Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Interview with Alex Hayes, SIREN SONG

Can you give us a brief overview of your latest book? Is it part of a series?
Siren Song is the third book of The Chameleon Effect Series.

Idris and Cadi, the main character from the first book, Silken Scales, return as secondary characters but continue to play significant roles. Connell and Rowan are the main characters and love interests. Connell lives in Los Angeles, working at a press photographer/paparazzo with his adoptive sister, Azera.

Rowan heads to L.A. to find him, but when they finally meet, things don’t go quite as she expects.

Meanwhile, Idris is trying to make his way as a recording artist, and Cadi is stuck in Upstate New York, due to a complication with her pregnancy, and can’t join them. And they are, of course, still being hunted by their alien enemies, the Evatenon.

Do you have a favorite character?
I love them all, but Idris has to be my favorite of the series. His sense of humor, confidence, and at times, child-like innocence, makes him a truly lovable guy.

Have you ever had a minor character evolve into a major one? Did that change the direction of the novel at all?
Absolutely. A secondary character from the first book, Silken Scales, becomes a main character in the second book, Perfect Pitch. That wasn’t my original plan, but I get attached to characters and couldn’t resist. While I expected all my main characters to be alien teenagers with superpowers, like Idris and Cadi, that just didn’t happen. Cadi’s friend/enemy, Dean, needed to tell his side of the story, so I let him do that, and the tale turned out wonderfully.

Did you try the traditional route to publishing, i.e. querying agents/publishers?
Yes. I’ve sent queries out and will continue to do so to agents. But these days, there’s no need to wait years to be “discovered.” I can take control over my own business as an author and I’m happy to do that. It’s nice to be able to make my own decisions and not be bound by the long lead times required by traditional publishers.

Do you belong to a critique group? Have they helped improve your writing?
I do belong to a writing critique organization called Scribophile. Joining and working with other writers was the push I needed to start publishing my first series. I have a great team of writers I work with, and I’ve found critiquing other writer’s work to be as instrumental to improving my writing skills as receiving them.

Do you outline your story or just go where your muse takes you?
I’m absolutely a planner and outliner. I wrote my first book organically and it took ten years. Now I can take a story from conception to completion within six months by outlining, analyzing and developing the story and character arcs before diving in to the actual write.

What have you’ve learned during your self-publishing journey?
I’ve learned that to self-publish is relatively easy; selling books is the hard part. Marketing is a huge, huge part of the equation, and you have to go into it with your armor on, ready to take on a multi-headed monster. The necessary effort is more work than one person can comfortably manage, but it has been rewarding, as well as occasionally frustrating. If writing is a labor of love, then I guess marketing is its necessary evil!

Do you find it difficult to juggle your time between marketing your current book and writing your next book?
Yes and no. There are aspects of marketing that I quite enjoy, others that are still a mystery to me. I’m lucky that my partner is a very smart and analytical guy, and has taken on the advertising piece of the puzzle, a triple-headed beast in itself. He’s taken a large burden off my shoulders.

What advice would you give a new author just entering into the self-publishing arena?
Before diving into self-publishing, be aware of what is required to be successful. The self-publishing part is relatively easy. It’s all the other pieces that you might not be fully aware of that take time and patience, determination and perseverance. It requires a huge amount of time and at least some money.

Besides writing, do you have any other passions?
I’ve had numerous passions, on and off, over my life, but I can only handle one passion at a time. Writing has always been my greatest passion, but I’ve also been a database engineer, photographer, interior decorator, caterer, gardener, chef, painter and mother.

What’s next for you?
I’m currently finishing up a stand-alone novel called Steel Strings, then I’ll be knuckling down with the fourth book of The Chameleon Effect series, which I’m really excited about. I have my characters and setting worked out, along with a loose plot, and I’m eager to see where that takes me.

Siren Song
Alex Hayes
(The Chameleon Effect #3)
Publication date: October 15th 2019
Genres: New Adult, Paranormal, Romance, Young Adult

Connell KurÄ“n doesn’t love being a paparazzo…
He’s a member of the most scorned profession in Hollywood, but he’s good at it, and a hard-ass to boot.
He might also be called an ambulance chaser, though not for the disreputable reason he chases celebrities. Connell has the ability to heal, and at the sound of a siren, he is drawn to those in need.
Life is just fine until his pushy paparazzi nature almost gets someone killed.
Rowan Bren suffers post-traumatic stress and a permanent headache following a near-death experience at the hands of her mortal enemy. After months, she still isn’t right, but she won’t be held back from seeking her bond mate, Con, any longer.
She travels to Los Angeles motivated to help her friend, Idris, with his brilliant plan to locate their missing people. But Rowan’s top priority in the City of Angels is to find Con. She doesn’t know where he lives, but she’s not worried, because her crystal will lead her straight to him.
When she trips into his world, she finds a man so different from the person she expects, she fears he might not be Con at all. That he might be possessed by an evil force like the one that almost killed her.
Siren Song is the third novel of the Chameleon Effect series.

Author Bio:
Alex Hayes wrote her first fiction story when she was twelve. Inspired by her mother’s storytelling, she began work on her first novel, Ice Cracks, at eighteen.
She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English, Creative Writing from San Francisco State University. In her twenties, she moved from Marin County, California to Boston, Massachusetts, where she built a career as an IT professional in database engineering. In 2004, she self-published Ice Cracks, which became a semi-finalist in the 2005 IPPY Awards.
Alex splits her time between Grand Junction, Colorado and Guanajuato, Mexico. When she isn’t writing, she’s helping her partner, Lee, renovate a 450 year old hacienda. She is mother to one beautiful daughter and many wonderful cats.

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