Monday, December 5, 2016

PUYB Virtual Book Club Chats with Malia Zaidi, author of 'A Darker Shore'

Malia Zaidi is the author of A POISONOUS JOURNEY. She attended the University of Pittsburgh, and studied at English at Oxford University. Having grown up in Germany, she currently lives in Washington DC, though through her love of reading, she resides, vicariously in countries throughout the world. A POISONOUS JOURNEY is her first book in the Lady Evelyn mysteries series. The sequel, A DARKER SHORE, is her latest novel.


About the Book:

1926: A year has passed since the events of "A Poisonous Journey" and Lady Evelyn has made a home for herself in Greece, living with her cousin, Briony, her husband, Jeffrey and Daniel Harper.
Disturbing this island idyll is a letter, which arrives from France with troubling information about the Daniel’s long-believed-dead brother, Henry. A new journey awaits! With the shadows of the Great War reaching out, Lady Evelyn and Daniel voyage to Amiens in Northern France with the aim of discovering the truth behind the ominous letter. Upon their arrival, they are met not with clarity but rather with crime. Murder, to be precise. Is it linked to their presence in France, or even worse, to Henry himself?  Evelyn and Daniel must confront their history as they try to make sense of the present before the killer can strike again, and the secrets of the past are lost forever.



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

I always read a lot about the time and setting for my planned new novel. In the case of “A Darker Shore” that time was 1926 and the setting Amiens, France. I also researched the role this part of the country played during the First World War, which ended less than a decade earlier, and left a considerable imprint on the minds and lives of the characters involved in this book.

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

I self-published with Bookbaby, which has given me a lot of control and the rights to my work.

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?

Bookbaby helped with format the book both as an ebook and print. I also worked with their designers to create a cover that I love. There were certain challenges involved, because I had an idea in my mind and wanted the book to fit the cover of the first in the series, “A Poisonous Journey”. The people at Bookbaby were always very responsive, though, which made working together much easier and ultimately something I intend to do again.

How did you choose your cover?

I wanted the cover to work well with the cover of the first book in the series, “A Poisonous Journey”, as well as having the feel of a vintage travel poster. The designers at Bookbaby worked well with me and truly considered my input, which I greatly appreciated.

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

I always write a first draft and then go back and revise. It is edited, and then I go over it again several times to tweak things, amend them or rewrite.

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

I have hosted giveaways for print books and have given ebook copies away as well. I find this increases readers’ interest and as a big reader myself, I love to win a book and review it when I do, so I know it can serve to give a boost.

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

Edit, engage with readers even before the book is published to generate interest and give away pre-release copies for unbiased review.

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

Continue engaging with readers, be active on platforms like Goodreads and get to work on the next one!

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

I have a web site and Facebook page where readers can find information about the books, as well as a blog tour to garner interest. I also try to correspond with book bloggers I know and my Goodreads friends, who have expressed interest in the book.

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

“A Darker Shore” is a story about friendship, family, the past and present, love and hatred, which I hope will entertain fans of “A Poisonous Journey” and readers of historical mysteries as a genre. I have tried to create a character in Evelyn who was dealt a difficult card in her past, but has not lost her energy for life and her desire to learn and experience what it has to offer (which occasionally means solving the odd murder or two). I hope you enjoy her latest adventure!

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