Sunday, April 24, 2016

PUYB Chats with Kaylin McFarren, author of 'Banished Threads'

Kaylin McFarren is a California native who has enjoyed traveling around the world. She previously worked as director for a fine art gallery, where she helped foster the careers of various artists before feeling the urge to satisfy her own creative impulses.

Since launching her writing career, McFarren has earned more than a dozen literary awards in addition to a finalist spot in the 2008 RWA Golden Heart Contest. A member of RWA, Rose City Romance Writers, and Willamette Writers, she also lends her participation and support to various charitable and educational organizations in the Pacific Northwest.

McFarren currently lives with her husband in Oregon and visits her second home in California once a month. They have three grown daughters and two grandchildren, and look forward to having more.

Her latest book is the romantic suspense, Banished Threads.

For More Information
About the Book:

A valuable art collection disappears turning a treasure-hunting duo into crime-stopping sleuths committed to vindicating family members in Kaylin McFarren's action-packed suspense novel, Banished Threads.

While vacationing at the stately Cumberforge Manor in Bellwood, England, Rachel Lyons and Chase Cohen attend an elegant dinner party hosted by her uncle, Paul Lyons, and his aristocratic wife, Sara. Before the evening ends, a priceless collection of Morris Graves's paintings are stolen from her uncle's popular gallery, throwing all suspicion onto his wife's missing granddaughter. Determined to clear Sloan Rafferty's name and, in the process, win Paul's favor, Chase scours the countryside looking for answers. In his absence, the police accuse Rachel's uncle of an unsolved murder and secrets surrounding her grandmother's death and the deaths of Sara's former husbands turn his wife into the most likely suspect.

With the true villains hell-bent on destroying Paul Lyons and his family, solving both crimes while ensuring her uncle's freedom not only endangers Rachel's life but that of her unborn child. Will Chase save them before the kidnappers enact their revenge or will the ultimate price be paid, as predicted by a vagabond fortuneteller?

First place - 2016 Hudson Valley RWA Hook, Line & Sinker Contest


For More Information

  • Banished Threads 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?

I read extensively and became more familiar with sections of England, where I elected to have my story take place. I also researched Morris Graves, who was an extremely controversial artist and important piece to the puzzle I created.

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

Several years ago, I went the normal route, soliciting publishers and literary agents. Ultimately, I signed with a New York agent after receiving 30 rejection letters. She absolutely loved my work and raved about it to other authors. But after contacting some of the top houses that didn’t know where to shelf my book, she requested a complete rewrite and wanted to turn my suspense story into a romance novel. That’s when I broke ties and approached a small press that was focused primarily on eBooks. My first novel was published, however, this business didn’t have the funding to print volumes of books after receiving a sizeable order. That’s when I elected to self pub.

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

The best solution for me was to utilize the book formatting program built into my MAC while writing and then submit my completed manuscript to CreateSpace – where it was thoroughly edited, formatted for trade paperback and kindle, and typeset into a visually attractive book. Since this company has a direct link to KDP and Amazon, I find it easy to get corrections made and have my work made available as soon as possible.

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

CreateSpace assisted with this to some degree based on the printing cost for my page count. But I also looked at the marketplace and what similar sized books were effectively selling for before determining my affordable prices.

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

Actually, I determined that it would be three months for an adequate promotion period and to allow for preliminary exposure before turning a book loose. Quite often, newspapers and magazines request the same amount of time in order to submit new books and receive a printed review.

How did you choose your cover?

I’m fortunate in having a talented artist in my family. My youngest, Amanda Tomo Yoshida, is a graduate of the Gnomon School of Design in California and has a long history of illustrative and graphic creations. She has the remarkable ability to take my book summary, concept ideas, and description of characters, and translate them into a beautiful artistic cover in less than 24 hours. All of the original artwork for the books in my Threads series was created by Amanda and she’s available to assist other authors as well. J

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

I tend to self-correct as I write, since I’m a bit of a perfectionist. It slows me down a bit in my writing process, but in the end, I spend less time revising my work.

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 have wonderful bookmarks and Kaylin McFarren coffee cups, since I like to sip tea when I’m writing. And I’m always happy to part with a few during book signings, contests and special events. J

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

I hired Red 14 Films, a professional company, to create my book trailers because I wanted a movie-style look. However, I would like to warn authors that this isn’t an inexpensive means of advertising. ( There are definitely other options out there.

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

Since my “stand alone” novels are included in a series, I often give away the first volume (Severed Threads) knowing that readers who fall in love with my characters have a higher probability of picking up the next installments.

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

First, make sure detailed editing is completed and critique partners have read it, since it’s easy to overlook errors and holes in your plot. Circulate your manuscript to friends and published authors who are willing to give their honest opinions. Submit your pre-released book to contests for feedback and to determine if your book is praise worthy. Awards and professional reviews are always a bonus when the time comes to promote your work. 

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

1)      Make the public aware of pre-ordering opportunities through social networks. This includes Facebook and Twitter, of course, but also sites where readers look for new releases and favorable reviews.
2)      Create an effective press release and marketing plan. You need to know your target audience and the best place to spend your advertising dollars.
3)      Offer great contests, which might include everything from swag to reading collections that include not only your book but books by authors writing in the same genre. These individuals often cross market and help sell your books as well.

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

Prior to Banished Threads release, I updated my website, issued a press release, created an author fan page on Facebook, set up book signing events, sent out a newsletter to subscribers, and arranged for giveaways on Goodreads.

Do you have a long term plan with your book?

With Banished Threads included in a book set, I plan to continue promoting it for years to come, along with other volumes and editions in the series.

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

It’s difficult to write a story that hasn’t been written before unless you find a new angle, create unforeseen obstacles, and have your characters do the unexpected. Banished Threads is guaranteed to have you guessing as to who the good and bad guys are and, like all my books, you never see the end coming until the final page arrives.  

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