Author Lili Anolik introduces DARK ROOMS…

Category: Uncategorized

091212-FC50When I’m nutshelling Dark Rooms, when I’m trying to make it sound maximum enticing in minimum time, I describe it like this: sex, murder, glamour and intrigue set at a New England boarding school. Because, oooee, right? Because, who wouldn’t want to read that book? Really, though, Dark Rooms is a mystery/coming-of-age story. I first got the idea at my ten-year high school reunion. Which, by the way, I had the best time at, a total blast, but later found out no one else did, at least not any of my friends, because they all took bad ecstasy and I just say no to drugs. (Actually, I didn’t even get to say no in that instance since nobody asked!) I’m straying off topic, though. The point is, the reunion got me thinking about high school again. I loved high school. For me, high school was the beginning of adult life. Suddenly, it was on, all of it. Everything was viable – sex, drugs, serious consequences, the whole kit and caboodle. A lot of your firsts happen during those years. First love. First sex. First heartbreak. First disillusionment. First betrayal. It’s a beautiful time. It’s a painful time. It’s a time that’s rife with dramatic possibilities, and is thus great for fiction.

And I loved the idea of using a boarding school as a setting. I went to one – Milton Academy, which is just outside Boston. These schools are worlds onto themselves. The students don’t just go to school at these places, they live there, too. (I mean, obviously they live there. Hence the term boarding school.) But it’s more than even that. Many of the students are legacies, have brothers or sisters, or dads or moms, or even grandfathers or grandmothers who’ve attended. So there’s a sense of history and ghosts, a sense that you’re part of an ongoing story. Plus, a lot of the teachers live on campus, either in faculty housing or as dorm parents. And the schools, consequently, have these claustrophobic, hothouse atmospheres. Atmospheres that are hormone-addled and hysteria-prone, too. When something happens to one person – a suicide attempt or a breakdown or a drug freak-out – it seems to affect everybody on campus. Moods are contagious, infectious. So, again, great for fiction.

And, finally, the mystery part. The mystery genre is for me the most seductive genre. I mean, hands down, without a doubt, no contest. The basic, most fundamental reason why people read is to find out what happened next. Mystery novels take care to answer that question in exciting and unexpected ways. Why wouldn’t I want to be part of that tradition?

Like the sound of Dark Rooms? It’s out on 4th June, but you can pre-order your copy now

Or if you can’t wait until next week, start reading now with our free sample! 

For more information about Lili, visit her website, or follow her on Twitter!


Katie’s Social Media Tips

Category: Featured

Many authors sign up to social media because they’ve been told they have to by their agent or publisher or on a blog on how to promote their writing. But once there, they’re not sure what to do! How much can you talk about your book? What should you write about? What happens if someone sends you a horrible message on Facebook? If you’re not sure how to strike the right tone as an author hopefully these tips from Digital Marketing Manager Katie will help…

1. Social media is not a sales tool

Having a presence on social media CAN sell books. But your presence should not just be about promoting yourself and your writing. Talk about things that are interesting to you. Have an opinion. Let people see an insight into your life beyond your book jacket. There is definitely a place on social media for talking about your books and reviews you are getting, and definitely a place for telling people to go and buy the book, but that can’t be all you talk about or people will switch off.

2. It’s not a one-way street

By this I mean: If someone tweets you or leaves a comment on your Facebook wall, respond! Interact with people who you find interesting, and respond to people who find you interesting. Use Facebook as your author page and ‘like’ pages (other author pages, brands or magazines that you feel are relevant to your books, publishers, whatever) that you’re interested in. Then make sure you regularly use Facebook as your author page and see what those pages are up to! When you see something interesting, like it or leave them a comment.

3. Be your (best) self

You should be yourself on social media, but sometimes it’s easy to forget that all sorts of other people read what you write. So if you have a bad week, try not to moan about it all day every day on Twitter. If you get a negative review on Amazon, don’t lambast that person on your Facebook author page. Imagine the editor of a magazine putting together a feature on you and then reading your tweets – how do you come across? Not every post needs to be witty and artfully constructed but you should try to be friendly and approachable.

4. Be prepared for negativity

Just as readers can leave you a one star review on Amazon, you do occasionally get people sending you negative messages. It hopefully won’t happen often (if ever!), but it’s best to be prepared. If someone is being rude or personally attacking you, I would advise not to engage with it. If someone has sent you something that upsets you, it can be hard not to immediately respond, but these things can easily get out of hand. Trolls feed off attention, so the best response is not to give them any.

5. Enjoy it!

I have made ‘internet friends’ on Twitter that have now translated into real life friendships (via group events and networking meetings, not ‘let’s meet at my flat for a coffee’ situations – be safe, kids!), and I know some authors have told me that it acts like a virtual water cooler for them – somewhere to take a break, chat to other authors, and find out what’s going on in the world. As long as you don’t let it become too much of a time suck, then it can be so much fun.

Specsavers Crime Thriller Awards 2014 – shortlists announced!

Category: News

It’s that time of year again Killer Readers… the time when the masters of intrigue, suspense, and murders most horrid are honoured in The Specsavers Crime Thriller Awards, in association with the Crime Writers’ Association!

The shortlists have officially been announced and there has been a flurry of excitement here at Killer Reads as our brilliant author, Greg Iles, has been shortlisted for the CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger for Best Thriller of the Year, for his stunning novel Natchez Burning

We’re also extremely proud to announce that S. J. Parris’ breath-taking historical thriller, Treachery, has been selected for the Crime Thriller book club, so will be critiqued on-air AND that the one and only Dean Koontz will feature in the Crime Thriller Club’s ‘living legends’ section – a series of interviews with bestselling authors in the world of crime and thriller fiction.

The awards will be the culmination of a six-week Crime Thriller Club series, which starts on ITV3 on 15th September, so make sure you tune in. The winners will then be announced at the Specsavers Crime Thriller Awards on Friday 24th October at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London.

For full details, visit the Crime Thriller Awards website

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Haven’t read these thrilling novels yet?

Order your copy of THE CITY, NATCHEZ BURNING and TREACHERY today and discover what you’re missing out on!