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New Series: Q and A with D.G. Kaye and Promote Your Book – Featuring James J. Cudney

Welcome to the first author interview in my new author interview series: –Q and A with D.G, Kaye and Promote Your Book.

I’m thrilled to introduce my first guest, author James J. Cudney IV to this series. Jay is going to share a bit about himself and his writing, as well as an excerpt for his newest release – Haunted Ghost House, Book 5 in his Braxton Campus Mysteries.

 

James J. Cudney IV

 

About the Author

James is my given name, but most folks call me Jay. I live in New York City, grew up on Long Island, and graduated from Moravian College. I spent fifteen years building a technology career in the retail, sports, media, and entertainment industries. I enjoyed my job, but a passion for books and stories had been missing for far too long. I’m a voracious reader in my favorite genres (thriller, suspense, contemporary, mystery, and historical fiction), as books transport me to a different world where I can immerse myself in so many fantastic cultures and places. I’m an avid genealogist who hopes to visit all the German, Scottish, Irish, and British villages my ancestors emigrated from in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Writing has been a part of my life as much as my heart, my mind, and my body. I decided to pursue my passion by dusting off the creativity inside my head and drafting outlines for several novels. I quickly realized I was back in my element growing happier and more excited with life each day. My goal in writing is to connect with readers who want to be part of great stories and who enjoy interacting with authors. To get a strong picture of who I am, check out my author website or my blog. It’s full of humor and eccentricity, sharing connections with everyone I follow—all in the hope of building a network of friends across the world.

When I completed the first book, Watching Glass Shatter, I knew I’d stumbled upon my passion again, suddenly dreaming up characters, plots, and settings all day long. I chose my second novel, Father Figure, through a poll on my blog where I let everyone vote for their favorite plot and character summaries. It is with my third book, Academic Curveball, the first in the Braxton Campus Mysteries, where I immersed myself in a college campus full of so much activity, I could hardly stop thinking about new murder scenes or character relationships to finish writing the current story. I can’t believe I’m already writing the sixth book in this series. Come join in the fun…

 

Braxton Campus Mysteries Book 5

 

I’m just going to jump in here and say, I thoroughly enjoyed Jay’s – Watching Glass Shatter. You can read my review HERE. #Recommended

 

Jay will be launching his newest book in October for the next in his Braxton Campus Mystery series – Haunted House Ghost. And you can PRE-ORDER now!

 

Haunted House Ghost book

Pre-Order now on AMAZON

Blurb:

It’s Halloween, and excitement is brewing in Braxton to carve jack-o’-lanterns, go on haunted hayrides, and race through the spooky corn maze at the Fall Festival. Despite a former occupant’s fervent warnings, Kellan renovates and moves into a mysterious old house. When a ruthless ghost promises retribution, our fearless professor turns to the eccentric town historian and an eerie psychic known for her explosive predictions, to communicate with the apparition.

Construction workers discover a fifty-year-old skeleton after breaking ground on the new Memorial Library wing. Could it be Prudence, Judge Hiram Grey’s first wife, who disappeared during a fiery Vietnam War protest that destroyed parts of the campus? While Kellan and April dance around the chemistry sparking between them, a suspicious accident at the Fall Festival leaves Hiram in a coma and another dead body to investigate. Kellan’s research digs up a tale of horror and pain about the true history and dastardly connections of the Grey family, forcing April to accelerate her plan to capture the elusive killer and placate the revenge-seeking ghost.

 

Jay is generously sharing an excerpt with us:

 

Excerpt: Haunted House Ghost

 

             Hunkering behind a weathered, illegible headstone in Wellington Cemetery’s oldest and scariest graveyard, I remained silent and stationary amidst a slew of exhumed corpses. Though surrounded by slender, tall white pines, a gnarly and knotty willow tree’s sweeping canopy of dying branches furtively brushed my neck. After an onslaught of howling winds furiously whipped my quivering skin, I peered over the loosened tomb marker and gawked at the mounds of freshly flung dirt. Why had a ruthless monster dug up so many coffins near the Grey mausoleum?

Skulking two rows away, the determined villain’s soulless eyes glowed like burning coal. The chilling tone of St. Mary’s somber church bells blasted—midnight’s fortuitous arrival. Its ominous beckoning prompted my unsteady feet to falter, crunching a pile of decaying leaves and foolishly revealing my secret location. Suddenly enshrouded in fog and hovering near the nameless gravestone, the rogue’s flowing black and gray robes resembled billowing smoke from an overworked chimney. “I hear you breathing, Ayrwick. Come out, come out wherever you are. I’m not finished with this game.”

“I don’t know who you are, but your obsession with me has spiraled out of control.” As an aloof moon cast an eerie luminosity, I cursed my new modern, sporty aviator eyeglasses for clouding over. Apparition or figment of an overwrought imagination, I couldn’t be certain; nor did I care at that moment. “You can’t be real. My mind is playing tricks on me.”

The ethereal bogeyman glided inches above the churchyard’s hallowed ground. The soles of its feet would vaporize upon stepping in the sacred dirt of the meandering pathways. “Are you ready to die?” the menacing, shrill voice taunted while hunting and cornering me in the darkness of my desolate hiding spot—the cold, melancholy resonance frightening all the bats, owls, and other nightlife creatures into hurried seclusion. The masked phantom narrowed a sinister gaze and brandished a mammoth-sized, razor-sharp scythe that cut swiftly through the crisp air and aimed with precision for my neck.

My arms felt like Jell-O as I struggled to push the heavy cement slab to the ground, then jumped feet first into a vacant grave with my hands and arms protecting my soon-to-be decapitated head. The stealthy tormentor cackled wildly and seized my forearm with an uncannily strong and bony grip, delivering a shot of pure ice that raced through my veins and barreled toward my erratically beating heart. My body froze as though a glacier engulfed and preserved me for all eternity.

 

A Fantastic Early Review:

 

Laura

September 9, 2019

Format: Paperback

 

I’ve asked Jay to choose 5 questions to answer for us so we can get to know a little more about him and his writing.

 

What’s the worst part of publishing for you and why?

Marketing! I am not a natural marketer or networker. I’m shy. I’m quiet. I’m
an introvert. Social media and online marketing are my salvation because I can
accomplish it from behind the Internet wall. I’m attending my first book
conference this fall where I will have to interact live with readers. It’s scary… yet I
know once I’m there, it will be fine. I ran a 100+ technology organization in my
former life, leading meetings with hundreds of people and interacting with every
level of executive and entry-level worker. The issue is: I don’t like to promote
myself. My approach to life is never push someone to do something. I might
suggest why I like a book, TV show, or food, but I’ll never force it on someone. It’s
hard for me to say “you’ll love my book” because I know someone might not like
it. I also don’t want to pressure anyone into doing something they don’t want to
do. Those aren’t ideal personality traits for someone who has to self-promote
their work. I can do it in small increments but not in-person or to a larger
audience. It gets easier over time; I will admit to that.

D.G. I can totally relate Jay. Most of us authors prefer to work behind the scenes. Public speaking terrifies me, weird, since I’m a born talker. I know you share a lot of other author’s work, and the saying goes – 80/20 is the way to go – 80% interacting and sharing of other’s and 20% we are certainly entitled to promote our work, but ‘buy my book’ is not the way.

 

What’s your opinion on self-publishing?

Self-publishing is, like most things, wonderful and painful. I tend to be a
direct guy, so I won’t sugarcoat my response. At this point, anyone can publish a
book. People who have no experience or talent can draft something, create a
cover, prepare formats, and launch a book on Amazon or another sites. Once
marketing and advertising kicks in, the book is out there. Compared to a decade
ago, the number of available books is astronomical. This has made publishing, like
many other technology-advanced fields, thoroughly flooded. Unfortunately,
readers struggle to choose which books to read (there are too many) and authors
can’t find enough reviewers or fans because of it. On the flip side, it provides so
much more opportunity and options for people to choose what’s best for them –
something that we all deserve and need to be successful.
There are positives and negatives that follow this trend… and so, I think
self-publishing is great because it offers an opportunity to talented authors who
aren’t great networkers and can’t find an agent or publisher. It also provides false
confidence to some and can create setbacks. Ultimately, as both a reader and an
author, I look outside of just the book to determine whether something is right for
me. Check the publisher’s and writer’s social media accounts, blogs, websites,
credentials… determine whether it’s a good fit for you as a person before making your decision how to proceed.

D.G. – That sounds like sound advice Jay. And yes, anyone can publish a book, but if it’s a slapped together piece of crap it’s not going to sell, and if it does, after the first terrible reviews come in, it’s no threat to better books.

 

Do you prefer to only read books in your genre?

No, I like all genres. I will add to that though… I am, at my core, a mystery
reader. I enjoy the ranges from a cozy to a hardcore thriller. I absolutely prefer
series over non-series. I like both contemporary and historical fiction, especially
when it falls within the mystery genre. I’m not an avid fan of science-fiction or
fantasy because they aren’t tangible to me. I don’t usually enjoy those types of
movies or television shows either; I need to understand the boundaries of
something I’m reading or watching. Often, in science-fiction or fantasy, anything
can happen. I’m structured and realistic in most everything I do, so I prefer the
same in my hobbies. That said, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed books from other genres,
but they are neither my normal read nor something I’ll usually accept a book
review request on. My reviews will never be as strong as the author would want
in those cases.

D.G. – It seems we have something in common. I too have a difficult time reading Fantasy or Sci-Fi, and your explanation has helped me understand better what it is that keeps me from reading. But also, as a nonfiction writer, I mostly enjoy nonfiction and historical fiction, family sagas, etc. – stories about people and their lives. But your answer – ‘they aren’t tangible’ is the best explanation.

 

What’s your favorite mode of writing – computer, hand written,
dictation, and why?

I use my laptop. I edit as I write, so often, I stop and fix things each day
from the chapters as I create the story. I would constantly be erasing and crossing
things out if I used pen and paper. My hands and fingers would probably exhaust
easily too. I can type all day, but I feel cramps in my hands if spend more than an
hour with a pen. I attempted dictation software a few times but failed. Either my
vocal tone or accent is difficult to interpret, or the software isn’t ready for prime
time. I spent more time fixing issues than necessary, so it’s easier for me to just
use a computer from the beginning. I do like to print out a semi-final version and correct it with a pencil to find issues my eyes or software can’t find on the
computer. It provides a good balance, and it shows me what it’s like for a reader
of one of my books to experience the story. I like to walk the walk and talk to talk, so to speak.

D.G. – That’s interesting, and where we differ. I’m a dinosaur writing longhand. That way I don’t stop my thoughts with editing, writing freehand. First round revisions begin when I enter in the computer. But I agree on the importance of printing out a copy to edit in a later stage because our eyes absolutely catch things differently on paper. And lol, love the phrase ‘the software isn’t ready for prime time!’ 🙂

 

If you could have any of your books made into a movie, which one
would you choose and why?

I would love to see Watching Glass Shatter, my debut novel, made into a
movie or television series. The story is told from the perspective of Olivia, a
widow, and her five adult sons. Chapters alternate between each of them,
showing readers their own personal style, voice, and opinions on their father’s
death and secrets bubbling in the background. It has the drama associated with
popular shows viewers watch today, but it also has a myriad of emotions that
people struggle with every day. The story unfolds in cliffhangers with each
chapter, which would easily become episodes. The book ends with realistic
outcomes and expectations for all the characters; it’s not just ‘we’re happy again.’
I’m midway into the sequel now, and I can definitely tell you that the lives of
these characters mirror the reality of drugs, death, affairs, abuse, fear, and
secrets. Sometimes they are minor, others they are impactful. Readers love to hate certain characters but fall hard for others.

D.G. – Oh yay! I’m excited to hear about a sequel to that book, I look forward to reading it! And I wholeheartedly agree, it would make a fantastic TV series with all the relevant factors many face in life.

~ ~ ~

I want to thank Jay for his wonderful feature here today. I hope you all enjoyed the first of more to come in this interview series.

 

Visit all of Jay’s books:

 

List of Books

Watching Glass Shatter (October 2017)

Father Figure (April 2018)

Braxton Campus Mysteries

            Academic Curveball – #1 (October 2018)

            Broken Heart Attack – #2 (November 2018)

            Flower Power Trip – #3 (March 2019)

            Mistaken Identity Crisis – #4 (June 2019)

            Haunted House Ghost – #5 (October 2019)

 

You can visit Jay all over social media by clicking on the links below:

Website: https://jamesjcudney.com/

Blog: https://thisismytruthnow.com

Next Chapter Pub: https://www.nextchapter.pub/authors/james-j-cudney

 

Social Media Links

Amazon: http://bit.ly/JJCIVBooks

Twitter: https://twitter.com/jamescudney4

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JamesJCudneyIVAuthor/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BraxtonCampusMysteries/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/jamescudney4/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jamescudney4/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/jamescudney4

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jamescudney4

 

My thanks to Jay for being my guest here today. And feel free to leave comments and/or questions.

 

Copyright
© D.G. Kaye and DGKayewriter.com, 2014 – 2020. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to D.G. Kaye

 

 

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D.G. Kaye is a nonfiction/memoir writer, who writes from her own life experiences and self-medicates with a daily dose of humor.

91 Comments

  • Sally Cronin

    Fabulous Debby and James and really good to know about you.. I must get on with the series so I am up to date.. will get on to that..

    This is going to be a great series Debby and will share tomorrow on my blog…. ♥♥

  • James J Cudney

    Good morning,

    Happy Friday! I just woke up here in NYC on Friday the 13th feeling thrilled about the onset of autumn and Halloween. I stepped onto the terrace to a chill in the air and the scent of leaves falling around me. Then, I checked my phone while brewing coffee (a necessary this early) and found our interview had posted.

    The first thing I noticed was that lovely picture of you. It’s such a classic style that truly makes you shine. I love it! I am honored to be part of your new interview series. To be there today when you kick it off, I am just plain lucky. I can’t wait to see this take off…

    It turned out wonderful. Everything shines, and your responses were a fun surprise. I’m glad we have a lot in common, even if we don’t share the same format for writing. Perhaps I should try it your way to see if it yields different results!

    I’m off to share this everywhere. I hope you have a thrilling but restful weekend. You deserve it. Congratulations on the new segment. And thank you from the depths of my gratitude.

    xoxo

    J

    • dgkaye

      Good morning Jay! What a most lovely comment you left for my morning coffee surprise! I hear you on the crisp air and Halloween feels indeed like it’s just around the corner!
      I am thrilled that you have kicked off this series for me, and it seems so are my readers! Thank you kindly for your lovely compliments, and for gracing my pages here. This was so much fun to put together, and you’ve done a dynamite job of being my first guest. <3

  • Stevie Turner

    Congrats on your new venture, Debby. Entertaining interview. I have a couple of things in common with Jay; I hate marketing too, and I can’t get on with reading Sci-fi or Fantasy although I have tried!

  • Jacqui Murray

    Great interview, Deb. Kudos on an excellent start to your new series! James–nice to meet you. I bopped over to Amazon and see you have a nice collection of books, all well-regarded. I like that you keyboard first. Me too! I can talk while I type so there’s no distraction from thinking with keyboarding.

  • Balroop Singh

    I love that picture Deb, you are looking fab! I had similar glasses once upon a time and when I wore them the first time in my class to teach, the looks of my students conveyed how good they looked! No one could say it though while I was teaching. 🙂
    Congratulations for this new feature at your blog and Jay’s interview tells a lot about him. I too am very bad at marketing my books, am introvert and don’t know how to approach but with friends like you and Sally, I feel blessed.
    Yes, I agree with Jay, Watching Glass Shatter is a wonderful book for a movie or T.V. series. It has so many layers and characters have their own issues to tackle. Wishing Jay all the success and thanks for sharing this lovely interview.

    • dgkaye

      Thanks so much Balroop for your lovely comment and compliment. It seems the majority of us writers don’t prefer the marketing part of the biz but it’s a good thing we all have a wonderful community here to help promote each other. And thank for the comment about glasses, lol. So funny, I just got them a few months ago – I swear I had similar ones as my first pair when I was 9 – I hated them back then! But of course, I wasn’t as bold back then as I grew to be. And of course, glasses didn’t have fancy doohickeys on them back in the day. <3

    • James J Cudney

      Balroop,

      She does look great!!!

      Thank you so much. I appreciate the kindness. I am glad we’ve met… and I will be working on your author alert this weekend. Be in touch soon. Have a great evening.

      J

  • Jacquie Biggar

    Enjoyed getting to know more about James through this interview! I’ve read a couple of his books now and thoroughly enjoy his writing style- looking forward to Haunted House Ghost.
    Good luck at the conference!

    • James J Cudney

      I agree about your books too. I’m glad we connected. Thank you so much. Hope you have an awesome weekend… I’ll be planning the marketing for the October launch. Oh my.

  • Miriam Hurdle

    I’m delighted to read this new interview and book promoting feature on your blog, Debby. You look marvelous and beautiful. I like your dress, or top, and your necklace. Turquoise is my favorite color because it’s my daughter’s birthstone.

    I enjoyed reading the interview and you picked great questions, Jay. I’m shy to promote my book also. I feel apologetic to push my book. I had several book signing events but it was organized by a third party.

    I write mostly with the computer because that I used computer for last 10 years of my career before retirement. When I do write with pen and paper, I crossed out and inserted constantly. I sometimes write on the notepads of iPad or phone. It makes me feel like I’m writing a diary nobody would see and I feel free to write.

    I now have about four of your books, Joy. I could feel the autumn leaving falling from the ceiling of my office when I visited your website this morning. 🙂

    Thank you again for this interview, Debby. 🙂

    • dgkaye

      Hi Miriam! Thank you so much for your lovely comments and compliment. I do love turquoise as you can tell, lol. That was a top I was wearing. And thanks for sharing your writing structure. I do like writing in notebooks and and never look at what I write until I’m done and revise. As I’m writing I’ll think about things I want to include and instead of stopping, I make notes in the margins. It works for me. 🙂 xx

    • James J Cudney

      Debby does look great. 🙂

      The falling leaves were so fun to add to the website. I have more planned for next week, then a lot for the October launch with ghosts and pumpkins. I can’t wait.

      I hope you enjoy the books. I have yours to read in about 2 weeks, probably less… only 3 more before I’m there. Looking forward to it.

      Have a good weekend,

      J

  • James J Cudney

    Thank you. We can figure this marketing out together. I responded before, but it didn’t go through, so you might see a duplicate if it’s delayed. Sorry! 🙂

  • lisa thomson

    Nice new series here, Deb! Cute pic of you! Great to meet new-to-me authors. It was interesting to hear Jay’s answers to your Q’s regarding self publishing. Seems we’re facing similar issues (all of us self pub authors). His books sound interesting! Watching Glass Shatter in particular sounds like one I could delve into.

  • Roberta Eaton Cheadle

    This is a great first post, Debby. Jay writes lovely books and has a super blog too. I have never know someone who can read as many books as Jay. I have read Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure as well as one of his cosy mystery stories. I prefer family drama and historical novels to mystery but I do try and be broad in my reading choices. I loved Father Figure. I thought it was a masterpiece of writing.

    • dgkaye

      Thanks so much Robbie, for visiting and adding to the conversation. Like you, I also prefer historical and family drama reading. I loved Watching Glass Shatter, and look so forward to the sequel to see what those characters are up to. I have Father Figure awaiting me on my Kindle too. I try to jump around to give various author’s books a turn for my reading – which is nowhere near the amount of reading time Jay is blessed to be having, before returning to another of one of my favorite author reads. But eventually, I get there. Jay is a a wonderful supporter of so many Indie authors by reading and reviewing their books. 🙂 x

    • James J Cudney

      Robbie – Thank you. Every time I see your words “masterpiece,” I blush from excitement and shock! Thank you.

      BTW, when does your next book release, and can I do anything to help support or promote it?

      Debby – Thank you… I love the Glass family, and this is going to be such a fun sequel to write.

    • dgkaye

      Hi Kev! I’m delighted to see you here and even more that you so enjoyed. Thank you for the great feedback. This was so much fun to put together. And having Jay over to start the show was fabulous. 🙂

    • James J Cudney

      Hey! Thanks for stopping by. Debby did a fantastic job on this post and interview. I’m truly honored to be part of it. I can’t wait to see who is next.

    • James J Cudney

      Natalie,

      Thank you so much. I see your name and posts all the time, even try to reblog or retweet too. When I slow down with my reading schedule, I will definitely take a look at your books. I can’t wait for the fall to arrive so I am ready to relax a bit around the holidays. Have a great weekend.

      J

  • Olga Núñez Miret

    Having read many great things about Jay’s books, it was great to learn more about him and his opinions. We do share a few as well.
    As I’m also a reader of mysteries, I definitely must check his books. Good luck to the author and thanks for this new feature of your blog, Debby.

  • Diana Peach

    Excellent first interview in your new series, Debby. I agree with Jay on the pitfalls and benefits of indie-publishing and reading. The market is flooded and it’s hard to find an audience, but what a wonderful opportunity to follow our passions. The books sound great. Great luck to Jay on his writing and publishing (and marketing) journey. 🙂

  • Liesbet

    Great new series, Debby! Keep ‘m coming. Now, did James pick five questions out of a list you provided or did he come up with the questions and the answers?

    • dgkaye

      Thanks Liesbet. In my interviews, I give my guests a choice of 50 questions to pick from, with the option to add one or two of their own to showcase whatever it is they would like to add in. 🙂

  • Sherri Matthews

    Hi Deb, what a fantastic interview series, can you tell I’m on a catch up roll, lol?! <3 Great Q&A, thank you for introducing a brand new blogger. Hi Jay, it's great to meet you! I really enjoyed reading your answers. Congratulations on your new book and review, I enjoyed the excerpt, perfect for this time of year with Halloween just around the corner 😉 'Watching Glass Shatter' is not only a great title, but a book that I know I would love. Deb, I read similar books to you (and a lot of true crime too lol) and totally can see what you mean, Jay, about sci fi and fantasy not 'being tangible'. In short story form I really enjoy it (like Hugh's fab collection!) but sci fi/fantasy/dystopian novels aren't for me. You've got the same writing process as me too…definitely all on the laptop but agree, printing out a copy further on for editing is a must. And the self promotion…arrrgh. I FEAR it!!! Anyway, I will go on all day, so I will wrap up. Oh..one more thing, being a Brit, would love to know which villages 🙂 Loving this series, thanks again, Deb and Jay 🙂

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