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IndieView with Brian Peyton Joyner, author of The Wisdom of Stones

I need to throw some more conflict at him. I had a writing teacher who taught us, “Whenever things are easy for your character, put him on a thin branch at the top of the tree.” She paused for effect. “And then throw rocks at him.”

Brain Peyton Joyner – 22 August 2017 Continue reading

IndieView with Melinda Richarz Lyons, author of Heir to a Secret

I believe it is never too late to be productive and
do something you really love. Retirement has given me the opportunity to pursue my writing.

Melinda Richarz Lyons – 19 August 2017 Continue reading

IndieView with David L. Faucheux, author of Across Two Novembers

My target reader is anyone who is curious and wants to step into a different world, who wants to learn about books, who is intrigued by trivia, and who enjoys a good meal while listening to music.

David L. Faucheux – 17 August 2017

The Back Flap

Friends and family. Restaurants and recipes. Hobbies and history. TV programs the author loved when he could still see and music he enjoys. The schools and training centers he attended and the two degrees he attained. The career that eluded him and the physical problems that challenge him. And books, books, books: over 200 of them quoted from or reviewed. And even more: trivia bits, blog bits, and even Louisiana factoids. All In all, an astonishing work of erudition and remembrance.

About the book

What is the book about?

The book is basically a journal that covers one year in my life.  To expand further, it is a journal wrapped around a framework of books.  I take the reader into my world, one that many readers might not be aware of.

When did you start writing the book?

I started the book on November 16, 2013.

How long did it take you to write it?

I finished the rough draft on November 15, 2014, but the editing was not completed until spring of 2017.

Where did you get the idea from?

Part of my introduction explains this best.  “I have long wanted to write and publish something, be it an historic novel, a young adult novel, or nonfiction. When, in November 2013, Dr. Katherine Schneider asked me to read and review her just–published Occupying Aging, I conquered my usual reservations: Would I be a good reviewer? Would I be able to write something interesting and help her book sales? I dove in and managed to post a usable review at Goodreads.com. While reading her book and formulating my review, I thought, Oh! I just might be able to write something in this journal–type format. So I jumped in right then, not waiting to begin on the more traditional January 1. I thought that to wait was to postpone indefinitely and fail; to start could mean a chance at a successful resolution. Who says a journal has to run from January 1 to December 31 to be of interest?

Were there any parts of the book where you struggled?

I found writing hard work.  I become easily tired as a result of Fibromyalgia Syndrome. The accompanying brain fog made the editing process particularly difficult. I could only write a bit, then read over my work, and try to make it interesting, snappy, fresh. I’d write, then think, ‘No one could possibly care if I went eat out, read a book, took a Jeopardy audition online test via telephone, attended a convention of a blindness consumer group, or visited family and neighbors.’ I am not sure that studding my book with Did-You-Know trivia nuggets or incorporating bits from an audio blog that I kept was a great idea, but I wanted the book to have depth and to show that one can still have a rich existence, a life of the mind, even if one cannot physically climb mountains or tandem bicycle around the world.  (I’d like to do these things — in moderation — if I recover my energy and regularize my sleep pattern.)  Just getting the tone right was challenging.  Should I be amusing, a bit profane, didactic, or some mixture of all of these?

What came easily?

It was fun deciding what books to mention and what book reviews to include.

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

The book is nonfiction, but the names of several characters were changed and some details adapted to preserve privacy.  The book is a glimpse into my world, but it’s not meant to be an open house.

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 enjoy many authors.  Nonfiction writers that I admire either for their style or their ability to explain a complex facet of the modern world would include Frederick Morton, A Nervous Splendor and Michael Lewis, Liar’s Poker.  Nonfiction that takes me into a world that I’d otherwise not get to experience fascinates me especially if the author reads the work and reads it well as Tony Danza did with his I’d Like to Apologize to Every Teacher I Ever Had.  Sweeping historic fiction of the kind written by Gary Jennings, James Clavell, and James Michener kept me spellbound during most of the 1980s and early 1990s.  I hope we see it’s return in the coming decades.

Do you have a target reader?

My target reader is anyone who is curious and wants to step into a different world, who wants to learn about books, who is intrigued by trivia, and who enjoys a good meal while listening to music.

About Writing

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

I have tried to write fiction using several methods I read about.  I found this journal method, because of its granularity, to work best for me.

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

No.

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

I try to edit as I go – cleaning up after myself — rather like I cook.  I can’t help but wonder if I am stifling what creativity I have.

Did you hire a professional editor?

Yes, and my book needed work.  My editor said my grasp of punctuation and grammar was rather good, but she had to check lots of formatting and facts to insure accuracy.

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

Music would distract me.  I couldn’t listen to music as a kid in school while doing homework.  I’d be distracted and get into the groove too much.

About Publishing

Did you submit your work to Agents?

No

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 felt no mainstream publisher would have the interest in my book or the patience to work with me.  I had heard horror stories of big houses letting writers figure out their own publicity methods and not offering them much in the way of support, even financial support.  I further heard that I’d lose control of my book for years and might not make any money.  It frightened me.

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

My editor’s husband assisted me with the cover.  It was a collaboration.

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

Yes, I have a marketing plan.  I have combed through the profiles of more than 600 Amazon reviewers and sent out 82 book review queries.  I am attempting to reach out to book blog tour companies as I have read about them in several eBooks that help one promote.  I have submitted my book to Booklife, part of Publishers Weekly, hoping for a review.  I have entered a writing contest for nonfiction authors.  I have sent print copies of my book to various journalists with whom I have had email contact for several years.  I have also had book cards printed to pass out.

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

Do your research.  Learn what editors can and will do for you.  Learn what they charge per hour and if they help with the actual uploading of the finished book to vendors such as Amazon or SmashWords.  Talk to your local writers groups.  And just do it.  Have fun, but realize it’s a process that you learn as you go.

About You

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in South Louisiana and attended a residential school for the blind located in Baton Rouge.

Where do you live now?

Lafayette, Louisiana

What would you like readers to know about you?

I’d want them to know I am a curious person, ready for a change, and hoping for this book to act as a catalyst of that change.

What are you working on now?

I have been toying with the idea of writing the story of an ancestor of mine who came to Louisiana in 1779 from the Canary Islands.  She was not even a teen yet.  She matters because her genes carried the chromosomal dynamite that caused the blindness that appears in some of her descendants.

End of Interview:

Get your copy of Across Two Novembers from Amazon US or Amazon UK.

IndieView with Ka Sefika, author of The Little Virgin Whore

Life treats everyone differently. You overcome anything as long as you have no fear and you persevere.

Ka Sefika – 15 August 2017

The Back Flap

Excited and anxious Seren is about to graduate from college and finally face real life, which did not treat her right in the past. She returns home since she cannot get a job in Smyrna after her graduation due to financial recession in the country. Her father throws Seren out of his house on the day she arrives. She leaves his house with little money and follows the footsteps of her rebellious hopes.

They take her to 75 years old Uncle Alp, whom she met in a nursing home while training as a psychiatric nurse. She knocks on his door in search of a father she has never had. Uncle Alp decides to end 40 years of his loneliness and accommodates her in his old abandoned flat in Karsiyaka. However much he tries to approach Seren in a fatherly manner, he falls in love with her. Men in neighborhood want to take advantage of Seren’s vulnerability while stigmatizing her as a whore for living in Uncle Alp’s house. One night the grocery guy Mohammed breaks into Seren’s flat and attempts to rape her. Will Seren take revenge when Muhammed becomes her patient only a few months later?

The Little Virgin Whore is the story of a Zaza Girl, who rises from nothingness to greatness.

About the book

What is the book about?

Book is about misogyny, power and poverty.  

When did you start writing the book?

Like Arthur Miller once said, I might have begun years ago, but I sat down and wrote in September 2016.

How long did it take you to write it?

It took me three months.

Where did you get the idea from?

Idea came to me when I returned to Smyrna 10 years after overcoming my struggles and post-traumatic stress which I did not even know that I had.

Were there any parts of the book where you struggled?

Yes. It was not easy to write about rape but remembering possibility of taking revenge from bad guys in the end made it a little easy.

What came easily?

Dialogues.

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

Mixture of both.

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 think I am addicted to Dostoyevsky and Tolstoy. And of course Toni Morrison.

Do you have a target reader?

Anyone with a sensitive heart can be my reader.

About Writing

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

Restless thought process comes first. I was unable to recognize it since it has its own timing. I began recognizing it only after my third novel. When everything becomes clear in my mind I sit down and outline the book. And finally I write it.

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

Yes, I do just to make it easy for myself to focus. I write chapters and what happens in each chapter.

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

No, that kills all the excitement of writing. I write and I write loudly with bleeding passion first. I am usually in tears when I put the last full stop of my books. It is hard for me to go back and feel the same pain as I edit, so I wait at least for a few months. If I still don’t dare, then I send the first draft to my editor.

Did you hire a professional editor?

Yes and she is cool.

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

Yes, epic music with no lyrics.

About Publishing

Did you submit your work to Agents?

Only once after self-publishing my book. That was when I did not know what to do in the ocean of publishing business all alone.

What made you decide to go Indie, whether self-publishing or with an indie publisher?

I never liked the idea of trying to impress any publisher who has no talent or passion for writing but money and power to keep the gate. Otherwise I would have written my novels years ago.

Was it a particular event or a gradual process?

Gradual process.

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

I did it myself when I first published my book but that was not a good idea. I was unable to take care of anything including myself but writing second, third and fourth volume of The Little Virgin Whore so I did not really make effort to perfect my cover for a year.

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

I am still learning marketing before hiring professional digital marketer or consulting one. How else can I know who knows what and how much or whether they are really professional.

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

Life treats everyone differently. You overcome anything as long as you have no fear and you persevere. Just go for it if that is what your heart tells you to do.

End of Interview:

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

Get your copy of The Little Virgin Whore from Amazon US or Amazon UK.

IndieView with Sonya Thomspon, author of Chicago: A Journey Through Life

One morning during a prayer meeting, my pastor received a word of knowledge and asked me did I write. I told him I was keeping a journal about past experiences when I saw God’s protection over my life. My pastor admonished me to have the stories published in book form.

Sonya Thomson – 12 August 2017

The Back Flap

Chicago: A Journey through Life is an entertaining collection of short stories based on true life events. Readers will be inspired and encouraged to exercise their faith in God, and will find various situations which have some relevance to their own personal lives as well. The story begins with a four-year-old little girl from a military family, and is centered around her experiences playing with her friends. Readers will travel with the main character through stages of life and experience the laughter, pain, and shocking situations of a teenager, young adult in college, a soldier in combat training, and professional in the educational and financial services arenas. Through it all, God’s grace is sufficient, and He continually proves Himself strong on her behalf. The book also includes a couple of thought-provoking stories about social issues such as the Vietnam War and segregation in the South in the 1960s. Though intense in some chapters, Chicago: A Journey through Life is a great book to sit down and relax with after a long day.

About the book

What is the book about? 

Chicago: A Journey Through Life is an entertaining, inspirational collection of short stories about personal experiences in my life where I saw the hand of God protecting me, my family, and friends. The nature of the stories varies from chapter to chapter. Some stories are light-hearted and amusing, while others discuss more serious issues, such as death, war, and segregation.

When did you start writing the book?

I wrote a few stories in the fall of 2012, and began seriously writing during the summer of 2013.

How long did it take you to write it?

I teach school full-time, so most of my writing is done during summer break. I would say active writing took about 9 to 12 months. Editing prior to submitting the book to the publisher, took several weeks to a few months.

Where did you get the idea from?

I kept a journal of inspiring thoughts from past experiences over a period of two years. One morning during a prayer meeting, my pastor received a word of knowledge and asked me did I write.  I told him I was keeping a journal about past experiences when I saw God’s protection over my life. My pastor admonished me to have the stories published in book form.

Were there any parts of the book where you struggled?

Yes. This was my first book. At times, I needed help from the editor to communicate my thoughts on paper in a fluid manner. If I encountered a mental block, I would put the writing aside and revisit it at a later time. I found the thoughts flowed more freely when I was relaxed and had the time to focus totally on the book.

What came easily?

I feel I am most creative when writing about my childhood. I really enjoy reading those stories.

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

All of the stories are true events and all of the characters are real people; family members, friends, co-workers, etc.  The names of course have been changed.

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 wouldn’t say anyone has influenced how I write. As a child, I enjoyed reading books by Edgar Allen Poe and Gertrude Chandler Warner.  As an adult, one of my favorite readings is the Nora Lam story.

Do you have a target reader?

Women ages 30 or older would enjoy the book. Military personnel and educators would also relate to several of the stories.

About Writing

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

Yes. Generally, when I receive an inspiring thought or memory about a past experience, I jot down my thoughts and form them into a story.

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

No. I have only written short stories at this time. I generally write my thoughts as they come to mind and then organize them on paper

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

I may do a little editing while writing, and then edit more intensively after I am finished writing.

Did you hire a professional editor

Yes.

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

No. I like it quiet when I write.

About Publishing

Did you submit your work to Agents?

No, I did not contact an Agent. I worked with a publisher to edit and publish the book.

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

The option was presented to me by my publisher. I felt a professional review would be a viable avenue to connect with the target audience that I am looking for, and establish credibility.

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

The cover design which also illustrates the first story in the book was my idea. All of the illustrations including the cover were drawn by an art teacher and former co-worker.

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

Yes, I have a market plan for my book. I have had three book events so far, and two future events planned.

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

Publishing a book requires hard work and dedication. Once you complete your writing, find resources to aid in sharing it with an audience that will appreciate your gift.

About You

Where did you grow up?

My father was military. I was born in New York City. From there we travelled to Europe and various US states while I was growing up. I finished high school in Augusta GA.

Where do you live now?

Atlanta GA

What would you like readers to know about you?

I love working with children and particularly children with special needs. I also love music, theater, dance, and of course reading.

What are you working on now?

I am very excited about a children’s series that I am currently working on which is based on my childhood experiences.

End of Interview:

For more from Sonya visit her website or like her Facebook page.

Get your copy of Chicago: A Journey Through Life from Amazon US or Amazon UK.

 

IndieView with Steven Sheiner, author of Running Still

Each day was a new adventure. I was never really sure where the story would take me, so I had the same feeling of ‘what happens next’ as I hope the readers will.

Steven Sheiner – 10 August 2017 Continue reading

IndieView with Samuel W. Reed, author of The Fabulist

I don’t know that I had any idea what I was actually writing until I was 20 pages in. Or maybe two and a half years after I started. I was just writing. And parts of it were a mess. But there was this feeling of inspiration that my fingers literally could not keep up with.  

Samuel W. Reed – 8 August 2017 Continue reading

IndieView with Chris DiCroce, author of Burning Man

I set out to write a great story. That was the goal. I didn’t think about a genre or a demographic. That would have been constraining. For me, trying to sculpt something for a specific audience before knowing what the piece was going to be would be disaster.

Chris DiCroce – 5 August 2017 Continue reading

IndieView with Shannon Mullen, author of See What Flowers

After finishing the first draft, I realized that the writing was more emotional, more honest, and more impactful when I put more of myself into it. So during the editing, I added bits of personal experience to add depth and emotion to the characters. 

Shannon Mullen – 3 August 2017 Continue reading

IndieView with M.N. Mekaelian, author of Choose to Rise

People watching is a great way to create unique and memorable characters, but remember to write down your observations so you don’t forget. 

M.N. Mekaelian – 1 August 2017 Continue reading