Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Interview with Kwen D. Griffeth, SHADOW OF THE MOON

Can you give us a brief overview of your latest book? Is it part of a series?
“Shadow of the Moon” is the first book in what will be a trilogy or books, if not a fuller series.  I wanted to create werewolf characters that were more than just a crazed creature.  I wanted them to display the pack and family mentality of their cousin the wolf.  The story is about an FBI agent who is introduced to a werewolf family while investigating a murder.  The clash of cultures is a strong sub-plot to the story.

Do you have a favorite character? 
In “Shadow” the character most fun to write about is Miranda.  Miranda is a redhead who is strong, smart, and sexy.  She likes to drive fast and once when questioned about getting stopped for speeding replies, “What cop is going to ticket me?”  Miranda lives on the family estate and the alpha female hates cats.  In respond, Miranda get cat tracks tattooed across her tummy.  She is rebellious and she has a quick wit.  She is also dangerous and freely discusses the proper technique for dispatching an enemy who is attacking her. 

What factors influenced your decision to self-publish your book(s)? 
The publishing landscape has changed thanks to the computer and all it brings to the field.  I enjoy self-publishing.  I stay in control and relevant to the process.  New and unknown writers get little to no respect from the major publishing houses and the world is full of minor publishing houses that take advantage of the writer who is new to the field.  At the end of the day, it is my book and therefor my responsibility to make it successful.

If you used a graphic designer/publisher’s designer, how involved were you during the creative process for your cover? 
I work with a graphic artist whom I’m very happy with.  She is talented and she listens to my ideas on what I think I want and then makes them better.  Like most things, it has been a process to find her, as she was not the first artist I worked with, but I hope to work with her for many years to come.

Do you belong to a critique group? Have they helped improve your writing? 
I belong to two organized groups; each meet once a month.  I also get together with a bunch of friends who discuss each other’s work and difficulties.  Writers need to be around other writers from time to time.  Writing is, for the most part, a solitary process.  Getting around other like-minded people can clean the mental process and allow ideas to flow more easily.

What is your writing process? Do you listen to music or do you like silence? 
I write in a converted bedroom in my house.  I enjoy the silence of no music but also the company of my three writing buddies, Bear, Wrigley and Handsome Jack.  Each is a four legged buddy who looks after me and make sure I don’t work too hard.  They make it a point to get me up and in the back yard a couple of times a day.

Did you hire an editor to review your manuscript before publishing?   
Absolutely.  Any author who is serious about his/her craft must work with an editor.  Find one whom you trust and who is willing to learn you writing style.  Be willing to pay for a quality editor so you are willing to trust them.  Any writer who believes they can edit their own work is fooling themselves.

What kinds of marketing [twitter, facebook, blog, forums] are you involved with for promoting your book(s)? 
My major marketing thrust is with a company called Genius Media.  They have been a tremendous boost in the marketing effort.  I use Facebook, Twitter and my Amazon author page plus my website and blog.

Do you find it difficult to juggle your time between marketing your current book and writing your next book? 
I hate the word difficult as the marketing is a required aspect of being a published author.  I prefer the word challenge and that it is.  I have decided the fun part of this business is the writing as I get the chance to spend hours in a world of my choosing and I surround myself with characters that I like, even if they are evil.  The other side of that coin is the marketing and I am learning to like that with each book.  It must be done, as it is one thing to write a book, something entirely different to tell the world you’ve done it.

What advice would you give a new author just entering into the self-publishing arena? 
It is work.  There are no shortcuts.  The new author must determine how far they wish to go in their journey.  I know authors who only write for regional magazines and are very happy with a short story published every few months.  Others want to be known as best-selling authors.  All of it is work and the difference is not talent along, but the willingness to work on a continual basis.  It’s great work, but it is work.

Besides writing, do you have any other passions? 
I love the outdoors and animals.  I have three canine buddies who help me through the day and two horses.  I am becoming more involved with animal rescue.  I am also a conservationist.

Some fun facts about you, which do you prefer – dogs or cats? Chocolate or vanilla? Coffee or Tea? Talk or Text? Day or Night? 
Without a doubt, dogs.  Neither coffee or tea, but don’t stop the infusion of Mountain Dew.  I prefer night over day.  I don’t watch t.v. and rarely do I go to movies.  I love to read but now prefer audio books for time management.  I listen to books while I drive.  I text only when I have to and much prefer to sit down and talk to another person.

What’s next for you?
The third book in my series about an Albuquerque homicide detective is currently going through the editing process and is planned to be released the first part of April.  As soon as this project is finished, I will start book two in the Shadow series, called “Reflections of the Moon.”

Shadow of the Moon
Kwen D. Griffeth
Publication date: September 25th 2017
Genres: Adult, Mystery, Paranormal

The grisly murder of a diplomat’s son in Central Park draw NYPD Detective Gerald Meeker and FBI Special Agent Andee Trakes into a twisted and confusing investigation. Within hours, the evidence indicates the man was executed in the manner saved for werewolves.
Andee Trakes is assigned to liaison with a history professor, who is an expert on folklore and legends.
Professor Alwyn Lloyd, handsome, articulate and successful, not only agrees the method of death was indeed an execution, he claims to be a werewolf. Andee is torn between the desire to date the man and the suspicion to arrest him.
From the initial killing in the park, a bloody spree is ignited that soon has Andee and Lloyd forced to work together to protect themselves and family members.
Shadow of the Moon explores the world of werewolves and paints a picture of what is good about them, as well as bad. The story explains what is beautiful as well as ugly about the wolf.
The story is fast paced and full of interesting characters and several twists and turns to keep both the fantasy as well as the suspense and romance enthusiasts entertained.

Author Bio:
Winner of Readers’ Favorite Silver Award for Historical Fiction/Western, Kwen knew he wanted to be a writer when he was fourteen years old. He felt the urge when he finished Earnest Hemingway’s masterpiece For Whom The Bell Tolls. The story touched him in a way no other book ever had. It transported a kid born and raised on a farm and ranch in Idaho to the mountains of Spain. It took him back in time forty years to witness the Spanish Civil War. Kwen knew he wanted to share that wonder with other people.

John Lennon said, “Life is what happens while you make other plans.” While Kwen lived a full and varied life, his dream of writing remained in the back of his mind.

Finally, in 2012, he wrote a novella named Dear Emma. He self-published through Amazon and asked people to read it. “The best way to see if I can write is to let people check it out,” he said. Like it, they did. Currently, Dear Emma enjoys a 4.8 out of 5 stars rating on Amazon.
Often asked what genre he writes, Kwen replies he writes stories about people and uses the genre that best fits the story. “I think of the genre, or setting as another character that interacts to help tell the story,” he says.

His most often received and constant comment is how real his characters seem. Upon the completion of his historical fiction trilogy Sam and Laura books, a reader telephoned Kwen and directed him to write more stories about the couple. When asked why the reader was so adamant about more stories, he replied he “wasn’t ready to tell Sam and Laura good bye yet.”
Kwen considers that comment one of his highest compliments.

Kwen’s books are getting some attention from the literary community. The Law of Moses, the Silver Award winner from Readers’ Favorite, and The Tenth Nail both received the Gold Award from Literary Titan Book Review. The Gold Award is given to books “found to be perfect in their delivery of original content, meticulous development of unique characters in an organic and striking setting, innovative plot that supports a fresh theme, and elegant prose that transforms words into beautifully written novels.” Many of Kwen’s books have received the Gold Award from Literary Titan. In addition, The Law of Moses was awarded five 5 Star Reviews from the reviewers of Readers’ Favorite.

Kwen’s books are available in several formats; e-Book, paperback, and audio. He invites you to check his writings out. Who knows? He might become your next favorite author.

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