Drama, drama, drama. If you love it, then you'll enjoy reading Michele Grant's book, Heard it All Before. In my interview with the author, she discusses her new book, what she has done to spread word about it and why her book is so different than any others out there.
This sounds like such a fascinating story, what inspired you to write it?
Shakespeare. Admittedly not the most original inspiration, but there you have it. I started Heard It All Before as a modern day Romeo and Juliet set in the South without the messy death scenes. Once I started writing the story, the characters took on a life of their own.
A book's success is so dependent on an author's participation in marketing it, what have you done to promote your book?
The majority of my promotion has been online and word of mouth. About six months before the book came out, I started a blog www.blacknbougie.com, I opened a Facebook and Twitter account and started networking like crazy. I made a video trailer and posted it on YouTube, I joined every book blog and network I could find. I created promotional postcards and sent them to independent bookstores, I reached out to book clubs nationwide. I've written articles that have been picked up by Essence.com, spotlighted on The Huffington Post and featured on multiple blogs. I went on blog tours, had a small book launch party. I pestered everyone I ever met including friends and family to get the word out. This summer, I've started attending Book Fairs and doing some signings as well.
So, how is your book different than others in the same genre?
My book is told from four distinct points of view. There are two main characters, Rome and Jewel, as well as two secondary characters, Renee and Greg. The reader is able to watch the story unfold from each character's vantage point. So, the plot is revealed through their eyes. I found it both challenging and enlightening to write from both male and female perspectives.
What did you do to really grab the reader from the very beginning?
I tried to open with a line that sets the tone. My hope is to immerse the reader in the character's life from the first line. My first scene has snappy dialogue and descriptive prose that hopefully makes the reader want to find out more and care about what happens next. By the end of the first five pages, I want a reader to feel invested in the story; to feel as though the plot is happening to a close friend.
Where can we get a copy of your book?
Heard It All Before is available in bookstores (Borders, Barnes & Noble, Books a Million) and online at those sites as well as Amazon.com, Kensingtonbooks.com, IndieBound.org and BlackExpressions.com.