Loading...

Follow The IndieView on Feedspot

Continue with Google
Continue with Facebook
Or

Valid


Do it for love, even if it means never earning a penny, because you won’t.

Scott Talbot Evans – 19 February 2018

The Back Flap

Foxavier Loves Plinka is the quirky story of a man battling OCD, going through a series of counseling programs, encountering zany characters, and eventually meeting the love of his life.

His diet is sabotaged by junk food commercials starring The Pretty Pie Girl, corporate mascot of globe-dominating corporation, Food United Chemical Technologies. In one of their production facilities, a mouse runs across a control panel, changing the setting on a machine to produce a batch of Ga-Ga-Roos containing too much tri-benzene-deliciouside, which are released onto store shelves all over the world.

Who will end up unknowingly eating one of these psychosis causing cookies?

About the Book

What is the book about?

This book is a dark comedy about coping with OCD, depression, and eating disorders. It is also about the mental health system as we follow Foxavier’s progress through a series of rehabilitation programs. It is also about the food industry, and how gigantic corporations use advertising and chemistry to sell their products.

When did you start writing the book?

2008 in a fiction class at Writers & Books.

How long did it take you to write it?

9 years if you count breaks. 5 1/2 years of work.

Where did you get the idea from?

This story is a fictionalized account of my own experiences.

Were there any parts of the book where you struggled?

One challenge was editing out all the negativity which came from the depression and anxiety disorders.

What came easily?

All the lovable and quirky characters.

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

All fictionalized versions of real people.

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

George Orwell

Ray Bradbury

Joseph Heller

Rod Serling

Do you have a target reader?

NO! I hate categorizing.

About Writing

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

Step 1) Free associate.

Step 2) Edit.

Step 3) Repeat step 2.

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

I plan too much, which can be bad or good.

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

As I go.

Did you hire a professional editor? (May skip if being published by a small press rather than self-publishing)

Liesl Gaesser was the editor.

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

I alternate sitting and standing at the coffee shop, and like anything you can dance to.

About Publishing

Did you submit your work to Agents?

Yup.

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

See previous question.

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

I did it professionally myself.

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

Yes. To sell a million copies.

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

Do it for love, even if it means never earning a penny, because you won’t.

About You

Where did you grow up?

Huntington Station, New York

Where do you live now?

Rochester, New York

What would you like readers to know about you?

My PIN number is 3417.

What are you working on now?

A sci-fi comedy about the future– The Day The Sun Changed Colors.

The year is 4377. LITTERBOT is a super capable robot who cleans up after a family who gives him no respect.  Earth society is so advanced there are no more wars, crime, or disease. Technology takes care of all problems, and everyone is pretty bored, until one day the Sun mysteriously starts glowing red.

TROLL is one of 2 mothers. A famous water scientist. Her plans for retirement quickly change when it is discovered that the world is losing water and going to be completely dry in 103 days.

BULB is one of 3 fathers. He is grumpy, and has utter faith in science.

The family of scientists, (In this world everyone is a scientist,) including a young boy and girl, must work together to build a spaceship, and move to another solar system. But the bombardment of ever-changing colors keeps growing stronger, with the side effect of mental aberrations. Red skies cause excitement. Green skies cause sedation. Blue causes violence.

When the world computer crashes, they must rely more on Litterbot, read primitive paper books, and face their savage natures.

Will they escape before the colors drive them insane? Will Litterbot sacrifice himself to save the family?

End of Interview.

For more from Scott, like his Facebook page for Foxavier Loves Plinka and his other Facebook page for The Day The Sun Changed Colors.

Get your copy of Foxavier Loves Plinka from Amazon US or Amazon UK.

Read Full Article
Visit website
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

I’m learning as I go and have found that I LOVE writing… Marketing, not so much. But I also know that a great book won’t get read if no one knows it exists.

Beverley Scherberger – 17 February 2018

The Back Flap

Carl and Laralee and their team of scientists are hired by the Spanish government to develop a highly secret, revolutionary serum. Their goal—to create an army of carnivorous monkeys that would give Spain an indisputable advantage over its enemies. They succeed beyond their wildest dreams. However, greatly increased intelligence is an unexpected side effect that causes serious complications. The beasts are thinking, reasoning, and increasingly dangerous.

After one death and several serious attacks on workers, the scientific team is relieved to learn their request to move the facility to a larger island with more security and built-in safeguards is approved.

While awaiting news of a moving date, additional experiments with orangutans prove successful as well. James and Julie, the most advanced, skilled, and lovable of the facility’s apes, have mated. Will they produce the amazingly intelligent offspring the team expects?

During the facility’s relocation, a terrible storm wreaks havoc with their plans and the new island turns out to be anything but a safe haven. Carl and Laralee, Doc Gustav and Teresa, and the rest of the team battle for survival against their own nightmarish creations.

About the book

What is the book about?

The location of “Savage Isle” is a small-ish island selected by the Spanish government on which a group of scientists perform top-secret experiments on primates. The goal of one set of experiments is to develop a serum that will create an army of carnivorous monkeys capable of traveling over any type of terrain ~ they will never run out of food as long as they defeat the enemy. An unexpected side effect is that the serum greatly increases the monkeys’ intelligence and reasoning process, making them much more dangerous.

A second set of experiments is being performed on orangutans to make them helpful, friendly, kind, and willing to aid humans in many different types of work. Their intelligence is also enhanced, and they can be used as butlers, gardeners, factory workers, etc. Their helpful, willing-to-please attitudes and extraordinary strength make them invaluable.

Eventually, the scientists deem the island too small for them to work in such close proximity to the increasingly vicious monkeys and they petition the government to move the facility to a larger island. Their request is approved but in the process of relocating, the ships are caught in a storm that blows them off course and onto a reef, sinking both vessels and sending people and animals alike into the water, fighting for their lives.

The survivors have no idea how many animals make it safely to the nearby island. They hope and pray for rescue, but after many months, realize they must make a life for themselves in the new locale. Couples are formed, children are born, and life goes on, but all is not idyllic in this tropical paradise. In some cases, it’s humans against humans; in others, it’s monkey versus human.

In the end, only one person survives the all-out attacks on the village.

Savage Isle is the prequel to Stranded and that story takes up where Savage Isle leaves off, however, this book is a stand-alone story, complete in and of itself. You do not have to have read one to enjoy and understand the other.

When did you start writing the book?

Let’s see… My last book came out in mid-July, so I must’ve started Savage Isle later that month.

How long did it take you to write it?

Five months.

Where did you get the idea from?

I had readers asking for a Book II for Stranded and rather than a sequel, I decided to write the “what-came-before” part of the story. So I created the whole back-story for how Stranded came to be and wrote Savage Isle.

Were there any parts of the book where you struggled?

Since this book chronologically takes place BEFORE Stranded, I sometimes found myself glossing over portions where I already knew what happened because it was explained in the next book. However, to make Savage Isle a stand-alone read, I had to go back and more fully develop those parts.

What came easily?

I enjoy writing the ‘thriller’ parts, so the attacks on the village, the fight scenes between humans and monkeys, even the human versus human parts were easy for me to get into.

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

I once asked my readers to send me names of people who should be killed off ~ only in the book, of course! ~ so one of the characters was named by a fan. Another was named after someone I know, but the rest are entirely fictitious.

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

I started writing at a young age ~ sixth grade ~ and feel I’ve developed my own style, but I do like the way Stephen King, Dean Koontz, and Peter Benchley create scary scenarios. Not that I put myself on a par with any of them, but I’ve been told I can craft a really hair-raising scene. I love strong verbs and adjectives that make a story come alive for the reader.

Do you have a target reader?

Anyone who enjoys action, adventure, and thrillers ~ whether young or old, male or female ~ if they like a story to raise the hair on the back of their neck or make their heart pound should love my books.

About Writing

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

I’ve always been a ‘pantser’ ~ writing by the seat of my pants and just letting the story flow. But with Savage Isle, I created a framework that listed the Protagonist and Antagonist in the main plot, what they wanted and what they did to make a change. I did the same with the sub-plot. I noted the conflict and then made a list of the Story Beginning, Game Changer 1, Game Changer 2, Game Changer 3, and the Story Ending. In each Game Changer I itemized the most important topics.

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

No, I’ve never outlined a book. I guess the framework I used for Savage Isle was the closest I’ve come. I know an outline isn’t carved in stone and I could change it any time I wanted, but I sometimes can’t sleep when I have a lot going on in my head and end up changing the entire direction of a chapter at 4:00a.m. It kind of makes an outline pointless if I’m going to go by the seat of my pants, anyway.

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

I’m a serial editor. I can’t help myself. I edit newspaper articles, magazine stories, and emails from friends. My cousin won’t email me because he knows I’ll find all the mistakes ~ he calls me after I email him. Mistakes, typos, weird sentences ~ they all jump out and slap me up alongside the head. What’s a person to do?

Did you hire a professional editor?

For the reason stated above, I do all my own proofreading. I have a wonderful friend who is excellent at content editing and is also an author, so we trade. She gives me pointers, ideas, and the occasional kick in the pants to improve the content of my stories, and I proofread her stuff. It’s a great arrangement and costs a whole lot less than hiring a professional editor. I’ve seen some self-pubbed work that was supposedly professionally done, and I know between my friend and I, we do a better job.

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

No, I like silence while I write. Nothing intrudes on the thought process.

About Publishing

Did you submit your work to Agents?

No, I like the control of self-publishing; being able to finish a book and put it up on Amazon right away without waiting months or a year to get it ‘out there’; and frankly, I believe you make more money self-pubbing. Some well-known authors who have been traditionally published are going with self-pub for that reason. And it’s a lot of time-consuming work to try and find a publisher, write those queries, etc. when I could be working on my next book, instead.

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

See above.

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

My first book, Stranded, was done by a professional graphics design firm and I paid an outrageous amount for it. I love the cover, but would never do that again. After that, I visited Upwork.com and found a great designer who ‘gets me’. She takes my ideas and improves on them and I’ve loved every cover she’s done for me (four out of my six books). And her price is a FRACTION of what I paid the first time around. So I can’t say I did Savage Isle myself, but I knew I wanted a jungle background and a monkey showing lots of teeth. She took my ideas and suggestions and ran with them ~ and I love the end result!

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

I’m learning as I go and have found that I LOVE writing… Marketing, not so much. But I also know that a great book won’t get read if no one knows it exists. So I’ve spent considerable time recently contacting bloggers and asking for reviews and have had good luck with this approach. I plan to create some targeted ads ~ which I have not done for previous books. And I’ll do some cross-promos with other writers.

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

After reading numerous self-published books that contain an embarrassing number of errors, missing words, typos, and weirdly-crafted sentences, I would say ALWAYS have your book professionally edited ~ or at the very least, professionally proofread. A story can be well-told and captivating, but if it’s full of errors, I’ll never read that author again. And I’m sure I’m not the only person in the world who feels that way. It’s worth it to make a good first impression!

About You

Where did you grow up?

I was born in Ohio, but my family moved to Pennsylvania when I was two. I grew up there, returning to Ohio at age 40 to go to college. Following graduation, I moved to Arizona and finally got warm! I hated the winters in NW PA. Ohio wasn’t much better.

Where do you live now?

When I retired, I relocated to a small village in the Andes Mountains of Ecuador, South America. I love the (very) small-town living and slower pace of life. I don’t even own a car! I walk everywhere or take an inexpensive bus or taxi. Here is where I joined the local writers club and found the support and encouragement I needed to begin my first book. In only 15 months, I’d written and published six! I guess the writing/publishing bug bit me hard.

What would you like readers to know about you?

I’m an animal lover and wanted a horse all my life. Now, at age 63, I finally have one! His name is Socrates and he’s taught me the true meaning of patience. My kitty Squeak is my best buddy ~ we’ve been together for eleven years and I read my books to her. She even purrs at the scary parts! I’d have a dog, too, but Squeak has vehemently vetoed the idea.

End of Interview:

For more from Beverley, visit her website.

Get your copy of Savage Isle from Amazon US or Amazon UK.

Read Full Article
Visit website
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

But I do want to express that whatever one is going through, he or she is not alone. There are still a few good-hearted people who are openly willing to listen and not judge. We all want to be heard and understood. We all want to belong somewhere to someone.

J.N. McGhee – 15 February 2018

The Back Flap

A story told through the eyes of a little girl transitioning into adolescence. Witness the struggle of existence and purpose as the girl searches frantically for answers through pre-made images. Experience the emotional rainbow.These poems question the conjectures of the societal and familial constitution. Therefore, the main themes of this book center around identity, self-discovery, and existence.

About the book

What is the book about?

These poems.

When did you start writing the book?

As a friend once told me, “I already had the poems; all I had to do is assemble the book.”

How long did it take you to write it?

Honestly, the poems were already written throughout my poetic career.

Where did you get the idea from?

When I was a little girl, my PawPaw had a swing on his porch, and I loved to swing. Then, while I was growing up, I always struggled with identity and my purpose. Even now, I still feel like that little girl who’s still searching for who she really is.

Were there any parts of the book where you struggled?

I struggled deciding which sections I wanted the poems to be placed. Also, whatever order I had the poems, I wanted it to flow without difficulty.

What came easily?

Gathering the poems for the book.

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

There are several authors who influenced me over the years. But Emily Dickinson would be the most influential for me. I really empathize with her. She lived a solitary life, and she dwelled in nature. That’s how I am, the loner and outsider. And I love to be in and around nature especially water and exercising/walking.

Do you have a target reader?

The voiceless; the people who have a hard time communicating how or what they feel. Then, the people who has been trying to communicate, but no one is listening. I feel that everybody can relate to these poems. Some of us are suffering silently, and nobody has a clue. But I do want to express that whatever one is going through, he or she is not alone. There are still a few good-hearted people who are openly willing to listen and not judge. We all want to be heard and understood. We all want to belong somewhere to someone.

About Writing

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

I don’t think I have a writing process.

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

Since this is my first poetry book, I did have to decide what order I wanted the poems and dividing the poems into different sections. Then, I had to format and edit the content. I work quickly, so it didn’t take up too much of my time.

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

A little bit of both. Most of the poems were edited after I typed; some were tackled after I finished.

Did you hire a professional editor?

No.

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

Not really. I listen to music anyway. I’m an eclectic when it comes to music. I’m pretty much moved by everything except the genre of blues.

About Publishing

Did you submit your work to Agents?

I did not.

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

I have a friend of mine, a charity publisher, that uses a self-publishing company. She told me about it. I did some research, and I decided that self-publishing would be better for me. I know most traditional, if any, would want to publish a book of my poetry. It was somewhat of a gradual process at first. After I finally found someone to do my book cover, all I had to do was gather my poems; it was easy. Besides, self-publishing provides more options and possibilities. Only thing is you can the do the marketing yourself unless you have the funds to pay someone else to do it.

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

Oh, no. I had it professionally done although I wish I had that skill.

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

For the most part, I’m just winging it. But I have been consulting with other established authors and writers. I pick their brains for marketing/promoting techniques. It has been working so far until my funds become more stable and reliable.

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

Join groups; there are countless groups on Facebook. Network and connect with other authors, writers, etc. It’s just good to be among other individuals that share the same passion as you do and the struggle.

About You

Where did you grow up?

Mendenhall, Mississippi

Where do you live now?

Yazoo City, Mississippi

What would you like readers to know about you?

I’m a lover of all literature, but I’m a poetry fanatic. I love video games, anime, manga, etc.

What are you working on now?

Right now, I’m just taking a little time out for myself. Being a published author is fun, but it’s a lot of work. It’s almost like a full-time job without the pay.

But I will be scheduling more book signings, events, etc. a little bit after the new year. And I’m working on creating a literary journal.

End of Interview:

For more from J.N. McGhee, visit her website or blog, like her Facebook page, and follow her on Twitter.

Get your copy of Little Girl Blues from Amazon US or Amazon UK.

Read Full Article
Visit website
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

My wife challenged me to develop one of my many outlines into a full story. She did the Marty McFly motivation trick, saying “What are you, chicken?” That was it, I had to get it done.

J.W. Fagan – 13 February 2018

The Back Flap

A desperate recent college grad takes a job as an apprentice butler and over the course of a summer has his safe and limited world turned inside out through a series of unusual adventures.

Toby Jordan’s college experience ends with a ruinous car fire, forcing a move back home. Struggling to find work, other than the family funeral business, he’s desperate to get back out on his own.

A friend points him to an opportunity – as an apprentice butler. Unsure what a butler even does in the modern world, but desperate to escape his current situation, Toby accepts the ‘survival job’, hiding the choice from friends and family.

The training is unorthodox, challenging and oddly engaging for Toby. Adventures and blunders abound, while friends and family believe he’s taken an entirely different, more conventional path. Struggling to carry out offbeat tasks is only part of the crusade, as troublesome clients and unknown forces work against him, all while Toby hides his true assignment to avoid judgement.

His deception exposed, Toby deals with the fallout while preparing for his ‘final test’. Who knew the life of a butler involved secrets, lies and sabotage?
This coming of age story takes a light-hearted look at the challenges of finding a career, and more importantly, a life.

About the book

What is the book about?

Fresh out of college and desperate to find a job, Toby Jordan takes a job as an apprentice butler. Over the course of a summer, he has his safe and limited world turned inside out through a series of unusual adventures.

When did you start writing the book?

I started in January of last year (2017). My wife challenged me to develop one of my many outlines into a full story. She did the Marty McFly motivation trick, saying “What are you, chicken?” That was it, I had to get it done.

How long did it take you to write it?

I was editing right up until December 1, which was my self-imposed deadline. Kind of like the challenge to move a story from outline to full story, I needed a hard deadline or I’d never consider it done. I spent an average of about 10-15 hours a week writing, mostly evenings and weekends. A few gap weeks to “leave it alone” were important to refresh the drive to keep writing.

Where did you get the idea from?

I saw an article online about the surge of ‘Butler Schools’ popping up to meet the demand for rich foreigners from China and the Middle East who consider it a status symbol to hire an butler from North America or England. It gave me the idea a guy running his own apprenticeship program to train a butler, and the kinds of strange experiences that would lead to.

Were there any parts of the book where you struggled?

Finding information about the life of a modern butler was more difficult than you’d imagine. Material is scarce and almost secretive. I received threats to not expose the inner workings of their world. I made the last part of that up, but someday I hope to write something that someone wants to silence me for.

What came easily?

The main character and plot came into shape fairly quickly, and even though I dumped sections during the edit process, the main pieces remained solid and held up. So many other things I’ve written died on the vine, either creatively or from lack of interest in the story, but I had no problems staying excited about this story. That made me want to see it through, the fact it I was enjoying it so much.

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

I find it fun to build characters and events based on my experiences. While no character is a complete copy of one person, several are pieces of many. Personality quirks are what make people interesting, and I tried to use some that I enjoy in the people who tell this story. The same with situations, sometimes reality is more strange (and funny) than fiction, and I’ve been lucky to have seen some interesting things. There’s a part early in the story where the main character is describing several workplace/job mishaps. All of those really happened.

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

Donald Westlake was a master of quirky, character driven stories and one of my biggest influences. Carl Haaisen can paint an absolutely crazy scenario in a way that it seems plausible. Janet Evanovich has a great voice that I always try and emulate. Robert Parker for his narratives, especially in the Spenser series. Both he and Lawrence Sanders also really use food descriptions and cooking details to bring wonderful dimension to those stories. If a scene can make you hungry, that’s powerful writing.

Do you have a target reader?

Is it bad to say no? I’m sure the story will appeal to some and not to others but the genre is kind of vague. It’s funny but not a strictly humor story, and it has adventure but not enough to be of that ilk either. I went with “Coming of Age” as the amazon category. I purposely kept the language PG, so not to limit who might want to enjoy the story. The character is in a situation many get to in their lives, wondering what the next step is in figuring out a career. I hope the trials Toby goes through resonate with people, in general. I doubt anyone specifically ever had to go through what he did!

About Writing

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

I always love it when an author has some unusual process – like they write the entire book longhand, or still use a typewriter, or can’t leave the house for the day until they’ve written three thousand words. Sadly, I have no process that’s unusual or stands out. For this book I created the outline, the just wrote chapters pretty much in order. Then, started threading certain elements to provide more continuity. The tricky part in the editing process is removing or adding elements while not impacting details in other chapters.

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

I did the outline process twice. Once as a general guideline, then once I had 60 thousand words or so, outlined it again to make sure everything felt connected. There was several chapter moves as a result of the second outline to improve the story flow.

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

For the most part after I finished the first draft. I didn’t want to linger or get bogged down in any one area in case I was going to cut it. I was talking to another writer about the editing process just yesterday. Deleting an entire chapter or thread that may not be working is the hardest thing and the best thing you can do.

Did you hire a professional editor?

I didn’t. I’m lucky to have several people in my life that are talented writers and I leaned heavily on them for feedback. I think there’s certainly a case to be made for hiring a good editor, depending on what your publishing goals are. I guess it’s dangerous answering this question that way, because the next words from your mouth could be, “Well, you really should have spent the money…”

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

I’ve seen articles that say listening to music with lyrics when writing is actually distracting, but it isn’t for me. I listen to a huge variety of genres, so tough to nail down one or two. Several songs were influential to certain scenes in the book, although I was advised to remove the specifics of the songs and make it more generic. Some bands I’ve listen to while just working on this doc are: Black Eyed Peas, Miike Snow, RUSH, Weezer, Burton Cummings, Dave Brubeck, Trace Atkins, Beethoven… I’m all over the place.

 About Publishing

Did you submit your work to Agents?

Back in September, I rolled the dice and submitted query letters to about a dozen agents who dealt with similar books. Luckily, I knew the odds and the reality of that option going in, and it wasn’t my motivation for creating this story. My goal was to have it available by December, 2017. With an agent/publisher, I realize that it might have been well into 2018! The wheels move really slowly in that world.

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

I actually self-published the first time in 1996, with my first book. Back then, it was more expensive to do, but the marketing side was easier, since there were much fewer people doing it. I was able to book radio and TV interviews as well as getting reviewers at newspapers and entry in to bookstores. I enjoyed the process then, having total control. And I had the time to put into it. Now, the process to get the book created is much easier, but getting it noticed is going to be the hill climb. I’ve been enjoying it so far.

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

I did the cover myself. I had a few ideas that I tried out, and selected the one with the best feedback from other people. I tried the cover creator on CreateSpace, which was good, but I eventually created my own through one of their layout templates using MS Word.

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

I’ve tried to make a plan. I’ve got people lined up to review the book, I’ve got my launch communications, a press packet, and a web site. There’s a lot of good articles on steps you can take, and although much of it is out of date, there’s still some nuggets of gold in them thar hills. I suspect it will be largely a learning process, which is fine. I’m not in this to make my fortune. I have a Bitcoin mining operation underway for that.

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

I’ll suggest something I didn’t do, only because I didn’t read the advice until too late, and that’s look for writing groups either online or local that will give you feedback on your writing as you go along. It’s easier to ask a stranger for their opinion that someone close to you. They may be afraid to tell you what sucks. You need to know that.

About You

Where did you grow up?

All over the place. L.A. California, Upstate New York, Vancouver, British Columbia are the highlights. I can’t imagine having the life my kids have had, only knowing one house, one town, etc. Then again, moving around so much allowed me to “start over” a few times.

Where do you live now?

Back in Upstate New York, dead center between NYC, Boston and Montreal. I try to get to 2 out 3 of those cities as often as I can. NYC and I have never really gotten along.

What would you like readers to know about you?

My social security number is… no wait. I’m a programmer in real life, which actually requires quite a lot of writing. I’ve been to 36 of the 50 states, and once was mistaken for Bob Saget on an airplane and got free drinks. I’m pretty sure that’s not a compliment, but whatever works.

What are you working on now?

A few years ago I wrote a sci-fi screenplay that I want to convert to a novel. It’s kind of nice to revisit the story, and I’m having fun repainting that canvas.

End of Interview:

For more from J.W. Fagan, visit his website.

Get your copy of The Survival Job from Amazon US or Amazon UK.

Read Full Article
Visit website
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

This story was loosely inspired by a dream which involved a military camp; the recruits being trained were animals that could speak: I was a white tiger. Strange but true! 

Katharine E. Wibell – 11 February 2018

The Back Flap

“According to legend, when the world was young, the goddess Issaura appeared among men. Those who treated her with kindness received the gift of the gods—the ability to transform into an animal form. This was a great honor but one that separated this race from other humans. Before Issaura departed the mortal realm, she promised to return if her people were ever at the point of destruction.

“Now a threat is rising from a land across the mists of the ocean, a threat that will push this race to the brink of extinction. Responding to the call to war, seventeen-year-old Lluava heads off to find her destiny, one that will carve her name in history.”

About the book

What is the book about?

Issaura’s Claws is the first of a four-book series entitled the Incarn Saga. This young adult war fantasy takes place in the fictional kingdom of Elysia where there are two races of beings: the ruling humans and the Theriomorphs who can transform into an animal at will. Though the two races distrust each other, they must unite when invaders from across the ocean, known as Raiders, attack the Elysians. The protagonist, Lluava, is a seventeen-year-old Theriomorph who is drafted into the army. Through her eyes, you see how dire the situation really is and experience the many adventures she endures.

When did you start writing the book?

I came up with the concept for this book in 2007.

How long did it take you to write it?

The answer to this is a bit strange. Right before I headed to college, Issaura’s Claws began to manifest itself. Surprisingly, the plot was based on a dream. Although the book was on hold for a four-year hiatus, post-graduation I returned to write it in its entirety. After completion of the first draft, I realized that Issaura’s Claws was just one installment in a series.  So, conception to publication took about ten years. However, my subsequent books take 9 months on average to write and about another year to edit and publish.

Where did you get the idea from?

This story was loosely inspired by a dream which involved a military camp; the recruits being trained were animals that could speak: I was a white tiger. Strange but true! The rest of the story revealed itself to me as soon as I began typing. I drew upon my own knowledge as well as personal experiences for some of the minor details. You have probably heard this before, but write what you know. The details make fantasy seem real and believable.

Were there any parts of the book where you struggled?

Although building and fleshing out the backstory is essential, I can get bored. If I don’t force myself to push through, I can stall for long periods of time until I return to a high-action scene.

What came easily?

I love action scenes especially when there are multiple occurrences happening at once. The mythology of the Theriomorphs (the shapeshifters) also seemed to come easily to me when writing.

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

Though none of my characters are based on real people, I do pull in personal experiences to interweave amongst them. As for their development, initially, the characters seemed to present themselves to me at once. Yet, as I began to write, others that I had not expected, breathed life into themselves and took the book down some strange and unexpected paths. In this series, the Theriomorphs were a lot of fun to write about as some of the physical characteristics and personality traits of the animals they can change into are replicated in their human form.

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

My favorite genre is ancient epics including but not limited to the Odyssey, Ramayana and all of the Nordic Sagas. Many myths and legends derive from these old stories. This is the same for my mythology-based fantasy. More recently, I read A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin. I appreciate how this author is able to encompass so many events and characters and is not afraid to kill off a seemingly valuable character.

Do you have a target reader?

My target readers are older teenagers and adults who enjoy battle-heavy fantasy books ranging from The Hunger Games to A Song of Ice and Fire.

About Writing

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

My process may be different than the majority of other authors. I was able to conceive the entire plotlines of my first two series almost instantaneously with very little change during actual writing. I develop a simple outline of the books and then a short description for each chapter. Since I split my work between art and writing, mornings are typically dedicated to writing new material with a few afternoons spent on editing and marketing. When the first draft is completed, three to four rounds of self-editing follow before the manuscript is sent to my professional editor. I must admit that lots of coffee and a square of chocolate always help start my writing off right.

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

As I mentioned above, I write out a simple outline of the books and then a short description for each chapter before I tackle it.

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

I typically wait until my first draft is completed so I can work through the entirety in a fluid fashion.

Did you hire a professional editor?

Spelling is not my strong suit, so I did hire a professional editor.  Spelling and grammar checking programs are helpful, but often miss the mark. I am fortunate to use the same editor for my second book – and hopefully the other two as well – which means there is both familiarity and continuity with both the storyline and my writing style.

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

I enjoy making playlists that are relevant to my current works but I only listen to them to get in the mood of writing and not while I am actually working. For that, I need complete silence. As I am drafting the first book of my second series, one of my favorite groups to listen to is Epic North. Imagine their music as a movie theme!

About Publishing

Did you submit your work to Agents?

I did mainly to fully understand this process better.

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

I loved this first series and felt that regardless of the means, this story deserved to be told. I already knew some Indie fantasy authors so “going Indie” was an easy decision though it came with a huge learning curve.

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

I had a clear vision for my first series of books and their covers. As a professional artist, I wanted the main focal point to be images that I painted. From there, I worked with a graphic designer to create the actual cover.

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

This again speaks to the learning curve for self-publishing. I am continually discovering new and better ways to market by reading, watching, and talking to those who are far more knowledgeable than me in these areas. I know marketing is my weakest link, but I hope that will not be the case much longer.

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

Take the time to learn about all your options. Make connections with other Indie authors and see what information they are willing to share. The process can be frustrating, but the more prepared you are, the easier it will be.

About You

Where did you grow up?

You could call me a southern girl. I was born in Texas, grew up in Georgia, and live in New Orleans, LA. Most of my childhood was spent in the country where I was blessed with opportunities to work with a wide range of animals as well as encouraged to play “make-believe” with my sister and friends. I know my imaginary childhood adventures helped further my ability to become a fantasy writer. Moreover, my experience with animals greatly influenced my first book series, the Incarn Saga. I am also an artist and specialize in reverse-glass paintings with a New Orleans theme. My dog, Alli, appears in many of these artworks either making gumbo or trying on Mardi Gras masks.

What would you like readers to know about you?

I have always had an eclectic range of interests from competitive archery and wildlife rehabilitation to dog training and step dance competitions. I love trying new things!

What are you working on now?

Currently, I am working on publishing Ullr’s Fangs, book two of the Incarn Saga. Also, as the last two books in that series are already written, I am actively writing the first book of my second series.

End of Interview:

For more from Katharine, visit her website, follow her on Twitter, or like her Facebook page.

Get your copy of Issaura’s Claws from Amazon US or Amazon UK.

Read Full Article
Visit website
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Putting a piece of myself into characters always makes me a little nervous, but it’s the easiest way I know how to tell my audience, “You’re not alone. Others are going though similar stuff and made it though. You’re going to be okay. I promise.” 

Tay LaRoi – 8 February 2018

The Back Flap

After the fall of Queen Mab, DJ Suzuki resolves herself to an aimless life of entertaining, drinking, and hooking up within the Faerie Realm. After twenty ageless years, she knows she can’t go back to her family, despite the fact that her brother still searches for her and the small voice telling her that her parents might have had a change of heart about her orientation.

When a young woman named Talia shows up at DJ’s workplace desperate for help, DJ sees a way to rid herself of the guilt of staying away: she’ll take Talia where she needs to go if Talia rids DJ’s family of all memory of her. Talia will be safe and DJ will be free to live in the Faerie Realm with a clear conscious. Everyone wins.

Except there’s more to Talia and her situation than she’s letting on. Her pursuers want more than just her. They want the Faerie Court, and Talia is the key to getting it. If DJ can’t get Talia to safety before they catch up, a guilty conscious will be the least of her worries. She just might have a faerie civil war on her hands.

About the book

What is the book about?

“Tale” is about an ex-faerie knight that is struggling to find where she belongs now that she’s on her own. She’s human, so she doesn’t completely fit in the Faerie Realm, but she’s been there so long that she doesn’t feel like she fits in among humans either. I grew up mixed (my mom is white, dad is black), so it’s a conflict that hits pretty close to home for me, except I didn’t grow up around magic.

On top of that, she went through some pretty dark stuff thanks to the queen she served (Queen Mab from the last book, Portraits of a Faerie Queen). So, as a bigger picture, I guess you could say it’s about finding one’s way in the world when the road map so far has been a mess. Here’s a spoiler: it helps when you have people who love you there to help untangle everything.

When did you start writing the book?

The summer of 2016. It started out as a Camp NaNoWriMo project.

 How long did it take you to write it?

About two months. I really wanted to push myself to see what I could accomplish in a short amount of time. Considering how much I had to edit afterwards (sorry, Jason), I still think I did a pretty solid job for the timeline I put myself on.

 Where did you get the idea from?

When I wrapped up Portraits of a Faerie Queen, I knew I wanted to find out what happened to the court after Jocelyn left and I knew Talia was going to be a key part–though I can’t tell you why–but I struggled for a long time with who would narrate the story. Zedd’s song “Daisy” came on Spotify one day when I was about to give up and try an entirely new angle, and, thus, Daisy Jane was born.

Were there any parts of the book where you struggled?

DJ’s motivations were really had to pin down. I knew right away that she was the kind of person not to wear her heart on her sleeve, so her actions motivated by her rough exterior were easy to figure out, but the more nuanced, complicated things I knew she had to do were really hard to figure out.

What came easily?

DJ’s chemistry with the characters around her. For some reason, character interactions are always the easiest thing for me to write. When they are alone with themselves or dealing with the larger plot, things get more difficult.

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

I try not to borrow too much from people, because I don’t think I could do their stories justice. There’s just so much of it I wouldn’t know. I borrow from my own life from time to time, though. DJ’s struggle with her family was inspired by things I was going through while I was writing her story, more so internal fears and questions rather than real events. Putting a piece of myself into characters always makes me a little nervous, but it’s the easiest way I know how to tell my audience, “You’re not alone. Others are going though similar stuff and made it though. You’re going to be okay. I promise.”

Do you have a target reader for this book?

Like Portraits of a Faerie Queen, “Tale” is YA with a special focus on queer teen girls. If teens of any other variety feel drawn to it, then by all means, give it a read! I’m always happy to give someone a story, but this story was definitely written with queer girls in mind since I didn’t have any stories like this when I was their age.

How was writing this book different from what you’d experienced writing previous books?

The timeline flew by a lot faster. “Portraits” only took six months more from conception to release, but I didn’t take nearly as much writing time on “Tale.” Between writing and edits, I’d say I only took three months total. All that other time was due to other stuff.

What new things did you learn about writing, publishing, and/or yourself while writing and preparing this book for publication?

Writing wise, I learned that character motivation is everything. I took that for granted with Portraits of a Faerie Queen because Jocelyn’s motivation was clear from the get go. DJ’s definitely was not, but once I found it, everything fell into place.

As far as myself goes, I’ve learned that I’m actually kinda cool. Not to say I felt there was anything particularly wrong with myself before, but I tell people I’ve written books that are published and their eyes light up, even if my stuff isn’t in a genre they like. To get that reaction has sort of made me stop and examine how I see myself. That may or may not play a part in the theme of the next Faerie Court Chronicle. You’ll have to keep up with these crazy characters to find out!

End of Interview:

Get your copy of The Tale of a Faerie Knight from Amazon US or Amazon UK.

Read Full Article
Visit website
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

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

Connie Shipley – 6 February 2018

The Back Flap

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

Bina Knopfler is deadly.

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

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

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

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

About the book

What is the book about?

It’s a mystery/thriller and espionage book.

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

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

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

 When did you start writing the book?

I started writing MoonHuntress in September 2015

How long did it take you to write it?

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

Where did you get the idea from?

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

Were there any parts of the book where you struggled?

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

What came easily?

The characters, the dialogues, the scenery.

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

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

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

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

Do you have a target reader?

My books are read from YA to adults.

About Writing

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

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

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

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

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

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

Did you hire a professional editor?

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

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

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

About Publishing

Did you submit your work to Agents?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Stop with all the Procastination and just go for it.

About You

Where did you grow up?

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

Where do you live now?

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

What would you like readers to know about you?

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

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

What are you working on now?

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

End of Interview:

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

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

Read Full Article
Visit website
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Jonathan Doyle is a screenwriter and novelist based in Los Angeles with his large collection of books and his trusty DVR. A native of Phoenix AZ, Jonathan grew up in Southern California and is a graduate of Loyola Marymount University with a degree in Psychology, but still can’t overcome his fear of freeway overpasses. When he’s not busy working on a new novel/poem/song/screenplay, he enjoys reading Virginia Woolf, lamenting a Lakers loss, or watching Siberian tiger videos online.

When I heard that Wild Thorn Publishing signed a new author, Jonathan Doyle, I jumped at the chance to interview him.  Over a cup of coffee/tea, we discussed anything that popped into my head (that was G-rated).  A very dangerous thing, but he didn’t seem to mind my questions.  To be fair, he was pre-warned.

The most important question of the interview, are you a coffee drinker?

No, I don’t like the way it tastes. I do drink tea though.

What is your beverage of choice?

Wine. I love red wine. I like a deep red, nothing sweet.

Due to circumstances beyond my control, I have not read your book The Last Line of a Goat Song.  Give me a synopsis that will make me move your book to “next” on my Kindle.

It’s an interesting story about two people who should never have found each other, but they do by accident (I’ve met all of my best friends this way).  For their own reasons, they go on a journey from LA to Mexico, which takes them both out of their comfort zones, and forces them to face their demons.

Where did you come up with the Book Title?  I do have to say, it is a catchy title.

Goat Song is Greek for tragedy. And really, I just like the way it sounds. I read that term somewhere and just fell in love with it.

Is this your first book?

This is my ninth novel, but I’ve never released any of the other ones. Goat Song is the only one that I like.

Would you ever revisit any of your other novels?

No, when something sucks, it sucks.

When did you start writing?

When I was 8 years old. I was really concerned with Africa, and I wrote a story about this little girl and a tiger who sort of became friends. I know I got the tiger completely wrong, they don’t even live there.

Why did you decide to publish with an independent publisher rather than self-publish?

I believe that working with a team is better than going it alone. I love all of the Wild Thorn Publishing team to death.

What do you do for leisure or entertainment?

I love the Lakers. I watch every Lakers game. My favorite player of all time is Kobe Bryant. It’s been really hard since he’s been gone, but I’m a loyal guy.

Do you play?

Yeah, I’ve played my whole life, not lately because I’ve been writing books, but I played on all of my school teams.

How would your friends describe you, in one word?

Cold. I think people who write, we spend so much of our time in our heads, being distracted in our own inside worlds. I don’t have a mean bone in my body, but sometimes I’ll say things like “shut up”, which I know is wrong, but I’m so sorry, I’m actually just thinking of some new idea. So when my friends say I’m cold, I’m really not, I’m just working! It’s my job. One second later, I’m back.

Tell me the ONE character in your book that is the most like you.  You can only pick ONE, no cheating?

William, not only because I stutter, but since the minute I was born I’ve been called an old man. I was born old.

What were you like as a child?

When I was six or seven years old, I told my mom that I was going to be the President of the United States. So I’d say I was determined. And a dreamer.

What were your childhood dreams?

To make my dog live forever. I love dogs. My dog Sam was my everything. He was a black cocker spaniel. Sam saved me in so many ways.

Who is your real life hero?

Total cliché, but Jefferson.

Why?

He was flawed but he was a true genius. He wrote the best document of all time. He was so smart, and I think it’s really cool when somebody changes the world.

What would be your best achievement to date?

This book, The Last Line of a Goat Song.

Have you ever been banned from a public place?

Nope, never been banned.

If you had a warning label, what would yours say?

Don’t ever touch the face! I don’t like anybody near my face.

What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done for someone?

A trip to New Orleans for my dear friend Em. I don’t want to go into it, only she knows why.

Ohhhhh, I am intrigued, maybe we will need to do a whole new interview to pursue this subject.

Ha-ha, and a bottle of red!

Are you a good dresser?

No! I’m the worst dresser of all time. White tee shirts and cargo shorts. I only wear shorts, I hate wearing pants. And I always wear the same cargo shorts. One of my friends always tells me, “You can’t wear cargo shorts!” But it’s always warm here in LA… so why not?

Do you hold grudges?

No, never. I think forgiveness is the core of humanity. No grudges. I’ve made so many mistakes in my life, and if people didn’t forgive me, where would I be? It’s just life, we all make mistakes.

What has been your most embarrassing moment?

I stutter, so there are too many to count! I remember when I was in fourth grade I decided to run for VP, and I had to read a speech. I wrote something eloquent, but as usual I stuttered my way through it. It was embarrassing, but I did win.

When can we expect your next book?  What will it be about?

My next book is about my childhood dog Sam, and will probably be done in about a year. I’m working on writing the TV stuff too, so yeah, hopefully about a year.

How long did it take you to write The Last Line of a Goat Song?

Not long. A year, I think.

What genre is your book?

Literary Fiction / Action-Adventure

What is your favorite United States city?  Why?

Chicago. I love Chicago. I’ve been many times. They have the best food, and I’m a big sports guy, and one of my favorite times in my life was when I visited my friend, Em, and we watched a Chicago Cubs game together. They have a community there I just fell in love with.

Hmmmmmmm….Em again, I think I might need to get her number to see if she would like to do an interview.

Have you ever met Imogen Rose?

 Not in person, but I would love to one day!

Thank you so much, Jonathan.  I really enjoyed chatting with you and best of luck with your writing career.

Read Full Article
Visit website
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

The five main characters, Rick, Jenny, Lucy, Jimmy and Paul seemed to be ready made to feed off one another – when character drives plot, that’s when it’s easy to write.

Christopher Griffith – 1 February 2018

The Back Flap

Rick is wracked by the ravages of mental illness. Bipolar disorder, to be exact, although being just a twentysomething he still has enough optimism to see himself through the vagaries of depression and anxiety. His friendships help him, and his love for Lucy, and then there’s his passion for electronic music: Rick doesn’t want a job behind some desk, he wants to be a superstar DJ.

In this coming of age novel, we follow Rick through a week of his life, a week in which he must as ever work through and with his mental illness, treading the tightrope between sanity and bipolar disorder, stability and depression, peace and anxiety, and all whilst he’s dealing with the fluctuating love of friendships for his mates, his sister and his girlfriend.

As the climax of the week approaches, two paths lie open for Rick – an interview on Thursday with the possibility of seeing his twentysomething years morph into mundane, calamitous thirties, or a DJ gig on Friday when electronic music could win the day and see his coming of age crowned by a possible cure for his mental illness, the melody of the music overcoming bipolar disorder, depression and anxiety alike.

About the book

What is the book about?

It’s about a young man called Rick who suffers from bipolar depression, but who is determined not to let it get on top of him; along with his sister, his girlfriend and his two best mates he spends a week building up to his debut DJ gig in a local electronic music club

When did you start writing the book?

I began it in 1999 when I was 23 years old

How long did it take you to write it?

Just three months – it’s stream-of-consciousness so the prose does tend to flow from the pen on to the page

Where did you get the idea from?

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger – I absolutely loved the book and wanted to write something similar, giving airtime to the voice of disaffected youth

Were there any parts of the book where you struggled?

It was really difficult writing about Rick’s relapse mid-week in the book; I’d only been diagnosed myself with bipolar a year before, and the emotions involved were still raw

What came easily?

The five main characters, Rick, Jenny, Lucy, Jimmy and Paul seemed to be ready made to feed off one another – when character drives plot, that’s when it’s easy to write.

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

I never base any character wholly on a real world person; I tend to meld the personalities of several different people I know to create a new one. I don’t think it’s fair to pick up a real person and put them straight into a fictional setting, it’s invasive and it doesn’t work anyway as our judgements about one another are generally pretty flawed; to then transfer them into make believe means we’re already two steps removed from representing reality

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

Forgive me for plugging my other novels here!

Each book I write is really the end result of the particular reading I’ve been engaged with at the time – so Temples of a Fantasy Revenge came about from prolonged encounters with, yes, fantasy novels; in particular, Tolkien, Feist, Hobb, Brooks, Jordan, McKenna. It’s nowhere near as good as these of course, but the influence is still in the writing.

Shakespeare’s Secret Knowledge was the culmination of my studying not just the Renaissance playwrights but also the history of the period, particularly the Reformation; William Ottoway’s Utopia sprung from Shelley’s Frankenstein, Golding’s Lord of the Flies and Garland’s The Beach; Champagne Jealousy and Corin’s Chronicle are a little different as they are based more on an emotion, anger, in the former and an idea, rhythm, in the latter.

Sorry to be round the houses a bit on this one but I think it’s a very good question that’s been asked; my writing style hasn’t been influenced by other authors, but a bit like the way I develop characters I suppose, I take bits and pieces from each author I read and merge them together to create my own work.

Do you have a target reader?

Yes, for Rick with a (Bipolar) View it’s a young adult + audience who are dealing with issues such as friendship, love, sex, music and mental illness; of course, the older audience member wanting to understand these things a little more could well dip their toe in the water here too, as could a slightly younger reader who is beginning to be faced with life choices which may prove a rocky road to negotiate

About Writing

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

I tend to be quite disciplined and am a great believer in breaking down the task into smaller chunks – if I’m aiming for a 90,000 word novel, I’ll start with the intention of writing 1,000 words per day for 90 days; of course, real life usually intervenes in which case I’ll drop the target to 750 or 500 words per day, and even then there’ll be days when I simply can’t find the time to compose. But it’s vitally important to keep momentum going, as I’m sure most writers will tell you; you have to stay disciplined to complete the job

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

When I was training to write, we all had to plan out in advance the pieces we’d be composing – that method simply did not work for me. I always write the first word, sentence, paragraph and chapter straight out, then move on from there, planning ahead only so far as my mind’s eye can see. Writing a book is vital, alive, the project lives and breathes and too much planning simply fetters expression, whether that be character, plot or theme

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

I edit as I go; by the time I’ve finished, I’m finished emotionally. I do revise the whole piece once more though, when I have recovered!

Did you hire a professional editor?

I simply didn’t have the funds available to do this; I wish I had, but I do have a long ago qualification in proofreading and I have learnt how to format a novel

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

Yes, electronic music. I usually put on an old BBC Radio 1 Essential Mix and get myself lost in that whilst I write; I have over the last few years made, in true Rick style, a few mixes myself which you can find at:

https://www.mixcloud.com/Nyktomorph/

About Publishing

Did you submit your work to Agents?

Yes, I started out by scouring the pages of the Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook, and for several years submitted my work to agents

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

A gradual process definitely – along the way, and it has been around 20 years now, I have received good interest in my work, but I always found myself shrinking from committing to industry because I feared I would be asked to modify, change, alter or in some way hand over property of my work. I am the author, I know my characters, story and theme in each novel better than anyone, and in that regard I am zealously possessive of the pieces I have created. Indie publishing was the obvious step for me to take, and I just regret I didn’t initiate it many years ago.

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

I had it professionally done

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

It has to be word of mouth because I simply don’t have the funds to market Rick With a (Bipolar) View myself – some of the marketing packages are so phenomenally expensive I have no idea how any indie author can remotely meet their budget. But there are ways a poor writer can market themselves, such as this very generous complimentary interview I have been offered!

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

Go for it, especially if the traditional routes of publishing haven’t worked for you.

About You

Where did you grow up?

In Surbiton, a suburb of London in Surrey

Where do you live now?

I still live in Surrey. I have lived elsewhere, but there’s no place like home

What would you like readers to know about you?

I have the best day job in the world – I spent several years working in retail for a book shop but for the last decade I have been working as support staff to a sixth form in a local secondary school. During the day, I mix with intelligent, polite, infuriating, happy, sullen, excited, stressed students, and at night I become a writer

What are you working on now?

A sonnet sequence – keep your eye on my Amazon Author Page for its publication.

End of Interview:

Get your copy of Rick with A (Bipolar) View from Amazon US or Amazon UK.

Read Full Article
Visit website
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

The main character is essentially a female version of me – sarcastic, foul-mouthed, quick-witted (sometimes).

Jerry Knaak, 30 January 2018

The Back Flap

“I was a predator. And I was going to own it.”

A Night Out

San Francisco PR pro Elizabeth Rubis reluctantly agrees to a night out on the town. Little does she know that her life will be altered forever as childhood night terrors come to life.

A Face in the Window

Elizabeth’s deepest, darkest fears crawl out of the inky blackness as her lifelong tormentor is revealed during a rare Northern California thunderstorm. A hallucination in the raindrops proves to be an evil, yet familiar entity.

A Baptism in Blood

Fueled by hatred for her tormentor, Elizabeth cuts a bloody swath across the San Francisco Bay Area in a desperate quest for revenge. No one is safe from her rage, not even her friends and family.

About the book

What is the book about?

It is a dark, gritty vampire tale set in modern-day San Francisco. A 44-year-old public relations professional named Elizabeth is kidnapped by a vampire and turned into one herself. The story follows her throughout the Bay Area as Elizabeth seeks bloody revenge against her maker while learning how to survive as a vampire.  

When did you start writing the book?

I began writing in earnest in January of 2016.

How long did it take you to write it?

It took 13 months to write The Dark Truth.

Where did you get the idea from?

I love Gothic horror, especially vampires. I have been writing, mostly sports, professionally for 25 years. I always thought if I wrote a novel it would be a vampire story, and the main character would be female. I created a character and a premise and went from there.

Were there any parts of the book where you struggled?

A couple, I didn’t want the main character to fall into a routine. So, I took some time off to figure out where I wanted to go with my character’s nightly activities. Also, I had a bit of trouble with the dialogue.

What came easily?

The words. The descriptions. The “movement.” My main character doesn’t sit still for very long.

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

The main character is essentially a female version of me – sarcastic, foul-mouthed, quick-witted (sometimes). The others I spiced with some characteristics I borrowed from movies and TV and created amalgamations, “Frankensteins” if you will.

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

Early on it was Bram Stoker and Mary Shelley, but HP Lovecraft, Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Anne Rice and Clive Barker have been huge influences. Jack Kerouac probably has had the biggest influence on my writing style.

Do you have a target reader?

For this book? Adults 18+ who like vampire stories, noir thrillers, and what I like to call “neo-Gothic.”

About Writing

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

Scotch. Seriously, not really. I sit down at a computer and the words flow. I research as I go with the Internet (Google maps/Earth are favorites), or I have a pile of vampire reference materials next to me, and I let my character go where she wants to go. I go to San Francisco once in awhile to do some location scouting/research as well.

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

No, I do not. If I did, my main character would just go where she wants to go anyway. It makes it more interesting. This approach has led to the creation of characters and situations I could not have foreseen.

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

I edit as I go. I have a real problem with the red squiggly underlining, I have to clear it. As for plot, continuity and those types of things, I’ll do two or three major run-throughs up to where I am in the process, and one at the end.

Did you hire a professional editor?

Define “hire.” Technically, yes. But my published provider their own as well.

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

Sometimes. In this novel my main character has a thing for southern rock, so I listened to some George Thorogood. There were some songs that were integral to a few scenes so I listened to those as I wrote. “She’s Not There” by The Zombies would be one. I like to have classic horror films on TV in the background.

About Publishing

Did you submit your work to Agents?

No, I did not.

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

Trifecta Publishing House started following me on Twitter before I ever followed them. It became a mutual thing and they were accepting submissions just as I was finishing the manuscript. They were the first and only publisher I queried. I wanted to be published traditionally. The validation is heady stuff, cathartic.

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

Trifecta’s cover designer did the art.

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

A little bit of both. I’ve been using a public relations calendar that I kind of made up counting down to release, Trifecta and I are working together some things as well. Social media is huge, and I am lucky enough to have some contacts that enable me to do some radio and podcast interviews. I’ve been sending out postcards to bookstores across the country, stopping in to as many as I can and leaving postcards behind, and I’ve been sending press releases to bookstores and newspapers. More “plan” with some measure of “winging-it.”

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

Just do it. You’ll never know if you don’t try. Don’t hem and haw, find a publisher that seems like a good fit and send your query.

About You

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Rochester, N.Y.

Where do you live now?

I live in the San Francisco Bay Area

What would you like readers to know about you?

I have a lot more stories to tell and I can’t wait to share them.

End of Interview:

For more from Jerry, visit his website or blog, follow him on Twitter, or like his Facebook page.

Get your copy of The Dark Truth from Amazon US or Amazon UK.

Read Full Article
Visit website

Read for later

Articles marked as Favorite are saved for later viewing.
close
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Separate tags by commas
To access this feature, please upgrade your account.
Start your free year
Free Preview