Tuesday, March 1, 2016

PUYB Virtual Book Club Chats with John Calicchia, author of 'Mirror World'

I’m John Calicchia and I write stories of fantasy, action and adventure. In the fall of 2015 my book Mirror World was released! It's a story of two powerful young sisters and their epic battle against evil. But, this book has something in it most do not: hidden secrets. It's a teen and young adult fiction book with a self-help book hidden inside. You see… after publishing in psychology books and journals for decades I felt my writing was not helping the young people I love to work with. So, I took famous psychology studies and put it in the characters and plot in Mirror World. As you become part of the story you can learn about psychology or you can just enjoy the story! You can also get a free copy of the users guide to help you understand the psychology behind the book by joining my website www.johncalicchia.com

John Calicchia Ph.D. is a professor of psychology who also works with children and young adults as a licensed psychologist. He lives near Boston with his lovely wife and two amazing daughters. You can usually find him in the pool swimming with his two big dogs.

For More Information
About the Book:

What would you do if you saw the future apocalypse of the world in a mirror? Would you try to save the world and those you love, or die trying?

Welcome to my life, this is the vision of the future I've been cursed to see.    – Cailyssa Larkin

When Cailyssa Larkin looks in a mirror she has an ominous feeling that someone is watching her. Stranger still, she has visions that foretell the future. While visiting her Uncle Spencer, Cailyssa gazes into a mirror and sees a dark future that only she can change. With the future of her own world hanging in the balance, Cailyssa bravely enters the portal to the Mirror World. Here, the Dark Lord controls all the mirrors and bends reflections so all creatures see evil within themselves. With her sister Terry, her mysterious best friend Daemon, and a host of weird and wonderful creatures, Cailyssa embarks on an epic quest to overcome the evil forces trying to destroy her world. She can only defeat the Dark Lord by finding her true self and discovering the family secret that has led her to Mirror World.

This book, written by a psychology professor, integrates famous psychological studies in the story. Readers will enjoy learning important life lessons through the psychological concepts illustrated in the book.

For More Information

  • Mirror World is available at Amazon.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.

Before you started writing your book, what kind of research did you do to prepare yourself?

In many ways I was planning  and researching the book before I actually decided to write it.  One of the first things I think any author must do is become very popular with the genre, I’ve read thousands of young adult fiction books – that’s great research. But as I began writing the book,  I began researching each of the characters and how they would be represented. Of course, the most critical piece of my book,  is the hidden psychological studies that are embedded in the narrative, I have been researching them over my 25 year career as a psychologist.

Did you pursue publishers or did you opt to self-pub?

My publishing experience is probably different from many authors who write fiction. I came from an academic background and have been traditionally published in the psychology field since the early 90s. However, I didn't feel that my academic books and journal articles were helping the young people I love to work with. So, I decided to write a teen and young adult fiction book that had famous concepts in psychology embedded in the characters and the plot; almost like a self-help book hidden within a fiction book!  Since I have been reading young adult and teen literature for my entire life – this book was the most enjoyable publication experience of my life!  Also, using Create Space and KDP  from Amazon  was a wonderful experience.  The editorial staff was top-notch and the platform is easy to use.

If self-published, how did you determine the price?

I read many books about marketing self published books. It seems that most books are priced between $.99 and $2.99. Some readers are more likely to take a chance on a new author if the price is low.

How did you choose your cover?

The first thing I did was look at some of the young adult book covers that have won awards, I looked at the style and colors within the genre. I then gave sample covers to  beta readers, friends, and teen readers. I would not suggest most people do this, but I actually created the cover myself,  you have to be very familiar with Photoshop and layering.

Did you write your book, then revise or revise as you went?

When I write I draft my chapters using Dragon NaturallySpeaking and I try to  complete an entire chapter in one morning.  Then, I let it sit for a while and go back to complete revisions. Finally, I had three editors take a pass through the book,  I think that’s critical to come up with a highly professional product in the end.

Did you consider making or hiring someone to make a book trailer for your book?  If so, what’s the link?  

What’s your opinion on giving your book away to sell other copies of your book?

For me,  when I gave away books free on Amazon I only gave away about 600 copies  despite advertising. Sales after the giveaway were unchanged.  I’m not sure how many people who take a  free book read it.

What are three of the most important things you believe an author should do before their book is released?  

Ensure the book is  properly edited, have a professional, and have a back cover of the draws the reader in.

What kind of pre-promotion did you do before the book came out?  

Do you have a long term plan with your book?  

Keep plugging away to promote the popularity of this book, and I hope to use it  as a way of interesting readers in the second book. I think it helps if the author has several books in their portfolio.

What would you like to say to your readers and fans about your book?

I hope my book is a somewhat unique stamp. First of all I hope it’s a fun and exciting story that entertains you. But I know as a  professor that the psychology studies hidden in the plot are very helpful for people’s lives. So I really hope it’s a wonderful tale, that has a free self-help book hidden in the narrative. Please get a copy of the users guide at my website after you read it and you’ll know what I’m talking about. In the meantime, read the book and keep guessing about the psychology behind it!

Warm Regards,

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