BCW member Alicia Anthony is releasing her first book, Inherent Truth. Board member Kandy Williams posed a few questions in advance of the release.
- Tell us a little bit about your book and when it releases.
Inherent Truth is the
first book in the Blood Secrets Saga, which is best described as a romantic
thriller with light supernatural elements. The story follows Liv Sullivan, a
reluctant psychic, who returns to her hometown after the death of her
grandmother. Beckoned by visions from beyond the grave that leave her with more
questions than answers, she revisits her grandmother’s old farm, where she
meets undercover agent Ridge McCaffrey. But a gruesome discovery lands them
both tangled in a web of family secrets that threatens not only their budding relationship,
but their lives.
It releases January 14, 2020 both in ebook and paperback and can be purchased online from all of your favorite retailers.
- Take us on the journey.
Can you share the tale of how this book (trilogy) came about?
It seems like ages ago now. I’ve been seeing all those ten-year reviews online, I should do one about this, really. But the inspiration for this series first sparked when the decline of my own grandmother to the grips of dementia collided with the death of my birth mother, a woman I’d learned about but never took the opportunity to meet. That perfect storm left me wondering what memories would never see the light of day. The idea of secrets taken to the grave and memories left unspoken sparked this series.
I just remember sitting in
my family room in front of the wood-burning stove writing my way into this
novel. At the beginning, it was called The Girl in the Yellow Dress. And a lot
has changed since then. But writing Inherent Truth was a cathartic way to
process both of those losses. Of course, the storyline took a left turn into
thriller-land somewhere along the way. But the overarching idea of secrets
kept, buried with lost loved ones, and the possibility that those truths might
someday be unearthed still is the impetus behind the series.
- You’re taking the plunge
and going the Indie Author route. Why?
Honestly, I was one of
those authors who thought they’d never go indie. I was adamant that I needed
the support of a publishing house in order to make this work. So for years
that’s the path I traveled. I sent query after query, accumulated a mass of
rejection letters, but yet I kept entering these contests and doing really
well. Eventually I started to realize that the readers for my work were out
there. They were reading my work and placing me well in these competitions.
That started to get the wheels turning a bit. I did research. Took a class.
Talked to author friends who had launched successful independent publishing
careers and eventually I decided that waiting was no longer in my best
interest. Waiting only stoked that fire of inadequacy that all authors keep
burning somewhere down deep inside. I was tired of that. Waiting felt like
giving up. And that’s not where I wanted to be. The decision felt right. I
think I needed to go through some of the trials of that other path to help me
realize the benefits of indie publishing, but I knew immediately. It was the
right time to take control.
- What challenges do you
face, as an indie author, that traditionally published authors might not?
Ooh. This one’s tricky.
I would say marketing, but unless you’re with a big publishing house you’ll be
pretty much on your own with that anyway, so I’ll stick with a related topic
and say analytics. There are a lot of moving parts to launching an independent
publishing career. One of the elements that is hard for me to wrap my creative
brain around is the analytical aspect. Knowing what marketing efforts are
working and what isn’t and how best to find that information without tearing my
hair out or losing a week’s worth of writing time gives me fits. But it’s so
important to understand in order to maximize your return on investment. In
spite of what others may say, publishing isn’t free, and you have to know how
to get the most bang for your buck, so to speak.
- Do you have any advice
for Indie Authors on strategies to find and connect with readers?
I think having a core group of supporters around you, whether it’s a group of writers, your family, friends, even colleagues is a great start. There are a gazillion companies out there to help you reach readers, but it’s not just about finding readers, you also need to create relationships. For me, I started with my newsletter, trying to build it up to a decent size before launching Inherent Truth was important to me. Bookfunnel was a great tool to help build my newsletter list. I’m also a member of several Facebook groups consisting of writers and readers. I try to make meaningful connections with people within those groups and I enjoy listening and learning from them. I launched my own Facebook Reader Group, which has been a fun experience. I like getting to know the members and I try to ask fun questions and I hold giveaways and things to encourage readers to join the conversation. That’s really what it’s all about, forming those relationships. You can check it out at http://www.facebook.com/groups/AliciaAnthonyReaderGroup if you want to learn more.
- What’s the fantasy? Lead
us down your ideal career path for your writing. What does it look like right
now and years from now? (Be as realistic or as imaginative as you want.)
Sometimes I think it is a fantasy. But watching this first step come to
fruition, releasing Inherent Truth, gives me hope that the dream is possible.
Right now, I have a very emotionally demanding day job. Through the school year
I get up at 3:30 A.M. most mornings in order to eke out some fresh words or
dive into a marketing project. It can be truly exhausting. The long term dream
is to retire early in order to write full-time. I’d love to see that happen in
the next five years, but we’ll play it by ear as far as that’s concerned.
have a backlog of projects from the years I spent lying in wait for the perfect
publisher, which is why I have plans for four releases in 2020. After that,
however, I’m looking at putting out two books per year. I think that’s a
schedule I could settle into pretty comfortably as far as inspiration and time
is concerned. It’s important to me that I don’t sacrifice quality for quantity.
And I don’t see that changing for me. I’d love to build an engaged and responsive
reader base and be able to travel for book signings and events. I think
overall, my dream is to have the freedom and means to travel with my family and
write the stories that intrigue and inspire me. Isn’t that all any author
really wants? Oh, maybe a unicorn, too. A unicorn would be cool. 😉
For more information, please visit my website!