After our last meeting with KaSonndra Leigh, I just needed her to come back and tell us more about her books but more so how did she do it?!!
So please join me as KaSonndra speaks to us about her hunks Faris Toulan (our yummy main heart throb) and Seth Alton (smart ass extraordinaire) and in her book When Copper Suns Fall.
Thank you KaSonndra!!
Please welcome Faris Toulan to interview about the current year 2012
Can you introduce yourself to us?
Name’s Faris. Faris Toulan. I’m a Caducean, a demon slayer. There isn’t really much else to say. **Glances at me with a set of intense gray eyes that shimmer inside the irises. I wonder if they’re really gray, or could they be silver** People around you might not understand why my skills are necessary in this day and time, but they will. You’ll be glad you had this interview with me.
In what way are you connected to Chela?
Hmm. **massages the back of his neck as he thinks about this** Our connection is, well…difficult to explain. You see, if I tell you about it, then you’d be at risk. **I’m dying to know what he means. Before I can say anything, he continues.** That means I’d have to take a part of your memories. I can do that, you know. **I suck my breath. Did he just read my mind?** I’ll do anything to protect Chela. Our connection is beyond words.
What can you say about your life?
I told you, there isn’t really much I can say. But I will tell you to be happy with what you’ve got today. Your blue skies, clean air. **he glances toward the window beside us, staring at it a long moment** Are those birds outside? 55 years in the future, that would be in this world after the Tidal Years, there are no birds. They’re gone. Poof. Vanished. You have robots. Big, black, ugly crows with cameras for eyes. They’re looking for me. Or rather, people like me. I’m an outcast according to the new leaders. They blame the Caduceans for what happened in the past: wars, earthquakes, hurricanes. **A distant look clouds his eyes. I want to know what they’re seeing**
What do you think of the present world? (2012)
You’re lucky. Very lucky. See my last answer if you need proof of that.
What’s the strangest thing you’ve seen here so far? Why?
Everything about this world seems strange since the last time I was here. In my world, you get used to seeing dark stuff everywhere. Black waters, black beaches, gray skies. **I wonder what he means, but I’ve learned to be patient with him.** I’ve been here before, you know. How is that possible? I can hear your thoughts so easily. **He smiles a drop-down-dead-gorgeous smile with one dimple on the left cheek. My cheeks are probably blushing tomato red** You’ll have to read about my story to see how I got here. And your outdated cellereaders crack me up. **He means my cell phone lying on the desk beside us. He’s giving it a look of pure pity. I tell him this is the 4G version of the latest Droid. And I’m kinda mad because I used six months worth of my wages to buy it.** The screen doesn’t have enough pixels. You can’t even read thumb imprints with that thing. Anybody could steal it and use it. **again, he has a point. Sigh sigh**
What’s the most surprising thing you’ve seen here? Why?
As I said, I’ve been here before. But I don’t remember hearing so much laughter. What surprises me is all the happy-smiley people you have here. In the future, smiles are an endangered species. Enjoy them while they last.
If you had a chance to choose between living in our world and in yours, which one would you choose? Why?
The mirrorlands, that’s what we Caduceans call your world, can’t touch mine. Ours is older than yours. I don’t mean to sound conceited. But it’s true. My world Bardonia is on the other side of the doorway. It’s parallel to this world. The skies are clear. The waters are sapphire blue and jade green in some places. There’s even this island where the waterfalls flow toward the sky. No pollution. No disease from contaminated waters. So tell me. Which one would you choose? **Does he even need to ask?**
Can you name one thing, event or custom that reminds you of your world?
Bonding. That type of connection Chela has with me, it’s the same way at home. But the thing is I’m not at home. I can’t go back to Bardonia. I’m exiled, cursed to live in the mirrorlands. And not a pretty little place like your 2012 world. In the future, I’m hunted like an animal by the humans. And targeted by our enemies, the Tainted. I guess the answer could be violence, too. That really hasn’t changed much over time. **he sighs deeply, lowers his head, and stays quiet**
Seth Alton Interview
Today we have the chance to interview Seth Alton, leader of the physical training group in Castle Hayne, Hill Burrough #1. Thank you, Seth, for taking a moment out of your valuable time to interview with us today.
R2R- Since you just turned eighteen, you were able to join a new class of citizens in Castle Hayne. How do you feel about your family, now that you’re an adult?
Seth: **chuckles before answering**
Family? What does that mean? Mine are all either missing, dead, or some combination of both. The Thoughtmaster’s are my family now.
R2R- Thoughtmasters? What are they?
Seth: **smirks** Who doesn’t know what a Thoughtmaster is? They’re the best of the five classes of gifted people that live in Castle Hayne. Masters of the meditative arts. Disciplinarians. We run a camp for bad kids. It’s called Minders Camp. My job is to make sure trainees can handle themselves once they step outside the Great Wall. You never know what ugly thing might get you out there. I also use techniques to…well, just say, I help them get their attitudes right so they can return home. Should I set a slot up for you? I could train you personally, if you like.
R2R: Er, no. I’m good. But thanks anyway. So, if you were granted three wishes, what would you ask for?
Seth: **crosses his legs, raises his left eyebrow, and stares at me a long moment** I don’t really want to answer that question right now. Next one, please.
R2R: Okay. How do you fall in love? At first sight? Over a long period?
Seth: I don’t fall in love. Love is a minefield of magnetic bombs waiting for you to swallow the iron pill. It pulls you in, and then boom! You’re dead. **uncrosses his legs and stares at me**
R2R: That's kind of sad you feel that way. How do you decide if you can trust someone? First impressions? Intuition? Do you test the person somehow? Or are you just generally disposed to trust or not to trust?
Seth: I wonder if I didn’t make myself clear in the previous question. But I’ll humor you this one time. I trusted once, loved once. What did I get in the end? Betrayal. Heartache. Next question, please.
R2R: What really moves you, or touches you to the soul? And that’s not the same thing as the love question, by the way.
Seth: **chuckles and grins with his black-blue eyes** A double-edge sword kind of question. You get me to answer this one, and then you think you can figure out how I’d answer the little wishes question, right? One word, one thing touches my soul. It’s all that matters…power. I intend to have it. And I’ll get it anyway I have to.
R2R: When you walk into a room, what do you notice first? Second?
Seth: Well I’d notice you if you were sitting in there. You have such lovely brown with blue rim eyes. I could swim in them until the silver moon rises on high next year.
R2R: Okay. Thanks, I think. On the other hand, when you walk into a room, what do you expect people to notice about you?
Seth: Well I don’t know, lovely. If walked into a room which one of my assets would you pay attention to first? **gives me a dimpled grin as I turn red** Are we almost done with these…incredibly fun questions? I have to get back to the Camp. New trainees are arriving shortly.
R2R: Of course. Just a couple more. What do you consider your special talent?
Seth: I make things happen that you wouldn’t believe. Even if you’d just seen it with your eyes all the way open.
R2R: What's the worst thing you've ever done? Why?
Seth: Are you really prepared to hear me answer that question? Take my advice and skip it.
R2R: What are you most afraid of?
Seth: Easy enough. Nothing.
R2R: Surely you’d be afraid to lose someone you love. Your ideal mate, for example. Describe her to me.
Seth: **eyes cloud over and look through me a long moment** She is strong. Not just in body, but in spirit. She can stand me down. That’s not a easy thing to do, in case you haven’t heard. She can pull someone under her spell, or she can destroy them with a glance. And I don’t mean by using magic. I mean just because she is the one. **eyes refocus on me. I’m surprised he answered this one**
R2R: Describe yourself to me.
Seth: I am the alpha and the omega, the original and the doomed. The first of my kind and perhaps the last. Thank you for interviewing me.
Want to know more about the intriguing Seth Alton? Then grab your copy of When Copper Suns Fall by KaSonndra Leigh at Amazon.com, Barnesandnoble, or Smashwords.
The Indie Author Survival Guide
Hello. Thank you for inviting me to your intriguing blog. What you’re doing for indie authors is a great thing. We heart you forever. Big Smile. I’m glad you invited me to speak about the journey of the indie author today. Mine is just beginning, but I’m still happy to share a few things I’ve learned along the way. Mind you the presentation of these tips is just the result of my experience. It’s not meant to be an actual recipe for success as an independent author. What is working for me, may not necessarily work for the next person and vice versa.
So how’s the book going? That’s one of the most frequent questions I’m asked. It’s also one of the hardest query to summarize in a concrete answer. For an indie author working with a small press, I'd say my sales have been respectable. No, I’m not at the Amanda Hocking or John Locke level, just yet. But I do have a group of fans & readers that are loyal and encouraging. I have no doubt that with their support those levels could become a reality for me. After all, it’s our readers that make us who we are. Oh! And the bloggers. Never forget to mention the bloggers and all of the hard work they do. I’m a part-time blogger so I know how it goes.
In the journey’s early stages, you can measure your success on several factors. Or at least, these are some of the indicators I’ve found many of my indie author friends use to measure the effectiveness of their branding.
1) Traffic increase to your author website: In the beginning, when I first published kasonndraleigh.com (1/2009), I used to pray for one hit per week. Don’t be laughing at me, now. I’d check every day to see if anyone had visited. My twitter account was the same scenario. Followers would trickle in one week at a time. Today, I get almost 8000 hits/month and counting. My twitter popularity rank is at #300,000 versus #30million like the way it was two years ago. LoL.
2) Number & quality of members joining your platform: Platform differs according to your genre and classification. Non-fiction writers tend to be more inclined to measure that success on public image. But fiction writers are a totally different gang. It varies and there’s no set indicator for what constitutes a good platform in fiction. So we’ll go with the basics. I consider my platform to consist of Twitter, facebook, goodreads, and my book blog. By quality, I mean agents, producers, directors, readers, etc. And notice I didn't include the author website. The use of an author website is 90% dedicated to visibility for my brand kasonndraleighbooks. I say 90% because 10% is now dedicated to Trestle Press’s talented authors whom I’ll be showcasing everyday during the week of 2/6. So please stop by, tune in. :-D
3) Number of people adding your book "to-read" on Goodreads: I have to speak about the beginning again. I was practically begging for friends. But now, I get almost 20 requests per week on GR alone. These people are telling me they've heard good things about me from their friends. It's a bit overwhelming but very very flattering. Thanks everyone.
4) Sales: Yes, I put this indicator last for a reason. When you're an indie, it's all about marketing your debut novel during that first year. Find a way to keep your book in front of people during the period where you're working on your second book. Or even better, if you can start out with 2-3 books then your readers have instant options right away. Others have found success this way and I do believe it works.
I also notice that the more I promote, the more copies get gobbled up. Being that we indie authors/small presses are in a minority group so to speak, we have to push harder to get our brands out there. Some things that are working for me, might not necessarily work for others. But I'm willing to share the expertise and help my fellow indies/self-pubbeds out. Participating in blog tours and hops is also another good way to get your name out there before and during your book launch. If you have any more questions about how virtual tours work, I'll be happy to answer them.
5) Fan Clubs. The last strategy, but by no means the least. They work…big time. If you have any questionable doubts, then know that a group of die-hard fans started the Twilight group on MySpace. Cassie Clare’s Mundie Moms started on twitter before they branched out into their own review site. And the Hush Hush club known as Fallen Archangel friended me on facebook years ago. Now they have people overloading their facebook feed wanting to get in the club. With all that being said, I hope you all will come join the group that one of my die-hard fans has started in honor of Copper Suns. It’s called the Seraphim Alliance. We’ll be doing everything from reviewing books to fan-girling over fictional guys. And you all know how fun that can be, don’t we? Biggest grin, ever!