Hello everyone. As promised, I have a a guest author appearing on the blog today which I hope is one of many more that will appear on this blog. So I would like to welcome KJ Waters to posting. So sit back and lets learn a little bit about Ms. KJ Waters.
Shattering Time: KJ Waters
First of all I would like to thank you for being part of this, and I want to wish you all the best of luck on your newest release in your series. So pour yourself a drink, put your feet up and make yourself at home.
Thank you so much Aaron for having me on your blog and I appreciate the well wishes!
- KJ, please share with everyone, exactly how did you get started with the series, specifically your newest one Shattering Time?
I started my author journey in 2005 after a rough summer the year before. I moved to Florida and three days later Hurricane Charley hit. Within six weeks we were hit by 4 major hurricanes, something that had never happened in Florida before. I had been toying with the idea of writing a novel prior to that but the setting was so intense and dramatic it seemed like the perfect backdrop for a story. I started piecing together an outline and spent the next 10 years working on the series. I released Stealing Time in 2015 and a year ago I began polishing the second book into Shattering Time with an added storyline that I wrote last summer. Shattering Time just released on June 27, 2017.
- As a writer I was wondering, how did you develop your characters, because some people like these lengthy bios for their characters as others like just the shorter information basically describing their body, and personality type and letting their character biography come out in the story, so how did you develop them?
When I first started in 2005 I picked up a book by Evan Marshall, called The Marshall Plan for Fiction Writing. In it he suggests creating a bio on each character, not to include in the story, but so you as the writer can get to know them, to learn their strengths and weaknesses, and motivations. I compiled a lengthy bio and numerous pictures of each character, despite my impatience to get started. I’m glad I did it really helped me as I wrote their journeys and has given me deep complex characters that keep my readers wanting more.
- Where did you come up with the title for your books?
It took me a few years of writing the story to give it a title. There is a story element in each book that matches the title and I echo it in several ways subtly. In the first book, Stealing Time, it was a natural fit because in the world I created when someone goes back in time they may be there for days but here in this time it only lasts a few hours or less. So in a way the characters sent back in time are stealing more time as they live more minutes than their body’s actually do. It took me a while to nuance the intensity of the story in the title but I’m really happy with it.
In the second book, Shattering Time, I wanted to keep it an action word with the telling word Time to let it convey the time travel aspects of it. Honestly it took me a lot of brain power and back and forth to land on Shattering but I ran with it an added several story elements that reflected the title.
- For some writers they have a particular character they become really fond of. Do you have a character that you are particularly attached to?
I have to admit I have a mad crush on Mike Walsh, who is introduced in the second book. He is Ronnie’s boss and quite the handsome devil with a dark past that no one at Ronnie’s work has quite figured out. It has been a ridiculous amount of fun getting into his head and managing this complex character and bending him to my will. He is continually surprising me with new directions he wants to go in and I often have to rein him in to meet my own story goals.
- KJ, what or who inspired you to start writing?
I’ve written professionally for years in marketing and communications but I’d never tried my hand at fiction. I’ve been very fond of Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander Series and reading a tell all book she wrote I was really inspired by her confession on how she pieces together a story. She writes a scene that inspires her and then pieces them together. Reading this it seemed to free me to give it a try, for it removed the stress of plotting the entire thing out.
- Today with everyone trying to juggle both family and careers, how do you manage your time to accomplish both?
It is a struggle, as you know Aaron. I have to stay on top of it or I’d never get anything done. I bring my laptop to piano lessons, gymnastics, and ballet, and use every minute the kids are not in my hair to write. I’ve given up all of my TV shows and spend my time with the kids get right to work once they’re in bed. It’s a juggling act but I’ve found that a schedule helps as well. I reserve Thursdays and Fridays for writing and try to make sure I get a good solid chunk done then while the kids are at school.
- Every writer struggles with writers block eventually, what do you do to overcome it?
The source of my writing block usually comes from the part of the story I’m writing that hasn’t been thought through enough. My strategy has been to stop writing for a few days, and work on plotting that section to get the most bang out of it. I use the “Dexter” theory for tension. If you’ve ever seen the series with Michael C. Hall you know what I mean. Whenever something bad happens to your character you search for the absolute worst thing that can happen to them and then add five layers to that. This is my page-turner strategy. I push my writer’s block into this corner and beat it to death with a thrilling idea to spur me on. Dexter can read the blood spatters on the wall and determine the cause of death.
- Tell us a little bit about what readers can expect from your newest book? Any surprises in store?
One of my greatest joys in writing is to throw in the completely unexpected in my stories. When my readers get comfortable I throw in a spike to make the tires blow out and stick them in dire straits. The only break they’ll get is when two characters have to feel each other out. I think there might be one serene moment in book 3 (wink.)
In Shattering Time Ronnie is recovering from her time travel adventures in the first book. Her boyfriend Jeffrey Brennan starts her wondering if she is starting to slip mentally, but before she can figure out anything Hurricane Francis, that is the size of Texas, is aiming for Florida. She tries to leave town but circumstances interfere and she is stuck in the throes of the storm. During the storm Ronnie is thrown back in time several times and finally ends up in 1588 early America with the English colony that is now known as the Lost Colony of Roanoke Island. She is faced with a similar dilemma as her last time travel where she is accused of being in league with the devil and choses to run away from the English to fend for herself in the wilderness. She is picked up by a Native American warrior and without the language of the people is swept up in a confusing situation that finally becomes clear to her but there is no way out.
- How do you get the word out for your books? What type of marketing strategies do you use that help drive your sales?
I’ve used a lot of different strategies and lately my biggest boost in rankings on Amazon and sales is building my email list and sending out newsletters. Currently I have almost 5000 on my list and I’m using Authors Cross Promotion (authorsxp.com) and their list builder features to grow with targeted genre builder events. I also have a constant stream of content on twitter and I schmooze on Facebook to keep readers and potential readers interested. I used Hootsuite to schedule twitter (once an hour for most of the day for sales and once an hour for content readers want.)
- What is in store for the series following Shattering Time and do you have any other books in the works at the moment?
The Stealing Time series consists of four books with two released (Stealing Time, Shattering Time.) The third book is called Killing Time and will be published next year. Ronnie leaves Florida with Mike on a business trip to Puerto Rico to escape Hurricane Ivan that has Florida in his sites in the hopes of avoiding another time travel episode. They are caught in a hurricane that forms off the coast and brings devastation to the power grid and 26 inches of rain that destroys the escape route with mudslides and flooding. I’ve been dying to finish this book as it has the most compelling plot to date!
Fracturing Time is the fourth book and it will completely mess with the readers as it touches elements from the first book.
I also will be writing a sequel to my short story Blow with two more parts to make it a trilogy. BLOW spent last week in the #1 slot in two categories on Amazon and #2 in the third when I offered it for free. I used it as a tool to bring readers in to Shattering Time as I gave them a teaser at the end of the short story.
I’m also compiling a non-fiction short story collection based on my blog, Blondie in the Water, where I relive my most adventurous water moments as way to deal with living in Dirtville where there is no decent body of water for miles. You can visit my blog here (http://kjwatersauthor.blogspot.com)
- KJ, it was a pleasure having you answering these questions today. Please share with our audience how they can go about find your books? Are you on social media, website etc?
Thank you so much Aaron, great questions and it was a joy to spend this time with you. I wish you the best of luck in your writing journey.
Please visit my website at www.kjwaters.com where you can sign up for my newsletter and see what is going on with my books and appearances. I’m also the co-host of a podcast for authors called Blondie and the Brit, and provide book covers for authors with Blondie’s Custom Book Covers.
You can find my books here:
I invite you to check out my Stealing Time Series so you can experience the power of the storm: http://geni.us/guestblogseries. Here is one recent review: Shattering Time is a page turner, and for that reason is a quick read. I definitely recommend it, even to those who never thought they would enjoy time travel fiction. Oddly enough, I only recognized the complexity of the characters after I completed the book and let it all sink in.
4.9 out of 5 stars on Amazon. Here is one short review: Action packed short story about the intensity of Hurricane Ivan. I was so immersed in the tale, I had to look up to check that my roof was still there once I had finished. Waters is a great story teller!
You can find me on my social media and websites here:
- Websites:http://www.kjwaters.com http://www.blondieandbrit.com/ http://www.blondiebooks.com/
- Social media sites
Shattering Time Blurb (see cover photo attached)
The number one best-selling thriller Stealing Time continues its “breathtakingly original” journey.
Ronnie Andrews returns from eighteenth-century London shell-shocked from her first terrifying time travel encounter. Her boyfriend, Jeffrey Brennan, casts doubt on her sanity leaving Ronnie wondering if she went back in time or is having a mental breakdown.
To add to the tension, Hurricane Frances, a storm the size of Texas, is barreling towards Florida and her fears of a repeat time travel experience mount. Ronnie’s best friend Steph, along with her friend Nick and Steph’s younger brother Ian, shield Ronnie from the dangers of Frances but cannot save her from traveling back in time. Unfortunately, their meddling brings Ronnie to the brink of destruction as they are caught in the throes of the hurricane’s wrath.
Once again, Ronnie is transported to dangerous places and plagued with desperate situations, while experiencing perilous cultures including one of America’s first mysteries — the Lost Colony of Roanoke Island.
A stunning conclusion brings Ronnie face to face with a dangerous ally who may hold the key to her past while offering salvation for her future.
KJ Waters bio:
KJ Waters is the author of the #1 best-seller Stealing Time and #1 best-seller short-story Blow. The second book in the series, Shattering Time, was just published on June 27, 2017 and the next day reached #6 on the UK Amazon site, and was #2 as a hot new release for one category, seating neatly after Michael Crichton’s Dragon Teeth.
In addition to her writing, she is the CEO of Blondie’s Custom Book Covers and the co-host of the popular podcast Blondie and the Brit.
She has a Master’s in Business and over 15 years of experience in the marketing field. Before quitting her job to raise a family and work on writing she was the Director of Marketing and communications for a national behavioral healthcare company.
Please sign up for my newsletter on my website (kjwaters.com) and see my weekly sales and contests. I’m always offering ways to win copies of my books, and other special sneak peeks. I’m also offering a Goodread’s Giveaway here of my latest release –https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/11164130.K_J_Waters