Monday, October 5, 2015

Interview with Genevieve Gannon, CHASING CHRIS CAMPBELL

Can you give us a brief overview of your latest book? Is it part of a series?
Chasing Chris Campbell is a rom com mixed with a travel book - a love story with bed bugs. It follows Violet Mason, a hypochondriac research scientist who has barely ever left her home town of Melbourne, as she chases her first love, and one-that-got-away, Chris Campbell through Hong Kong, India and Vietnam.

Do you have a favorite character?
There’s a smart aleck lawyer named Harry who she meets along the way. He was fun to write.

Have you ever had a minor character evolve into a major one? Did that change the direction of the novel at all?
Not really, no. I have one character who initially seems to be only a minor player, then later becomes quite important, but I had planned it that way. I’ve previously said I don’t plan my novels, I just get stuck in, but I always have an idea in my head of what it’s going to look like in the end. My handbag, computer desk, work desk and bedside table are all usually littered with little pieces of paper covered in hastily scrawled ideas that eventually become part of a novel.

Did you try the traditional route to publishing, i.e. querying agents/publishers?
Very much so. I first started submitting manuscripts for a young adult novel when I was living in a share house in Canberra. Whenever I sent out a manuscript I included a stamped, self-addressed postcard for them to post to acknowledge they had received it. They were always the same postcard – a koala – that I had bought in bulk one day when buying other office supplies. My housemates had no idea why I was constantly getting the same post card sent to me again and again. Particularly since none of them had anything written on them. I’m glad I took the slush-pile route though. I think it was good for my development as a writer. I picked up a lot of valuable tips.

How long before you got your offer of representation/your first contract? Was it for your first novel?
It took ages. I had three half-offers for my first novel Husband Hunters, including one print deal, but they all fell over once the publishers took the book to acquisitions meetings. That was heartbreaking. By the time it was good enough for a publisher to sign, I had finished my second novel, Chasing Chris Campbell, so they bought them both at once!

What factors influenced your decision to go with a particular agent or publisher?
I started with the big five (which back then was the big six) with the plan to try smaller publishers if they al said no. I was lucky HarperCollins said yes. I knew my project was firmly on the “commercial” side of the industry and that some smaller publishers wouldn’t be interested in it.

Are you currently under a traditional publishing contract for future books or do you have manuscripts that you will self-publish? Are you doing both?
HarperCollins have the right of first refusal on my next book, but I don’t have a deal with them yet. I think I would be reluctant to self-publish, just because I know how hard it is to attract readers even with the support of a major publisher. Many amazing authors make a success of it, but I know it is a hard road.

Do you belong to a critique group? Have they helped improve your writing?
I don’t belong to a critique group, but I do have a mentor. I also have a lot of wonderful beta readers and in the past I have paid for manuscript appraisals and professional editors. I think using professional readers and willing friends while you’re developing your work is a winning combination. They come at the work from different perspectives.

What is your writing process? Do you listen to music or do you like silence?
I need silence. I am amazed by writers who work with music in the background. I feel like the lyrics would interrupt my thoughts.

Besides Amazon, are there any other sites where your books are for sale?
Chasing Chris Campbell is available on all digital platforms: ibooks, Google books, Barnes and Noble, Kobo and directly from HarperCollins.

What kinds of marketing [twitter, facebook, blog, forums] are you involved with for promoting your book(s)?
I do as much as possible. I’m addicted to Twitter (@gen_gannon) and Facebook. I also use Instagram. It can be tricky representing a book on a visual platform like Instagram, but it can be fun coming up with creative options.

Do you find it difficult to juggle your time between marketing your current book and writing your next book?
Yes! But it’s nice to do something different. I also love feedback from readers on blogs and through forums like GoodReads. It’s amazing to read people’s responses to the characters. It’s great motivation to see people engaging with my stories.

Violet is saving money: living on rice and beans and denying herself chocolate eclairs all in the name of saving for a home deposit. Once they save enough, she and Michael can buy a house, settle down and live happily ever after. But when Michael does the unthinkable, Violet is forced to rethink her life choices.
A chance encounter with Chris Campbell (first love, boy-next-door, The One That Got Away) spurs her into travelling to exotic locations she never dreamed she'd explore - Hong Kong, Vietnam, Varanasi - on a quest to catch up with Chris and lead a life of adventure. Armed with hand sanitiser and the encouraging texts of her twin sister Cassandra, will Violet find true love before it's too late? Or will the nerve-wracking experience of travelling send her back to Melbourne in search of safety and stability? Can she work out what she really wants before she is left with nothing?

Amazon buy link:

AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Genevieve Gannon is a Melbourne-based journalist and author. She wrote stories for music and fashion street press magazines while at university before moving to Canberra to do a journalism cadetship.

In 2011 she joined the national news wire, Australian Associated Press, where she covered crime, politics and entertainment. Her work has appeared in most major Australian newspapers including The Age, The Australian and The Daily Telegraph.

She currently lives in Melbourne where she is a court reporter. At night she writes romantic comedies

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