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Friday, February 14, 2014

Valentine's Day Tonya Kappes Interview

Happy Valentine's Day! First, my valentine to you is that I'm giving away my YA short story, Kiss of Death, for free today through the 16th. Be sure to get your copy now! Hope you love it! But that's not your only Valentine treat today. USA Today bestselling author Tonya Kappes is here and she's generously offered to give away a copy of her brand new YA novel, Tag...You're It!
(details at the end of the post)

It is my pleasure to introduce you to super talented author and marketing whiz, Tonya Kappes. If you aren't familiar with her, you're in for a treat! If you want to have some fun, you need to connect with Tonya. Seriously. Like her Facebook page and join her Street Time. It's a riot! So much positive energy and fun and she does the coolest events for her readers. Don't take my word for it. Sign up!

Become a member of Tonya’s STREET TEAM! It’s a gathering place of readers who love Tonya Kappes novels and Tonya gives away monthly prizes! To sign up for Tonya’s STREET TEAM, newsletter, view book trailer, and upcoming news, check out Tonya’s website, Tonyakappes.com.

And be sure to stalk her on Facebook and Twitter!

USA Today Bestselling Author, Tonya Kappes writes humorous cozy mystery and women’s fiction that involves quirky characters in quirky situations. Not only have her novels made the USA Today bestsellers list, but they are an Amazon Top 100 author, Amazon Movers and Shakers, and International bestsellers.

Strung Out To Die and A Charming Crime are USA Today bestselling novels.

Splitsville.com, the first novel in the Olivia Davis Mystery Series, is a double finalist in the Next Generation Indie Book Awards in the Mystery and Humorous Categories.

Carpe Bead ‘em is 2012 winner in Amazon’s eFestival of Words in the Women’s Fiction Category.

A Charming Crime, the first novel in the Magical Cures, is the 2013 eFestival of Words in the Fantasy Category Winner.

A New Tradition the Indie Romance Convention 2013 novella of the year.

When not being the princess, queen, and jester of her family of three teenage boys, an adoring husband, and three fury kids, she travels to various writing groups as guest speaker on “How to Market and Promote Your Novels Effectively,” where she is known as a marketing guru.

Now, without further ado, I present Tonya Kappes!
Restless Writer: (RW) I am in awe of the vibrant and fun street team of fans you've assembled. How did you go about getting it off the ground and how long did it take until it became the thriving community it is today?
Tonya Kappes: (TK) A few years ago I started receiving a ton of reader mail, which I love. They continually asked what they could do to help spread the words about my novels. I decided to start a street team on yahoo loop and it was a place where we talked about EVERYTHING...not just my books. We became a little family. I knew I wanted to give back to them so I started to have Facebook street team parties, which no other authors were doing at the time and it took off like a rocket. BUT we have continued to be a close group. I show up every single day! I am personal with them! I LOVE them. That is what this writing gig is all about. 

RW: More and more authors are choosing the indie path to publishing. How did you reach the decision to do this with your books?
TK: When my first publisher thought they knew what the best marketing was for ME, I knew they were wrong. I could not let someone take me down a road I knew was not going to help me. So...we parted ways only two weeks away from publication. After I cried my eyes out, I got my head screwed on straight and took a look at self publishing. Self publishing was such a taboo at the time, this was four years ago, and writers were telling me I was crazy and I was going to burn my writing career. I rolled my eyes because NO ONE tells me I can't do something. I took the bull by the horns and had that book, Carpe Bead 'em, out on the day of the release. READERS have no clue how a book is published. They don't care as long as the book is good.

RW: It seems like you have an awesome new book out every few months! You are a wife and mother, what is your writing schedule like?
TK: I write every single day at least 2-5k words a day. They might not be GREAT words, but they are words that I can go back and change. I write full time so my kids and hubby are at school/work. I get up at 5:30 when my hubby leaves for work. I do all my business stuff until 8 am. My three teenagers can get themselves off to school by themselves now ;) 8-10 am I write and write. Around ten, I eat breakfast and shower only to sit back down by 11 and stay there until 1 pm. Then I grab my dogs and take a 2-3 mile walk, eat lunch, catch up on Days of Our Lives and back at the computer by 2. From 2-4 pm I write. I turn off the computer around 4 because my hubby and kids are home, plus I love to watch the Wendy Williams Show at 4 :) There are times in there where I jump on my Facebook to check in with readers or email.

RW: Your book with Melissa Bourbon Ramirez, The Tricked-Out Toolbox: Promotion and Marketing Tools Every Writer Needs, is full of great marketing strategies for authors. What do you think is the most valuable thing a writer can do to give them the best chance at success?
TK: Write, write, and write. 

RW: In this day and age, social media seems like a holy grail of (free) marketing possibilities. Authors seem to rise to stardom overnight because of social media. There has to be more to the story. Can you offer a reality check on your experiences with social media marketing and the effort and/or costs it takes to achieve success? 
TK: You have to show up every day. That's it. Be present. Be relatable. You have to have a presence. If you only do one social media~DO IT WELL! 

RW: You just published your first YA novel, Tag, You're It!. It's right up my alley, a teen girl who loses her best friend in a car crash but becomes connected to, and annoyed by, her friend's ghost. What made you decide to try YA and can readers expect more in this genre? (I hope so!)
TK: I have three teenage boys who are all in high school. I'm around so many girls...not by choice ;) Of course they all like to talk and hang out with me and I hear all sorts of drama (I'm soooo glad I have all boys!). I'm pretty good at relating to them and easy to talk to. I understand the young adult mind. So many writers ask me why I haven't written a YA and my standard reply was, "I live it...why would I write it?" Then I started to think...hmmmm....Low and behold Tag. . .You're IT was written and given to some of those teenage girls to read. They loved it so here it is :) 

YES! There will be more in the series.

RW: What kind of writer are you, a planner or a pantser?
TK: Panster!

RW: Name some of your favorite authors who really inspire you.
TK: EECK....I can't do that.

RW: I absolutely adore your book covers! Who designs them?
TK: I have several designers for each series. Tag was done by two different designers.

RW: Can you tell us what you're working on now?
TK: I'm working on a new mystery series called Yellow Cab Capers where my sleuth drives a taxi. It's fuuuuunny!!!!!

RW: You do a lot of cool reader events. Where will you be next? 
TK: I love my readers! I travel at least once a month. Check out my events page on my website at www.tonyakappes.com to check out my next event.
 Thank you so much, Tonya!
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1 comment:

  1. Love Tonya's books and would love to read her new YA!