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Next stop in the Writing Process Blog Tour

Crime fiction author, Jayne-Marie Barker ( invited me to participate in an interesting blog tour on writing. Jayne-Marie, who featured on this Blog Hop on her own blog last week, has written a first crime thriller series with the unique Inspector Allen, but she’s working on a new series now, featuring DI Rachel Bennett. Newly promoted to the rank of DI, Rachel has her work cut out leading a new team, dealing with a husband whose profession puts him in a dangerous place, not to mention the cases she must handle, and the mysterious deaths she must solve. Jayne-Marie’s first novel is completed but it hasn’t hit the bookshelves yet. Books two and three in the series are under construction. She’s also working on the outline for book two in more detail. Busy lady!

Like many authors, Jayne-Marie feels her writing is an obsession. I understand where she’s coming from, because if writing wasn’t an obsession how many authors would continue in the face of poverty pay and years of rejections? Only obsession can cut it. Jayne-Marie is an interesting new entrant on the crime shelves. I hope you’ll look out for her books Distant Shadows and Beneath the Daisies.

Now, back to ‘me, me, me’! -To tell you something about myself, I’m Geraldine Evans, a trad-turned-indie author of the 15-strong Rafferty & Llewellyn procedural series amongst others. After having eighteen novels published in the usual way (Macmillan, St Martin’s Press, Worldwide, Hale, Severn House), in the autumn of 2010, I took the indie plunge and became entirely responsible for the publication process of my work.


In order of publication (but can be read as stand-alones), my Rafferty & Llewellyn series consists of the following: Dead Before Morning, Down Among the Dead Men, Death Line, The Hanging Tree, Absolute Poison, Dying For You, Bad Blood, Love Lies Bleeding, Blood on the Bones, A Thrust to the Vitals, Death Dues, All the Lonely People, Death Dance, Deadly Reunion and Kith and Kill. My other procedural series is. Casey & Catt: Up in Flames and A Killing Karma.

I’m also the author of the biographical historical novel: Reluctant Queen, about Mary Rose Tudor, the little sister of infamous English king, Henry VIII, a suspense-thriller: The Egg Factory, and several other fiction and non-fiction books, some under pen-names.BANNER BLACK REL QN EBOOK WITH IMAGE PLUS ALL TEXT 1500W x 300 H

To carry on this great tour, please find my four question responses below.

Romantic Suspense
Romantic Suspense

What are you working on?
I’m working on the 16th novel in my Rafferty & Llewellyn mystery series. Asking For It involves yet more murder and family mayhem for my Detective Joe Rafferty. I’ve also just started the research for another long biographical historical, my second, this time set in England’s Plantagenet era.

How does your work differ from others of its genre?
They’re fun! To write and, I hope, to read. There’s no relentless concentration on just the hunt for a murderer. With his selectively law-abiding family, my detective, Joe Rafferty can rarely give his entire mind to the latest investigation. He’s not always lucky enough to avoid bending the law himself. I think of my Rafferty books with the tag line:


As a policeman, his family is Rafferty’s curse. Most of them think – if they must have a copper in the family – he might at least have the decency to be a bent one.

It’s not that his close family members are major law-breakers. But they are inclined to bend what they regard as the ‘little’ laws—laws unimportant in the great scheme of things. Like Ma Rafferty’s dodgy ‘bargains’, for instance. Only, sometimes, these bargains are stacked halfway to the ceiling of the spare room. In Rafferty’s mind, she’s practically the neighbourhood fence and he spends half his time waiting for the knock on the door.cropped-all-latest-covers-24-june-2014-mk1-together-in-powerpnt-presentation14-tiny-for-wordpress-header1.jpg

His Ma, who’s a past master at getting her own way, is not averse to using emotional blackmail to make Rafferty feel guilty when he upbraids her (mothers’ use of emotional blackmail: worthy of a blog post on its own!). ‘It’s only trying to eke out my pension that I’m doing,’ she’ll tell him. ‘Sure and amn’t I a poor widow with a roof to keep over my head and food to put on the table? Would you have me starve?’

Why do you write what you do?
I write what I do because I enjoy it. The sub-plot mayhem provides another strand to take me away from the main murder thread when plotting problems paralyze my brain. Concentrating for a while on problems in the sub-plot generally helps me find a solution in the actual murder investigation.

My books are set in Essex in England. The expression ‘Essex Man’ (and ‘Girl’) is a derogatory term used by the middle-classes for those they consider their moral, social and educational inferiors. And with their dodgy deals, lack of further education, bingo and ‘bargain’ buys, the Rafferty family in many ways epitomise the breed. But I wanted to write about ‘real’ people and not add to the world’s collection of crime novels about staid, morally upright, middle-class detectives. I wanted to throw a few fireworks in there. Joe Rafferty spends his life, as the saying goes, between a rock and a hard place. Besides, I thought I’d enjoy creating a policeman caught in a permanently family created dilemma. And you know what? I was right!

And when you consider that, historically, the police force was always the career of the working-classes, I believe, in my DI Joe Rafferty, I’m spot on.

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How does your writing process work?
My writing process differs greatly, depending on whether I’m writing another Rafferty & Llewellyn, Casey & Catt mystery or a biographical historical novel. With the latter, I find it essential to have a clear, year on year timeline of the events in my character’s life and the world at large.

But, for my Rafferty novels, I’ve always been very much a ‘seat of pants’ writer. I still strive, periodically, to force myself to make a plan for these, but even when I manage it, the plan rarely amounts to much. Anyway, plans make the writing such a dull plod through a ‘do this and then do that’ list that, if I didn’t end up ignoring it, it would suck all the life from my writing and the fun from the work. DEATH DANCE RED YLW AMAZON Selfpub-72dpi-1500x2000-2

My Rafferty books have a lot of humour in them and require me to let my brain have plenty of freedom. I don’t like feeling ‘caged-in’ by some rigid outline. Yes, I know you can write against the outline if that’s the way the characters demand to go. But then, what’s the point in writing the blessed outline in the first place, if you’re just going to ignore it?

So, with, often, just a single idea in my head, I tend to dive in and trust to native wit and ingenuity to get me out of any plotting scrapes in my crime novels. I’ve managed it eighteen times so far (including one stand-alone and the two books in my Casey & Catt series), so I remain optimistic that the seat of my pants won’t get singed.KITH AND KILL2 RED YLW AMAZON selfpub-72dpi-1500x2000-14

On with the tour
UPDATE: Stroke of luck! the lovely and talented crime author Leigh Russell, has agreed to be one of the two authors to follow me on this Author Process Blog Hop. She’ll post, answering  the same four questions, on her own blog on Monday 14 July 2014 (here’s the link to   Leigh’swebsite: And here’s the link to her blog:

Leigh is the highly successful author of the Geraldine Steel series. She is a No 1 Best Seller on Amazon’s Kindle and her awards include the following:

Cut Short was shortlisted for the CWA New Blood DaggerAward 2010. Stop Dead was a Finalist for The People’s Book Prize 2014. And now the Geraldine Steel series and Ian Peterson spin off series have been optioned by Avalon Television Ltd to be made into a TV series. How exciting! Congratulations on that, Leigh!

Leigh’s other books include: Fatal Act, Stop Dead, Death Bed, Cold Sacrifice, Road , Dead End and Cut Short.

Leigh’s next novel is the second DS Ian Peterson Murder Investigation, entitled Race to Death, to be published September 2014 (available for pre-order). But the digital edition is available now.

Here are some buy links:





I’m afraid I have a confession to make here. I’ve asked various authors to take part in the tour, but, so far, I’ve had no takers (holidays, other commitments, the usual stuff in busy lives). But I hope to update this post before the end of the week with news of the next authors on the tour. Watch this space!


Author Website:




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Crime Authors’ ‘Blog Hop June/July 2014

I’ll be taking part in a crime authors’ ‘Blog Hop’ in July. Others taking part are Jayne-Marie Barker and Leigh Russell. Today, it’s the turn of Jayne-Marie Barker, who will be posting on her blog and answering a few questions. I hope to have two more sets of crime authors on board by the time I update.

My section of the ‘Blog Hop’ will take place on 7 July 2014. when I’ll answer four questions about my writing and then introduce two more crime authors and hand the baton on to them.

Meanwhile, here the link for Jayne-Marie Barker’s blog:

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Had a book accepted or plan to go the ebook route? Then you want to think about getting your marketing campaign organised. How can people buy your book if no one hears about it?
So what sort of things should you do? And where should you do them? Here are some ideas to get you started:
I found this the best route to go to increase book sales. I did my Blog Tour back in February 2011 and my sales numbers quadrupled. I know it’s a lot of work writing the posts and approaching possible hosts, but I believe, from the sales increase alone, never mind the name recognition it should engender, that it’s worth it. Put your Blog Schedule on your website so chance visitors can have the opportunity to follow the Tour, too.
I didn’t find this the best way to go. I’ve tried both Kindle Nation Daily and a banner ad on kindleboards and I can’t say I noticed  any increase in sales. Of course, you might be luckier and this is far from the definitive guide as I’ve tried such a limited area in which to place my ads. By all means try it. At least, if nothing else, you will be the wiser for it and who knows, it might pay off.
It’s hard to see how much good – if any – trailers do. They’re fun to make and the cost isn’t prohibitive if you do them yourself using Windows Movie Maker. And they’re always available on your website, youtube and other sites for people to see. It’s a big help with planning which pictures to put where if you jot down a synopsis of the book. When it comes to getting royalty-free pictures, there are a lot of sites out there. I use
These don’t have to cost a lot. You’ll get author copies free from your publisher or if you’re going the ebook route you can offer books free using a coupon at smashwords. Goodreads and LibraryThing also allow for book giveaways.
You could also offer books as prizes on your own website as part of a contest, though if you hold something like a short story contest with a critique, you must be prepared for a fair number of entries.
This is not a route I’ve ever taken as it’s rather expensive. But if you can afford it, conferences could be the way to go to get your name better known and to promote your new book If you sign up early you can get your name down for a panel. Just make sure you have something to say when you get there. You’ll want to have postcards and bookmarks ready to hand out, possibly business cards. And you’ll need to ensure there are books available for sale in the sales room. You should be able to organise this with your publisher.
With any luck,  your publisher will provide advance reading copies of your new release In any case, you’ll want to solicit reviews for your new release. If your book is an ebook there are many bloggers out there who will review your book, some of whom are widely recognised as providing a reliable reviewing service. Some specialize, so make sure you approach an appropriate blogger. ARCs are also handy to give away as prizes in contests.
Try to collect email addresses every time you make a public appearance so that you increase the number of people to whom you can send a regular newsletter with your doings. I use and send out a newsletter once a month. What do you tell people? Well tell them about the new release with the book cover, tell them about appearances and panels you’re on at conferences. Tell them how you’re doing on your Work in Progress.
Once you have your cover art, you can design postcards, bookmarks and flyers. You can have business cards designed very cheaply, with either the book cover or your author photo. You can create most of these cheaply yourself or you can take the professional print route.
Don’t forget to post information about your new release on your website/blog. Don’t forget to add the youtube link to your book trailer. Post an excerpt so your website visitors can read your scintillating prose! Crease a Press Kit page with a picture of you, your book cover, a short bio of you and the reviews when you get them. Interview yourself about the book and add this to the page.
Never turn down a chance to appear in public. Yes, it’s anxiety-inducing, but the more you do it the better you’ll get at it. Never be shy when you have the opportunity to sell your book. Some groups, like the Women’s Institute, require you to do an audition as a speaker before you can get on their approved list of speakers. Daunting, but it’s just another of the many challenges you’ve already faced.
I can hear you thinking that this all looks like a lot of work. You’re right. It is. That’s why the sooner you start thinking, planning and getting stuff organised, the more you can cover. That way, when your publisher/yourself expects you to be working on the next book, you have the time in hand. An hour or two at evenings or weekends with get the work done. Just be sure to get the word out somehow.

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Well, I’ve come to an end to my Blog Tour. It’s been a lot of work, but I’ve really enjoyed it. It’s been exciting checking for new comments each day and I’ve had some lovely ones – people really can be very kind and generous. Anyway, here are the last few dates and hosts on my tour. Check them out!

My ‘Made it’ Moment with host Jenny Milchman

‘Sink or Swim’ Interview with host Stacy Juba

Interview with host Marilyn Meredith.

I want to thank all seventeen of my hosts. They’ve been absolutely amazing! And to think they have guest bloggers all the time. They must be awesome at organisation. I take my hat off to each and every one of you. Thank you ladies and gent. You’re all welcome on my blog at any time.

Oh. I nearly forgot. This is not part of my tour, but something I did separately and that just happens to have coincided with the last day of the tour. Anyway, here’s an interview I did for Sylvia Massara of The Lit Chick Show! This one’s the Real McCoy, with an introduction and everything, so you can ignore the previous interview I put up for this.

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Ten Tips for Writers with host Nancy J Cohen

Third excerpt of Deadly Reunion with host Debbi Mack

An interview with host Wendy Gager

Fourth excerpt of Deadly Reunion with host Peg Herring

Fifth excerpt of Deadly Reunion with host Chris Redding

How to put a video book trailer together with host Marian Allen

An interview with host Kaye George

What a lot! Sorry – I should have been putting these up every day. Trouble is, I’ve been getting deeply involved in writing my next book as well as correcting the formatting of Death Line which I’ve had converted from an Amstrad disk preparatory to putting it up as another ebook, so, as you can imagine, my head’s been pretty full.

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Why not visit Nancy J Cohen’s blog and read my Ten Tips for Writers. You never know, you might learn something fresh! This is the latest stop on my Blog Tour:

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Here’s the latest post on my Blog Tour. The Blog Host is Chris Verstraete and the post covers various topics: Ten Tips for Writers, plus What I Learned from series book numbers 1-14 in my Rafferty crime series, plus excerpt of Deadly Reunion. Thank you, Chris, you’re a star.

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Finally got my act together re this Blog Tour. It starts on 2 February and ends on 25 February 2011. I will be stopping off at 17 other blogs and posting comments, from how I created my first crime series, to interview, to how I made my video book trailers and many other things.

Why not stop by and leave a comment? It could win you a PRIZE as everyone who leaves a comment has their name put in a draw.

The PRIZES: for the first three names drawn from the hat, there will be one signed copy of Deadly Reunion, my latest hardback, published 24 February 2011 and one of each of my ebooks, Dead Before Morning and Down Among the Dead Men, my debut and the follow-up in my fourteen-strong Rafferty & Llewellyn crime series.

I’ve enjoyed preparing for this first Blog Tour, though it’s been hard work as every Blog Host wanted an original posting from me, as well as a bio, a blurb, links of one sort or another and a few other things which I can’t remember. Imagine my desperation when the emails from my Blog Hosts that I’d put in a folder on my email programme couldn’t be accesssed! Aargh! I thought that was the last I’d seen of them. On my old computer it was so simple, but it in this one with all its bangs and whistles, I have to actually click on a folder link (which I hadn’t even noticed) in order to access things I’d filed. The relief when I discovered this folder link was tremendous.

Don’t forget to stop by and leave a comment. The list of Blog Tour dates and blog sites is listed on my website ( Just click the link and it’ll take you straight to the date list for click-throughs. Looking forward to seeing you there.

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Marketing For Writers

Your book’s been accepted. How wonderful! Congratulations.
It’s a terrific, feeling, isn’t it, after all those rejections?

But now comes the real work. What? You thought you’d done
the work and that now came the pleasure? Ha! Think again.

Writing the book’s only half of it. And if you’re a techno-thickie,
like me, you’ll be amazed at what you can learn to do; I certainly

Everyone knows about the signings and the crowds of people who come to each. But everyone would be wrong. Unless you’re very

well-known, you’ll be lucky to get more than a handful of signings, if that. Think about it. Why would a bookstore manager want to

put himself to the trouble for a writer that no one’s ever heard of? For a writer who’s unlikely to sell more than one or two books (and one of these purchases will probably be made by the writer’s partner)? What happens most often is that the writer sits behind a desk with a pile of his/her books and no one comes. That, believe it or not, is the harsh truth of most book signings. You don’t need to take my word for it. Watch this video made by writer Parnell Hall and have a laugh while the sober truth sinks in:

So what can you do? There are other things. Libraries are always welcoming to the idea of your giving a talk. Ring around a few libraries, ask to speak to the librarian and introduce yourself and your new book. You should get an invitation or two to speak. No good at speaking off the cuff? Don’t worry. It’s perfectly acceptable to use notes. I do myself as my short-term memory is shockingly bad and I’m hopeless at speaking without a crib. You may even sell a few books.

There are also other things you can do to draw attention to yourself. I’m in the middle of preparing for a seventeen-date Blog Tour in February. It’s a lot of work as you have to prepare posts to go on other people’s blogs and you won’t be too popular if you repeat the same blog on several people’s sites. You’re expected to be original and, as I said, originality brings a lot of work.

How did I organise this? I’m a member of a number of writing/book sites and I checked on the File listing of one of them: Yahoo Group’s MurderMustAdvertise, for those members who were prepared to host other writer members and contacted each one. You’ll need to be organised and create a Blog Tour folder on your computer where you can store the emails listing what you’re to do. You should also set up a folder in Documents with docs for each of the separate posts you’ve been asked to make and note in your diary the names, email addresses, dates, blog addresses and what your post is to consist of. If you don’t do all this you’ll get in a hopeless muddle. I could have arranged more Blog Tour dates if I’d contacted members on other book or writing sites, but I thought seventeen gigs was as much as I could cope with. This is my first Blog Tour, after all, and I didn’t want to over-reach myself.

I’ve written several question and answer sessions, prepared a few different excerpts of Deadly Reunion, my latest Rafferty & Llewellyn crime novel which comes out on 24 February, with links to the other excerpts. Deadly Reunion is the reason I organised the blog tour.

What else have I written? Another blogger asked me to produce a post about my writing ‘Made it Moment’. LOL! Shows how deluded one can be! One asked me to supply my Top Ten Tips for writers. Another wanted me to write a post about my ebook experiences since I’ve published two of my Rafferty novels to kindle et al. They all wanted a short bio and brief synopses of both Deadly Reunion, my latest hardback, and Dead Before Morning, my latest ebook. Another blogger wanted me to tell her readers about how I set about making my various video book trailers. I did it The Hard Way, I thought! The first one was made from a basis of total ignorance. Boy, this marketing mallarkey is a very steep learning curve. I’ve also collected up the links to various reviews, to my youtube video book trailers, to amazon and, of course, my blog and website. I’m still working on some posts. But when I’ve finished, I’ll put up a list of all my Blog Tour gigs and you can follow me through the Tour if you wish. You’ll probably be asked to provide a few prizes. I think the most usual is that, at the end of the Blog Tour, a drawing is made of all of those people who have made a comment during your Tour. It’s up to you to check on each of the blog sites for the comments and to note down the details of each so you can make the draw.

What else have I done? I’ve made a video interview of myself, using the webcam on the computer, with my poor husband acting as the interviewer. Here’s the link if you want to take a look and have a laugh at our pretty inept efforts. This was about our fifth attempt, so you can imagine how poor the earlier efforts were. It was originally done for The Lit Chick Show, a video blog that hosts author interviews. But I’m going to do it again for the show and hope that both of us manage to project ourselves a bit better! Practise! Practise! Practise! The interview’s not due to air until the 25 February, so we’ve got time to apply a bit of polish. You could do something similar and put it up on youtube, then at least you’ll have something ready for your Blog Tour when you organise it. You can try to get radio interviews; local radio is generally pretty willing to host you and local newspapers might well feature you if you contact them.
I’ve explained before, in a previous post, that you’ll have to provide your own marketing materials, like bookmarks, flyers and postcards, as it’s unlikely that your publisher will do it. I’ve just altered the design of my bookmarks, but I’ve had a hell of a job lining up the two sides of the bookmarks. It’s been very wasteful of my white card and my computer inks, not to mention my time. But fingers crossed, they’re lined up now. My next printing will tell. Oh for the money to be able to pay someone else to make the blasted things! Hey, maybe next week, I’ll have time to do some actual book writing!
Now. To market! To market!

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Here’s a few of the latest interviews of me, plus a couple of excellent reviews.

This in a video interview I did for The Lit Chick Show. This is my first attempt at doing a video interview – well the first one that I actually put up on youtube! In the previous attempts to capture this video, my mind went blank as I tried to find what I wanted to say. In the next effort, my head kept almost disappearing off the side of the screen. And then, my husband unaccountably forgot how to speak, and in the next he had a coughing fit. This one is the best of a bad job! See what you think. Laugh at my husband’s attempts at doing a posh, literary accent. I did.

Here are a couple of lovely reader reviews on amazon. Add your own if you have liked any of my novels. Don’t bother if you haven’t!
Five Star Review of Dead Before Morning ebook, first in my Rafferty crime series, on amazon – link
 Five Star Review of Down Among the Dead Men ebook, second in my Rafferty crime series, on amazon – link :
I was interviewed by Beth Hull (Nebula Contact) on
I was interviewed by Jean Henry Mead for Mysterious People:
 My interview with Rebecca Dahlke  will feature on 8 January 2011.
I’m currently in the process of organising a blog tour for the month of February, to coincide with the publication of my eighteenth novel and fourteenth Rafferty & Llewellyn, Deadly Reunion.
 This is taking up quite a bit of my time as it’s quite complicated, coordinating all the gig dates and making sure I’m not repetitive with the content, so I hope you’ll forgive me if my posts here aren’t as frequent as before. I will post a list of the gigs and the links as soon as I know them all, both here and on my website ( ). I’m quite excited about this. It’s my first blog tour and I’m terrified I’ll make an administrative hash of it and never get invited on anyone’s blog ever again! Keep your fingers crossed for me.