Today we have a guest blogger with us, author Nikki Jefford. I hope you enjoy getting to know more about her and her self-published Spellbound trilogy. YA Paranormal Romance/Fantasy. The first book in her series, Entangled, was a Semifinalist for the Best Indie Books of (2012) from The Kindle Book Review.
Where did the idea for your Spellbound trilogy come from? Spellbound was one of those stories that came about by way of brainstorming. I knew I wanted to write about witches, twins, and death. I’m obsessed with death – and cheating it!
What can we expect from Enchantment? More romance than either of the two previous books – Gray’s under a love spell, after all. 😉 What I enjoyed most about the setup is Gray is still true to character – snarky and strong-willed – while simultaneously in love with a warlock she normally wouldn’t give the time of day to. The other fun factor is Enchantment takes place entirely in Barcelona and Paris.
Tell us about your publishing journey. Did you always want to self-publish or did you go down the traditional publishing route first? I had no plans to self-publish. Then I began reading articles about indie authors selling ebooks in the thousands. That got my attention. I hired a cover designer and copy editor and self-published Entangled on February 19th last year as an experiment. The positive response I received from readers was all the encouragement I needed to go forward with the second book in the series. After over a decade of rejection letters and frustration, it is rewarding beyond words to put my writing out there and let readers, not agents and New York publishers, decide whether or not my books are worth reading.
What is your editing process like? Have you hired a professional editor? I read each book several times on the computer, my Kindle, and a final print out. I especially catch a lot in the print out. After I’ve done as much self-editing as I can, I run my book through several beta readers. I hire two professional copy editors per book. A few minor mistakes still slip through, which I correct as soon as I’m aware of them.
Tell us about the cover design for your Spellbound series. I think they are gorgeous. Who designed them? Thank you! I’m quite proud of them myself. I chose the images, color schemes, and flowers (excluding the white rose on book one – that was already there). From there my cover designer, Najla Qamber, put it all together. My friend Bob Friel, author of the true crime adventure The Barefoot Bandit, was kind enough to do cover consulting with Naj and I for the final tweaks on all four of my book covers.
Do you currently have a WIP? Northern Bites, volume two in the Aurora Sky: Vampire Hunter series. Starting a series is the hard part. Setting up the rules, introducing the characters…I feel like I get to let loose and have way more fun with the story after I’ve gotten the setup out of the way.
Now that you have had several books published, what advice do you have for the aspiring writer? Read and write as much as you possibly can. If you can afford to, take writing workshops from your local university or online. Start a writing group. You can learn as much from critiquing the work of others as you can receiving feedback. There are a lot of ways to connect on the web, but nothing toughens you up like receiving criticism to your face.
Don’t let all the indie success stories fool you. Writing, editing, and promoting take a great deal of time, investment, and hard work. It might take several years and multiple titles before you earn a living or even earn back your investment! That’s never the thing I liked reading in author interviews, but you need to be prepared for the long haul. If you love what you do, keep at it!
I thought it would be fun to get to know the characters from the Spellbound trilogy. Nikki can you introduce us to your main characters? Describe them for us and tell us what motivates them.
Meet the cast of Spellbound:
Graylee Perez: Strong-willed and snarky. Loves magic. Special ability: Invisibility.
Charlene Perez: The twin villain who wants to get her normal human boyfriend back – at any cost. Special abilities: Floating, snapping in and out of clothes.
Raj McKenna: Bad boy with a good heart. Special abilities: Reading auras, healing, and freezing people in place.
Adrian Hedrick Montez: Sexy, crafty, dangerous. Special ability: Body transfers.
Mrs. Perez: No sacrifice is too great when it comes to her daughters. Special ability: Turning sharp objects into spatulas.
Nolan Knapp: Mr. Clean Cut warlock who wants to help Gray get back inside her body. Special ability: Making things shrink.
Ryan Phillips: Charlene’s minion. Special ability: Blocking magic and causing trouble.
Blake Foster: Run of the mill jock who wouldn’t know a witch if she hit him upside the head with a broomstick.
Enchantment, Spellbound #3 will be released on April 23, 2013. Add it to your TBR pile at Goodreads and sign up for an alert to be the first to know when Enchantment goes live and grab the one-day promo price.
Description: Guilt ridden and brokenhearted, the duplicate Graylee Perez enrolls in a Spanish retreat for witches. Just as Gray starts settling into her summer abroad, her old adversary, Adrian Montez, brings his magic show to Barcelona.
Gray seeks out a Spanish wizard for help banishing Adrian from her life once and for all. Instead, she ends up tumbling head first into a love spell with the arrogant warlock.
After Gray follows Adrian to Paris, she must face her true feelings and decide if Adrian’s worth fighting for when he’s targeted for magical extraction.