As an author in this economy, you have to come up with creative ways to market your self-published book. While book tours are a great way to connect with your readers, they aren’t the most affordable method of promotion. However, technology has made it possible for an alternative.

Take note from self-publishing Outskirts Press author, A. L. Hatley, who is taking her latest book, Banking on Conundrums, on tour – a virtual book tour, that is. She will be featured on several blogs over the weeks and months ahead so keep your eyes peeled to learn more about her and her book.

Luckily for us, A.L. was kind enough to answer a few questions as the tour was getting started so that we can give you a sneak peek into the mind of the creator of Banking on Conundrums.

Banking on Conundrums book cover

OP: Tell us a little bit about Banking on Conundrums. What is it about?

ALH: The story begins with the onset of a bank heist. The reader might think that’s the guts of the story considering the entire book only has meaning because of that one incident. However, the foundation of the story is Paul Byrnes: his past, his present, and how that fateful event altered his world permanently.

OP: Why did you decide to write this story?

ALH: In the kitchen one day, I was trying to channel Cate Blanchett in her role from the Indiana Jones movie, The Crystal Skull, and Checkov from the newer Star Trek movie. I kept speaking words out loud, using my interpretation of a Russian accent. Next, I asked myself, “What would a Russian say if she were a heist leader that would make her sound confidently arrogant and intriguing but definitely the bad guy?”

Once I cemented those verbal exchanges in my head, I decided the story would be better told from the perspective of the head of security.

As a side note, I wrote the book in less than a month. I would sit down at the laptop and just write. The story seemed to have a life of its own; I didn’t know what was going to happen until I wrote it. Characters that I thought I wanted to keep, suddenly met with an untimely demise, so I was just as surprised at the outcome as anyone else reading the book for the first time.

OP: What types of readers would be interested in this story?

ALH: Probably someone who enjoys a touch of who-done-it, filled with people a reader can relate to. However, I believe the story line will appeal to a variety of readers.

The basic plot is focused on a bank heist, but there are no gory shoot-em-up scenes or granular love scenes. Plus, I delved into the background of a couple of the characters. This gives the reader a better understanding of what motivates these people; makes them more likeable or hate-able, depending on the character and the readers’ perspective.

OP: What is special about your book?  What differentiates it from other books in the same category?

ALH: I’ve tried to humanize the characters and give the reader people they can relate to and believe in. Fiction is a fantasy, but sometimes we need characters that sound like our next door neighbors or someone we grew up with. Sometimes, readers appreciate flaws over perfection.

OP: Have you published any other books? Do you plan to publish more?

ALH: I published a children’s story, Little Pinky’s Day. That was a labor of love and how it came to fruition is a story in itself, which I won’t bore you with now.

This book is geared to the 3-5 year old crowd who are just learning to read. The storyline is positive and uplifting; with examples that kids will want to emulate and parents will be happy to encourage. Plus, there’s a coloring book in the back. Sorry, you will have to provide your own crayons.

Banking on Conundrums is the first in a trilogy. At the end of the book, I’ve included the first chapter of the second book, Exhuming the Dead, as a teaser. This story picks up where the first story ended, but a different character is narrating. The book is pretty much finished; my sister is helping me edit it. When that part has been completed, I will move on to the publishing stage!

I can definitely envision more stories and more books in my future. I’ve been writing songs, poems, and stories since my teens. Now that I have stepped outside my comfort zone by offering two books for public consumption, I cannot imagine not continuing.

OP: Thanks for your time, A.L.! We look forward to learning more about you as you visit other bloggers!

Banking on Conundrums Author A. L. HatleyABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Although having penned songs, poems, and unfinished stories for over 40 years for personal enjoyment, Banking on Conundrums is A. L. Hatley’s freshman attempt at publishing a novel for public consumption. Previously, the author wrote and published a children’s story, Little Pinky’s Day. A. L. Hatley has been working in the ITS field for over 20 years, with a B.S. in Information Technology. The author resides in Gaithersburg, MD.

For more information or to contact the author, visit

This author purchased the Virtual Book Tour marketing option, which allows self-publishing authors to connect with bloggers and harness the power of the blogosphere by taking their book on the “virtual road”.  Learn more about this service by visiting your Publishing Center and reviewing the available marketing options.

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