Tuesday, October 18, 2016

WHAT THE EXPERTS SAY: Cate Beauman, Author

Cate Beauman, Author
11th The Bodyguards of L.A. County
Welcome back to Cate Beauman and her newest Bodyguards of LA County book, DECEIVING BELLA. The Bodyguard romantic suspense novels feature a new heroine and bodyguard in each standalone book and also some repeat characters.  DECEIVING BELLA, the eleventh of the Bodyguard books, involves a heroine who is a top skincare specialist, a long-lost father, and a “hottie” next door neighbor, formerly an NYPD detective.

Beauman uses music to inspire her writing and develops a playlist for each of her stories. You can see the list for DECEIVING BELLA following the interview. She is already working on the twelfth Bodyguard book and enjoys time in between writing at her home in North Carolina with her husband, two boys, and their St. Bernards, Bear and Jack.

Don't miss the opportunity to enter the Amazon Echo giveaway at the end of the interview; and check out the excerpt and song list.

Q: Can you remind us how you got started writing the Bodyguard series? What prompted you to create a series that gives you the flexibility to create new main characters but offers familiar structure with the bodyguard concept?

Cate Beauman: When I started my writing career I had no idea that my first book would be the beginning of a series. I began Morgan’s Hunter with the goal of telling a standalone story about a no-bull bodyguard and his feisty principal. I introduced Ethan and Sarah to the storyline and knew I had to share their adventure too. It wasn’t long after that the Bodyguards Of L.A. County was born.

I love that my readers get to check-in with previous characters all while meeting new heroes and heroines. It’s fun to come back to Los Angeles or wherever Ethan Cooke Security and his team of Close Protection Agents are going to take us. Although it’s a given that each novel will include a bodyguard, every storyline is entirely different.

Q: I am always curious how you select the careers for your heroines. In DECEIVING BELLA you chose ‘top skincare specialist’ for Isabella. Does her career help to engage readers? Or, define her character? Or tell the story?

Cate Beauman: I truly love Isabella Colby. She was such a fun character to write. She and Reed McKinley make an amazing team. Bella’s career is perfect for her. She’s a bit of a girly-girl. She’s into fashion and always looks amazing. Basically, she’s the exact opposite of her hottie next-door neighbor, Reed. Luckily, their differences seem to work for them. I can’t wait for everyone to meet this couple. They’re great!

Q: Do you find that humor helps to create characters and/or romance?

Cate Beauman: I can’t imagine telling a story without humor involved. What’s more engaging than characters that are having fun/making each other laugh/making the reader laugh? Everyday life can be pretty depressing. My goal is to create great adventures that take readers away from their troubles and drop them into a different world. If they’re bored, I haven’t done my job.

Q: Did setting DECEIVING BELLA in Los Angeles help to support the suspense and/or romance? It’s a great town for a mystery!

Cate Beauman: DECEIVING BELLA actually takes place in Los Angeles and New York City. It’s the best of both worlds. In this case, the setting helps support both the romance and suspense. Reed and Bella live in the Palisades. They often walk the beach together and eat ice cream. Their relationship mostly starts after a walk along the water. Reed is from the Big Apple. Unfortunately, trouble follows him to his new home in Los Angeles.

Q: Have you included any of your life experiences, even friends, in the plot?

Cate Beauman: Writers are constant observers. I’m always watching the way people interact or respond in everyday life situations. I never set out to base my characters on anyone I know personally. I want my heroes and heroines to be unique individuals who grow as the story unfolds. I think it’s vital to make my characters as real as possible with their faults and virtues just like any other typical human being. That’s what makes characters so beloved. They must come alive in a reader’s mind.

I think a writer’s personal experiences find their way into the pages of the book whether we want them to or not. After all, the story world is a reflection of how an author sees the world. The building blocks of any story start with the writer’s perceptions.

About Cate Beauman

International bestselling author Cate Beauman is known for her full-length, action-packed romantic suspense series, The Bodyguards of L.A. County. Her novels have been nominated for the National Excellence in Romance Fiction Award, National Indie Excellence Award, Golden Quill Award, Writers Touch Award, and have been named Readers Favorite Five Star books. In 2015, JUSTICE FOR ABBY was selected as the Readers' Favorite International Book Award Gold Medalist, while SAVING SOPHIE took the Silver Medal. SAVING SOPHIE was also selected as the 2015 Readers Crown Award winner for Romantic Suspense and FALLING FOR SARAH received the silver medal for the 2014 Readers' Favorite Awards.

Cate makes her home in North Carolina with her husband, two boys, and their St. Bernards, Bear and Jack. Currently Cate is working on her twelfth full length romantic suspense novel.

Isabella Colby has always yearned for normalcy. Now that she’s settled in LA, she finally has it. Good friends, a pretty home, and her thriving career as the Palisades’ top skincare specialist are a dream come true. Bella is content until she meets her hunky new neighbor, but her attraction to the blue-eyed cutie is the least of her worries when contacting her long-lost father threatens to destroy her happy life.

Reed McKinley is more than ready to forget the past. His seven-year stint as an NYPD detective nearly got him killed. His wounds have healed and he’s starting over as Ethan Cooke Security’s latest recruit. With sixty-hour workweeks and little time to himself, the last thing on his mind is a relationship. Then he bumps into the gorgeous woman next door.

Reed and Bella become fast friends. Before long, Reed discovers that Bella is keeping dangerous secrets. Bella may have the answers to decades-old questions he’s been searching for. Reed will risk it all to uncover the truth, but he soon realizes that the deeper he digs, the direr the consequences.


       Should we get started?” Bella gestured to the kitchen.
       “After you.”
       She walked in front of Reed, hurrying to the table to pull out a chair. “Does this work?”
       “Yeah, it’s fine.” He sat down.
       She immediately draped him with the black cover, wanting to get to his hair while it was still wet. “So, what are we doing here, exactly?”
       “Just a cleanup, especially on my neck.”
       “Sure.” She grabbed the sheers and took her place by his side, sliding her fingers though his short hair and stopped. “Oops.”
       His shoulders tensed. “What?”
       “Just kidding. A little haircutting humor.”
       He tilted his head up, meeting her eyes. “A comedian.”
       She laughed as he smiled. “I haven’t even started cutting yet.” She gave him a bump. “Try to relax. I promise you’re in good hands.”
       “Chop away.”
       “Thanks.” She combed her fingers through his hair once more, using small snips to freshen up his look. Silent seconds ticked by as she breathed in the masculine scent that was Reed. He didn’t seem to wear cologne or use any fancy shampoos, but he smelled good just the same. “So, how was your day?”
       “Not too shabby.”
       She worked her way around his head, finding his cut a breeze to clean up. He easily could have gone another week without any problems. “What did you do?”
       “Worked a little. Boxed.”
       “I could make up something about stopping a bank robbery in progress or rescuing a cat from a tree.”
       She smiled. “The truth is fine, thanks.”
       “What about you?”
       “It was pretty much a normal day at the office—a second-session tattoo removal, a microdermabrasion, two stretch mark reductions, the usual stuff.”
       “What’s the tattoo of? The one you’re taking off?”
       “A woman’s name. Genevieve. The relationship didn’t work out.”
       He winced. “Ouch.”
       “Triple ouch. Tattoo removal is not a pain-free procedure, nor is it cheap—and he went pretty ornate with Genevieve. Hopefully next time he’ll pick a woman with a shorter name or abstain from getting himself tatted up altogether.”
       He laughed.
       She grinned, loving that sound. Did he have any idea how gorgeous he was when he smiled like that? She picked up the clippers off the table and let her knees rest against his as she leaned in and gently lifted his chin, evening out his sideburns. She swallowed, feeling his breath on her skin and his eyes studying her face. Licking her lips, she met his gaze. “You better hope I get this part right, or you’ll have to tilt your head for the next four days.”
       He sent her another one of his pulse-pounding smiles. “You’ll have to help me decide if I should lean more to the left or right.”
       Oh, this cutie had the potential to be trouble. Her eyes darted to his mouth mere inches from hers as his five o’clock shadow tormented her sensitized fingers. She took a step back and a steadying breath. It was a good thing they were just friends—currently the only relationship status she was interested in.

The Unofficial DECEIVING BELLA Soundtrack

I love music! I can’t imagine a world without catchy tunes playing, especially when I’m writing. Music is inspiration. Melodies, beats, and the mood of each song help me portray emotions and feelings as I tell a story. It’s a rare day when I don’t have my headphones in place, bopping my head, while my fingers race across the keyboard. You can listen to the “soundtrack” for each book on my website

The soundtrack, of sorts, for Deceiving Bella:
·      Favorite Song by Ben Rector
·      Lay It All On Me by Rudimental w/Ed Sheeran
·      Into You by Ariana Grande
·      Cake by the Ocean by DNCE
·      Truth by Steve Moakler
·      Any Other Name by Thomas Newman
·      Rock Bottom by Hailee Steinfeld
·      All I Want by Kodaline
·      Crash by Usher
·      Stand By You by Rachel Platten


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Monday, October 3, 2016

WHAT THE EXPERTS SAY: Devra Robitaille, Composer, Songwriter, Keyboardist, and Author

Devra Robitaille, Composer, Songwriter, Keyboardist
Author of children's Muffy Series
Devra Robitaille, a successful composer, songwriter, keyboardist, and author has just released her second children’s story in the Muffy Series, MUFFY’S FLORIDA ADVENTURE: A DOG STORY FOR KIDS. Published by her independent children’s publishing company, The Hologram Library, the Muffy series features “a happy and curious Goldendoodle puppy” with stories targeted at four to eight year olds. In MUFFY’S FLORIDA ADVENTURE, Muffy goes on vacation in Florida in a “big house on wheels” and has some adventures.

In addition to the Muffy Series, Robitaille has also written and published PEACHEY AND THE GLOBOSIS and plans to publish a SciFi story she wrote for ages ten to fourteen, DEVIN ANAD THE DREAM STEALERS. She will also be publishing the third book in the Muffy Series, MUFFY MEETS THE MEDICINE CAT and is just finishing “The Efficiency Claus: An Improbable Christmas Tale" (for ten to fourteen year olds.) When she is not writing children’s books, or composing and writing for theater, she enjoys kayaking—at least floating, and she continues to really “love love love” music. She lives in Florida with her husband, multiple dogs, and dolphins and has an adult daughter who is co-founder of The Hologram Library.

Don't miss the excerpt from MUFFY'S FLORIDA ADVENTURE following the interview.

Q: Do you write a particular type of story for children, i.e., adventure, family, or fantasy? What age group read your stories?

Devra Robitaille: I write in various styles.  I have two books aimed at young children, four to eight years old: MUFFY AND THE DOG CATCHER and MUFFY’S FLORIDA ADVENTURE.  Then I have a SciFi Fantasy adventure about to come out called DEVIN ANAD THE DREAM STEALERS, which would be for ages ten to fourteen.  I am currently almost finished writing “The Efficiency Claus: An improbable Christmas Tale” also aimed at the age group of ten to fourteen.  If I had to categorize them, I think they would all fall somewhere in the adventure genre.
Q: What type of characters do children enjoy reading about? For example, you’ve written about Muffy, “a happy and curious Goldendoodle puppy.” Do children like animal characters? Are they easy to personify or engage young readers?

Devra Robitaille: Yes, I think children love reading books about personified animal characters, like Winnie the Pooh, and Aslan from The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. I found them easy to personify because the dogs I wrote about were based on my own dogs and of course one gets to know their foibles and personalities; so they became real to me.  I found the youngsters that read the Muffy books were very invested in the characters and I hope they feel that they are friends. 

Q: Do you embed messages or morals in your stories? Or do you write simply to entertain?

Devra Robitaille: Well, my goal is always to be entertaining, but what better way to teach a child about family values than to sneak it in on a wave of giggles.  Not so different than convincing a child to eat broccoli by frying it in sugar! Yes I do try to have my characters always take the high road, but certainly not in a preachy way.  For example MUFFY AND THE DOG CATCHER is about open channels of communication and accepting each other’s differences.  MUFFY’S FLORIDA ADVENTURE is about being brave and helping your friends when they need you. DEVIN AND THE DREAM STEALERS is obviously more complex since it is for older children, but it’s about coming of age and listening to your inner guidance.  Efficiency Claus” is just a good romp. (although the message is the deepest of all, but you’ll have to wait until I finish it. LOL)

Q: What is the Hologram Library?

Devra Robitaille: The Hologram Library is an independent children’s publishing company that I started with my daughter to be a vehicle for “clean” reads that promote family values, while still igniting the inner chuckle.  I have always been an avid reader, and I hopefully passed that along to my daughter.  We believe that a good author creates a whole universe, which is like a hologram, and, if we’ve done it right, it should transport the reader totally.  The hologram library is “a repository of little worlds for the kid in us all”

Q: How relevant is believability or credibility to engage children in reading? What does engage children? Do you include villains to frustrate your characters? Are they scary?

Devra Robitaille: I think believability is key, and yes sometimes you do have to put in some conflict, otherwise it’s too linear and you’ve got nothing to solve.  Even when its fantasy or SciFi, you don’t what your readers to be thinking “I just don’t buy that.” Or “this is boring.” It all has to hang together and make sense and come right in the end.  However, if you’ve created a world in which your animals can speak, then as long as you remain true to that world, and the characters are believable in that world; you’re OK.

Children are easily engaged because they are better than we are at suspending disbelief.  The world is still magical to them, and that’s something that we have a responsibility to help them keep going through to adulthood.  The adults that I know that are the most interesting are the ones that still have a child-like view of the world.  The main message of the “Efficiency Claus,” in fact is “Keep the magic alive”

Q: How important are illustrations to tell a story? Are they more relevant to younger kids?

Devra Robitaille: I started illustrating the books because I love to paint.  Now, as I look at the proofs, I think it was a good idea. They look nice. Young kids love things that are pretty and colorful. It will help keep their attention and get those good values across.  I illustrated DEVIN AND THE DREAM STEALERS originally, but now, due to the cost to readers my daughter and I are looking at having to take the paintings out. That would be sad. Even though they are not necessary, they add an extra dimension – like a helping hand to give your imagination a little boost as to what the author thinks the characters might look like.

Q: You are also a composer and keyboardist. What drove you to write children’s stories as well?

 Devra Robitaille: Good question.  I moved to Florida and it ate my head.  No seriously, summer heat and full-on humidity is why I started; you can’t really bike or kayak when it’s 100 degrees out. But then writing took hold of me and it became a glorious obsession. 

Q: Do you use humor to reach your young readers? Do they like to laugh?

Devra Robitaille: Absolutely.  Humor is the magic key to the kingdom. In my humble opinion everyone needs a daily dose.  Because I’m English my sense of irony is strong, so some of my humor is quite wry…….surprisingly, kids get it!  Who’d’ve thunk it.

Q: What’s next? Will you continue to write children’s stories or maybe branch out to pen novels?

Devra Robitaille: Well, I seem to be working my way up the grade levels, so who knows?

Q: Tell us about Devra Robitaille. What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

Devra Robitaille: I am an odd duck!  Born in England and grew up in London, I am at my very core a city gal.  I love the smell of diesel in the morning.  But now I live in Florida on the Sarasota Bay, and dolphins swim by my front door. I have many dogs, the biggest is one hundred pounds and the smallest weighs ten. They are crazy-nuts and like a pack of two year-olds on caffeine, they keep me hopping. My husband is like a four year old. My twenty-three-year-old daughter is the only one amongst us with any semblance of maturity.  We have a kayak and love to go out into the bay and just float. I would have to say it floats my boat. Of course I love love love music, as that was my profession for most of my adult life too. And good movies, and British murder mysteries on PBS… don’t get me started.

About Devra Robitaille

London-born Devra is a prolific composer, songwriter and keyboardist, as well as an author of books for kids.  Trained at the Trinity College of Music in England, she has worked with such legendary artists as John Lennon, Cher, Diana Ross, The Jackson Five, Leonard Cohen, George Harrison, Adam Ant and Thomas Dolby.  She wrote 2 top-ten singles for her own band on Jupiter Records.  She became well known as a virtuoso player in the London session scene in the eighties and joined Mike Oldfield of Tubular Bells fame as a keyboard player for a tour of Britain.  While on the road, her manager informed her that 2 of her songs had won 1st and 2nd place, respectively, out of over 3000 entries in the BBC Song Contest.  Moving to America in the nineties, Devra teamed up with a lyricist to write and compose a musical, “Cole and Porter” which had a successful run in Los Angeles at the Hudson Theatre, and has written the score for “Rinaldi” which will be onstage soon.

Devra lives in Sarasota Florida now and has authored a series of novels for children and young adults. PEACHEY AND THE GLOBOSIS was originally written as a cartoon series complete with musical score.  It is Devra’s plan to record it as an audio book in the near future.  Her soon-to-be-released book for older readers, DEVIN AND THE DREAM STEALERS has already received rave reviews, and she is now working on the “Muffy” series for children. The first books, MUFFY AND THE DOG CATCHER and MUFFY’S FLORIDA ADVENTURE are now available on Amazon and MUFFY MEETS THE MEDICINE CAT will be released soon. She continues to write and compose for the theatre, but loves to write for children.


Muffy is a curious and happy-go-lucky Goldendoodle puppy.  She and her sister, Riff, have been adopted by a fun-loving family who adore dogs; the Gabriels.  How lucky these dogs are to be taken on an amazing vacation to Florida, all of them together in a big house on wheels to visit their cousins
who live on the Sarasota Bay.  They drive across the country all together in the 'Great escape' and then take a breathtaking trip on Captain Skye's tourist boat.  Her puppy and first mate, Starboard, shows them all the ropes, and they go to Teapot Bayou and meet all manner of lively and interesting wildlife, including Puff the dolphin and Melodee the manatee.  Muffy's Florida Adventure is full of warmth and laughter and good family values too.  Little Oliver the Papillion discovers he is brave; Radar the Golden Retriever discovers the courage to stand up for what he believes, and Muffy discovers that it's better not to chase bees.

Excerpt From MUFFY’S FLORIDA ADVENTURE – Chapter Three – The Silly Bee

“C’mon,” he buzzed, “let’s play”.
Muffy got up to follow him.  Her leash slipped undone.  No one noticed. “Okay,” she said.
“Bzzzzzz, I’ll show you some really cool flowers, follow me, over here, bzzzzz.”
Now we all know that Muffy has a bit of a short attention span, and likes to follow pretty things that fly, like butterflies, or grasshoppers, or big blue flies…….and bees.
She chased the bee, with her leash trailing behind her and they chatted away.  He showed her this and he showed her that.  He buzzed and flew and she hopped and giggled.  Bzzzzz, hop and giggle.  Bzzzzz, hop and giggle.
Suddenly she looked up and saw the Great Escape pulling out of the parking lot.  Oh disaster!  Oh no!
She started to run, and to panic, and to bark…….and to scream inside her head to Radar and Oliver, to Freedom and Jazz, to Mum and Will.  But the Great Escape was pulling out onto the highway now.  Oh no!
On board the Great Escape, up in his little window place Oliver caught sight of something out of the corner of his eye.  MUFFY!!  MUFFY!!  He screamed and barked, he shouted and tried to jump down.
Mum saw how agitated he was and tried to lift him off his ledge, but she didn’t understand what was wrong and Will was just starting to go up the on-ramp to the highway.  Oliver tried to scream at Radar, who didn’t understand at first.  Riff had fallen asleep and was blissfully unaware of her sister’s plight and Freedom and Jazz looked on helplessly.  How could this happen?  Didn’t we take a head count?  She must have been missed in the confusion. Maybe Riff was counted twice.
“Muffy, Muffy, Muffy!” screamed Oliver, as best he could while Mum was attempting to put the wriggling Papillion onto the floor. 
Then it happened, Will glanced up into the rear view mirror and saw her; a bedraggled little thing valiantly running to catch up, dragging her leash behind her. Will slammed on the brakes and everyone tumbled forward in a heap.  “Sorry,” he said, turning just in time, before he would have been on the highway with no way to turn around, and coming about narrowly missing a low brick wall that surrounded the meadow.
Muffy saw him slowing down and she knew they’d spotted her, and she started to slow her little feet, almost tumbling head over heels down the embankment.  “Holy Moly,” she thought, “that was a close one. What on earth would I have done if they’d left me? Silly Bee!”
Everyone was very glad to see her and know that she was unscathed, well mostly.  They made a big fuss of her and Sara who felt quite guilty for not noticing she was missing, gave her extra treats.
After that, life in the Great Escape fell into a pleasant routine and so passed the first couple of days.

Muffy is a happy and curious Goldendoodle puppy who lives on a farm.  One day she chases a silly grasshopper and gets lost.  She finds herself alone and hungry, on the point of collapse, but luck is on her side and she is adopted by a wonderful family, the Gabriels, who have a very orderly and devoted pack of dogs.  Muffy becomes part of her new family, and is accepted by Radar and Oliver and the gang, but she still pines for her sister, Riff, and misses the Farm.  One of her new friends, Wise Dog, introduces her to a very unusual Dog Catcher who has a special talent; he can communicate with animals and helps them when they are in need.

Muffy’s courageous journey is full of laughter and adventure as she tries to unite her two families.


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Wednesday, September 21, 2016

WHAT THE EXPERTS SAY: Lori Anne Rising, Author and Life Coach

Lori Anne Rising, Author
Lori Anne Rising’s book LEVERAGE: AUTHORSHIP FOR THE NEW MILLENNIUM offers nonfiction authors “practical, applicable advice” to write an influential book using the least amount of tools to reach target audiences. She explains that the publishing world has changed requiring new approaches to writing, publishing, and marketing—and an author needs to understand the purpose of a book.  In the following interview, she also suggests how her theories might be applicable to fiction writers, specifically in identifying a target audience for marketing.

Rising has three international best-sellers and is a Certified Life Coach who works with authors to help them write books that will help build their businesses. When she’s not writing, she enjoys traveling and doing new things—even if she’s not good at them. She has many projects in the works and is currently writing Book 2 of the LEVERAGE three-book series.

Q: How would you define the title of your book LEVERAGE? What does it mean to “leverage?” Why would authors want to “leverage?”

Lori Anne Rising: Leverage is about the ability to make a larger impact using less effort. It’s the difference between using brute force to move a heavy rock versus using a pulley system, for example. When it comes to being an author, especially into today’s publishing world, no one wants to do everything the hard way. There are ways to be highly effective, shorten the learning curve, and produce a far better, more powerful nonfiction book – if someone is willing to put a little extra time into the initial phases. Think of it like setting up the pulley system to save effort and time later versus walking up to the big, heavy rock and trying to give it a shove. It might get you started faster to give it a shove, but your effectiveness will be impacted long-term. Taking a few extra steps at the beginning to set up a system that will alleviate effort, be highly effective, and even be able to be used again later, can really be worth it. That’s leverage.

Q: You also speak of “influence” as an important goal. Can you define “influence? And how “leverage” leads to it?

Lori Anne Rising: Influence is one’s ability to shift the thoughts, beliefs and/or actions of someone else. There are various kinds of influence. For example, offering money as a reward is a kind of influence. Celebrities have a different kind of influence. A boss at work and a parent have a third kind of influence. Some kinds of influence work incredibly well as an author. Others don’t. Some kinds of influence can be combined and integrated into a book or marketing plan by authors. Others can’t. LEVERAGE actually goes through each of the various kinds of influence, which ones work for authors, which ones don’t, and how authors can combine the various kinds both when they write their book as well as when they’re marketing it.

Consciously incorporating influence into a book itself IS a form of leverage. After all, as authors, we want our books to make a difference somehow in our readers’ lives. We want our books to sell more copies so that we can both make money AND make an even larger impact in the world. Knowing how to be highly influential creates a powerful book for a reader. When a reader likes your book, they talk about it. When they talk about it, more people find it, buy it, and read it – without you putting in more effort than you would otherwise. If people DON’T like your book, they won’t talk about it and your efforts may sell more books, but they may or may not make a difference to readers.

Personally, if I’m going to put that much time and energy into writing, publishing and marketing a book, I want to make it the most impactful, powerful, useful book I can – the first time. It makes marketing it, sharing it, and getting readers to buy it and use it SO much easier – and more fun!

Q: One of your reviewers said, “This book is a must read for anyone who wants to reach their target audience.” How does an author identify a target audience? Who is your target audience for LEVERAGE?

Lori Anne Rising: Identifying a target audience is fairly simple – but may or may not be easy. I go into specific detail in the book about how to do this effectively, and I have an Influential Author’s Toolkit available that provides an even more detailed, step-by-step approach as well as templates and resources for authors. To keep it short and simple here however, it’s easiest to think of what a book actually is:  It’s a one-to-one conversation between a reader and the author. Which really means that identifying a target audience isn’t about figuring out a group or segment of the population, it’s about figuring out the ONE most ideal reader. By doing so, the author’s language naturally shifts in such a way that their writing becomes more accessible - and influential – to more readers. It’s counter-intuitive, but it’s highly effective.

LEVERAGE is written for experts, thought leaders, and those who want to be. These people are typically professional speakers, coaches, consultants, trainers, and informational marketers who want to make a powerfully positive difference in their readers’ lives AND use their book as a leverage point to build their business. You see, books – especially nonfiction – aren’t just a product to sell. In fact, if an author is looking at their book as nothing more than that, they’re missing the most valuable aspect of being an author! Books are business cards; the most effective, efficient and influential business card anyone could ever create. When readers like what you share, they want more. It’s not uncommon for a nonfiction author to give away a $20 book and wind up with a $5,000 speaking gig, for example. That’s leverage at its best as an author!

Q: Do you believe your insight into authors’ books is relevant to both fiction and non-fiction? How could an author of fiction benefit from it?

Lori Anne Rising: To be quite honest, I don’t know. The book was born out of over a year’s worth of research that I did to earn my master’s degree. When I developed the research focus itself, I specifically designed it to focus on nonfiction. While there are several reasons for this, the main reason is that, as an author coach, I work exclusively with nonfiction and I wanted my research to be highly relevant to my work.

That said, there may be some possibilities for applying some of the tools developed from the research I did. Understanding influence, for example, can help even a fiction author when it comes time to market their book. Marketing after all, is a deliberate attempt to direct someone’s actions, i.e., buy the book. The research that I did has its foundation in over 60 years of influence research from the business arena, including sales and marketing, so it could be helpful. Understanding one’s target audience will also help, especially when it comes to the marketing aspects.

Some fiction authors also have products and other aspects of a business that they incorporate their books into. For these authors, the concepts of leveraging their books to build their business that are central to the Influential Authorship series (LEVERAGE is just Book 1), will be very helpful. Again, it’s not about selling a book. It’s about leveraging that book into other kinds of opportunities.  

Q:  Can you offer three to five tips that will lead to “leverage” and/or “influence?”

Lori Anne Rising:
1.     Write about what you’re passionate about. The passion will come through. (So will the lack of passion if you choose a topic you’re NOT passionate about!) Having read and edited first drafts from authors all over the world, I can say that this factor is THE #1 aspect of making a real difference. I’d rather read a horribly written book by someone who’s passionate about their topic than a wonderfully written book by someone who’s bored. I can edit the writing. I can’t edit passion. And trust me, the end reader can tell the difference!
2.     Ask yourself, “What do I want to be known for in 3 to 5 years?” Allow the answer to guide your topic selection. After all, once the book is published that’s what you’ll be known for, right? So why not start with that in mind. And, all the better if you’re passionate about the topic!
3.     Write as if you’re writing to just ONE person (your most ideal reader). In fact, put a chair next to you and have coffee with that person while you’re writing. It might sound odd and feel awkward, but it’s incredibly effective!
4.     Stop looking at your book as a product. Start thinking about it as a leverage point to grow your business. It’s a paradigm shift that opens doors.
5.     Stop worrying about how “good” or “bad” your writing is. There are plenty of ways to develop authentic content that you feel passionate about that don’t include actually writing it all yourself. And, even if you ARE writing it all yourself, don’t worry. Editors have jobs for a reason!

Q: What led you to become an “author coach?” What qualifies you to help authors?

Lori Anne Rising: I began as a life coach. Then, I decided to write my own book – a life coaching book for women. It was a STEEP learning curve. So steep in fact that I quit writing at all for over a year after it was published and really questioned whether I’d ever write another book. Once it was published though, I started having a number of people ask me how I did it, what it took, and if I’d be willing to help walk them through their own writing process. Most of those asking didn’t consider themselves writers, but had a passion for a message they wanted to get out. And, I realized I wanted to help.

Knowing how hard it was for me – someone who’d been a paid writer since I was 12 – I wanted to do what I could to make it easier for others. So, I took on a mentee first as an experiment to see if combining life coaching with authorship made sense. It as an AMAZING experience! That mentee led to a client. That client led to others.

Today, I’ve worked with clients all over the world including the US, Canada, England, Spain, Belgium, and Jamaica. And, helping others helped me get back to what I love most:  writing.  I’ve continued publishing my own books and am now a three-time international bestseller.

I love writing. I love seeing others achieve their dreams. When those dreams include writing a book, seeing it in the world means that not only have I helped the author, but I’ve contributed in some way to the betterment of each reader’s life as well. It’s leveraging my ability to serve. And it’s my joy and my passion! It’s not easy. It’s a ton of work to be an author – even in today’s highly accessible market – but I love it and can’t imagine NOT doing it.

Q: Several reviewers were pleased with how easy LEVERAGE was to read, how useful the exercises were, and how impactful to their writing. How did you create the process for readers to follow? Did you conduct research to see what would work? Or did it come mostly from your own experience?

Lori Anne Rising: Before becoming an author coach, I did quite a bit of business writing, including training manuals and system documentation. Usually, it involved talking with people to understand the end result they wanted, and then figuring out on my own how to turn the process into a step-by-step system anyone could follow. So, while the information came out of the academic level research that I did as my master’s thesis project. The process itself is my own blend of natural gifts in creating systems others can use, my life coaching background, and my years of experience working with authors as an author coach.

Q: The sub-title of your book is: AUTHORSHIP FOR THE NEW MILLENIUM. What makes this time period different? How does LEVERAGE address the change to the new millennium?

Lori Anne Rising: The publishing world has changed. Dramatically. Part of my research included a historical look at what the publishing industry once was and how it used to help support authors. Today, finding a big publishing company to hand-hold a fledgling author, even when the author’s work is worth it, is slim to none. Publishers used to help with marketing. They no longer do. Authors didn’t used to have the option of self-publishing. Now, they do.

Technology has changed the industry. For better or for worse is up to each individual to decide. Either way though, there’s no going back. Authors can no longer rely on help or guidance from a publishing company. Whether they choose to go through a traditional publisher or self-publish, it is up to authors to market and sell their own work. If they can’t prove they can do that, a publisher simply won’t take them – no matter how good the work itself is. Are there exceptions? Of course. But let’s face it:  if you want to be successful in today’s world as an author, you have to have an entirely different mindset than even 20 years ago, let alone 50 years ago. You no longer get to only focus on the art of writing. Today, you have to focus on developing the business side of being an author as well.

Marketing and sales is all about influencing someone’s thoughts, beliefs and actions. Understanding influence is at the core of not only creating a powerful, authentic and original book, but it’s also at the core of effectively marketing it. If you don’t understand how to influence your readers, you won’t make it. The quality of the work won’t matter if it doesn’t get into readers’ hands. Once it’s in your readers’ hands, they have to want to read it and be so impacted by it they want to share it.

LEVERAGE teaches today’s nonfiction authors how to matter in a market that’s overflowing with options.

Q:  What’s next?

Lori Anne Rising: I’m always working on several things at once. LEVERAGE is only Book 1 in a series of three books. Each book in the series reveals a segment of the research I did and applies it to nonfiction authors. Book 2 is in the works now. I hope to release it by the end of the year. While Book 1 focuses on the foundational concepts, Book 2 will reveal ways to develop the content itself, including methods that most want-to-be authors don’t realize are available to them.

I’ve also had a very long desire to dive into memoir writing. It’s a place of learning and vulnerability since it’s a new arena for me but it’s a desire that won’t leave me alone so I’ve finally taken the plunge. This summer I published RISING OVERTHE HILL on Kindle, a short read about turning 40 and the unforgettable moments from my 20s and 30s that got me here. Having gotten the first one complete, it feels more comfortable to start diving into additional memoirs that I’d like to write. I’m looking forward to seeing how this new path unfolds!
Q: Tell us about Lori Anne Rising. What do you like to do when you’re not writing or coaching?

Lori Anne Rising: I enjoy traveling and doing new things. This past summer, for example, I earned my scuba diving certification and am looking forward to using it as often as I can! Living in the Pacific Northwest, there are some really amazing places to go hiking and exploring, so I get out as often as I can. I also enjoy a variety of creative projects such as painting, cross-stitch and wood carving. I’m not great at all the things I put my creative energy into, I just really enjoy the process of being creative and seeing something take shape. Sometimes the best creations are the ones where I had no idea what it was going to be when I started and just allowed it to unfold as I went. Mostly though, my time is spent with the people in my life I care about the most. There’s nothing more satisfying to me than a one-to-one conversation with my partner or a dear friend, or an evening spent around a campfire laughing, listening to my partner’s music (he’s a musician) and sharing the stories that bond us together.
About Lori Anne Rising

Lori Anne Rising is a three-time international bestselling author, Certified Life Coach and author’s coach. She focuses on developing books that are original, authentic and powerful. So far she has worked with authors in the U.S., Israel, Canada, Spain, Belgium, England, and Jamaica teaching them how to leverage their knowledge, stories and wisdom to build their business while making a powerful difference.

She holds a master’s degree in Leadership and Communications from Marylhurst University that includes a full year of research into how to be powerfully influential as a nonfiction author. In her spare time, she enjoys travelling, scuba diving, cross stitch, hiking, painting, wood carving and the company of good friends.

~Reach more people, make more money and make a powerful difference in the lives of readers.~

Based on original research, this ground-breaking book challenges the age-old “wisdom” of the publishing industry. By blending over 60 years of influence research from the business and leadership field with nonfiction authorship, this little book doesn’t just teach writing skills, it provides a fundamental paradigm shift for authors that takes their books to a whole new level.

Experts and thought leaders will discover:  What influence really is, why it matters, and how they can leverage it as an author; what the fundamental building blocks are to develop more powerful content far more easily, how the power of intentions guide content development to meet – or even exceed – goals and expectations, what really drives readers to take action in their lives, the biggest mistakes a new author can make, and much more!


You’re likely saying to yourself, “Influence is great, but will I make any money?” After all, you have a business to run, a family to support, and a life to live, right? Writing a book sounds like a nice hobby, but if it doesn’t serve a greater purpose or support achieving an even bigger goal, it’s likely not going to get done. There will always be something more important, more pressing, or more bottom-line oriented to work on first.
Plus, you’ve likely heard that selling books really doesn’t make the author any money. Whether you’re taking the traditional publishing route or self-publishing, selling a relatively low priced item and receiving only a fraction of the proceeds doesn’t sound like something that will be worth the time, effort and long-term commitment.
Until you consider the facts.
In a 2006 study done by RainToday, a market research firm, researchers discovered that, after direct referrals, buyers find service providers in the following ways:

69% by attending a conference or presentation

69% using someone they already know

62% from a website article or story

60% from a magazine article or story

And 43% from a book

Based on these numbers you may be thinking that writing a book is the lowest priority in your marketing plan, while creating conferences, speaking and networking should be top of the list.
But, combine the above information with the following statistics, also from the same RainToday study.
By publishing even just one book:

96% of nonfiction authors generated more clients

95% of nonfiction authors generated more speaking gigs (the best place to find clients according to the above information)

94% of nonfiction authors saw brand improvement

94% of nonfiction authors generated more leads

87% of nonfiction authors were able to charge higher fees (now there’s a bottom-line benefit!)

87% of nonfiction authors were able to increase the QUALITY of their clients (more fun too!)

76% of nonfiction authors were able to close more deals (as in partnerships and business opportunities that are not clients per se)

Authors from this study were professionals from a wide variety of industries. They were experts and thought leaders just like you who wrote about a wide variety of topics, including business, self-help, motivational and more.
Now, put the two sets of statistics together and you’ll discover that if you want to build your business as an expert or thought leader, the best way to do that is through public speaking. And, the best way to get speaking gigs that put you in front of clients, is by writing a book.
So, if you’re going to write a book that positions you as an expert or thought leader with the intention of building your business and making a difference in others’ lives, why would you not ensure that you’re creating the highest degree of influence that you possibly can along the way?
As an author, you can create a very high degree of influence – influence that touches hearts and moves mountains – to make a difference in others’ lives. The more hearts you change, the more books you’ll sell too – and the more opportunities you’ll have to reach even more hearts.
It’s a beautiful upward spiral in which everyone wins. What more could you ask for?


Where to find Lori Anne Rising online
Twitter:  @LoriAnneRising 
Where to find LEVERAGE:
NOTE:  LEVERAGE is currently FREE on all sites listed.