Patricia Rasey is our guest today. She's an independently published author who has hit the amazon bestseller list numerous times. Patricia writes romantic suspense and dark paranormal romance.
Patricia is a three-time recipient of the Word Weaving Award for Literary Excellence and a three-time winner of the prestigious RIO Award Of Excellence. She is also a three-time EPPIE finalist and was a 2001 nominee for Romantic Times Magazine's Best Electronic Book. Additionally, Twilight Obsessions and Twilight Visions, two anthologies she was a part of, was nominated for the PEARL, the Paranormal Excellence Award in Romantic Literature, in the Best Anthology category. Her short story, In The Mind of Darkness won the P&E 2002 Horror short story category.
When not behind her computer, you can find Patricia working, reading, watching movies or MMA. She also enjoys spending her free time at the river camping with her husband and two sons. Ms. Rasey is currently a third degree Black Belt in American Freestyle Karate. A daydreamer at heart, Patricia A. Rasey, resides in her native town in Northwest Ohio with her husband, Mark, and her lovable Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Todd.
You’re an indie author also known as a “self-published” author. Tell us how you got started down the indie road and why?
PAR: A very good friend of mine talked me into it. I had two books I had the rights back to and I hadn’t done anything with them. They sat there collecting dust. This author friend of mine bought me a cover and 5 day ad to promote it for Christmas one year. All I had to do was take a leap of faith. Four years later, I’m still self-publishing and making more money than I was with my previous publisher.
You’re a bestselling author on Amazon – which of your books hit the Amazon bestseller list, how high did they go, and how many copies did you sell? And best of all – how did you celebrate?
PAR: My first bestseller was Viper, the first book in my Sons of Sangue series. It stayed in the top ten Hot New Releases for two weeks. Its highest rank was #3 there. It stayed in Paranormal Romance releases top one-hundred for the first month. I believe the highest rank there was #11. Hawk (book 2) and Gypsy (book 3) made both those lists again, as well as the demons category. But I don’t recall their numbers. Neither got as high as Viper did, but the money brought on that first month was still pretty great for me. I don’t recall the number of books at all, without having to look it up, but quite a bit fewer than if I hit those numbers with all books. To celebrate, I did so quietly with my hubby and a couple of friends over wine. I’m not much of a big party type gal.
Your main genre is suspense – which includes romantic suspense, suspense thrillers and you also write dark paranormal romance. Tell us why you like to write in these areas? And how would you describe your voice?
PAR: I pretty much write paranormal romance now because it is what’s selling for me, paranormal with dark suspense undertones. I really have always been fascinated with police work. I have a brother who is a detective and a son that’s a deputy sheriff. I guess it runs in the family. When I was doing strictly romantic suspense, I used to ask myself what scares me, then write it. I was giving myself nightmares. Now that I don’t write as dark, the nightmares have stopped. I have just always been fascinated with the darker side of the human character. As for my voice, hmmm . . . that’s a tough one. I never really think about it. I just write and I know when I’m in that zone because it feels right.
Let’s say I’m new to Patricia A. Rasey – I’ve just discovered you either through facebook or amazon or through a friend. What kind of story am I going to be getting in a Patricia A. Rasey book?
PAR: I have always said I hate describing my work. The one question I fear is: tell me about your book. I want to turn it over and say read the blurb. I just suck at talking about them. You will definitely get a book that’s a bit darker in nature. There won’t be a lot of comedy elements (unless you pick up my ghost novella. Spirit Me Away was my one attempt and it was a lot of fun to write). You will also get more than a romance. I try to weave a suspense into everything I write. A lot of readers say I’m full of twists and turns and you don’t always see things coming.
What are three pros to being an indie author?
PAR: Having the independence to decide things like cover, editor. Getting the money monthly and like clockwork. Most of these vendors pay promptly. And having complete control of your career.
What are three cons to being an indie author?
PAR: The money you have to front in order to publish a book. It can be expensive. Being in charge of all your marketing and still sometimes the negative backlash for not having a publisher. And having complete control over your career. If you fail, it’s your fault.
Promotion is key to every author. But you can’t always predict how well a promotion is going to work out. Tell us about one promotion that you did - for a new release or at a conference that really surprised you.
PAR: I’ve done a lot of promotions. Facebook works the best for me. Next step will hopefully be BookBub if I can snag one of their ads. I would say so far, it was getting one of those 6 foot tall banners and having it placed in a well-seen spot. My book sales at that conference were great.
Being an indie author may not be for everyone – although there are plenty of authors who are doing it and plenty of traditionally published authors who are incorporating it into their careers as well. But what does it take to be a truly committed and successful self-published author?
PAR: Dedication and time. If you don’t do the legwork, no one will do it for you. You have to work your ass off in this business to get ahead. No one said self-publishing was easy. And it’s not. Just know if you go that route, it’s hard work and you may not always make your money back. But the bright side, they are on sale forever—so market the backlist to get them selling. That’s my next step.
Building a readership or audience is important for any author – but indie authors don’t have publishers to help them shoulder some of the promotional challenges. As an indie author – how do you connect with readers?
PAR: Engage, engage, engage. Always take time out on social medias to talk to your readers and always respond to their emails. If they reach out, reach back. It’s rewarding both ways.
PAR: Gypsy (book 3) was my last release. If I didn’t have a day job, they would come faster. He was my challenge as he was very much a party boy stuck with a mate he did not want. Let’s say he was one angry vampire who became an ass. Rogue (book 4) comes out Feb. 2, 2016, with two novellas planned next year following its release. Draven (book 4.25) and Preacher (book 4:75). Normally authors do a 4.5 for their novellas. It just so happened that I planned two before book 5 comes out: Xander.
Your heroes tend to be hot and hunky and decidedly Alpha. Where do you get your inspiration for your sexy leading men?
PAR: I love strong alphas, guys who need a little taming. I would say I’ve always been attracted to them, even well before my writing career. I had a lot of male friends who rode motorcycles. My mom and dad’s best friends owned the Harley Davidson shop in our town. Now, I still love the hot, sexy manly type over the traditionally handsome men.
BONUS QUESTION: When you’re really stressed out – how do you blow off steam?
PAR: I read with a glass of wine or an ice cold beer. Reading is still my favorite way to slip away from reality for a bit.
Thanks Patricia for joining us today.
Thank you for interviewing me. I appreciate you taking the time.
Patricia Rasey loves to hear from readers. You can connect with her via her website, on facebook, twitter, amazon, and goodreads.