Marketing with Mandy Author Spotlight: Sharon Cullen
Q: Tell us a little about your experience with Carina Press.
A: Carina Press and more specifically, Charlotte Herscher, have been a joy to work with. They’re very positive and very open to suggestions. I just love the energy they bring to my work.
Q: What tips/tricks do you use for marketing or promoting your own titles?
A: I use a lot of social media like Facebook, Twitter and guest blogging, to get the word out. I consider marketing and promoting a year round effort, whether I have a new release or not. I think in this day and age, it’s important for an author to be out there all the time. Plus, I’m a social media addict. I LOVE talking to everyone on Twitter and Facebook. The other day I posted a funny picture on my Facebook that said, “I love my computer. All my friends live in there.” LOL. That’s exactly how I feel. So while I’m promoting and marketing, I don’t FEEL like I’m promoting and marketing.
On the other hand, I think any author needs to strike a good balance. You don’t want to inundate your followers with “buy my book” tweets and posts. That just turns people away. So occasionally I will slip a “buy my book” tweet or post in there but not often.
Q: What is one thing you’d want to tell a newer author, just coming into the game?
A: Never, never, never give up. Keep writing, keep reading. As long as you have an open mind, are willing to learn and can handle critiques of your work, you WILL succeed. But you have to be willing to work hard. Writing isn’t easy, as much as some of my non-writing friends like to believe. Its hard and you have to be willing to put the blood, sweat and tears (lots of tears) into it.
Q: Could you tell us a bit about your latest release?
A: Her Dark Knight is a cross-genre romance. A little paranormal. A little historical, a little contemporary. It’s about Christien Chevalier, a Knight Templar given the job of protecting the Holy Grail and about Madelaine Alexander, his love from seven hundred years ago who has been reincarnated. Here’s a blurb:
Madelaine Alexander is on a mission. When her boss sends her to the hottest nightclub in town to meet with the owner, she won’t be deterred, even if that means standing in line for fifty-eight minutes in torturous heels while she’d rather be home in her pj’s with a bowl of popcorn.
A Knight of the Templar, Christien Chevalier was given immortality along with the responsibility of protecting the treasure of the Templars. He’s been unwavering in his task for centuries until his one true love—who died seven hundred years ago—shows up in his club, demanding his attention.
Christien couldn’t protect Madelaine when they first fell in love. She was married to a lord and he was simply a knight. Now, through some unknown miracle, she stands before him again and they have a second chance. But Christien fears that Madelaine is being used as a pawn in a dangerous game, a game of good versus evil that could affect all of mankind…
Q: Can you tell us a little about your current WIP’s?
A: I’m working on the second Knight Templar story. I’m also working on a romantic suspense, and the plot for my next historical is swirling around in my mind. It’s very crowded in my brain at the moment.
Q: How did you get into writing?
A: I started writing when I was ten years old. I’d read YA and, not liking the ending, would rewrite the entire story. Later, I joined my high school newspaper and knew I wanted writing to be a large part of my life. I graduated with a degree in journalism from Ohio University but writing jobs are hard to find. I worked several different jobs in several different areas. Then kids came along and, well, we all know how much time kids take. But ironically, it was when I was a stay-at-home mom that I had a little come-to-Jesus with myself. If I wanted to see my dream of writing a novel come true, then I had to start right then. That was eleven years ago and I haven’t looked back. I’m having the time of my life!
Q: How do balance family and writing?
A: Now that the kids are older it’s much easier. I have two teenagers and a tween. They aren’t nearly as needy as they used to be and tend to disappear in the evenings. I write while they’re in school, then take a few hours off when they get home from school. After dinner I’ll sit on the couch with the laptop and write some more while my husband reads or watches TV beside me.