How to promote the romantic book with Heather Huffman.
1. Tell us a little about yourself, and your new romantic book Devil In Disguise.
I write romantic book suspense novels that don’t shy away from life’s dark corners but don’t dwell there, either. My romantic books are funny and warm – surprisingly light and quick reads given some of the dark topics woven throughout.
I see the romantic book as a way to not only entertain.
But to also raise awareness of human trafficking. In addition to writing, I give talks in schools, churches and women’s groups about human trafficking and how we all have a part to play in ending slavery.
On a personal level, I’m a mom to three boys. We live on a 10-acre homestead in the Ozarks. Our goal is to raise as much of our own food as we can. Although we’ve gotten pretty attached to our chickens, so I’m thinking we might have to go vegetarian!
2. Are you a full time romantic book writer?
I’ve been a fulltime writer for the past year – I thought things would be easier to manage now that I’ve left corporate America. Instead, I’ve found I’m busier than ever!
In addition to the romantic book, I’m a mom and an advocate to end human trafficking – and with the homestead, there are always chores to be done. Sometimes, I feel like I’ve got a pretty good rhythm to my day to get to everything. Others, I think I’m not doing anything well and I seem to miss every deadline!
3. Romantic book suspense fiction – why did you pick that genre to write about? Who do you pattern yourself after?
I didn’t pick the genre so much as it chose me. For years, people asked what I wrote and my answer was “books.” I just wrote the stories in my head and heart, and I was horrible at describing them. Thank goodness my publisher, Booktrope, knew what genre my books fell into!
4. You have an outstanding romantic book blog.
What do you say to authors who do not have their own blog? (yes a lot of them do not) how has your blog help you?
Thank you so much for saying that! I put a lot of time into my website and blog because I think it’s an essential tool for communicating with my readers. I love making connections with the people who read my novels, and I don’t think that connection ends when I type the words “the end.” The blog and social media are both instrumental tools in nurturing those relationships that are built when someone downloads my books.
5. When I write, I share a piece of who I am, give us an example.
So much of my own life, fears, passions and experiences show up in my novels. There is always something of me in my heroines, even if I’ve never been in their exact shoes. For example, Kate, in Ties That Bind, was the very embodiment of my insecurities. Her journey to work through those issues went hand in hand with my own. In Tumbleweed, a lot of the antics surrounding Hailey’s initial move to the Ozark Mountains came straight from my own personal experiences – including the crazy man shooting a hole in the roof on her moving day. Later in that book, when it seems her entire world has been shattered, also came directly from my own personal experiences. I wrote her heartache as I was experiencing my own.
In the romantic book Devil in Disguise.
Many of the conversations Rachel was having with the investigators helping her fight human trafficking mirrored the conversations I had with those on the front lines of the fight. Her reactions were the same as mine.
6. I hope to take readers on a journey with me. Could you read a little bit for us? Take us on that journey:)
That’s a tall order – taking you on a romantic book journey with such a small clip – but I’ll try!
In this excerpt, Rachel’s spent a lot of time re-thinking her decision to choose career over love.
“This is ridiculous!” She shouted to the night air, forgetting for a moment that her ragtop was down, earning stares from the couple in the car next to hers. Sinking a little lower in her seat, she grabbed her phone and dialed a number she still knew by heart.
He picked up on the first ring, before she could worry he’d changed phones.
“Hello,” his voice rumbled low and quiet over the line.
“Bruce Springsteen told me to call you,” she blurted.
“Are you listening to E-Street radio?”
“Well, yes, but that wasn’t what I was referring to. The Bruce Springsteen told me to call you today. The more I thought about it, the more I wondered why not, so this is me, calling you.”
“Okay.” His response was measured. “I would really like to take this call, but I’m not alone at the moment.”
She was mortified. “I am so sorry.” Her cheeks burned – thank God he couldn’t see through the phone. “I should have thought you might be out with your girlfriend tonight.”
“No, look, it’s not like that. Hold on.” His voice became muffled as she heard him excusing himself from another conversation before returning to her, his voice barely above a whisper. “I’m not with a girl. I’m at work; I guess I just answered because I was so surprised to see your number on my caller ID.”
“Oh.” She was infinitely pleased to hear that. “I’m sorry to bother you at work. Maybe you could give me a call when your shift ends.”
“I don’t know if that’s such a good idea.”
She clutched the phone close to her ear. Partially so she could hear him, partially because the death grip on the phone somehow seemed to be keeping her heart from shattering.
“If there was any way I could change things, I would. Trust me I would,” he promised.
“Okay.” Sure, it was a lame response, but it was better than sobbing and begging him to rewind the clock for her, to go back to who they were before she chose the wrong door.
His voice was soft and low. “Tonight, when you go to sleep, imagine me there with you. When I go to sleep, I’ll imagine you in my arms again. We’ll share one last dance, okay?”
Someone was cursing Conrad in the background. Rachel winced at the venom in the stranger’s voice and didn’t recover quickly enough to respond to Conrad’s words.
“I’ve got to go. Je t’aime, ma bichette.”
Rachel stared blankly at the phone for a full two minutes after hanging up. He’d rejected her then told her he loved her. It made no sense whatsoever.
Hearts of Stone was now emanating from the radio, the song of a love lost mocking her. Rachel scowled openly at the car speaker. “Very funny. Absolutely hilarious.”
That’s really the beginning of Rachel’s journey in Devil in Disguise. She has no clue at this moment how much her entire life is getting ready to change in this romantic book.
7. We all have something we’re good at, why do you think so many people do not pursue what they are good at?
Fear – of rejection, of failure, and even sometimes of success. For years, I didn’t pursue my own dreams because I was told they weren’t practical. I let other people dictate my life because I was afraid of looking like a fool if I tried something outside the norm. I made myself miserable, though, and I finally hit a point where I decided it was better to try and fail than to never try at all.
8. Share with us tips on how you are marketing your romantic book. What is working for you? What did not work?
My publisher, Booktrope, is a big believer in the power of establishing relationships through social media. It’s not about joining the cacophony of people hawking their wares; it’s about having conversations with people. Connecting with them as human beings. If it clicks, they’ll check out the books. If the books are worth reading, they’ll read more.
It’s hard to say what hasn’t worked. I think everything we do – from periodically giving away books for a short time to in-person “graffiti parties” adds to the conversation and has an impact. Some things don’t have the immediate impact that we might have hoped for, but they still add kindling to the fire.
9. What was your romantic book signing like for you?
Would you like to have your romantic book made into a movie?
Romantic Book signings are always fun for me – I love meeting my readers. We had to dial back on the number of signings we’d hoped for this year because it was getting difficult for me to keep up with the travel. When I have a signing, I bring a graffiti canvas with me for my readers to sign. The idea is that we all have a mark to leave on this world, and I want to encourage my readers to find theirs. I don’t typically do signings in bookstores. I prefer pubs, coffee houses, cafes… really anywhere that I can chat with romantic book readers in a comfortable setting.
As for the movies, I would absolutely love to see the romantic book made into movie.
My husband says they’d make great date night movies because they have something for everyone.
10. Final comment: For what do you want to be remembered professionally?
That I was a good romantic book writer who helped the fight to end slavery.