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Interview: Kristen Elise, PhD, Writer, Editor & Now Publisher

Cancer Fighter by Day; Murder Mistress by Night

Interviewed by G G Collins     (Copyright 2016)

Kristen had an idea: Invite crime fiction writers from all over the U.S. to take part in an anthology. Big undertaking—and perhaps a bit bigger than she expected. It’s not like she doesn’t have enough to do; important day job, writing books, two websites and her family. But she gently herded 31 writers from every region, slaved over uncooperative technology and voilà, Murder, USA: A Crime Fiction Tour of the Nation is a reality. Here’s how she did it.

  1. What possessed you to put together the mystery anthology Murder, U.S.A.?

Book Murder USA FinalI got the idea for Murder, U.S.A. from a few anthologies that I have seen recently. Typically, anthologies are short story collections, and they do a great job of offering a sampling of the work from multiple authors to readers. However, I’m not a short story writer. Never have been, and doubt I ever will be. So it got me to thinking: what if, instead of a short story collection, we created an anthology of sorts that is just snippets from the novels of novelists? It might be a great way to offer that same sampling of work without asking novelists to come up with short stories to tell. And it might be more representative of what those authors really write.

  1. Tell us something about yourself. Was there anything in your experience that prepared you for this undertaking? Also mention Murder Lab. It’s a terrific website.

Thank you for the compliment! Hmmm… well, I’m a “drug hunter” by day. I work for a biotech company, and my job is to look for molecules that will eventually become cancer medicines. It was in this work that I got the idea for The Death Row Complex, which is featured in Murder, U.S.A. Murder Lab is a website (http://www.murderlab.com/) that I put together a few years ago with the goal of uniting authors, readers, and basically anyone with an interest in crime fiction. You can see my experience from my day job in the website as both are basically a series of “experiments” — except that in my day job, I’m running experiments to identify the right molecules, whereas on Murder Lab, I and the Murder Lab community are constantly experimenting in what makes good crime fiction, how to sell crime fiction, and other such questions. Murder, U.S.A. was another experiment, by the way!

  1.  How did you reach out to other writers to participate?

I posted the idea on Murder Lab, reached out to my mailing list, and reached out via Facebook, Twitter, and whatever social networks I’m a part of. There was quite an amazing response! I’m so pleased with the finished product because it’s exactly what I had in mind—a very diverse collection from a wonderful group of authors. There is something in there for everyone. If you like to read mysteries, thrillers, or suspense novels of any breed, please download your free copy! http://amzn.to/1TBcjir  (Also available wherever eBooks are sold.)

  1.  What are some of the issues you experienced in compiling the excerpts and publishing the book?

    Author Kristen Elise, PhD

    Author Kristen Elise, PhD

Haha! Well, I’m not gonna lie—it was much more work than I thought it would be. I had pictured that since the excerpts were all from published works, there would be no editing and it would just be a matter of putting them together and publishing. Not so much. There were actually a lot of technical difficulties I had to overcome, mostly based on the fact that everyone’s excerpts came in a different format, and I’m not skilled enough with software to just make them all magically become uniform. There were also some publishing difficulties since this was the first work I ever offered perma-free. And the first anthology with multiple authors. And the first book that was filled with links throughout the text. Etc. etc. etc. Having said that, it was a labor of love and I’m SO glad I did it! And the authors are all super cool, and I made a lot of new friends. So… worth every minute of effort.

  1.  Why is the book always free?

I wanted this book to be perma-free across all channels so that it can be available to anyone. The real goal of Murder, U.S.A. was never to sell it as an entity of its own, but rather, to expose the authors and their works to as many readers as possible. It’s a marketing tool, not a product in and of itself. It is my hope that the authors will help to get the book out there, and that readers will buy the books they like based on the excerpts. It is for this reason that there are easy buy links for every book featured in Murder, U.S.A., right there at the end of the excerpt.

  1.  Explain how the book cover came to be. Why did you choose Damon Freeman’s cover company Damonza.com?

I have now used Damonza for four books—both of my full-length novels, Murder, U.S.A., and a fourth book I’m doing as a fee-for-service for another author. I keep going back to them because they do excellent work for a reasonable price and they are highly professional. For this cover, we asked them to come up with a few concepts, which they did, and then I basically took a vote among the authors in the anthology. The cover with the most votes won. Simple as that.

  1.  What would you want readers to know?

Blog Murder Lab ButtonI’d like readers to know that if they sign up on my Murder Lab mailing list (just click the icon in the upper left corner of the page), I’ll send them a free copy of a spreadsheet I put together which a lot of authors are finding very useful. In short, I once spent a giant sum of money on just about every paid advertising site I could find, and then I kept track of which sites really led to sales and which didn’t. Readers can just click that link for further details. I’d also like readers to know about my personal author site, www.kristenelisephd.com. This site is a bit different from Murder Lab in that while Murder Lab is geared toward readers and authors of all crime fiction, my author site is dedicated to topics featured in my own novels—which, by the way, are historical and medical mysteries and thrillers. AND, last, I’d like your readers to know that if they sign up on THAT website’s mailing list, which is separate from Murder Lab since they have different focuses, I will send them a free copy of The Vesuvius Isotope.

Copyscape Do Not Copy

 

Reluctant Medium is Free Today Only June 6, 2014

Praise for Reluctant Medium

Reluctant Medium

Reluctant Medium

Thank you Amazon readers:

I look forward to the next adventure and you should give this first paranormal mystery with reporter Rachel Blackstone a try. You won’t be disappointed. — Cheryl

Very funny, very good characters, very much a good mystery. It all adds up to an entertaining read for a wide range of tastes. I am hoping the next one is as eclectic. Enjoy this great read. — jbshorses

I really enjoyed this book! This book kept me up way too late. I can’t wait for the next one! — Angela Causey

Reluctant Medium has attained 21 reviews and has an overall rating of 4.4. Thanks to all of you who read and took the extra time to write a review. I appreciate it very much.

If you haven’t read Reluctant Medium, you can try it today free. Just click on the book cover.

 

The second in the series, Lemurian Medium, is available at: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00HE18XES

 

FREE Kindle eBook “Lemurian Medium” Paranormal Mystery

How Far Would You Go to Rescue a Friend?

“Hang on tight…it’s quite a trip!” — Concordia Belle, Amazon Reader/Reviewer

 

FREE May 29 & 30, 2014 at Amazon

 

Rachel BlaBook Cover Newest LM 6-2014ckstone, the Reluctant Medium, travels through time to a place known only by legend. She finds herself on a continent destined to sink beneath the sea. While some of the inhabitants seem friendly, there are others with decidedly violent temperaments. Can she find her friend before cataclysmic events prevent their escape? Find out free. Thank you for reading.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00HE18XES

Discover how Rachel Blackstone became the “Reluctant Medium” in Book 1:

http://www.amazon.com/Reluctant-Medi…um+g+g+collins

FREE eBook “Reluctant Medium” Paranormal Mystery

Would You Return the Dead?

Reluctant Medium

Reluctant Medium

Reluctant Medium is free today (May 17, 2014). Just click on the book cover to try it free.

Yesterday it was #1 in Mystery/Animals; #8 in Mystery/Women Sleuths; and #9 in Fantasy/Paranormal & Urban. Thanks for the fantastic response!

Just one moment of inattention and something evil slips through. Reporter Rachel Blackstone is a fact-based person trying to cope with something that defies explanation.

See how it all began. Today free.

Note: An interview with me will run in the Sunday’s Omni Mystery News. Omni Mystery News is part of a family of mystery publications. It also carries the Mystery Event Calendar. Keep up with all the latest mystery events and read about new and established writers.  Check it out at http://www.omnimysterynews.com/

FREE Sunday June 23, 2013 “Reluctant Medium” a Paranormal Fantasy/Mystery

FREE June 23, 2013 only. Paranormal Fantasy/Mystery “Reluctant Medium.”

Available only at Amazon

Available only at Amazon. Click here.

Oops! Just one moment of inattention and Rachel Blackstone’s life changed forever. She wanted to talk with her father’s spirit, instead a malevolent soul materialized when she performed a Native American ritual to return the dead. The reporter soon discovers she now has “talents” she doesn’t want; like seeing ghosts, both human and animal. But it’s the resurrected spirit she must somehow return before more deaths occur. She and best friend Chloe search the streets of Santa Fe to uncover the mystery of a housing project that may just connect to her father’s death and the evil walking among them.

(A Paranormal Fantasy/Mystery. Mild horror effects, profanity and humor.)

See how it all began. “Lemurian Medium” due out August 2013.

Here’s the link or click on the book cover above:  http://www.amazon.com/Reluctant-Medium-Series-ebook/dp/B008BVG8UQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1340067351&sr=8-1&keywords=reluctant+medium+g+g+collins

Free May 30 & 31, 2013: Reluctant Medium at Amazon

Reluctant Medium Free on Amazon May 30 & 31, 2013

Available Free at AmazonApril 13 & 14, 2013
Available Free at Amazon
May 30 & 31, 2013

http://www.amazon.com/Reluctant-Medium-Series-ebook/dp/B008BVG8UQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1340067351&sr=8-1&keywords=reluctant+medium+g+g+collins

Once you have opened the gates of hell, there is no return.

All Rachel Blackstone wants is to talk with her father; solve the mystery of how he died. Using a Native American ceremony given to her by a shaman, she summons him in this contemporary paranormal fantasy/mystery. Instead, a soul intent on revenge slips through and threatens people she loves. Now the Santa Fe, New Mexico reporter must follow the evil spirit, uncover its purpose and send it back. The shape-shifter has horrific powers. Rachel is tormented by what she has unleashed. There’s more. She’s seeing dead people; which frankly give her the creeps. Some are helpful; others lead her away from the truth. One spirit, a lone wolf, seems to have an uncertain allegiance. What she, and friend Chloe, uncover is an earthly scam involving both the quick and the dead. Rachel must play a dangerous game of supernatural treasure hunt to stop the ruthless ghost. To survive, she must discover her own powers during a climatic storm of earth, wind and fire. To fail is to die.

Contains: mild horror effects, profanity, humor.

Reluctant Medium Flies Off Amazon “Shelves” Free

Reluctant Medium Free: September 2 & 3, 2012

Yes, it’s true. Reluctant Medium has detected a free weekend ahead.  Here’s the quick low-down:

Kindle eBook
Copyright G G Collins

Kindle eBook at Amazon

Paranormal Mystery with Mild Horror Effects–and Humor! Really. Buddy story, two women friends.

Really short synopsis: Don’t bring back the dead. Bad things happen!

If you enjoy the book, would you please take a few minutes and write a short review? Doesn’t matter where: Amazon, Goodreads, Shelfari, your blog, all good.

To order: http://www.amazon.com/Reluctant-Medium-Series-ebook/dp/B008BVG8UQ/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1346086144&sr=1-1&keywords=Reluctant+Medium+g+g+collins

If you don’t have a Kindle, Amazon has a free program you can download to your computer or other device.

Thanks to all my followers of the Reluctant Medium at Large in Santa Fe. I appreciate you taking a chance on a new blog. Thanks for reading and commenting. There’s more to come. GG

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