Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Interview with C.C. Koen, INTENSITY


Can you give us a brief overview of your latest book? Is it part of a series?
Intensity is my debut novel. The sequel, Serenity will be released in fall 2015. Intensity is about a young woman who is struggling financially. She works three jobs but hasn't been able to get ahead of the debt. She meets a woman who proposes that she become an escort. Eventually, Serena decides to do so, but...she's a virgin. It actually made the story a lot of fun to write.

Do you have a favorite character?
Serena and Linc were both my favorite. I enjoyed the creative writing process a lot. It is fascinating to get in the “mind” of your characters and imagine all the emotions and actions they would.

What factors influenced your decision to self-publish your book(s)?
I self-published because my day job consumes a great deal of my time. I couldn’t make a commitment to a publisher too.

If you used a graphic designer/publisher’s designer, how involved were you during the creative process for your cover?
I was very involved in the design process. I chose the stock photos and color choices, etc. I really enjoyed learning about cover and graphic design in general. I decided to create my own teasers and book trailer as well. I’m very particular about style, so being involved in creative design of any kind is important to me.

Do you belong to a critique group? Have they helped improve your writing?
Yes, Scribophile has been amazing. The comments and feedback help authors expand their vision of the story and consider other possibilities.

What is your writing process? Do you listen to music or do you like silence?
When I can write, my typical day involves sitting on the couch with the TV or music playing and my laptop. I cannot sit at a desk like most writers. I have back, shoulder, and neck issues, so I have to be in a lounging position in order to work on the computer. If I don't then I suffer from a lot of pain, which does not help the creative process.

Do you outline your story or just go where your muse takes you?
I primarily outline, but there is a large portion of free style writing I do too. Story ideas come to me at various points during the day/week/month. I write down the initial idea right away so I don’t forget. I have a notebook that I keep my ideas in. If I don’t have it nearby, then I jot down the idea on a post-it or notepad. Some ideas I’ve fleshed out in outline form, chapter by chapter, and others are preliminary thoughts that someday may or may not result in a novel or novella.

Did you hire an editor to review your manuscript before publishing?
Absolutely. I had two actually. The person I work with now is phenomenal.

What have you learned during your self-publishing journey?
Wow, there were so many. Since Intensity is my debut novel I learned everything from scratch. It started with learning the basics of the genre, planning and revising story events, hiring an editor, and marketing and publishing. Since I didn't have anyone I could ask for advice, I did a lot of research, took writing workshops, and entered writing contests to gather feedback. I also benefited from the critiques by Scribophile members. 

The most challenging was hiring an editor way too soon, revising many times, and continuing to spend money on the revisions. I hired an editor after the first draft (STUPID!) It was before I found Scribophile. 

The most rewarding part has been seeing the published novel available at retailer sites. It brought a huge smile to my face. I can’t wait to publish the next one.  

What kinds of marketing [twitter, facebook, blog, forums] are you involved with for promoting your book(s)?
I use Facebook and Twitter. I’m not a huge social media type of person. I try to engage with readers and make posts weekly though.  You can contact me at:
Twitter: http://twitter.com/authorcckoen @authorcckoen

Do you find it difficult to juggle your time between marketing your current book and writing your next book?
A little. I’m an early riser, so I’ll check email and social media first thing in the morning and then later in the evening.

What advice would you give a new author just entering into the self-publishing arena?
Write! Get the story down on paper first. Then work on refining it by getting beta readers, critiques, and editor feedback. Make sure you learn about the craft and do the majority of the drafting, editing, and revising yourself before sending it out for other eyes to see.

Besides writing, do you have any other passions?
I love to read, and I’m get inspiration from rereading my favorite authors’ novels. Since I’m an emo-writer, my moods dictate my ability to write, it helps me to “get in the mood” by reading their inspiring stories.

What’s next for you?
I have two novels I’m working on for 2015. Unlikely Allies will be released summer 2015. Serenity, the sequel to Intensity will be released fall 2015.
***
Book & Author details:
Intensity by C.C. Koen
Publication date: October 13th 2014
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance

Synopsis:
What would you do to improve your life?
Twenty-one-year-old Serena Thomas is faced with a tough decision. Unable to get ahead of debt and loneliness since her grandmother’s death she finds a new job, placing the sheltered virgin in an underground escort business. She tells herself it’s just a temporary life choice, but destiny has a different plan. She meets a mysterious and gorgeous man, who happens to be her new boss. Will Serena fit in or will she be left all alone again?

Lincoln (aka: Linc) Jefferson has an unusual life. He established The Lounge, an exclusive escort club for very personal reasons. A place where the women say who, when, and what type of sex they’re willing to have. The escorts possess all the power and the money. It’s a business Linc guards at all costs. Trying to maintain the secrecy is a constant challenge and one that’s tested when he enters into a relationship with Serena. She tempts him unlike any woman, even though he’s surrounded by beauty on a daily basis. The more time they spend together the harder it is for him to keep his secrets. Will Serena stand by his side or will she abandon him?

Sparks and passion fly, taking these two on a journey neither could have expected.


Purchase:

AUTHOR BIO:
C.C. Koen writes contemporary romance with a twist. An avid reader who enjoys mystery and suspense, her stories will never be what you expect. Determined to find adventure in her dreams and life, she enjoys skydiving, sailing and any activity that challenges her. Teacher by day, romance writer at night produce an active imagination that comes to life in her writing.

Author links:

Giveaway:
Tour-wide giveaway (INTL)
  • 2x $5 Amazon Gift Cards
  • Swag pack (incl. t-shirt, magnets and more) 
 


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