is filled with insights and how-tos and a whole bunch of where to finds!”

Genre: How-To/Publishing/Author/Marketing
Price: $17.95

Tell us about your book:
See above

How long did it take to write the book?
It is in its second edition to a very long time but not as long as you'd think for the first edition because everything is based on personal experience—school of hard knocks and professional background. (-:

What inspired you to write the book?
I needed an author-focused text for a class I was teaching at UCLA aimed at helping authors publish professionally—this is, including marketing.

Talk about the writing process. Did you have a writing routine? Did you do any research, and if so, what did that involve?
I mostly used the discipline I had learned as a reporter/staff writer for The Salt Lake Tribune. Persistence is always a key with books.

What do you hope your readers come away with after reading your book?
They'll come away with the basics needed to act as their own publicist or to partner with a publicist assigned to them by their publishing.  They'll also have an understanding of how to make those skills works best for authors. They'll also feel assured that marketing is OK. Indeed, that it's essential.

Excerpt from book:

Before We Get Started

Knowing the rules of promotion is like knowing the rules for writing. When you have mastered them, you have the confidence to break them when you need to. ~ CHJ
Don’t misunderstand the above quotation. I’m not suggesting that an author run willy-nilly breaking the rules of public relations (PR). That will not benefit his reputation as either an author or someone who knows how to brand himself. Many books give you PR essentials, but once you know the rules, you are better able to let your writer’s imagination loose so you can promote yourself and your book with confidence. When you do that, even our rule-oriented culture will appreciate your creativity rather than criticize you for it. Rather than the tinkle of bells, your efforts will be the sound of timpani to the ears of gatekeepers—you know, folks like editors, producers, and anyone else in a position to help you get your message out there.
It is a myth that authors—especially the greats—lack the ability to promote. In some circles it appears to be stylish to eschew promotion as vocally as possible. However, many of our most famous and literate authors were very good promoters and some did it without PR classes (or books!) to tell them how. Mark Twain was one of the best.
Laura Skandera Trombley, president of Pitzer College in Claremont, California, and a noted Mark Twain scholar, says the image we have of this American icon is the one we have “because that’s the image [Twain himself] wanted people to have,” and that Twain was a man “so gifted at marketing himself that nearly a century after his death, his name still evokes his white-haired likeness.” Branding works so well that Trombley was moved to add, “And [Twain’s image has] been so co-opted, it sells everything from pizza to banks to luggage. You know, Twain and Elvis, two symbols of American cultural life that are just indelible.”
As important as branding is, building relationships (that might be read as networking) is even more important. Certainly networking is part of branding, but it can obscure the definition. Branding is all you do to encourage people to think of you favorably and often.
We all know what building relationships is. The thing is, with the advent of the Net the possibilities for relationships are so much greater than they were. Relationships have become—if not a more important part of a good promotion campaign—at least more widespread. “Social networking” is the new term for some of that relationship building and I don’t neglect that concept in this book. Having said that, the basic concepts and tools of public relations are still the drivers behind promoting with new media.
Marketing and all it encompasses (PR, branding, promotion, building relationships, and more!) works. And it works better if the author is proactive. A publisher’s publicist can only do so much without an author’s cooperation. Further, most publishers assign no publicist or, if they do, she may have access to a very slim Rolodex, an even thinner budget, and hardly any experience or none at all.
This book is for authors who want their books to soar and do not want their careers to languish. It is structured so authors can select chapters that address aspects of their marketing plan most needed at any given time.
If a reference is made to something covered in depth elsewhere, the reader is given a prompt, and the Index is edited to make it easy for authors like you to find tips for different kinds of promotions as you need them. As an example, when you look up “TV,” you’ll find information on how to get TV appearances, how to prepare for them, and how to make the most of them.
The Frugal Book Promoter is not a textbook. It contains opinions—some as black and white as the page you find them on. It is me talking to you, sharing with you. I had no desire to write a tome that would make people hearken back to their boring (and heavy!) high school texts.
I may not have covered every possible promotional idea out there. In fact I avoid anything I have not tried as a professional publicist or in promoting my own books. You will, however, find some new (or rarely used) ways to promote that have not been scorched, stirred, and then warmed over.
What is important is that you find a path for promoting that fits your interests, skills, pocketbook, and your book’s title. I expect you to pick and choose. Only someone who had no guidance (like me in the days right after my novel was published) would attempt to use them all. I hope that my experiences will save you time, money, and heartache.
Novelist and political powerhouse Hill Kemp and I had a conversation about how interesting it is that writers scorn something so commercial and practical as marketing, but when they sign with a fine traditional publisher (or any other publisher!) who doesn’t market their books, they are most put out. That is one of the reasons the first Frugal Book Promoter: How to do what your publisher won’t came to be and why I am expanding it in this edition. Marketing is essential. It is also creative. Hill suggests that both nonfiction and fiction writers can help themselves overcome their aversion with this exercise:
“Pretend you are writing a novel. Create a character who lives to market something—anything. Put that character into situations you might face in promoting your own book. You’ll then have in this character a mentor for furthering your writing career.”

Where can we go to buy your book?
I love it when people buy my book—either paper or e-book—from Amazon. That's because they help keep Amazon's ratings for the book looking great. It's all part of the marketing we authors must do on Amazon if we want worldwide and fast access to our books for our readers.

Any other links or info you'd like to share?I have tons of aids for writers on my Web site in the Writers Resources section. The URL is

Book Trailer Link: Readers will find a couple trailers on my Writer's Digest 101 Best award-winning blog for writers:  Subscriptions  there allow authors to have their own icons/logos appear on the blog.

Carolyn Howard-Johnson will be one of the Featured Guest Authors speaking at the 2014 St. George Book Festival. To learn more and see a full list of events, visit