Thursday, April 16, 2015

Kathleen Ball - western romance writer with Irish roots

Kathleen Ball is a fellow author from Secret Cravings Publishing. One thing that captured my attention about Kathleen's online presence is her usage of Celtic ornaments. She is very proud of her Irish heritage.  Her grandparents came to the US in the 1920s. She has a huge vivacious family with tons of cousins. She is trying to research her grandfather's role in the IRA and what prison he escaped from. And when it comes to writing fiction, she chose the American West as her setting.

MJN: Your novels take place in the American West and feature sexy cowboys and women from all walks of life who love them.  Do you keep track of where your readers come from geographically? 

KB: My website tracks where views come from but I can tell by chatting with my fans- certain words they use or the way they spell- colour instead of color. One of my first fans is from Australia.

MJN: In 2012 you were a finalist in the RONE Awards. Would you mind sharing about the submission process?   

KB: It’s a contest run by InD’tale Magazine. If they review your book and you get 4 stars or higher you are a finalist. The award ceremony was in Vegas that year and it was a lot of fun.

MJN: A French film director, Eric Rohmer, created a series of films tied to the four seasons. You also have a series of Western romances with female protagonists named after a different season.  Did you intend to tie each novel in the series with a particular season in the protagonist's life?  For instance, winter traditionally is associated with a time of slumber and preparation for a revival.

KB: No. The first book was Winter’s Embrace- it was the original Summer’s Desire. I didn’t plan on a series but Summer’s Story needed to be told. When I realized it was mainly set in winter I changed Summer’s name to Winter and  realized I had a great idea for a series. The series main theme throughout is rescue horses. Each hero participates in their own unique way to care for these horses. The series in order is Summer’sDesire, Autumn’s Hope, Winter’s Embrace and Spring’s Delight.

MJN: In addition to being a successful romance author, you are also a cosmetics distributor, working for Mary Kay.  The entrepreneurial spirit is alive in you.  Do you feel that your two networks in the cosmetic and the literary worlds nourish each other? 

KB: The demographic is the pretty much the same- female. When I run contests I find more people like to win Mary Kay Cosmetics.

MJN: You have a very sophisticated interactive web site.  Do you find that it to be an effective tool in attracting readers, or do you rely on other methods like Twitter more (you have 24K followers).

KB: I’m always trying new things while adding to what I already have. I have a website, I interact with fans on facebook. I have a good following on pinterest and lately twitter has been my best resource. I belong to a couple twitter sharing groups and I get a ton of retweets. I’ve tried to make sure most of my followers are, readers, writers, reviewers and bloggers. I just opened a gig at Fiverr where I will tweet your book 4 times for $5.00. It takes a long time to build up such a following and exposure.

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