An Interview with Author Assistants Tina Brunelle and Cath Cowley - Behind the Scenes
This month, Tina Brunelle and Cath Cowley agreed to answer questions regarding their roles as author assistants. Both ladies assist authors who realize they ‘can’t do everything for career and family’ and continue to write.
We now get a glimpse into some of the things and assistant helps them with through this Q&A.
Ladies, tell us a little about what you did before you began to assistant authors in various areas?
Tina: Oh my, let’s see….I reviewed for a review site. Then I did their promotions. I worked at publishing houses doing first reads as well as promotions. I ran the web pages to the review site I worked for. I beta read for houses and for individual authors. I am also a mom to two wonderful young adults. One has autism. He is really the reason I decided to work online. I could always work around anything I had to do with him.
Cath: Before working as an author assistant, I spent most of my time reading and reviewing on my blog ‘My Book Chatter’
What prompted you to become an author assistant?
Tina: Oops, answered this one above :0) my son did. With his autism came a lot of doctor visits. Then my daughter started having unexplained seizures. So working from home made sense. Also I just love the industry. It is always changing and is a lot of fun.
Cath: I was asked by the author to consider the role. She wanted someone who knew and loved her books that would be passionate about all areas of promotion and take some of the pressure off so she could concentrate more on her writing.
Why are your skills valuable to authors?
Tina: Well, I hope I make their life easier. If you trust the person you’re using to promote you, they should one be your biggest fan, and two want your success as much as you do. I love to help others. As a reviewer I have reviewed many genres and think that helps me too.
Cath: Because I can’t wait to read the next book just like the rest of the fans, so it makes sense to have someone like me in their corner, cheering them on, answering emails and arranging tours, giving them some extra time to get more words on the page!
Do you work for more than one author at a time? If so, does that ever get confusing?
Tina: Yes, I have worked for more than one author at a time. Is it confusing? Nope. I have a calendar, the calendar has who is getting promoted, what is being promoted, and even where I am doing the promotion.
Cath: I was asked by to take on some work for a second author, but at the time I was fairly new to my author assistant role and I felt I needed to concentrate my efforts in one place.
Are there a set number of clients you feel you can work with at once?
Tina: Well, dunno on that. Working at a house with about 100 authors is certainly more demanding than working one on one. But I found I liked both experiences. Each person has something that makes me love this job more.
Cath: I think two or three would probably be manageable dependent on the level of involvement expected by each author, that’s something I’d have to work out on a case-by-case scenario.
Do you think authors need assistants and if so, why?
Tina: I believe it makes their life easier. All the mundane things that keep them away from work can be taken over by your assistant. Also an assistant can keep them on track with their books, and be there for them when they need a friend to talk to.
Cath: I think everyone needs an assistant, even the assistant!
Look, it can only be a good thing if it meets the author’s needs and makes things easier for them. But at the end of the day, it comes down to personal preference; some authors like to do it all themselves.
What sort of duties do you handle for the authors you work with?
Tina: Newsletters, Facebook groups, street teams, organizing their books, make character charts for them. Help answer emails. Be their biggest fan and so much more I wish I could think of it all. Send out prizes, organize blog tours. Help with Twitter and LinkedIn…..
Cath: Anything I’m asked to do!
Being the first point of contact and answering emails and arranging blog tours, contacting blogs for reviews and support. Beta reading, tour hosting, giving opinions and advise when required. Offering emotional support on a bad day and being the loudest, proudest supporter every day!
If someone wants to become an author assistant, what advice would you give them?
Tina: The advice I would give them is, be patient. Be kind and love what you do.
Cath: You really should love to read, and hopefully you already love the work of the author who wants your help. Prepare to be accessible twenty-four-seven because inspiration and ideas can come at any time and you may be called upon at the last minute to implement something. Be supportive and positive even in the darkest of moments of author self-doubt. But have fun, enjoy the journey – being part of an idea, seeing it shape and form, and become the finished product is an exciting process.
Do you have a website link to share with us?
Tina: Right now I have http://fantasypromotions.blogspot.com
Cath: Well obviously I’d like to share the website of the author I work for, I think her books are fabulous and everyone should read them! www.tgayer.com
How can anyone interested in your services contact you?
Tina: Redstartina@gmail.com - Put in the header “services”.
Cath: If anyone wants to get to know me better, read my reviews, say hi or contact me for anything, all links and follow buttons can be found on my blog: http://mybookchatterchat.blogspot.com
Tina Brunelle lives in the great state of Maine. She is blessed with two wonderful young adults, a husband she adores, and a tiny zoo of animals. She has been in the business for over 8 years and done everything from first reading, to reviewing, to promotion and loves it all.
Cath Cowley is a 39 year old mother of three daughters and is still happily married to the man that swept her off her feet more than twenty years ago. Originally from England she now lives in a small beachside community in New Zealand.
Always a bit of an eccentric bookworm, Cath now applies those skills to all things bookish – blogging, reviewing, virtual tours, beta reading, working as an author assistant, and generally doing everything except writing a book for herself!
Thank you, ladies. Really appreciate you sharing your thoughts and a little about the personal you.
Columnist Lizzie T. Leaf: Award winning author, Lizzie T. Leaf started life in Kansas, continued her growing in North Carolina, and currently shivers through the winters in Colorado.
Since discovering the fun of writing paranormal, she plays with creating vampires, faeries and other immortals. When she needs a touch of reality, her Contemporary Erotic Romances come into play. Her most recent release is Nordic Heat, available at http://amzn.to/1owng5k
If she’s not creating mischief for paranormal beings, or getting under the covers with her erotic heroes, she can be found exploring the other genres she wants to write. She also served as the 2012 President for the Heart of Denver Romance Writers and is the 2014 VP of Programs.
Lizzie loves to read, spend time with her family and travel with her best friend husband during her free time.