SPOOF!

SPOOF!

By Kathy Clark

 

It used to be people would say “it is what it is.”   But that may no longer be true.  Actually, it is getting less true every day.

REALITY ROMANCE novels are stories about real people engaged in normal activities whose lives are interrupted by the unexpected.

But what is reality in the early part of the Twenty-first Century?

In current films, for example, it is increasingly difficult to identify the parts of the movie that are real and those that are CGI (computer graphic imaging).

Today, most people glance at their phone screens and check the caller ID before answering their phone.  But few people realize that with little or no technical expertise, it’s easy to make any name and number appear as the caller ID on your phone.  Every day people get called by the police or the IRS with warnings about arrests or worse because money is owed for unpaid tickets or taxes.  But don’t send them that check.  It’s probably scammers who have misidentified themselves as authorities that you trust.  SPOOF!

Maybe you’ve received an email from someone and in fact the sender never sent the email.  SPOOF!

A newer, more complex trick is to cause someone’s geographical location as shown on their cell phone or vehicle GPS device to be somewhere it isn’t.   SPOOF!

REALITY ROMANCE is contemporary life.  In the third book of our SCANDALS series, WORST DATE EVER, an on-line dating service is hit by a spoofer.  As the incidences escalate from identity theft to murder, Tulsa and a millionaire fireman must work together to stop the hacker.  Of course, romance and mayhem follows.

Go to this link to find the best priced copy of WORST DATE EVER, book #3 from our SCANDALS Series-  www.lrd.to/worst-date-ever

Here are the first three books in the SCANDALS Series…

 

And our website has all of our books – http://www.LoveRealityRomance.com

 

There are many types of spoofing but here are a few of our favorites as they frequently show up in our Twenty-first Century news, TV shows, films, and books:

CALLER ID SPOOFING

  • Public telephone networks often provide Caller IDinformation, which includes the caller’s name and number, with each call. However, some technologies (especially in Voice over IP (VoIP) networks) allow callers to forge Caller ID information and present false names and numbers. Gateways between networks that allow such spoofing and other public networks then forward that false information.  Since spoofed calls can originate from other countries, the laws in the receiver’s country may not apply to the caller. This limits laws’ effectiveness against the use of spoofed Caller ID information to further a scam.  So next time a police officer or an IRS agent calls, don’t panic.  Unless you’re expecting the call, it’s probably not really an official.

 

eMAIL SPOOFING

  • The sender information shown in e-mails(the “From” field) can be easily spoofed. This technique is commonly used by spammers to hide the origin of their e-mails and leads to problems such as misdirected bounces (i.e. e-mail spambackscatter). E-mail address spoofing is done in a similar manner as writing a forged return address using snail mail. As long as the letter fits the protocol, (i.e. stamp, postal code) the SMTP protocol will send the message. It can be done using a mail server with telnet.

 

GPS SPOOFING

  • GPSspoofing attack attempts to deceive a GPS receiver by broadcasting counterfeit GPS signals, structured to resemble a set of normal GPS signals, or by rebroadcasting genuine signals captured elsewhere or at a different time.  A “proof-of-concept” attack was successfully performed in June, 2013, when the luxury yacht “White Rose” was misdirected with spoofed GPS signals from Monaco to the island of Rhodes by a group of aerospace engineering students from the Cockrell School of Engineering at the University of Texas in Austin. The students were aboard the yacht, allowing their spoofing equipment to gradually overpower the signal strengths of the actual GPS constellation satellites, altering the course of the yacht.

 

All of these fascinating new technologies can create great conflicts and plotlines in current literature and other forms of entertainment.  It changes every day, so if you’re a writer, be sure and do your homework.  If you’re a consumer…BEWARE.

Bottom line?  What it is isn’t what it is.

 

Overboard

OVERBOARD

By Kathy Clark

One of the best things I did to improve my overall writing skills was to take screenwriting classes.  I had already had twenty-three novels published before I decided to give Hollywood a shot.  There was no question that I knew how to plot a novel and create characters.  But what I learned from writing screenplays was the delicate art form of pacing, set-ups and payoffs, backstory without lengthy narrative, and fast-paced scene structure.  I also learned how to write interesting, realistic characters who reveal themselves through actions and dialogue.

I’ve read hundreds of blogs and articles about characters, plotting, and structure.  Most cite classic authors such as Hemingway and Steinbeck.  But when I was an adjunct professor, I used a little-know movie as my best example of a well-executed plot and great character development.  It’s not what most would consider a must-see film, but on a basic level, it’s enjoyable.  As an example of how to write a novel or a movie, it’s fantastic.  The name of the movie is….drum roll, please…a 1987 Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell film, Overboard.

Not what you expected, I bet.  But, considering that it was written by Leslie Dixon who also wrote Loverboy, Outrageous Fortune, and The Heartbreak Kid and directed by the incredibly talented Garry Marshall, it comes as no surprise that this film followed a tried-and-true formula.

The set-up is that a ridiculously spoiled heiress (Joanna), who is so disliked even her mother avoids her, hires a local carpenter (Dean) to remodel a closet on her yacht.  He does a fabulous job but, instead of praise, she is rude, condescending, and shorts his pay.  The author set up Joanna perfectly so that when she fell overboard during a stormy night, you weren’t very sympathetic.  She is rescued, but she has amnesia and doesn’t realize her yacht is sailing off without her (and that her husband and crew are partying big time!)  Through a plot twist, she ends up at Dean’s house under the misconception that she is his wife and Dean’s wild sons are her children.  During the course of his attempt to get back at her, they fall in love and she learns humility, respect, and the true meaning of happiness.  Anyway, you get the plot.  Goldie’s character starts out as a totally unlikeable bitch.  We all know that you can make your heroes and heroines as bad and flawed as you want…as long as they are eventually redeemed.

Goldie’s character began as an extreme.  But remember, Overboard was released in 1987, pre-social media, even prior to the explosion of the internet.  Update the character to 2016 and maybe change her last name to Kardashian, and you have basically the same shallow, self-centered person.  The good news is that that kind of character has plenty of room to grow and develop.  It’s important to give all your major characters a strong arc to show how they have changed and improved because of whatever went on during the course of the book, including true love.

But where do you start?  How do you write characters who start out superficial and end up being substantive?  Here are a few examples of people you don’t want to know by Shana Lebowitz as seen in the Business Insider.  She has presented this for real people, but it’s easily adaptable to your fictional cast of characters.  Pick one or two quirks as the basis for your characters’ genesis, then have fun with it.

 

Disclosing something extremely personal early on in a relationship

In general, people like each other more after they’ve traded confidences. Self-disclosure is one of the best ways to make friends as an adult.

But psychologists say that disclosing something too intimate — say, that your sister is having an extramarital affair — while you’re still getting to know someone can make you seem insecure and decrease your likability.

The key is to get personal without getting overly personal. As one study led by Susan Sprecher at Illinois State University suggests, simply sharing details about your hobbies and your favorite childhood memories can make you seem warmer and more likable.

 

Asking someone questions without talking about yourself at all

Susan Sprecher also found an important caveat to the idea that self-disclosure predicts closeness: It has to be mutual. People generally like you less if you don’t reciprocate when they disclose something intimate.

In the study, unacquainted participants either engaged in back-and-forth self-disclosure or took turns self-disclosing for 12 minutes each while the other listened. Results showed that participants in the back-and-forth group liked each other significantly more.

As the authors write, “Although shy or socially anxious people may ask questions of the other to detract attention from themselves, our research shows that this is not a good strategy for relationship initiation. Both participants in an interaction need to disclose to generate mutual closeness and liking.

 

Hiding your emotions

Research suggests that letting your real feelings come through is a better strategy for getting people to like you than bottling it all up.

In one study, researchers videotaped people watching the fake-orgasm scene from the movie When Harry Met Sally and a sad scene from the movie The Champ. In some cases, the actors were instructed to react naturally; in another they were instructed to suppress their emotions.

College students then watched the four versions of the videos. Researchers measured how much the students would be interested in befriending the people in the videos, as well as their assessments of the personalities of the people in the videos.

Results showed that suppressors were judged less likable — as well as less extroverted and agreeable — than people who emoted naturally.

 

Acting Too Nice

You might think you’ll win people over by acting altruistically, but science suggests otherwise.

In a 2010 study, researchers at Washington State University gave college students points that they could keep or redeem for meal-service vouchers. Participants were told that they were playing in groups of five — even though four of them were manipulations by the researchers — and were told that giving up points would boost the group’s chance of getting a monetary reward.

Some of the “fake” participants would give up lots of points and only take a few vouchers. As it turns out, most participants said they wouldn’t want to work with their unselfish teammate again. Some said the unselfish teammate made them look bad; others suspected they had ulterior motives.

 

Humblebragging

To impress friends and potential employers, avoid complimenting yourself and trying to disguise it as self-criticism. This behavior, otherwise known as “humblebragging,” could be a turn-off, according to a recent study.

In the study, college students were asked to write down how they’d answer a question about their biggest weakness in a job interview. Results showed that more than three-quarters of participants humblebragged, usually about being a perfectionist or working too hard.

Yet independent research assistants said they’d be more likely to hire the participants who were honest, and found them significantly more likable. Those students said things like, “I’m not always the best at staying organized” and “Sometimes I overreact to situations.”

 

Not having a sense of humor

If you’re looking to make friends, you might want to loosen up.

One study of 140 Chinese workers between ages 26 and 35 found that people were less well-liked and less popular among their colleagues if they were “morally focused.” That means they placed a high value on displaying caring, fairness, and other moral traits.

The researchers explained that was because morally focused individuals were perceived as less humorous by their colleagues. Note that this research isn’t an excuse to stop caring about or acting fairly toward your coworkers. But consider it a reason to act less uptight around them.

 

Not smiling

When you’re at a networking event, meeting tons of new people, it can be hard to keep a smile plastered on your face. But you might want to try.

In one study, nearly 100 undergraduate women looked at photos of another woman in one of four poses: smiling in an open body position, smiling in a closed body position, not smiling in an open body position, or not smiling in a closed body position. Results showed that the woman in the photo was liked most when she was smiling, regardless of her body position.

Bonus: Another study found that smiling when you first meet someone helps ensure that they’ll remember you later.

 

Acting like you don’t like someone

Psychologists have known for a while about a phenomenon called “reciprocity of liking“: When we think someone likes us, we tend to like them as well.

In one study, for example, participants were told that certain members of a group discussion would probably like them. (These group members were chosen randomly by the experimenter.) After the discussion, participants indicated that the people they liked best were the ones who supposedly liked them.

If you don’t express fondness for the person you’re meeting, you could potentially turn them off and send them in search of someone who does seem to care about them.

 

Now that you know how to make your Johanna an unpleasant character, what are you going to do to make us love her?

 

Discover all of Kathy’s screenplays and novels on http://www.LoveRealityRomance.com

The current series are located as follows –

 

Adult Contemporary Romance [Denver Heroes & Austin Heroes]

http://www.LoveRealityRomance.com/Romantic_Suspense.html

 

New Adult Romance –

http://www.LoveRealityRomance.com/SCANDALS.html

 

Young Adult Romance Time Travel –

http://www.LoveRealityRomance.com/Young_Adult.html

 

 

#romance #realityromance #overboard #goldiehawn # KurtRussell #Kardashian #garymarshall #harlequin #loveswept #penguinrandomhouse #newadult

SEX AT WORK Or LOOK WHO’S MAKING COFFEE!

 

By

Kathy Clark

 

What do Barrack Obama, Bill Gates, Elizabeth Taylor, Mark Zuckerberg, and Brad Pitt have in common?

They all had a workplace romance with one or more of their co-workers.  In Reality Romance novels, workplace romances are often central to the story.  Even Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele start out in his office…and we all know where that story ended up.

So what’s happening on the job while people are working nine-to-five?

The facts, based on surveys from Vault.com and Forbes give us facts about the reality of office romances.  Who’s doing it?  55% of women surveyed and 56% of men have been willing participants in some type of workplace relationship.  Career climbers?  Hardly.  Only 3% did so with the expectation of gaining pay, stature, or position.  That leaves 97% who did it just for fun or personal reasons.

How do these relationships start?  Why does it makes a good plot for a Reality Romance  novel?

  • 19% happened while traveling out of town
  • 12% “ran into each other” outside of work
  • 11% the relationship was sparked at a happy hour get together
  • 10% evolved after late nights at work together
  • 10% were lunch buddies first
  • 9% said it was love at first site

The survey leaves 29% who either didn’t volunteer how their workplace romance started.  On the other hand, we all know people who have had multiple office romances and therefore the above statistics may also include some double dipping, so to speak.

The survey led us to investigate further.  When sex was involved, here’s what people claimed:

  • 19% have done it on the job
  • 89% of those admitted to having been caught doing it

The conclusion must be that if you do it on the job, there is a very high chance of being caught.  Perhaps that’s part of the appeal.  Some people’s libido is heightened by danger or risk.

The breakdown statistics of where the romance takes place when on the job are not as clear.  The most common places to be discovered having sex at work were in the board room, the engineering lab, the stairwell, and the office kitchen.   Surprisingly, the breakroom was not a highly frequented place and the employee’s vehicle wasn’t mentioned.

 

By now you’ve got to be asking why?  In a word…attraction.  And there are three factors that lead to work place romances developing:

  • We gain attraction to others based on our familiarity and proximity to them. If you spend eight hours a day with a co-worker, and three waking hours with your spouse, this can give an office mate the advantage.
  • We spend one-third of our lives at work, dealing with the same clients and problems as our co-workers. Having something in common, even if it is on an impersonal level, can create the illusion of a deeper bond.
  • The average coworker comes to work well-groomed, nicely dressed and on their best behavior. Believe it or not, you are actually seeing the best of those you work with.

Before you toss all the research and surveys away, one more set of statistics.  Which businesses or industries are the most fertile, so to speak?

  • 72% in the insurance sector
  • 70% in education
  • 60% finance and banking
  • 59% manufacturing
  • 56% technology
  • 55% energy
  • 49% law
  • 49% accounting

Are there lessons to be learned by these eager office scoundrels?  Regardless of how things turned out, men and women would likely participate in another office romance, with 70% of men saying they would do it again.  While that number dips slightly among women, with only 62% saying they would pursue another workplace relationship if the option became available.  The general consensus on office romances amongst both sexes is clear.  Why not?

One major facet of on-the-job romances is the part that stretches beyond bosses and subordinates and co-workers. The workplace includes customers, be they clients, victims, or suspects.  That is real life which is what Reality Romances are all about.

On-the-job romances are a fact of life and, therefore, are juicy subjects in Reality Romances.  We’ve written and had published 14 novels since 2012.  Discounting the four YA time travel mystery romances in our Time Shifters series, here’s where our Reality Romance novels fall as regards work place romance stories –

  • Romantic Suspense, New Adult [Indie published]
    • Due Dates
      • Our heroine, Killeen Ames, discovers her new life comes with a man she can’t resist who doesn’t know the dark secrets of her past.  Doubly unfortunate, the man is a co-worker and now her boss.
    • Killer Date
      • Our hero in this second book in the series, Reno Marks, loves women…as a whole, but he’s never been in love. In fact, he doesn’t really know what it is. His love interest in this heart stopping Romancing the Stone like adventure and romance is not a co-worker but a client. I guess we’re expanding the Reality Romance genre to include customers and clients.
    • Worst Date Ever
      • Tulsa Wiggins, our heroine and smarter than smart, is forced to stake out a suspected perp by moving into his luxury apartment. The Reality Romance genre expands further to include suspects in more than one way. 

 

  • Erotic Romance [Loose Id and Indie published]
    • Master Suite
      • Together our heroine and hero explore the sensuous world of BDSM game play. Unknown to him, they work at the same medical facility.  The office romance begins.
    • Fantasy Suite
      • Alright, plain and simple, there is no office romance here. Just more of the Fantasy Island meets the Love Boat activity that takes place at the exclusive Fini Luxury Resort & Spa near Aspen, Colorado.

 

  • Romantic Suspense [Random House LLC published 3 of the 6 to date]
    • After Midnight
      • Our Denver, Colorado Cop, Sam Morgan, gets sideways with an on-the-job attacker and his “office romance” turns out to be his only clue to the killing of a fellow officer…providing he can keep her alive.
    • Cries In The Night
      • Our heroine, Julie Lawrence, is a victim’s advocate for the Denver Police Department and through her involvement of helping the people in the city experiencing their worst nightmare, she becomes involved with both the love of her life and the one who is out to end her life.
    • Deep Night
      • A deeply touching story of a woman’s profound healing, and the amazing man, her co-worker, who’s with her every step of the way.
    • After Love
      • One of most beloved characters in the last few years is DEA agent Nick Archer. His love interest, Jamie Chambers knows how to sniff out trouble but as you will see execution of a plan is harder than the plan. In this story, Jamie is neither a co-worker, boss nor subordinate. But it could be argued that he is her client as she provides him with his new K-9 partner, Harley.

 

Find all about these novels and all our books on our website at http://www.LoveRealityRomance.com and here are the links to the books mentioned in this blog.

Romantic Suspense, New Adult [Indie published]

Due Dates amzn.to/1RG22gd

Killer Date amzn.to/1VQiH6N

Worst Date Ever amzn.to/1LUTRQY

 

Erotic Romance [Loose Id and Indie published]

Master Suite amzn.to/22apRTb

Fantasy Suite amzn.to/1TAc481

 

Mainstream romantic suspense

[Random House LLC published 4 of the 6 to date]

After Midnight amzn.to/1ZGWCYs

Cries In The Night amzn.to/1ftgfBA

Deep Night amzn.to/1pFZeJu

After Love amzn.to/1RTJIq6

 

 

 

 

My Hollywood Years – The Lost Years

HOLLYWOOD

During my break from writing romance and women’s  fiction novels years ago I struck out on my own to try my luck in Hollywood.  I spent several years writing and marketing screenplays without leaving the comfort of the Denver area.

In total I had written 21 screenplays.  Some with my best friend Margie, some with Bob and some with the help and support of the producers of the project.  I miss Margie and well, Bob and I are doing great.  To date one script has been produced and four were contracted for talent such as Shirley Maclaine and Drew Barrymore by producers.  One minor one made it to cable television.

hollywood shirley hollywood drew

 

And my screenplays have won numerous awards at several film festivals including the Houston International Film Festival and the Charleston Film Festival.

film festival houston film festival charleston

 

 

I picked three of the projects, all strong women roles.  Just thought I’d share them.

 

Corner Of The Sky

HOLLYWOOD Corner Of The Sky

During World War II women weren’t allowed to enlist in the military, but they were allowed to fly American built aircraft from the factories to the front lines.  This is the story of a first brave women who risked their lives to do what they loved…to fly.

Fictionalized story based on the real life of Jackie Cochran and her creation of a pre-WASP group of female volunteers who went where no woman had before…into the war zone.

Before the United States joined World War II, Jackie Cochran was part of “Wings for Britain”, an organization that ferried American built aircraft to Britain, becoming the first woman to fly a bomber, (a Lockheed Hudson) across the Atlantic. In Britain, she volunteered her services to the Royal Air Force.  She won five Harman Trophy as the outstanding woman pilot in the world. Sometimes called the “Speed Queen,” at the time of her death, no pilot, man or woman, held more speed, distance or altitude records in aviation history, than Jackie Cochran.

In September 1940, with the war raging throughout Europe, Jackie Cochran wrote to Eleanor Roosevelt to introduce the proposal of starting a women’s flying division in the Army Air Forces. She felt that qualified women pilots could do all of the domestic, noncombat aviation jobs necessary in order to release more male pilots for combat. This is the story of the women she recruited for this dangerous mission and how they managed, against all odds, to succeed.

 

Life’s What Happens

HOLLYWOOD Life's What HappensLife's What Happens Amazon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What one moment changed your life forever?  How would four men’s lives have been different had they not been forced by the draft lottery into making drastic, life altering decisions?

The peace and tranquility of college life in 1969 was shattered for millions of young American men on a cold winter night when the United States Government held the first draft lottery since the Civil War.  The bounce of a ping pong ball determined their fate.  Some lucked out with high numbers, some teetered in limbo and some were immediately doomed for the rice patties of Nam.  That single moment set off a series of reactions by male college students and the women who loved them.  Some went into denial, some panicked, some failed, some succeeded.  But all of their lives were changed forever by the decisions they made because of something over which they had no control…the date they had been born.

Twenty-five years later, they come together again, facing the demons of the past and dealing with decisions that had been forced upon them.

Life’s What Happens is set against the tumultuous backdrop of the anti-war movement at Kent State and follows the lives of four fraternity brothers and their girlfriends.  Inspired by the events of the time and the complexities of their second coming of age, the conflicts, fears and love of these friends is explored and unresolved feelings are confronted as they all must accept the past and get on with the future.

 

Matchless

HOLLYWOOD Matchless

During the late 1800’s many men made their fortunes in silver mining in the western United States, but no one prospered more than Horace Tabor.  A hard working, self-educated man, he amassed, at an unparalleled rate and through a series of improbable investments and good luck, a multi-million dollar empire.  Horace’s political power and his economic influence was so vast that he brought the United States to the brink of bankruptcy in order to save his fortune…a situation that was averted only by a last-minute act of Congress.  However, his ability to accumulate wealth and wield power is only background to the real story.  The most compelling part of his life was his renowned love affair with a feisty and spectacular younger woman, Elizabeth Doe, known affectionately by the local miners as Baby Doe.

Their Washington DC wedding was more lavish than any held before or since, complete with solid silver wedding invitations and attended by heads of state and powerful politicians including the President.  Horace and Baby lived in the most palatial residence in Colorado and spent money that, measured by today’s standard, would be well in excess of a million dollars a week.  They built and owned the social and cultural center of Denver, the Tabor Opera House, and they received and visited the crowned heads of Europe.

But with all this power, money and influence, Horace and Baby were virtually isolated from society by their colorful pasts.  Their scandalous divorces and flamboyant lifestyle only fueled public resentment.  (Baby’s husband had beat, then deserted her, yet she carried the shame of her divorce to her grave.  Horace, wildly in love with Baby, divorced his first wife in a series of desperate political and legal moves that shadowed him until the end.)

What had begun as an opportunistic love affair turned into a deep, lasting passion.  Even with the loss of all their money and power, Horace and Baby’s faith in one another never faltered.  His dying words encouraged Baby hold on to their one last possession, their most prolific silver mine, the Matchless.  Baby never questioned Horace’s judgment and, while still a young, very beautiful and desirable woman, she moved to a shack near the mine.  Although once incredibly valuable (it produced more than $11 million dollars in silver), the mine was over-worked and never produced again.  But Baby spent the last 35 years of her life mourning Horace’s death and trying to prove him right.  She died, in abject poverty, frozen to the floor of the shack, clutching her scrapbooks filled with memories of the one love of her life.

This is the true story about the power, wealth and love of two people and their struggle for acceptance in an unforgiving world.  It is the story of perseverance in the face of rejection and an unyielding faith in one another.  It is a story known to millions around the world, but remains, until now, the greatest love story that’s never been told.

 

Colorado’s Stanley Hotel hosts a new ghost story by Bob Kat titled RIP (Rest in Peace)

RIP was released Feb. 25th and is now on sale from 3/20 to 4/1.
“While The Stanley Hotel has been featured in movies & books in the past, it is refreshing to see a new twist on the use of the hotel,” Jesse Freitas, Manager of The Stanley Hotel.
WEB TILE CUL8R SERIES
PRLog (Press Release) – Mar. 19, 2014 – AUSTIN, Texas —
The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado was founded by F.O. Stanley, a wealthy businessman forced to move west for health reasons. The expansive property boasts amazing architecture, a magnificent setting and spectacular views, but it may forever be best known as the inspiration for Stephen King’s spine-tingling novel “The Shining” and the subject of Ghost Hunters, the American (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States) paranormal (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paranormal_television) reality (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reality_TV) television series (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Television_series) on several occasions.  “But now The Stanley Hotel is in the news again,” says Kathy Clark, a.k.a. Bob Kat, an American fiction author.
Jesse Feitas said, “We are excited that the CUL8R book series has chosen The Stanley Hotel as a destination for RIP, not only to tie in a connection with the paranormal stories but traveling back in time to the first couple of years in The Stanley Hotel’s history brings in a whole new fun element to the story.”
“My co-writer in this series, husband Bob Wernly of Austin, Texas and I chose to set the 4th book in the CUL8R Time Travel Mystery Series at the infamous hotel after several trips and many weeks of guest time over the years.  We worked hard to describe the hotel as accurately as possible because it’s such a wonderful place and we wanted to do it justice.  Several years ago I was lucky enough to go on a private ghost hunt with Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson of Ghost Hunters, crawling through the basement tunnels not open to the public in total darkness which really added to the authenticity of the story,” Kathy said.
RIP (Rest in Peace) is Kathy’s 31st novel and will be released formally on all the major on-line bookstores on February 25th and is available in both e-book and paperback.  Kathy has sold over 3 million books globally and has appeared on the NY Times and USA Today bestsellers’ list for her romance novels where she cut her author teeth on her first 23 books.
“In 2012 we joined the crowd of authors who moved from the traditionally published to the self-published e-book marketplace.  This is our eighth novel as Indie-Authors,” said Bob, “including four young adult novels in the CUL8R series, two romantic suspense novels in the DENVER AFTER DARK series and the first book BABY DADDY in the SCANDALS new adult series.  All but the CUL8R series are written under Kathy Clark’s pen name.”
“Self-publishing allows writers the freedom to include content that traditional publishers would shy away from. And the publishing process is more than a year quicker, so we can continue to focus on the next book in the series instead of waiting for executive approval,” Kathy explained.
The CUL8R series is about four teens from Fort Myers Beach, Florida.  “We had to make the time travel trips to the past in the novels really matter…life and death situations that force the teenagers to depend on their intelligence, ingenuity and friendship so they can change the past to save the future.”  Bob explained.  “I discovered an October 1920 issue of American Magazine with an article that Thomas Edison was developing an electrical device to speak with the dead.  This later became known as his Telephone to the Dead.  Since Edison spent much of his life in the Fort Myers area, what if our teenagers found that invention, tucked away in the garage of a distant relative who had worked for Edison?  What if our personality survives our passing as Edison believed?”
“In RIP [Rest In Peace] you don’t have to believe in ghosts…until you meet one,” Kathy added.
The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado has a well-deserved reputation for being one of the most haunted places in the U.S.  So, when Kelly, Scott, Austin and Zoey travel back to 1911 to try to save a young child who went missing from the busy lobby, they aren’t surprised when ghost children run up and down the halls.
There’s romance in the Rockies as they take jobs with the hotel so they can keep an eye on 4 year old Emma and her family.  Kelly struggles with her attraction to Austin while Zoey tries to get over her broken heart.  Along the way, they meet some colorful historical characters and experience life among the rich and famous just after the turn of the twentieth century.  After three other successful time travel adventures, they assume it’s just a matter of being in the right place at the right time.  That almost proves to be a fatal mistake.
Kathy concluded, “But can they save Emma?  Or will they join her as permanent guests in the ghostly halls of The Stanley Hotel?”
RIP was released in e-book and paperback through all the major book retailers such as Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Google Play, Apple ibooks, Kobo and Smashwords starting February 25th.  Between March 20th and April 1st, the book is on sale for $0.99 on Amazon, Google, Barnes & Noble, iBook and All Romance.
“The reviews on Amazon and Goodreads have been amazing,” said Bob.  “4.9 Stars on Amazon and Goodreads.”
Here’s some examples:
“Engaging with well-developed characters and excellent writing.”
 
“I have nothing but praise for RI and this serie sin general”
 
“I would recommend this book to all young adults and adult swho enjoy time travel, sci-fi and mystery books.”
 
“I have to say that with each new novel the CUL8R (See You Later) series continues to bring a certain spark of imagination and lighthearted adventure that never disappoints.”
Checkout the details on Kathy’s website at http://www.nightwriter93.com and all the Young Adult books in the CUL8R [See you later] series at http://www.cul8rseries.com

WIKIPEDIA: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kathy_Clark_(American_author)

AUTHOR SITE:   http://www.nightwriter93.com

BLOGhttps://kathyclarkauthor.wordpress.com/

FACEBOOK:   https://www.facebook.com/kelly.welch.cul8r

TWITTER:   @93nightwriter

PINTEREST:   http://www.pinterest.com/BobKat1993/

JOIN KATHY’S EMAIL LIST FOR ANNOUNCEMENTS, PRE-RELEASE BOOKS AND BARGAIN / FREE BOOKS: http://eepurl.com/N4osT   via MAIL CHIMP

 

Marie Force’s Market Survey & My thoughts.

I ran across the survey by Marie Force that was conducted from June 1-30, 2013, via Survey Monkey, and as many as 2,951 people replied to most of the 44 questions formulated by myself and more than a dozen other authors.  She and several other authors did the survey and I found this interesting and useful.

Findings
  • Readers prefer e-books to paperbacks (77 to 52 percent). However, the question allowed readers to choose all formats that apply, and there appears to be crossover between the two most popular formats, indicating some readers buy books in multiple formats when the paperback is available. I think it’s extremely interesting to note that more than half are still looking for their books in paperback. That will be a number to watch in future surveys. Will it go down or remain steady at about half?
  • Nearly 80 percent buy their books from Amazon, with Barnes & Noble scoring a distant second at 23 percent and iBookstore/Apple coming in third at nearly 13 percent. I’ll be interested to see how this result changes or shifts over the next year. I believe first place will remain around the same percentage while the distance between second and third place will continue to narrow.
  • Nearly 58 percent of those surveyed have not visited a brick and mortar bookstore in the last year or have done so twice in the last year. Twenty-five percent visit a bookstore once a month and twenty percent are there twice a month or more.
  • A whopping 81 percent of those surveyed listed romance as their favorite genre with mystery coming in a very distant second at almost 5 percent. According to the Romance Writers of America, romance was the top-performing category on the major bestseller lists in 2012 and accounted for $1.438 billion in sales in 2012, so it’s not surprising that most of those surveyed chose romance as their primary genre of interest.
  • For those who chose romance as their favorite genre, nearly 28 percent chose contemporary romance as their favorite subgenre with historical scoring second place with 23 percent. I found it interesting that only 2.6 percent chose New Adult as their favorite romance genre. That leads me to wonder if readers are aware of the “New Adult” name the industry has given to romances about women in college/early 20s, or if the genre isn’t really as popular as it seems, or yet again if New Adult was lumped in with contemporary by some respondents.
  • Sixty-four percent of those surveyed say they pay “no attention” to who publishes a book and/or “it doesn’t matter” to them. Thirty three percent pay “some attention” to who the publisher is whereas 4 percent say the publisher’s seal of approval “matters” to them.
  • Ninety-five percent of readers are “more likely” to buy a self-published book from an author who is known to them versus 68 percent who are “less likely” to buy a self-published book from an author who is unknown to them.
  •  The results for the primary source of information about books were all over the place with the top vote getter being Facebook at 18 percent, followed by retail sites at 17 percent, Goodreads at 13 percent and author websites at 10 percent. Lots of interesting data in the “Other” field for this question.
  • Facebook (62 percent) and Author Websites (63 percent) were virtually tied for first when readers were asked where they get their information about their favorite authors. (This was a “choose all that apply” question.) Author newsletters were a distant second at 36 percent. Goodreads scored 27 percent and Twitter 19 percent. Retail sites were next at 18 percent. It’s probably safe to conclude from these results that if you have limited time, it’s best spent on Facebook and keeping up your website.
  • Fifty-three percent of readers are “somewhat” swayed by reviews. Twenty-nine percent fall into the “not very much” or “not at all” categories and 18 percent say they are “very much” influenced by reviews.
  • When asked which reviews are most important to them, 50 percent chose the reviews posted to retail sites. Goodreads was a distant second at 16 percent, followed by blog reviews at 13 percent and publication reviews (RT Book Reviews, Publisher’s Weekly, Kirkus, etc.) at 10 percent. An additional 10 percent of the respondents listed “Other” sources than those provided by the survey.
  • We asked readers to tell us which review publications they subscribe to and offered the following choices: RT Book Reviews, Publishers Weekly, Kirkus, Booklist, NYT Sunday Edition, USA Today, None and Other. Eighty-one percent chose “None” with RT Book Reviews at a distant second at 12 percent.
  • With the same list of publications, we asked readers to indicate which of the publications had influenced their decision to buy a book or try a new author. Seventy-six percent replied “Not applicable,” with RT Book Reviews coming in a distant second at 13 percent.
  • We asked how important “star ratings” are to their purchasing decisions, and discovered that 43 percent will wait to purchase a book if they see “low” star ratings. Thirty-eight percent say they will still try a book if they like the cover and sample, even if it has “low” star reviews. Eleven percent responded that star reviews are not at all important to them and 9 percent rely heavily on star reviews and will only purchase a book that meets their star-rating criteria.
  • Thirty-five percent have been introduced to new authors via free books more than 20 times. Twenty-one percent have found new authors through free books more than 10 times. If they liked what they read in the free book, 85 percent were extremely likely to buy another book from that author.
  • We discovered that readers are interested in stories with outstanding characters, setting, storytelling and writing, with 75 percent choosing “all of the above” to encompass each of those elements.
  • Thirty-three percent said typos don’t bother them at all while only 8 percent said bad editing will cost an author a reader for life. Twenty-seven percent said they’d give an author another chance if the editing in the first book isn’t good whereas 24 percent said “typos drive me mad.”
  • We asked if seeing the words “New York Times Bestselling Author” on the cover of a book is more likely to spur a reader to try a new author. Seventy-two percent said no, and 28 percent said yes. In addition, 60 percent of those surveyed “never” peruse the New York Times bestseller list looking for new authors. Four percent of those surveyed review the list every week in search of new authors.
  • Sixty-eight percent of those surveyed never review the USA Today bestseller list to find new authors and 2 percent do so weekly.
  • Seventy-five percent of those surveyed never review the Publishers Weekly bestseller list to find new authors and 2 percent do so weekly.
  • Eight-four percent of those surveyed subscribe to the newsletters of their favorite authors, and 55 percent subscribe to the blogs of their favorite authors.
  •  Just about half of those surveyed subscribe to BookBub to find out about free and reduced-price books and 31 percent subscribe to Kindle Fire Department. A wide variety of other outlets were listed in the open-ended replies for this question.
  •  In one of the more interesting results, 60 percent of those surveyed do not follow their favorite authors on Twitter whereas 87 percent of those surveyed do follow their favorite authors on Facebook. Find more than 2,000 replies to the open-ended question about what readers are looking for from authors on Facebook in the link to the full results at the end of this post. In another interesting finding, 85 percent of those surveyed do not follow their favorite authors on Pinterest, and 86 percent do not look for authors on any other social media platform besides those already listed in the survey. Goodreads was one of the most frequently mentioned sites in the open-ended portion of the question.
  • Fifty-two percent said that if they want a book badly enough, they don’t care what it costs. Twenty-two percent said they will not pay more than $4.99 for a book.
  • Sixty-eight percent are looking for novellas (in the 25,000-word) range to fall in the $0.99 to $1.99 price range. But 21 percent said they would pay $2.99 for a novella of this length.
  • When asked what they expect to pay for a full-length (80,000 words or more) novel, 26 percent said $4.99, 19 percent said $5.99, 14 percent said $3.99, 13 percent said $7.99 and 12 percent said $6.99. I found it interesting that only 6.5 percent said $2.99, which has been considered somewhat of a “sweet spot” in indie pricing.
  • Twenty-six percent would be willing to pay for “bonus” material, such as a short story unrelated to the current novel, but 34 percent were unwilling to pay for any kind of bonus material.
  • We had a true 60-40 split on whether an endorsement from a well-known author is more or less likely to make you buy a book, with 60 percent saying author blurbs or endorsements do not influence purchasing decisions.
  • When asked where they buy audio books, 70 percent replied that they have never bought one. A distant second was Audible at 15 percent, then Amazon at 11 percent and iTunes at 7 percent. When asked how many audio books readers purchased in the last year, 74 percent said they don’t purchase them. Among those who do, 18 percent bought between one and 10 audio books. Only 4 percent bought more than 20 audio books in the last year.
  • Fifty-four percent of those surveyed have never watched a book trailer, and 8 percent have bought a book because of a trailer.
  • Fifty-three percent are most concerned with a professional presentation when it comes to book covers, and 32 percent are rarely influenced by covers.
  • Fifty percent don’t care whose point of view is presented in the book, but 45 percent enjoy multiple points of view whereas only 3 percent prefer first-person point of view.
 Conclusions
We’ve felt the ground shifting beneath us in recent years, but some of these results confirm things we already suspected, including:
  • Most of the readers surveyed don’t care who publishes a book or pay very little attention to who the publisher is. Judging by these results, it’s probably safe to assume the author name is selling more books these days than the publisher name.
  • Retail reviews, such as those found on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other retail sites, are the most important reviews in today’s environment.
  • If an author only has time for one social media platform, choose Facebook. It’s where the readers are and it’s where they’re looking for their favorite authors. They are not looking for their favorite authors on Twitter, which didn’t surprise me all that much. I’ve long suspected that Twitter was more about “preaching to the choir” whereas Facebook is about connecting with actual readers. That doesn’t mean there are NO readers on Twitter. To the contrary. However, there are more of them looking for authors on Facebook.
  • Author endorsements don’t matter as much as industry insiders think they do. Most readers don’t care about them.
  • Most e-book readers are buying from Amazon, which of course we knew, but now we have data to confirm it.
  • More than half don’t care how much a book costs if they want it badly enough. Most expect to pay $4.99 for a full-length novel (80,000 words or more) and between $0.99 and $1.99 for a 25,000-word novella.
  •  Readers are still somewhat leery about buying self-published books from unknown authors, whereas they are more than willing to buy books from self-published authors who are known to them.
  • More than half the readers are still looking for their books in paperback format. Hear that?More than half. That’s a lot of readers… To those who think traditional publishing is dead, remember this: More than half the readers are looking for a format that traditional publishing is still best equipped to provide. If you want to reach that half, you may have to remain in business with traditional publishers. I am. That’s why.
  • Audio books are not very popular—yet. Give them time. I believe we will see this number increase over the next few years.
  •  Readers pay very little attention to book trailers.
  •  Readers are not big fans of first-person points of view.
  • New Adult romance isn’t as popular as we thought it was. Or… It could be readers aren’t aware that the books they love to read about young women in college or right after college are considered “New Adult” romance. I believe it’s possible this result is misleading. Judging from the books on the bestseller lists, New Adult is as popular as we think it is.

PERSONAL PERSPECTIVE

Marie Force has done a great service by taking the time to collect and tp present this information.  Thanks!  Very professionally done.

Wowee! We’re Finalists In Two Categories of the Reader’s Favorite Book Awards for 2013!

TAKEN FROM THE PR WEB PRESS RELEASE OF JULY 1, 2013

AFTER MIDNIGHT REVISED

Life on Colfax Avenue in Denver, Colorado where the story begins.

BRB eBook Cover 2

Time Travel can be murder.

2013 Reader’s Choice Award Finalists announced for Kathy Clark’s After Midnight, a romantic suspense novel and is book #1 in her Denver After Dark series. Kathy co-writes with her husband under the pen name Bob Kat and their second book in their CUL8R [See you later] teen time travel mystery BRB [Be Right Back] was also named a finalist in the Young Adult Mystery category.

“Awards from a professional competition are a great way to help establish credibility
with potential readers,” Kathy said when contacted. “We have been so fortunate to have won or placed as a finalist in all of the contests we have entered this year.”

“We are thrilled to announce two of our books are finalists in the Reader’s Choice Awards for 2013,” Bob added. “These awards give readers an independent recommendation that the books contain a good story, well-told, compared to the other books in the genre. I, too, am very grateful as it validates our work…our creativity.”

BRB [Be Right Back] has been named a finalist in the Young Adult Mystery category and After Midnight in the fiction Adult Suspense in the Readers’ Choice Awards for 2013. The final awards will be announced September 1st.

BRB is the second book in the CUL8R Time Travel Mystery series and joins OMG, book #1, which was a first place winner in The Best Indie Book of 2013 in the Young Adult mystery category. OMG was also a finalist in the Beverly Hills Books Awards in 2013. Book #3, BION [Believe It Or Not] will be released in July, 2013. “This series has been awesome to write and we have several new books plotted and researched,” Kathy noted.
After Midnight had won first place in The Best Indie Book of 2013 earlier in the year. The second book in the Denver After Dark series, Cries In The Night, will be released in late 2013.

All these books can be seen on the author’s website at http://www.nightwriter93.com/ .

The CUL8R Teen Mystery series has its own website at http://www.cul8rseries.com.

All books can be acquired through Amazon at http://astore.amazon.com/nightwriter93-20

Kathy Clark’s first 23 romance / women’s fiction novels were published by several publishers, including Harlequin and Dell and sold more than 3.2 million copies globally in at least 11 different languages. Her books have appeared on the New York Times and USA Today Recommended lists and have received numerous industry awards including Romantic Times Readers’ Choice Awards and numerous regional and state awards.

After several years of writing screenplays she came back to the novel-author role with new skills, insight and storytelling capacity. Kathy Clark still writes adult books but now they are focused on romantic suspense. Book #1 in the Denver After Dark suspense series, After Midnight is about one of three brothers, a cop, and takes place in Denver. The next two books will be about the fireman and the paramedic, all public servants in Denver and will be released during 2013 and early 2014. After Midnight won The Best Indie Book of 2013 award and is a finalist in the Reader’s Choice awards in 2013.

Under the name of Bob Kat, Kathy now writes with husband, Bob Wernly. OMG was first in their new young adult-centered CUL8R Time Travel Mystery series and was recognized as The Best Indie Book.

OMG eBook 3

Book #1 in the CUL8R Teen Time Travel Mystery series, voted best Indie Book in 2013 for young adult / teens

Also in late 2012, Bob Kat published a New Adult Romance that takes place in 1969 – 70.  Every New Adult Romance criteria is fully met and Life’s What Happens is unique in that it is one of the few to not be set in today but is contemporary is very respect.  The story centers on the tumultuous times of 1969 and 1970 at Kent State University and how the New Adults then dealt with the issues and changes of the times.

Life's What Happens is a New Adult Romance for ages 18 to 25 and beyond.

Life’s What Happens is a New Adult Romance for ages 18 to 25 and beyond.

2013 is a busy year with third CUL8R young adult mystery time travel series being released in April and book #2 in the Denver After Dark series, Cries In The Night   being worked on daily for an end of year release.  A prolific writer, Kathy, with Bob in a research role, will be releasing a New Adult age novel in a new series SCANDALS  in the fall.