Monday, February 29, 2016

PUYB Virtual Book Club Chats with Connie Lansberg, author of 'The Perfect Tear'



Connie Lansberg is a singer/songwriter and now author based in Melbourne Australia. She’s had her original songs placed in some of Australia’s best loved TV shows that play around the world and The Connie Lansberg Quartet is a fixture in the Melbourne jazz scene. Her most recent original musical project, Alone with Bees, performs her songs written especially for The Perfect Tear. This is Connie’s first novel and the movie is coming soon.

She also received several grants from the Victoria Council of the Arts for the development of mobile phone games that she created.

Connie joined the Melbourne Writers Group in 2010 to work on ideas and scripts and during this time the idea for The Perfect Tear began to develop and take shape. She continued her education by taking scriptwriting classes at the Australian Film and Television School in Melbourne and later, worked extensively with Marcy Kennedy on the book. She has two more stories to complete The Perfect Tear Trilogy and is hoping to have the second book finished by 2016.
 
"The first thing anybody tells you about this business is to say what makes you unique and different, but I couldn't and the very idea of it never sat well with me and after much deliberation, I finally realized why.

Because, I'm not unique or different – I'm exactly like you and I love that.

We each have a unique filter through which we interpret the world, and with this filter in place, I write stories and songs and you might find them surprising or intriguing or confronting, you may relate or you may not. They may make you laugh and sometimes, even cry.

You may or may not understand what I'm trying to say and you may not understand me, however, rest assured, once we get past the filters, at our core, we are wonderfully and beautifully, exactly the same."

For More Information
About the Book:

The Perfect Tear begins with the Singers of the world who, during their initiation by a multi-dimensional being, are given a magical three-pronged hair comb to use as tuning forks to help keep the world in harmony.  They are a special breed of women, able to connect their voices to the vibration of the earth in order to create this needed balance and equilibrium for all.   
   
The story follows the main character Eleanor, from age six to sixteen.  She is a good natured and dutiful young girl, with a profound ability to interact with both animals and nature.  Like her mother, she is a powerful Singer but has not yet been initiated because she has not reached the age of maturity. After the unexpected death of her mother, a grey mist descends upon the earth and the world fails to thrive, forcing this innocent child into a course of action that she had never asked for, nor had ever envisioned.

Set against a backdrop of abandonment, loss and betrayal, Eleanor is determined to find her way through strange and dangerous landscapes in her desperate search for the Perfect Tear, a dark and powerful crystal that contains the Third Vibration, which she must find and release in order to heal the land – and save her world.  Just like the notes of a song must connect to create a perfect melody, Eleanor has to discover the proper associations needed to create this special harmony.

For More Information

  • The Perfect Tear 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?

Because The Perfect Tear was written as a movie first, and because I didn’t set it in a rigid time, although, there is a castle and no electricity, they ride horses and use swords, so I really just researched what the physical world was like during that period in our own world. But, like any good fantasy, you mostly have to make it all up.

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

I did pursue publishers and did in fact get three offers, one of whom still keeps in contact with me even though I turned her down, but for expedience sake and to support the movie, I went with a hybrid publisher who did all the InDesign, cover, and e-book conversion.

If self-published, did you hire someone to format the ebook version for you or did you do it yourself?  Can you tell us what that was like?

I will never attempt the technical stuff. My brain doesn’t work like that. I would always recommend getting a professional to do it, unless of course you like that sort of thing. It isn’t expensive.

If published by a publisher, what was your deciding factor in going with them?

I was actually pushed by my manager to go with the publisher I chose in the end, because I was assured this was an up and coming business with connections to the music business and since this project started with ten original songs (I started as a songwriter and am in the middle of recording ten original songs for an enhanced ebook) I decided that was the way to go.

If published by a publisher, are you happy with the price they chose?

No, I’m not. I’m a new writer and The Perfect Tear is my first book. I think the price should be lower. I’d rather earn much less and know people are reading it. Maybe I can work out a special deal for your readers.

Did you purposefully choose a distinct month to release your book?  Why?

Truthfully, I’ve learned so much after the book came out. I don’t think the month matters as much as how well your launch is orchestrated. I’ve learned you need one thousand people lined up, ready to purchase your book on the same day, to make any mark on Amazon. And you need a huge email list.

How did you choose your cover?

My manager had a poster made to take to Comic Con and I had drawings made by Marilia Mexi for the book trailer. Because I love Photoshop, I actually did the cover myself from all the different artwork I had. There are some great tutorials on Youtube that lead you through it step by step.

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

I am definitely a revise as you go kind of girl. Because I do a beat sheet for every movie and every book, I know where I’m going. I’m more interested in whether I chose the right word and whether I’ve been clear. I tend to start each day by reading what I wrote then see how much further I can get. Of course, there were times the story took off by itself. That’s the most fun.

Did you come up with special swag for your book and how are you using it to help get the word out about your book?  

I love art, painting and drawing because I can’t do it. So I commissioned an Italian artist, Francesca Baerald to draw about five watercolors for each chapter that I will offer as prints for people who sign up to my website. Each person can pick a chapter they like best. I will be running a contest soon, about casting the movie. The winner will be the person with the best cast overall and will receive $300. I’m going to start that on Facebook soon. I’m also thinking of having a Perfect Tear pendant as well. All still in the works.

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

As I said above, I hired the artist and I did the trailer myself, since I make many movies for my jazz band, I really like editing and just use an old version of iMovie.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ftTqiXw2VFs

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

I’d give everybody in the world a free book if I could. I really want my movie to get made and that will only happen with the readers help.

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

The first and foremost is to find the most brutal editor you can and thank your lucky stars if you find one. Secondly, start building an email list, something that is still a mystery to me, and then proof, proof, proof using text to speech. My publisher told me she had proofed the book and I immediately found a mistake on page one. After that, I took it into my own hands using text to speech on my computer and in 120 hours and three passes I had an error free book. It is astounding what the human eye will fill in.

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

Start the next book and find someone to do all the hard stuff. I wish! I love interacting with people and I answer all comments and anything on social media, but I just don’t know how you get something in the public eye, except for a blog tour! Don’t hire a publicist. They only seem to work for non-fiction where there is an expert involved. Plus they are extraordinarily expensive without really doing much.

What kind of pre-promotion did you do before the book came out?
I actually had everything as far as an author platform set up–all except an email list. I’m in the process of learning to do that. Because I’m also a full time jazz singer, it gets really tough to fit everything in. I almost consider this to be the launch.

Do you have a long-term plan with your book?

The first is to get enough interest in the book to get the producers excited to do such an expensive film and I’ve already started the second installment, which will take place nine months on.
What would you like to say to your readers and fans about your book?

The first thing anybody tells you about this business is to say what makes you unique and different, but I couldn’t and the very idea of it never sat well with me and after much deliberation, I finally realized why. Because, I’m not unique or different–I’m exactly like you and I love that. We each have a unique filter through which we interpret the world, and with this filter in place, I write stories and songs and you might find them surprising or intriguing or confronting, you may relate or you may not. They may make you laugh and sometimes, even cry. You may or may not understand what I’m trying to say and you may not understand me, however, rest assured, once we get past the filters, at our core, we are wonderfully and beautifully, exactly the same.




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