Friday, February 28, 2014

Interview with Cristin Harber

CristinHarber_SavageSecrets_1400px Caterina Cruz has no home. No loyalties. No objection to exacting torturous revenge. Her life’s mission is to destroy the terrorist who murdered her family. Then she steps into an elaborate game of charades alongside a Titan Group operative posing as an arms dealer—and her newlywed husband. The sexy distraction may be more than she can handle. Attacked with a psychedelic drug weeks before, Rocco Savage is plagued with hallucinations that threaten his new rank as Titan’s second-in-command. No one knows and he wants to keep it that way.

Throwing him further off his game, he now has a wife with her own secrets he can’t crack and an agenda he can’t control. Their mission—an elaborate deception of heated glances and passionate kisses—spins out of control. With Rocco's mind already compromised, can he keep his secret and his distance? And with Caterina's tragic past controlling her every move, can she keep the con up long enough to secure her revenge? Or will both go down in flames?  

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Can you give us a brief overview of your latest book? Is it part of a series?
Savage Secrets is the 6th title in the Titan series though each book can be read as a standalone. Rocco Savage and Caterina Cruz partner to take down a terrorist, but each have their own reasons for wanting to succeed. Rocco needs to prove that he was the right choice for a promotion within Titan. Caterina needs to avenge her family’s massacre. Both have internal demons that bring them to the point of disaster.

Do you have a favorite character?
I’ve loved Cash Garrison in every book. But, I have to admit, that Rocco Savage has stolen my heart. It surprised me. I love all my characters, hero, heroine, and secondary, but Cash has always had a special place for some reason. But Cash being Cash has graciously stepped aside to let his buddy rock out the top spot. So, I adore Rocco for no other reason than Roc loves Cat in a deep, intense way, flaws and all.

Have you ever had a minor character evolve into a major one? Did that change the direction of the novel at all?
Brock was always supposed to be a minor character. But then he went and did something crazy in book #3, Westin’s Chase. I had to write his novella. It’s called Gambled. And I still get tons of emails about him. I wouldn’t be surprised if he keeps showing up in a major way as the series progresses. But then again, IDK. Brock’s always pulling fast ones on me.

What factors influenced your decision to self-publish your book(s)?
I like the control aspect. Before I decided to publish, I was waiting for others, on their schedules. When someone left a job, I was left dangling. When someone went on vacation, my career was put on hold. It didn’t work for me. Then I started to study the industry and watch some good friends with bad deals. It made my heart hurt for them. So while I was mulling all these things over, I went to the RWA conference, took the self-publishing track and it rocked my world. I highly suggest buying and listening to the recordings. They aren’t cheap, but I attribute much of my success to strategies and tactics I picked up in those workshops.

Do you outline your story or just go where your muse takes you?
Ha. I’d love to outline. I’ve tried. But it turns into a joke. I’m an absolute fly by the seat of my pants pantser. I tried an outline (again) recently. It literally read: birthday party, pool scene, love, sex, dark moment. That’s not an outline. That’s a shopping list of plot points.

Did you hire an editor to review your manuscript before publishing?
Yes, I hire an editorial team. I’ve learned a lot since the first book was edited. But now, I’m most comfortable with a process of crit partners, beta readers, an editor and a proofreader.

What have you’ve learned during your self-publishing journey?
Smile and ignore the one star reviews. I’d say don’t read any of them, but really? Who’s going to do that when you first start? My favorite one star review bashes one of my favorite sentences EVER. So it’s all in the eye of the beholder.

Also, don’t forget this is a business. Write content. Don’t shy away from advertising. But don’t spend money you don’t have with a survival plan.

Besides Amazon, are there any other sites where your books are for sale?
Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iBook, Google Play, and All Romance

Do you find it difficult to juggle your time between marketing your current book and writing your next book?
Yes, it’s easy to fall into the easy trap of FB and twitter. Character interviews and take overs are time consuming. They have their benefits, but moderation is key. Leading up to the Savage Secrets release, the only writing I’ve done is promo. I love it and it is worth it, but it certainly doesn’t write the next book.

What advice would you give a new author just entering into the self-publishing arena?
Know your business, understand the industry. It’s hard to stay afloat on every topic, all the time, but it’s worth your time to know what’s happening out there. Also, forget about marketing and social media. The return on your investment of time isn’t worth it unless you have three or more books to sell. Instead, write. Write, write, write. Content is king. But, make sure the content is well-structured and well-edited.

What’s next for you?
Sweet Girl is the prequel to Garrison’s Creed. Then after that I’m writing Roman and Parker’s books. 

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