Can you give us a brief overview of your book? Is it part of a series?
Sentinels of the Night is a paranormal suspense/thriller with a light touch of romance. The storyline sets up a new FBI unit—the Trackers. Only the elite of the elite get offered a position.
Agent Cat Morgan has accepted the offer to transfer to the new unit. She’s been dubbed the Witchy Woman by her fellow agents. They can’t figure out how she finds the bodies of murdered victims, which happens on her way to her new assignment. The discovery puts her nose-to nose with the local police chief, Kevin Hunter, and the sparks fly. The action and heat between Cat and Kevin builds as more bodies are discovered, and they track a serial killer who has locked onto Cat as his ultimate sacrifice.
While each of the Tracker novels are a standalone story, the Tracker team is involved. Cat Morgan is the lead investigator in Sentinels of the Night. Ryan Barr, the unit’s profiler, takes center stage in the second book, Going Gone!
Do you have a favorite character?
It is the head of the Tracker Unit, Agent Scott Fleming. From the start he is the mysterious power behind the unit. He’s been given carte blanche by the Bureau to go after any agent in the department. As highly qualified agents are passed over, the rumor mill starts to buzz.
What no one knows is that he is searching for a certain type of agent. Even the agents selected are unaware of his surreptitious list of qualifications. They believe they have cleverly hidden their special talents.
What factors influenced your decision to self-publishing?
Several years back, I published my first book, a non-fiction, JFK Assassination Eyewitness: Rush to Conspiracy. The traditional publisher and literary agent was not an option for several reasons, so I selected a subsidy publisher. You hand them the manuscript and the money, and they publish the book. Their services are based on how much money you throw at the book. I soon learned there was nothing they did that I couldn’t do myself.
After countless hours researching publishing methods and distribution, I decided that self-publishing afforded me the flexibility to control what happened to my book. That decision jumpstarted a new career, not only as an author but as a publisher. I started my own company, Mystic Circle Books & Designs, LLC. I help other authors publish their books by providing formatting and cover design. And, I discovered an unknown talent for graphic design.
Do you belong to a critique group? Have they helped improve your writing?
When I first started to write, I joined a group that meets at the local library. I found their help to be invaluable. Not only did they help with punctuation and grammar, but they also helped keep my story line on track. If something was off, they didn’t hesitate to let me know.
Do you outline your story or just go where your muse takes you?
Before I started on Sentinels of the Night, an individual that had published several books recommended I do an outline. Okay, if I have to have an outline, I’ll do an outline. What a fiasco that became. I was more concerned with staying on track with the outline than writing the story. I finally ditched the outline, and let the story and characters drive the plot. Maybe, for some authors the outline works, but in my case it was absolute disaster.
Besides Amazon, are there any other sites where your books are for sale?
One of the advantages of an independent author is deciding where the book will be sold. Amazon’s distribution of the paperback and eBook has limitations, especially in the international market. And, Createspace, the print division of Amazon, does not offer a hardback version. My books, to include the paperback, eBook, and hardback are distributed by IngramSpark and are available at all retail outlets.
What kinds of marketing (twitter, facebook, blog, forums) are you involved with for promoting your book?
Social media has been my kryptonite in the publishing process. I am slowly building a presence with Twitter, Facebook, and Google plus, though Facebook still defeats me at times.
I am active with Goodreads which is a great forum for authors and readers. I have a blog on my website, www.anitadickason.com that I use primarily for my books and issues on publishing.
Do you find it difficult to juggle your time between marketing your current book and writing your next book?
My YES should the shout heard round the world. I am retired, and working harder than I ever did when I was a cop. I could be on my computer from the time I get up in the morning until I go to bed. That is the disadvantage of working at home. There is no structure that says it is time to quit and go home. I am at home!
I am promoting both books, Sentinels of the Night and Going Gone! along with running my business and writing articles for my column, On the Hunt that is featured on my website and in Indie Authors Monthly magazine. My latest project was the book trailers. That was a fun project. A great motivator to get the third book completed so that I can do another trailer. The saving grace is that I am at home and when the muse hits, I can easily switch to the book and starting writing.
Sentinels of the Night https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4m00v2W4K4o
Going Gone! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DGI9MzkBkSE
What advice would you give a new author just entering into the self-publishing market?
Set realistic goals for the book. What do you want to accomplish? Then learn your options. While there are unlimited opportunities, there are also countless landmines for the unwary author. I wrote an article titled: Who Owns It. Any author considering self-publishing should read this article as well as the others that are on my website.
What’s next for you?
I am working on a third Trackers novel. An ATF agent based in Laredo, Texas has disappeared, and Tracker Adrian Dillard is sent to investigate. What he finds sends shockwaves through the law enforcement community even to the White House.
Right now, it still doesn’t have a title. My titles come from a phrase or word in the book. So far, inspiration hasn’t hit. I am hoping to have it published by the first of the year.
Thank you for hosting my book.
FBI Tracker Cat Morgan has an unusual talent, one she has successfully concealed, even from her fellow agents. That is—until she finds a body with a strange symbol carved on the forehead during a stop in Clinton, Mississippi and crosses paths with the town’s rugged police chief, Kevin Hunter. Despite his instant attraction to the sexy agent, Kevin is suspicious of her presence at the crime scene and isn’t buying her dubious explanations. He wants her out of the investigation and out of his town.
The discovery of another mutilated body with the same symbol sends Cat back to Clinton, and this time she isn’t leaving. To stop the killer, Cat must find a way to overcome Kevin’s distrust and will face an impossible impasse—truth or lies. But will either one matter, when the killer fixates on her for his next sacrifice?
NOTE: The book will be on sale for $0.99.
Anita Dickason is a retired police officer with twenty-seven years of experience, twenty-two with the Dallas Police Department. She served in patrol, undercover narcotics, accident investigation and was on a sniper on the Dallas SWAT team.
Anita is the recipient of the prestigious Law Enforcement Professional Achievement Award from the State of Texas House of Representatives. Other awards include Officer of the Year—Texas Women in Law Enforcement, Officer of the Year—International Association of Women in Police, Runner-up Officer of the Year—Dallas Police Department, Officer of the Month—Dallas Police Department and multiple Police Commendations, Certificates of Merit and Citizen/Business commendations from the Dallas Police Department and the Dallas community.
Anita was a certified instructor with Texas Commission on Law Enforcement, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Her instructor certifications include Defensive Tactics, Batons, Spontaneous Knife Defense, Field Sobriety Procedures, Drug Recognition Expert program, and Accident Investigation.
She is a Past President of Texas Women in Law Enforcement, and Past Treasurer for the International Association of Women in Police.
Her first book, JFK Assassination Eyewitness: Rush to Conspiracy, is non-fiction and details the reconstruction of a 1966 vehicle accident near Midlothian, Texas that killed a key witness to the Kennedy assassination. The project opened the door to a new career, Author and Publisher. She owns Mystic Circle Books & Designs, LLC and provides manuscript and design services, helping other authors turn their manuscripts into a published book.
Her fictional works are suspense/thrillers and her plots are drawn from her extensive law enforcement knowledge and experience. Characters with unexpected skills, that extra edge for overcoming danger and adversity, have always intrigued her. Her infatuation with ancient myths and legends of Native American Indians, and Scottish and Irish folklore adds a touch of paranormal for the backdrop of her characters.
The experience of writing led to developing a knowledge of self-publishing and graphic design and a new business endeavor: Mystic Circle Books & Designs, LLC. It is a tossup of what Anita enjoys more, working on her books or helping another author publish their works. She has found an unexpected enjoyment in designing book covers, bookmarks, bookplates, etc. She helps other authors publish their books by providing formatting and cover design.
When I say, own, I mean more than just the copyright to the content. The author owns the distribution rights and the copyright to the cover. I wrote an article that is featured on my website: Who Owns It? https://www.anitadickason.com/who-owns-it Anyone who is considering self-publishing should read this article.
Owning I believe that the new wave in publishing is the Independent Author. Traditional publishing and literary agents are still a viable option, but the opportunities for most authors are limited. Authors have little to no control over what happens to their book, and with the profilieration of new books, publishing companies can pull the book
Email her for an autographed custom bookplate -- email@example.com
Book Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4m00v2W4K4o