James Hockenberry

Author James Hockenberry’s Summer 2018 Newsletter

I and all of us at my book company, HN Books, hope you are enjoying the summer. I have been remiss in sending you updates on my progress, but I have waited until I had some definitive news. I have been doing much groundwork for moving ahead including working diligently researching and writing the 3rd book in my World War I Intrigue Series, Send the Word, which is over half complete as a first draft; booking speaking and signing appearances, attending conferences and meetings, and trying to promote my books.

 

I am pleased to say we are making progress in the very competitive world of selling books.

 

NEWS FROM HERE:

 

I am delighted to tell you that So Beware, the second book in my World War I Intrigue Series, has recently won two book awards:

 

  • Finalist in the prestigious Book Excellence Awards (category: Historical Fiction)
  • The Florida Authors and Publishers Association (FAPA) President’s Award (Historical Fiction). I will attend the awards ceremony next week to learn if I won gold, silver, or bronze. As a result of winning this award, So Beware is now available in their affiliated bookstore. (See details below.)

 

I’m pleased to say that my  article “New York Attacked, 100 Years Ago” describing important places in New York City during Germany’s sabotage war in America during WWI appeared in the International Thriller Writers (ITW) monthly magazine, The Big Thrill. Links to this article are included in my website.

 

In April, I gave a lecture on “How WWI Made NJ the Industrial State it is today and the implications,” to the Old Guard of Princeton, a long-time local society. Over eighty people were in attendance and the feedback was most encouraging.

 

Two weeks ago, I attended my eighth Thrillerfest in New York City. As part of this, I attended a Master Writing class run by Andy Gross, a major thriller-writer, who has co-authored with James Patterson. Andy is moving into writing historical thrillers. His book The One Man is one the best I’ve read in years. His comments and the feedback from the group on the opening chapters of Send the Word are invaluable.

 

In addition, I met many old friends, made some new ones, did a spot radio interview, met a U.K. television producer, and established contact with a marketing and publicity company that may help my efforts to crack into the market.

 

Who knows where any of this will lead, but as I advise my job-seeking friends, “Go out and do something. Surprises occur. If you stay at home, I guarantee that nothing will happen.” In the meantime, the author journey is my reward.

 

In July, I visited the Jersey Meadowlands to see the site of the second largest German sabotage attack in America during WWI in Kingsland, when over 500,000 artillery shells “accidently” exploded at the Canadian Car & Foundry Company. Though less destructive than the Black Tom Island explosion (because of its location) the scene was “more spectacular.” The devastated area forms a major scene in Send the Word. Although all that is left of the plant is an old factory chimney stuck in the middle of a marshland that was a major industrial hub 100 years ago, the visit has given me gold. I can’t emphasis enough the importance of physically visiting a place. A hill overlooks the old site and includes a cemetery. The top of the Statue of Liberty is visible in the far distance. Knowing this, I can add color and credibility to the scene.

 

In September as part of my research for Send the Word, I will visit the Meuse-Argonne battlefield, the scene of the largest battle the U.S Army has ever fought in absolute terms (1.2 million soldiers were involved) with a professional tour guide. This battle will form the climax of Send the Word.

 

BOOKS ON SALE AT

 

Classics Book Store

4 West Lafayette Street

Trenton, NJ   08608

(609) 394-8400

 

Newtown Bookshop

2835 South Eagle Road

Newtown, PA  18940

(215) 968-2400

 

P.J. Boox ***

13550 Reflections Parkway, Suite 5-501

Fort Myers, FL  33907

 

*** Starting this month.

 

BOOK SALES:

E-book- both Over Here and So Beware are now $2.99 on Amazon

Over Here paperback is $13.99, So Beware paperback is $14.99

SPECIAL: Any 2 books for @$24.99

 

APPEARANCES

 

  • August 1 (Wednesday): Lecture – 7pm. Bernardsville Library, NJ. “How WWI Made NJ the Industrial State It Is”. 1 Anderson Hill Road, Bernardville, NJ (908) 766-0118
  • August 3-4 (Friday and Saturday): the Florida Authors and Publishers Association (FAPA) Annual Conference and Awards Presentation in Orlando, Florida.
  • October 6 (Saturday); Book Signing – 10am-4pm. Collingswood Book Fair. Street location for my table has not as yet been assigned.
  • November 10 (Saturday): Book Signing 2pm-4pm. Bucks County Author Exposition, 25 Upper Holland Road, Richboro, PA, phone: (215)357-3050
  • November 14 (Wednesday): Lecture, noon (tentative) State Library Trenton: “The Paris Peace Conference and the Start of the Cold War.” 185 West State Street, Trenton, NJ 08625-0520, phone: (609)-278-2640
  • November 18 (Sunday): Book Signing, Noon-4pm. Deutsches Club of Clark, Christmas Fair, 787 Featherbed Lane, Clark, NJ 07066
  • December 5 (Wednesday): Lecture, noon. Present Day Club, Princeton “How WWI Made NJ the Industrial State It Is”.

 

* Is there a store that you can think of?

* A reading group that might select the book, with the added bonus that I will come and speak to the group?

 

FANS NEEDED:  Social Media & Marketing: Please tell your friends to link with me on Facebook (James Hockenberry) or Twitter @HNBooksLLC so I can convey news and information about other fiction authors. Sharing helps every author.

 

Also, there are simple ways to assist me in marketing my WWI thrillers. Please take a couple moments and spread the word about my books. One thing that would help would be for you to write a review on Amazon. A couple of words (“Liked the book,”) and a star rating (1-5, your call) is fine. It is not necessary to have bought the book from Amazon. Amazon ratings impact how Amazon places a book in its marketing hierarchy.

 

Thanks in advance; this would be a big help.

 

Please send any thoughts, comments or suggestions to info@jameshockenberry.com . Many thanks.

 

MY LECTURE SERIES

 

Since I have started my World War One Intrigue Trilogy, I have presented a number of lectures to various groups in the Mercer County, Philadelphia, and Bucks County areas. I love doing these and offer them gratis, just a chance to sell my books. Here is the list of my lecture topics:

 

– “World War One: An Industrial War – Its Consequences and Implications”

– “German-Americans and World War One”

– “New Jersey’s Role in World War One: Sabotage Target and Key State in the War Effort”

– “An Author’s Journey – The Route to Self-Publishing, Rewards and Caveats”

– “The Paris Peace Talks and the Makings of the Cold War”

 

If you know of an organization that would be interested in hearing these lectures, please let me know.

 

I tell other authors, “We don’t sell books. We sell ourselves first.” Prove you know your topic (I have handouts of interesting facts), engage them, and show your enthusiasm. It’s contagious and often results in a sale or maybe a recommendation.

 

WHAT AM I READING?

 

Skyjack, by K.J. Howe. She is the Executive Director of Thrillerfest and a good friend. This is the second book in her Thea Paris kidnap and ransom series and a great read. The expertise K.J. brings to the world of hostage negotiation and skyjackings is enthralling.

 

1917: Lenin, Wilson, & the Birth of the New World Order, by Arthur Herman. I read this non-fiction book for additional background on the effects of WWI.

 

Shadow of Tokyo, by Matthew Legare. I met Matthew at Thrillerfest many years ago when we were both pitching to agents. This is his book on the intrigues of 1930s Japan. His research into this world is impressive.

 

An Officer and a Spy, by Robert Harris, a fictional account of the notorious Dreyfus affair when a Jewish French captain was falsely accused of spying for Germany. What a story. Grounded in actual detail, this is a great read.

 

The Lords of Finance: The Bankers Who Broke the World, by Liaquat Ahamed. This is the account of how the world’s major bankers handled the post-WWI financial troubles and helped create the depression.

 

The Fourth Monkey, by J. D. Barker. I met J.D. at last year’s Thrillerfest and I predict he will be a major name in suspense writing in a few years. He’s young, smart, dynamic, and writes a great thriller series with a most diabolical and fascinating antagonist. The sequel is out but I haven’t read it. I will.