The Nightstand Diaries – 1 year, 5,000 books, and an (almost) anything goes approach to book marketing

It’s named “The Nightstand Diaries” because in terms of publishing a book, it doesn’t mean squat that we’re published. It doesn’t mean squat that our book is on a bookstore shelf. It’s only when someone takes our book home and reads it – as a way to relax on a lounge chair, pass time on a subway, or as the last mental exercise before putting it on the nightstand and going to bed – that we become a part of our readers’ lives. With this notion in mind, I invite you to come along as I try to do that very thing. My goal is to sell 5,000 copies of my new novel The Brink over the next year using mostly social media with a limited marketing budget. And this is an interactive blog, so if you have good marketing ideas, or want to critique mine whenever I do something stupid, let’s hear it! So, without further ado, let the madness continue…

 Day 11 of 365

 In this issue:

  • Working the phones with Borders turns to working the email, and time ain’t on my side

 Working the phones with Borders turns to working the email, and time ain’t on my side

So I might have undershot my budget on how long it would take to schedule up these signings at all the area Borders stores. In last night’s blog, I figured it would “probably take me another hour to customize those packages for each store and then another 30 minutes to call the other stores back and schedule signings so let’s call it 4 hours worth of work to hopefully schedule signings at every Borders store in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex.” Oh how frickin’ wrong I was. I wanted to follow up with Kenny Green, the nice man at the Lewisville Borders who agreed on the spot to have me, and email him a marketing plan including a news release, flyer and poster examples. That took an hour. Then I’ve spent the last two hours working on two other marketing packets for two other Borders stores. So that’s 3 hours so far, and I’m not even halfway through the 10 Borders stores within the 50 mile radius of mi casa. But the Borders people are awesome and I want to give them an informative marketing plan so that both sides can benefit from the signing. (I’ve included the intro and marketing plan I emailed to the Borders store in Dallas on Preston & Royal, which is one of their Big Daddy stores, below)

So, the blog tonight is short and sweet. And the weekend is packed, so I’ll just tell you now that I hope to get some more marketing kits out tomorrow and finish up over the weekend and I’ll talk to y’all again on Sunday night with the Weekend Edition. Who knows, I might even get in a thought or two about the next book…Just kidding. The next one is already in the can and ready to go. 

Email intro and marketing plan for Borders Dallas-Preston & Royal store

Carlo,

I spoke to one of your associates yesterday and he mentioned that you manage the events for the Dallas-Preston & Royal Borders store. I did a signing this past Saturday at the Colleyville Borders store and it was the most successful signing they’ve had all year. I would love to do a signing at your store as well. I’ve included a marketing plan for a book signing event as well as the news release from my signing at the Colleyville Borders below. I’ve also attached examples of a press release, flyer, and poster that could be used to publicize the signing. I have several available weekend and weeknight times in the coming weeks that would hopefully work for you.

If you have any questions about the marketing plan or attached documents or would like to discuss the best time to do a signing, please do not hesitate to contact me anytime at the number below.

Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to speaking with you soon about this exciting event!

Best,

Mark

817-504-3886

 The Brink

by

Mark Fadden

“This story has everything – it hits the ground running with an ingenious and timely plot, the sharp dialogue produces megawatt size tension between the characters and the superb pacing and breakneck twists deliver a knockout ending.” – author Mark Graham

“Mark Fadden’s novel is a gripping tale filled with mystery, romance, and suspense. The story literally grabs the reader by the throat and doesn’t let go until the final page. The Brink is a page turner that even a seasoned reader will have trouble putting down.” – film producer Don Phillips 

“A masterful storyteller.”  – Writer’s Digest

“Action and heroism keep readers turning pages. A nicely crafted thriller.” – ForeWord Clarion Review

Marketing Plan for Dallas-Preston &Royal Borders Book Signing

  • Press release sent to local media including Dallas Morning News, Dallas Observer, Fox4, NBC5, ABC, CBS, CW 33, UPN 21, D Magazine, DFW.com, pegasusnews.com, eventful.com and Dallas Chamber of Commerce two weeks prior to the event (example attached)
  • Posters to be hung in store before and during event (example attached)
  • Flyers available before and during event (example attached)
  • 100 bookmarks available before event (Posters, flyers and bookmarks to be delivered to store one week before event)
  • “Evite” sent to subscribers of Dallas-Preston & Royal Borders email mailing list (to be done by Borders staff – if possible)  
  • All local friends, colleagues, and acquaintances will be invited – 200+ people 

 

The Brink is the winner of its publisher’s Editor’s Choice Award.

Mark has also been awarded his publisher’s Rising Star Award.

 

ISBN13: 9781450210478

ISBN: 1450210473

BINC: 3186840

 

www.markfadden.com

Colleyville author breaks record at Borders bookstore

Many local fathers got Mark Fadden’s latest political thriller for Father’s Day this year. Fadden signed copies of The Brink, which takes readers on a perilous race from northern Mexico to Washington, D.C. as the hero and heroine try to thwart a global financial conspiracy, this past Saturday afternoon at the Colleyville Borders book store. “Being a local author, Mark generated a lot of pre-signing interest,” said Lori Lortscher of Borders. “He also interacted well with our customers during the signing, which boosted the sale of his book. It was our most successful book signing of the year. I hope we are lucky enough to have him back again.”

Mark Fadden, author of "The Brink", signs a book

 

Fadden is also chronicling his effort to sell 5,000 copies of The Brink over the next year in a blog. “Whenever I talk to people about my books, many of them know someone or they themselves have either toyed with the idea of writing a book, or are in the process of writing one. I wanted to keep track of what I’m doing on a daily basis to market the book so I could offer some inside information about what works and what doesn’t.” Fadden’s blog, titled The Nightstand Diaries: 1 year, 5,000 books, and an (almost) anything goes approach to marketing, can be read at https://markfadden.wordpress.com.

The Nightstand Diaries – 1 year, 5,000 books, and an (almost) anything goes approach to book marketing

It’s named “The Nightstand Diaries” because in terms of publishing a book, it doesn’t mean squat that we’re published. It doesn’t mean squat that our book is on a bookstore shelf. It’s only when someone takes our book home and reads it – as a way to relax on a lounge chair, pass time on a subway, or as the last mental exercise before putting it on the nightstand and going to bed – that we become a part of our readers’ lives. With this notion in mind, I invite you to come along as I try to do that very thing. My goal is to sell 5,000 copies of my new novel The Brink over the next year using mostly social media with a limited marketing budget. And this is an interactive blog, so if you have good marketing ideas, or want to critique mine whenever I do something stupid, let’s hear it! So, without further ado, let the madness continue…

Day 10 of 365

In this issue:

  • Say this 5 times real fast…would Wikipedia work well?
  • Editor? I don’t need no stinkin’ editor.  But, yes, really, we all do
  • Working the phones with Borders

Would Wikipedia work well?

Another idea from David Meerman Scott’s The New Rules of Marketing and PR (By now you probably think I get 50 cents every time I mention his book, but I don’t. I just think it’s one of those genius things that takes something complex, like social media, and makes it simple to understand), why not use Wikipedia to get your message out? For those of you who don’t know, Wikipedia allows regular folk like us to go in and update the entries if we see something missing or wrong. Now, I say get your ‘message’ because you can’t put in an ad or any direct marketing into your Wikipedia edit, but I wanted to at least show that, as a writer, I am associated with a certain Wikipedia subject.

Case in point, in my book The Brink, the secret society that’s causing all the chaos is known as The Bilderbergers. There’s a Wikipedia page on them, and one of the content chapters in the entry is titled, “Conspiracy theories” and it read as follows:

Because of its secrecy and refusal to issue news releases, the group is frequently accused of political conspiracies. Critics include the John Birch Society, an American economic nationalist advocacy group,[21] Canadian writer Daniel Estulin, British writer David Icke, American writer Jim Tucker, politician Jesse Ventura and radio host Alex Jones. The Bilderberg Group was the topic of a 2009 episode of the TruTV series Conspiracy Theory with Jesse Ventura truTV – List of episodes for Conspiracy Theory with Jesse Ventura.

I went in and added a sentence about how I’m tied to that subject. Again, it’s not an overt sales pitch to buy my book, but rather letting folks know that I used the Bilderbergers as a conspiratorial group in my book. Here’s the new entry (I put my addition in bold):

Because of its secrecy and refusal to issue news releases, the group is frequently accused of political conspiracies. Critics include the John Birch Society, an American economic nationalist advocacy group,[21] Canadian writer Daniel Estulin, British writer David Icke, American writer Jim Tucker, politician Jesse Ventura and radio host Alex Jones. The Bilderberg Group was the topic of a 2009 episode of the TruTV series Conspiracy Theory with Jesse Ventura truTV – List of episodes for Conspiracy Theory with Jesse Ventura. American novelist Mark Fadden also uses the Bilderberg Group as the sinister secret society that is planning global financial Armageddon in his latest book.

It was up for less than a day, and I got a message in my Wikipedia account stating the following:

Welcome to Wikipedia. If you are affiliated with some of the people, places or things you have written about on Wikipedia, you may have a conflict of interest. In keeping with Wikipedia’s neutral point of view policy, edits where there is a conflict of interest, or where such a conflict might reasonably be inferred, are strongly discouraged. If you have a conflict of interest, you should avoid or exercise great caution when:

  1. editing or creating articles related to you, your organization, or its competitors, as well as projects and products they are involved with;
  2. participating in deletion discussions about articles related to your organization or its competitors; and
  3. linking to the Wikipedia article or website of your organization in other articles (see Wikipedia:Spam).

Please familiarize yourself with relevant policies and guidelines, especially those pertaining to neutral point of view, verifiability of information, and autobiographies.

For information on how to contribute to Wikipedia when you have a conflict of interest, please see our frequently asked questions for organizations. Thank you.   — Jeff G. ツ 04:13, 23 June 2010 (UTC)

Retrieved from “http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_talk:Markfadden

Hidden categories: User talk pages with conflict of interest notices

Oops. So I guess I messed up with my little blurb and that it’s a conflict of interest. I’ll look at some other Wiki pages and continue to research it, because the other names I see in there are all selling things associated with their critique of the Bilderbergers. But all of their links go to their Wiki pages. Maybe I need to create a wiki page for myself and go from there.  Any ideas from you guys?

Editor? I don’t need no stinkin’ editor.  But, yes, really, we all do

I’ll be brief with this point for two reasons: one, the first point in tonight’s blog was so damn long and two, the most important thing I learned from my editor is that brevity is essential to a good read. Everyone needs an editor. So, donate your plasma, cut some neighbors lawns on the weekends or do whatever you can to get the money together for a good editor. Because while we think everything makes sense in our mind, it’s just that, it’s in our mind and only in our mind. We need someone to take the manuscript for a spin and let us know what the thing needs to get it running on all eight cylinders. The editor that I used, who my agent Tris Coburn recommended, is Mark Graham. He’s edited it all – novels, screenplays, non-fiction – and he’s a ghostwriter as well. Plus, he’s extremely intuitive about what you’re trying to do. He whittled The Brink down from a 670-page retired heavyweight sucking on Krispy Kremes to a lean, 425-page middleweight contender with lighting in his fists. Plus, and this is a big part of it, he’s a likeable guy. He truly loves words and truly wants to help you get your best effort onto the page.      

Working the phones with Borders

After the success of my signing on Saturday at my local Borders, I took about 2 hours today and contacted every other Borders within a 50 mile radius (there are 10 of them) to schedule a book signing. I was able to schedule two over the phone on the spot, several of them told me the event person was not working that day and to call back and the rest need me to email them a marketing package (examples of all docs in that package are in blog post #2 dated June 15, 2010). It’ll probably take me another hour to customize those packages for each store and then another 30 minutes to call the other stores back and schedule signings so let’s call it 4 hours worth of work to hopefully schedule signings at every Borders store in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. Well worth it since signings are where we get to sell to book lovers face to face. Again, if you became a writer to hide behind a computer screen all day, then you’re in the wrong business. Writers need to talk to people, because that’s what fans are…people. And without fans, writers can’t put food on the table.

The Nightstand Diaries – 1 year, 5,000 books, and an (almost) anything goes approach to book marketing

It’s named “The Nightstand Diaries” because in terms of publishing a book, it doesn’t mean squat that you’re published. It doesn’t mean squat that your book is on a bookstore shelf. It’s only when someone takes your book home and reads it – as a way to relax on a lounge chair, pass time on a subway, or as the last mental exercise before putting it on the nightstand and going to bed – that you become a part of your readers’ lives. With this notion in mind, I invite you to come along as I try to do that very thing. My goal is to try and sell 5,000 copies of my new novel The Brink over the next year using mostly social media with a limited marketing budget. Let the madness begin…

 Day 9 of 365

 In this issue:

  • Email signatures – short, sweet, and selling your book
  • Food books to read – as selected by the bad boy chef himself
  • Do secret societies exist? A poll

 Email signatures – short, sweet, and selling your book

 I had actually decided to go all in on the shameless self-promotion a long time before I read David Meerman Scott’s The New Rules of Marketing and PR and use my email signature to let anyone and everyone know about my book. Here’s the latest version of my email signature:

 Best,

 Mark

817-504-3886

 My latest novel, The Brink, is a Barnesandnoble.com Rising Star Award winner!

 Other reviews:

“{Mark Fadden] is a masterful storyteller.”  – Writer’s Digest
“Action and heroism keep readers turning pages. A nicely crafted thriller.” – Foreword Clarion Review of The Brink.

 Preview the first 22 pages and order your signed copy at http://www.markfadden.com

 And I change it based upon what’s going on with the book. I just inserted the “Other reviews” section, where before my signing at the Colleyville Borders there was a blurb about that in it giving the date and time – and it was the most successful signing of the year, maybe in the history of their store! Remember, it’s easy as ABC – Always Be Changing your email signature depending on what’s going on with your book – new reviews coming in, new signings, etc – keep it fresh!

 Food books to read – as selected by the bad boy chef himself

While I don’t necessary like the term “Foodie”, it sounds like you should be dressed in a cute sweater your mom knitted and shaking broccoli pom-poms as the school lunch ladies review the Food pyramid, I am a man who likes to eat. One of my favorite celebrity chefs is Anthony Bourdain. Not only did I really enjoy reading Kitchen Confidential, and I love his attitude, what draws me to him is his philosophical musings on how food should be related to in our lives. It is vital to us, but not just in the nourishment for the body sense. It can, and should be, an essential piece of our well-being, nourishment for the individual soul and the collective heartbeat of a society, no matter how big or small. We certainly have lost that sense of what food can and should do for us here in America. We’re just so damn busy trying to fit in every bleeping thing into our schedules, that the simple joy of preparing a meal for family or friends has been lost, or has never been something experienced altogether by masses of people. Sad.

Anyway, here’s a link to the Goodreads site that has an interview with AB and he shares his top 5 food books. Heat is listed as one of them. I wanted to read it when it first came out, but life got in the way, and I forgot about it. I just put it in my iPhone scheduler to pick it up on Thursday during the “Snake Dude” show at the library. Yup, slithery snakes will keep about 300 kids glued to their seats for an hour, a feat not easily attained. Did I mention the Colleyville library rocks???

 Do secret societies exist? A poll

 Dan Brown made his mark with secret societies. My new book, The Brink, also has this secret society as the bad guys. What do you think? Do you think sinister secret societies exist?

The Nightstand Diaries – 1 year, 5,000 books, and an (almost) anything goes approach to marketing

It’s named “The Nightstand Diaries” because in terms of publishing a book, it doesn’t mean squat that you’re published. It doesn’t mean squat that your book is on a bookstore shelf. It’s only when someone takes your book home and reads it – as a way to relax on a lounge chair, pass time on a subway, or as the last mental exercise before putting it on the nightstand and going to bed – that you become a part of your readers’ lives. With this notion in mind, I invite you to come along as I try to do that very thing. My goal is to try and sell 5,000 copies of my new novel The Brink over the next year.

Day 6 and 7 of 365

In this Weekend Edition issue:

  • A record-breaking signing at Colleyville Borders!
  • Taking time off to celebrate with an awesome adult beverage recipe
  • Father’s Day video – All us dads have been here

A record-breaking signing at Colleyville Borders!

Many thanks to the staff at the Colleyville Borders, who helped me have the most successful book signing of the year at their store! “”Being a local author, Mark generated a lot of pre-signing interest,” said Lori Lortscher of the Colleyville Borders store. “He also interacted well with our customers during the signing, which boosted the sale of his book.  It was our most successful book signing of the year. I hope we are lucky enough to have him back again.” By “interacting well with our customers,” I walked through the store whenever there was a lull in the activity at my table, which was placed front and center at the front of the store, introduced myself to every customer in the store and handed them a bookmark. While several friends came in to the store to buy a copy of The Brink, it was that few minutes of extra work that helped move 24 books in two hours (Lori stated that at most signings, the author is lucky to sell 6 or 7 books).  While I did alot of work to promote the signing,  I sent press releases to the local paper and bloggers, and hung signs in the grocery store and Starbucks, it is still the bookmark that is the centerpiece of the marketing campaign. It’s an author’s business card. I mentioned it in the first blog post, but I’ll mention it again here: I got 5,000 bookmarks for around $160 at www.nextdayflyers.com. They have fantastic customer service and a quick turnaround. I highly recommend them. Now, it’s back to contacting other area bookstores to set up signings. You bet I will use Lori’s quote about how successful the signing was when I talk to them. While we are mainly using social media here, there is still nothing better than the face to face signing to talk to people and hopefully make them fans of our work. Plus, they’re a blast and a way to add to your work. The more people you meet, the more stories and personalities you can add to your list of inspiration and perhaps use them when you get ready to shape your next story or dream up your next character.    

 Taking time off to celebrate with an awesome adult beverage recipe

 After the successful signing, I celebrated with a beverage called “Summer Brew.” It is a very tasty, tangy beverage and we always have the ingredients handy during the hot months.  Here’s the recipe:

 3 Coronas (or Corona Light)

1 can of frozen limeade concentrate

Orange Liqueur

 In a pitcher of ice, mix the ingredients together (use the limeade can to measure the orange liqueur to taste) and Walla! a heck of a great way to celebrate your literary successes in the summer months.

 Father’s Day video – All us dads have been here

 When I saw this video on the attached link, I couldn’t stop laughing. We’ve all been here: it’s 3 am the baby’s crying and you’ll do anything to get some sleep. All us dads have also tried what this guy tries at the end, and just like him it usually fails:

http://thebubble.msn.com/video/?id=332beb96-8f1d-434c-898a-dced460fc1fb

Happy Father’s Day!

The Nightstand Diaries: what works and what doesn’t in a book marketing campaign

Just starting your magnum opus? Kudos to you. Almost done with your manuscript? Fantastic! Keep going! Your book’s been published? Outstanding! But all that really doesn’t mean squat in the real world. Not if you want to put food on the table by putting words on paper. You gotta sell it, for it’s only when someone takes a chance on us, the virtually unknown writers, and takes our books home – as a way to relax on a lounge chair, pass time on a subway, or as the last mental exercise before putting it on the nightstand and going to bed – that we can become a part of our readers’ lives and truly be successful authors. 

My goal is to try and sell 5,000 copies of my new novel ,The Brink, over the next year using every kind of marketing that I can think of and afford. I’m sharing my experiences on a daily basis as a source of information and, hopefully, inspiration to you. I’ll share the amount of time and money each marketing endeavor costs and I’ll post examples of each marketing piece as well. I will also update my sales reports monthly. Our time together should be an informative and, at the very least, fun ride, and I expect some feedback from you, my fellow brothers and sisters of the mighty pen.  So strap in and let’s get to it…

Day 5 of 365 in this Issue:

–         Library Friday

–         A stop by the local B and N pays off

–         Gimme a hug in Colleyville tomorrow

Library Friday

I’ve already said how much the Colleyville, Texas Library rocks. Not only do they have over 900 kids from our community registered in their summer reading program, but Director of Library Services Mary Rodne and her staff continue to amaze everyone with what they do to keep kids interested in reading. Last summer, our first summer in Colleyville, was a Wild West theme and for each 8 books kids wrote they could go to the Wild West-inspired prize room to spin a wheel for a prize. There were also tons of programs including Mad Science, a Yo-Yo trick artist, Nana Puddin, and much more.

This year, the theme is “Bank on Books” and the kick off breakfast last weekend included an appearance by both Oink the Pig, and Daisy the Reading Pig. Again this year they are having numerous programs to get the kids into the library and reading.

I actually hooked up with the Friends of the Colleyville Library several months ago to let them know that The Brink was coming out in late Spring 2010. They graciously had me to one of their meetings to tell my tale of how I became an author and to talk a little about the book. I am going back to their meeting this Tuesday to update them on how the book is doing, and to tell them about this blog. (Time cost: 3 hours including prep for presentations and the presentations themselves. I sold 16 books at the first meeting.)

Mary Rodne also let me know of the North Texas Regional Library Partners (NTRLP) 2nd Annual North Texas Conference For Library Supporters on July 24, 2010 at the Decatur Civic Center in Decatur, Texas. While it’s mainly geared for companies who provide support for libraries, it is also open to authors who can visit with Library Board, Foundation and Friends Group members, volunteers, and staff – all in one day. There are regional groups like this one all over America and they all need books to read, so if you don’t at least look into registering for something like this event, then I may have to get out the Spankin’ Spoon and come find you. You will never get a better chance to make contacts with such a huge cross section of people devoted to the written word than at one of these conferences. If you’re an author or someone who works with libraries in the North Texas area and would like to attend this event, email Elizabeth Stewart at estewart@ntrls.org. (It’s an all day event, and there’s some prep work involved – so I’m thinking 8 hours of work + gas money and cost for lunch and gas – since I’m an author who’s presented at a library, my registration fee is free)

I also stopped by the library in Southlake, Texas today, after holding my squirming three year old through Shrek 3, which is part of the summer movie program at Harkins Theaters in their gorgeous town center development. I wanted to inquire about giving a presentation and doing a signing at one of their Friends meetings as well. One of the delightful staff members told me to send an email to their library director, which I did this afternoon. I call these endeavors the “Friends Circuit,” as I plan to at least try and gain an audience with every Friends group in the DFW area this year. An important note about doing the Friends Circuit – I donate all the profits from Friends signings to the respective Friends group. Not only do I believe in what they are doing by supporting our libraries, I think it’s good karma as well. (Cost: 15 minutes)

A stop by the local B and N pays off

So after the Southlake library visit, where I got a steaming hot cup of Starbucks coffee that they serve gratis (in the spirit of full disclosure, I put a buck in the donation tray), I stopped by their stunning Barnes and Noble store and talked to Angie, who is their community relations director. I sent her a similar marketing packet that I sent to the Colleyville Borders store (see post # 2 from this series for an example) back on June 7, but they were having computer problems and she never received it. Anyway, while they are booked through the summer with signings, she graciously let me be part of their Educators’ Week in October where several authors will be there signing books. I’m not sure where The Brink fits in with educators – maybe I’ll play the whole it teaches kids about the Constitution since it deals with a lost Constitution article, or the whole using-a-thriller-to-teach-people-about-economics-and-our-dire-economic-plight-thing angle. Hey, anything to get me behind a table and opening my sizeable mouth, right? I also resent Angie the marketing packet this afternoon to make sure she knows what I plan to do to market the signing. (Cost: 30 minutes)

Gimme a hug in Colleyville tomorrow

And yes, dear readers, here it is, the shameless self-promotion. I’ll be signing books in the Colleyville, Texas Borders bookstore tomorrow, Saturday June 19 from 1pm-3pm. If you’re going to be in the area, it’d be awesome if you stopped by and at least say hi. If you live out of state, I’d love to fly you in for it, but I don’t even think Dan Brown or Grisham would do something like that – and they have the scratch to hire a G5 to come pick you up. But I have been toying around with the idea that if I do indeed reach my goal of 5,000 books in one year I would rent a beer joint somewhere around here for a night, like the Ginger Man or the Flying Saucer and just leave the taps open all night. I’m actually going to call sometime next week when I have the time to inquire about that to see just how much it would cost. Any guesses?

The Nightstand Diaries – 1 year, 5,000 books, and an (almost) anything goes approach to marketing

Day 4 of 365

Didn’t get a chance to do any marketing today, life got in the way. Also, after a little research, I found out that my publisher, iUniverse, publishes sales reports at the end of each month, so we’ll have to wait for the sales numbers until the end of June.

In this issue:

–         Reaching out to Facebook friends

–         What inspires the creation of a character?

Reaching out to Facebook friends

With my signing coming up this Saturday, I’m going to invite all my local facebook friends to the event. Now, the more I learn about social media, the more I’ve noticed there’s this conundrum about using platforms like facebook to sell products or services. So what do you think? Do you think its okay to use facebook for personal financial gain? I’m sure there would be a great discussion about this topic.

What inspires the creation of a character?

I often get asked, as I’m sure many of you do, do I ever base a character on someone I know? The answer is yes. For The Brink, I needed a character to act as a critical helper when our hero had no one else to turn to. But I also wanted this character to have a dynamic personality, one that “stole the show” in every scene he was in. So with a dash of swagger and a little creative license on his physical description, I amped up Carver “Chip” Sinn into Carver “Chip” Sutton. Here’s a pic of the man who inspired the character: