The Author Strikes Back about her amazing success as a New York Times bestselling self-published author with a romantic suspense, NOT WHAT SHE SEEMS. Ms. Lieske has now self-published her second novel, THE OVERTAKING, and yes, it's Science Fiction Romance! She agreed to do a follow-up interview for the SFR Brigade, including a scoop on the story.
Welcome, Vicki, and many congratulations on your second release.
Q: After the stellar success of NOT WHAT SHE SEEMS, please tell us why you decided to switch subgenres and self-publish a SFR as your encore novel.
It's funny because the idea for THE OVERTAKING came to me years ago, when I was first married. I started writing it back then, and then got busy and never got more than ten pages done. But after writing NOT WHAT SHE SEEMS I dusted off that old beginning and had a peek at it. It was horrible. But the idea still intrigued me, so I threw out what I had and started over. This was before NOT WHAT SHE SEEMS took off, so I figured I could write whatever I wanted.
Q: Tell us a little about THE OVERTAKING. How did the core idea for the story come to you? Where or when does the story take place? What are the science fiction elements of the story and how does the romance and conflict develop?
The core idea for THE OVERTAKING was simply a what-if. What if we found out we weren't on Earth? What if everything around us was fake? What if our memories were altered? This idea formed in my mind almost fifteen years ago, and has taken this long to become a novel. The story takes place on a planet of peaceful people, where another race of humanoids invade and capture everyone, putting them into a created world, which is Earth as we know it. The science fiction is fairly soft in the book, you won't find long technical explanations. It's mostly a backdrop to the story. The romance develops when Danielle, a member of the overtaking race, falls in love with Shayne, who starts remembering pieces of his past life.
Q: Can you tell us a little about the story?
The story is basically about Shayne and Danielle, two members of opposing races, and how they fall in love and find out that things aren't what they appear to be. Here's my blurb: Shayne Bartlet has been kidnapped, his powers disabled and his memory altered. He’s not having a good day. And he doesn’t even know it.
When Shayne’s telepathic abilities surface, he finds out Danielle isn’t the normal teenager she appears to be. In fact, she’s not even from his world. And when he finds out her race is responsible for the overtaking of his entire planet, he sets out to uncover the truth about her.
Danielle didn’t mean to fall in love with a Maslonian boy. Her job was to observe and report. But when Shayne’s well being is at stake she goes against orders to help him, putting her own self in danger.
THE OVERTAKING is 59,000 words, 288 pages in paperback.
Q: I think the cover of THE OVERTAKING is very striking. Did you design the cover yourself or was it created by a cover artist? How did you decide what you wanted the cover to look like?
Thank you. I did design the cover myself. I do have a graphic design background, so I am fortunate to know a little something about design. And I was lucky to find a photo that I really liked on istockphoto.com. Originally I was looking for an image of a glass dome that I could alter and put a city scape inside, but after looking through many images I wasn't finding anything that would work. Then I changed my focus and started looking for pictures of Earth. An Earth in someone's hand would have worked well, but I didn't find a good image of that either, so I just looked for photos of Earth from space. The one I chose had a great ominous feeling to it, which works well with the theme of the book. After choosing the photo it was just a matter of finding the right font and placing the words. I used the same font from my first book, which looked even better on THE OVERTAKING. I think writers sometimes underestimate the power of a good, professional looking font. I highly suggest all indie authors hire a graphic designer, a good cover can make a huge difference.
Q: I understand the novel will also be available in paperback soon. Can you tell us more about that?
Yes, we submitted the files to CreateSpace over the weekend and we'll be getting our proof copy soon. Once we approve the proof copy, it will be available to purchase on Amazon and on my website, at www.victorinelieske.com. The paperback copy is $14.95, and the Kindle/Nook copy is $2.99.
The main advantage for me is control to price the ebook low. In fact, I can undercut the big publishing houses and still make a decent profit. If I can price low, I can get sales from people looking for a good book with a tight budget. I also think $2.99 is a fair price for an ebook.
Q: What strategy are you using to promote THE OVERTAKING and is it different from your strategy for your first novel?
My strategy is going to be the same, get the novel in front of people's eyes. The best way to do this is to submit to book bloggers and get some reviews. I will also do giveaways on my facebook fan page, http://facebook.com/victorinelieske. If I can get some buzz going, that will help with sales. That's pretty much what I did for my first book.
Q: Will THE OVERTAKING be a single title, or have you given any consideration to another book or books that take place in the same universe? If a single title, do you have any other SFRs in the works?
THE OVERTAKING is the first book of a series. Since I'm a seat-of-my-pants writer, I don't know how many more books there will be. I have ideas for two more books, but there could be more.
Q: What will your next project be?
I've already started writing the second book in THE OVERTAKING series. I'm also working on a short work, it's a YA romance about a girl whose lifetime crush asks her to help him get a date with the head cheerleader.
Thanks for taking time out to share the news and details about THE OVERTAKING with us, Vicki. Here’s hoping your debut SFR will be another smashing success.
If you have any questions or thoughts for Victorine Lieske, please comment below.
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