21 May 2011

Book Savvy Spotlight on Bryony Allen

Bringing you exclusive interviews with authors featured in the Book Savvy Newsletter.


Our Guest, Bryony Allen writes Adult and Young Adult fiction. She is the author of 'Mystery, Deceit and a School Inspector' and 'OTOLI', her latest book. Bryony is a teacher and currently lives in the beautiful wilds of the Suffolk countryside with her husband, four children, and the family pets of cats and dogs.

Enjoy the interview.

Q1. Can you tell us a little about yourself and your book 'OTOLI'?
I am a primary school teacher and mother of four. I live in a village in the Suffolk countryside and I absolutely love it here. Writing has always been a passion of mine although motherhood, dog walking and work pushes it to the back burner, except in the dark hours of the morning. I am also an avid reader, especially of crime fiction.
'OTOLI' is a book aimed at the teen / young adult audience. It is a tale of how three teenagers coped against bullies and social isolation. But it is more than just a triumph against the bullies; it is a story of twisted revenge and the supernatural.
I am currently polishing another teen book called 'The Assembly Room' that combines the events of the 1645 Suffolk witch hunts with the modern world.

Q2. When you write what emotion do you seek to evoke in your readers?
I want my readers to feel what my characters are feeling, but, in 'OTOLI', I also want them to look at the action and feel the injustice.

Q3. How do you get the inspiration for your stories, is it all imagined or do you get some inspiration from real life experiences?
Getting inspiration for 'OTOLI' was simple. I have seen the effect of bullying so many times both in my domestic and my work life, although I did amplify the experiences for dramatic effect.

Q4. Why did you write OTOLI & what does OTOLI mean?
I wrote 'OTOLI' because if I can make one bully feel bad for the effect he/she has on his/her victim, then I will have achieved something.
As for what 'OTOLI' means...you'll just have to read the book to find out!

Q5. What is the first thing you did to promote your book OTOLI once your publisher accepted your manuscript?
I set up a 'Goodreads' campaign and giveaway targeting teen readers worldwide. Also, I set up a 'Facebook' page, sent a few 'tweets' out and updated my own web page. The whole process with Pneuma Springs has been quick, friendly and professional. I always thought that writing the book was the hard work, but it isn't. The real work starts with the post-acceptance proof-reading and marketing.

Q6. If you had to pick just one book marketing tool that you've used to promote your book, which would you say has been the most effective?
It would have to be the use of online reading websites. 'Goodreads' is an excellent site as there are so many people who are after something new to read, and the site is great for publicity.

Q7. Do you do more promoting online or offline and which do you prefer?
Definitely online. It is so much easier to do when I get a spare minute, and you get immediate visibility.

Q8. Do you use social networks such as Twitter and Facebook to promote your books and have you had any success with it?
I use Twitter to send out random excerpts of the book - that seems to have drawn a lot of followers. The Facebook page is gaining momentum. I also use 'Youwriteon' which is a great website to have your work critiqued by total strangers. You get independent advice about your writing and it really helps.
Q9. Do you recommend authors getting publicists to help them promote their books? Do you have one?
No, I don't have one but it would help to reach the literary audiences that mere mortals cannot reach on their own! If money was no object, I'd hire one. This is because you need to get your name known, so join good reading/critique online communities, tweet regularly and keep the name of the book flying about the cyberwaves.

Q10. We note that a portion of all proceeds from the sale of OTOLI will be donated to 'Bullying UK' why did you involve this organisation?
As you will have guessed, bullying is an issue I feel strongly about. All these charities do such a valuable job in supporting victims who sometimes think they have nowhere else to turn.
Besides, 'Bullying UK' were one of the first to follow me on Twitter!


Thank you for your time. We wish you every success in your writing career.
Find out more about Bryony Allen' Published books: 'Mystery, Deceit and a School Inspector' and 'OTOLI'.

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