Monday, June 21, 2010

Meet Suspense Author Darcia Helle

DarcĂ­a Helle says she writes because, "My head gets cluttered with characters that demand their story be written."

A suspense author, she has written five novels: Enemies and Playmates, Hit List, No Justice, Beyond Salvation, and Miami Snow. Her sixth book, The Cutting Edge, will be out in late summer. She joins us today at Writers in Business to share her experiences as a writer. Welcome Darcia.

I’ve heard wonderful things about your novel, Miami Snow. Can you share the plot?

One day Nick Donovan has it all; a beautiful, pregnant wife, a nice house, a great job. The next day he is on his own, starting from scratch with Nick flees to the opposite coast of Florida, trying to leave his ex-wife and the memories behind. But that couldn't happen. Soon Nick finds that he is tied to Shelley in a way that he hadn't expected. And, in her bitterness, she does everything she can to ensure his misery.
Brandy is Shelley's opposite; wild, sensual, free-spirited. With Brandy, Nick is able to rebel against all that Shelley stands for. Brandy quickly leads Nick into a world of sex, drugs, and cash. And now Nick finds himself caught between the two worlds, desperate to stay afloat.

Sounds like a great book! Can you tell us about your other books?

Miami Snow is my fifth book. I’m currently in the editing phase of my sixth, entitled The Cutting Edge. My first two are Enemies and Playmates and Hit List. My third and fourth, No Justice and Beyond Salvation, are the first two in the ongoing Michael Sykora series.

My first five books are suspense, with some level of mystery. My sixth is more difficult to define. The Cutting Edge combines suspense and mystery with humor. It tends to be more comical than edge-of-your-seat, nail-biting suspense. However, the main character does cross paths with a serial killer, so the suspense is definitely there! It’s also written in the first-person, which is new for me.

I understand you are working with CreateSpace. Has it been a positive experience?

CreateSpace is great to work with! They have deals with a variety of online stores, as well as libraries. My books are automatically listed in those stores and libraries can order them.

Publishing is a difficult business. The traditional method (agents and large publishing houses) is closed off for most new and/or unknown authors. Unfortunately, there are a lot of scams with the small presses and self-publishing companies. CreateSpace is a fantastic option to this dilemma.

What marketing strategies have you tried? What has worked best for you?

I've tried countless methods, including Google Adwords, contests and giveaways, ads on specific book/reader groups, Twitter, and blog tours. I'm not able to do physical book tours or book signings due to health constraints from chronic, late-stage lyme disease. Therefore, my marketing is all Internet-based. I've found that what works best for me personally is interacting with readers. My Facebook page is open to everyone and I also belong to a site called Goodreads. I'm just me all the time and I welcome readers - as well as other writers - into my world. That interaction, combined with the occasional giveaways, has brought an increase in sales. I've also met some amazing people along the way.

How can our readers learn more about you and your ongoing efforts?

I’m quite accessible! My website has all of my book information, as well as contests, a monthly newsletter on a variety of crime & punishment topics, and a bunch of other distractions. I have a blog that I update frequently. I’m on Facebook, where I share my crazy world with anyone wishing to join me there. And I’m now learning my way around Twitter.

My Website
My Blog

I can also be reached through email at I love to hear from readers as well as aspiring writers.

Thank you Darcia!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Meet J. Aday Kennedy and Win a Prize!

J. Aday Kennedy, the differently-abled writer, is an award winning multi published author of inspirational/Christian pieces and of children’s literature. Eight picture books are under contract eagerly awaiting publication. She is a ventilator dependent quadriplegic making her dreams come true a story at a time. As a speaker, Aday entertains, instructs, motivates and inspires audiences of all ages. She joins us today at Writers in Business.

Tell us about your children's books.

I have eight picture books under contract with Guardian Angel Publishing Guardian Angel Publishing, They are a mixture of humorous fantasy and Christian stories. All include a teacher's guide, send a positive message and are geared to attract reluctant readers.

What other things do you write?

I write essays for Chicken Soup for the Soul. Five essays have been published in their anthologies. Christian and inspirational articles are among many of my writing credits.

What is the best advice on writing you've ever received?

When you have written something let it rest. Do not look at it for weeks before you begin the editing process. Then you can look at it with fresh eyes. Have someone read your manuscript aloud to you. I use a text reader, TextAloud from Next Up. It is a real eye opener.

Tell us about the Klutzy Kantor book series.
• Klutzy Kantor Book I
The book was just released in April. Kantor is a lovable Pegasus plagued by clumsiness. He travels to a rainbow to challenge Cobbledom McSweeney to a riddle duel. If he solves Cobbledom’s impossible riddle his wish to stop being a klutz will be granted. The book teaches children to concentrate on their strengths.

• Cobbledom’s Curse Book II
Cobbledom curses the apple’s Kantor can’t resist and he becomes a klutz again. His elf friend, Sprystar, was cursed by the devious leprechaun never to sleep again. The pair travel to Cobbledom’s rainbow and strike a bargain. They agree to wash Cobbledom’s dingy rainbow in exchange for a wish. They think each will get a wish, but Cobbledom refuses to give more than one. Kantor must make a choice. If Sprystar gets his wish, Kantor will remain a klutz. Friendship is often challenged by one’s own desires or self.

• The Iitcha Itcha Goo Goo Blues Book III
Jensen elf is recovering from the Itcha Itcha Goo Goo Disease, the equivalent to human cancer. She lost her hair from the cure. Kantor takes her to Cobbledom’s rainbow with the intention of getting a wish for her hair back. Cobbledom will grant her wish if Kantor will sacrifice his tail. Kantor must choose between himself and Jensen’s needs. A lesson in self sacrifice is taught.

Each book is geared to reluctant readers, All provide a teacher’s guide, share a positive message and are full of Kantor’s funny antics.

I understand you are offering prizes as part of your Klutzy Kantor book tour. Can you tell us how to participate?"

Yes, I have planned a giveaway at the end of the tour. The more stops visitors make and promote with blurbs on their social networks the more entries in the contest they receive. The more participants, the more prizes and winners their will be. I will let the winner(s) choose their prizes. Winner 1 gets first choice, winner 2 gets second choice and so on. Every 13 participants adds another prize. For pictures of the possible prizes and contest rules visit

You are such an inspiration! Thank you for sharing your new Klutzy Kantor book series with us. To learn more about her and her writing, visit and JAdayKennedy Blog.