Indie Brits

Indie Brits

About the blog

This blog had been set up to help ALL Indie Authors promote their work particularly those based in the UK. All are welcome here but I will remove posts that I believe to be offensive in nature.
Anyone that wants to be spotlighted (or have a bit of promotion) you can email me directly on author@eijennings.com. Please like my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/TheJessicaDawnSeries

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Becki Brannen

SpotlightPosted by Ellena Jennings Wed, August 28, 2013 13:40:44

My final author spotlight for the month is the fabulous Becki Brannen...
I was born and raised in the South. I married my high school sweetheart and we have two daughters and a poodle, Sophie. I enjoy writing 'chick lit' with a Christian twist. I hope you enjoy reading my books, "Breathless" and "Strapless." There will be more to come soon!

I’m sensitive, extroverted, nice, feisty, happy, optimistic, a wife, mother, writer, office-minion, caring, CHRISTIAN. I believe in happy endings, lessons becoming blessings, and finding the strength to forgive (myself included). I’m unapologetic in my beliefs, strong-willed, compassionate and loving. I stand by my motto in 9th grade, when I broke out of my shell of feeling too fat, too nerdy, too shy, too scared – “You’ll either love me or hate me, but I think I’m pretty awesome.” Well, maybe it was a bit more crass back then!

I love it when I let author's add anything they like because I get wonderful statements like this....Love it! So let's have a looksy at the interview...

Do you write as yourself or under a pseudonym? Why?

I’m me. I think it was for two reasons initially – being able to see my name on a book cover, and allowing my friends and family to search for me. I see the benefits of a pseudonym, such as privacy, but in today’s digital world, real names aren’t that hard to figure out!

What made you want to be a published author?
Being unpublished just wasn’t any fun! I participated in NaNoWriMo 2011 and wrote Breathless, my first novel, in 29 days. If you finish a book, why not get it published? And if you publish it, why not try to make a little money while you’re at it? So I did. It’s not the first book I’ve ever written, but I don’t think the books I “wrote” in elementary school quite count. After all, some of them didn’t even have words! I went to a literature/language arts magnet school, and we wrote a book each year. Nothing to write home about, pun intended, but it definitely gave me a love for writing!

What genre do you write in and why?

So far, I’ve written Christian Chick Lit. Funny, girly books, romantic, not smutty. I wanted to write something I could tell my dad I wrote, and not blush. He still said, “You didn’t tell me it was a romance novel!” But it’s not! There is not ONE instance of a throbbing ANYTHING, unless I gave a character a throbbing headache! My characters are Christian because I am. It’s such a part of my life that I don’t really know how to separate the two fully. My upcoming projects are quite different. Peregrine is wistful and descriptive. I have no idea where it’s going to go, so it’s going to be interesting to write. Running is a suspense with a bit of romance thrown in. Outcast is YA paranormal. I feel like such a sell-out jumping on that bandwagon, but since I love to read it, why not try my hand at it. We’ll see if it ever comes to fruition. Providence is sort of country chic romance. Instead of a cowboy romance (and who doesn’t love those?), it’s a country girl, Southern city boy thing. I wanted a strong female character, someone who is tough as nails, and that girl definitely will be! I’m still finding my voice as a writer, so while I’ve loved writing the Breathless series, I’m ready to leave Carly & Ryan behind for a bit and try new things.

If you could talk to your 12 year old self, what advice would you give?

Be assertive. Be YOU. Quit trying to fit in! I’m so like one of my twin daughters, so outside of any mold, that I never fit in, and by trying to shove myself into some society-accepted form, I forgot who I was for a very long time. I’ve felt very damaged for a very long time, and I did a lot of that to myself. So rather than try to go back and tell myself those things, I will tell it to my daughters. BE YOU.

Have any other authors influenced your writing through theirs?

Everyone I’ve ever read! I think we take a bit of everything we read, watch on TV, hear in the news, every part of our lives, and incorporate it into ourselves and therefore what we write. Past experiences beget future works of amazing art. Heather Huffman has inspired me to want my characters to DO something amazing with their lives, to be a voice for the voiceless. Amazing YA authors have shown me that teenagers and young adults can truly conquer the world, and what amazing concept is that? Sure, vampires might not really exist, but young adults CAN enact real change in the world in which we live, making it a better place. If my writing inspires anyone to want to write, or do something amazing with their lives (for themselves or for others), then I’ve done something great. I hope that Sleepless gets people to think about human trafficking. I hope that Running will encourage discussion about sexual abuse. For that matter, the entire Breathless series touches on dating violence. (Sorry, I didn’t quite answer the question in the way it was asked!)

If you are a self-published author what made you take this route and what was your experience (good or bad)?

I wanted to get my work out there! I submitted my information to a publisher that I love, but was eventually turned down once they got the entire manuscript of Breathless. It’s okay, it’s not for everyone. Or maybe they felt like they had too many books similar to it. Either way, I’ve had great success on my own! At least in the self-publishing world, I control what I write, and I collect my profits. I’d love to have the access to marketing, professional cover design and editing, etc. that a traditionally published author would have, but I think I make a pretty great marketer of my books & I’ve seen terrible editing mistakes in some of the books of the best-selling authors of our time. That’s not to say I’d turn down a huge advance, though!

How would you rate your writing?

I like it. I enjoy writing it, and I’ve enjoyed reading it after the fact. I find it hard to rank it because 1) I’m biased, and 2) there are so many amazing books out there and no two are the same.

How do you react to poor reviews of your book?

Sob like a baby. No, really. We creative types are sensitive! Okay, maybe I don’t really cry, but I do have a sog-fest in my soul for a few days. And then I realize – not everyone is going to like it. That’s okay! I don’t like every book I read, and that’s okay, too. People can be constructive without being mean, but even mean reviews don’t have to bring me down. There are many more people who have read my books that have said they love it, and THEY are my target audience.

What influences your choice of book covers?

Modes of transportation, thus far! A plane, a Jeep (thank you to the local dealership for the borrow, ha!), and then shoes. It was going to be a set of strollers for Sleepless, but alas, the shot never came to fruition. I don’t purchase my shots. I either take them or a friend does. I have no guarantee of my books selling enough copies to warrant a hefty price tag, and the emphasis are the words, not the pictures. Otherwise, this would be a kids’ book, and I could probably just draw it my own self! While I love gorgeous covers, I’ve been tricked by those before.

How do you balance your writing with your real world responsibilities?

With Breathless, it was all I did, it seemed. I came home and wrote while my girls played and ate dinner. I wrote until after midnight, I got up and wrote before work, and I wrote during my lunch break. Twenty-nine days later, I had a novel. With Strapless, I was more lenient on myself and took 4.5 months, though I still busted tail to get it done. With Sleepless, I let the real world get the best of my writing. It took a year and a half nearly, but I finished it. My family comes first, my paycheck comes second, and my writing had to take a backseat. I finished during Camp NaNoWriMo July 2013, writing about 27k words in a week. That’s almost 4k words a day. That week, I let writing take over. I feel like a writing anorexic/bulimic, starving myself of writing for months on end and then gorging myself on words in one sitting.

Do your characters drive the plots of your stories or do you plan out your plot?

I mostly plan out my plots. I have an idea of where I want them to go, what I want the characters to do, but then I let them have their own conversations to get them there. I talk a lot in my car. If you saw me, you’d think I was insane, and maybe I am, because I hold two-sided conversations. I answer myself. I even use accents, if needed.

Do you ever write what you dream? Give an example.

Breathless is based entirely off of a recurring dream. The characters were in my head for so long, living out the plot of the book that I had to put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard, rather).

Do you market yourself or pay a professional?

I market myself. If anyone wants to throw some help my way, go for it, but there’s no paycheck attached. (Hey, at least I’m honest!)

What are your tips for editing?

Edit as you go, fix what you can, read and re-read, send to your friends, family and/or beta readers, and then send it off into the wind. At some point, you really do have to let it go.

What inspired you to write your current WIP or current published work?

My WIP is inspired by a minor character from the Breathless series. I wanted something that felt entirely different, almost like you’re watching someone else’s dream.

Do you prefer to write stand-alone novels or a series? Why?

Hard to say. Obviously I’ve written a series, but after spending a year and a half on the third book, I’m going to go with stand-alones. I love Carly & Ryan (my characters), but after 2 ½ books, I wanted something fresh and new. I had to really step up their story to make it feel that way, rather than dredging on for the sake of a trilogy. I think too many people try to aim for a three book series. I never intended Breathless to turn into a series, and I doubt I’ll continue past this last book. I’ve read too many books where the third book felt like an old shoe, and I didn’t want Sleepless to feel worn out.

If you could change one thing in the publishing process what would it be?

I would make the bestseller charts transparent. What gets a book to the top of the chart? I mean, are millions of people still buying Fifty Shades each and every week? REALLY?! There are millions more books with far greater value than that, and unless a book somehow catches the eye of a publisher, celebrity, or movie studio, you only ever seem to see it marketed on indie sites.

What advice would you give to a new author?

Never give up. Write like the words are your oxygen.

Share a favourite quote from your book.

This isn’t going to make any sense until you read the book, but I absolutely loved writing this line: “Best ducking wife. Ever.”

I think sometimes we have to get our writing publishing because it deserves it. My book and characters had been bouncing around in my head for years and I never ever though I would be able to write a full length novel but how wrong I was. You're absolutely right...never give up! And now to the books....

Sleepless:

Carly and Ryan are married!

But will baby make three before Carly has a chance to come clean about their elopement?

Carly seems like she's got it all - a dream job and a dreamy husband - but she's starting to feel like her dream job is turning into a nightmare. She's feeling incomplete and just needs something... more. With the possibility that she's pregnant, and her lack of enthusiasm for her job, Carly embarks on a career path that she's hoping will leave her fulfilled and feeling like she's done something to leave her mark on the world.

You can find all her books here:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Becki-Brannen/e/B006KSJKXY/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1377692584&sr=8-1


http://www.amazon.com/Becki-Brannen/e/B006KSJKXY/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1377692734&sr=8-1

Stalker Links...

My website is http://beckibrannen.weebly.com

Facebook is www.facebook.com/beckibrannen.author

Twitter is www.twitter.com/beckibrannen

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Dani J Caile

SpotlightPosted by Ellena Jennings Mon, August 26, 2013 12:53:25

My spotlight today is on the author Dani J Caile....



Dani J Caile is a teacher and proofreader currently residing in Budapest, Hungary. After a lifetime of reading clones and a decade of proofreading coffee table books, he has written 5 fantasy books, ‘Man by a tree’, ‘The Bethlehem Fiasco’, ‘The Rage of Atlantis’, 'TDX2' and 'Manna-X', all based on his own little neo-plantonic universe. When not writing, dabbling in Shakespeare, teaching English, proofreading, washing up, hoovering, and driving all over the place, he is busy with his loving and long-suffering family.

Lets's have a looksy at his interview shall we?

Do you write as yourself or under a pseudonym? Why?

I write under the name 'Dani J Caile'. Seeing as I take a sardonic view of all sterotypical roles within society, including my own, and my writing is anti-establishment, in a humoristic way, I thought it would protect me from all those bigots and narrow-minded people, but it hasn't.

What made you want to be a published author?

Too many books going nowhere, looking for money. I always thought the writer had a duty to inform the reader and increase their awareness in some way about their present situation. Just look at Shakespeare, Hemingway, or any other classic writer. Books on vampires, werewolves and sex just don't do it for me. So I thought I'd write down some of my observations in a light hearted way and everyone who's read my work, and who is at least a little open-minded, likes it. I've even had priests tell me it's good, ignoring the theological issues, of course.

What genre do you write in and why?

I would say 'light humour', if there was such a genre. As there isn't, 'humour' or 'fantasy'. Fantasy because my books are set in my own small classic Neoplatonian universe and not real life. I'd like to move on from that now but I'm quite happy to do more with it.

If you could talk to your 12 year old self, what advice would you give?

Don't listen to your English teacher and read the books you want to read. Honestly, my English teacher told my parents that I was reading books off syllabus (Mein Kampf, The Tao te Ching, Orlando, etc.) and that I should stop. So I didn't read again until I was old enough to realise that I could just go into a library and borrow them without retribution.

Have any other authors influenced your writing through theirs?

Hemingway with his sparseness, Woolf with her stream of consciousness, Beckett with his obscureness, Milligan with his craziness and Shakespeare with his comedy.

If you are a self-published author what made you take this route and what was your experience (good or bad)?

My experience told me even before I started writing that editors already have expectations of the future market and know exactly what they need before it's even written. Most of the time they ask a bunch of already-contracted writers to write a certain book and they pick the best one. So I went the self-publishing way, knowing no publisher would touch me with a barge pole (excuse the cliché). It's a lonely and desolate place but at least my work is out there.

How would you rate your writing?

Good. Could be worse. Really. I tried to write seriously and I laughed at my own stupidity, so I only write with 'tongue in cheek' (damn, another cliché).

How do you react to poor reviews of your book?

Not very well. Luckily, I haven't had many, infact only one from an Indian who couldn't read or understand my writing. As far as I can see, my readers come from two groups, those looking for light entertainment and those open-minded people looking for underlying meanings. Anyone outside those groups will have a hard time reading my stuff.

What influences your choice of book covers?

Money. I don't have any, so I either go with the 'Cover Designer' or try to put something together myself. And if you look through my covers, you'll see they are very simple and one or two colours dominate, along with an image; a green wood, a sandy infinite desert, water crashing against rocks, skys and clouds, or rusting technology. The colours and image captures the mood of the book. All quite cliché (again?), but it seems we're all living in nostalgia nowadays.

How do you balance your writing with your real world responsibilities?

I steal 5 minutes here and 10 minutes there and a bit at night. I'm a teacher, father of 2, husband, proofreader and my sleeping hours are short, perhaps 5 or 6 hours a night. There is no balance, I feel if you try that then you're missing the point. Live your life and ideas pop out of your head. Scribble them on napkins and bits of paper and write them up when you find the time. If I set aside time for writing, nothing happens.

Do your characters drive the plots of your stories or do you plan out your plot?

I start off with a message, the basic plot slowly appears and the characters twist and change the plot with their actions, dialogue and stupidity…not necessarily in that order.

Do you ever write what you dream? Give an example.

Never. In my 20s I was a Castenedian and practised the art of dreaming and I know the significance of dreams. Although he is mostly seen as a chalatan now, I learnt a lot about awareness and roles.

Do you market yourself or pay a professional?

I have no money, so I have to tweet, do the fb thing, anything to get exposure…such as giving interviews…writing is much easier than marketing as the latter asks you to completely believe in yourself and 'just do it' (Ahh, another one!).

What are your tips for editing?

Get someone else to do it. No, really, I'm a proofreader but I can't proofread my own writing, I skip bits which I think are written but aren't. A lot of others have said the same, that they are blind to their own pages. So, ask a friend to read your draft.

What inspired you to write your current WIP or current published work?

My current work, 'Manna-X' was inspired by mainly mixing the styles of Dan Brown and Samuel Beckett to create a non-sensical hunt for an infamous object. People are searching for things which they can't find or don't exist, and that's what it's basically about. I also have a new free project, 'Dani's Shorts', possibly out by the time this interview hits the net, which is a collection of 500 short stories based on the elements given in the Iron Writer Challenge (theironwriter.com). I won a few of the Challenges and I liked the concept so much that I wrote my own personal take on the first 6 months of challenges. You'll find it on Smashwords under 'Dani J Caile'.

Do you prefer to write stand-alone novels or a series? Why?

No preference. Other than 'Dani's Shorts' I've only written about my little fantasy universe using the same characters but I'm thinking of taking a few of the short stories and writing a full novel, so then I'll be covered for both.

If you could change one thing in the publishing process what would it be?

Nothing. I would, however, like to change something in the publishing market, and that's the blindness of publishers to submissions from non-agents. There are some of us self-publishers who can write.

What advice would you give to a new author?

Ask yourself why you are writing. If it's to make money and be famous then you'll have a very long hard struggle, unless you already know someone in a publishing company who's dying to see your work. If it's because you like writing, then my advice is keep doing it.

Share a favourite quote from your book.

Tricky, 'Manna-X' is filled with them, I wouldn't know where to start…how about a quote from 'Bethlehem Fiasco', "Is there a right end of a camel for your head to be in?"..or perhaps 'Rage', "I'm so tired I could watch a dog grow". There are so many…

I agree with the English teacher thing...read what you want to read or it will put you off reading for a very long time in my case. Are you sure you don't want to put a few Vampires and werewolves in your books (or sexy Vampires and Werewoves)? Only joking my characters are a little agoraphobic to my own books....so lets see what your books are all about...




Manna-X

"I haven't come across anything quite like this..." Debbie Roxburgh (Speedy McCready)
"With your wily work [Dani], I tend to focus on what's in parentheses. (I also think you are very misunderstood...and possibly always have been.)" Eponymous Rox (B.O.T.)
Reginald sends Graham Reader (aka the Grim Reaper), out on a mission to find Code 237-Manna-X, the Manna Machine after the Overlords warn him of an imminent (3000 year old) threat against the security of both the physical and non-physical realms.
Will Graham find the fantastic yet deadly device before anyone or anything else does?

Dani's Shorts

'Dani's Short's is a collection of 500 word short stories based on the elements given in the Iron Writer Challenge. These 28 short stories show the complete range of Dani's favourite writing styles, including pair dialogues, internal thoughts and sardonic parodies.

You can stalk him here:

Blog: http://danijcaile.blogspot.hu/

Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/Dani-J-Caile/e/B00CDX0HSM

Amazon.co.uk: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Dani-J-Caile/e/B00CDX0HSM

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/DaniJCaile



  • Comments(2)//indiebrits.eijennings.com/#post52

Craig Evans

SpotlightPosted by Ellena Jennings Sat, August 24, 2013 14:16:41
Today on my Spotlight I have fellow Brit Craig Evans...

I live in South Wales with my fiancée Teena and cat Millie.

I have always loved reading tales of strange beings and dark worlds. I began writing my own stories and finally took the plunge, entering an unknown world of my own in the form of self-publishing.

My background is heavily based around design, so I was able to utilise these skills to develop my book covers, website and all other promotional material along the way. I find myself becoming more and more involved in the fictional world I have created, to the point that I want to stay there and practice my own supernatural abilities!

To date I have published two books in the 'Way Family Saga' series.

So let's have a looksy at the interview...I think this may be good smiley

Do you write as yourself or under a pseudonym? Why?

Firstly thank you for this opportunity, as a self-published author exposure is everything! I write under my own name – I am currently working on building my author platform and have already linked various social media sites to my own name. If I ever branched out into different genres later on down the line I may consider using a pseudonym though.

What made you want to be a published author?

I have always been interested in creative writing from an early age. I used to love painting pictures (both with paint and words actually!) and create vivid scenes with my writing. Last year I had an idea about a supernatural group of families and how they interact with each other, so I jotted down a few thoughts. Then I kept adding to it until I had practically plotted out an entire story! I started to flesh out some of my ideas and soon became fully involved in the process, to the point that I wanted others to hopefully enjoy my imagination as well.

What genre do you write in and why?

I have released two books within the supernatural/paranormal genre. I have been heavily inspired by the television series’ ‘Heroes’ and ‘The Walking Dead’, as well as films such as ‘X-Men’ and other Marvel blockbusters. I enjoy not only the plethora of different species depicted in these stories (with the exception of ‘The Walking Dead’ that simply tells a brilliant survival tale) but also the way they interact with one another. In my own work I always try to strike a balance between good and evil, and try to get the reader immersed in the struggles between the two.

If you could talk to your 12 year old self, what advice would you give?

From a writing and publishing point of view, I would tell twelve-year-old Craig to start now! I entered the writing world rather late, so I would tell him to continue writing short creative stores about monsters so that even more people could enjoy them in the years that followed! Oh, and not to drink so much beer when he’s older, a pot belly is never a good look…

Have any other authors influenced your writing through theirs?

I have been influenced by many authors over the years. The first writer that I really connected with (and still do) was Chuck Palahniuk. His style was so different to other books I had read before. His style has heavily influenced my own, especially the technique in which he will drop down a line and isolate a single sentence on its own for more impact. I also love Iain Banks’ very poetic descriptions of his surroundings, and am just finishing off Hugh Howey’s first novel ‘Wool’ at the moment. His character development is spot on and really engages the reader, as well as inspiring me to do the same thing with my readers.

If you are a self-published author what made you take this route and what was your experience (good or bad)?

I am indeed self-published! I became inspired by reading articles about other self-published authors such as Amanda Hocking and the aforementioned Hugh Howey. Although the financial rewards struck a chord, it was the creative control over the product that interested me the most. Working to my own deadlines seemed very appealing, as I have a busy career as a designer and a creative yet hectic lifestyle to contend with! I am currently planning my wedding with my partner so I’m glad I don’t have the added pressure. I have also been able to design all my own promotional material, work at my own pace and build my own fan base through self-publishing. There are obvious benefits with going with a publishing house, however thus far self-publishing suits me a lot better.

How would you rate your writing?

I think I have a distinctive style, and have been told that I paint a scene rather well. In my series of novels I am coping with dialogue better than with previous unpublished work as well. I enjoy making characters interactive with one another and seeing what they do during tense and stressful situations… I put my characters through a lot that’s for sure! It’s very difficult to judge yourself; I am just so pleased that other people have engaged in my writing.

How do you react to poor reviews of your book?

I’m not a suspicious person but I’m going to knock on wood as I answer this! I haven’t received any yet! That isn’t to say that my work will appeal to everyone, and I absolutely welcome constructive criticism. If we don’t get regular feedback on anything we do how can we grow and better ourselves? This isn’t a challenge for someone to write a one star review of my work, I would just take it on the chin and try to adapt.

What influences your choice of book covers?

My own ideas mainly. As I said I am fortunate enough to be able to create my own covers, so I try to pick key moments in the story to depict on the front cover. I try to create emotions in all the artwork I create, book-related or not. The book cover to ‘Harm’s Way’ for instance pulls Kieran (the main protagonist) and Sky together in an empowered stand against their own confusing abilities and adversity. I wanted to make a point that we can overcome anything we set our minds to.

How do you balance your writing with your real world responsibilities?

This is quite difficult, but not because I don’t find time for my writing! I need to strike a better balance between writing and home life I think, because hours and hours will go by while I type away without me realising it! Writing becomes a very consuming world, so I have to me mindful of the fact that I am needed in other areas from time to time as well! It’s difficult but I’m working on it...

Do your characters drive the plots of your stories or do you plan out your plot?

I start out with an idea. Then I develop the key characters before thoroughly plotting out the novel itself. Other authors let the idea develop into a full story as they type, but I find that no matter how long I’ve been away from my writing, I know exactly what the next chapter has in store and can pick the story up fairly easily. I control every part of the process so that I never get writer’s block!

Do you ever write what you dream? Give an example.

No, not really. I do wake up at stupid times in the night some times with a new idea to add to my latest novel! I will quickly jot it down on my phone and add it in the next day. If I didn’t do this then it would most probably get lost in my mind, I have a lot of thoughts and ideas rattling around in there!

Do you market yourself or pay a professional?

I started this self-publishing project with zero budget. To date I have only spent a tiny amount of money on hosting my website. The site itself uses a free web design site so everything has been done without spending a thing. I know they say you have to speculate to accumulate but I just don’t have the budget that others do. Everything is done in-house and I’m proud of how much I’ve achieved without dipping into my pocket.

What are your tips for editing?

Again I have another process in place for this! After each chapter I read through it and make amendments before continuing. Then I re-read the first half of the book to see how the story flows. Then I carry on until I reach the end before reading it all again. Then I pass it onto my partner who is an avid reader in my genre and she gives me pointers of what to change. Then guess what? I read it again! I have a few people close to me that also give great feedback so together it’s a well-oiled machine!

What inspired you to write your current WIP or current published work?

My current WIP is the third book in the series, so the actions and after effects of books one and two dictate what happens to my characters in the third installment. I have an overarching plot in place for the series so I know where each book is going. I am working on book three with plans for a fourth book and don’t plan on stopping there! Hopefully people who have already invested time in the first book will be curious to find out what happens to my characters in the following installments.

Do you prefer to write stand-alone novels or a series? Why?

A series! I do have plans to release a few stand-alone novels slightly outside the genre in the near future. All in all I’m just enjoying the writing process on the whole. I won’t limit myself to a specific series or genre if I have a strong enough idea to turn into a completely new project. As long as people want to read my work I’ll carry on writing!

If you could change one thing in the publishing process what would it be?

I think my biggest issue to date is finding large groups of readers in my genre. I have dabbled with Goodreads and other forums but don’t want to come across as a spambot. As I said at the start, exposure is everything. I wish there was a free support service for self-published authors that don’t have the might of a big publishing house behind them or indeed a huge marketing budget. It’s very very tough to be seen and get noticed in a crowded book market saturated with free books. The independent author has to constantly fight for space and persevere.

What advice would you give to a new author?

Don’t do it for the money! Rich authors, self-published or not, take years to get that way. Be prepared to put in the time and hard work, take criticism on the chin and adapt. Don’t ignore your fans either, if someone messages you about your work answer them! You wouldn’t be where you are without them.

Share a favourite quote from your book.

You have to stare death in the face in order to embrace life. It is not until we reach rock bottom do we know how to pick ourselves up and start again.” - O51, mind-reading representative of the Almighty Freya

I don't think people believe me when I say Indie Authors are humble but I think Craig proves this. We all start out small and get a little disappointed when the book we've poured our heart and soul in has limited readers but I have to admit it get's better and the key is to never give up....and to his books....


Harms Way -
In the small town of Northville all is not right with intelligent outsider Kieran Way. After discovering something incredible about himself, Kieran goes on a journey of self-discovery through self-destruction. However, once he meets the girl of his dreams things get even more chaotic, as family secrets threaten to tear them apart forever.

'Harm's Way' is the first book in the supernatural Way Family Saga series. The eagerly-awaited sequel 'No Way Out' is out now!

No Way Out -
Everyone feels her power. Every single family belonging to the network knows her name. Now Kieran and Sky have to live in the house that Freya built, a facility run by a group of mind readers called the Order that was created to rehabilitate supernatural criminals. Follow the personal journeys of the bonded couple as they learn new skills, meet new people and try to find a way out. See how far others are willing to go in order to grant them release.

Welcome to the Control Centre, where every action has a consequence.

'No Way Out' is the second book in the supernatural Way Family Saga series.

I know I say this all the time but I'm holding all these great Authors responsible for my one click addiction and these are two new additions! I got a teeny bit obsessed with tv series like Heroes and Alpha's and mourned when they got cancelled but it looks like I've found my substitute.
As for the covers...one word...Awesome! Your are very talented Mr Evans.

You can buy these books here:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Craig-Evans/e/B009QO04PW/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1


http://www.amazon.com/Craig-Evans/e/B009QO04PW/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1377349864&sr=8-1

And you can stalk him here:

Website: http://www.craigevansbooks.co.uk

Email:http://www.craigevansbooks@hotmail.com

Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/CraigEvansBooks

Twitter: https://twitter.com/CraigEvansBooks







  • Comments(0)//indiebrits.eijennings.com/#post49

N.L. Echeverria

SpotlightPosted by Ellena Jennings Fri, August 23, 2013 13:20:50
My spotlight today is shining brightly on the awesome YA Paranomal/Fantasy author N.L. Echeverria...

My name is Natasha Echeverria and I was born in raised out of Hillsboro, Oregon. I’m 29 years old, married to a wonderful man, Arturo Echeverria, and we have three beautiful boys, Sebastian age 8, Preston age 7 and Arty age 4. Reading is my “me” time. I can’t get enough of it. You will find me in a Barnes and Noble walking up and down isles for hours, looking through all the incredible books. On Sunday’s you will find me curled up on my couch with a coffee in hand, listening to my boys play while I’m writing, reading or just relaxing with my husband. I work full time as an insurance underwriter but of course my ideal job is to be an author full time. My husband and children drive me to keep writing and not give up no matter how hard it gets. I’m blessed to have so many amazing people in my life and would not change it for anything.

Let's get this interview started shall we before something paranormal happens...

Do you write as yourself or under a pseudonym? Why?

I write as myself however I do use my initials NL Echeverria. I use my initials because I feel that between my first and last name it is really long and probably hard to remember. However I want people to know me as me.

What made you want to be a published author?

Writing is something I love to do, I want to write for the rest of my life and be able to of course make it my career, which is probably every author’s goal. Being published helps be get one step closer to that goal. I love sharing my work and reading what people think of it, the good and the bad. It’s an incredible feeling to have someone you don’t know read your work and tell you how much they loved and then ask for more.

What genre do you write in and why?

Both my novels that are published are YA Paranormal/Fantasy. However I’m currently working on an adult novel. I hope to be able to write in as many genres as my mind can create a story in. I believe it’s fun and challenging, but my favorite genre is the YA Paranormal/Fantasy and I will continue to release novel in this genre. I love being able to create a world that is all mine and have no limitations on what I can do with it.

If you could talk to your 12 year old self, what advice would you give?

“You are an incredible young girl and can do anything you set your mind to.” I would say this because all young children need encouragement. They need to know they can do anything their heart desires and there are no limitations as long as they don’t give up. My 8 year old has written and published his first children’s novel and all I give him is support and constant encouragement.

Have any other authors influenced your writing through theirs?

Not any author in particular. All authors and books I read encourage me to write but don’t influence my writing. I will read anything I can get my hands on and don’t necessarily have a favorite author.

If you are a self-published author what made you take this route and what was your experience (good or bad)?

I love being a self-published author. I have all control and it’s been a great way for me to start out and get my writing out to the public. Yes, I would be ecstatic for a major publishing company to pick me up and I feel that by putting my writing out there gets me closer to that happening. I had my first book done and I didn’t want to sit on it while I waited and hoped that an agency would accept me. I just wanted to get it out there to share with all the readers!

How would you rate your writing?

I would be bias if I rated my own work because I believe it’s fantastic! However I feel and know that the more I write the better it is. My writing has improved over the years and will continue to improve.

How do you react to poor reviews of your book?

Of course I’m hurt at first but not everyone is going to like my writing. Haven’t gotten any nasty reviews yet but I’m sure they will come. I’m proud of what I have written and love my series and am glad that there are people out there that enjoy reading it.

What influences your choice of book covers?

The story and characters themselves. Both my published books have characters from the story on them.

How do you balance your writing with your real world responsibilities?

It’s hard since I work full time, have three children ages 8, 7 and 4, and sports and regular life events. However I write every free moment I get. Sitting at the park with my children, I bring my laptop. At night when everyone is sleeping I write or I read. Breaks and lunches at work, you will find me in our little library area writing away. I love writing too much to not find time.

Do your characters drive the plots of your stories or do you plan out your plot?

When I write I have a good idea of the plot. I may not know where it will end but I definitely know most of the events in the story and then the characters drive the story from there and take me to an ending. It’s exciting because even when I’m writing a novel, you will hear me say “I’m excited to find out what will happen next.” My writing takes on its own world and I’m just along for the ride.

Do you ever write what you dream? Give an example.

I have not yet. However most of my ideas come from daydreaming. I have a scene that is an intense emotions scene between two characters in my adult novel and it was all plotted out during a moment of daydreaming and then I scrambled to write it down.

Do you market yourself or pay a professional?

I market myself. Also, all the help from the Facebook Admins and Bloggers has been huge when it comes to the marketing of my novels. I couldn’t do it without them.

What are your tips for editing?

Get several people to review your book. I went through a professional editor and paid out a lot of money on my first novel and ended up with many mistakes. I still had several people review it. My novels are not perfect and I know this. Now, instead of paying out to have my novel edited, I have several individuals read through it and do their own editing. The people I have review it are ones with degrees and backgrounds in writing and are close friends that are brutally honest. I think you are either a writer or an editor. I know I am not an editor because I am the worst speller but I love writing a story and could write forever.

What inspired you to write your current WIP or current published work?

Almost three years ago, I was standing in a Barnes and Noble looking at the shelves and shelves of YA novels, trying to find one that interested me. I couldn’t find one that I felt I needed to have. I was with my sister when she said “why don’t you write a book?” We laughed about it, but several weeks later I got an idea for my first novel Fallen Desire and started writing. A year and a half later it was finished. Then I spent another year editing and trying to figure out how to publish it. I then discovered self-publishing and finally got it released April of 2013.

Do you prefer to write stand-alone novels or a series? Why?

Series, because I feel like you can’t get enough when it’s just one book. Especially when it’s a YA Paranormal. There is so much you can do with it and so many directions you can go and characters you can bring into the story that one book is not enough. However, the adult novel I’m writing will be one novel. I do feel that in adult novels one book can be enough.

If you could change one thing in the publishing process what would it be?

In the self-publishing process nothing. It was a little difficult to figure out at first but didn’t take me long to catch on. It’s simple and I have all control of it.

What advice would you give to a new author?

Write, write and write. Write down every idea you have because it could lead into something big one day. Carry a journal or your laptop with you even if you know you won’t get time to write anything. Also, do it because you love it, not because you want to be famous or rich. Write because it makes you feel good and you want to share your stories with others. Know that not everyone will like your work but at the same time consider others opinions when you are writing because if you do want to publish your work you want to make sure it is something that people who enjoy that genre will also enjoy your novel.

Share a favourite quote from your book.

From my first book Fallen Desire (This is on the back cover) “The moment I met him my work changed, I don’t know those around me, I no longer know myself, but what I do know is that only I can save him.”

I did exactly the same...I could never get into reading and it was only when I realised it was because nothing appealed to me that I sat down and started writing. Now I've found all these fabulous Indie Authors my TBR pile has grown and I can't keep up with my one click addiction...so let's have a looksy at her book...

Fallen Desire (Book One) Blurb:

“The moment I met him my world changed, I don’t know those around me, I no longer know myself, but what I do know is that only I can save him.”

Lindsay, a teen girl from New York City, has recently moved to a small town outside Portland, Oregon. She meets Kim and Derrick who quickly become her best friends, but when she meets Ethan, who is extraordinarily mysterious and gorgeous, her whole world changes.

Avarie, a witch and an old friend of Ethan’s, helps Lindsay discover her powers and releases her ability to see the auras of those around her. Struggling to learn her new abilities and fighting her desire for both Ethan and Derrick, Lindsay will learn the truth behind both of them as they are fallen angels and she is the soul of the redeemer created to save those fallen who have been consumed by evil only if they are worthy of redemption.

New Beginning (Book Two) Blurb:

"For he is my demon, and I am his redeemer"

“New Beginning” is filled with newfound enemies, friendships and loves.

With a renewed outlook on who she is, Lindsay's desperation to save Ethan intensifies as he grows weaker by the day. Saving him becomes her sole mission and she will face anyone who stands in her way. Now with Derrick as her Guardian Angel, Lindsay and her friends seek out answers through the book of "The Redeemer".

When Lindsay's faced by Laurence, a demon who wants her dead, the true power of her abilities are tested. She soon finds many who are loyal to her, including Yolanda, the head of the Fallen Council and lover to Laurence. Lindsay quickly discovers that her urge to seek demons and save them becomes a part of her and something she can’t deny.

A longtime friendship between Derrick and Kim blooms into something much deeper as Kim has waited for this moment for so long. Discover if Derrick’s never-ending love for Lindsay will stand in their way.

Secrets lie behind the unexpected as a love causes betrayal. Follow Lindsay as she finds new friendships and becomes the leader she never thought she would be. When she’s faced with the true evil of a demon her determination to save Ethan guides her.

Everyone these are awesome books and you can buy them here:

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

Nook

And you can stalk her here:

http://www.facebook.com/fallendesireseries

http://www.facebook.com/nlecheverria

Twitter: @nlecheverria



  • Comments(1)//indiebrits.eijennings.com/#post47

M.T Harrte

SpotlightPosted by Ellena Jennings Wed, August 21, 2013 10:47:15


My spotlight is shinning on the slightly weird and wonderful M.T Harrte today...


Hello World I'm M.T.Harrte , and I live and breathe books. How cliche right? I fancy myself as a werewolf wrangler, troll trainer, and would be vampire victim. On a serious note, I have always had a love of books since I was young. I recently decided to share my weirdness with everyone and I hope you enjoy. Step into my world and be prepared to stay a while because once the door closes....there is no escape!!!(insert evil laugh.)

Ok...it looks like i'm going to have to hide behind my own hunky werewolf Reuban for this interview...as for stepping into your world? I think you may have to hold my hand!

Do you write as yourself or under a pseudonym? Why?

I write under the pen name M.T. Harrte. I felt this was the best move for me especially since I plan to write in more than one genre.

What made you want to be a published author?

I’ve always wanted to be a published author, I just never sat down and gave it the time it needed to flourish.

What genre do you write in and why?

I currently only write paranormal for both adults and young adults. I fell in love with all of the things that go bump in the night and I felt like I wanted to be a part of it all somehow.

If you could talk to your 12 year old self, what advice would you give?

“Just keep swimming” I wish I could have told myself to keep all of the things I had written up to that point.

Have any other authors influenced your writing through theirs?

I would say I have been inspired, but not necessarily influenced. My writing style and story lines are my part of my own twisted craziness.

If you are a self-published author what made you take this route and what was your experience (good or bad)?

I decided to self publish because it allows me to remain in control and I’m able to have fun with it. But…I’m definitely open to whatever opportunities swing my way

How would you rate your writing?

I think it gets better with everything I write. My first published novel is “okay”. I’ve grown as an author and I think that’s important.

How do you react to poor reviews of your book?

I take it with a grain of salt…and then I go read the bad reviews for my favorite authors. It makes me feel better to know that they have critics too. My novels, and my writing style won’t win over everybody, and I’m okay with that.

What influences your choice of book covers?

Price point is a major concern and whether or not it catches the eye in the right way.

How do you balance your writing with your real world responsibilities?

I make time where I can. Some days I can really crank out a lot and some days I don’t write anything because I simply don’t have the time.

Do your characters drive the plots of your stories or do you plan out your plot?

I tried to plan out my plot once and I failed miserably. I write off the hip. The story plays out in my mind like a memory and I simply recreate it. When I start writing I basically know how I want it to begin and end…the rest just happens

Do you ever write what you dream? Give an example.

Hmmmm not really because I never remember my dreams. I do day dream a lot..I mean A LOT…I guess if you count that then the answer is yes. I try to picture the characters and figure out where everything is going.

Do you market yourself or pay a professional?

I’m running a one woman show. I hope to one day be able to do things on a higher, professional level.


What are your tips for editing?


Read out loud! If it feels stilted, choppy, and unbelievable…you have some work to do.

What inspired you to write your current WIP or current published work?

My novels represent different areas of my life. My adult novels are my dark side, and the young adult allows me to release my sarcasm and fun demeanor.

Do you prefer to write stand-alone novels or a series? Why?

Series! You can’t sum up a life in one book, especially if you have multiple plots going on! I need all of the extra juicy tidbits so when I think of a storyline I definitely try to see how far I can take the characters.

If you could change one thing in the publishing process what would it be?

I would shorten the turn around time for getting things done. I hate the fact that you have to wait three months or longer to get responses on stuff.

What advice would you give to a new author?

If you are writing for the money…STOP RIGHT NOW…do not pass go…you should write because it’s your passion and you love it.

Share a favourite quote from your book.
“That trout-mouth trollop is gonna get what’s coming to her,” sneered Onyx.

I know I say it all the time but I love paranormal! As for being crazy and not plotting your stories...join the club. I do exactly the same...it's not like I don't try and plot but my characters have different ideas! So lets have a looksy at her books...


In a sleepy Mississippi town, a slew of mysterious murders are setting the town on edge, and everyone is worried they will be claimed as the next victim. Seventeen year old Jessica St. Claire, a normal girl living in an abnormal place, dreams of finally being accepted by her world renowned family of necromancers and will do just about anything to prove she is worthy of the name St. Claire.

The bodies keep multiplying so the police finally turn to Jessica’s detective brother to aid in the investigation. When a Do Not Reanimate clause prevents him from using the family gift, Jessica seizes the opportunity to prove she can crack the case without it.

Teaming up with her best friends, she embarks on a mission ranging from questioning a withered Civil War Veteran to breaking and entering. Her own life ends up in jeopardy when she stumbles too close to uncovering the truth. Catching a glimpse into Death’s mirror and seeing her own reflection, Jessica must now call on more than her wits to stay alive.

The murder mystery notwithstanding, Jessica must pass all of her classes and avoid another Saturday detention if she is to graduate.

If her Jessica joins my Jessica...I think they might have a ball of a time...anyhow's you really need to go and one click your little hearts out on this one...

Here are the links...

Amazon http://www.amazon.com/M.T.-Harrte/e/B0094GB7GM

Barnes and Noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/M-T-Harrte?store=allproducts&keyword=M.T.+Harrte

Her other books...


And finally her stalker links...

Goodreads Link http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18274913-death-and-detention

Author’s Page www.facebook.com/m.t.harrte

Twitter https://twitter.com/MTHarrte

Blog http://mtharrte.blogspot.com/

  • Comments(0)//indiebrits.eijennings.com/#post44

Lindy Spencer

SpotlightPosted by Ellena Jennings Mon, August 19, 2013 12:15:43
My Spotlighted Author today is the mysterious Lindy Spencer...I really want to dress up as Columbo...or Inspecter Clousea...but I'm probably more like Inspector Gadget!


Lindy Spencer currently lives in Oklahoma with her superhero family - Amazing Husband and Super Smart Dog. Her children have grown and flown, and are currently working on populating their own branches of the family tree.

When Lindy isn't writing she enjoys spending time reading, riding motorcycles, and shooting things with a Canon. Currently she is working on her next novel as well as several other short stories, and she plans to publish a compilation of the collection of photographs she took and were recently on exhibition at the Oklahoma Historic Route 66 Museum.

Her first novel, The Boomerang Effect, is available in print and for e-readers on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords. Lindy loves to visit with her fans and can be found at www.facebook.com/LindySpencer.Author

I feel like a detective on this interview...you know like Inspector Clousea...fake mustache...big magnifying glass and an awful French accent...I love mysteries....

Do you write as yourself or under a pseudonym? Why?

I write as myself. When I decided to write I felt that if the story is my work filled with my blood, sweat and tears, it should wear my name as well. Besides, how fun is it to see your name on the cover?

What made you want to be a published author?

While I was reading the forward to a book by one of my favorite authors a sentence she said stuck with me. “If you think of a story you would like to read that hasn’t been written yet, you are charged with writing it.” The kernel of my first story, The Boomerang Effect, came to mind one day and took hold. I remembered what I’d read and took it as a challenge.

What genre do you write in and why?

My preferred genre is mystery. I want to write what I want to read; murder mysteries and darker topics are interesting to me. I’m not a huge fan of romance novels and I don’t believe I would write a good story if reading it wouldn’t hold my attention.

If you could talk to your 12 year old self, what advice would you give?

Moving isn’t a bad thing, it’s just a change; you’ll make new friends. Junior high doesn’t last forever, hang in there. And the most important piece of advice I would have to tell me is to keep working hard, it will pay off and you will be ok, I promise.

Have any other authors influenced your writing through theirs?

Every book I read influences my writing; not only the research books, but the fiction I enjoy in my downtime as well. Everything you take in makes you a little bit different than you were the minute before.

If you are a self-published author what made you take this route and what was your experience (good or bad)?

The reason I self-published was so that I could keep control of my content. I would rather publish my own story my way than have someone else tell me they would be happy to publish me if I would rewrite my story their way. No thanks, all the same. My experience was good; I researched several companies and was getting depressed by the cost of self-publishing when I heard about Smashwords. This company doesn’t charge you to publish your book – they take a small percentage of each copy sold and that is their fee. Nothing up front, no extra hidden charges, none of that. I think their company made my decision into a good experience. If I could go back and do it again, I’d do it the same way.

How would you rate your writing?

Oh, gosh. I write and rewrite and rewrite again until I think my writing is the best I can produce, so I’d have to say I rate my writing as good. I work hard to make it good. It doesn’t come out that way to start with, but by the time I’m done I’m proud of it.

How do you react to poor reviews of your book?

Knowing that my work can’t please everyone I don’t take the poor reviews personally. For whatever reason they didn’t enjoy their journey and I respect that. When a poor review gives constructive criticism, though, I can appreciate it as much as a great review.

What influences your choice of book covers?

I take the overall story into account, pick out important details, and go from there. I like to visit with my cover designer and let them have some input as well into the design. My preference is to go with something original and not pick up a pre-made cover that may have been used on another book somewhere else, or can still be made available for others to use.

How do you balance your writing with your real world responsibilities?

The writing gets balanced on the cookie that’s on the plate being balanced on the wine glass. smiley My writing doesn’t get as much time as it deserves; my real world takes precedence. My writing is for pleasure – if it takes longer to get the next story out, well, that’s how it goes. I hope my readers understand that writing isn’t paying the bills (yet) so it sometimes takes the back seat.

Do your characters drive the plots of your stories or do you plan out your plot?

Both. I plan the plot and then my characters argue with me. Sometimes they’ve got better ideas than I had to begin with, so we go with theirs. Sometimes I make them do what I say. Give and take!

Do you ever write what you dream? Give an example.

Actually, little known fact, the scene in my book where Tom is talking to Katy and telling her what he had dreamed the night before was a dream I actually had. It was recurring, and once I put it in the book it stopped. To know what that dream was you’ll have to read my book!

Do you market yourself or pay a professional?

I market myself, though I’m not sure that’s the way to go. Come January I’ll be re-evaluating my marketing strategies, reviewing the year, seeing what worked and what didn’t, and perhaps changing that option.

What are your tips for editing?

Don’t do it yourself. Well, use the spell checker yourself, no reason to be silly about it, but let a professional do it. Sometimes as the writer we can’t see the forest for the trees and obvious mistakes slide through unnoticed; don’t let your work go out the door unpolished.

What inspired you to write your current WIP or current published work?

My current WIP is a sequel to The Boomerang Effect. I was inspired by the constant badgering I was getting by readers who wanted to know what happened to this person or that person or how would this situation be resolved. They demanded a sequel, so they’ll get one. Now, I can’t promise it will turn out the way they would like it to, but that’s yet to be seen.

Do you prefer to write stand-alone novels or a series? Why?

I’m not sure yet. I’d thought my book would be a stand-alone novel, but it has turned into the opposite. I’ve got another story in the beginning stages that I expect to stand alone. Ask me again after that one comes out and we’ll talk then.

If you could change one thing in the publishing process what would it be?

I would require all manuscripts to contain the code that disallows the work to be shared. I believe that would go a long way toward getting rid of piracy.

What advice would you give to a new author?

Don’t quit. You’re closer than you think, just back away for a few minutes or a few days and let your brain work it out. You’ll get there as long as you don’t stop working toward your goal. (When you think you can’t take any more and you want to throw your half-finished manuscript up in the air and watch the pages flutter to the ground, don’t do it; especially if the pages aren’t numbered. Don’t ask me how I know.)

Share a favourite quote from your book.

“Karma is a well-thrown boomerang.” ~ Andrea Parker

I agree with the piracy thing...it's heartbreaking when you've worked so hard, put you heart and soul into your story to see it on a piracy website. It's not like we charge a fortune for the months of sweat and tears and most times our books cost less than a (deep breath) skinny expresson mochachino latte with extra cream and sprinkles! Anyhows lets have a looksy at her book...

Being in the wrong place at the wrong time can end your life - or worse, postpone it indefinitely.

In Aspen Grove, Oklahoma, fifteen-year-old Katy had everything going for her, until an innocent decision to walk home from school set the karmic wheels in motion. Katy suffered a brutal attack, leaving her comatose. The legal system failed to convict the men responsible for this heinous crime - instead found them not guilty.

They’ve gotten away with it, or so it seems. Darnell and Jerome, then boys, now men, continue on with their lives; Bruce Hanson, the attorney tasked with convicting the two attackers, brushes off his loss and continues his climb up the legal ladder; Office Webster, the policeman who responded to the call for help, the man who destroyed evidence, forgets all about his part in the crime and moves forward in his lazy life; all of this while Katy lies in a hospital bed, still comatose, her life postponed, her loved ones outside of that room hoping and waiting.

Several years go by, bringing us to now. Something, or someone, has found a way to bring these individuals to justice; the perfect murder has been created and is being unleashed on the individuals responsible for Katy's situation.

Are they accidents? Could it be coincidence? Perhaps long-awaited payback in the form of the perfect murder? Revenge is a dish best served cold... and karma is a well-thrown boomerang.

I love mysteries...whoops my TBR has another addition! So here's where everyone else can grab a copy...

http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Boomerang-Effect-ebook/dp/B008MC1BV0/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1376909962&sr=8-1&keywords=Lindy+Spencer+Boomerang+Effect

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1478209518/

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-boomerang-effect-lindy-spencer/1112181586

http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/180083

And you can stalk her here...

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/15745205-the-boomerang-effect

http://www.facebook.com/LindySpencer.Author




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J. Winfield Currie

SpotlightPosted by Ellena Jennings Sat, August 17, 2013 13:29:45

My spotlight today is shinning on the wonderful J. Winfield Currie...

Joan Winfield Currie grew up on a small working dairy farm in Norwell, a once rural town on the South Shore of Massachusetts. A graduate of Massachusetts College of Art in Boston, she has taught art at the secondary level, operated a part-time freelance design studio, displayed fantasy watercolors locally, worked many years in retail hardware … and writes.

Daughter of a taxidermist who loved camping, fishing and hunting, she grew up shooting skeet in the back fields, skiving hides, riding horses and milking cows: part of the daily rhythm in farm life. This unique background proved invaluable when creating different aspects of her novels, especially her heroine’s independent, earthy, self-sufficient nature.


Homestead Farm where I grew up, and two of my fantasy art watercolors: ‘Celtic Greenman’ ©1999 J. Currie Virta and ‘Inquiring Mind’ ©1997 J. Currie Virta

Wow awesome artwork! So let's get this interview rolling...I think this is going to be fun!!

Do you write as yourself or under a pseudonym?

I write under my maiden name: J. Winfield Currie Why? Two reasons: It had a nice ‘ring’ for an author of historical fiction, and I also wanted to separate my writing from my graphic design and fantasy artwork which is all created under my former married name: J. Currie Virta

What made you want to be a published author?
Ever since I was a kid in grade school, I have used my writing as a means of ‘escape’, beginning with simple, short stories that I illustrated, and graduating to more serious subject matter as I grew up. As an adult, my stories became much lengthier and more involved. When I finally created a tale of impressive size, “Beyond All Reason”, I showed it to several people who suggested that I try getting it ‘out there’ for others to enjoy. That sounded good to me.

What genre do you write in and why?
Historical Fiction/Romance set in the Revolutionary War Era: my comfort zone partly due to where, when and how I was raised. Granite foundation blocks under the Georgian Colonial Farmhouse I was raised in were set in 1722. My grandmother, Bertha R. MacLean, purchased the farm from heirs of Revolutionary War Chief Justice Nathan Cushing. She was also one of the first women to pass the bar in Massachusetts and helped found Portia Law School in Boston in 1908 with Dean Arthur Winfield MacLean; the first known husband and wife Team of Law at that time. See where my unique middle name came from? My grandfather, a direct descendant of the Union Army General Winfield Scott, ‘Old Fuss and Feathers’ himself. By the way, Portia Law School for women-only at its founding is now the noted co-ed New England School of Law.

If you could talk to your 12 year old self, what advice would you give?
Never give up your dream, or your individual unique ‘voice’. No matter what others might strongly suggest, remain true to yourself. However, if all you’re seeking is instant success and lots of money, you better find a good daytime job.

Have any other authors influenced your writing through theirs?
No, I have marched to the beat of a different drum all my life; I am who I am, and don’t attempt to imitate anyone else.

If you are a self-published author what made you take this route and what was your experience (good or bad)?
After realizing all the time involved in seeking a traditional publisher I decided to self-publish. I’ve worked with three different self-publishing companies and have had varying experiences: from good to really bad. But it’s all been a great learning curve; I try not to repeat the same mistake twice.

How would you rate your writing?
My goal was to take many of today’s emotional problems and wrap them in a different era (the Revolutionary War). Life’s inherent problems are universal, transcending both time and place; wrapping them in a good storyline with a bit of action, adventure, and several fascinating characters, had the makings for a great novel. From reader feedback, many seem to feel I’ve accomplished that. I sure hope so.

How do you react to poor reviews of your book?
I tend to ignore reviews of any kind; after all it’s only an opinion. I’ve roamed through many book stores and thumbed through lots of books bearing a large ‘Gold Seal of Quality’, and have yet to purchase one. Give me a lesser known author with a unique ‘voice, and that’s the one I’m apt to take home.

What influences your choice of book covers?
No outside influence of any kind. From my first book in 2003, I wanted to develop a stand-alone look—whether it was an ‘in look’ or not. I come up with the concept and my Graphic Designer (www.ranagraphics.com) tweaks them into a finished product. We’ve worked together for so many years he doesn’t even need a sketch: a sentence or two and we’re on the same page. I also like the continuity that flows throughout all my books; it identifies me.

How do you balance your writing with your real world responsibilities?
At this point in life it’s easier than when I was working long hours in retail hardware, which I thoroughly enjoyed for almost 28 years. I’m a high energy individual with obsessive focus and drive when I’ve set my mind on a goal.

Do your characters drive the plots of your stories or do you plan out your plot? My characters drive me, often changing what I had pre-planned for them. I have a somewhat off beat approach to writing: no outlines, write the first and last chapters (not necessarily in that order) and allow all else to come to life in jigsaw puzzle fashion. As my story evolves, I immerse myself into each character, becoming that individual as I write; it creates great authenticity but can be extremely draining at times.

Do you ever write what you dream? Give an example.
Never! My dreams would give Stephen King nightmares!

Do you market yourself or pay a professional?
I market myself as hiring people gets costly. As a graduate of Massachusetts College of Art in Boston, MA, with a degree in Graphic Design, I create all my postcards, bookmarks, business cards, posters and flyers for my ‘speaking gigs’. FYI: I wear my men’s Revolutionary War Era greatcoat, waistcoat, breeches and boots for all appearances.

What are your tips for editing?
Write and re-write and don’t rely on spell-check. The more often you write, the smoother and easier the flow. Trust in yourself and weigh the odds before following certain ‘dictates’ as to how one should proceed correctly; they have the potential to rob an author of their unique ‘voice’ and style. Why would you choose to sound like everyone else?

What inspired you to write your current WIP or current published work?
I have always loved the early American era of westerns and the likes: my comfort zone. But it was the movie “The Patriot” in 2002 that I became obsessed with. After seeing it numerous times I wondered if anyone as evil as the Colonel, so marvelously portrayed by English Actor Jason Isaacs, could become a decent human being? Perhaps a female not from his social status, a rebel on the opposite side in a bloody war with a fiery passion that intrigues him … and could I make her believable? A challenge arose and I dove in.

Do you prefer to write stand-alone novels or a series? Why?
I started to write one book, but readers got back to me, wanting to know more about Kathryn and Jason; once you ‘buy into’ my two main characters, you won’t want to let them go. One book became three, which I brought together in “The ‘Beyond’ Trilogy” last fall. A Prequel and Fourth Book are well under way and a Screenplay of Book I, “Beyond All Reason”, is now in the works on the West Coast.

If you could change one thing in the publishing process what would it be?
There needs to be more communication and follow-through between departments within each publishing house; they also need to work on their organizational skills.

What advice would you give to a new author?
Stephen Tyler of Aerosmith got it right. “Life’s a Journey; Not a Destination”. Tell yourself that regularly and have patience.

Share a favourite quote from your book.
Kathryn, my rather outspoken and opinionated Scottish lass, has many ‘bon mots’—here’s one of my favorites on aging: “Passion does not diminish or die with the passing of years; it merely learns to pace itself out of necessity.”

Lets have a looksy at her books...


“The ‘Beyond’ Trilogy” brings all three novels of my historical fiction romance series into an updated, omnibus edition. A tale of passion, betrayal, and courage set in the Carolinas during the Revolutionary War— crackling with authenticity and grounded in historical accuracy, it is a seamlessly interwoven tapestry of both real and fictitious characters amidst an unforgettable love story.

Book I: “BEYOND ALL REASON”: Meet Kathryn MacLean and Colonel Jason Tarrington, their destinies irrevocably sealed by an odd twist of fate; driven to succeed in a bloody war they will ultimately lose. But can they survive? For theirs is a love Beyond All Reason.

Book II: “BEYOND ALL ODDS”: Scanning the bloody remains littering the battlefield at Guilford Courthouse, Lt. Jackson discovers dreadful personal loss. However, his grief must be put aside for he has a sacred promise to fulfill: save a small child considered to be a valuable pawn by either side in this ugly war. It was her notorious parents who led many an English victory in the South.

Book III: “BEYOND THE HORIZON”: The Revolutionary War is declared over, yet danger lingers on all sides. Who to trust? Where to go to start over? Perhaps an answer lies in the wilderness beyond the horizon. Grim, life changing choices must be made. A robust tale of enduring passion as a unique couple’s story unfolds and life comes full circle.


I have to admit I love history and even have a History and Sociology Degree myself! I cant wait to read the trilogy and you can too here :

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

Barnes & Noble

And now her stalker links...

J. Winfield Currie Website: http://jwinfieldcurrie.com/index.html

J. Winfield Currie Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/j.w.currie.3

J. Winfield Currie Twitter: https://twitter.com/JWinfieldCurrie

“The ‘Beyond’ Trilogy” You Tube Book Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OM4rszaQzx4

Amazon Author Central Page: https://www.amazon.com/author/jwinfieldcurrie

Abbott Press “The ‘Beyond’ Trilogy” Press Release: http://www.prweb.com/releases/2012/10/prweb9959408.htm





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Samantha Long

SpotlightPosted by Ellena Jennings Fri, August 16, 2013 13:23:15

My author spotlight today is Samantha Long an awesome YA author...

Do you write as yourself or under a pseudonym? Why?

I write as myself. I'm not sure why, lol, I've just never thought about using a pseudonym.

What made you want to be a published author?

I've always wanted to write. I would stare at books and know that one day I would have a book up on that shelf too. It's a passion.

What genre do you write in and why?

I write in young adult paranormal because I've always been fascinated with the supernatural. Ghosts, magic, werewolves, vampires. It's fun to believe that there's more out there than we know.

If you could talk to your 12 year old self, what advice would you give?

Don't worry so much about what others think. You'll get a boyfriend. Haha, and you'll eventually be happy.

Have any other authors influenced your writing through theirs?

Definitely Nora Roberts. I love the way she writes, the worlds she makes. The relationships between the people seem so real to me.

If you are a self-published author what made you take this route and what was your experience (good or bad)?

I'm self-published. I picked this way so that I would have more control over what I write and how it looks. A lot of authors I know are self-publishing and love it.

How would you rate your writing?

Oh Lord, lol, that's a hard question. I'm my own worst critic.

How do you react to poor reviews of your book?

I get upset for an hour, eat some junk food, cry on my husband's shoulder. Then I try to see if there's anything constructive in it. If not, I move on.

What influences your choice of book covers?

I like covers that are eye-popping and mysterious.

How do you balance your writing with your real world responsibilities?

Sometimes the house is a mess and dinner is pb&j, lol, but I try to write after everyone's in bed or before everyone gets up so I can focus. Four kids and the noise, I can't block it out.

Do your characters drive the plots of your stories or do you plan out your plot?

I plan out my plot, I'm a definite planner. But sometimes my characters do what they want.

Do you ever write what you dream? Give an example.

All. The. Time. I have very vivid dreams, and the entire Guardian series is actually formed from dreams I had as a teenager.

Do you market yourself or pay a professional?

I'm lucky to have friends who are GREAT at marketing. They help me out and give me tips, so I haven't had to pay yet.

What are your tips for editing?

Do it. As many times as you need. Your book can always get better. I like to edit and then take a break to do something around the house so that I don't burn out and lose interest. Then I go back to it.

What inspired you to write your current WIP or current published work?

My dreams. I wanted to share the Guardian dreams with people and I love to write.

Do you prefer to write stand-alone novels or a series? Why?

I love to write series because I love to read them. I love to bring characters back and explore their motivations and personalities more. Maybe change things around and surprise people.

If you could change one thing in the publishing process what would it be?

OMG. I hate ebook formatting. I wish there were people who did it for free, or a program that automatically does it perfectly.

What advice would you give to a new author?

Write. Don’t stop, no matter what your inner critic whispers naughtily in your ear. It’s not garbage. You can do this.

Share a favourite quote from your book.

"I thought no one could hurt me worst than she did, but you proved me wrong." HIs bitter tone struck her. " Being connected to you made the pain a thousand times worse."

Tristan to main character Sophie

Name one person that you feel supported you outside of family members.

Easy. My best friend, Nina. We met in Texas. I let her read it and she loved it. She also was honest with what needed work. She’s the biggest reason I’m at this point today. When I wanted to give up, she wouldn’t let me.

I love everything paranormal too...it's a great genre to write in and opens up a world of possibilities because as the author we have to create a complete new world. As for editing I share you pain smiley

So let's have a looksy at her book...


When Sophie moves to Boston to get away from the people who ridiculed her for her psychic talents, she wants to start fresh. But when a demon attacks her study group at the library, she has no choice but to reveal her abilities to warn the others.

She learns the attacks won't stop until she's dead. To stay alive she joins forces with the other students and a secret society that has battled the demons for centuries.

The last thing she wants to do is be a pawn in the war of good and evil. When her visions start showing events from a past life, she can't ignore the connections it shows. She has no choice but to acknowledge the bonds that tie her to the other students, even if some of them refuse, to have the strength to defeat the demon that hunts them down.

Will she survive long enough to stop the demons from destroying everything and everyone she loves?

Seriously I would buy this book on the cover alone...well I already have...geeze my TBR pile is getting bigger...and BIGGER...Thank god I have my 32gb Kindle!!!

Buy Links:

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

Barnes & Noble

Stalker Links...

http://facebook.com/SamanthaLongAuthor

http://samanthamlong.com







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Tony Rand Scott

SpotlightPosted by Ellena Jennings Thu, August 15, 2013 12:33:37
My author for today's spotlight is the brilliant Tony Rand Scott...

Tony rand Scott, is a native Floridian and lives near Tampa, Florida with his family.

Ok let's have a nose at our interview...

Do you write as yourself or under a pseudonym? A pseudonym Why?

I always wanted to be a published writer. I have always written in spiral notebooks, I have about 20 of them from the last two or three decades full of stories, notes, poems etc., but I was always too self-conscious to try to publish anything. I was also kind of lazy, not really putting forth the effort to put a complete story together and seeing it through. Thankfully, old age as helped with that. I guess the answer is two part; one reason is I am still very self-conscious and this allows me a little comforting anonymity. The second is that I feel if I was going to publish under my real name, I should have done it years ago. Basically, as weird as it may sound, my real name is the albatross around my neck, and publishing under the pseudonym is me throwing it off the ship.

What made you want to be a published author?

I was a peculiar child, shy and not very outgoing. I was reading the small, illustrated books they used to publish of the classics; at 5 I was reading telltale heart, Fall of the House of Usher, Cask of Amontillado, Rime of the Ancient Mariner, and Moby Dick. By age 8 or 9, I was reading Tolkein, the Xanth series and Stephen King, so I guess I was twisted early on. I wouldn’t say I was more intelligent, but just mature intellictually at an early age. I had few friends, so I read constantly. I always had a very active imagination, so I guess that kindled my creativity with the desire to create my own stories.

What genre do you write in and why?

My current book series is science fiction with Steampunk elements, but I am also working with some ideas for Asian and anime inspired fantasy series and a standalone physiological horror book. I actually have read very few science fiction books; I always gravitated towards fantasy and horror. I always got my science fiction fix from movies and T.V. like Star Wars, Dr. Who, and Star Trek. I just write what I enjoy reading or watching.

If you could talk to your 12 year old self, what advice would you give?

Stop sneaking Dad’s Playboys and write more. Just kidding, but at 12, I was actual in a pretty good place, at least emotionally. It is the 17, 18 year older me that needs talking to. I should have paid more attention in school and actually focused on my writing more seriously.

Have any other authors influenced your writing through theirs?

Edgar Allen Poe, Stephen King, J.R.R. Tolkien, PC Hodgell, Terry Brooks, Piers Anthony, Robert Jordan, Dean Koontz. Also many poems from Poe, Blake, and Coleridge. There are probably several others but those come to mind first.

If you are a self-published author what made you take this route and what was your experience (good or bad)?

As mentioned before have almost no self-confidence. I have gotten to a point where I can be thick skinned enough to publish it, but not patient or brave enough to try to go through the traditional route.

How would you rate your writing?

I think it is good, but like I said I lack self-confidence, so it is hard for me to honestly say, “yeah this is the greatest book ever written”, even if I felt it was. I think there are many cool ideas in my writings, they have stayed with me my whole life, so obviously they resonated with me to last that long. Maybe they just need to ferment, and now like a wine, it is their time.

How do you react to poor reviews of your book?

If it is constructive criticism, I normally consider it as a chance to improve. I know that not everyone is going to like something, no matter how polished, so I take most with a grain of salt.

What influences your choice of book covers?

I like covers that grab your attention, even if it is not immediately obvious what the book is about. If a cover makes you pick up a book or scroll down to read the description it had done its job.

How do you balance your writing with your real world responsibilities?

Unfortunately, my writing suffers sometimes. My kids are all in their teens and ready to go out on their own, so there is a lot going on with them and my job is demanding. I would like to get to point where I could write full time but I realize that will take time, and also some success publishing the books I am writing now.

Do your characters drive the plots of your stories or do you plan out your plot?

Both. I always create a very basic plot from start to finish but I have tweaked or altered parts to fit the characters as they mature and became more developed in my mind.

My parents divorced when I was 4, and my mother raised me by herself for many years before remarrying, so I tend to write female characters very strong but put them in difficult situations, because I have witnessed firsthand the strength of a women. My male characters are always strong has well, but I tend to give them fundamental flaws because they mirror the males in my life growing up.

I also try to have a diverse character pool, racially and sexually. I am a white, heterosexual male but at least in my life experience, I have to interact and coexist with all people of different races, cultures, religions and sexually orientations. I have always had an eclectic tastes in music, movies etc. I don’t necessarily have to understand something to appreciate its value. I don’t have any tattoos, but I am fascinated by tattoos and I love the suicide girl look. The same with the Gothic look; if you saw me you would think I was more suited to listening to John Denver than My Chemical Romance (one of my favorites), so I don’t feel I need to participate in a culture to appreciate it and to think it is beautiful. And I don’t think I have to be black or gay as two examples, to be able to portray them as an integral and important character in my stories.

Do you ever write what you dream?

To my knowledge no.

Do you market yourself or pay a professional?

I am marketing myself, with the help of some Facebook friends who have blogs etc. and help Indie authors, Nerd Girl and Budget Books to name two. I am considering using some of the pay services in the near future.

What are your tips for editing?

I self-edit in conjunction to having 5 or 6 friends read and edit the material. Even after all that, I have found mistakes that all of us missed the first time. I plan on continuing that method, but if I have enough success to afford a professional copy edit, I will. If you can afford it, get a professional copy edit.

What inspired you to write your current WIP or current published work?

I actually wrote and published a Kindle novel called Amidst the Slumber of Dreaming Gods. (It is currently unpublished, a lot of the material is going to be refined and repurposed for my current series.) I tried creating a story about multiple worlds with a hastily and weak crafted premise. One of the worlds was a Steampunk style world of dragons and flying ships. After reading my edit copy, a friend, who is also a Steampunk/cosplay photographer advised I should write a Steampunk novel. That was all it took, I remembered an old idea I had about a steam driven city of automatons that was shaped like a giant gear and everything started clicking into place.

I also like to allude to real world issues if pertinent to the story. Gyre, the world of my story, is very rigid and draconian, what you would expect from a world run by machines and populated by robots. But as some of the citizens revolt to be more human, I make allusions to same sex marriage, racism, sexual bias and other core issues that America and the world is struggling with.

Do you prefer to write stand-alone novels or a series?

I have no real preference, it depends on the idea, though most of my ideas are usually suited for series. Why? Probably because I become attached to characters and want to write about them across multiple books.

If you could change one thing in the publishing process what would it be?

The only real issue I had is there are some sites that require certain amount of reviews or sales to feature or promote Indie author. If you are a struggling Indie author this seems to exclude you from some of these resources, but I guess with the quantity of self-publishers, and for the sake of quality control, it is a necessary evil.

What advice would you give to a new author?

Just write and publish. No matter if you self-publish or submit to establish publishing house, just do it. Rejection will be better than regret, and no one will ever want to read your writing if you don’t take a chance and put it out there. From recent experience I know people are a lot more supportive and interested in helping you than you think, so don’t listen to all the reasons you give yourself no to do it.

Share a favourite quote from your book.

One of the story arcs is that over time the Gyrelins have successfully petitioned for male/ female sex designation. There is a character Mica, who has been constructed with the ability to be both, to choose what sex it is. Leonor, who is Mica’s mentor, kind of the Gandalf of the story, tells Mica “Never be afraid to be what you were programmed to be!” To me this touches on being comfortable with your own sexuality despite what society thinks. On a minor note, it also touches on my own fears of publishing

I have to admit i've never read Steampunk but I will soon as i've just downloaded it...lets see what they're all about...

"The Chronologies of Gyre: The Gregorian Part 1: Industrian Revolution" is an intensely written nightmarish vision of a steam-powered world inhabited by automatons. Tony Rand Scott paints a detailed and convincing alien universe and successfully transports the reader to a new reality. Gyre is a meticulously constructed alien society run by robots with as much personality and sensibility as individual human beings. It reminded me of the 'Matrix' movies in its devotion to verisimilitude. This is a must read for any fan of hard sci-fi. A lot of authors attempt world building but very few pull it off. I can't wait to read the next installment set in this dark, disturbing dystopia."

"Truly an inventive story of an alternate reality in which humanity is but a cog in a steam-driven universe, leaving the reader riveted to the Machiavellian designs of a mastermind in a robot-driven world. Tony Rand Scott captures the imagination and leaves us hungering for the next installment of this creative new series!"

Go out and but it now!!!

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

Barnes & Noble

Kobo

And the stalker links:

http://www.tonyrandscott.com/home.html

https://www.facebook.com/#!/AuthorTonyRandScott

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7154404.Tony_Rand_Scott







  • Comments(0)//indiebrits.eijennings.com/#post35

Kris Austen Radcliffe

SpotlightPosted by Ellena Jennings Wed, August 14, 2013 12:17:13

I would like to welcome Kris Austen Radcliffe to my author spotlight...I may need a suit of amour for this interview...


As a child, Kris took down a pack of hungry wolves with only a hardcover copy of The Dragonriders of Pern and a sharpened toothbrush. That fateful day set her on a path traversing many storytelling worlds—dabbles in film and comic books, time as a talent agent and a textbook photo coordinator, and a foray into nonfiction. After co-authoring Mind Shapes: Understanding the Differences in Thinking and Communication, Kris returned to academia. But she craved narrative and a richly-textured world of Fates, Shifters, and Dragons—and unexpected, true love.

Kris lives in Minnesota with her husband, two daughters, Handsome Cat, and an entire menagerie of suburban wildlife bent on destroying her house. That battered-but-true copy of “Dragonriders”? She found it yesterday. It’s time to pay a visit to the woodpeckers.

Ok, it looks like I really do need to put my armour on and grasp my broad sword while we have a little talk and spar...

Do you write as yourself or under a pseudonym? Why?

I write under my own name. It seemed like the best thing to do at the time. Plus, I have a writerly name, so I might as well run with it.

What made you want to be a published author?

I’ve always had my head in stories and narratives. A couple things happened in my life—not all of them good—and it worked out that now became the time to publish.

What genre do you write in and why?

Fate ~ Fire ~ Shifter ~ Dragon, my current series, is Urban Fantasy with Strong Romantic Elements. My next will be a Sci Fi Action Adventure. I write the stories as they present themselves to me, no matter the genre. But I am a Sci Fi nerd girl, so I lean toward the speculative and the uncanny.

If you could talk to your 12 year old self, what advice would you give?

Start now. Don’t wait. Write every day.

Have any other authors influenced your writing through theirs?

Ann Rice, because of her brilliant setting and environmental descriptions. Ann McCaffrey’s Pern novels sparked my love of mixing fantasy and science fiction. Neil Gaiman, for his flow and his exquisite character building.

If you are a self-published author what made you take this route and what was your experience (good or bad)?

Right now, with the changes going on in the industry, I think it’s the best choice for an author. My experiences have been good, but I did a lot of research before I started. I hired an editor I whom LOVE (Annetta Ribken at http://wordwebbing.com/) and a copy editor I know and trust (Terry Koch at http://beyondgrammar.com/). I set up my own company, invested in the software and equipment I needed, and now I’m streamlining my process.

How would you rate your writing?

Brilliant and entertaining. ;)

I don’t write super-hot scenes, but it’s definitely adult.

How do you react to poor reviews of your book?

You mean the “It didn’t download so I giving your book 2 stars!” reviews? I roll my eyes.

For the most part, I just shrug. People have different tastes.


What influences your choice of book covers?

I do my own covers. I shoot my own photos and do the design myself. I have a design background and I’m a photographer, so I know what I’m doing. You need to understand your strengths and weaknesses. Covers, I can do.

When designing a cover, you also need to conscious of genre, of course. And design elements, placement, tag lines, etc. I also happen to know some good-looking men, which helps helps.

How do you balance your writing with your real world responsibilities?

My family understands I work a job. I have my own business and I put in a full 40 hour week, every week. We work together to get done around the house what needs to get done.

Do your characters drive the plots of your stories or do you plan out your plot?

Both. I aim my characters at certain scenes I know need to be there, usually the major plot points, and let them go at it.

Do you ever write what you dream? Give an example.

No. My dreams are either too banal to make them worth the effort, or too damned weird and I haven’t figured out yet how to translate the images into words.

Do you market yourself or pay a professional?

Both. I’m an introvert, so I hire help, Vicki at Innovative Online Tours, http://www.iobooktours.com/. She’s a big help.

What are your tips for editing?

Put it in another format. Print it, move it to your Kindle, whatever. Just get it off your computer screen.

What inspired you to write your current WIP or current published work?

My heroine has Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, plus an assortment of other anxiety issues. It’s not a characteristic you see often in fiction. But it’s a real issue for many young woman, including someone I love dearly. I wrote “Games of Fate” for her.

“Flux of Skin”, book two of the series (out Sept. 3) touches on another issue important to me: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. In this book, my hero’s past is beginning to ooze up through his floorboards. So, as a whole, the series is for everyone who has struggled with pain and anxiety. I’m giving them characters who are dealing—an I’ve wrapped it in a nice high-action candy-coating of Shifters and Dragons.

Do you prefer to write stand-alone novels or a series? Why?

Fate ~ Fire ~ Shifter ~ Dragon will be a long series—I have four trilogies planned. My next series will be an ongoing, episodic adventure, much like a television show. But I also have a stand-alone I hope to get to in early 2015.

If you could change one thing in the publishing process what would it be?

I hate formatting and I hate the final proofing stage, were you need to find all the typos. I have a “proofing crew”, people who help with the last read-throughs after copy editing. They’re invaluable. I also hate all the uploading business, and the “business” business, like taxes and bookkeeping. I hope to someday be able to hire office staff.

I’m also an introvert and I can tell you, I don’t like social media. It’s overwhelming. I basically stick to Facebook because it’s the least stressful for me. I don’t Tweet, nor do I Pin or use any of the other outlets. I do not like Goodreads at all. Updating my web site is a chore. That’s why I hired Vicki to help with promotions. I’m terrible with it. I’m dreading attending cons. But Vicki’s set up one, the ARC cons http://www.authorreadercon.com/ , and she’s basically taking care of me, so I should be okay.

What advice would you give to a new author?

Write a good book. Then write another one. Then write another one after that. You’re a writer, so write.

Indie publish what you write, but know what you’re doing. Write a good blurb. Don’t put an ugly cover on your book—and make sure it’s genre appropriate. If can’t figure it out yourself, ask for help. And hire who you need. You’re running a business, so think of it that way. I’m in this to be successful. You should be, too.

Share a favourite quote from your book.

Here’s one from Games of Fate:

Twenty-three centuries he and Dragon had fought battles and dealt with Burners. Twenty-three sets of one hundred year intervals, a meaningless measure of time for someone who’d lived through so many of them. Yet, they’d persevered and done what they were supposed to do. Every single one of those actions and reactions dropped onto their heads like a grain of sand blown in from the desert. Twenty-three centuries and sometimes Ladon wondered if he still had the strength to move through the dunes of his life.

“Mom,” Rysa whispered.

The young woman clinging to his arm carried no such weight. Yet the boulder of her new existence would smear her flat if he and Dragon did nothing—or worst, the minimum necessary to finish this job.

He’d been annoyed by her questions in the van. Irritated when he realized she was Jani. But she didn’t deserve this. No one deserved vile insults hurled at them, especially from a parent.

So Ladon folded her tighter against his ribcage, his arm around her shoulder and his hand spread protectively across her shoulder blades.

Rysa wasn’t the terrible things Mira spat from her Burner-confused mouth. The beautiful, overwhelmed woman he held cared more for her mother than he’d ever seen a Fate show. More than her mother had earned, now or ever.

More than he would merit, if she cared for him.

And one from Flux of Skin:

After twenty-three centuries, he should be better at this. Countless wives who needed attention in ways he understood intellectually, but emotionally made no sense to him. They always needed to hear the same words again and again, but if he was going to repeat himself, he’d rather do repeated physical actions.

He walked into the little room, his boxer briefs low on his hips, doing his damnedest to keep his physical interest in her company under control.

“Well, now.” She looked him up and down from her perch on the side of the tub, her gaze first stopping at his chest, then at his bellybutton. “I think I won the man lotto.” Her gaze dropped lower still, moving down his trail of body hair to his groin.

From one introvert to another...you are born to write!!
So let's have a looksy at your books...


Here’s the first trilogy:

Fate ~ Fire ~ Shifter ~ Dragon

Trilogy One: Activation

Prolusio #0

Three Prelude Stories of Fates Fire Shifters and Dragons

GAMES OF FATE #1

It’s not a good love story until something explodes.

Conpulsio #1.5

A Fate ~ Fire ~ Shifter ~ Dragon novella of binding and compulsion

FLUX OF SKIN #2

All Shifters understand fury. Now they learn rupture.

Available September 3, 2013

FIFTH OF BLOOD #3

February 2014

Silence #3.5

Gavin and Daisy’s story.

March 2014

Fate ~ Fire ~ Shifter ~ Dragon crosses genre boundaries, mixing strong Romantic Elements with the New Adult themes of transitioning away from school and parents into an adult life, all with an Urban Fantasy framework. The series also carries touches of Science Fiction and Thriller—with a heist or two thrown in.

Here’s Games of Fate:

Contains Adult Sexual Content and some violent imagery.

Rysa Torres misses information. Loses concentration. Her attention problems randomize her life but she pushes forward anyway, doing the best she can—until monsters activate a part of her she didn’t know she had.

As visions of the future whip inside her head, Rysa realizes the truth: She’s a Fate.

And she will set fire to the world.

All her options explode. Her family ripped away, what little control she had destroyed, Rysa is left with one choice: Will she die to stop the coming flames, or will she allow the man and the dragon she loves to die in her place?

Games of Fate begins Fate ~ Fire ~ Shifter ~ Dragon, a New Adult Urban Fantasy series with Strong Romantic Elements by Kris Austen Radcliffe. Set in the open spaces of America, the series takes Rysa and Ladon—and Ladon’s companion beast, Dragon—through a landscape punctuated by unfamiliar creatures: Fates with the ability to see past, present, and future. Ghouls called Burners who devour with fire and acid. Shifters who shape much more than their bodies. And two dragons who speak with color and pattern.

It starts here, now, with one young woman’s fight against a burning future—and against the death of the man she loves.

Here’s Flux of Skin, available September 3, 2013:

Contains Adult Sexual Content and some violent imagery.

Flux of Skin, book two of the Fate ~ Fire ~ Shifter ~ Dragon series, picks up Ladon and Rysa’s story four hours after the events of book one, Games of Fate.

How many loves must Ladon watch die?

Ladon thought he controlled the rage. He thought he left his past—and his violence—behind. But the Shifters take Rysa and now no one is safe…

Ladon wanted a gentle life. But century after century, the call to battle malicious Fates, Shifters, and Burners always won. The world needed him. So he fought.

War took its toll and now, sometimes, his scars show. When it happens, Ladon ruptures—body, mind, and soul. And the world pays.

But he’s found a new way: a modern life with his beloved Rysa. He won’t give her up. Not because of family strife. Not because of the issues twisting her life into a raging cyclone. And definitely not because of war—until a new group of Shifters rain death onto everyone he loves.

Every Shifter understands fury. Now they learn rupture.

FLUX OF SKIN, book 2 of the Fate ~ Fire ~ Shifter ~ Dragon series, a New Adult Urban Fantasy series with Strong Romantic Elements by Kris Austen Radcliffe, continues the story of Rysa and Ladon. Set in the open spaces of America, the series takes Rysa and Ladon—and Ladon’s companion beast, Dragon—through a landscape punctuated by unfamiliar creatures: Fates with the ability to see past, present, and future. Ghouls called Burners who devour with fire and acid. Shifters who shape much more than their bodies. And two dragons who speak with color and pattern.

FLUX OF SKIN, available Sept 3, 2013.

All I can say is WOW!!!

Want to stalk and buy her books? Here you go...stalker links...

Amazon page: http://www.amazon.com/Kris-Austen-Radcliffe/e/B002BMGMFC

Games of Fate: http://www.amazon.com/Games-Fate-Fantasy-Shifter-ebook/dp/B00B7PI158/

Prolusio: http://www.amazon.com/Prolusio-Stories-Shifters-Universe-ebook/dp/B00B7O2FYM/

Conpulsio: http://www.amazon.com/Conpulsio-Shifter-novella-Universe-ebook/dp/B00CEPT96K/

The Kris Austen Radcliffe Street Team:

Most of the fun happens on the Facebook Group: http://www.facebook.com/groups/TeamKAR/

Information at the Six Talon Sign web site: http://www.sixtalonsign.com/fate-fire-shifter-dragon-street-team-info/

Contact me:

E-mail: krisradcliffe@sixtalonsign.com

Web site: www.sixtalonsign.com

Facebook Fan Page: http://www.facebook.com/AuthorKrisAustenRadcliffe

Facebook Profile page: http://www.facebook.com/kris.austenradcliffe

She's also a photographer...is there nothing she can't do?

Six Talon Sign Media LLC Photography: http://www.sixtalonsign.com/photo-galleries/

Red Bubble: http://www.redbubble.com/people/krisradcliffe

Other contact points:

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6447357.Kris_Austen_Radcliffe



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Seth Beth Cole

SpotlightPosted by Ellena Jennings Tue, August 13, 2013 12:35:20
My spotlight today is shinning on the fabulous author Seth-Beth Cole...

Sara-Beth Cole lives in Southeastern Michigan with her husband and two children along with her rescue dog, Rufus, and cat, Clara. She enjoys sunshine and reading and combines the two as often as possible.

And now i'm donning my trench coat, put on my hat, turning my spotlight in her eyes and asking my questions...

Do you write as yourself or under a pseudonym? Why?

Sort of. My first name is Sara-Elizabeth, but that wouldn't fit on the front cover, so I only used Sara-Beth. That's what my family always called me anyway.

What made you want to be a published author?

I would have to blame the authors I read in my childhood. I loved reading so much and still do. I think it was that love that made me want to be a part of someone else's childhood.

What genre do you write in and why?

I write young adult. I think mostly because that was when I began writing, as a young adult. Sometimes it's fun to think like a kid again, too.

If you could talk to your 12 year old self, what advice would you give?

I would tell myself not to let what other people think affect my goals in life. I had people telling me back then what I should do as an adult and I tried to listen to them, but it didn't work out. Now I do my own thing and I'm so much happier.

Have any other authors influenced your writing through theirs?

Definitely. YA authors like Christopher Pike and L. J. Smith were my favorites in school. Their stories still stay with me after all these years.

If you are a self-published author what made you take this route and what was your experience (good or bad)?

I am self-published. After a weak attempt at traditional publishing a previous novel, I did some research and talked with authors both traditionally and self-published. The process is much simpler with self-publishing and I love it so far!

How would you rate your writing?

I'm a horrible self-critic. On a scale of 1-10, I would probably put myself somewhere around a 6 or a 7. The best part is that one can always improve and I feel like I'm doing this with my new projects.

How do you react to poor reviews of your book?

I've gotten a three-star review before and, for a few minutes, I felt deflated. Then, I remembered it was only a single person's opinion and that, as I said in the above question, I'm always improving.

What influences your choice of book covers?

The story and how I see it in my mind. The cover of Falken's Woods is a forest with an image from the story, a necklace charm the main character wears.

How do you balance your writing with your real world responsibilities?

Horribly! My husband has to remind me sometimes that there's laundry and errands to run. It gets worse during the school year because I'm also a student. I try to maintain a couple hours in the early morning for writing, but when the bug hits me, I sometimes wind up writing all day.

Do your characters drive the plots of your stories or do you plan out your plot?

The characters definitely speak to me and tell me the story. I've tried plotting and planning, but I wind up losing interest in the story before I even begin to write. I've found that it's more effective if I just stay silent and listen to what the characters have to say to me.

Do you ever write what you dream? Give an example.

Yes! I had a dream one night that a waitress in a restaurant had tiny sparkly, shimmery snails in her hair. I've actually added that scene from my dream into my next novel.

Do you market yourself or pay a professional?

Both! John Hofmann at Hofmann-LaForest & Co. helps me when I need him. He's made brilliant posters and bookmarks for my book signings and booked me for events to promote myself and my novel. I've run contests through my website and done other things through social media myself.

What are your tips for editing?

There is a careful balance in editing. If you under-edit, then you'll have a book with so many problems that no one can really get into reading it. If you over-edit, you'll get so sick of it that you want to trash the story. Find the middle ground and stick with it. Hiring an editor can be costly, but helpful.

What inspired you to write your current WIP or current published work?

Falken's Woods was inspired by a commercial for a television show. It was an image of a cabin overrun with wildflowers. My WIP came to me while weeding the garden, although gardening is completely unrelated to it.

Do you prefer to write stand-alone novels or a series? Why?

I'll have to let you know on that one. Falken's Woods is a stand-alone novel. My WIPs are books one and two in a series. I'm not certain which I like more yet.

If you could change one thing in the publishing process what would it be?

The waiting. It seems to me that, whether self-published or traditionally published, authors to a whole lot of waiting. I'm not a patient gal and I found myself pacing a lot while working on publishing Falken's Woods.

What advice would you give to a new author?

Even when things get hard and you realize there's so much more to writing than just writing, don't quit. Remind yourself that this is your dream and your passion and you are one of the lucky few who get to live their dream every day.

Share a favourite quote from your book.

I'm actually getting a quote from my novel tattooed this winter. This is the one I selected:

A persons heart is the only force strong enough to make them step outside their comfort zone.

We share a few things in common and I have to admit i'm always dreaming of my characters. They never shut up in my head and planning my stories are also a problem. If my character's don't want that story line they steer me away...sometimes I feel a little schizophrenic....

Let's have a looksy at her book....


After losing her mother, Regina Holler moves to a small town with her estranged Aunt Liddy. In between making soap and learning about her peculiar family history, Regina stumbles across two brothers with problems of their own. Jason and Landon swear that the woods she wanders through aren’t haunted, but it seems the ghosts of Regina’s past are set on colliding with the ghosts of Falken’s Woods.

Go out and buy it here:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk


And you can stalk her here:

www.sarabethcole.us

www.facebook.com/falkenswoods

www.twitter.com/SaraBethCole1



  • Comments(0)//indiebrits.eijennings.com/#post33

Bethany Daniel

SpotlightPosted by Ellena Jennings Mon, August 12, 2013 13:27:41
My second author of the day is the awesome...Bethany Daniel...

Bethany Daniel lives in Texas with her husband and 2 boys. She enjoys reading, photography and of course, writing. When she's not doing that she spends a lot of time chasing her 3 and 4 year old!

And now my favourite part of the spotlight...the interview...

Do you write as yourself or under a pseudonym? Why?

I use a pen name. I chose to use a pen name because I didn’t want my real name out there if my book was a huge flop lol.

What made you want to be a published author?

I’ve always loved writing. It’s something I used to do all the time but got pushed back when I got married and had babies. Once the idea got in my head for Reconnected, I just had to write it.

What genre do you write in and why?

New Adult, Contemporary Romance. It’s the genre I most connect with.

If you could talk to your 12 year old self, what advice would you give?

Don’t be so shy, get yourself out there.

Have any other authors influenced your writing through theirs?

There are several authors that I look up to in their writing, but I don’t know if they so much influence my style as much as inspire me.

If you are a self-published author what made you take this route and what was your experience (good or bad)?

I chose to self publish because I sent my story to several publishers and got the generic “this doesn’t fit our wants right now, we wish you good luck” response. So I decided to just put it out there myself.

How do you react to poor reviews of your book?

I appreciate constructive criticism more, because I can learn from it. The one that just try to trash the book or me as an author really agitate me, but I don’t give those people the benefit of responding to them.

What influences your choice of book covers?

I don’t want a cover that everyone else has, there are so many books that have the same covers out there that it confuses readers when they see the same picture appear somewhere. My covers have been created by designers that made a personalized covers that connect with my story.

How do you balance your writing with your real world responsibilities?

I’m a wife and have 2 kids under the age of 5, so at times I can be difficult. But the times that the kids are being good or are just asleep are good times to sneak in a few lines here and there.

Do your characters drive the plots of your stories or do you plan out your plot?

The characters do. I don’t plot out, I just have a general idea of how I want It to end up and just let them steer me there.

Do you ever write what you dream? Give an example.

I haven’t yet!

Do you market yourself or pay a professional?

I do it myself. I’ve contacted hundreds of blogs since I first released Reconnected asking them to post about it.

What are your tips for editing?

Take your time. Go over everything and then hand it to someone else to do the same!

What inspired you to write your current WIP or current published work?

I’ve always been someone to follow Hollywood gossip and I thought it would be fun to write something in that world.

Do you prefer to write stand-alone novels or a series? Why?

Reconnected was my first ever book and at first it was going to just be a stand alone, but after writing it, I felt like writing Liam’s side of the story gave more to the readers, and since Reconnected has been out so many people have said they love Krista and Scott so I decided to give them their own story too.

If you could change one thing in the publishing process what would it be?

The frustration of sending out queries and having to wait so long to hear back, especially for the turn downs.

What advice would you give to a new author?

Don’t let rejections make you give up your dream, just because a publisher doesn’t want it doesn’t mean that there aren’t people out there that will love your story.

Share a favorite quote from your book.

There’s an excerpt from Disconnected that is my favorite Liam/Katy scene: I pull her close and sigh. "I know you're still hurting, Katy. Just know that I'm here, ok? You can talk to me, even if it's about Lucas."

She frowns as she looks up at me. "Are you sure?"

I nod. "Yes. I might not be Krista, but I can at least listen. I love you Katy, and I love how big your heart is. I know Lucas holds a piece of it, and probably always will and I'm ok with that."

Katy sniffles as she looks down. "I miss him. A lot." She wipes her eyes. "He was just always there, you know? Someone that I could turn to for any reason; one of my best friends." She takes a deep breath. "When we became more then friends it felt good. I hadn't really felt much of a connection with anyone since you. He made me open my heart again."

I rub her back in soothing circles and hold her tighter against me. Lucas might not have been my favorite person, but for him to love Katy and to make her open her heart and live again makes me grateful for him. I wish I had gotten the chance to know him better. Maybe over time we would have become friends, but now we'll never get the chance because of a woman out of her mind with jealousy.

"I'm sorry Katy," I whisper into her hair. "You don't have to be strong in front of me. Cry if you need to, you're allowed to miss him."

Her sniffles turn into gasps as she cries into my chest. I hate that she's been holding all this in for my sake.

I rock her back and forth as her tears continue falling down her cheeks. I wish I could just take this all away for her.

"I just...feel so...guilty," she whispers between cries. "It's not fair. He was supposed to graduate, go be this amazing architect and find a great wife, have a couple kids." Katy shakes her head. "Now he's just gone. Now he doesn't have a future. Why did he have to die, Liam?" She looks up at me with red puffy eyes and I reach out to rub some tears away.

"Sometimes there are no answers. Sometimes things just suck and all you can do is yell and scream and be pissed off. You can be mad, you can try and make sense of it all, but in the end the why of it doesn't matter, Katy. In the end you're left to just deal with it and keep living."

"I know," she whispers taking a deep breath. "But it really sucks."

I smile softly and wipe the last of her tears away. "I know it does, but you have me to help you through it, ok? If you need me, I'm right here."

Katy pulls me down to her for a kiss and leans her forehead against mine. "Thank you for loving me even when I'm broken."

I kiss her again and hold her tightly against my chest. "Always."

Now for the books...

Reconnected Blurb:

Katy Warren had it all. A new husband, who was a successful theater actor and their whole lives ahead of them. But then Liam got discovered and once whisked off to Hollywood, he changed. After a night of being ignored for "business", Katy decides she can't handle it and leaves. Taking back her maiden name, and deciding to go for a Psychology degree she leaves Liam Warren and his celebrity behind, but she never got a divorce and Liam hasn't stopped looking for her. When their paths cross again, Liam does all he can to fight for their love even with Katy fighting against him

Disconnected Blurb:

This is the retelling of Reconnected from Liam's POV.

A Fast Paced Love Story!

Liam and Katy were high school sweethearts. Shortly after they graduated they ran off to Vegas to get married. Liam does theater acting and it's there that he is discovered by Excite Entertainment and flown to L.A.

Once he's in L.A his marriage takes the backseat to rubbing elbows with Hollywood's biggest and brightest. One night Liam throws a big party and Katy comes into their house filled with half dressed women. When Katy says she's going to leave, Liam doesn't believe her until he comes home from filming and finds a note that tears him apart.

Four years later, he's tried to move on but never let go of the love he has in his heart for his Katy. It's in a little town they are filming in that their paths cross again and Liam has to try and convince Katy that their love is worth fighting for.

Here I go again...my TBR list is getting BIGGER...AGAIN!!!

Stalker links:

Facebook www.facebook.com/authorbethanydaniel

Twitter: @author_bethanyd

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/authorbethanyd

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7085559.Bethany_Daniel

Blog: www.authorbethanydaniel.wordpress.com

Reconnected Purchase Links:

Kindle: http://tinyurl.com/lo9a8qe

Nook: http://tinyurl.com/qj9fxml

Kobo: http://tinyurl.com/lnvudvr

Sony: http://tinyurl.com/lqtcj4y

Smashwords: http://tinyurl.com/q3t4a44

iTunes: http://tinyurl.com/lo4l5jz

Paperback: http://tinyurl.com/kqtb67d





  • Comments(0)//indiebrits.eijennings.com/#post31

Derek White

SpotlightPosted by Ellena Jennings Mon, August 12, 2013 13:13:04

After a nightmare of a weekend with no internet I can finally introduce you to Derek White...


Born Bradford Yorkshire 24.04.1936. At Worcester Royal Grammar School took 5 ‘O’ level and 4 ‘A’ levels at one sitting, the A’s being Chemistry, Maths, Physics, Biology without ever taking a book home. (I always managed to do all homework within the school day. At Leicester University (hard though this may be to believe) I tried to do the same, remembering every word taught etc. Unfortunately no one told me that 60% of the syllabus had to be studied by me alone. So I failed end of year exams and though offered the chance to continue I declined as I would always be the guy who took 4 years to qualify instead of 3

National Service, during which I qualified as Dance Teacher, was followed by teaching and then running my own school. Dancing used to be the traditional way of meeting the opposite sex but discos replaced dance halls and schools so I lost everything, then took up selling double glazing, working with my father-in-law as a general builder, ending as a conservatory surveyor until the three firms I worked for went out of business due to the recession. Now retired except for writing.

In 1974 I married Maureen (10 yrs my junior and one of my part time teachers) and we have a daughter Melanie, my editor, and a son Matthew an IT expert par excellence who works for KPMG. Melanie lives in Rochester NY, Matthew and his wife in Snodland, Kent

And now the interview...

Do you write as yourself or under a pseudonym? Why?

I write as myself. I would only use a pseudonym if there was a reason.

What made you want to be a published author?

Originally I wanted to be published in paperback and had the usual story of rejection slips even though I had as connections the Editorial Director of Harper Collins and an introduction by Anne McCaffrey to her agent. I eventually fell for the con-artists PublishAmerica and signed a contract. Publicity was only what I chose to do and pay for, so very little. I originally wanted to get rich, apart from enjoying writing.

What genre do you write in and why?

I write halfway between Sci Fi and Fantasy as that is what comes naturally to me. When a child/teenager I read mostly technical sci fi (Asimov etc) until I found the works of Anne McCaffrey and have now read everything she has written.

If you could talk to your 12 year old self, what advice would you give?

I would advise my 12 yr old self to give up the idea of getting a Chemistry degree and researching plastics as I would never finish the degree course and would become a professional ballroom dancer

Have any other authors influenced your writing through theirs?

As two separate reviewers on Goodreads compared my work with Anne’s I have to accept that she has influenced me (She personally liked the first two books in paperback and they are probably amongst Todd’s possessions now) I also enjoyed the Blue Adept series (7 books) by Piers Anthony, which were also both sci fi and fantasy, but with a few exceptions his other work I don’t enjoy.

If you are a self-published author what made you take this route and what was your experience (good or bad)?

My daughter advised letting the PublishAmerica contract expire and then try the e– book route. She edits and publishes for me.

How would you rate your writing?

I don’t rate my writing – that is for others, but I will be very surprised if you find spelling, grammar or continuity errors, especially if Melanie (my daughter) has been involved.

How do you react to poor reviews of your book?

Poor reviews are rare. If someone doesn’t like the book why should they review it? I have enough good reviews that the odd bad one I ignore.

What influences your choice of book covers?

Covers I leave to Melanie. The two that were in paperback; the covers were done by the art department of publisher.

How do you balance your writing with your real world responsibilities?

As I am retired, balancing writing and work does not arise.

Do your characters drive the plots of your stories or do you plan out your plot?

I used to allocate a time for writing and I stuck to it. I had the outline of the story of what became the whole three books in my head before I typed the first word. It was a trilogy as my contacts advised that about 80,000 words was the ideal for a first novel. The story naturally breaks into three sections as you will agree when you read them.

Do you ever write what you dream? Give an example.

I am sorry to say that I do not remember my dreams.

Do you market yourself or pay a professional?

As covered above, it is done by my daughter. Currently the earnings from the books she mostly ploughs back into publicity. The balance I donate to her as pay.

What are your tips for editing?

Be very self critical. First read through should pick up all grammar or spelling mistakes (assuming your English is good enough – if it isn’t you shouldn’t be writing.) Next read through look for continuity errors and inconsistencies. Then when you’re satisfied give it to your editor and be prepared to listen. Personally I do the above chapter by chapter as I write.

What inspired you to write your current WIP or current published work?

Two readers who had finished the trilogy pointed out that my statement in Book III that Refuge and its unicorns were now safe was untrue. The story is now completed with Unicorn Witch IV (at present being edited by Melanie). I am also writing short stories for my blog which are serialized, usually in four parts. They feature characters from the Trilogy and often are in answer to readers’ questions.

Do you prefer to write stand-alone novels or a series? Why?

As I prefer long stories when reading, I obviously like writing a series.

If you could change one thing in the publishing process what would it be?

I would ‘uninvent’ the word processor and go back to the days when a publisher (I am quoting my friend at Harper Collins) would get for each reader twenty at the most manuscripts per week. Now when it’s so easy, everyone thinks they can write. Result- - - - they get two thousand per week to read.

What advice would you give to a new author?

Remember that if someone opens a bookstore and stocks every book currently published, they will need forty six feet of extra shelving next week, and the week after etc. So if you can’t get published it is not necessarily because your work is not good enough. The most important paragraph in your book is the first one. It absolutely must make the reader want to read on.

Share a favourite quote from your book.

See previous answer. I did dozens of rewrites until I thought I had done this for my first book. Here is the first sentence:- The eighteen year old girl riding slowly down Midwitch main street would have attracted the attention of every red-blooded male and the admiration or envy of quite a few of her own gender even if she hadn’t been riding a white unicorn.

Books any one?

I put together two things under the heading ‘what if they were both true?

First, wherever you go in the world there are legends of unicorns, dragons and others.

Second, wherever you go there are legends of Gods amongst men, particularly in the Norse regions and the Greek Islands.

I postulated that many thousands of years ago Earth was visited by a space-faring race and their visits account for one of the above. There really were unicorns etc and as they were hunted to extinction my race, The Godhe, established colonies of them on a distant world now known as Refuge so that they would not be lost. When a mutation of homo sapiens started showing telekinetic powers and they too were hunted as witches they too were taken to Refuge to save their lives.

This is still going on, accounting for the occasional disappearance and/or flying saucer sighting.

At the beginning of Unicorn Witch dozens, mostly teenagers have been waking up having lost their ‘magic’ powers. The job of investigating is given to Tyana Counter, unique in that she is the only witch on the planet to have a unicorn as a familiar. It turns out that a hormone is being stolen from the victims and sold as a drug by Godhe criminals. Tyana and Marcus (ex detective sergeant from Chicago) solve the problem. They contact the Godhe homeworld and the criminals are sent for rehab. In Unicorn Witches seven years later the criminal mastermind comes back, having avoided rehab, and his intention is to harvest all the theurgen on the world and kill its inhabitants. There is a battle between the advanced weaponry of the Godhe and the inherent magic of the Refuge witches. (No prizes for working out who wins.)

Book III (subtitled return to Earth) sees a party return to recruit a geneticist to cure a problem the Godhe males have. Also Marcus gets to deal with the mafia boss who put a price on his head and indirectly caused him to be taken to Refuge.

Book IV (with Editor) Our heros realize when they deal with a threat to the stability of life on Refuge that it will be necessary for them to take control of the Galactic Patrol and make it and the council of twelve Old Ones incorruptible. Only then will Refuge and its unicorns be safe.

Links...

Twitter - - - @authorderek

Facebook- - - - www.facebook.com/unicornwitch

Goodreads – my author page. Here is a link to this week’s blog.

http://www.goodreads.com/author_blog_posts/4541678-new-fans-old-fans-summer-and-science





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Andrea Barbosa

SpotlightPosted by Ellena Jennings Fri, August 09, 2013 13:28:08
Today under my spotlight is Andrea Barbosa

Andrea Barbosa was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and holds a Bachelor's degree in Tourism. She loves to travel and write. She maintains two blogs and is a contributor on Yahoo Contributor Network and Yahoo! Voices websites. "Massive Black Hole" is her debut novel. Her work has been influenced by contemporary authors Paulo Coelho, Fernando Sabino and Joyce Carol Oates, among others.

I have to admit i'm starting to love Brazil and have a few friends there now thanks to my own books...lets see what else she confesses....

Do you write as yourself or under a pseudonym? Why?

I write as myself, for now. As this is my first published book, I decided to put my name to it.

What made you want to be a published author?

Since I was a child, I've always dreamed of being a writer. I decided it was time to give a try.

What genre do you write in and why?

I like general fiction, because you can write and create worlds that are not real and be more flexible with your imagination.

If you could talk to your 12 year old self, what advice would you give?

Keep going, don't give up your dreams and think positive, always. Everything's always working out for you.

Have any other authors influenced your writing through theirs?

Paulo Coelho, and Brazilian author Fernando Sabino, for his chronicles and short stories, Erica Jong and Anne Rice, to name a few.

If you are a self-published author what made you take this route and what was your experience (good or bad)?

The difficulty in finding a publishing house to accept your manuscript. The experience has been good, I have had the flexibility to choose my own cover, book format, and distribution markets.

How would you rate your writing?

Good. Not excellent because there's always room to improve.

How do you react to poor reviews of your book?

All reviews are based on a reader's personal opinion and what a writer is trying to convey may not be interpreted the same way by all readers. Controversy is good, so it's all a learning experience and I do not take it personally.

What influences your choice of book covers?

The theme or title of the book, as long as it is aesthetically and artistically pleasing.

How do you balance your writing with your real world responsibilities?

The real world is writing!

Do your characters drive the plots of your stories or do you plan out your plot?
The characters drive the plot most of the time. I start with an idea and suddenly they have a life of their own and take it over.

Do you ever write what you dream? Give an example.
No, I hardly ever remember my dreams.

Do you market yourself or pay a professional?
Right now, I'm marketing myself. Maybe in the future I will use a professional.

What are your tips for editing?
Set the book aside for at least 1 week, then pick it up as if you were a reader, and start reading it aloud. You will find a lot of mistakes and sentences that don't make any sense when you give them a voice.

What inspired you to write your current WIP or current published work?
I was sitting in traffic one day and started thinking about who the other drivers would be and what they were doing in their lives. Then an idea was born.

Do you prefer to write stand-alone novels or a series? Why?
I prefer stand alone novels. I would get bored with the same character appearing in several books. I prefer to create new personalities.

If you could change one thing in the publishing process what would it be?
My self publishing adventure went on well enough, right now I'm satisfied with the results.

What advice would you give to a new author?
Write and read. The more you read the more you will write.

Share a favourite quote from your book.
"It was a brutal, endless descent into an inferno, a familiar yet repulsive, loud and chaotic place she had seen before."

So let's have a looksy at her work...

Three women from very different backgrounds begin an unlikely friendship. Cibele is Brazilian and she dreams of a life in New York. Agatha's ambition is to become a famous fashion model. And Amy is a young scholar whose goal in life is to study sciences and astrophysics. While trying to achieve their goals, they question the meaning of life, death and the existence of hell. A series of unfortunate circumstances prompt them to play with each others' fate, and the outcome is a challenge to their conscience, values and beliefs - until there is no more redemption to their unexpected awakening.

I swore to myself that I would avoid Amazon's one click...but here I go again!!

So you want to stalk Andrea? Here you go....

http://www.amazon.com/Massive-Black-Hole-Andrea-Barbosa/dp/148487532X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1374202886&sr=1-1

http://www.amazon.com/Andrea-Barbosa/e/B00DGXPK6W/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

https://www.createspace.com/4204204

https://twitter.com/AndyB0810

http://pinterest.com/andyb0810/massive-black-hole/

http://www.wattpad.com/user/AndreaBarbosa

https://www.facebook.com/massiveblackholebook

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17974838-massive-black-hole


And I leave you with two of her proudest moments...




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Patricia Eddy

SpotlightPosted by Ellena Jennings Thu, August 08, 2013 13:26:56
I know I'm being kind to you today by already giving you a cover real and now i have fellow author Patricia Eddy under my spotlight...

Patricia D. Eddy doesn’t know how to relax. Really. She’s tried. But between a full time job, running, cycling, swimming, writing, reading, and the occasional movie or trivia night, it just doesn’t happen. Despite routinely telling her mother that her life is boring, what she really means is that she doesn’t have enough free time to get bored. She wouldn’t have it any other way. She lives in Seattle with her husband and three cats. She has been known to participate in clandestine coffee bean exchanges in corner shops and is happiest when she’s mixing the perfect Manhattan.

And now I get nosy...

Do you write as yourself or under a pseudonym? Why?

I write under my own name. I have a number of tech books published and so I never saw much need to hide what I do from a fiction perspective. I’m proud of what I’ve written and I don't see a need to hide it. That said, I’m toying with some…darker pieces and I haven’t ruled out a future book being published under a pseudonym.

What made you want to be a published author?

I suppose it would have to be the joy I get from books. A book can take you away to a whole other world and there are times when I think we all need that desperately. So when I first started being able to finish a complete story (this took me a while…years in fact), I realized that I had the possibility to do that for someone else. I could make someone I’d never met before happy. I could help reduce their stress. So why not? Especially with how easy self-publishing can be.

What genre do you write in and why?

I primarily write paranormal romance. I didn’t set out to write romance. I actually wanted to write mystery/fantasy/thrillers. But it seemed that whenever I tried to write, my characters would end up falling in love and having sex. I’m fascinated by the process of falling in love, the uncertainty, the passion, and of course, the sex. After my first book, when I realized that the sex scenes were some of my favorite to write, I started to accept what it was that I was doing and just go with it. I’m still hoping to release some books that don’t involve sex at some point, but for now, I’m going with what feels right.

If you could talk to your 12 year old self, what advice would you give?

I’d tell 12 year old me that she should spend more time writing and less time telling herself that her writing wasn’t anything she would ever do professionally. I’ve been writing stories since I was maybe 8 years old. I’ve always had them in my head. But at some point I decided that living in my head like that wasn’t appropriate and I stopped for a long time. It wasn’t until I was closer to 30 that I really got back into writing and accepting that these scenes that would float into my head at random times weren’t unwanted intruders but something I could work with. They became something I embraced even.

Have any other authors influenced your writing through theirs?

I read a lot. A lot. And I will read almost anything. There have only been a couple of books that I picked up and didn’t finish in the past ten years. I can find good things to say about almost every book I’ve read. I’m not sure that I’ve been overly influenced by any particular writing style. I think I take a bit of influence from all writing styles. But I will say that my decision to take the plunge into self-publishing was probably started by Lindsay Buroker. She’s one of my favorite authors and she’s an indie author. When I got a Kindle about 2 years ago, I asked friends for recommendations. One of them recommended the first Emperor’s Edge book. It was free, so I said, why not? It was probably the best book I’ve read…still is. Her characters are rich, flawed, and fantastic. She’s built a wonderful world. And her characters are funny. I really suck at writing humor. Her books are better than most of the traditionally published books I’ve read. So I think she was the one who really helped me to see that this was something I could do.

If you are a self-published author what made you take this route and what was your experience (good or bad)?

I love self-publishing. I went this route for a number of reasons. First of all, editorial control. No one tells me what I should and should not put in my books. I consider this a double edged sword. Sure, editors are great and honestly, I have a fantastic one. I listen to almost everything she says. But I’m free not to. I know some authors who go the traditional publishing route who’ve been told that they have to edit their stories to fit X, Y, or Z. I don’t have to do that unless I want to. I follow one traditionally published author on Twitter who at one point tweeted something along the lines of “I have the perfect ending for this book, but I can’t write it. It puts me over my word count.” I found that just heartbreaking. Sure, my books might be better (or more marketable) if I went the traditionally published route. But they wouldn’t be the same books and that would make me sad.

Also, I make a higher percentage on every sale going the self-publishing route. There was a study that was surfaced on Goodreads a few months ago that said a self-published ebook at 3.99 makes as much as a traditionally published ebook at 7.99. I want my readers to be able to get the book for 3.99. Not 7.99.

How would you rate your writing?

I hate this question. I think every author goes through phases where they think their writing is pure, unadulterated crap. I’m no different. But I know my stories, my plots, have promise. I can write decent sex scenes. My action scenes are passable. So I’d say I’m a fair writer. I can always improve. My writing is perhaps simpler, more straightforward than I’d like, but it’s also approachable. It’s also always evolving.

How do you react to poor reviews of your book?

Uff. It depends. There are reviews that say they don’t like the story or that it just didn’t speak to them and I’m fine with those. Not every book is for everyone. But then there are the reviews that are more vile or attacking. Those are harder to take. Note: I haven’t had any of those yet and I’m crossing my fingers that I don’t. But I dream about them. I had a dream just last night about a horrible review of my book. The reviewer was hateful and accusatory and outright lied (whoever it was said that I spelled naked wrong. Apparently in my dream they said I spelled it nacked). I fear the day that I get a review like that and I’m pretty sure that one day it’ll happen. My full time job is in tech and I’m very familiar with the concept of online trolls. Some people are just never happy and want to make sure the world knows it. So I fear reviewers like that. But if you just didn’t much care for my book? That’s ok. We can still be friends.

What influences your choice of book covers?

I’m fortunate to have a killer cover designer. I love her. She’s hit the nail on the head both times. I write strong female characters, so they are always the primary concern for me. I usually ask my beta readers if there are scenes that stand out to them in the book as particularly emotional or representational of what the book is about. From there, I’ll give my cover designer two or three options and see what she comes up with. She’s never disappointed me. She’s also amazing at finding models on the stock photo sites that fit my characters’ descriptions to a T. That said, my girlfriends and I do tend to have at least one alcohol and chocolate fueled evening spent at my dining room table looking through pages of hot men for the covers.

How do you balance your writing with your real world responsibilities?

I don’t sleep. Seriously. My best writing time is between 8pm and 1am. This is probably the hardest part of the writing process for me. The balance. I have words and scenes in my head all the time. I joke with friends that if I’m staring off into space, I’m likely composing a scene in my head. I carry a notebook with me all the time and I’ve been known to excuse myself from places, grab the notebook, and go huddle off in the corner for five minutes to jot things down.

I suppose the fact that I’m a multi-tasker and that my day job is rather analytical helps with the writing. I can really stretch those creative muscles at night. But it’s hard. I get…anxious if I get busy and can’t write for three or four nights in a row.

Do your characters drive the plots of your stories or do you plan out your plot?

My characters drive the plot. When I start a project, it’s usually because I’ve got one particular scene in my head. For example, for Secrets in Blood, the vampire novel coming out next month, I had this one scene in my head for a few weeks. The vampire was imprisoned behind silver and the human discovered him. She didn’t agree with why he was imprisoned and so she fought to free him. From there, it turned into a whole mystery that will span three books and cover prejudice, religious extremism, and love.

For Fates, I had an idea for a short little novella about abuse and recovery. It was going to be really raw and dark and I didn’t even think I was going to publish it. I just wanted to write it for me. But then it evolved and softened a bit. I toned the abuse down. I added more characters. And then one of my beta readers suggested turning it into a full length novel. And that’s how that series was born.

For Fates, I had no outline at all. For Secrets in Blood, I did outline once I had that first scene down. The second two books in the Fates trilogy are already outlined and I will start writing them soon.

Do you ever write what you dream? Give an example.

Oh yes! I was staying with my parents for a few days last year and I had this vivid dream about a woman baking bread. Someone came into the kitchen where she was working and threw a bowl of flour at her. It hit her and bruised her cheek. She then kicked the guy’s ass. But another guy came in the room right afterwards and got all alpha male “who bruised you?” with her and she told him it was none of his business. From there, it evolved into this novella that’s about halfway done in a post apocalyptic Las Vegas.

Do you market yourself or pay a professional?

I pay for editing and cover design. Not marketing. When you’re starting out, you don’t make a profit if you want to have your work professionally edited, so I can’t afford to pay someone to market the books for me too. But I think that I’ve learned a lot with the first book and the second should be a lot smoother.

What are your tips for editing?

Tips? I'm not sure I have tips. I don't edit like "they" say you should. I keep hearing advice to write first and edit later, but that just doesn't work for me. I tend to write a chapter, sleep on it, go back and edit it, then write another chapter. Shampoo, rinse, repeat. I do think that you need to give yourself a deadline or you'll never stop editing. I take notes while I edit in Scrivener's project notes section so that I can keep all of my changes straight.

What inspired you to write your current WIP or current published work?

I honestly don't know! By the Fates, Freed was started on a very bad weekend for me. I had some personal stuff going on that was overly stressful and those are the times when I feel the need to write the most. I just sat down in the middle of a movie theater (it was during a film festival and I was hanging out in an empty theater for an hour before the show) and started to write. It was an escape for me. I think I finished the draft in about 3 weeks. I don't recommend having a really stressful life event in order to get inspired though.

For Secrets in Blood I wanted to write something modern and I knew I wanted to explore vampires, but I didn't want to do it the way everyone else did. I didn't want the vampire to be the one in control. In this work, it's the humans who are in control for most of the book. I also didn't want to follow all of the standard vampire canon. My vampires can walk in the sun, eat garlic (and other food), and most have no desire to sire another vampire.

Do you prefer to write stand-alone novels or a series? Why?

I prefer series. I spend so long with the characters in my head that I just have a really hard time letting them go. I feel like I know them by the time I’m done and to let them go after a single book…it seems cruel. To them and to me.

If you could change one thing in the publishing process what would it be?

I've had a really great process overall. So not much. I suppose better communication over sales would be good.

What advice would you give to a new author?

Write! Write, write, write, write, write, write. You're going to write crap at first. You're going to make mistakes. Find a good network of beta readers. Don't JUST rely on friends, or if you do, make sure they know what you need from them. I had to tell my friends that they needed to be harsh. They had to give me honest, real feedback, not stroke my ego. And get a good editor.

Share a favourite quote from your book.

This little exchange tickles me every time I read it. It’s in editing now and I really hope it stays in.

“Where could you possibly get the idea that I hated you?” Evangeline asked.

Nic practically growled his answer. “From you! ‘I’m not a fucking vampire’. Those were your words. Clearly fucking a vampire doesn’t translate into caring for one.”

Tell me something quirky about yourself?

I’m an amateur bartender. My husband and I have a well-stocked bar and our friends tend to congregate at our house because of this. I’ve been told that I make a better Manhattan than just about anywhere in town.

And: Favorite writing related quote:

“Writers turn caffeine and alcohol into words.”

An ancient prophecy. A tortured witch. A powerful warlock protector. A devil clan, desperate to stop the prophecy from coming to pass.

The devils bind the witch, taking her name, her voice, and her magic. Shackled inside the cold, stone walls of the devil’s prison, she prays for a death she knows will not come.

The warlock has always felt unfulfilled. His casual promise to his king’s Council results in a life-changing discovery. The imprisoned, nameless witch is his mate — the one witch he is fated to love for all eternity. He must free her or his very life will be over.

Freed, the witch must learn how to trust again. But the kind warlock with the face of a dark angel is hiding something — a secret that will give the witch the strength to help her to fulfill her destiny.

As she comes into her power, she will discover a pure truth that allows her to save herself and the man she loves.

This is the first book in the By the Fates trilogy.

Warning: This book contains disturbing and potentially offensive scenes including forced imprisonment, rape and physical and mental torture. Suitable for adult audiences only.

Sooooo what you waiting for??? Go and buy it...

Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Kobo. Goodreads Blog



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Jessica MacIntyre

SpotlightPosted by Ellena Jennings Wed, August 07, 2013 13:04:23
I'm loving my Author spotlights! How about you? Well today I torture...sorry INTERVIEW Jessica MacIntyre...

Jessica MacIntyre was born in Sydney, Nova Scotia and raised in the tiny rural community of Soldiers Cove. A habitual daydreamer, MacIntyre was sent to the principal's office many times during her school years for not paying attention in class. In 1998 she moved to Dartmouth, Nova Scotia with her husband and began writing seriously a few years later. Her first novel, "The Vampires of Soldiers Cove" is available now on Amazon and is the first in the "Vampire Island" series. MacIntyre has also published a set of Paranormal Erotica books titled, "The Slave Queen" and "The Slave Knight", also for sale on Amazon.
She lives in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia with her husband and two children.


Do you write as yourself or under a pseudonym? Why?

I write as myself. I decided early on that I would put my own name on everything I write. No pseudonyms. My name will be on my work and I’ll be proud of both. I write erotica as well and use my own name, something a lot of people seem to have trouble doing when it comes to erotica. I feel it’s important for me personally to own everything I write as myself.

What made you want to be a published author?

I love to write and to entertain people. I like being able to take people away from their daily hum drum lives and into a world of fantasy and adventure.

What genre do you write in and why?

I write in Fantasy. I love the break from the constraints of everyday existence. There are fewer rules and much more room for the imagination to flourish in the Fantasy genre.

If you could talk to your 12 year old self, what advice would you give?

You’re much better than you think you are, and although you are getting the blame for a lot of the problems you’re having, a lot of them aren’t your fault. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with you no matter what anyone says. There’s nothing wrong with how you look, how you talk, how you behave or how you dress. You’re a good kid, even if some of the adults in your life don’t think so. You are good and you will be ok.

Have any other authors influenced your writing through theirs?

I’m influenced by everything I read even if I don’t particularly like it. You can learn something from every book, even if it’s just what you DON’T want to do.

If you are a self-published author what made you take this route and what was your experience (good or bad)?

I have had a very good experience with self-publishing so far. The indie author community is very supportive of one another and I have met lots of great people over the last 4 months since The Vampires of Soldiers Cove has been published. It’s more time consuming than I had anticipated, but generally I love it. I like having control over every single aspect of my books.

How would you rate your writing?

I don’t rate or judge it. I write as well as I can with my aim always being to grow and learn. I feel I am a very good writer, and have been told as such, but I feel strongly that an artist shouldn’t really judge or rate their own work. It’s for me to create, and for others to rate. And while they are rating me, in the meantime, I’ll keep writing.

How do you react to poor reviews of your book?

One of my favorite books of all time is, The Diary of Anne Frank. Whenever someone gives me a bad review or says something negative about my book I go to Amazon or Goodreads and look at the one star reviews for that book. Once you get through about five or six of those you realize two things. 1. People are stupid. 2. If that book can get one star reviews and have nasty things said about it there is no hope for mine. Some people will hate it, but a lot of people have absolutely loved it and I appreciate the hell out of those people.

What influences your choice of book covers?

I have a graphic artist (JennLaa Digital Art) that I work with who is brilliant. I describe what I want and she works with me every step of the way. I felt like we created the cover together as opposed to her doing it for me. As long as I am involved in the process I’m happy.

How do you balance your writing with your real world responsibilities?

I write a lot at night after everyone falls asleep. I don’t get an abundance of writing done every night but I get there, one night at a time. When I have things I have to finish by certain deadlines I will kiss everyone goodbye, give them pizza money for dinner and set up shop at Starbucks. I’ve done a few marathon sessions there recently and that’s really helped.

Do your characters drive the plots of your stories or do you plan out your plot?

I think my stories are largely character driven, but plot is crucial. Your characters can be as interesting as you want but if they don’t have anything to strive for or rail against all you’ve got is a bunch of interesting people tying their shoes for hundreds of pages. Who wants to read that?

Do you ever write what you dream? Give an example.

I don’t. My writing all comes from my daydreams.

Do you market yourself or pay a professional?

I market myself. It’s a struggle sometimes but the people I know who have paid professionals have all said it wasn’t worth the money.

What are your tips for editing?

I think the key is to walk away from your work for long enough so that it looks strange when you go back to it. It should look like someone else’s writing. You should never write something and then turn around and edit it right away. I put my books into what I call a ‘coma phase’. It has to sleep undisturbed for a while before I can look at it again and be objective.

What inspired you to write your current WIP or current published work?

Vampires have been used as tools to explore things like addiction and isolation. I wanted to use them to explore mental illness. The main character has an illness called Psychotic Depression, which I also have, and it was sort of my way of processing the whole experience.

Do you prefer to write stand-alone novels or a series? Why?

I don’t have a preference. I like a series because if I’m really loving the story I can explore it more fully over a longer period of time. I like stand-alones because the story is more defined.

If you could change one thing in the publishing process what would it be?

I’d make marketing easier. That’s been the biggest challenge so far. I don’t know what I’d do to make it easier but that’s what I’d change.

What advice would you give to a new author?

You don’t need to be perfect. Don’t wait until you can do something perfectly before you do it, otherwise you’ll never do anything fun or cool. Just write, do the best you can and don’t judge it. Some people are writers and some people are critics. You’re a writer, so write and don’t worry about how other people perceive it. If they like it great, if they don’t, oh well. Someone else will get it.

Share a favourite quote from your book.

"I screamed with pain and pleasure. He lost all control of himself and began thrusting hard, over and over again like an animal. Suddenly his mouth clamped down on my neck and I felt his fangs sink deep into my flesh. He bore down as hard as he could and I thought I was going to faint from the extreme bliss. On the night Gavin had transformed me this same act had felt only like pain, but now it felt like heaven. I never wanted him to stop."

This is one of the reasons I love being an Indie author, we're incredibly honest and share our inner thoughts. I agree about writing under your own name because I do it for the same reason. If i've spent months writing something then my name is going to be stamped proudly on the front and I know I write erotica but i'm incredibly proud of all my very naughty scenes. Then of course there's my daily battle with my own depression and I completely understand how writing calms the demons...Jessica YOU ROCK GIRL!!

So less of my ramblings and more of Jessica's books...

I still think this is an awesome cover! That's the thing about Indie's we can change our book covers whenever we feel like it! But what's it about?

When 24 year old Rachel Landry, who suffers from a debilitating mental illness, receives a knock at her door one night from a stranger she gets an offer she can’t refuse. The chance to live as a vampire, gaining eternal life and relative sanity seems like a great plan. Soon she comes to realize she has been turned for a specific purpose and her vampire existence may be short lived. Also the handsome stranger may not be as much of a stranger as she thought. Facing her demons along with new enemies she must come to rely on her own strength to save her life, and the life of her new clan.



This woman looks like she has massive attitude! Love it!

After being chosen by a King to be his bride, Lady Iliya is taken to a castle far away to be wed to King Roman. On the night of her wedding, just as she is about to discover the mysteries a man holds, she is kidnapped and taken to an underground world full of strange creatures. The Satyr King, Ramses, wants her not just to be a Queen in his strange world, but to be a sexual Queen in his bed both with him, and others who he will choose. Now it is up to King Roman, with the help of his knights, including young Sir Henry who is also in love with the Queen, to rescue her.


Yet again my TBR list has grown a bit more!! I strongly advise the purchase of these great books...

Find all her books here : LINK

Or on her facebook pages:

Jessica MacIntyre

The Vampires of Soldiers Cove


Or on her blog: http://jessicamacintyredotcom.wordpress.com/

And just because I know her obsession and it's Wednesday...HAPPY Schmidsday!!














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Brooke Williams

SpotlightPosted by Ellena Jennings Tue, August 06, 2013 11:30:39
My Author spotlight is shining on...Brook Williams...

Brooke Williams graduated from college with a Bachelor of Arts Degree and a double major in Mass Communications and Religious Studies. She then spent 12 years in radio as a Production Director and on-air host. Once her first daughter was born in 2009 she cut back her hours and put being a mom first. After a year of the long commute to work, she decided to find something she could do at home. Her freelance writing career took off and she has since written everything from travel-related articles for a company in England to blogs for Goodbye Crutches. She has also written dozens of first chapters for Chainbooks as well as several complete novels of her own.

Brooke completed her first novel during her career in radio. The prologue for “Someone Always Loved you” came to her and would not leave her alone until she wrote it down. Afterwards, she proceeded to complete the book. This novel is still one of her favorite pieces. Brooke has also written several shorter novels for Blue Ribbon Books and she recently began writing short “choice” stories for Silk Words, an upcoming romance website. She is also currently in the contract phase with The Writer’s Coffee Shop Publishing House for a romance novel she wrote a year ago.

Brooke has been married to her husband Sean for 11 years and they have two young daughters Kaelyn, age 4 and Sadie, 6 months. Brooke writes fast and it is a good thing since her daughters allow her very little time…and she wouldn’t have it any other way.

And now for my questions...let the nosiness commence...

Do you write as yourself or under a pseudonym? Why?

I write under my own name…Brooke Williams. I feel that writer names should be easy to remember and melodic. My name is already easy! I was in radio for the majority of my career and I chose a radio name to use on the air. Back then, my maiden name, which was not Williams, was harder to pronounce and remember. I ALMOST chose Williams as my radio name. Then I later married a Williams. I think my name sounds decent and is easy to remember. Plus, I like the idea that people who already know me know for sure it’s me that wrote the book. My name is established around here so I feel it would be harder for me to work under a pen name.

What made you want to be a published author?

I’ve always loved to read and writing is something that is fun and entertaining for me. I’ve wanted to be a published author since I was a little girl. Once my first daughter was born I left radio and started a freelance writing business. I wrote articles on every topic under the sun. If you have spent any time online, you have probably read something I wrote. J However, my true passion has always been fiction writing. After all, who doesn’t want to get paid to make stuff up? After success in the freelance world, I branched back into writing full books. Most authors want to have their stuff out there for the public to enjoy!

What genre do you write in and why?

I write a little of everything. The first book I self-published is a family drama. I also have a self-published thriller. I have had recent success in the romance genre. I like to write stories that are fictional, but have bases in every day life. They are things that could really happen, but that allow the imagination to wander as well.

If you could talk to your 12 year old self, what advice would you give?

I would tell me not to give up on writing and to keep at it because it is something I’ve always loved. I would also tell her that discouragement will come but not to let it get to her. Not everyone is going to love everything you do but as long as you love it, it was worth writing.

Have any other authors influenced your writing through theirs?

I find that my writing is influenced by whatever I’m reading at that moment. One book I wrote definitely has the tone of a Richard Paul Evans book while another is more Karen Kingsbury. I also have some James Patterson in me and perhaps even a little Danielle Steele.

If you are a self-published author what made you take this route and what was your experience (good or bad)?

I self-published the first novel I Wrote because I took it to agents and never did secure one. I had several ask for more information and ultimately reject me. Eventually, I got discouraged but I felt like the novel itself deserved to be read and not stuck on file on my computer. I wanted to at least make copies for family and friends. I also self-published another novel I wrote because I didn’t want to spend time trying to find a publisher, but I wanted to put it out there. Self-publishing is fun, but it’s really hard marketing-wise. I’m not a marketing expert and I don’t feel the books I self-published will ever get much recognition. However, I have published e-books with Blue Ribbon Books and those are getting read regularly. I also have a publishing contract in progress with The Writers Coffee Shop Publishers and I’m excited about that.

How would you rate your writing?

I have no idea. J I think it’s decent, but I wouldn’t write if I didn’t. Sometimes what I have written in the past makes me tear up or get goosebumps. I relate to it. I should! I wrote it. J

How do you react to poor reviews of your book?

They make me sad and they sting, but many of them have relevant points and it’s a learning and growing experience for me to read what others think of what I have done.

What influences your choice of book covers?

For my self-published books, the storyline influences it most. For published books, the opinion of those putting the book out means quite a bit. I’m a pushover for advice from people who really know what they’re doing.

How do you balance your writing with your real world responsibilities?

My life is a constant balancing act. I have two young daughters who demand most of my time. They are 4 years and 6 months old. I try desperately to line their afternoon naptime up so that I can get some writing in. Some days it works and other days it isn’t. Though I always feel better about life on the days I can write, my daughters are my first priority. Their needs come above anything else. The plots remain in my head until I have the chance to get them out!

Do your characters drive the plots of your stories or do you plan out your plot?

Maybe a little of both. I usually have a general idea or I’ll get a prologue stuck in my head. I absolutely HAVE to write that basic idea down or it drives me nuts. Once I have the beginning down, I figure I should finish it, but I don’t usually know where it’s going to go. I usually have just as many questions in my mind as a reader might later. I let the characters and the original situation I put them in guide me as to where the story should go. People often ask how I came up with this or that and I never know how to answer because I really didn’t think about it too much in advance. It just happened as I was writing.

Do you ever write what you dream? Give an example.

I have had ideas come to me in the middle of the night. I don’t think I’ve ever written out a dream. But one idea I have is about a man who can interpret dreams. I’ve always been fascinated by dreams and what they might mean. Mine are usually nonsense so I can’t imagine beginning to try to describe them!

Do you market yourself or pay a professional?

I market myself at this point, though various publishers help in terms of the books of mine they have put out. I run my own facebook page and am currently having someone build a website for me.

What are your tips for editing?

My biggest tip is one that I don’t often do myself…let it sit! My biggest editing problem is that I want to go back and read it right away so I can fix it up and forget it. However, I often read what I meant to say and not what I actually said. So the best thing I can do for my editing is to let it sit a while so I can go back and look with fresh eyes.

What inspired you to write your current WIP or current published work?

The book that I am working on editing with The Writer’s Coffee Shop Publishers was inspired by a conference I attended last November. They had a variety of workshops that helped push me to write a novel in a specific manner. I already had the idea for the book, but the way in which I wrote it was new to me. I think it worked because I had interest from several publishers! I’m excited to see it come out.

Do you prefer to write stand-alone novels or a series? Why?

I prefer to write stand alone novels. It is hard for me to remember the details I laid out before and I don’t want to get anything mixed up. I like to get one character’s story out and then let it be. So far, I haven’t written anything that I feel needs to be a series. Though I have a few series ideas in mind for the future so we’ll see!

If you could change one thing in the publishing process what would it be?

I would make it easier for new authors to break in. How…I’m not sure. J It seems like publishers often only pay attention to people with big names. Those people may write great or only mediocre books. There are tons of authors out there who have striking novels and no one will pay any attention because they don’t have a big name.

What advice would you give to a new author?

Enjoy what you do. The minute it becomes actual work, stop doing it. Writing should be fun and fulfilling. Also, don’t give up. There’s a place for you in the writing world. You just have to find where you fit in!

Share a favourite quote.

“It is better to be loved by one person who knows your soul than millions who don't even know your phone number.”
Richard Paul Evans, The Walk

What a cool interview. I know exactly what Brooke means about getting emotional when reading your own writing. I can cry like a baby at some parts!! So let's have a looksy at her work shall we?




Someone Always Loved you synopsis:

His first day on the job, ambulance driver Jay has a horrible accident. The victim of the crash is thrown into a coma and Jay keeps vigil by her side. As their lives, past and present intertwine; a story of love through time unfolds. An intricate drama including adoption, love, suspense, and plenty of questions, Someone Always Loved You is a novel that keeps the mind churning and the soul alive.

Check Brooke out here : Link

I swear my TBR list is getting bigger by the second...too many great books!!!

Want to become a stalker??

https://www.facebook.com/AuthorBrookeWilliams

authorbrookewilliams.com (in progress, not up yet)

http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=178255901&trk=nav_responsive_tab_profile

http://www.amazon.com/Someone-Always-Loved-You-ebook/dp/B004H8GBYK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1374168428&sr=8-1&keywords=someone+always+loved+you

(Link to first self-published book)

http://www.amazon.com/God-In-The-Kitchen-ebook/dp/B00D06YH5U/ref=sr_1_sc_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1374168458&sr=1-1-spell&keywords=god+in+the+kitchebn

(link to one of the books from Blue Ribbon Books)





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Jennifer Sivec

SpotlightPosted by Ellena Jennings Sat, August 03, 2013 14:12:08
Hello everyone to the next Author Spotlight...today I have for you Jennifer Sivec


Jennifer is from Oberlin, Ohio and is married to her best friend and love, who keeps her laughing and focused. They have two energetic little sons who give them purpose and much happiness.

She is a full time working career mom, playing the delicate balance between family, work, and personal passion.

Starting at an early age, Jennifer was an avid reader, losing herself in any story she could get her hands on. Writing has been her saving grace, quieting the turmoil and making sense of the chaos, in a sometimes tumultuous life.

"Leaving Eva" is Jennifer's first complete work, and has been several years in the making. It deals with many difficult issues such as abandonment, adoption, child abuse, drug abuse, and ultimately Love. Jennifer is currently working on the sequel to “Leaving Eva” and has several other projects in process as well.

Jennifer can be contacted at jennifersivec@yahoo.com. You can connect with her @jennifersivec on Twitter, Jennifer Sivec on Facebook and Goodreads.

http://jennifersivec.wordpress.com

And now we know more about her I turned on my spotlight and shined it in her eyes while I paced around the room in a beige trench coat and trilby hat...

Do you write as yourself or under a pseudonym? Why?

I write under my own name. I think that if I were writing more risqué material that I would probably write under a different pen name. I think it would be more fun that way.

What made you want to be a published author?

Writing a book was always on my bucket list. I just wanted to share my work in the hopes that it would entertain and inspire.

What genre do you write in and why?

It’s hard to pin it down to a genre. My writing could fall under chick lit and/or general fiction.

If you could talk to your 12 year old self, what advice would you give?

12 was my awkward phase. And I mean REALLY awkward phase. I’m embarrassed to say that I had a strange aversion to bathing at that age so I had zits and greasy hair. I would tell myself to A) Bathing is important so just do it! And B) When you get older, there are going to be times that life is going to suck, but you don’t. Believe in yourself and don’t be afraid.

Have any other authors influenced your writing through theirs?

I think that every author I have ever read has influenced my writing in some way. I’ve always felt incredibly inspired after reading a book because of the magic that the Author is able to weave. I love reading various writing styles and the fact that an Author can create something from nothing never fails to amaze me.

If you are a self-published author what made you take this route and what was your experience (good or bad)?

I decided to self-publish because my goal was simply to make my book available for others to read. I have always been more of the independent type in everything that I do. It has been a great experience so far. I’ve learned a lot, met some incredible people, and have been having a lot of fun. There are so many things to learn along the way and it’s been such an amazing adventure. The only thing that I wish I would have done is to have employed an editor for my first book, which I am doing for my second.

How would you rate your writing?

I think that my writing is strong, but I know that there is always room to grow. I am excited about how this process is making me a stronger writer.

How do you react to poor reviews of your book?

So far, there haven’t been any poor reviews posted. The feedback from the reviewers has given me some wonderful and constructive feedback, but they loved the story and the style. My book is still getting out there, so a lot of people who have read it are people that I know, and I think they like me too much to tell me they don’t like it. I suppose that how I would react to a poor review would depend on what they said about it. But I know that my book or style won’t appeal to everyone and that art is subjective. I don’t like every song, book, picture, painting that is out there, but I appreciate the Artist’s willingness to share it.

What influences your choice of book covers?

The Leaving Eva cover was chosen because Dandelions symbolize loneliness and I felt it was a fitting choice for this story. In the future, I have a wonderful graphic designer who will be working with me which I am totally excited about.

How do you balance your writing with your real world responsibilities?

Sometimes I rock it out and sometimes I suck. I’ve been balancing all of my life, so it’s just another factor to consider. The writing is really for Me. It soothes my soul, it heals my wounds, and it makes me feel complete and whole. So even if I only get to write for a half an hour a day, then I’m usually good. I’ve been writing more often to try and sharpen my skills and to complete my second book. My family understands which is wonderful. But every day is a new day to try and work things out.

Do your characters drive the plots of your stories or do you plan out your plot?

I start writing with a plan and then the characters take over. I love that they do that because then I don’t have to stress out about it as much. A good friend once told me to “write what I want to read.” I try to abide by that always so I don’t typically plan things out. I trust that the characters and the process will take me to a place that I want to be.

Do you ever write what you dream? Give an example.

I haven’t so far, but I do make notes. I have some crazy dreams and sometimes they stay with me for days.

Do you market yourself or pay a professional?

I market myself. A professional wouldn’t work for what I can pay them right now (haha).

What are your tips for editing?

Take it a piece at a time, then read it through as you would if you were a reader picking up your book for the first time. Then hire someone!

What inspired you to write your current WIP or current published work?

My first book was inspired by my own abandonment as a child. T hen the characters took over and it became more than what I ever imagined it would be. Abandonment has been a theme in my own life, so it inspired me to write “Leaving Eva.” My current work is the sequel, and it provides closure to my Eva characters. I felt that they needed to have closure after everything that I put them through in book 1.

Do you prefer to write stand-alone novels or a series? Why?

So far, I have only written series. I have another series started, but shelved it so that I could work on the Eva sequel. I don’t know yet which I prefer. I think that I have some growth to do as a writer before I can answer that question appropriately.

If you could change one thing in the publishing process what would it be?

I love the Indie route because of the freedom that it entails. I don’t think that I know enough about the entire publishing process to really speak about it with any true knowledge.

What advice would you give to a new author?

Write for you. Don’t write for anyone but you. And enjoy the entire experience! If you stress about how many books you did or didn’t sell for the day, it takes all of the fun out of it. If you enjoy the process and work hard, you have to trust that you will get there one day and then be content if you don’t.

Share a favourite quote from your book.

Brynn she loved his hair so wavy and thick, and thought about how she loved to take her hands and just bury them in it. She used to do it every chance she got whether absently while they lounged, or intensely when they made love. She loved the thickness of it between her fingers and it gave her comfort. Brynn melted when he moaned, almost purred when she played with his hair, which made her want to do it all the more. But that almost seemed like a lifetime ago.

They were so disconnected from each other now. Had it been two months, three months, six? She was so caught up in her work and with Rose. When did we stop looking at one another? She could feel him slipping away from her slowly like the tide, gone a little at a time until he was gone completely. She felt helpless.


Abandoned as a child, Brynn is adopted into a violent and tumultuous world under the deceptive guise of a Mother's love. She accidentally discovers a secret way to survive which disguises her brokenness. Brynn is left to fend for herself, as those who are supposed to love and protect her most, fail.

In High School, Brynn unexpectedly falls for sweet, handsome Adam. He tries to teach her that she can have hope and happiness, if she only will embrace it. As an adult, it appears as though Brynn has her life together. No one except for Adam really knows her secret pain and history has an unkind way of repeating itself.

Suddenly she is faced with destroying her greatest love, and the need to confront her own fear before it swallows her completely. In the end, Brynn discovers a truth about herself that changes everything, and gives her the freedom to accept the beautiful possibilities of what life can be.

So what are you all waiting for??? Go out and buy it now!!!

Amazon.com
Amazon.co.uk

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Jennifer-Sivec/435181503228103

Blog: http://jennifersivec.wordpress.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JenniferSivec

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7076338.Jennifer_Sivec





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K.J Colt

SpotlightPosted by Ellena Jennings Fri, August 02, 2013 14:21:46

For the second day of my Author Spotlight I have the fabulous K.J Colt. Please remember to support all these awesome Authors by buying their books and LEAVING A REVIEW. Blood, sweat and tears go into all of our novels and the reviews help us to get noticed and it’s the greatest thanks you could ever give us!

So ladies and gentlemen I now give you K.J Colt and an exclusive cover reveal…

Kylie J. Colt lives on the west coast of Australia in the sprawling city of Perth and has been writing for three years. Her favourite writers are Kristin Cashore, Robin Hobb, Trudi Canavan and Maria V. Snyder. She has an honours degree in psychology and counselling, enjoys road trips, gaming (Skyrim/Civilisation/Assassin's Creed), music festivals (electronica), playing pool, yoga, bushwalking, and gobbles up anything fantasy-related. Her favourite fantasy shows include Game of Thrones and Trueblood, and she is currently reading Robin Hobb's Blood of Dragons.

Do you write as yourself or under a pseudonym? Why?

I write under a pseudonym that is very close to my own name. K.J. Colt is my pseudonym, and my name is Kylie and my middle name does start with a J (good luck in guessing what it is). The only thing different is the last name although it is very similar to my real last name. Why did I bother changing my name at all? I have a background in mental health (blogging, article writing etc) so I try to keep fiction and non-fiction separate. I should note that I intend to write under another pen name in the future for contemporary fiction and new adult fiction (that’s more of a business choice so readers aren’t confused about my genres).

What made you want to be a published author?

Why wouldn’t I want to be a published author? I love what I do and I cannot stress that enough. Love it! I love people. I love watching them (in a non-creepy way), listening to them, analysing them and I find humanity in general, fascinating and wonderful, so my style of writing is intensely character focused.

Given my education in psychology I tend to find beauty in both the dark and light side of our emotional experiences and this fuels my writing. Don’t get me wrong, I love writing action as well. There’s nothing like a suspenseful fight scene with swords and daggers. But mostly I strive to peel back the layers of human nature and show its raw complexity and beauty.

What genre do you write in and why?

I write in the Epic Fantasy genre for the moment. Why? Think of these movies. The Dark Crystal, The Labyrinth, Fantasia, The Neverending Story, Willow, Alice in Wonderland, The Princess Bride, Jack the Giant Killer, The Chronicles of Narnia, Watership Down, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter. Not to mention the works of Hayao Miyazaki – Spirited Away, Ponyo, Arriety, Kiki’s Delivery Service, My Neighbor Totoro.

See? I love fantastical themes because they are fun and out of this world.

I love making everything up from scratch. Granted, I do use a lot of very familiar human themes and I often write in medieval times based settings. But it’s when I add a twist of magic that I get drawn into the wonder of my books. Magic changes the structure of the societies, the customs, the priorities of those in the world as well as sending my protagonists on grand voyages they never expected to go on (and often taking me along for the ride). My worlds become a place of discovery and it’s that sense of adventure that excites me about fantasy. It’s also why I don’t like sticking to the conventional rules of Epic Fantasy, if you read my Healers series, you’ll find out why.

If you could talk to your 12 year old self, what advice would you give?

I was raised by strict Christian parents, and while they encouraged my reading it never occurred to me to write about anything but God. Even as a teenager it never occurred to me to write stories (even though I wrote dark angsty teenage poetry about love and all-consuming dramas *sigh*). It was only when I was in my early 20s a friend put the idea in my head. So I guess I’d go back and tell my 12 year old self to start writing then, because my head was constantly filled with fantastical ideas that as a young girl I had trouble separating from real life by writing them down

Have any other authors influenced your writing through theirs?

My favourite authors are Kristin Cashore, Trudi Canvan, Maria V Snyder, Robin Hobb and I’m slowly building up my admiration for other authors. Those four are the core influencers of my style. In terms of emotionality of my writing, I’m constantly influenced by Imogen Heap’s courageous creative style. For anyone who doesn’t know her, she’s a musician who uses sounds from real life to make her music (she recently added her newborn niece’s heartbeat into one of her songs). Even as a musician she writes and sings about humanity in a very profound way. She captures humanity in her songs and in the future I wish to do that with my writing.

As for authors, I mostly relate to Kristin Cashore whose life just seems so completely perfect (I have read all of her blogs). I think she understands people extremely well and has a fragile yet beautiful sense of what it means to be alive. She writes characters with real and relatable emotional experiences. Robin Hobb speaks to the intellectual in me. Her world building is fantastic and the world is reflected in every character she writes. Trudi Canavan reminds me of Robin Hobb but with a focus on extensive magic building rather than world building (not that her worlds aren’t convincing also). She also captures the tense relationships between cerebral characters perfectly, especially diplomats and political figures. Maria V. Snyder writes colourful worlds with warm characters with strong morals and belief structures. Yes, colour, Maria knows how to write richness rather than depth.

So all of these writers influence me in different ways… although my style is more like a mix between Maria and Kristin.

If you are a self-published author what made you take this route and what was your experience (good or bad)?

I think the majority of self-published authors would tell you the experience can be both positive and negative. The onus to work hard and produce is all on you, the writer, and so you should not take that role lightly. My experiences have been great so far, I’ve only been published for about 7 weeks, and I have low expectations as a result, but already I’ve had excellent reviews, heartfelt fan messages and a lot of praise for my stories (I honestly became teary when I got my first fan praise). I want my readers to connect with my characters and to see parts of themselves reflected in my protagonists.

If I make any sort of living from this down the track then I will be the happiest person in the world. I’ve always felt like it’s a calling for me to either tell other’s stories, or listen to people’s stories, both fictional or real.

How would you rate your writing?

I’m not really sure what this question means. Rate in regards to what? If we’re talking a 0 – 10 with ten being the best writing ever… then it’s probably my job as a business owner to say 10 and also to shout “Quick! Buy my books!”

But the genuine part of me, the artist who is attempting to discover the truth in the world, sees herself as a developing author with a good fifty years of writing left (I’m 28). And so compared to the writer ten-twenty-thirty years into the future. My writing is probably at a 6. As a story-teller, I would say my rating is much higher already. I know people. I know conflict. I know the western societies traditional story arc structure like the back of my hand. Can I write good stories? Yes. Can I write them as well as they could be written? No. But not because I don’t try, but because I’m still developing – and probably always will be developing—the techniques of a proficient writer.

How do you react to poor reviews of your book?

I haven’t actually received a bad star rating at all. I’ve received negative feedback but people still seemed to really enjoy my stories. I think I’m quite insulated from the disappointment experienced by other writers in regards to reviews so far because I haven’t received a 1 or 2 star review. If I ever worry about them though, I’ll go to a book listing by Robin Hobb, Kristin Cashore, Maria V Snyder or Trudi Canavan. I’ll read their bad reviews and laugh, because I know they are brilliant writers and I aspire to be like them. So if someone can give them bad reviews and be nasty to them, then I think I am just as likely, if not more, to receive a bad review. It’s a matter of when, not if.

What influences your choice of book covers?

I pick my covers but my cover artist puts them together. I have some idea of what my covers should feature, but I have no idea what I want in them until my cover artist designs it. He gets it right every time and if you are curious as to who my cover artist is it’s Glendon from Streetlight Graphics. Phatpuppy art does my Klawdia series. Both are extremely talented and I’m lucky to have worked with them.

How do you balance your writing with your real world responsibilities?

(This is a lot of questions at this point, I hope you’re picking and choosing the best ones because I’m going to just keep on answering them at length :--)

Real world, what’s that? *grins* Okay okay, well, up until recently I ran my own online business. I intend to begin a PhD next year so I’m taking a hiatus to write full-time, but it will end soon and up until that point I’m writing and publishing like a mad woman.

Do your characters drive the plots of your stories or do you plan out your plot?

Both. I get a vision of one or two scenes, a feeling will spread through my body and completely captivate me until I start writing and the muse creates an all-consuming flow state. But the muse is fickle and will fade the more I write, once that happens my characters take over and write the story under my logical and critical guidance.

Do you ever write what you dream? Give an example.

Rarely do my dreams influence my writing. I have an overactive imagination and don’t need dreams to guide me in creating ideas. I have had an idea for a short piece of sci-fi fiction before. About a young girl wandering a post-apocalyptic landscape and is protected by a robot that kills everyone she comes into contact with. It’s probably been done before, and I’m probably not going to write it, but I really felt her sorrow and it’s the kind of passionate, yet strange, feeling that spurs me into writing my books.

Do you market yourself or pay a professional?

I try to market, I do it all myself. I think I’m a pretty personable and chatty person and I think that kind of warm engagement is what readers are looking for. I try to invest time in both my readers and my beta readers. I’m a very introverted person and while I love people, and I am totally energised and fascinated by them, in general I don’t seek out a lot of human company.

What are your tips for editing?

Push through. Be meticulous. Be ruthless. Editing is the hardest part, it sucks, but you need to do it so no complaining… your fellow writers understand your pain.

What inspired you to write your current WIP or current published work?

The idea for the Healers of Meligna series came to me while I was at the doctor's office for my annual check-up. An impression imprinted on my mind, and I realised I wanted to write something controversial, yet still in the genre of Epic Fantasy. I wanted to build a world full of loveable characters, and interesting societies, that when forced together, create conflict and tension based on differences of beliefs, rather than alluding to cliches of good and evil.

Do you prefer to write stand-alone novels or a series? Why?

I have no preference. I just write what needs to be written.

If you could change one thing in the publishing process what would it be?

The editing. I wish I could clone myself and have Kylie.2 (that’s pronounced Kylie-point-two) come in and take over so I can put up my feet and catch up on television shows or books (of which I have hundreds!)

What advice would you give to a new author?

This is not for the faint hearted. Dig deep and pull out every ounce of hard work you have within you, and use it to improve your craft, learn the industry, and write, write, write. Don’t think you’ll find relief on the other side of publishing your book, you won’t. When one goes out, there’s the pressure of releasing the next in the series. Don’t procrastinate on your work. Set time schedules and take care of your health, but mostly, don’t ever give up.

A small blurb of what your current WIP or published piece is about.

"There was an illness much worse than anything I had ever seen, and that was the sickness of my country."

Fourteen-year-old Adenine is the last carrier of the Death Plague that wiped out thousands of her country's people twenty-five years ago, she must avoid contact with the outside world.

When her mother fails to bring her food one day, Adenine begins to starve. Driven by hunger, Adenine ventures into the house and discovers her mother bedridden and sick. Despite her terror of infecting others, Adenine fumbles her way out into the streets of Borrelia in search of the town's doctor.

Soon, she is surrounded by new friends... and enemies she never knew existed.

Share a favourite quote from your book.

“I know you don't want this, Katsa. But I can't help myself. The moment you came barreling into my life I was lost. I'm afraid to tell you what I wish for, for fear you'll... oh, I don't know, throw me into the fire. Or more likely, refuse me. Or worst of all, despise me," he said, his voice breaking and his eyes dropping from her face. His face dropping into his hands. "I love you," he said. "You're more dear to my heart than I ever knew anyone could be. And I've made you cry; and there I'll stop.”
Kristin Cashore, Graceling

Po from Graceling is one of the most beautiful male characters I’ve ever read. He’s truly a marvel.

I agree so much with You K.J Colt! Being an Indie is hard work and stumbling onto this world was purely by accident. I have had many days when I’ve thought ‘woe is me’ but I carried on. I’m also relatively new to all this but I’ve found so many great Authors like yourself. As for editing, well I feel your pain. I wish you all the luck in the world with whatever you write because you love it just has much as me!

As for what she’s writing now…I have GREAT pleasure in unveiling her new cover. You will all be one of the first in sharing this cover as by the time this is posted it will be Saturday in Australia!

Seriously how awesome is this cover???

Please go and check out her other books...the links take you to her Amazon Author page...

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

Promotional links:

http://www.Facebook.com/KylieJColt

http://www.KJColt.com

http://www.Twitter.com/KylieJColt

Recent Youtube Video Featuring Me Talking About My Books: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R4QTHDftjqc







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Tara Barnacle

SpotlightPosted by Ellena Jennings Thu, August 01, 2013 13:42:21
Welcome to the AUGUST AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT!!!

The Author Spotlight is running throughout August in celebration of the launch of my new novel Darkest Dawn on 31st August (the 2nd book in the Jessica Dawn Series).

I want to CELEBRATE all Indie Authors because of the hard work and dedication they put into their work and it truly becomes their baby. To many people Authors are just a name on a book but we are REAL and this is a glimpse into their lives.

SOOOOOO......on that note.....


We are starting with the AWESOME......drum roll please....TARA BARNACLE!!!



Tara Barnacle lives in sunny South Australia, and dreams of walking on wild wintery Atlantic shores. She worked in a Library in another life, but had to quit before her book addiction reached epic proportions..well, almost before! Blood, Bone and Stone is her first fiction book.

SO this is Tara! But I wanted more so bombarded her with questions...

Do you write as yourself or under a pseudonym? Why?

As myself, although I’ve dropped the second part of my double barrelled surname so that it fits on a book cover in a decent sized font!

What made you want to be a published author?

I wrote the story because I was looking for a way to define and express a profound experience. I published it because I wanted others to share in it.

What genre do you write in and why?

I’m not sure really! Archaeological fiction? Paranormal fiction? Historical Fiction?

If you could talk to your 12 year old self, what advice would you give?

Very, very soon...it's going to feel like boys are the most important thing in the world. Run…….and keep running til you’re 40. No, not really! What I’d like the chance to tell myself would be this…You know you’re the only kid in the class who doesn’t mind being set an essay for homework? That’s because you’re meant to be a writer…put down the paintbrushes, back away from the guitar…a writer!

Have any other authors influenced your writing through theirs?

Um, I mostly read nonfiction, so I hope not! Although, I do suspect that it sneaks in, that fascination with Facts.

As a self-published author what made you take this route and what was your experience (good or bad)?

I had already published in the non-fiction genre in the traditional way, with my first novel I wanted a clean break from that identity, and to try something completely different. I freely confess to being a bit of a control freak, and the idea of having my way at every step of the process was alluring too.

It’s been interesting, the toughest part of the process is publicity for sure!

How would you rate your writing?

Well now, THAT’S a tough question! I enjoy reading what I write, if that’s any kind of answer?

How do you react to poor reviews of your book?

It’s a multi layered reaction really. Step one. Throw myself on the ground and cry, howl indignantly, maybe a little vomiting..

Step two. Try and reread it calmly and see if there is any constructive criticism that might actually be anything helpful to future books.

Step three. Move on.

Step four. Feel proud I’ve moved on, then spend the rest of the day sulking.

Really, you can’t allow yourself to be bent out of shape by them. In all likelihood, it just probably wasn’t a good fit between reader and book. I know why we allow ourselves to be so crushed by them though, out of all proportion to the joy we feel when we read a good review. Because we really do love writing, and a bad review is like having your favourite child come home from school with ‘REJECT’ stamped on their forehead. True?!

What influences your choice of book covers?

Well, part of my reason for choosing the self-published ebook route was for exactly that. I wanted to use something of my own creation. Control freak..remember?! The cover for Blood, Bone and Stone was a photo that I took of the Ring of Brodgar in Orkney, and I edited it myself too. I love how atmospheric it is!

How do you balance your writing with your real world responsibilities?

Where I live, we have cold winters, and scorching hot summers. I hate the heat, so I spend the summers inside writing like a maniac in front of a fan, and catch up on the outside chores when the days turn cooler. I know, I know, but it’s a plan, right?

Do your characters drive the plots of your stories or do you plan out your plot?

I have no clue who’s in charge sometimes! I definitely have a plan, but quite often I find myself having to do more research because a character had taken me into uncharted waters. I call it the art of Zen writing – you don’t know where you’re going, but you end up where you need to be!

Do you ever write what you dream? Give an example.

Never. I save my dream time for predicting lottery numbers. Oh, and Gerard Butler in a kilt.

Do you market yourself or pay a professional?

My strategy so far has been to get some professional help with each stage, like facebook, or a web page, which is my current focus, then I take over myself once I’m up to speed. I’m only a recent covert to Facebook..a Blog seems very far off still! It’s a bit like using a professional editor, sometimes you need to take a step back, otherwise I for one would find it a bit daunting. Anyway, I’d rather be writing than learning the fine art of web page design!

What are your tips for editing?

Simple. Do it yourself til you just can’t face it any more…then give it to friends, and finally hand it over to a professional editor. It’s their job, they’re not worried about your feelings. It’s good practice for releasing the finished product too, and remembering it’s only yours until you’ve finished it, then it belongs to the readers.

What inspired you to write your current WIP or current published work?

This is my favourite question! I had my Mitochondrial DNA tested, and, at the risk of sounding all New Agey, nothing was ever the same. I was a highly contented adopted child, with absolutely NO sense of lacking roots, or a family connection. Zero. Finding out which ancient female clan I belonged to gave me the deepest sense of a family connection I hadn’t known I was missing! All I did, when writing Blood, Bone and Stone was to superimpose my feelings of wonder at the test results onto my other passions…Prehistory, Orkney, Archaeology.

Do you prefer to write stand-alone novels or a series? Why?

A series! The next one in the Orkney series is about Vikings…and YDNA! I thought it would be an interesting challenge to write about the male experience of DNA inheritance. And..c’mon..who doesn’t love Vikings!? Why a series? I write what I would like to read...and I love opening a new book and revisiting a place and characters I’ve already engaged with.

If you could change one thing in the publishing process what would it be?

That we could go back to the good old open minded, cashed up publishing house days of the eighties. I know, what a dinosaur!

What advice would you give to a new author?

Write something every day, believing that one day, someone will be glad that you did.

Share a favourite quote from your book.

Iona snorted. ‘You bloody Pagan!’ Finn gave a delighted grin in response. ‘The old ways never die. The old Gods don’t fade away just because we ignore them!’ ‘Oh yes’, sneered Iona, ‘very Wicker Man.’”


Anyone else laughing?? I really think Tara is as mad as me!! But seriously this is just a snippet into why we write and it's true what Tara said, the book is only ours until it's published, then it becomes the readers! Never let those bad reviews get to you...well ok sulk a little but get up and shake it off!! Oh and Tara if you could send your Gerald Butler in a Kilt dream my way I would REALLY appreciate it!

Ok lets see what Tara writes shall we??? I think so!!

The story spans the millennia between modern day Oxford and Bronze Age Orkney, with the mysterious town of Glastonbury floating somewhere in between, combining modern day archaeology and ancient history, cutting edge DNA research and reincarnation, and blurring the borders of life and death..

Iona is an archaeologist who is burying herself in her work in an attempt to forget her guilt and grief after the death of her mother. When the team uncovers the skeleton of a Bronze Age woman in the sands of an Orkney beach, Iona is about to discover the true nature of life and death, and the enduring nature of love. Sometimes, when we uncover the past, we discover ourselves.

My advice...go out and buy it before I beat you with a stick!

Blood, Bone and Stone is available from Amazon Kindle, Nook, the iBookstore, Kobo, Barnes and Noble, Gardners…in fact, wherever you get your eBooks!

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

Nook





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