Tuesday 2 April 2013

Hold My Hand as Romance Beckons - @palomabeck

I'm happy to host another author on my blog! We participate in several features together and she is the administrator of one of my Tribes. It really is past time I hosted her! Welcome Paloma Beck.
The first thing I noticed is that you have a separate section for your weekly features and your blog. Your blog focuses primarily on promoting other authors, and includes the occasional blog hop. Your weekly features are things like Saturday Spankings, Sexy Snippets and Hump Day Hook. Is there a reason you keep the two separate?

It just made sense to me. My features page has the three memes I post each week that have excerpts from my published books or works in progress. My blog has weekly memes that are for other purposes aside from excerpts. For example, every Tuesday I create a 200-word story from a photo as part of the Tantalizing Tuesday group. These will unlikely become a book but is still a fun way to show my art of writing. Then I also host guest authors on my blog every Thursday and Friday. I try once every week or so to post a “Paloma’s Roadtrips” update about where I’ve been on the world wide web and what I’ve been up to.

The division does seem clear. Do you find you dilute your readership by pointing them in two different directions?

I have my blog and website and weekly writings page linked within the three in so many places, I don’t think of them as separate. They are my virtual home – each like their own room but simple enough to “walk” from one to the other. My stats show me that I’m getting a solid level of traffic to each area so for now, I’m happy with it.

That makes sense. How do you find time to do so many promotions AND features?

I am an organizational freak so every hour of my day is scheduled. I allow myself two hours each morning and another in the afternoon to work on my blog, website, respond to email and other business-related parts of being an author. As long as I honor my schedule, I can keep pace with my workload.

Good for you. I have trouble keeping myself organized and sometimes it's a real push to get the blogging and promotional work done. How do you find the authors you promote?

I have a tab on my blog (“Be My Guest”), and promote the opportunity when I have some openings but I stay scheduled out about two months. I’ll sometimes take author’s posts early and put them on a wait list should someone else not get their post in. Since I’m not endorsing the author’s work (unless I’ve read them and then I add in a shout out), I’ll accept any published author. It’s fun just to present a variety of writing styles.

Variety really is the spice of life. Do you have a custom format for your promotions or do you shape them to the author?

I have two options for the guest posts. Thursdays are “Thursday13.” Authors can provide a list of any 13 things though I suggest they keep it related to the book their promoting. Fridays are “Author Focus” or “Question of the Week.” – author’s choice. Author Focus is straight promotion so I recommend adding in a question to stimulate discussion.

How do you choose which features to do each week?

Knowing my greatest reach would occur if my blog were tied to others, I surveyed the different memes and looked for ones I was interested in. I wanted a balance between fun and informative, excerpts and fresh writing, self-promotion and guests.

Now, most importantly, tell us about your new release! Where did the idea for Hold My Hand (Also on Amazon) come from?

Hold My Hand is my first self-published book. It’s a contemporary BDSM-lite romance about Aubrey, a young woman filled with hurt, and William, a man who can't walk away. They're navigating through a relationship that may have too many hurdles... or perhaps not, as long as she can hold his hand.

Aubrey has been hurt in the past, discouraged and degraded by a heartless father. Still, William sees something in her that won't allow him to walk away. Instantly drawn to her but intuitive enough to take it slowly, he courts her. Then he bargains, persuades and seduces until Aubrey becomes ensnared by his commanding nature. Despite the fight she puts up in accepting William's lifestyle, the bonds he places on Aubrey give her a freedom she desperately needs. And together, they heal old wounds and find their perfect love.

The idea for this book came in a dream where Aubrey was telling me her story. As I was working my way through the first draft, I connected it to a poem I’d written in high school and it all fell into place.

What made you decide to self-publish?

This book is very close to my heart. There’s a piece of me in the book and I couldn’t give the control over to anyone else. I wanted to decide everything and I wanted to labor over it and create the final manuscript. It all came down to control.

What was the hardest part of self-publishing?

Formatting. No kidding – it’s all in the details. I had to pull together all my patience to sit down and format the book to be uploaded. It wasn’t difficult, but it was tedious. Of course, I was striving for perfection so that might’ve slowed me down!

Do you think you'll self-publish more works in future?

I think so BUT this is a lot like asking a new mother the moment after she gives birth if she’ll have another child. LOL! I’ll wait just a bit before I can answer with certainty if I’d self-publish again.

Haha of course. The benefit might seem a lot more alluring when the pain wears off. Where can readers find you?

When he seated me on the edge of the chair nearest the fireplace and began to stoke the embers of the fire, I kept my eyes cast down. He made me nervous, those same nerves I felt once living under my father’s roof. No, I reminded myself again, not those nerves exactly. William told me I was beautiful so I know it’s not the same. He was nothing like my father though that tension –the tiny feeling of inadequacy I can’t quite shake- was so similar; I shied away from his gaze. Yet at the same time I craved William, his presence completely overwhelmed me.

He moved behind me, seated himself with his legs on either side of my body and pulled me down to him. My back to his front. My heat to his heat. My body to his body. I shivered, wanting nothing more than to be what he wanted me to be. I assured myself my desire to please was different this time. I was already pleasing William. He told me as much and I believed him. After all, I had to believe in something.

His fingers on my shoulders distracted me. “You’re so tense, sweet Aubrey. Won’t you just relax in my arms tonight?”

“I’ll try. I don’t relax often.”

“No, Aubrey. Your answer to me is yes, sir.”

“Yes sir,” the whisper floated from my lips on a sigh. It was such a certain response, it left no room for me to fail or disappoint. I found comfort in the statement and relaxed into his body.

“Good. Well done.” His affirmation bolstered my confidence. I’ve not received many compliments that I can recall and it felt nice. I couldn’t help but smile while the pride at such a simple act made my chest feel tight.

William aligned his body against mine so that I could feel him as part of myself. Then I realized he could feel every inch of me against him. He could feel my imperfections. I tensed, wondering what he’d think of me when he got a closer look. I was no longer overweight but now I was slight and never held any real beauty. When he realized this, my time with him will most likely end.

He molded my shoulders and back with his strong fingers. “Relax into me and let me took care of you,” William tickled my neck with his words and a tiny shiver ran along my spine.

“I thought it would be the other way around.”

I felt his laugh against my neck. “You think too much. Time for thinking was over. Now simply trust in me to take care of you.”

His warmth enveloped me. I was caught in him, absolutely ensnared by all that he was.