"When it comes to authors,we may hide ourselves from others but within our pages, our true souls emerge." - Nicole Hill
"I want a Vampite of my very own. Until I find him, I'll just keep writing him into existence." -Nicole Hill
" I write like people talk. It may not be perfect but it's damn entertaining." - Nicole Hill

Monday, April 13, 2015

#indiespotlight of L.J. Samuel @CrimeDoc1213 Author of Dear Diary

 L.J. Samuel

The Title of Your Work or Group:
 Dear Diary 

Where are you from? Does not have to be the name of the place exactly. You can say Hick-ville Florida, for example if you are more comfortable with that.  
Planet Earth, with some stops in Antigua, Toronto, East Lansing, Columbia, and Washington, DC.

In what genre do you write? 
Crime Fiction/Mystery

In your own words, what is your book about? If you were not the author and trying to explain this awesome book you just read to a friend, what would you say about it? 
Dear Diary is a gripping, enthralling tale of murder in the Nation’s Capital which reveals dangerous parallels in the lives of the victim and Dr. Samantha Harris, the beautiful and brainy detective whose life unravels as she fights to solve the homicide and save herself.

What is your writing style? Do you follow all guides and rules? Synopsis, outline etc. or do you just sit down at the computer and type to see what happens? 
I am very tactile so I actually write all my ideas down in a notebook before I get on the computer. I did not use an outline with this first book and allowed things to happen organically. I changed things around and developed a detailed outline for the follow-up book to Dear Diary which will be a part of a series.

Have you ever written anything and thought; " The world has got to see this!" ? 
Dear Diary, of course!

Do you have an editor and Cover Designer or do you do this yourself?
I did all the editing myself.  When I first started, I actually hired an editor but the person was a little unprofessional and took months and months to get back to me so I tackled the job myself.  I will find a more reliable person next time around as it is always better to have someone that is removed from the work to review it with a fresh set of eyes.  As for the cover, yes, I definitely hired someone for the design.  He is a super talented Graphics Artist by the name of Joel Davis. 

Who is your favorite author. Not just someone that you read allot. I wanna know whose book you read that made you suddenly know that if you didn't do this for the rest of your life then you would never be happy.
I love authors whose writing is poetic, take their craft seriously (which evidenced by the research and detail put into their work), and are clever all at the same time.  For this reason, I couldn’t just pick one.  I adore Ken Follett and could read Pillars of the Earth 100 times over.  I really enjoy Rys Bowen, who writes clever little mysteries set in Wales. And my last favorite author is JA Jance who not only is a great writer but features strong, female protagonists which I am partial to. 

 Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
I try to schedule regular time to write everyday but sometimes there is nothing there.  Nothing.  A big void.  That’s when I really question myself.  

Do you write your characters or do they write themselves through you? 
Good question.  It depends on the depth of the character and how much they add to the story.  I think it is more of the former, I write the characters based on experiences, people I know, and what I think is the perfect fit at the moment.

Do you ever write yourself into the characters? 
Absolutely. There are definitely pieces of my personality in my characters.  That’s why they’re so cool!

Is writing your full time job or are you "Keeping your day job"? So to speak.  
I am a Criminologist.  If I could pay my mortgage and have enough left over to buy doggy treats for my pup, I would love to write full-time.

If you could go back in time and meet one famous person or legend in history, who would it be? 
Jesus.  He was the most profound thinker and used stories to teach.  As writers, we want to entertain but I also think it is important to teach some sort of lesson as well.

There are millions of new books released every year. What in your mind makes yours stand out from all those millions in your genre? 
Since I am a Criminologist and I actually work in the crime field, my writing is authentic.  I know of what I write.  It is not something I pulled from a book or researched on the web.  I live it.  This authenticity sets my work apart from others so that the story is not forced.
I also want to use my books to highlight important social and justice issues.  For example, Dear Diary examines spousal abuse.  I want to bring awareness to issues, start a dialogue, and hopefully effect change.

 In the world of Indie, marketing is very difficult, especially if you don't have the funds to pay for it. Have you found a great free way to market your work that you think other Indies will benefit from? 
Let’s see, I am still trying to figure that out.  I use social media (Facebook and Twitter), I started a blog, and try to speak to people about my book whenever I get a chance.  After more than two months into this process, I would say that the writing was the easy part. ;)

I joined a couple of writing groups via Meet-up and that has been super helpful.  Meeting with like-minded people going through a similar process is comforting and depending on where they are in the process or their level of success, this can be a really good way to get fresh ideas on how to market your book.

Now give me your links so we can get people to your book sites! 

Twitter: @CrimeDoc1213

Here is a customer review on Amazon:

5.0 out of 5 stars A story on crime, love, justice and vindication!, December 31, 2014 
By VeggieLoversLikeMe (LAUREL, MD USA) 

This review is from: Dear Diary (Kindle Edition) 

Dr. LJ is an awesome story teller. Her ability to describe places and emotions is refreshing. Her book, Dear Diary, shows how people are interconnected through the 'human experience' and their desire for love and happiness. 

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