Intentional Book Blitz
I know this has to stop. Something has to give. A person cannot die of a broken heart. Believe me, I know. I’ve been waiting—and it’s just not happening.
What would you do in the face of the ultimate betrayal? This is the question facing the characters in MK Harkins’s riveting debut novel, Intentional. They will soon learn, however, that when love is involved, nothing is ever quite as it seems.
Mattie and Jeremy are engaged to be married and looking forward to a lifetime of love. It all crumbles away, however, when Mattie comes across evidence of a massive betrayal. Mattie flees to Washington in an attempt to start a new life and meets Cade, a tattooed engineer by day and lead singer in a rock band by night. Their mutual attraction enflames Mattie, even as her heart still aches for her former fiancé. Just when it appears that Mattie may have found another stab at happiness, her past comes rushing back. As events unfold, it becomes clear to Mattie that things in her past may not have been quite what they seemed. Will Mattie ever learn the truth behind what really happened? And if she does, could it mean a new beginning with Jeremy, or will it be too late?
Readers will instantly be swept up in the saga of love and heartbreak that unfolds. Offering a rarely-before-seen glimpse into the heart and mind of a romantic villain, audiences will find a welcome reprieve from the typical romance novel.
I have always been a voracious reader. After hitting a dry spell of reading material, I decided to write the kind of book I would like to read. This resulted in the creation of my debut novel, Intentional, with a sequel already in the works.
When I’m not writing novels, I enjoy traveling the world, rain, watching movies and cooking. I also run my own business in my current hometown of Mercer Island, Washington
- What are your ambitions for your writing career?
I would love to see Intentional become a success so I can continue writing professionally.
- Which writers inspire you?
I love Colleen Hoover (of course, doesn’t everyone?) I also enjoy Diana Gabaldon (The Outlander Series) I love her detailed writing style (I usually get bored with too many details in a book, but she has a way of making it interesting)
- What have you written? (*Include books, novellas, short stories, poems, blogs, awards, or anything of interest*)
Intentional – my first foray into the writing world!
- Give us some insight into the main character. What does he/she do that is so special?
Mattie is the main character. I think Mattie is special because she’s a survivor. She doesn’t use excuses to succumb to bad behavior. She gets knocked down a few times, but she fights her way back, opening herself up to living life and loving again.
- What are you working on right now?
I have a follow up book, Unintentional that I’ve started. It follows the life of one of the characters of Intentional (To find out, you’ll have to wait!) Intentional is a stand-alone book – it doesn’t have a cliffhanger.
- What genre are your books?
Romance (NA) contemporary
- What draws you to this genre?
I enjoy reading all romance! To be honest, most romance novels have the same element – boy meets girl, there’s a conflict – something that keeps them apart, and there’s a resolution and everyone lives happily ever after. After years of reading romance, you think I might get bored – no way! I love the way each author makes each story their own. I know when I’m reading a really great book when the author has put their own unique spin on the story, so the predictable becomes engaging and fresh.
- Have you written any other novels in collaboration with any other authors?
- When did you decide to become an author?
February 3rd, 2013. I know the exact day (!) I ran out of reading material on my Kindle. I stared at the wall (I think for around two hours) I had a light bulb moment. I thought “Well, if I can’t find anything to read. I’ll just write something.” I opened my computer and off I went!
- Why do you write?
Some authors write for themselves, not me. Because I love reading so much, I appreciate and respect (and love) the authors that can bring me a story that makes me laugh and/or cry. I write for the readers – because it would make me incredibly happy to give them the gift of a story that takes them away for a while, something they can enjoy. It is the greatest joy to me when someone tells me they loved my book.
- Do you have a special time you write or how is your day structured?
When I’m in “the zone” there is no structure! I get up and write until my eyeballs start to blur.
- Where do your ideas come from?
It’s a combination of life experience and what I like to read.
- What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book?
Worrying about how people would receive it. I kept it a secret for months (even my family) Slowly, but surely, I started to let people know about it and finally, actually letting them read it! I went from not telling a soul about my book to appearing on KOMO News 4 11:00 live show on July 30th. Let’s just say I’ve come full circle!
- What is the easiest thing about writing?
I don’t know if this will happen again, but this story poured out of me the second I put my hands on the keyboard.
- How long on average does it take you to write a book?
Intentional took around four months, start to finish
- Do you ever get writer’s block?
Not yet – I’m keeping my fingers crossed!
- How many more books do you plan to be in this series?
I have one follow up planned. I have other ideas for future books after that.
- What project are you working on now?
- Who designs your book covers?
- How are you published (*i.e. indie, traditional, or both) and why?
Indie. I probably shouldn’t admit this – but impatience would be the main reason for going Indie. Once I finished writing Intentional, the thought of waiting months, possibly years for a book deal to be inked, didn’t appeal to me at all. Also, most of my favorite authors/books are Indie.
- What would you say are the main advantages/disadvantages about being self-published/traditional publishing?
The main advantages: the author gets to decide the timing of the book – the release dates, etc. The disadvantages? After talking with some published authors, I can’t really find any! I would have said previously that the main advantage would have been to have the publisher promote the book. All of my published friends are doing their own promotions….so, unless a huge publisher came to me and offered millions of dollars, promotion, editing, cover, etc. I’m sticking with Indie J
- How do you market your books?
Right now I am participating in the Amazon KDP select program. I am using twitter to get the message out when I get a good review. I use facebook to network with other authors. This has turned out to be very helpful. Recently, the opportunity to appear on our local television station (KOMO News 4) presented itself and I happily agreed to talk in a live interview about Intentional.
- How did you choose this route?
Google is my friend J I spent three solid days researching the pros/cons of self-publishing vs. traditional. After I made the decision to go the self- publishing route, I spent another three days choosing the best company to meet my needs – Createspace
- Do you have any advice for other authors taking the same route as you?
Yes, I would tell them to go to Createspace
- Do you have a strategy for finding book reviewers?
Begging and pleading – haha. Well, close! I did the Goodreads giveaway. I think this was a good way to get exposure. I have been trying to get reviewers through twitter, which has resulted in a few reviews. I have joined some book clubs (Readers and Reviewers Unite)
- Do you have any amusing stories from your adventures in the writing world?
I have been amusing my children almost daily with my questions about social media. I’ve been receiving a lot of eye rolls. The final straw came when I referred to my twitter followers as “tweeters”
- What are your views on social networking for marketing? Which worked best for you?
I wouldn’t have said this at the start, but I believe facebook has been the most helpful. At first, it looked like it might be a place for everyone to promote their newest book (which it is) but if you look closely (and choose your friends carefully) you will see a big support system as an integral part of the facebook friends network.
- Did you make any marketing mistakes or is there anything you would avoid in the future?
If I had to do again, I would use beta readers and have a bunch of people willing to review the book before it released.
- What is your favorite motivational phrase?
This is from Point of Retreat (Colleen Hoover) “You know they want to come out. So keep at it. Make it a practice. And write poorly, write awfully, write with abandon and it may end up being really, really good”.
- What is your favorite book and why?
Pride and Prejudice – what can I say? It has everything! I loved the characters, the setting, the conflicts, and the resolution.
- Where can you see yourself in 5 years time?
I would love it if I could be doing exactly what I’m doing now. I’ve never had so much fun in my life!
- What advice would you give to your younger self?
Don’t worry so much about what people think.
I look over at Jeremy; he’s smiling happily, oblivious to my turmoil. He’s accustomed to this; I most certainly am not. I’ve got the sweaty hands, racing-heart thing going on as Jeremy grabs my hand and leads me to the front door. He grins over at me, takes the flowers out of my hand, and wraps me up in his arms for a passionate kiss.
What is he doing? Just as I’m about to give him a good, hard shove, I hear the front door opening. No, this can’t be happening. Maybe it’s the butler or something. I pray it’s the butler as I look up at the doorway. It looks like I’m out of luck, because staring back at us are Jeremy’s parents. Both of them. They stand together, smiling. I’ve seen his parents’ pictures on display at Jeremy’s house, so my last hope of a stranger watching us kiss evaporates. He is in so much trouble.
Jeremy shakes his head in wonderment. “I’m so in love with you. I don’t know what to do with all of these feelings. I’ve never experienced anything like this in my life.” He looks panicked for a moment. “You’re not going to break my heart, are you?”
I whisper “Please don’t make me.”
Ten things I didn’t know about self-publishing
I will admit, I knew absolutely zero (nothing!) about self publishing when I started this adventure 🙂 I will narrow it down to ten.
1.) It was easier than I thought. I googled my way to Createspace
2.) Createspace is like a well-oiled machine. I was assigned a publishing consultant, John Schuster (great publisher name!) he organized all my orders with the various departments. If I had a question, he would answer within 24 hours.
3.) I was able to accomplish everything I needed at CreateSpace (I started with an editorial evaluation, moved to choosing a book cover and ended with a copyedit)
4.) When you self publish, there is a lot of self promotion involved. I joined twitter, Goodreads and made an author facebook page.
5.) Everyone wants to be your friend on facebook!
6.) I’ve met some wonderful authors and bloggers through the social media (mostly facebook)
7.) Promoting is hard work! It’s fun, but very time consuming
8.) There are a lot of people who can help, but the challenge is to find them.
9.) Other authors really want you to succeed. I don’t sense any competition from the Indie authors at all. They sincerely want to help.
10.) I am surprised that I would have so much fun. I’ve met wonderful, inspiring people – who I believe will be life long friends. This has been such a positive experience I would recommend it to anyone who loves/wants to write.