Friday, 15 November 2019

Book Blog Tour Stop: A Friend In Deed by G.D. Harper

A Friend In Deed by G.D. Harper
 If you’re a member of a book club I’d like to tell you about author chats, a great way to add an interesting dimension to your book club meetings and gain a deeper understanding of the book you’ve read.
Many authors are willing to speak with book clubs via speaker phone or Skype. Making contact with an author is easy, most authors have websites, and usually they have contact information listed there. Some authors like myself include details at the end of my book as to how to contact them to do a book club chat.
When you contact the author let them know that your club has selected their book and would like to chat to them about it by Skype or speakerphone. Tell them how many people are in your book club and when you would be planning to meeting to discuss their book.
You should plan at least two months in advance and be prepared to be flexible. Having secured your author, the secret to having a successful author chat is in two stages.
Stage one is before the meeting.
Agree the details. Make sure that both parties are clear on when you're going to be chatting, which book you want to talk about, how long the author is available for, and who will be contacting who. Have a back-up contact point in case the first one doesn’t work for some reason
Make sure everyone commits to reading the book.   I know that might sound obvious, but some people view a club meeting as more of a social thing than an actual book club. I’ve known some people to turn up a book club having just read the synopsis, but if you’re going to have an author in attendance, it’s a different dynamic. It’s important (and respectful) to have read the book.
Make your members aware of the author chat.  Email the club members in advance and ask them to have their questions ready. Don’t think it will be a nice surprise to announce at the meeting because people need to come prepared in order to get the best out of the meeting.
Pick a discussion leader.  It’s good to have one person be the facilitator for the conversation with the author.  Everyone can participate, but when you’re talking to someone remotely, it’s good to have a point person so the chat doesn’t turn into a free for all.  
The second stage is the meeting itself.
Make sure that the phone/computer is positioned so that everyone can hear and be heard. And test before the conversation starts.
Plan on discussing the book first before the author joins you, so that you know what you want to ask. Plan to call the author about 30 minutes into your meeting, allowing time for everyone to get settled and get their food and drinks.  Maybe 45 minutes if your group is not especially punctual. This is a good time for your discussion leader to compile the list of questions from everyone. 
When the author joins you, it’s polite and a good ice-breaker to start off with a compliment about their book.  Even if your group doesn’t love the book, you should always find something positive to say. Don’t try to pretend to like the book if you didn’t like it, but if you are critical of aspects of the book, try to make your comments as constructively and specifically as possible.
You might want to have the author ask you questions.
And the question to usually ask the author last is
  • What are you working on now?
Back in the pre-internet days, writing a book was a one-way process. Unless you were really, really famous you never really heard from readers about what they thought of your book.
Today, the direct interaction an author can have with readers, as reviewers or on Facebook and the like, can occasionally be overwhelming but it is also motivating and informative. As Edmund Wilson once said, ‘no two people ever read the same book’ and interaction with readers is a way for an author to get an idea of what works and what doesn't with a wide variety of readers. I think it helps make you understand your books better and become a better writer.
So if you haven’t tried an author chat at your book club I hope you will. For both your benefit and for the benefit of the author.

Britain: a few years from now. A new populist political party has won the recent general election.
Duncan Jones, freelance political journalist and blogger, loses his weekly column at a national newspaper and turns to investigative reporting. The chance remark of a friend leads him to suspect that the Russians are directing the new British government's policies and decisions. As he visits Moscow and Ukraine to discover more, scandal follows intrigue, dark forces attempt to silence him by whatever means possible and he turns to an unlikely ally for help.
A Friend in Deed is a fast-paced psychological thriller set in an all-too-believable near future. It is also the story of how one man confronts the traumas in his past and works out how to resolve them.
Amazon UK      Amazon US 
I was placed third in the 2015 Lightship Prize for first-time authors, won a 2016 Wishing Shelf Award Red Ribbon, been shortlisted at the UK Festival of Writing for Best First Chapter, longlisted in the 2017 UK Novel Writing Competition.
In 2017, I was one of twelve authors selected for Authors in the Spotlight at the Bloody Scotland book festival in Stirling, showcasing who they considered to be the best emerging talent in crime fiction, and was the only self-published author to be chosen. I have spoken at numerous other book events, including Blackwells' Writers at the Fringe at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe; a stand-alone slot at the Byres Road Book Festival in Glasgow, and the Aye Write! Book Festival, also in Glasgow.
I worked in Russia and Ukraine for ten years, which gave me the ideas for the plot and setting that I used in A Friend in Deed.

Facebook: @gdharperauthor

Giveaway to Win all 3 paperbacks of GD Harper’s Psychological Fiction Trilogy (Open UK Only)
        Prize features all three books, Love’s Long Road, Silent Money and A Friend in Deed
*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

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