The IndieView http://www.theindieview.com For Indie Readers, Reviewers, and Authors Sat, 19 Aug 2017 13:00:19 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.5 41100324 IndieView with Melinda Richarz Lyons, author of Heir to a Secret http://www.theindieview.com/2017/08/19/indieview-with-melinda-richarz-lyons-author-of-heir-to-a-secret/ http://www.theindieview.com/2017/08/19/indieview-with-melinda-richarz-lyons-author-of-heir-to-a-secret/#respond Sat, 19 Aug 2017 13:00:19 +0000 http://www.theindieview.com/?p=13702 Continue reading ]]>

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

The Back Flap

East Texas native Addison Cameron is devastated after the sudden death of her husband of thirty years, Eric. Even more shocking is the discovery that she is an heir to a secret. On top of coping with deep grief, Addison must also face the challenge of uncovering the truth about Eric’s hidden past.

On her journey Addison meets another widow, the colorful Miranda Jones, who helps unravel the mystery. But more important, Miranda’s friendship encourages Addison to find life after death and have faith that it’s never too late for happily ever after.

Their road to recovery takes them through the world of paper tripping and a dangerous encounter on a dark Texas lane. Along the way Addison and Miranda are entertained by boot scootin’ cowboys, on-line senior matchups, rescue calls, “worth a second try guys” and jealous confrontations.

On Addison’s quest to move ahead and embrace acceptance and forgiveness, she finds herself attracted to Private Investigator Todd Baker. His romantic nature and fabulous blue eyes have Addison wondering, “Is it possible to fall in love again and have hot sex after fifty?”

About the book

What is the book about?

A recent widow discovers that her husband harbored a deep secret from his past, so she embarks on a journey to uncover the truth.

When did you start writing the book?

In the spring of 2011.

How long did it take you to write it?

About four months.

Where did you get the idea from?

I am intrigued with the idea of secrets, and I based a lot of if on my own experiences as a widow.

Were there any parts of the book where you struggled?

Luckily, no.

What came easily?

I think the idea and the development of the characters came the most easily.

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

My characters are a combination of several people I know.

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 always loved O. Henry. I was fascinated by his surprise endings and twists.

Do you have a target reader?

Yes. My target audience is the baby boomer generation, particularly older women.

About Writing

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

 I try to write when I am “fresh,” like in morning. I write for several hours at a time. When I am writing a book, I try to write a little each day.

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

I don’t really outline, but I do a lot of brainstorming, and I jot down ideas as I go along. For example, I like to have an idea about where I am going with my plot and my characters.

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

 I edit all during the process. Editing is very important to me, so I spend a lot of time on that task.

Did you hire a professional editor?

No. I do have others read my work. For example, I have a sister who is a retired college professor. She is a great editor. I also have friends that are avid readers go over my manuscripts.

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

No. I am a person who needs total quiet to write.

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 believe it was because of all the rejections I got from agents and traditional publishers that made me decide to go Indie.

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

I chose my book cover from stock photos.

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

I try to market my book as much as possible through many websites. I write articles for various ones. In exchange, they post links to my books and website.

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

Be prepared to spend lots of time and effort on your work. When you are basically the only one involved, it means you have to wear many different hats.

About You

Where did you grow up?

I’m an Air Force brat, so everywhere! I was born in San Antonio, but have lived all over the United States and in Okinawa.

Where do you live now?

Tyler, Texas.

What would you like readers to know about you?

I am almost seventy, and still going strong. 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.

What are you working on now?

I am working on a mystery called The Seventeen Dollar Murders. It is about two baby boomer women in East Texas who attempt to solve the baffling homicides in their community.

End of Interview:

For more from Melinda, visit her website.

Get your copy of Heir to a Secret from Amazon US or Amazon UK.

 

]]>
http://www.theindieview.com/2017/08/19/indieview-with-melinda-richarz-lyons-author-of-heir-to-a-secret/feed/ 0 13702
IndieView with David L. Faucheux, author of Across Two Novembers http://www.theindieview.com/2017/08/17/indieview-with-david-l-faucheux-author-of-across-two-novembers/ http://www.theindieview.com/2017/08/17/indieview-with-david-l-faucheux-author-of-across-two-novembers/#comments Thu, 17 Aug 2017 13:00:19 +0000 http://www.theindieview.com/?p=13699 Continue reading ]]>

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.

]]>
http://www.theindieview.com/2017/08/17/indieview-with-david-l-faucheux-author-of-across-two-novembers/feed/ 2 13699
IndieView with Ka Sefika, author of The Little Virgin Whore http://www.theindieview.com/2017/08/15/indieview-with-ka-sefika-author-of-the-little-virgin-whore/ http://www.theindieview.com/2017/08/15/indieview-with-ka-sefika-author-of-the-little-virgin-whore/#comments Tue, 15 Aug 2017 13:00:15 +0000 http://www.theindieview.com/?p=13696 Continue reading ]]>

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.

]]>
http://www.theindieview.com/2017/08/15/indieview-with-ka-sefika-author-of-the-little-virgin-whore/feed/ 1 13696
IndieView with Sonya Thomspon, author of Chicago: A Journey Through Life http://www.theindieview.com/2017/08/12/indieview-with-sonya-thomspon-author-of-chicago-a-journey-through-life/ http://www.theindieview.com/2017/08/12/indieview-with-sonya-thomspon-author-of-chicago-a-journey-through-life/#respond Sat, 12 Aug 2017 13:00:45 +0000 http://www.theindieview.com/?p=13693 Continue reading ]]>

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.

 

]]>
http://www.theindieview.com/2017/08/12/indieview-with-sonya-thomspon-author-of-chicago-a-journey-through-life/feed/ 0 13693
IndieView with Steven Sheiner, author of Running Still http://www.theindieview.com/2017/08/10/indieview-with-steven-sheiner-author-of-running-still/ http://www.theindieview.com/2017/08/10/indieview-with-steven-sheiner-author-of-running-still/#respond Thu, 10 Aug 2017 13:00:58 +0000 http://www.theindieview.com/?p=13659 Continue reading ]]>

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

The Back Flap

When Jack Turner’s wife and kids are diagnosed with a new form of cancer, he is baffled. As a former collegiate athlete, he and his family live a healthy lifestyle. Now, suddenly, they are sick. But why isn’t he? And how is there already a drug for this new disease? Jack will stop at nothing to get answers, and to save his family. With the help of some surprising and unexpected friends, he uncovers a conspiracy that is bigger than anything he could have imagined. But is it more than he can handle?

Filled with action, drama, and suspense, Running Still is a David vs. Goliath type tale that spotlights the frightening power of Big Pharma and what can happen when billions of dollars are at stake.

About the book

What is the book about?

Running Still follows the story of Jack Turner, a former competitive runner, who moves his family from New York to small town. Despite living a healthy lifestyle, within a year of the move, his wife and kids are diagnosed with a never before seen type of cancer. But not Jack. He will stop at nothing to get answers and to save his family. But what he discovers is more than he ever could have imagined. A conspiracy on the grandest of scales. He enlists a few of his friends to help him, but it is an uphill battle, a genuine David-vs-Goliath tale.

When did you start writing the book?

January 2017

How long did it take you to write it?

Three and a half months.

Where did you get the idea from?

I’ve always been health conscious and into fitness. More and more people are taking prescription drugs, and one day I just started to wonder if that was by design. That simple question became what is now Running Still.

Were there any parts of the book where you struggled?

I struggled with the death of a child. As a father myself, there is no greater pain than the loss of a child. I can’t even imagine it. So to put it on paper and consider the emotion and feelings involved was tough.

What came easily?

Surprisingly, the story just flowed. Once I started writing, I couldn’t wait to sit down again and keep it going.

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

They are largely fictitious with perhaps a dash of reality mixed in.

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?

Absolutely. I am a big fan of John Grisham and James Patterson. There is no question their story-telling and writing style influenced mine. I’ve already begun to hear the comparisons, which certainly isn’t a bad thing.

Do you have a target reader?

Fans of Grisham, Patterson, Michael Crichton and Robin Cook will certainly enjoy this book. But anyone who enjoys a good page-turner filled with action, suspense, intrigue, and even some conspiracy theory.

About Writing

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

Before I sat down to write the book, I wrote two or three pages of notes. The gist of the story, the main characters, and some key things I needed to happen during the story. After that, I just sat down and wrote. 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.

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

I do not. I didn’t know where the story was going until I wrote it, and I certainly didn’t have the ending mapped out. I prefer to let my imagination take me in a direction, rather than following a predetermined one that has already been laid out in an outline.

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

Both. As I wrote, I read. And if I didn’t like something, or felt something needed to be changed for where the story was going, I would edit as I went along. And, of course, once I was finished writing, I scoured over the entire book repeatedly.

Did you hire a professional editor

I had several sets of eyes go over the book once it was finished, including my own.

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

It depends on the mood I’m in. For the most part, I like to write in silence. I want to be able to hear my thoughts and ideas, and not be distracted by the music or lyrics.

About Publishing

Did you submit your work to Agents?

I have, yes.

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 wanted to get my book out there as soon as possible. My goal was to create enough buzz, sales, and positive reviews to attract the attention of a traditional publishing house.

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

It was a combination. The designers I spoke to struggled to grasp the concept I was looking for. Ultimately, I created a rough draft of the design I had in mind, and let the professionals do the rest.

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

I am focused largely on social media promotion, because I feel I can reach the largest audience in the least amount of time.

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

Just do it. Don’t worry about what other people say or think. Put your ideas on paper and start writing. And don’t stop until you’re happy with how it looks and reads. It’s your story, your book, so don’t let anyone make it less than that.

About You

Where did you grow up?

South Florida

Where do you live now?

South Florida

What would you like readers to know about you?

I spent the last 20 years as an Optometrist, but always wanted to pursue a writing career. This year I decided it was about time.

What are you working on now?

My new novel is going to be quite different from my last. Without giving away too many details, a good Samaritan does a good thing, but incurs the wrath of some rather unsavory people as a result. It’s going to be a pulse-racing edge-of-your-seat story that will keep readers engrossed until the very end.

End of Interview:

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

Get your copy of Running Still from Amazon US or Amazon UK.

]]>
http://www.theindieview.com/2017/08/10/indieview-with-steven-sheiner-author-of-running-still/feed/ 0 13659
IndieView with Samuel W. Reed, author of The Fabulist http://www.theindieview.com/2017/08/08/indieview-with-samuel-w-reed-author-of-the-fabulist/ http://www.theindieview.com/2017/08/08/indieview-with-samuel-w-reed-author-of-the-fabulist/#respond Tue, 08 Aug 2017 13:00:01 +0000 http://www.theindieview.com/?p=13656 Continue reading ]]>

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

The Back Flap

Failed novelist and part-time sports blogger Frank Shaw is hired to cover the Maui Classic Invitational, a pre-season collegiate basketball tournament in Hawaii over Thanksgiving. But after meeting a cute bartender he wants to impress at the resort, he dismisses his assignment and sets out on a path toward self-discovery, mind-bending adventure, and quite possibly love.

About the book

What is the book about?

The Fabulist is about life.  It’s about falling in love and the excitement we get from experiencing new things.  But it’s also about the toll that our past failures take on us, and the balancing act people must pull off in order to overcome our hardships and keep moving forward for the sake of our loved ones, our dependents, and our selves.  The Fabulist is about a guy on the brink who slowly starts to overcome that which burdens him when he falls for a younger woman he doesn’t even know, and takes off for an adventure, consequences be damned.  It’s a coming-of-age tale for a man having a mid-life crisis, as his failure-to-launch finally catches up to him.  You know, for kids*.

(*not really for kids)

When did you start writing the book?

I began writing The Fabulist in the summer of 2014.  However, after a quick burst of ideas, plot, and character, which bled from my fingertips over the course of 10 days in July, I didn’t touch it again until the next year when I picked it back up and immediately realized it was going to take a lot of work to finish.  I didn’t touch it again for another year and a half.

How long did it take you to write it?

Including the original 10 day burst, I spent a large part of January 2017 re-writing, reworking and revising.  Then, I like to put things aside for a moment before I come back to them, which I did several times over the next few months.  Every pass takes a little less time as I polish and refine, clarifying certain points and eliminating others.  And then, of course, I pass it to others I trust and wait for feedback before revising again.  The process is continual, but not constant.  Overall, I would say it took about three months, if I really condense actual work time.  Three years, if I’m looking from inception to completion.

Where did you get the idea from?

The influences for this novel I pretty much wear on my sleeve.  I had just read a short story by Kerouac, back in ’14.  And Hunter S. Thompson is omnipresent.  I think a little Bret Easton Ellis seeped in there. Maybe some Palahniuk.  These are all authors I read and enjoy, as well as many others, of course.  And though none of these authors or their novels were specifically in mind when I originally began writing, I believe they all permeated the final product.

Interestingly enough, 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.  This voice that was ringing out that I was just trying to keep up with.  Which is why after 10 days I think it exhausted me so much.  So, unlike 90% of my writing, this book wasn’t mapped out from beginning to end in any shape, form, or fashion.  Inspiration struck in those first few lines.  And after than, I was just developing a story around it.  Being accustomed to a much more rigid structure I found that sort of writing to be gratifying in ways I could have never imagined.  I equate it to when musicians, or dancers, or other artists talk about just letting loose, trusting your instincts, and letting it all out on the table.

Were there any parts of the book where you struggled?

Absolutely.  All over.  That same beautiful inspiration that struck initially also left me with about a 35,000 word word-salad that I had to unscramble and make sense of.  And I eventually did so by trying to ground the language in his state of mind, in order to justify or explain why he would be as long winded and verbose as he is.

What came easily?

Those first ten days were a breeze, as I just let inspiration strike and let the words flow out of me.  The only real decision I made early on is that I wasn’t going to second guess my choices along the way, and I wasn’t going to revise as I go.  That’s a (not always bad) habit that I find myself digging ruts with occasionally.  Though this is my first novel, I have been writing what I will call “professionally” for close to ten years, but as a screenwriter.  This project allowed me a chance to throw the rules of screenwriting to the wind and just let go.  And so, I did.

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

There’s no doubt the characters are fictitious, the situations, everything.  But just as I draw inspiration from other books and authors, I draw inspiration from life. The people around me now, people from my past, and myself. Sometimes these parallels are fairly broad, and sometimes uber specific.  The memories I have of a specific moment in time that I get to relive and share with others, that help build a more specific, engaging, and entertaining world for my readers, those are always my favorite.  Those real-life details are always the ones I love the most.

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?

Looks like I jumped the gun on this one.  But yes, I love to read.  I wish I had more time to read. I have a stack of books at home I’m dying to read.  Authors like Cormac McCarthy and Normam Mailer.  George Orwell, Phillip K. Dick, Ray Bradbury.  Vonnegut, of course.  Fitzgerald.  How much space do you have here?

 Do you have a target reader?

If you like any of the writers I’ve listed, I think you could find something in The Fabulist that resonates for you.   My only qualifier is that there is a lot of explicit language, there is recreational drug use, and there are a lot of mature themes, so if any of those things offend you, this book might not be for you.

About Writing

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

I think it’s important for writers to write.  As much as they can, as often as they can, and in the process, words and ideas will come out of them they never thought possible. I try to do it as often as I can, even if I’m not in the mood, so that I’m constantly working on something. Whatever process a writer creates will develop from doing the work.  In my experience, nobody can tell a writer what to do because every project dictates its own process.  Some projects demand to be extensively thought out and meticulously planned before a single page is written to be successful.  Fantasy and Mystery novels come to mind.  But The Fabulist was formulated out of a whirlwind of inspiration before being carefully rewritten and structured.  That is where all the uniqueness and interesting parts for this particular story came from, though that specific process is way outside my norm.

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

When I outline, and as a screenwriter I often do, I’m in the habit of writing treatments, or long synopses about the project.  Sometimes these synopses are plot specific, other times character specific, or other elements. I am big on getting ideas down on the page, and when ideas start coming, sometimes you’re just hanging on for the ride.  So, all of my projects begin with some kind of initial information dump.  And eventually that will start to take the shape of a fairly detailed outline.

My tendency in an outline is to want to fill in the details.  Sometimes it’s so I don’t forget them, but other times because as I write it and see it, it begets new ideas and information.  I find that certain tones and themes start to emerge this way.  Sometimes I’ll even cut and paste parts of these outlines directly into the story in order to guide me, or if it’s a really complete passage, to keep.

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

Both, and it really depends on my mindset, the deadline, and what I’m trying to accomplish.  If I’m not inspired, I find that I’ll keep revising the same things over and over again, and never move forward.  When I catch myself doing this I try to do the exact opposite-  plow through it, or at least that part, to get it in a more complete form, so then I can go back and dissect what’s clearly not working.   In a perfect world, there’s a bit of a balance, where I edit a little as I go, specifically when I first sit down and start writing in order to refresh myself on where I left off and get myself in the mindset for whatever is coming next.  That way when I reach the end of the story, all the heavy lifting is finished, and what’s left is more refined polishing than big plot adjustments.  In the case of The Fabulist, I did all the heavy lifting in January, years after that initial draft, and it was tough.

Did you hire a professional editor?

I did not, largely for financial reasons, but not solely.  I am fortunate that my wife is a grammar hound, as are a few other people I trust, so I knew I could create something that wasn’t littered with typos and the like.  But this book also takes some artistic license with the language along the way, so there are a few places that I purposefully left broken rules intact, just for effect.

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

I love music. I live for music. And because of that, I have music playing nearly every chance I get. When I cook. When I drive. In the shower. But while I’m writing, no. I can’t.

I used to.  Like a lot of writers, I think.  But I have come to find that rather than following the verbal music within my head, more often than not I’m following the actual music I’m listening to and it becomes a distraction.  I have heard of writers listening to classical music or jazz, or soundtracks, or other stuff they call background music, but I can’t help but get emotionally connected to music in ways that might not always fit whatever I’m writing as immediately as I need it to in the moment.   So, I guess the short answer is no, I don’t.

About Publishing

Did you submit your work to Agents?

I did not submit my work to agents.  This, too, was a very meticulous and thought out decision.  I discussed the options with several other writer friends that have experienced both traditional and indie publishing, and after making my decision I am completely satisfied. The Fabulist is a unique story that I think a lot of people will like, but I also don’t expect for it to find an immediate audience, as it is not a genre specific novel.  It challenges people.  And quite frankly, after taking three years to write it, I didn’t want to wait another year and a half to go through the traditional publishing route.

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 had an idea from the beginning that I would self publish, but I did a lot of research to make sure.  Just the way the story came to me, and the weirdness that it started out as, I knew this would never find a traditional home.  Only after I revised it and it started making sense did I consider it could go traditional. But ultimately, I’m satisfied with my decision, and happy that in the end I have more control over the product I’ve created.

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

I created the cover myself for monetary reasons, and I will not do it again.  I will say, I don’t hate my cover.  As a matter of fact, much like the rest of the novel, I got inspired and had a vision for what I wanted and I totally followed through with that vision.  So I accomplished my goal.  But when I compare it to all the other books that I see on Amazon, I feel like it stands out as not-very-professional.  And since you eat with your eyes first, this is something I may try and remedy at some point.

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

My marketing plan is to wing it.  I say this in jest, but there is truth in all comedy. I’ve read up on book promotions.  I’ve looked into advertising.  I’ve created a mailing list and spammed 400 of my nearest and dearest.  But I’m also riding the wave.

I made a decision very early on that I was not going to put any advertising money into the book until I got a certain number of reviews and sales to cover it.  And then I realized I can’t market directly on Amazon unless I am enrolled in KDP Select, which you can’t do if your book is in wide release.  So, since I am currently trying to make the most of my 90-day exclusive window on Amazon, I’m already enrolled in KDP Select and everything, I figured I better start advertising, because once I plan on releasing on Nook and iBook and everywhere else, I no longer have that option.  So now that exclusive 90 day window I started out with may jump to 120 days, or 150, depending on what happens, and how much traction the book actually gets now that I know that over half of all digital books are purchased from Amazon alone.

So basically, having only released The Fabulist, my very first novel, a few weeks ago, I am still learning and growing.  Ask me anything you want to know about long keyword tails and ACoS.

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

Do it.  There is literally nothing stopping you from publishing your work but yourself, and maybe about $500 – $1500 depending on what your needs are along the way.  There is a lot to consider, from copyright (copyright.org), ISBNs & Barcodes (bowker.com), to book covers, copy editors, proofreaders, formatting software (I suggest Vellum!), email marketing platforms (I use mailerlite), websites (squarespace), etc.   You don’t have to take on all these costs at once, but if you’re serious about becoming an indie author, like any business, you will have to invest in yourself at some point if you really want to grow.  And, there is a clearly defined positive relationship between how much you are willing to continue to put into your career (advertising, promotions, new books), and how much you get out in the end.

So, if you’re serious about it and you have that story you’re dying to tell, by all means, go after it.  At very least you will have that creative outlet for expression, and if it’s good enough, who knows?  But if you’re just looking for some get rich quick scheme…  Ha ha ha ha ha ha.

About You

Where did you grow up?

I am originally from the riverfront town of Paducah, Kentucky.   Smack dab in the middle of Nashville and St. Louis.  I don’t think there were any more than 35,000 people in town, but we had a mall, and a movie theater, and all the decent restaurants, so every body in the surrounding counties came to our town to hang out.  It always felt bigger than it really was until I moved away.  Now when I go back, which unfortunately is rare, anywhere you want to go is a ten to fifteen minute drive. It’s amazing.

Where do you live now?

Los Angeles California, with my wife and two children.  We moved out here ten years ago from Wilmington North Carolina, where I studied film.  I started writing seriously about 15 years ago, spent some time honing my ideas back East before coming out here to give it a shot.  Ten years later, we’re still here.

What would you like readers to know about you?

I love to write.  That’s why I wrote this book.  It was for me, initially.  I never really considered it would become anything.  But of course, I hoped it would.  It was more like a writing exercise when I first started.  Something to get the juices flowing.  And a few years ago when I dug it out and read some of it, I think it scared me how deep I was going to have to dig in order to finish it.  And it obviously took quite a while before I did.  Maybe if I didn’t have a wife, two young children, a day job in film production and writing time on my nights and weekends, I would have been able to focus more at any one specific time to get it done, but I’m very proud of what became of it, and I don’t regret not forcing it sooner.

There are often those projects that are just dying to come out, and this was one of them initially, but being able to step back from that, especially after that initial burst of energy, gave me a really great, fresh perspective in which to finally finish it.  Not only have I become a better writer over the years, but the things that I saw that haunted me before I began to see as an opportunity for expansion, a bridge to a new part of the story, and as themes that could connect the whole piece.

Bottom Line:  If your goal is to become a better writer, you have to keep writing.  That’s the only way you’re ever going to get there.  That’s what I’m doing, and hopefully my second novel is proof.

What are you working on now?

I’m always developing new ideas, working with producers, directors and other screenwriters on content, but specifically for myself, I’m working on two things:  a new screenplay based on this incredible story I found a few years ago that my manager, in particular, is very excited about, and a reverse-adaptation of one of my favorite scripts that never got produced, a pet project of mine I developed ages ago that people have told me I should turn into a novel for years.  Now that I’ve finally finished The Fabulist, I can’t justify waiting any longer.

End of Interview:

For more from Samuel, visit his website.

Get your copy of The Fabulist from Amazon US or Amazon UK.

]]>
http://www.theindieview.com/2017/08/08/indieview-with-samuel-w-reed-author-of-the-fabulist/feed/ 0 13656
IndieView with Chris DiCroce, author of Burning Man http://www.theindieview.com/2017/08/05/indieview-with-chris-dicroce-author-of-burning-man/ http://www.theindieview.com/2017/08/05/indieview-with-chris-dicroce-author-of-burning-man/#respond Sat, 05 Aug 2017 13:00:01 +0000 http://www.theindieview.com/?p=13653 Continue reading ]]>

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

The Back Flap

How far would you go for a friend?

 One week ago, music legend Dash Nelson was on the way down. His music, iconic. Revered. And, it’s not selling. But he’s got one more record in him and it just might be his best one yet.

On the morning after the record release party for Heavy Clutch, Dash is roused from a scotch-induced slumber with the news that his long-time manager and best friend, Paul West, was found dead. Dash abandons his family, friends, and his record to keep a promise he made to Westie many years ago. A promise that he’s certain will land him in prison.

When Westie’s body goes missing from the morgue, rumors circulate. A mysterious offshore transfer of three hundred thousand dollars brings the FBI to Nashville, but Dash is nowhere to be found.

After a cross-country road trip and a sacred burial ceremony that pushes Dash to the limits of his own sanity, he hops on a plane to a tiny Western Caribbean island to fulfill one final wish for Westie. An unexpected turn of events leaves him fighting for his life aboard a sailboat with Westie’s biggest secret.

From Dash and Westie’s aeonic friendship comes Burning Man. A simmering novel that twists in the grasp of DiCroce’s unique storytelling.

About the book

What is the book about?

Burning Man is an adventure story about love, loyalty, and friendship. Nashville music legend Dash Nelson is in the twilight of his career and fading fast, but he just made the best record of his life. On the morning after the record release party, his manager and best friend Paul West (Westie) is found dead. Dash abandons his family, friends, and his record to keep a promise he made to Westie many years ago.

There’s a suspicious money transfer, a cross-country road trip, a Native American burial ceremony, Molotov cocktails and scooter crashes. You’ll laugh when you think you shouldn’t and cry because you just can’t help it. It will leave you asking, just how far would you go for a friend.

When did you start writing the book?

I started the outline for Burning Man last July (2016) and began actually writing in early August (2016).

How long did it take you to write it?

I had the first draft of Burning Man finished at just under 50,000 words sometime around the end of October.

Where did you get the idea from?

I’m not really sure how it all came together as it is now but, after 25 years in Nashville as a singer-songwriter, I had a deep understanding of the music business and all its parts. Without giving away plot details and spoiling the story for any readers, some of the events that occur in the story loosely happened to me many years back. When searching for the plot line, I just drew from those old experiences. As a songwriter and author, I’m always jotting things down on scraps of paper and typing them into the notes on my phone for use at a later date. I guess it all just came together for this story. It’s been a pretty crazy ride.

Were there any parts of the book where you struggled?

I wouldn’t say I struggled much at all on this story. I had worked hard on the outline so I knew where I wanted it to go. The main battle for me was believability for the characters, good dialogue, and continuity within the story.

 What came easily?

The dialogue came very easily for me. I enjoyed writing it. After many years writing songs, this just seemed like a really long song. It’s the extreme of songwriting. Massive extensions of a story line, but I felt like I knew the characters personally, so it was easy to hear them speak and feel what they might be feeling.

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

I’ve borrowed from villains and good guys throughout my career. There are mashups of several people and some dear friends. From some, I just borrowed a unique mannerism or appearance traits and blended them into my own characters.

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 know I keep going back to this and I’m sorry but, as a songwriter, I am affected (influenced) by everything from a good song in a car commercial to everyday conversations I hear traveling through the streets, in a market, or at the airport. I have several authors I love. John Steinbeck, Tom McGuane, Tom Robbins to name a few.

As far as their influence on me I would say this. They do what they do so well that it makes me try harder. Makes me look at each line and ask myself, “is it the best I could do?” I try not to take the easy way out when it comes to adding an element that could elevate the scene just a tad. Sometimes it backfires.

Do you have a target reader?

This should be a no-brainer. I should say I do but, honestly the answer is no. 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. I think if you like those guys I listed above, Steinbeck, McGuane, and Tom Robbins, you’ll probably be able to to enjoy Burning Man and identify with my characters and storyline. You’ll get the dark humor and the emotional stuff.

About Writing

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

My process? Hm. Well, with my first two releases being non-fiction, the process was quite easy. Write what you know in your own voice. This current book, Burning Man, is my first fiction novel. To be honest, the process was simply to get up every day and go write. I live on a sailboat with my wife and our dog. We travel all the time so finding a quiet place to work is the first part of any process for me. My quiet space this time happened to be the library at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg, right next to an excellent coffee shop called the Grind. (Thank God for that place!)

I would wake up early, walk the dog, make coffee for my beautiful wife and be in the library, seated, ready to write by 9:30 or 10 am. I usually stayed there until 4 in the afternoon and tried to write at least 2000 words a day. Around 4 pm my brain would start to wander and my focus would wane. That’s when I knew it was time to pack it up for the day.

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

 Yes, I do outline. I do a paragraph for each chapter but I’m not rigid about this. If I need two paragraphs to get the point across, I write two paragraphs. Sometimes, as with Burning Man, I had streams of dialogue that I didn’t want to forget, so I wrote it in my outline while it was fresh in my head. Therefore, some chapters of my outline for Burning Man have three pages and many, many paragraphs. Do what works.

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

I wait until I’m finished. If I were to edit as I went along, I’d end up tossing the whole thing in the garbage. I can’t be creative and critical at the same time. I did three re-writes before handing the final draft to my editor.

Did you hire a professional editor?

 Well, my wife Melody is a professional editor and graphic designer. She worked with a New York Times best-selling author for a while before quitting to live a gypsy lifestyle on our sailboat. (She’ll tell you I’m not paying nearly enough for her services though.)

Seriously… a professional editor is paramount in getting your work to the next level. Someone who is not afraid to be honest with you. And if you really care about the work being great, you will put aside your ego and hurt feelings when they tell you, “That chapter sucks or this character isn’t working.” It’s all for the good of the book, right? Make it the best it can be. Never skimp on editing or cover design / artwork and layout.

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

I don’t listen to music. I need quiet. I sit in the farthest corner of the library and stare out the window. I’d be curious to know if your other interview subjects listen to music. That’s very interesting to me.

About Publishing

Did you submit your work to Agents?

I did submit Burning Man to several agents. We had a few requests for additional pages but ultimately no serious offers.

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

Having published two prior books on Amazon, I’m familiar with the self-publishing process. I like doing things myself and owning the rights to my work. When I was active in the music business, I ran my own label and produced my own records for that label. While it is certainly more difficult to reach large audiences without the support of a major publisher, the flexibility and royalty percentages on the indie end are more attractive to me. Also, if you consider the reality that most publishers aren’t going to invest heavily on a first-time author, the decision becomes easier.

Once you get your book done, it becomes all about marketing. You can have the next New York Times best-seller but, if nobody knows it’s out there, it won’t matter. That’s the big upside to a publisher, their network of distributors, reviewers, and their relationships with the press outlets to get your book noticed.

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

My wife and I did the cover. As I said earlier, she’s a great designer. We both have a critical eye for the correct fonts and colors. We spent a lot of time picking out our favorite books, comparing the different covers and discussing what we thought worked and what didn’t.

If we had a significant budget (or any budget for that matter), we’d let someone else do it. The thing that made the cover of Burning Man so easy was the great image that photographer Andrew Arnold took. It’s easy to design and build around a stunning image. I think it came out really nice.

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

We are concentrating on a grass-roots effort through sources such as The IndieView, appropriate podcasts, radio and print, and other independent promotional opportunities. I still have several contacts in the music industry back in Nashville as well.

With Burning Man, we’ve done something really unique. We’ve included a free 4 song soundtrack for download when you buy the book. In the story, there are several times where the main character starts to sing a song lyric or two. Due to licensing legalities, we used my songs. When the book was finished, we thought it would be a great idea to include those songs as a soundtrack for the book. I don’t think anyone has done that in the past.

Essentially, we’re cross-marketing the book with music. It’s a book about a music figure, so it just makes sense.

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

Start small. Work hard and trust the process. Don’t try to write War and Peace right out of the gate.

Most of all, my advice would be to start. Put your butt in the seat and start writing. Get on with it. Don’t belabor the idea and overthink it. Almost as important, don’t give up. Once the book is done, the real work starts.

About You

Where did you grow up?

Philadelphia, PA. moved to Nashville when I was 23.

Where do you live now?

I live on my sailboat with my wife Melody and our dog. Currently we are in Guatemala. We spent the last five months in Cuba, Mexico, and Belize. I have no idea where we’re headed.

What would you like readers to know about you?

I want my readers to know that I appreciate the investment they made in me. I am honored they put time into a work that I produced. That’s a very big thing for me. Most of all, I want them to read my books or listen to my music and get something out of it. Whether it’s strictly entertainment or something more.

What are you working on now?

I’m working on making sure Burning Man is a success. Then I’ll begin the next book. I’m excited about the process.

End of Interview:

For more from Chris, visit his website or check out this video trailer.

Get your copy of Burning Man from Amazon US or Amazon UK.

]]>
http://www.theindieview.com/2017/08/05/indieview-with-chris-dicroce-author-of-burning-man/feed/ 0 13653
IndieView with Shannon Mullen, author of See What Flowers http://www.theindieview.com/2017/08/03/indieview-with-shannon-mullen-author-of-see-what-flowers/ http://www.theindieview.com/2017/08/03/indieview-with-shannon-mullen-author-of-see-what-flowers/#comments Thu, 03 Aug 2017 13:00:20 +0000 http://www.theindieview.com/?p=13648 Continue reading ]]>

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

The Back Flap

All that remains is a note: “Gone to get pancakes.”

Her 30th birthday party’s over, yet it’s the happiest Emma Watters has ever been. Life couldn’t be more perfect. She’s an emergency room doctor and shares a home in Toronto with the love of her life, Adam Davison. The next morning, Adam is gone.

Emma’s shocked. At first, she decides that Adam’s having an affair and scavenges through photos on Facebook, trying to identify “the other woman.” But as the days pass, Emma seeks out help from the Toronto Police and floods social media with pleas for assistance. Where’s Adam? Has her life become an episode of Breaking Bad? Has she been dating Walter White all along?

Wild, beautiful, and terrifying, See What Flowers is a thrilling depiction of love’s attempts to survive in the face of undiagnosed mental illness. Set in the hectic, cosmopolitan cities of Toronto and Vancouver, as well as against the harsh, rugged landscape of the Canadian Arctic, it’s a raw and compelling journey towards understanding, forgiveness, and, ultimately, escape.

About the book

What is the book about?

See What Flowers is a contemporary fiction about love and mental illness.

It begins with Adam Davison waking up in Vancouver, Canada, with no idea where he is or how he got there. Meanwhile his girlfriend, Emma Watters, is at their home in Toronto, searching desperately for information about Adam’s whereabouts.

Through alternating “he said/she said” personal narratives, See What Flowers, tells the story of a young couple’s journey to accept and understand how undiagnosed mental illness has impacted their relationship.

When did you start writing the book?

I started writing the book in March 2015 after an image of a man waking up in jail with no memory of how he got there came to me while I was riding my bike while on vacation with my parents in Arizona.

How long did it take you to write it?

It took me about 6 months of full-time writing to complete the first draft and another year and a half of spurts of editing to polish the manuscript.

Where did you get the idea from?

The initial image: of Adam disappearing from and ending up in a jail thousands of miles away from his home, is loosely based on an experience that one of my friends had. However, the story starts with that image and then was created by interweaving research with my imagination. I wrote it after working as a high school teacher in the Canadian Arctic, where suicide rates are more than 10x the national average, so I was hyper-conscious of the devastating impact that mental illness can have on relationships.

Were there any parts of the book where you struggled?

Yes I struggled with how much of myself to put into it. At first I wrote very afraid and tried to keep a distance between the characters and my own lived experiences. However I gained confidence as I wrote. The ending is set in the Canadian Arctic and definitely contains the strongest writing in the novel. 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.

What came easily?

Motivation. I was surprised by how determined I was to finish a draft. I had taken almost a year off teaching to complete the novel and gave myself permission to focus on writing during that time. While I was writing, I knew that I would have to find a teaching job in September, so I was very invested in finishing before then. Otherwise, I probably never would have finished.

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

While the characters are fictional they are based on a combination of my own experiences of people and life, as well as research. People who are close to me definitely think that I am Emma. While Emma is very similar to me: she likes to run, she’s a perfectionist, she works in the Arctic, and she’s a go-getter. She isn’t me. To be honest, I think there is as much of “me” in Adam as there is in Emma. How can there not be? Both characters came out of my own mind and imagination! Elements of my friends and myself are present in all of the characters in the novel, but the characters are more fictitious than real.

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?

Reading memoirs written by writers who had had experience with mental illness had the greatest influence on my writing and character development, particularly Marya Hornbacher’s Madness: A Bipolar Life, and Andrew Solomon’s The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression. When I started writing, I had also just finished reading Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl, which probably influenced the alternating narrative style.

Do you have a target reader?

The target reader is women in their mid-late 30s or early 40s.

About Writing

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

My writing process is so chaotic. I am a binge writer for sure. Most of my ideas come to me when I’m doing something other than writing, like walking, biking, running, cooking, etc. When I sit down to write, I try to connect these new ideas to what I’ve previously written. As much as I wish I could, I cannot follow a plan. The story develops organically, as I’m writing.

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

No. Absolutely not. I cannot even write an outline for an essay. I’m actually a high school English teacher and I tell my students “everyone else is going to tell you that brainstorming and outlining are crucial…and this is how you do it…but I don’t write that way and it is okay if that way of writing doesn’t work for you either.”  But I can’t follow a recipe when I cook. I try to but I just can’t. I am the kind of cook that adds a little bit of this and a little bit of that until it tastes good. That’s basically my writing process. I just sit down and do it with no real plan and see what happens. Sometimes the end result is terrible. And sometimes it is fantastic.

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

I edit as I go. Since I’m such a spontaneous, impulsive writer, if ideas aren’t coming when I’m trying to write, I won’t be able to advance with my writing. So if ideas aren’t coming, I don’t want to waste time. So I re-draft and edit previous sections.

Did you hire a professional editor?

Yes. My brother Pat edited the entire manuscript from the initial draft to the final stages. He is an editor for a magazine so is a ‘real editor’. I hired him so that I could stay accountable to meeting my timelines. I was also so insecure and lacked confidence in my writing, so he really supported me and encouraged me as I went, much like a personal trainer. I really wouldn’t have finished the book—or even started, without him.

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

I actually listen to talk radio. I find it gives me a enough of a distraction when my mind wanders or when I lose focus so that I don’t get sucked into other distractions like compulsively checking my Facebook or Instagram (although I still do that from time to time).

About Publishing

Did you submit your work to Agents?

Yes, I submitted my work to agents. Since I’m Canadian, I mostly submitted to agents in Canada, and there aren’t as many agents who accept unsolicited manuscripts as there are in the US.

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

I decided to self-publish because I believe that my book is worthy of publication and didn’t want it to remain as a file on my computer any longer. It is quite scary for me to self-publish as I don’t have that stamp of legitimacy or worthiness that a traditional publisher gives. So I have to have a thick skin about the whole thing and remind myself that in the end, I published for myself, and if readers connect with the book in some way, then that’s just bonus.

Was it a particular event or a gradual process?

I always kept self-publishing as an option but it took me about a year to work up the courage to do it. I had to get over my self-doubt and fear of failure and come to a place where I was proud for writing a book, something I always wanted to do.

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

Professionally done. I ran a contest through 99designs.ca. I would highly recommend this route to other writers thinking of self-publishing their books. My experience was very positive and it was a cost-effective way of having many different designers from around the world pitch cover designs. I had over 100 designs to choose from. The woman who designed my cover is actually Croatian!

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

Uhh….winging it….and definitely learning what I should have done….one of my brothers is a publicist, so he has helped me tremendously. (But also scolded me for all of the steps I should have considered!) But I’ve contacted book bloggers, am doing some readings at cafés and libraries, have hosted giveaway contests, so I’m learning as I go.

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

If you want to write, write. If you want to publish a book, publish a book. Don’t attach your self-worth to whether your book is successful or if it becomes a best-seller or if it gets good reviews. Do it for yourself. Writing is a process. The next book might be even better. You will never know until you try!

About You

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Ottawa, Canada.

Where do you live now?

I currently live in Toronto, Canada, but since graduating from Teacher’s College in 2009, I have lived in England, Colombia, the Canadian Arctic and Northern British Columbia.

What would you like readers to know about you?

I love travel and adventure and take every opportunity to explore the world and learn about new people and cultures. I blog about my adventures in teaching and travel at shannonmullen.me. I’m also halfway through a PhD in Sociology at the University of Ottawa.

What are you working on now?

Right now, I’m working on marking independent studies and getting ready for exams! (My day job sometimes gets in the way of my writing). In the summer, I intend to write some short personal essays and promote my novel. I anticipate that I won’t start another novel until I am done my PhD.

End of Interview.

For more from Shannon, visit her blog or follow her on Twitter.

Get your copy of See What Flowers from Amazon US or Amazon UK.

]]>
http://www.theindieview.com/2017/08/03/indieview-with-shannon-mullen-author-of-see-what-flowers/feed/ 1 13648
IndieView with M.N. Mekaelian, author of Choose to Rise http://www.theindieview.com/2017/08/01/indieview-with-m-n-mekaelian-author-of-choose-to-rise/ http://www.theindieview.com/2017/08/01/indieview-with-m-n-mekaelian-author-of-choose-to-rise/#comments Tue, 01 Aug 2017 13:00:42 +0000 http://www.theindieview.com/?p=13645 Continue reading ]]>

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

The Back Flap

Set in a forgotten land in the heart of World War One, Choose to Rise: The Victory Within paints the vividly realistic portrait of one of the most horrific atrocities of the modern world– The Armenian Genocide of 1915.

Told through eyes of an old Armen Hagopian reliving his youth, you will be immersed in this unbelievable story of survival against the merciless Ottoman Turkish government. Through his journey, Armen and his older brother, Vartan, must discover what it takes to overcome the brutality while deciding who will live, who will die, and whether or not they have the strength to save an entire race from total annihilation.

Filled with passion, suspense, love, and inspiration, Choose to Rise is a book that is hard to ignore. It questions everything you know about humanity, what it means to be alive, and will stay with you long after you finish.

About the book

What is the book about?

Choose to Rise is a powerful story of survival that follows two brothers during the final years of the Ottoman Empire as the government begins the systematic execution of 1.5 million Armenians. It is a passionately written narrative that takes place during World War One, from the years 1913-1915. Kirkus Reviews calls it “impressive”, “memorable”, and a “beautiful story”.

When did you start writing the book?

I started with the idea in February 2011, and put pen to paper one month later.

How long did it take you to write it?

Choose to Rise is separated into three parts, and each of the three parts took me one year to write. I finished the first unedited draft in March of 2014, three years after I started. I gave it to my mom on Mother’s Day. I then spent the next three years editing, fact-checking, and designing the cover. So, in all, it took six years to complete.

Where did you get the idea from?

I actually touched upon this topic in a letter I wrote to my readers in the beginning of my book. In a nutshell, I always knew that I wanted to write a book, and the idea came to me from my own heritage, from me being Armenian.

Were there any parts of the book where you struggled?

The research phase was quite challenging. Reading about and studying genocide for six years was very difficult because it’s a subject matter that’s so violent. I simply couldn’t wrap my mind around how humans could inflict so much suffering and damage to other humans.

What came easily?

The easiest part, if I had to pick one, was making the cover. It was actually kind of fun.

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

My characters are entirely fictitious, although I did borrow traits I liked from different people (not necessarily people I knew) and put them into my characters. For example, if I liked the particular way someone laughed in real life, I would incorporate that type of laugh into my book, using descriptive language to try to capture it. People watching is a great way to create unique and memorable characters, but remember to write down your observations so you don’t forget.

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 actually didn’t want to be influenced by a particular author’s style of writing since Choose to Rise was going to be my first book. I wanted my style of writing to be original and unique to me. Therefore, I didn’t read at all during my writing process, except for when I had to conduct research. Although one of my favorite authors is Hunter S. Thompson, who wrote The Rum Diary and Fear and Loathing in Last Vegas.

Do you have a target reader?

The Armenian Genocide was the first genocide of the twentieth century, and an atrocity that most people don’t know about, so my audience is anyone who loves a well-told, beautiful story who isn’t afraid to learn something new. This book will also appeal greatly to readers who love historical fiction. It is a remarkable story that illustrates a terrible time during World War One. It is empowering, filled with love, inspiration, and adventure.

About Writing

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

The writing process for me is less about writing and more about observing. I figured that If I wanted to write a fictional story that resonates, I had to make it believable. In order to make it believable, I had to make it relatable to the reader. I achieved this by making the plot, characters, and setting based on what I saw, heard, smelled, tasted, and felt from the real world. Based on my senses. Therefore, my sources of influence came from real settings, making for a more realistic and believable story. Also, I keep numerous notebooks handy to write down my observations and random ideas as they come to me. I have a notebook in my car, next to my bed, and in my pocket. I do this so I don’t forget my ideas. Too many times I thought I’d remember, but didn’t, kind of like having a dream. Often, too, I would find myself waking up in the middle of the night with a great new idea, and having the notebook next to my bed made the process so much easier.

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

Absolutely. Early on, I created a timeline of historical events that I eventually intertwined with a fictional story. I had outlined three years of the Ottoman Empire from 1913-1915 based on research. In fact, I had also created a second timeline of events strictly for the fictional characters. The fictional timeline was much more flexible, though, because I learned early on that my characters had taken a life of their own. Almost like real people, they had their own thoughts, and eventually made their timeline for me.

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

Before I began typing for the day, I would edit everything I wrote the day before. I did this to ensure I had something solid before continuing with the storyline. I also did this to keep the language and style of my writing consistent from day to day because I learned that I didn’t write the same every day. For the reader, that consistency is important.

Did you hire a professional editor?

As the last step of the writing process, I did hire an editor last minute, but by that time, he said it was already very well polished. I still think it’s important to do so, just to get a trained set of eyes on your work before the world sees it. You’ll most likely read your manuscript a thousand times over, which can desensitize you to, and cause you to oversee many errors.

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

Absolutely. Music was one of my major sources of influence. I never truly understood the power music could have until its beauty came out in my written words. Music has this unique authority over and ability to shape your imagination, and it took my writing to a whole new level. For example, when I was writing the emotional parts of my book, I would listen to music that would match the emotion I was trying to capture. The result was staggering, producing extremely authentic language that evokes emotions that I never thought could be possible with written words. Most of the music I listened to was movie scores without words. You will really see it in my style of writing.

About Publishing

Did you submit your work to Agents?

Yes, I did. Early on, before I knew anything about the publishing industry, I submitted the first three chapters of my manuscript to a major publisher, entirely unsolicited, completely disregarding the guidelines that specifically mentioned that they do not accept unsolicited manuscripts. Nearly a year later, I received a letter in the mail, handwritten by one of the editors, saying how they really liked my manuscript and wanted more. They advised me to write to agents, which I did for a short while, but gave up soon after citing the unbearably slow response times (around a year). By the time the major publisher had written back, though, I had finished the cover and had a proof copy of my book in my hands, so I sent the completed work to them, thinking I would impress them. I don’t think they liked that I had done their job, so I never heard back, and that was the end of it.

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 wanted complete control over my story and its meaning. It is a very powerful story that I was afraid would be changed to the liking of someone other than me, which I didn’t feel comfortable with. I also wanted complete control of my cover, which came to me in a dream.

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

I taught myself how to use a program called GIMP (the free version of Photoshop), and made the cover myself.

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

Word of mouth is very powerful, and a strategy that I still firmly believe in. That’s my only marketing strategy at this point. I’m awful at marketing.

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

Know what you’re getting yourself into. Writing a book is a huge accomplishment, and, self-publishing for that matter, is a long and challenging process that requires dedication. If you want to produce an outstanding piece of art (which is what a book is), you almost have to obsess over it. It can also get expensive, so hiring people to do things for you should be on the bottom of your list. Keep costs as low as possible. If you can make your own cover, do it. If you don’t have a laptop, buy the cheapest one. Do everything you can on your own before buying services. Also, like I mentioned before, have several notebooks handy, and write down everything, even if you think it’s dumb.

About You

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in the Chicago area.

Where do you live now?

Chicago.

What would you like readers to know about you?

I am a guy with an intense imagination. You will see it in my writing. I am also a teacher.

What are you working on now?

I am working on my master’s degree.

End of Interview:

For more from Mr Mekaelian, follow him on Twitter.

Get your copy of Choose to Rise from Amazon US or Amazon UK.

]]>
http://www.theindieview.com/2017/08/01/indieview-with-m-n-mekaelian-author-of-choose-to-rise/feed/ 1 13645
IndieView with E.A. Barker, author of Ms Creant: The Wrong Doers!: Life with Women: The Long Awaited Instruction Manual http://www.theindieview.com/2017/07/29/indieview-with-e-a-barker-author-of-ms-creatn-the-wrong-doers-life-with-women-the-long-awaited-instruction-manual/ http://www.theindieview.com/2017/07/29/indieview-with-e-a-barker-author-of-ms-creatn-the-wrong-doers-life-with-women-the-long-awaited-instruction-manual/#comments Sat, 29 Jul 2017 13:00:52 +0000 http://www.theindieview.com/?p=13616 Continue reading ]]>

I had found some peace when a smart woman came along who just could not see how her behavior was completely driven by what Freud called id―her base urges. 

E.A. Barker – 29 July 2017

The Back Flap

This book was created for everyone from young adults to seniors. It was written from a male’s point of view, speaking to men who are endlessly struggling to understand the opposite sex. For women, this is a fascinating journey inside the male psyche. The book gives a young reader a glimpse of the future, with a recommended timeline for key life events. Mature readers, who have already experienced much of what is discussed in the book, should come away with a new found understanding and perhaps even closure. Ms. Creant is a controversial, entertaining, yet informative look at everything which influences human behaviour including: relationships, life, health, biology, philosophy, sociology, theology, politics, genetics—even physics. E. A. Barker shares twenty-four “inappropriate” stories of life with women. The author based these stories of women behaving badly on his real life experiences, spanning four decades of his search for an ideal partner. The lessons taken away from the book will serve to help readers make better choices, become more aware, grow and change—at any stage of life.

About the book

What is the book about?

Ms. Creant is a guide to the things we are not taught but need to know. It is a book about our journey through life and how we must seek awareness or be doomed by repetitive behavioral patterns. It is centered on relationships as there is no better place to learn about ourselves than through our interactions with others.

When did you start writing the book?

I began researching and making notes in 2009.

How long did it take you to write it?

The short answer is two years spread over a seven year span―one year of research and one year of writing―omitting the seven months it took to produce and distribute the book. I always struggle to answer this question because Ms. Creant kept evolving. It began as a simple memoir to benefit my coming of age nephews. Then the research was added, but I did not want the book to read like a textbook so I began adding all the politically incorrect humor to lighten things up a bit. It was at this point that I just wanted to publish it as an eight chapter e-book and call it a day, but it was not to be. My alpha reader said she wanted more. Ms. Creant 24 popped into my life and she also encouraged me to make the book everything it could be. I pulled some related ideas from the early chapters and wrote two more chapters to fully develop those thoughts. I sent what I thought was a pretty good manuscript off to a professional editor and later, while sifting through the thousands of errors, I thought up yet another new ending that I really liked. Chapter eleven represented the third and final time I would write The End.

Where did you get the idea from?

Without creating any spoilers, I had found some peace when a smart woman came along who just could not see how her behavior was completely driven by what Freud called id―her base urges. She was an emotional mess, but instead of learning about herself, she used her vulnerability to wreak havoc on the local male population.

Were there any parts of the book where you struggled?

I struggled with my inability to see my own mistakes. I must have read Ms. Creant twenty times prior to sending it to my editor, but what came back shook my confidence. I hired a proofreader once I had completed all the revisions and she found things I was incapable of seeing. It mystifies me how I cannot see a missing word or period in my own work.

What came easily?

I am one of the fortunate ones; I do not suffer from writer’s block. Words just pour out of me onto the page, so much so at times that I need to keep a pad nearby so I can keep up.

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

I definitely borrowed.

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 am quite sure I have been influenced by other writers, but I really cannot say who, how, or to what extent.

Do you have a target reader?

I tried very hard to write a book for every mature guy on the planet as well as all the open-minded women of the world who are not easily offended. Truth is sometimes a hard pill to swallow.

About Writing

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

I write with the idea that everything needs a beginning, a middle and an ending; whether it is a sentence, a paragraph (blurb), a chapter (blog) or a book. Sometimes you need fresh eyes to make a piece better so I write first and sort it the next day. When I speak of sorting, I am talking about content editing where we ask questions like: Is this necessary? Is this tangential? Is this redundant? Does this belong here or would it be better somewhere else? Does this thought need to be fleshed out?

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

In the early going, I did produce a VERY flexible outline mostly so I could begin to associate my narrative with the research and the related stories (case studies). It was a way of filing which ultimately led to the creation of chapters.

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

I try to edit as I go, but my editor, who I picture in my head as Ilsa of the SS, probably would not believe it. I do tend to write first and then proofread the section I wrote.

Did you hire a professional editor?

Yes. She came highly recommended, but I could only afford a single pass so all the final revisions were on the shoulders of my proofreader. I believe she did a great job of keeping me from looking like a moron.

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

No. I need quiet to hear the voices in my head.   😀

About Publishing

Did you submit your work to Agents?

I naively chased some fifty agents and publishers with a less than perfect pitch from a first time author lacking credentials and a writing platform. I had no chance.

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

I have O.C.D. (Obsessive COMPLETION Disorder) I wanted to complete what I had begun and there are days where I question my decision.

Was it a particular event or a gradual process?

I suppose it is a gradual process. You reach a point where you are getting nowhere with traditional publishing, yet you are heavily invested in terms of your time. It seems a shame to shelve your hard work and, in my case at least, your ego kicks in and says, I’LL SHOW THEM! I’ll self-publish and sell a million copies. I’ll have them all begging at my doorstep, and I won’t return their calls, just like J.K. Rowling. (Still more evidence of my naiveté.)

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

A little of both; I took the photo, created a mockup, and had my publisher produce the cover I wanted. To their credit, it was their idea to reverse the photo to create the back cover.

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

“. . .  of mice and men.”

Oh, there was a plan―a real world comprehensive marketing strategy that would have put 100 copies of the book in the hands of mainstream media reviewers around the globe. There was to be advertising in magazines in support of the book’s launch, promotional items, and books submitted to legitimate awards competitions, but everything hinged on a budget that did not materialize. This left me to do the best I could with what I had and plunged me into the low yield on-line book marketing arena.

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

DON’T DO IT!

RUN AWAY!

SAVE YOURSELVES!

All kidding aside, here is my TOP 12 THINGS I WISH I KNEW before going on this ride:

1) YOU ARE IN BUSINESS. Businesses have costs whether measured in time, money or productivity. The best business advice I ever received was: “Leave your ego at home.”

2) AGENTS AND MAJOR PUBLISHERS are part of a small tight-knit traditional publishing community that only bet on sure things, and they have installed a great many roadblocks to keep indie books out of their playground. Don’t waste your time, envelopes or stamps on them.

3) YOU MUST NOT HAVE ANY ILLUSIONS about success being about the work. I was told by a publishing industry veteran that no one would publish War and Peace in today’s market.

4) DO NOT EXPECT TO BE A BREAKOUT AUTHOR; the odds are literally one in a million. If you always wanted to publish a book, you have the money to put out a quality product, with still more money to market it effectively, then you have a chance to recoup your costs and buy a pizza or two when all is said and done.

5) SPEAKING OF MONEY . . . everybody will be after yours once word gets out that there is a new fish in the pond. BE REALLY CAREFUL and research these people thoroughly. One stop self-publishing companies, editors, formatters, cover designers, PA’s, publicists, book fair promoters, twitter marketers, web developers, pay to review sites, pen and coffee cup peddlers, pay for awards sites, and associations looking for membership fees will inundate your in-boxes. Most of the so-called “industry experts” (consultants) are failed authors who have taken what they have learned and made a career of helping newbies fail as they did.

6) SOCIAL MEDIA is a horrible investment of your time.  You will make some friends and garner the attention of some bloggers and reviewers which will help you to rationalize why you do it, but only 1% of social media followers become book buyers. Do a little but don’t get sucked into believing that ads or campaigns will sell more books. They don’t.

7) INTERNET MARKETING does have value. E-mail campaigns give you a much better return on investment. My statistics show a 10% return to be typical, and this interview resulted from an e-mail campaign.

8) Do not send out unprotected digital ADVANCE READER COPIES or you will one day wake up to find your book on a pirate site.

9) Many REVIEWERS want an ARC or galley three months prior to the release of the book. Some reviewers will only look at books that are less than six months old. Others will only review books in print. At most you have one year to get a mainstream review. Many mainstream publications will not review indie releases. Some mainstream publications will not review foreign releases.

10) Most MAINSTREAM LITERARY AWARDS will not consider indie releases because they did not go through an editorial selection process.

11) If you publish using AN AMAZONIAN COMPANY to produce your POD books, it is doubtful you will ever make a sale in a brick and mortar bookstore. I begged two bookstores to order a friend’s book for me but they refused. They would rather pass on a sale than support the entity that is crushing them. The hostility level is that high.

12) DO NOT BELIEVE UNQUALIFIED ALPHA READERS! They are friends, fans or relations who will say you are as good as Hemmingway without ever having read his work. They encourage us but we must not allow our egos to be blown up by anything less than a real review in a mainstream publication.

(Proposed new question:) Would you do it again?

Not unless the costs, measured in both time and money, are recouped. I can now put AUTHOR on my resume and venture out into the world to see where that title takes me. This is a tough business and there is little about it I would miss.

(Proposed new question:) What are the positives?

There are some great people you would never have known were it not for this crazy adventure. Reviews are really a highlight. You hear there is a new one and you begin to rock back and forth sitting in the corner clutching your knees as someone reads it to you.   😀

About You

What would you like readers to know about you?

I’m just a boy―standing in front of a bookstore―asking them to love me.   😀

What are you working on now?

I’m trying desperately to maintain some semblance of sanity for another four months until I reach the finish line.   😀

End of Interview:

For more from E.A. Barker visit his website, follow him on Twitter or like his Facebook page.

Get your copy of Ms Creatn: The Wrong Doers!: Life with Women: The Long Awaited Instruction Manual from Amazon US or Amazon UK.

]]>
http://www.theindieview.com/2017/07/29/indieview-with-e-a-barker-author-of-ms-creatn-the-wrong-doers-life-with-women-the-long-awaited-instruction-manual/feed/ 1 13616