Tuesday, April 22, 2014

An Interview with TRINITY STONES author, L. G. O'Connor!

I've had the distinct pleasure of getting to know Liz over the last few years through our online contacts. So I'm so excited to introduce you to her, and her debut novel!

L.G. O’Connor is a member of the Romance Writers of America. A corporate strategy and marketing executive for a Fortune 250 company, she writes adult urban fantasy, paranormal romance, and contemporary romance. Her debut novel, Trinity Stones, the first book in her Angelorum Twelve Chronicles urban fantasy / paranormal romance series published by She Writes Press will launch on April 22 and be available wherever books are sold. She is currently preparing the second book in the Angelorum Twelve Chronicles, The Wanderer’s Children, for publication at the end of 2014. In addition, her adult contemporary romance will launch later this year. A native New Jersey girl, she lives a life of adventure, navigating her way through dog toys and soccer balls and loaning herself out for the occasional decorating project. When she’s feeling particularly brave, she enters the kitchen . . .

Find and connect with Liz in any of these places:

Thanks for stopping by, Liz! Your debut novel TRINITY STONES is releasing today and I'm so excited for you! I was lucky enough to get an early copy to review, but for those who haven't had the chance to pick it up yet, what is it about?  

Thanks, Aimee! It's great to be here. Your blog was one of the first blogs I followed when I started on my road to publication, so it's truly special to be a guest here today. TRINITY STONES is an adult paranormal romance / urban fantasy novel. It's the first of four books in The Angelorum Twelve Chronicles, which is really one story told in four parts.  

TRINITY STONES starts the story with Cara Collins, a single investment banker with an anxiety disorder, who mysteriously inherits $50 million on her 27th birthday. Up until that point, she’d between dealing with an awful work situation and the fact she can’t seem to get over her close friend and first love, Dr. Kai Solomon, a married man she can never have.

The first thing she finds out when she inherits the money is that she must keep it secret or those close to her could die. As Cara unravels the truth surrounding her inheritance, she makes a startling discovery: angels walk among the living, and they’re getting ready to engage in a battle that will determine the future of the human race.

In the midst of these revelations, she meets mysterious and sophisticated Simon Young, who offers her the promise of romance for the first time since Kai. But when Kai and his daughter are kidnapped by dark forces, Cara must choose: accept her place in a 2,000-year-old prophecy foretold in the Trinity Stones as the First of the Twelve who will lead the final battle between good and evil . . . or risk losing everything she holds dear. In doing so, she realizes it’s not just her heart, but rather her destiny, that is entwined with the two men in her life.

What inspired that story for you?

The seed of the story started with Cara and Kai’s relationship. There are a handful of people in my life with whom I have strong ties, and feel like they’ve been placed there for a reason. I love the concept of attraction and love binding us to someone even when, intellectually, it doesn’t make sense. I’m not a believer in coincidence, so I have to wonder: Is it destiny? Is it something beyond our own consciousness driving it? What bigger, better thing is going to be the outcome of that relationship? Do we sometimes play the role of an angel for someone else?  

You're a member of the popular She Writes group. Can you tell us more about that - how did you connect with them, and what made you decide to go with She Writes Press?

Yes! I found SheWrites.com, a writing community with over 20,000 members, through a writing course I took at New York University in 2012. My professor was a member, and she suggested that I join. The community consists of both published and unpublished members. It’s an excellent and supportive resource for writers at every level. I highly recommend it!

She Writes Press (SWP), which is affiliated with SheWrites.com, started a little over two years ago, and is run by Brooke Warner formerly of Seal Press. What’s awesome about SWP is that it really offers writers a ‘third way’ to publish. It’s a hybrid/partnership publishing model falling somewhere between traditional and indie publishing. Just to clear up any confusion, there are other publishers claiming to be partnership publishers who are really just glorified vanity presses. She Writes is not one of those.

As an author, what publishing with SWP means to me:

·         I’m part of a community of SWP authors—also releasing this spring—who I can lean on for support and learn from. That has been the BEST part.

·         I keep my copyright and rights to my work with no obligations to SWP for future work

·         I keep 100% of movie and audio rights with no obligation to pay a royalty to SWP (Audible here I come!)

·         My work is vetted to traditional publishing standards

·         My work is available through the traditional distribution channels via Ingram Publishing Services (Distributor for Big 5), appears in their online catalog (Edelweiss), and is sold by their sales team to bookstores, libraries, etc.

·         My royalty rates are higher than traditional publishers (and Createspace!)

·         I’m eligible for reviews by both traditional and self-publishing review outlets

The downside? There’s an upfront cost attached to publishing with SWP vs. traditional publishing, but it covers your cover design, interior layouts, proofreading, and all your distribution set-up and metadata management.

Aimee, your readers are welcome to shoot me an email directly at lgoconnorbooks (at) gmail (dot) com to learn more.

What's the best part of your writing life right now? And the most difficult?

By far, the best part is connecting with readers during pre-launch! Also, the unbridled enthusiasm of my beta team, friends, and family leading up to the launch has been fantastic and so uplifting. I’m hoping for almost 100 attendees at my Barnes & Noble event on May 3rd where I live in NJ. If anyone out there is from the Garden State, please stop by! My website Press & News page has all the details.

The most difficult thing lately has been juggle everything else while editing the second book in the Angelorum Twelve series. As you can imagine, I’m on a deadline to launch this fall/winter. In the meantime, I’m writing a prequel novella to Trinity Stones, called Hope’s Prelude, that I want to release on digital before the second book comes out.

Did I mention I also work full-time? *laughs* I just take it one day at a time, attacking my ‘top 3’ things for that day and hoping my husband still remembers me when I crawl into bed every night.

Do you have any advice for authors considering this route to publication? Anything you wish you'd known before you started? 

I loved this route for my first book, since I wanted that extra hand holding and someone else to do the grunt work involved in production. My advice: Don’t be afraid. I won’t say it’s been easy, but overall, I feel like I had more creative control, and got to market faster than if I went 100% traditional. That said, I’m all for multiple paths to publication. I’m considering a traditional path for my adult contemporary romance series with a May-December theme. The full manuscript is currently in the hands of an agent that I really want to work with…

There’s not much I wouldn’t done differently… 

And finally, what's your next project? And when can we expect to see it?

I have a lot of irons in the fire at the moment, maybe too many!

For the Angelorum Twelve Chronicles, I’m barreling toward production with the second book, The Wanderer’s Children for launch later this year. I also mentioned Hope’s Prelude, if all goes well, that should hit the digital shelves late this summer. While a good 25% of the draft for book three is complete, that will be a 2015 release for sure.  

My adult contemporary is a May-December romance between an older woman and a younger man set right here in New Jersey. I finished it during National Novel Writing Month this past November. I’m super excited about it! Trying a new genre was a nice break. There are two novelettes that follow it, which I’m also writing as we speak. I’ve also identified a second novel based on one of the characters in the book. Release date is TBD.

I’ll be posting progress on all my projects on my website www.lgoconnor.com

Oh, and one more thing that I’m really excited about: I have a digital only YA-approved version of TRINITY STONES that I originally wrote for my teenage nieces. It’s for those who want an adult read without hot love scenes (just sayin’). It’s available exclusively through me. Requests can be sent via email to lgoconnorbooks (at) gmail (dot) com.   

Aimee, thank you so much for having me! I really appreciate all your support!

My pleasure. Thanks for stopping by, Liz!
Your Turn: Any questions for Liz? Ask them in the comments! Otherwise, if you want to pick up TRINITY STONES you can take your pick:

Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo / Apple iTunes / or grab an author signed copy here: www.TrinityStones.com