Marketing with Mandy Author Spotlight: MJ Fredrick
Q: Tell us a little about your experience with Carina and Samhain
A: I’ve been very fortunate with my publishers. Carina has helped me learn how to market–they have classes every month online. They’ve also helped me work with a deadline. Samhain has helped me improve my writing–the motivations, the organization, the word choice.
Q: What tips/tricks do you use for marketing or promoting your own titles?
A: I love blogging so my favorite technique is blog tours. I try to come up with different topics for different blogs, relating in some way to my book. For example, when I did one for Road Signs, I did blogs about beta heroes, road trips, and friends to lovers stories. I’m also pretty lucky because I’ve been in the romance community for a long time and I know a LOT of people, so I can approach people about guesting on their blog without feeling like it’s too much of an imposition. I also love Twitter. I am a great re-tweeter and people appreciate that and return the favor.
Q: What is one thing you’d want to tell a newer author, just coming into the game?
A: Write every day. Don’t make excuses. Write 100 words a day. Keep your head in the story. Also, finish what you start! Okay, that’s two things. I have lots more, but I’ll stop now
Q: Could you tell us a bit about your latest release?
A: I just released the last book in my first series! It’s set in Minnesota, what my dad calls “Up North.” It’s about a town called Bluestone that’s really suffering because of the recession. People who used to come for sports fishing and vacations have stopped coming, and the people of the town are trying to lure visitors back. That’s the overarching storyline. The first book has a hero, a war correspondent, who returns to Bluestone, intending to be there temporarily as he helps his son settle in with the boy’s grandparents, who falls in love with the counselor at his son’s school. The second book is about a country singer, who the town has asked to do a concert, who returns and falls in love again with the girl he’d spent his summers with as a boy. The last book is about the bartender, who is trying to sell his bar and move on, but he is in love with the fishing launch owner, who loves the town so much she would never leave. He has to decide if he can leave her behind. (Hint: he can’t!)
Q: Can you tell us a little about your current WIP’s?
Right now I’m writing my first pregnant heroine story. It’s about a woman who’s a surrogate for her gay brother. She runs a bar and her new bartender is hella sexy. But here she’s pregnant and barfing, and he helps her get through her pregnancy. I think it’s going to be really romantic!
Q: How did you get into writing?
A: I’ve always written. People who’ve known me since elementary school remind me of how I’d pass around my stories. I remember writing serials in high school with my friend Kirsten, always starring rock stars. I was Ramona Ramone in the serials, sister to The Ramones (I know, they’re not really brothers, but it was fun to write.) I wish I could find those! In college I had no time, but once I was out, I started again, on the typewriter (OMG what a pain!). It wasn’t until my son was in kindergarten and I went to one of those community ed classes that I learned about RWA. I joined my local chapter and just kept going.
Q: How do you balance family and writing?
A: I get up REALLY early in the morning and write before work. Then I teach, then I come home and do promo and stuff, and I write more while watching TV with the husband. My son is 20 now, so that makes it easier. The real issue is balancing writing and my addiction to my Wii