Sunday, April 3, 2016

PUYB Virtual Book Club Chats with Tamara Lush, author of 'Tell Me a Story'

During the day, Tamara Lush writes news as a journalist with The Associated Press. At night, she writes fictional romance tales about complicated, sexy men and the women who love them.

When Tamara isn’t reporting, writing or reading, she’s doing yoga, cooking for her Italian husband or chasing her dogs on a beach on Florida's Gulf Coast. She loves connecting with people on social media.

Her latest book is the erotic romance, Tell Me a Story (Book 1 The Story Series).
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About the Book:

Bookstore owner Emma Price attends a sexy literacy fundraiser called Story Brothel in Orlando, expecting a few raunchy jokes and a chance to show off her writing. She’s intrigued when Caleb
King, a successful real estate developer in a custom tailored suit, pays to listen to her read from her erotic novel.

Later, the mysterious Caleb with beautiful eyes asks her to read him a bedtime story at his penthouse condo – and she can’t say no to his demands.

But Emma’s been burnt before, and is reluctant to be the plaything of a rich man whose world is so different than hers. She also doesn’t need distractions because her business in danger of closing and everything she’s worked for is poised to crumble. Emma’s made it this far on her own, but as one-night with Caleb turns into more and develops into something deeper, can she trust him when secrets are revealed?

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

Unlike the other books I’ve written, I didn’t do a lot of research with this book. Everything came from my imagination. As I wrote and self-edited, I did research into specific details to help with setting and mood.

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

I opted to self-publish this novella. I initially decided to write it as part of a Florida romance boxed set that will be published later in 2016. Once I finished, I realized I could self-publish if I wanted. It seemed like an interesting thing to do, and so far, the process has been fun!

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 hired cover designer Hang Le, Jami Nord from Chimera Editing for the developmental edit and Rebecca A. Weston as the copy editor. Once I had a final manuscript, I used Vellum (a beautiful Mac-only program) to format the book. It was so simple and I ended up with a gorgeous e-book.

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

I decided to make my novella 0.99, in part because my other published books are at much higher price points. I wanted to draw more people to my work and felt that a lower price was fair for a novella of 30,000 words.

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

My first two books are with Boroughs Publishing Group and I’m working on a third for them. My decision to go with a publisher came because I wanted the chance to work with Chris Keeslar, the editor. He’s like a walking master class in romance writing. I am learning so much from him about pacing and writing, and that’s why I wanted to go with a publisher.

How did you choose your cover?

I contracted with Hang Le because I love her designs. I knew that she would produce a sensual, unique cover and she didn’t disappoint. She and I started a private Pinterest board at the beginning of the process, and she took my aesthetic and turned it into a gorgeous cover. Her work is incredible.

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

Both. I wrote my book, revised as I went and then revised at the end. I revised all the way up to sending it to the copy editor, and then I stopped revising when I received the final edit.

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? 

Hang Le designed some beautiful bookmarks for Tell Me a Story.

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

I did the book trailer myself. I’m a journalist who also shoots and edits video, and doing a book trailer (or two, or three) helps me focus my writing.

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

I did give away copies of this book to people who had read and loved my other two books. In part, this was something of a reward for taking a chance on a new author. I don’t want to say that money isn’t important, because it is — I feel that writers should be compensated for their work. I also believe in being generous. Still, the harsh reality is, many readers are not going to take a chance on a new author’s work unless it is free or 0.99. Pricing it at 0.99 will hopefully help with overall discoverability. I wish I didn’t have to think about this — it would be my hope that readers would find all of my books because of their quality, but that’s not the entire reality of the industry.

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

1. Make sure the book is well-edited. 
2. Consider how you want to market your book, and where. 
3. Start writing the next book.

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

1. Write the next book. 
2. Write the next book. 
3. Write the next book.

Do you have a long term plan with your book?

I fell in love with my characters in Tell Me a Story and I’m planning on writing three more novellas about them. It will be a four-book series, and there might be two shorter spin-off tales on top of that.

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

Thank you for reading Tell Me a Story! I hope that you find it a short, sexy read — and that it will be not only an introduction to the series, but to my other, full-length novels.

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