Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Interview with Faith Mortimer

Can you give us a brief overview of your latest book?
The Assassins’ Village:
Bound and gagged, the shocked and terrified victim recognizes his assailant. Days later, another body is discovered. Is this another murder? If so, how many assassins stalk the village?

In a picturesque Cypriot village an expatriate theatrical group gathers to discuss their next play; but when the curtain rises it’ll be murder. A blackmailer stalks the cast – a group riven with jealousies, rivalry, sexual tension and illicit affairs.
Unbeknown to each other they all attempt to find solutions to their problems. Some believe it lies in murder. Can they find the blackmailer? And can they find that all important ‘little black book’ – the chronicle of their misdeeds.

When a body is discovered, Diana, a cast member, turns detective to draw up a suspects list. After the police get involved one of the suspects is found hanged - another murder or the suicide of a guilty person? A visit to a villager’s home uncovers an ancient assassin’s weapon. Could this be the murder weapon? Is it possible that an assassin lives at the heart of this formerly peaceful and idyllic village?

Love, hate, murder and high drama all feature in this classic historical detective story. With a long list of suspects, some dramatic twists and the odd red herring, the reader is left guessing until the final curtain falls.

Brief Excerpt from, The Assassins’ Village:
As the victim stared with revulsion, his throat gagged and he retched. Stomach churning, he felt a warmth spread beneath his loins. Screaming in panic he tried to pull away from the calm face of his attacker, only to realize that it was futile. The end, when it came, was swift, a thrust and a sharp twist.  At first, there was no wound; then the blood flowed and grew like a blossom of deep red peonies spilling their petals to hiss upon the hot honey-colored rock. Satisfied, the assassin bent down, removed the pretty blue scarab ring from the victim’s finger, placed it in the bag and walked away without another look.

Did you try the traditional route to publishing, i.e. querying agents/publishers?
Yes, I did –but only briefly. I received a super review from Harper Collins when The Assassins’ Village was voted as number one last November and tentatively made the rounds of agents and some other publishers. Most sent me very nice, encouraging letters, but I got the message that no publisher was looking to take on any new writer just for the moment. Not wanting to waste any time I decided on the Indie route.

Do you belong to a critique group? Have they helped improve your writing?
I don’t belong to any group, except one on Facebook, who will give good advice when I ask for it. Their help has been invaluable.

What factors influenced your decision to self-publish to Amazon?
I really couldn’t stand the thought of writing possibly dozens of letters to agents and publishers. I also liked the idea of being my own boss and controlling my publication and when and what I wanted to write in the future.

Did you hire an editor to review your manuscript before publishing?
No. I wished I had looking back, but at the time I couldn’t afford it. Maybe my next book will benefit from a good editor. I do have one in mind who was recommended by a writer friend.

What have you’ve learned during your self-publishing journey?
I’ve learnt how to be more self-disciplined and I’ve set up my own website/FB page/Twitter account despite being a complete dinosaur with all things digital – And vowing never to get involved. Now I’m a convert!!

Besides Amazon, are there any other sites where your books are for sale?
Yes, on Smashwords and when The Assassins’ Village is in paperback form (in a week or so) it will be sold on The Book Depository.

What kinds of marketing [twitter, facebook, blog, forums] are you involved with for promoting your book(s)?
I rely on Facebook, Twitter and my website, which I believe should be a writer’s main marketing platform. Good blog posts and a friendly approach to everyone are my criteria.

Do you find it difficult to juggle your time between marketing your current book and writing your next book?
Yes! I should be writing now. Tomorrow…is another day they say…!

What advice would you give a new author just entering into the self-publishing arena?
I would like to tell other authors that you’re never alone in your work. The actual writing is a lonely business, but with today’s technology at our fingertips there’s always someone out there who is willing to give help and advice when you’re looking for inspiration and just need a little friendly chat. I’ve made hundreds of friends on Facebook, Twitter and from followers on my website. Some are amazing and we share loads of news and often trade ideas.

Don’t ever feel you are alone - there is no need to be. And don’t ever, ever give up! If you feel a deep yearning inside then you are going to get that first book written. Good luck and remember I’m always there with a willing and ready ear. If you would like to connect with me feel free to join me on Facebook  

What’s next for you?
I’ve just published a short true ghost story on Amazon, and I’m about to start a small collection of other short stories that will be in one book. I’m also in the middle of my third full-length novel – Children of The Plantation. A mystery drama set in Malaya in the 1950s and 1960s with the odd murder or two! Hopefully I’ll have this completed by the end of the summer –fingers crossed.

You can find me and my books on;

You can find my books on   (website) The Assassins’ Village The Assassins’ Village   The Crossing  The Crossing

The Bamboo Mirror is also available on Amazon, and all books are on Smashwords. The Crossing is also available in paperback and soon you will be able to buy a paperback version of The Assassins’ Village on Amazon.