Tag Archives | Protected

Cindy M. Hogan loves all things detective, spy and murder.

Welcome to week 2 of Spies, Murder and Mystery!
We’re celebrating the release of A Spy Like Me:
Stripping your date down to his underwear has never been so dangerous.
Today we have Cindy M. Hogan with us, author of contemporary thrillers, Watched and Protected. She’s here to talk about one of her favorite things…. murder. Mwahahaha!
The game I loved to play the most when I was in grade school was Clue.
 I rocked it, too. In fact, I’d win every time and it didn’t involve cheating. I remember the day I realized that it wasn’t just listening to what people said that mattered, it was also important to listen to what they didn’t say. I think this game launched my love of all things detective, spy and murder related.
My favorite murder game today is none other than murder. Life size–just like I like it.
How do you play?
Find a basement that you can make completely dark. I mean completely dark. Then gather 15-20 friends to join you. Get some face cards and keep 2 Kings in the stack as well as enough other cards so that everyone will get one without any cards being left over. The 2 people who get the Kings are the murderers.The rest are townspeople.
Have the group stand in a circle and have everyone close their eyes and bow their heads. You, as the host, ask the murders to open their eyes. The murders look at each other while everyone else’s eyes are still closed. Then you ask them to close their eyes. Then ask everyone to open their eyes. Your eyes are closed, too, unless you are a murderer. Now, turn off the lights.
The murderers can strike 10 seconds after the lights go out. When the murderers find towns people, they gently slide their hand across the front of the towns people’s necks to kill them. The dead towns person must stay put until someone who is alive finds them and yells out “body-body”. Yes, the townspeople must move around asking if people are a “body” or dead or the murderers will win for sure. The dead person can not say anything until asked if they are a body. They can’t call out or moan or anything. They are dead, after all.
Then the lights are quickly turned on. All the dead go to an area designated as the morgue and everyone who is alive gets in a circle and they have two minutes to decide on who one of the murderers is. Once they have a majority vote, the person they have accused must say whether or not they were a murderer. If the answer is yes, the townspeople get a shot at accusing the second murderer. If the answer is no, that towns person is lynched and must go to the morgue and the lights are turned out for another round.
You continue this until everyone is dead and the murderers win or until the towns people discover both of the murderers.
So, grab some friends and play murder. Just beware…it’s addicting.
Enter to win a free copy of the first book in the Watched series, Watched. Just leave a comment here about your favorite game. Please tweet with @laurapauling. 
*** And just a side note from me – Laura. I love playing CLUE except no one like to play with me because I keep track of everything with tons of shorthand notes all over the slip of paper. No wonder I write about spies and mysteries!
Thanks so much, Cindy! Tell us your favorite game everyone!
Check out the sequel to Watched!
And check out my guest post on Roz Morris’s Undercover Soundtrack. I talk about the music behind A Spy Like Me!
Comments { 7 }

How to successfully launch a YA print novel.

How to successfully launch a YA print novel

Guest Post by Cindy M. Hogan
I have people ask me this question all the time after coming to one of my launches. Here’s
the answer:

First, invite authors who write different genres to come and participate in your launch. I write YA, so I get a picture book author, a middle grade author, a cookbook author and a few adult fiction authors to take part. I plan a game, get a local business to bring a treat for the first 100 customers and get people to donate lots of prizes for door prizes and drawings.
Now, you need to get the word out to the schools.

The great thing about being a YA author is that you can easily promote your book to teens through the schools. How do you do that?

First, get some professionally looking posters made up. Photoshop does amazing things. Print up the posters at Costco or somewhere similar. The posters only cost $3 each. Take them to Jr. highs and high schools in the area of your launch. Tell  the school office it is a literary event and make sure you have all authors at least listed on the poster. Do this 2 weeks before the event.

Second, create a teacher packet.

Make fliers that advertise the event. Use Photoshop or something like it. If that is beyond you, hire someone. Make one 8X10 and then make the same flier divided 4 per sheet. Find a place that prints on the cheap when you print large amounts of the same thing. Do black and white copies. I used this for my first launch and for the second, I found a sale for double sided 3X5 cards and made them into a cool invitation to give out for about 1/2 cent each.

Next, write a short and to the point letter to the English teachers of the schools. Every kid is required to take English every year of school, so you’ll hit them all. This letter should explain how the teacher could benefit from telling their students about the event and encouraging them to go.Offer a big prize for the teachers. Give something that the teachers won’t be able to refuse. A Nook or something. Tell them that each student that comes to the launch and tells you the name of the teacher who sent them, will earn them one entry to win the prize. The more of their students that come, the greater the chance they will have to win the prize. Ask them to hand out the fliers to their students and hang the 8X10 of the announcement you’ve created, by their door, where all the students will see it.
PUT an elastic around the small fliers and put a sticky note that has the teacher’s name on it on the letter.

Take these packets to the schools. Make sure you look nice and presentable. Ask if you can put the fliers for this literary event in the English teachers’ boxes. They will usually let you do it on your own. Sometimes they want to do it, though. Be respectful and kind and they will help you.

Thirdly, you need to make it a fun event. Go early. On my first launch, I had people there a half-hour early. I was the third highest selling author at an author signing ever at that Barnes and Noble. Not bad for a debut author.

Those are the basics of getting the schools involved. If I wrote about all of it, this post would be way too long. Here is a short list of more things to do to help you be successful.

  • Send a press release to the newspaper. They reviewed my book and told about the event.
  • Talk it up with everyone
  • Take fliers around your neighborhood the day before
  • Hang some fliers around town, wherever they’ll let you
  • Have all your peeps blog and Facebook about it.
  • Make a Facebook event for sure
  • Put the event on your author central page for Amazon
  • Make sure you have a tab on your blog dedicated to it.

Start early! There is a lot to do to be successful, but it will be worth it.

Find out more about Cindy HERE

Buy her books.    Barnes and Noble Watched on  Amazon Protected on  Amazon

Have you ever been to a debut author’s book launch? What would make you want to go?

Check out yesterday’s blog post here at Angela Carlie’s.

And tomorrow be sure to stop by Susan Kaye Quinn’s for another fantastic post!

Comments { 12 }