IndieView with Connie Shipley, author of MoonHuntress

Yes, I think if you want a good book on the market, you need to get a professional editor. 

Connie Shipley – 6 February 2018

The Back Flap

To the casual observer, Bina Knopfler is a beautiful, educated and thoroughly modern young woman. And all of those things are true. However, one important element is missing from the description.

Bina Knopfler is deadly.

For while Bina enjoys the parties, clothes, travel and friendships of any woman her age, she knows of far more than these. As one of Mossad’s top agents, she has seen the hell of Al Raqqah and stared squarely into the eyes of evil. She has faced death — and she has caused it. As comfortable holding an AK-47 as a champagne flute, Bina Knopfler is not a woman to be trifled with.

So when some of the world’s top scientists vanish, and a shady organisation begins to threaten international stability, Bina is drawn into the very centre of events. However, she is sent there not only by her employers, but also via more mysterious forces. Who is the girl with dark hair who is convinced that Bina can rescue her lost love? And how are they both connected to the red-haired kitesurfer, and the twins with such powers of clairvoyance that the authorities consult them?

And then there are the men. As a stunning woman, Bina can take her pick. But which of her suitors is her true love? Which of them knows her best? Indeed, does Bina even know who she is, in truth?

MoonHuntress is a fast-paced, adrenaline-fuelled adventure that takes Bina and her associates from the depths of the ocean to the heights of the cosmos and back again, on a search for justice, truth and love on multiple levels. Blending science fiction with romance, intrigue and military adventure, it is an enthralling, one-of-a-kind story that will stay with you long after the final page has turned.

About the book

What is the book about?

It’s a mystery/thriller and espionage book.

MoonHuntress is the story of Bina Knopfer who at twenty-three, begins her adrenaline pumping career as a specialized intelligence officer for the clandestine activities of Israel’s secret service Mossad.

In the shadowy world of espionage, flirting is fair game when it comes to national security.  So, when Bina is selected to seduce the most influential men, she realizes that more than just a beautiful face will not be enough, and takes the game of seduction to a higher, more Machiavellian level.   With the help of Isadora with her clairvoyance, Astrid a kitesurfer champion, and International Special Forces soldiers, Bina goes on the quest to uncover the secrets of a mysterious organization, the Horus Co. The main goal of this organization is to retrieve precious minerals from the moon, especially Helium-3 to achieve free energy yet knowing that nuclear weapons can be produced with devastating consequences.

From champagne parties to HALO jumps and grabbing her faithful Glock, Bina will have to battle for the truth and love on multiple levels.

 When did you start writing the book?

I started writing MoonHuntress in September 2015

How long did it take you to write it?

5 months in all, plus 4-5 months of editing by professionals

Where did you get the idea from?

My past, I have lived in the Middle East, and met some interesting people there. I also did a lot of research, as I always do for my books. 50% of my time goes into research the other 50% goes into the real writing.

Were there any parts of the book where you struggled?

Yes, in the description of the Horus island, the fantasy bit and the science fiction was hard to describe. But in the end, I managed to get it through.

What came easily?

The characters, the dialogues, the scenery.

Are your characters entirely fictitious or have you borrowed from real world people you know?

Some of the characters I based on real people I know, but let’s be honest, the main character is completely fictitious.

We all know how important it is for writers to read. Are there any particular authors that have influenced how you write and, if so, how have they influenced you?

Not really, I wanted my own style, I prefer to be original and not be a copy-cat from some famous author.

Do you have a target reader?

My books are read from YA to adults.

About Writing

Do you have a writing process? If so can you please describe it?

It all starts with a storyline. The research I write down, then it comes all together. I’ll write down the characters I’ll put in the book, but then everything just comes along and sentences, words will just pop inside my head as I’m writing. Actually, I live the scenes I describe in my books, so sometimes I get emotional, or mad, crazy … depends on the chapter.

Do you outline? If so, do you do so extensively or just chapter headings and a couple of sentences?

Not anymore. I tried it once, but then I change things as I write, so for me it doesn’t work at all.

Do you edit as you go or wait until you’ve finished?

I’ll wait till I’m finished, but actually my editor does the big part of editing. She’ll tell me what to change, what to describe more, what has to be deleted. Oh, she’s good at deleting.

Did you hire a professional editor?

Yes, I think if you want a good book on the market, you need to get a professional editor. They’ll help you during the whole phase of your book. I send out chapter by chapter, so she knows where I’m going with the book and it makes it easier for her to edit it too. But an editor is a MUST for all writers.

Do you listen to music while you write? If yes, what gets the fingers tapping?

Oh yes, music is essential in my writing process. The type of music depends on the scene I’m on. And can go from classical music to hard rock to romantic music. I listen a lot to movie music, Hans Zimmer for example. In my book series I went from classical Iranian music to Tibetan monks choir to Pop music and heavy metal.

About Publishing

Did you submit your work to Agents?

Yes, and I’m still trying to get a lit agent. But for now it’s all rejections, rejections and rejections.

What made you decide to go Indie, whether self-publishing or with an indie publisher? Was it a particular event or a gradual process?

I think it’s the only way to try today. Finding a publisher isn’t easy. I live in Italy, so it makes it even more difficult. Here publishers want you to pay first for the books, before they get sold. You have to think about the promotions etc… So it’s really difficult. The internet gives you more opportunities. But it’s a wild world out there as well. The Matrix is huge, and we can get lost.

Did you get your book cover professionally done or did you do it yourself?

Yes, I have a dear friend who helps me with the book cover. I tell him what I want, how I want it and he’ll do all the graphics until we get it right.

Do you have a marketing plan for the book or are you just winging it?

It’s really difficult to get out there. But with some patience and a lot of interacting with readers, you can get out there. There’s a lot of social media to look out for, and it is time consuming but it has to be done. It’s part of the marketing, and in the end it is business.

Any advice that you would like to give to other newbies considering becoming Indie authors?

Stop with all the Procastination and just go for it.

About You

Where did you grow up?

Parents were British, but I grew up and studied in Belgium in a nice beach town, you can read in my book MoonHuntress.

Where do you live now?

Tuscany, Italy with my husband, three dogs and a horse.

What would you like readers to know about you?

What is there to know. I love animals, love to cook and party. I’ve travelled a lot in the past and still do. Visited a lot of places, and most countries I talk about in my books I’ve been to.

Plus, maybe I’m a bit crazy, but I’ve got a lot of patience and for an author, patience is really important.

What are you working on now?

I’m almost finished translating my third book of the MoonHuntress series in Italian, then it goes to my Italian editor. After that I was planning to go on a hiatus from the MoonHuntress Series and write a horror/thriller story. I’m already writing ideas down and doing research on some weird stuff. Fingers crossed.

End of Interview:

For more from Connie, follow her on Twitter or like her Facebook page.

Get your copy of MoonHuntress from Amazon US or Amazon UK.

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