Sunday, February 8, 2015

Book Releases, Bestsellers & Breaking into the Business with Author Rachael Stapleton

Blog Stop: Friday's Interview from Beyond The Skyline with Brody Lane Gregg


Tell us about your book, Curse of the Purple Delhi Sapphire. This is the second book of a series. What is the series about? 
Correct. Curse of the Purple Delhi Sapphire is book two of the TEMPLE OF INDRA SERIES which centers around Sophia Marcil, a young librarian who inherits a sapphire from her Great Grandmother and is bestowed with the gift of time travel only to discover it’s a curse and she is now the object of a madman’s obsession. In the second book, she’s returned from the harrowing yet wondrous journey into her past life—that of Princess Sapphira of Monaco with the regret that she was unable to protect her past self. She’s keeping a low profile, living in a cottage outside of Dublin but she knows the man obsessed with her cursed gem is also out there somewhere. And really it’s only a matter of time before she realizes just how close—when Cullen proposes with the very sapphire that’s cursed her. As soon as it touches her skin, she feels herself being wrenched back in time.

That sounds intriguing. Oh and Congratulations on making the Amazon Bestsellers List. 
Thank you! Yes. I was pretty excited. It hit around #38 on Tuesday when it released and then flew to #8 yesterday on the Kindle list. I was on two different lists in the Time travel Romance category. Last time I checked it had dropped to #62 but that’s the nature of the beast. I’m just happy to have been in the top 100 at all. www.amazon.ca/gp/bestsellers/digital-text/5792818011/ref=pd_zg_hrsr_kinc_1_4_last

What is some advice you would give new authors trying to break into the publishing world? 
 Well the first thing I’d suggest is that your heart be one-hundred percent invested. If nothing else makes you happier than honing that perfect sentence or creating that imaginary world then you’re on the right track. Writing is an investment. Just like no one becomes an athlete overnight, no one becomes a bestselling author overnight. It takes practice and determination. I’m not rolling in cash YET but I see everything I’m doing as an investment in a long term career. The same way a doctor goes to school and does rotations for most of his young life, I write for peanuts because it’s improving my skill level, it’s flexing my brain muscle and I’m growing a fan base. Everyone wants an agent and wants to be mainstream but the odds of getting there right off the bat are fluky at best. Rejection is inevitably a large part of the process, so you have to be doing it for you, not for “them.” I personally don’t see the value in banging my head against a wall solely querying agents. Don’t get me wrong, I want to be mainstream and I did query agents but I also queried small presses and entered pitch contests which is how I got published. Eventually I WILL be a household name but life is a journey and this is just part of it. Enjoy the ride! And finally, if you can, join a writer’s group or organization. It can be a lonely climb at times, and creating a community can make all the difference when drowning in rejection letters! It’s also nice to have people to pop champagne with when the good news rolls in. I’m part of the B7 writers group as well as the WCDR and I wouldn’t be here without them.

Well now that all of the heavy questions are out of the way, let’s lighten things up. Of all of the Gilligan's Island characters, who are you most like and tell us why: 
 Funny you should ask that because I just took a Facebook quiz. (What else would I do when I’m trying to avoid writing content for my book marketing tour. :o LOL!) It turns out I’m Ginger, the movie star! Truthfully I’m probably equal parts Mary-Ann but Ginger was my fave. Who doesn’t love a good seductress?

Can you fake any accents? 
G'day, mate. What do you say we get together later and throw a few shrimp on the barbie. (Channeling Dumb & Dumber) Not bad huh? Okay no. That would be a no. I have researched many other languages though for my series. Cullen and his family are Irish and Monaco Palace from the first book was a bit of a melting pot. I love accents especially brogue but I only write them.

What else have you written? 
Of course there is the first book in the series THE TEMPLE OF INDRA’S JEWEL which is available on Amazon. Aside from that, I have a short story—a prequel to how Sophia and Cullen really met—DINNER IN THE DARK being published in a Solstice Publishing Valentine’s Day Anthology. It comes out next week! There’s even a recipe for Dill Pickle soup in it. Yum! What’s up next for you? I’m taking the weekend off to sip hot chocolate and play in the snow with my kids. I’ll be back at it bright and early Monday morning—answering all of your questions on Penny’s Tales. www.pennyestelle.blogspot.ca. There will also be a review of my book Paranormal Romance and Authors That Rock www.pratr.wordpress.com. The tour will run until the 23rd. All stops are listed and linked on the media page of my website www.rachaelstapleton.com The rafflecopter contest begins Monday on the Paranormal Blog. Hit the tour stops along the way to win 1 of 10 prizes.

Can we get a little teaser from the book? 

Sure. I’ll give you something that I haven’t shared before—a scene from chapter seventeen involving Sophia and her best-friend Leslie. This was one of my editor’s favourites because she loves the duo’s dynamics. 

Lightning lit the sky, revealing the outline of tree limbs through the kitchen window. It was followed so closely by a crack of thunder, which shook the house, that I thought the storm must be directly overhead. Leslie cleaned off her plate and placed it in the dishwasher. “Wow, it’s getting bad out there.” My stomach tightened. Another thunderclap rattled the house as if on cue and I shivered. “Was it supposed to rain?” Leslie smiled. “This is Dublin—it always rains, although when I lived here there wasn’t a lot of thunder. Let’s go watch the movie. I’ll protect you.” “Yeah, you’d put the fear of God into a burglar.” I laughed, draining my wineglass for emphasis while staring at her petite five-foot frame. “Hey! I’m tough! Although I do plan to be pretty inebriated tonight, so scratch that. You’re on your own, sister.” I rolled my eyes and grinned. “Why did I let you talk me into a supernatural thriller?” “It’s not that scary. I promise.” “Yeah, well, now with the storm, it will be.” “It’s just a little rain.” “I know—I’m just jumpy ’cause of the Betty thing.” Leslie’s eyes were shining. “You mean the fact that the poor woman was killed by your ex who is now stalking you?” “Honestly, Leslie, you’re not helping.” “What? I’m just trying to make you laugh. Where’s your sense of humor tonight?” “It’s gone…much like Betty.” “There you go,” she said, laughing. I grabbed the bottle off the counter and double-checked the bolt on the door as I followed her into Cullen’s living room. A huge fireplace took up most of one wall. Cullen’s house was small but cozy. Once upon a time, it had been his family’s cottage. Most of the properties the O’Kelley family owned had been passed down through the generations. My eyes focused on Leslie as she sat on the couch and pulled a book from her purse. “If you don’t want to watch the movie, we could always use this?” She held it in front of her with both hands. “Oh, you brought the book, that’s right. I need to put it in some sort of safe.” “Why don’t you try using it—using the magic?” “No way.” “Come on, Sophia, it’s not like you to pass on a challenge. Throw yourself into it. Read through it at least, and see if there’s anything that can help you.” “Last time I looked in it, I wound up with killer nightmares and I mean that quite literally. I dreamt about the crimes that my uncle Velte committed and, unfortunately, at times from his sick and twisted perspective. And I do not ever want to go back inside that pycho’s head.” “That sucks. But what if there was a different spell that could help.” She gave me a look that oozed guilt. “Don’t be mad, but I had a look through it on my way here, and there’s a way to contact Rochus.” “Leslie, what were you thinking?” I snapped, grabbing it out of her arms and setting it down. Her face was guarded and careful. “What? Nothing happened.” “Lucky for you. Who knows what happens when that book is opened? You could have wound up cursed like me.” “Why do you see this as a curse, Sophia?” she asked softly. “I don’t know. Wouldn’t you?” “No. You’re living every librarian’s dream. Experiencing the past when the rest of us can only read about it.” “Yes, but as you so lovingly reminded me, Nick is trying to kill me.”

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