I'm happy to be a stop on the book tour for
Book 1 in the Adventures of Gladys Mysteries
by Katherine H. Brown
Gladys gets more than she bargains for when she climbs aboard her first cruise and witnesses a murder. Armed with wigs and wits alone, she determines to get to the bottom of things.An entertaining short read, this cozy mystery is a spinoff from the Ooey Gooey Bakery Mystery series.
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Enter using the Rafflecopter form at the end of this post.
Winner will be chosen after March 1 at the end of the tour.
This giveaway is through Great Escape Book Tours, not Lisa Ks Book Reviews.
A Chat with author Katherine H. Brown
LKBR: Thank you for joining us today, Katherine.
KB: It’s a pleasure to be here!
LKBR: Please tell us a bit about Bonbon Voyage.
KB: Bonbon Voyage is book 1 in a spinoff series from my Ooey Gooey Bakery cozy mysteries. Gladys, the MC in Bonbon Voyage, held a big role in that original series and readers really enjoyed her. I had so many requests to know more about Gladys that I couldn’t resist making her the star of her own show, so to speak.
LKBR: What are you plans for this series?
KB: Honestly, I’m just having fun with it. The books in this series will be slightly shorter and lighter than those in my previous cozy series. I’m currently working on book 2, Half-Baked Homecoming, with plans to release it in a month or two if all goes well (which, how often is that the case lol?).
LKBR: Are you working on any new projects?
KB: Alongside book 2 in the Adventures of Gladys series, I’m working on a second book in my Princess Bethani children’s book line. It should be wrapping up soon. As a teaser, Princess Bethani makes a new friend in this book – a friend who lives in her courtyard fountain!
After that, there is a beautiful story about a librarian, Ireland, and a search for answers that has been my on-again, off-again labor of love for a few years now. It is my prayer that I give it the time and attention needed to publish it before the year’s end.
LKBR: When did you first know you wanted to be a writer?
KB: Probably around the same time that I discovered someone was responsible for writing books. Seriously. As a kid, I wrote all of the time. Sometimes even “binding” my own books between pieces of cardboard, decorating the covers, and giving them little ribbon closures.
As a teen, I ordered every free guide to publishing and vanity press pamphlet that I could get in the mail. It was only later as an adult that I was actually able to knowledgably sort through publishing options and work out that self-publishing as an indie author would be best for me right now.
LKBR: Was getting your first book published everything you thought it would be? The feelings? The process?
KB: It was surreal. In the car, on a trip with my husband for our first anniversary, I finished rewriting and typing a children’s book that I had started as a teen and saved in a binder for years. By the time our eight hour drive to the beach was over, I had hit submit to publish the ebook and had begun the paperback process. To say I was giddy would be an understatement. Now, that book had some typos and I definitely wouldn’t say it was well-planned or executed. But when I received my paperback book in the mail a few weeks later, I was still as proud as I could be and happy to have FINALLY taken the first step toward a life’s longing of mine.
LKBR: How did you handle it when changes were made to your first manuscript? I don’t have a thick skin, so I know how I would have felt.
KB: As I said, my very first published book was a seat of my pants operation. Now, when I researched, did my homework, and got serious about a career as an author instead of a hobby that’s when the bruised feelings came about.
When I first began getting comments back from beta readers and those on my editing team, it was a roller coaster. I felt flattered that they liked the story and then subsequently deflated when they pointed out things like a character’s name that I accidentally changed mid-chapter or scenes that were shuffled around to be in a new order.
It was tough. Things like spelling, typos, etc I could take. When my beloved character’s pattern of speech or peculiar phrasing was called into question it did make me defensive. Learning to take a step back was a must. On top of that, I also came to the conclusion that some edits and advice I should accept but, with my non-traditional publishing route, the bottom line was that I make the last decision on the book, my name is going on it and I needed to be satisfied with the work I produced. Even if that meant I put too much “fluff” or descriptive details about the cookies and cupcakes for some people’s taste. Even if my character’s Southern slang got under some people’s skin. I took the edits I could to improve the book while leaving my writing style true to myself.
LKBR: What is your favorite part of being a writer?
KB: Working from home has to be one of the major joys of being a writer. I worked in an office job (completely unrelated field) for years before my husband and I agreed I would take the leap to quit and focus on writing.
I’d be lying if I said it was a full-time income or even more than occasional gas money yet, but the lack of stress that I now enjoy, coupled with the opportunity to be and do whatever my family needs from me while still embracing my creative side and getting words on page and then books in print – that, that is my favorite part.
The characters in my head are fun to hang out with, too 😉
LKBR: Have you ever read a book that has stayed with you long after reading it?
KB: A few though to be honest I love to read so many books that they also quickly replace each other. Scarlett, the sequel to Gone with the Wind, was the inspiration for my baby girl’s name. The Harry Potter series (I’m a Gryffindor) captures my imagination still with the masterful combination of world-building and relatable characters. Nancy Drew books were probably my biggest influence in a continued love of mysteries.
LKBR: Why are reviews, good or bad, so important to authors?
KB: To me, reviews are important for two specific reasons: first, honest feedback; second, to draw more readers.
As an author, I can glean as much from a review (good or bad) as I can from a beta reader or round of editing. If certain comments are repeated, it guides me on possible problems to change or plots to continue in my next book.
Potential readers live in a world where billions of books are at their fingertips. Something has to make them want to buy mine. Reviews can be a huge selling point, in fact, many people will not pick up a new book or new author to give them a chance without a certain star rating. Even seeing bad reviews isn’t a bad thing though. It means someone read the book and took the time to finish the book. The book was engaging enough for them to form an opinion over in some way.
LKBR: On what sites do you recommend readers leave their reviews?
KB: Amazon is the biggest player as far as places that help me as an author to receive reviews. They are easier for me to find and learn from and they are also the platform where possible buyers might be looking closely at my books.
That being said, Goodreads, Bookbub, or even an individual’s own social media page posting reviews are hugely appreciated as well. Those places get new eyes on the book and may appeal to someone who wasn’t even book shopping. Reviews, in a nutshell, are an excellent way to show support for an author no matter the place and I appreciate the time it takes for people to write and share them.
LKBR: If you could spend one hour with a reader, what would you want to talk about?
KB: I’d love to know their favorite character of my book and why. I’d also enjoy finding out more about them and sharing other favorite books or authors. If they were a reader who really enjoyed my books, hearing what else they’d love to read about my characters (i.e. did so-and-so live happily ever after) would be a fun way to keep me writing in line with reader expectations and fostering a satisfied following, even if I couldn’t follow every idea offered.
LKBR: Thank you so much, Katherine, for letting us get to know you better!
KB: Thank you, Lisa, for this opportunity to share part of my journey with you and your lovely readers. I’ve enjoyed our chat together and appreciate your time and thoughtful questions.
About Katherine H. Brown
Katherine H. Brown is from the tiny community of New York, Texas. Booklover (some might say book addict) and weaver of words, Katherine desired to be a writer from childhood, embarked on her first publishing adventure in 2017, and in 2019 said audios to her cozy office job to leap into a career as an author full-time.
When not found between the pages of a book or tapping keys on her laptop, Katherine loves to watch baking shows with her stepdaughter or cuddle up with her husband Patrick. Katherine and family prepare to welcome a new baby girl into the family in March 2020.
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