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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Interview with Everett Powers

Name of the book:

THE MIGHTY T (newest release) and CANALS.


Kindle Price:

THE MIGHTY T = $3.99
CANALS = $2.99


Available from:

Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B004ZZ5MHM

Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/EvPowers

Nook: http://search.barnesandnoble.com/The-Mighty-T/Everett-Powers/e/2940012303523


Authors Website:

http://www.everettpowers.blogspot.com


Bio:

I’ve been a practicing Doctor of Chiropractic for twenty-two years. I began writing fiction in 1994, partly because I simply wanted to and partly because I had some free time. I’m married with three grown sons and two step-daughters who live with my wife and I.

I tried publishing my books through traditional avenues. All I got was a stack of rejection letter and emails, mostly impersonal responses. I had two complete manuscripts when I Googled onto Smashwords and discovered self-publishing.


How would you describe your story/book?

Here’s my book blurb:

Detective Grant Starr and his buddy Detective Ralph Bensen took the day off to catch a Giants’ game, but their plans are cut short when a lunatic starts shooting people from the top of a twelve-story hotel. The shooter is crazy, but he’s also crazy-good with the sniper rifle.

The gunman’s found dead and Grant has no idea who he is or why he killed nine people, apparently at random. When two more are murdered the following night, Grant finds a thread connecting the eleven killings.

Unfortunately, he’s up against a well-funded fanatical eco-terrorist with a gang of hired mercenaries. After a building housing giant pumps in the San Joaquin Delta is blown up with a fertilizer bomb, Grant chases the gang into the foothills, then to the Hetch Hetchy Valley in Yosemite National Park.

The unthinkable happens: the O’Shaughnessy Dam at Hetch Hetchy is attacked with multiple bombs. It fails in a most spectacular way and a sixty-foot-high wall of water is sent hurdling down the mountain...

Can Grant and his team stop what would be the worst U.S. disaster since 9/11?


What will readers like about your book?

They’ll like that I don’t bog the story down with a lot of police procedures like many crime or detective books do. I wanted the book to be about the characters and the issues behind the river, not DNA strands and luminal. The characters are fascinating, especially the main bad guy, John Lightfoot, and the prose is easy to read; the story zips along. Readers who love action will love the explosions and the nail-biting finish.


What inspired you to write this particular story?

I don’t recall now how I came up with the premise. Most likely there was an article in the paper about low salmon counts in the Tuolumne River, or the dam at Hetch Hetchy, and a light went off in my head. Once I got the beginning down I ran with it. Writing THE MIGHTY T was a great ride.


When did you start writing?

I started writing fiction in 1994. I’d get up at 5:00 a.m. and drag myself into the spare bedroom, plop down in front of an old Windows 95 computer and boot up Word. I’d also write on weekends or holidays when we didn’t have plans. I tried to write every day.


When did you realize that you were a serious writer?

About two months ago, after I became immersed in the world of self-publishing. Prior to that I thought no one but my family and friends would read my books. Realizing very few writers become overnight literary stars, I have long-terms goals I believe I can accomplish.


When did you decide that you wanted to write a book?

I decided to write a novel in 1994. I like my reads to be long enough to really get me involved, 350 pages or more. I don’t read many short stories. That’s why I write novels.


What is your writing process?

I write books I would like to read, so first I find a premise that fascinates me. If it won’t captivate me, it won’t hold the interest of others like me. Once the idea is developed enough to start writing, I start writing.

I write the first draft as quickly as I can to get the story down on paper. I write in Courier, a monospaced typeface, so I don’t get distracted by formatting. On the PC I write in Scrivener or OmmWriter because they have full screen modes that get rid of computer clutter like menus and thesauri. I recently got an iPad to replace my six-year-old notebook computer. With the Apple Bluetooth wireless keyboard, and the iA Writer or OmmWriter apps, and noise-canceling earbuds or headphones, I can write anywhere.

Once the raw text is generated, it’s organized and edited in Scrivener. Everything goes into Scrivener; all my research and notes, and of course the book text. When I’m done working with the book in Scrivener, I export to Word for final formatting and editing.

CANALS wasn’t plotted at all. That was a lot of fun but difficult. THE MIGHTY T was loosely plotted; I had a general idea of what I wanted to happen before I started writing. The book I’m working on now, the second Grant Starr novel, is decently plotted. I have a good idea what needs to happen when, and to whom. I still discover things along the way, and that’s the joy of writing.

When it’s ready to publish, I go to Smashwords first. After the manuscript goes through The Grinder, I check the appearance of the various formats, especially the .epub and .mobi. I run the .epub version through an on-line checker to make sure it’s OK. Formatting has to be immaculate or the book will look like it was published by am amateur. People generally don’t want to buy stuff from amateurs; they want their money’s worth.

I upload to Amazon and Nook myself. The royalties are better and I can make changes to the blurbs and reviews quickly, without having to go through Smashwords. Uploading to Kobo and iBooks is a pain, so I let Smashwords do that for me.

I plan on getting beta readers for my work in progress. It’s important to have other eyes look at your writing. No, it’s critical. Editors cost a grand on up and I’m not ready to shell out that kind of money just now.


How long does it take you to write your first draft?

It took about four months to generate the first drafts for both of my published books. Editing’s another story.


Why did you publish on Kindle and other eReaders?

eReaders are the fastest growing segment of publishing and, I believe, the future of mass publishing. I don’t think print books will ever disappear but in the not-to-distant future, every home will have one or more eReaders. I think schools will soon distribute textbooks on an eReader of some kind to save money. I do 90% of my reading on my iPad, mostly in the Kimble app but also on the Stanza app.
What kind of advice would you like to share with an aspiring writer who’s looking to publish a book for the first time?

Have realistic expectations: you have .0001% chance of “making it big” right away. I’ve seen several Twitter “friends” become discouraged two or three months after they self-publish because they’d only sold a few books. I think a couple have thrown in the towel. John Locke, whose advise I quote below, said he had $47 in combined eBook sales last September. Now he makes $150K a month. He persevered and followed his plan.
Jack Konrath’s advice is good: 1) Write a good book. 2) Give it a professional cover. 3) Write a good blurb. 4) Make sure the formatting is faultless. 5) Keep doing the above until people can no longer ignore you. This is pretty much my plan.
John Locke gave some good advice in an interview. He’s selling extremely well so it seems we should listen to what he said: Know your target market, design and write for them. Ignore everyone else. He’s found his market and does a good job of giving them what they want: a quick, breezy read for a buck.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

PayPal is a Pain in the Ass

It took a month for my graphic designer to finish my job for four book covers. He did an excellent job and deserves to be paid. Because of PayPal, he won't be paid until tomorrow, yet he finished his job last Wednesday.

See, I did a bank transfer to my PayPal shortly after I approved the final proof because he told me that he preferred payment through PayPal. Fine and dandy, I'll just transfer the funds to my PayPal account and wait a day or two. Shortly after I transferred the funds, I get a confirmation email stating that my funds will be available for use in PayPal on the 28th.

For fuck's sake, the 28th? Fuck!

Now today's the 28th and my funds still haven't cleared, yet it only took my bank one day to pay PayPal. Four days later and my money still hasn't cleared on PayPal. These people are grossly inefficient.

So I called the offshore customer service agent in India to find out what's going on. He told me that the funds will clear today, but he doesn't know when today? Okay, why motherfucker?

Since my graphic designer and editor both love PayPal, I'm going to handle my publishing funds differently. From now on, I'll deposit money in my PayPal account instead of my bank account whenever I'm in-between books, so whenever I commission a job, I'll be able to pay immediately upon completion.
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Sunday, June 26, 2011

Interview with Solae Dehvine

Name of the books:

Carry Yourself Like a Lady, F*uck Like a Porn Star
What’s Done in the Dark Series
Passionate Desires
Freaks Cum Out (Parts 1&2)

Kindle Price:

Carry Yourself Like a Lady, F*uck Like a Porn Star (2.99)
What’s Done in the Dark Series ( .99 cents each volume)
Passionate Desires ( .99 cents each volume)
Freaks Cum Out (Parts 1&2) ( .99 cents each volume)


Available from:

Carry Yourself Like a Lady, F*uck Like a Porn Star (Amazon Kindle, Uk and DE)
What’s Done in the Dark Series (Amazon Kindle, Uk and DE, Nook)
Passionate Desires (Amazon Kindle, Uk and DE, Nook)
Freaks Cum Out (Parts 1&2) (Amazon Kindle, Uk and DE, Nook)



Authors Website:


www.sexmentality.com
www.freakscumout.com


Bio:

Solaé Dehvine is a 21st century author of, the eBook Carry Yourself Like a Lady, F#%k Like a Porn Star, and other titles such as Freaks Cum Out and Passionate Desires.
She also is the owner of the best sex blog site online, www.sexmentality.com, which is a site full of blogs, erotica miniseries, and eye catching pictures. Solaé Dehvine is known for her erotic stories and her fearless talks about subjects referring to sex.
She is more than an author, she is an entertainer, intellect, and most importantly a woman with a genuine personality.



How would you describe your story/book?


Carry Yourself Like a Lady, F*uck Like a Porn Star- This book explains what it means to be a true lady, and how to quench your lover's desires by being uninhibited in the bedroom like a porn star.












Passionate Desires- Is a story about a group of friends and enemies who yearn to fulfill the desires of their heart. From economics to sex, every person in the story is willing to do anything to obtain the desires of their hearts. Even if their desires mean destruction to the innocent.








Freaks Cum Out (Parts 1&2) (Amazon Kindle, Uk and DE, Nook)

Love, money, sex, attention, and even drugs are great if taken in moderation. Often we take in more than we should and essentially become freaks. This is no exception for Joann, Sabrina, Corey, and Brandon.

While all are different, their obsessive nature is what unites them. Joann will forsake herself and her children to lull the voice of her addiction. While her children, Sabrina and Corey, are forced to fill the void left by her departure, Brandon inadvertently comes along to bring protection and love. Their happiness is threatened when secrets are revealed and obsessions run wild. They discover that some addictions can only be cured by death.




What’s Done in the Dark Series- Is about a man that goes to prison and comes out with a long list of secrets. Not only is he different but his wife, sister, brother, and best friend have changed. The only thing they have in common are their secrets and their need to hide them. They soon find out that all things will be brought to light… one way or another.







What will readers like about your book?


I believe my readers love the surprises in my books. They don’t know if there is a murder or a party in every chapter and I love shocking them with something new to keep them guessing.


What inspired you to write this particular story?


I was inspired to write all of my stories by the things that I hear and see every day. All or my stories are something that everyone can relate to and helping people relate to each other is part of what drives me to write. Overall, I want people to know they are not alone and hopefully find answers to their problems within my stories.


When did you start writing?

I wrote my first poem when I was six. I wrote from that point on in spurts throughout my teenage years and into adulthood.


When did you realize that you were a serious writer?

I realized I was a real writer when writing was all I could think about. People say do something you love and I do love writing, but it became a nagging need for me. I more than like writing, writing is my calling and it has become a necessity for me to share my gift.


When did you decide that you wanted to write a book?


I made that decision in the fifth grade when my mother read me a Danielle Steel novel. I knew I wanted to move people with books like Ms.Steel. I even tried to make a story back then. I didn’t finish that story, but I always knew I would write a book one day.


What is your writing process?

Usually a concept will just come to me. A story will pop into my head and I’ll write a very broad outline explaining the story line. Then, I’ll get specific which entails me thinking of characters, location, time frames, etc.

Next, I’ll start to make another outline of the main occurrences. From there I will get more and more specific until I’m ready to start writing.

I usually do a mental go through and think about what I want to say in the first sentence to grab the audience. Finally, after doing that I will start writing. My process has been known to change, but that is basically what I do.


How long does it take you to write your first draft?

That really depends. If I’m doing a short story I can do it in a day or so, but for a full novel it’s very hard to say. My first full novel, Freaks Cum Out, probably took a few months to get the true first draft.


Why did you publish on Kindle and other eReaders?

I published on Kindle and other eReaders because of where I see the publishing industry going. The industry is changing rapidly and ebooks aren’t a fad that will soon go away. I see in the future their being hardly any imprinted books and that drove me to jump on the band wagon now rather than later.

Plus it enables my readers to get my books anywhere, anytime, and for an inexpensive price. I love talking to someone in the UK and them telling me they have read my books. With the technology of eReaders, it has become easier than ever to expand past your local book markets to reach readers.


What kind of advice would you like to share with an aspiring writer who’s looking to publish a book for the first time?


I would tell them that nothing in this business is as hard as some people make it seem. While it isn’t easy it is fairly simple. Trust your own judgment, have little patience for anybody that doubts you, and overall don’t give up.

Anything is possible and if a writer stays relentless, they can make it.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Interview with Sarah of Saffina Desforges

Name of the book:

Sugar & Spice


Kindle Price:

Varies on Amazon .co.uk & .com (between 99c/71p – 2.99/1.14)


Available from:

Amazon Kindle US, UK & DE, Smashwords, B&N – Nook, Apple, Diesel, Kobo, Waterstones and Tesco


Authors Website:

http://www.saffinadesforges.com
http://www.saffinadesforgesroseredseries.com


Bio:

Saffina Desforges is a writing partnership (Sarah Griffiths & Mark Williams). Sarah being the public face of the SD team, currently living in England. (Mark lives in West Africa).

Mark has written for years, having worked in television, radio and journalism, whilst Sarah is relatively new to the game!


Tell me about your book?

Inspired by a news story of a man who begged a Judge to give him a longer sentence, because he knew he would harm another child if released without treatment, Sugar & Spice is meticulously researched, asking the questions society prefers not to have answered.
At once disquieting and challenging, Sugar & Spice is car-crash reading.
~
It's every parent's worst nightmare: A child fails to return home. As hours turn to days, all they can do is hope. Some children never come back...
Would you trust a convicted sex offender to help you find your daughter's killer? Claire did...
Teaming up with a second-year psychology student and a fourteen year-old truant schoolboy, Sugar & Spice is the story of a mother's fight to bring one man's reign of terror to an end.
~
Be warned: In Sugar & Spice not all things are nice...


What will readers like about your book?

Not a lot! It isn’t a book that you ‘like’, more have to read and can’t put down (according to reader reviews). I think the appeal of Sugar & Spice is the taboo subject and the frightening insight into the mind of a paedophile.


What inspired you to write this particular story?

There is a very long story to this and can be found on several blogs and websites in previous interviews, but basically, it was inspired by the Robert Black murders in the late 80’s and another criminal who begged a judge to lock him up in case he killed again.



When did you start writing?

I (Sarah) have written in some form for as long as I can remember, from scribbling in exercise books after school right up until I started to take it seriously.


When did you realize that you were a serious writer?

When I posted some excerpts on a site called Youwriteon and started getting positive feedback. Before then, I had never showed anyone my writing.


When did you decide that you wanted to write a book?

I have started writing a book many times in my life, as far back as my early teens, but life always got in the way.


You’ve recently hit a milestone where you’ve reached 50,000 books sold for Sugar & Spice. What’s your first reaction when you reflect on that accomplishment?

OMG! How did that happen? ;-)


Describe your journey from being a new author publishing your first book to selling 50,000 books. How did you do it?

A crazy, roller-coaster ride! One minute, I was telling my parents over Christmas dinner that I had co-written a book and less than five months later, we are getting calls from New York and over 50,000 people have downloaded the book. Crazy! I don’t know how we did it. There isn’t a secret formula, just lots of social interaction, blogging, Tweeting, Facebooking, a lot of luck and I guess, having written something that people want to read!


Why did you choose this particular genre to write your book in?

Sugar & Spice is a crime thriller, as is the next book, Snow White (this is part of The Rose Red crime thriller series) and it is a genre that I enjoy reading and have always wanted to write in. However, not everything SD produces will be in this genre, we also have the first of a dark, urban fantasy trilogy due out before the end of the year, Equilibrium.


What is your writing process?

Fly be the seat of our pants and let the characters and the story write itself!


How long does it take you to write your first draft?

When we finish Snow White (in between A LOT of promotional work for S&S) it will have taken us approximately 4- 5 months, but that is due to me not being free to write full time at the moment. We envisage that when I am, we will complete first drafts within 3 months.


Why did you publish on Kindle and other eReaders?

Initially, due to the content of S&S, now – because of the control that it gives us in the current publishing climate.


What kind of advice would you like to share with an aspiring writer who’s looking to publish a book for the first time?

Read lots, pay for a great cover and proper editing services and be prepared to spend the rest of your life online!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Interview with Mel Comley

IMPEDING JUSTICE

Kindle Price:

$0.99/70p


Available from:


Amazon UK http://amzn.to/dSEiSr
Amazon US http://amzn.to/i2wRT6

Barnes and Noble http://tinyurl.com/5vatqyq

Smashwords http://bit.ly/eKXHsG


Authors Website:

http://melcomley.blogspot.com

Bio:


Name of the book:
Luton born author, Mel Comley, has published her crime thriller, Impeding Justice, in ebook format.

Impeding Justice features feisty new Brit Cop, DI Lorne Simpkins in a gritty crime novel set in London. After The Unicorn kills her partner, Lorne knows if she doesn't bring the underworld criminal to justice soon, she will be his next target. It's a race against time, she has a 24 hour deadline to meet before her kidnapped daughter is used as a human bomb by the Unicorn. Can Lorne track the criminal down before it's too late...

Mel Comley left her job as a store manager in Worcester and moved to France nine years ago despite never having set foot in the country before. She renovated a French property, decorating 22 rooms in six months.

Renovation completed, she began to follow her dream of becoming a writer. After completing a creative writing course she penned a romance which was a near-miss with Mills & Boon. Then she decided to turn her hand to crime writing and DI Lorne Simpkins was born.

Impeding Justice is the first in a series of novels featuring Lorne Simpkins. The book has gained a Gold Star on the writer's site, Authonomy, with a Harper Collins editor saying, "It keeps the reader focused on the dramatic interest of the story."

One of Mel's biggest influences in James Patterson and she hopes she has achieved her aim of making Lorne as memorable as his ‘Alex Cross’.

Impeding Justice has reached number 37 in the Amazon Kindle chart and Mel hopes it will be available in print in the near future. The sequel Final Justice was released in February 2011.

In her spare time, Mel loves pottering in her garden which has, for the past few years, won a local award. She also enjoys painting and walking her dogs.


How would you describe your story/book?

A fast-paced thriller with a female cop who never gives up, no matter what obstacles stand in her way.



What will readers like about your book?


There’s never a dull moment.

Most of the readers who have contacted me said they couldn’t put it down, “it was crying out to be finished”.


What inspired you to write this particular story?

I discovered thriller writer James Patterson and one particular character in his books sparked the idea.

I think my antagonist is far worse than his though. ;-)


When did you start writing?


About nine years ago, although I’ve always jotted down things in my past, be it a diary or short stories for nieces and nephews.


When did you realize that you were a serious writer?

About five years ago, when I started writing Cruel Justice the first book in the Justice series.

This is yet to be released and with my agent right now.


When did you decide that you wanted to write a book?

I suppose the ambition has always been buried somewhere, it was just finding the time to do something about it.

Since my divorce I’ve always had to work 60-70 hours a week, that doesn’t leave much time for anything else.



What is your writing process?


I spend a good month plotting and working out all the details, another couple of weeks researching police procedures etc. Then get stuck in to the job of creating the characters and story.



How long does it take you to write your first draft?


That depends really, I suppose anything from a year to eighteen months.



Why did you publish on Kindle and other eReaders?


I started sending out Impeding Justice to agents in the UK and had about five rejections, not many I know. I believed in my product, then I heard about the opportunity to upload as an ebook and the rest is history.

Sales have been pretty brisk and this has led to a few agents contacting me.
I recently signed a contract with top New York agent Richard Curtis.


What kind of advice would you like to share with an aspiring writer who’s looking to publish a book for the first time?

Have confidence in your work and employ a GOOD editor. If you’re going down the Indie route don’t expect to sell your work without A LOT of effort on your part. It’s one third writing, two thirds marketing.

Finally, upload your first book and immediately start writing your second, then your third.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Interview with Victorine Lieske

Name of the book:

Not What She Seems


Kindle Price:

$.99



Available from:

Amazon US, UK, DE, Smashwords, Nook




Authors Website:

victorinelieske.com


Bio:

Victorine graduated from BYU Idaho with an associates degree in art. She designs rubber stamps and sells them to craft stores. Victorine has always loved to read and enjoys crafting stories. Victorine and her husband live in Nebraska where they raise their four children.


Tell me about your book?

Not What She Seems is a murder mystery laced with suspense and a light romance. It’s about Steven Ashton, a billionaire trying to escape the shallow people of the high society life who falls in love with Emily Grant, a woman with secrets in her past. When Emily disappears Steven finds out she’s running from the law, and his attempts to help her puts himself in danger.


What will readers like about your book?

Most people tell me they couldn’t put the book down, which makes me smile because that was one of my goals when writing it. I love a book that grabs me and won’t let go.


What inspired you to write this particular story?

I wanted a story that had a mystery, suspense, and a little romance. I thought it would be fun to have a rich business man lying about who he was meet up with someone else lying about their past. That one idea fueled the story.


When did you start writing?

I’ve always wanted to write a novel. I just thought that would be a cool thing to be able to say. But my life was busy with four kids and a home business, so I never made the time. Then one day, about five years ago, I reached into the car to get my daughter out of her car seat and my back seized up. It was horrible; I literally couldn’t do a thing. That’s when I decided I would write that book I had always wanted to write.


When did you realize that you were a serious writer?

It’s funny, because I never meant to be a serious writer. I wrote a book, and then wanted to know if what I had written was any good. I sought out some authors in a critique group and found out that my book needed a lot of work. I had spent the time to write the book, and I didn’t want to show it to anyone if it wasn’t the best it could be, so I spent four years rewriting it in my spare time. Once it was what I felt was good enough, I wanted others to be able to read it. I found that self-publishing on the Kindle was my best bet at sharing this story. I didn’t realize that I wanted to be a serious writer until my book royalties surpassed my “real” income by quite a bit.


When did you decide that you wanted to write a book?

When I was a kid I read a lot. I enjoyed being sucked into a story. That’s when I decided that writing a book would be cool. I started writing a few stories, but they never progressed very far.


Why did you choose this particular genre to write your book in?

I read a lot of mysteries, so I knew I wanted some kind of a mystery in this book. I also love romance, but I’m not attracted to the standard romance novels you see in stores today. So when I wrote Not What She Seems, I kept the steam level down to a couple of kisses.


What is your writing process?

I like to start at the beginning of a book and write chronologically through. Sometimes I do have to go back and add a scene in here and there, but mostly I write from beginning to end. I also don’t plot, so if there’s a plot twist I don’t usually see it coming until it happens. I usually don’t know how a story will end until I get there.


How long does it take you to write your first draft?

Not What She Seems was unique because I was literally on my back 24/7 and had nothing to do, so it took me one week to finish the first draft. I had no idea how to write a novel either, so I just let the words flow uncensored. It took me four years after that to revise it into something publishable. My second book, The Overtaking, took me eight months to finish the first draft, and another month of revisions and editing.


Why did you publish on Kindle and other eReaders?

I did a lot of research before I published. I found out that a traditional deal for a first time author was hard to get. It also would be a small advance, around $5,000 is standard. Then a small print run would follow, and if the books didn’t sell well in the first six months bookstores would return them and the book would go out of print. I didn’t like my odds at reaching a lot of people. I also didn’t like the thought of spending my advance trying to market the book. I found out that it didn’t cost anything to put the book on Kindle and other eReaders, and some authors were selling quite a bit. I liked being in charge of my book’s destiny.


What kind of advice would you like to share with an aspiring writer who’s looking to publish a book for the first time?

My best advice comes way before clicking “publish.” Join a critique group and get detailed critiques on each and every chapter. Critiquecircle.com is wonderful and allows you to post a chapter a week. You’ll also learn from critiquing others. I couldn’t offer any better advice. Writers are wonderful people, and truly help each other succeed.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

My Author Interview Kidnapping

I made a rash decision to post interviews with indie authors about a month ago. I feel compelled to bullshit you and tell you that my decison to transform my blog into a platform that includes author interviews was inspired by something really profound like Rev. Joel Olsteen appearing in one of my dreams in a pink zoot suit, mink coat and diamond encrusted goblet to tell me my next steps in my quest to sell more ebooks; or by something really cool and frightening happening to me like three men disguised as ninjas hopping out of a stretch Hummer kidnapping me and peeling off at one-hundred miles per hour to an undisclosed location where all I see are trees, lizards, and the sound of frogs occasionally eating flies as big as Shaquille O'Neal. That's when the three men unmasked themselves: its James Patterson, Dan Brown, and Stephen King. For some strange reason I saw Yogi Berra taking a piss on a alligator. James Patterson snaps his finger and a crystal ball appears and begins to levitate. Dan Brown acts as a lookout and pitches a tent. Yogi Berra is now wrestling with the alligator yelling "if you would be still you'd make a nice pair of gators. If you don't be still, you gonna be a pair of shoes in your next life!" Stephen King then holds a torch to his face and says to me with a really deep, breathy voice, "Glenn, you are the chosen one. You are going to blog and you're going to interview indie authors." The levitating crystal ball turns into a the cheapest piece of shit laptop that says Generic. I then mustered up enough courage to ask "so what about my books? Will I ever become a best-selling author?" Dan and James turn to me and says "Glenn, touch the laptop. Now!" I touched the laptop, and Stephen King hits me with the butt of his pistol. I wake up and I'm at home working on five best-sellers at once. I type a total of 250,000 words to complete five books in one night.

Of course, none of that happened. I just wanted to make my contribution to the indie author community in an informal blog format. My idea wasn't original. I stole it from David Wieshart at Kindle Author blog while he was sleeping. I heard a creaking noise while I was stealing from David so I dashed over to N.L. Earnshaw's Indie eBooks blog and stole what I couldn't steal from David Wisehart.

As a result, I've interviewed over a couple dozen authors so far and I've learned one thing: no one has the same story. I found some of the author's stories enlightening, some hilarious, and some inspiring. I look forward to interviewing more authors as this blog continues to evolve. All interviews will be scheduled to post on upcoming Mondays and Wednesdays, so continue visiting my blog for interview posts and my own unscheduled blog posts.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Interview with Kenneth Hoss

Name of the book:

Storm Rising – A Kelli Storm Novel


Kindle Price:

$3.99



Available from:

Smashwords.com
Coming soon to Amazon Kindle US




Authors Website:

http://kenhoss.blogspot.com


Bio:

I currently live in Irving, Texas and work as an IS Security Technician. My passions are writing, reading, golf, fine food and fine wine. I started writing when I was in Junior High, mostly Sci/Fi and Fantasy, and even though none of my stories were ever published, my friend loved them. After leaving the military in 1987, I started my career in the computer industry and continued writing in my spare time. I lived in California for several years after my separation and that is where I started my career in the IT industry. I moved back to my home State of Texas in 1996 after a bad divorce to be closer to family and my ailing mother.


How would you describe your book?

Storm Rising is the first book in a series I planned when I came up with the idea. This book introduces my main character, Kelli Storm, and all the things that drive her to be a Detective on the NYPD.


What will readers like about your book?

I believe readers will primarily like the main character, Kelli Storm. The book is full of suspense and mystery, with action sequences scattered throughout. There is the drama of everyday life, things that real people deal with in their lives.


What inspired you to write this particular story?

My inspiration came from several sources. The main inspiration came from someone I knew once, a long time ago. She was intelligent, tough, and stole my heart. That and I love to watch all the ‘Cop” shows on television. (When I’m not writing of course.)


When did you start writing?

I started writing when I was 14, mostly Sci/Fi short stories. I even did a screenplay once. Of course, as a kid I had no clue what to do with them. I think it was mostly that I had all of these great ideas running around in my head and getting them on paper helped. I had a very vivid imagination as a kid, some of it is still in my head somewhere.


When did you realize that you were a serious writer?

I actually didn’t realize it until about 2 ½ years ago. I was reacquainted with an old girlfriend from High School and she asked me if I was still writing. When I told her I wasn’t, she told me that I should, she always loved my stories. She even kick started my writing with a couple of plot ideas. The rest is history. Lori, if you’re reading this, thank you!


When did you decide that you wanted to write a book?

About six months after I reconnected with Lori.


What is your writing process?

A little unorthodox, at least I think it is. Originally I would carefully outline the book, and then do all of my research, i.e. locations, agency procedures. Not so much anymore. Now I’m kind of a “by the seat of your pants” writer.


How long does it take you to write your first draft?

Storm Rising took me just over a year to complete the first draft. Then, I had a lot of “life” interruptions. I’m hoping to complete the next on in half the time.


Why did you publish on Smashwords?

It’s the easiest to publish to, and has a large audience. That and I don’t have to wait on a publishing house to get my book out to my readers.


What kind of advice would you like to share with an aspiring writer who’s looking to publish a book for the first time?

Follow your heart. You will know when your book is ready. Whether you choose the traditional route or self-publish, the only thing that matters is sharing your hard work with the world.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Interview with Alisha Paige

Name of the book:

Circle City: Lord of the Wolfen ~ Book I


Kindle Price:


.99 in the U.S. and £0.69 in the UK



Available from:



Amazon US, Amazon UK, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords


Authors Website:


http://www.alishapaige.com



Bio:


Alisha Paige lives in the deep South. She writes romantic paranormal, fantasy, contemporary romance, time travel romance and vintage historical. Her favorite things are red wine, dark chocolate, hot summer nights and girls' night out.


How would you describe your book?

Lord of the Wolfen is the first book in the wild, passionate Circle City series about a secret clan of Wolf people living on the edge of the Yukon Flats. Dark, edgy, sexy and adventurous, Lord of the Wolfen is about an underground world where the Wolfen reign in remote Alaska. Their enemies, the Kontar, people of the dog, ignite a war when a Wolfen princess marries a Kontar man and a widow living nearby in the woods is caught up in the middle by saving a baby Wolfen from sure death.


What will readers like about your book?


I’ve tried hard to make my book unpredictable. I hope the twists and turns keep the readers turning the pages. I also hope I introduce some readers to the paranormal genre. I hope readers will like the world building within Circle City. I’ve included a glossary of all the terms used by the Wolfen and Kontar. A Moonswore is a husband, a Moonswan a wife, a Moonon a widow. The Scraffen is the scent that bonds all males to their father. Those are just examples of the world building within Circle City. I created a secret world where Wolfen and Kontar mesh with the real world. I hope readers are fascinated by it and enjoy it as much as I enjoyed writing it.


What inspired you to write this particular story?

I’ve been writing paranormals for seven years ever since reading my first paranormal back in the 90’s by Rebecca York. I was hooked from then on. I wanted to create a secret society where paranormal creatures co-exist with humans in the real world and thought remote Alaska would be the perfect setting. So, I guess my love for the paranormal and snowy remote Alaska inspired me to write Circle City.


When did you start writing?

I’ve written all my life for pleasure or fun but I started writing in 2004 as a freelance writer for magazines and a ghost writer for editorials in newspapers while working on my first novel. I was first published in 2007.


When did you realize that you were a serious writer?


All my life I’ve wanted to be published so I’ve always known I was serious about it. A teacher pulled me aside my sophomore high school year in English class and told me that my writing has a spark. She told me to fan the flames. I’ve never forgotten her words. After the birth of my second daughter in 2004, I became very serious about publication and wrote my second novel. I had written my first novel back in ’96 after the birth of my first daughter. I’m revising this old manuscript now to release soon. More than anything, I didn’t want to go back to my crappy day job. So far, I haven’t had to. I want to work in my pajamas for the rest of my life.


When did you decide that you wanted to write a book?


I’ve always wanted to write a book. I guess it probably hit me in the 90’s. I’m an avid reader and I just knew I could write a good book too. Life got in the way in 1998 when I divorced my first husband. As a single mom, I had to go to work and put publication on the back burner. In 2003, I met my soul mate and we had a baby. I was off work for maternity leave and decided in 2004 to go for it. I also knew this was my last chance. If I didn’t make a name for myself soon, I’d be back in the dreaded office; answering phones, typing up proposals for a boss who I also served coffee to every morning. That thought made me ill.


What is your writing process?


I write when I can which isn’t too often these days. I have three children so I’m pretty busy but marketing takes just as much time if not more than writing. I may not write for months then I will have giant bursts of writing where I write for 2 to 3 months straight, writing four to five hours a day until I finish a book.


How long does it take you to write your first draft?


I can write a first draft in 2 to 3 months but Circle City took me about 2 years to write because of distractions in my life. Sometimes I only wrote 1000 words a day. Sometimes I didn’t write for weeks.


Why did you publish on Kindle and other eReaders?


I have seven books released, six at small presses. They are all available as ebooks. I took the indie leap in February 2011 with a novella and then in March 2011, I published Circle City: Lord of the Wolfen on my own. I’ve hit several best sellers’ lists and have sold far more books than I ever sold at the three small presses I published with and that includes six books over a span of four years total.

What kind of advice would you like to share with an aspiring writer who’s looking to publish a book for the first time?

First of all, write a great book. Do your research. Study your target market. Have an online presence such as a blog, facebook, twitter. Join writers’ groups. Don’t be afraid to take the leap and get your work out there.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Interview with Tim O’Rourke

Name of the book:

Black Hill Farm (Book One) By Tim O’Rourke


Kindle Price:

$1.13 (US) and £0.70 (UK)



Available from:

Amazon Kindle US and Amazon Kindle UK



Authors Website:

www.Ravenwoodgreys.com


Bio:

I have aspired to be a writer for many years. Working away in the dead of night, I have written many short stories, plays and novels.

My most recent book is a paranormal Romance entitled 'Black Hill Farm' and the second in the series ‘Black Hill Farm: Andy‘s Diary‘ has just been released. I also love writing adventure books for young adults and the first in the 'Zachary Black' series is available to download from Amazon and the second book will be published soon. My new project is entitled ‘The Rugged Shore’ and will be published in August 2011.

My interests other than writing include watching the Muppet Show, listening to U2, Bruno Mars and Adele. I'm never happier than when I'm reading Dr Seuss or The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes.

My favourite films are the Dark Crystal, Tootsie and Back To The Future.



How would you describe your story/book?


I would describe ‘Black Hill Farm’ as a dark paranormal romance for YA, but a lot of the people that have reviewed the book on their blogs have described it as a psychological thriller and a crossover book for adults and YA alike. The book is dark and a bit gory in places but nothing is quite what it seems.

The book is made up of twelve police interviews which are conducted with the suspect in the murders that have taken place at Black Hill Farm. As the interviews unfold so does the story.

The suspect, sixteen year old Ben McCloud, gives a disturbing confession about his relationship with his beautiful cousin Andrea and how his love for her became a dangerous obsession. But finding themselves on a remote farm and desperate to stay together, Ben and Andrea’s world spirals out of control. As they fight for survival, every step they take leads them into an ever darker world of despair and murder.
But there are lots of twists throughout the story and it’s not until the end of the book that the reader will discover who Ben really is, and where he has come from.


What will readers like about your book?


I hope the reader will like the way the story is told. The book is made up of the notes and interview transcripts made by the detective in the story. I wanted a different way of telling my story and so far so good - those that have commented on it say they really enjoyed the book in this style.

I hope the reader will also like the pace of the book. It doesn’t start slowly but each piece of the mystery of what really happens on the farm is revealed bit by bit. But what I hope the reader enjoys the most is the twists. From the reviews left about the book on Amazon and different blogs, people are left shocked and stunned by them - which is what I wanted when I started the book.


What inspired you to write this particular story?

I wanted to write something that was different for young adults. I have two teenage son’s, but the YA market seems to be flooded with books about vampires. Although both me and my son’s like reading these books, I wanted to write something original and hopefully hadn’t been done before. So I set about writing a paranormal romance. Why was this different.? Firstly the story is written from the point of the boy in the story - so you get to see how it is for a teenage boy that falls in love. Most of the paranormal romance books that I have read are mostly written from the female leads perspective. Us boy’s do fall in love too! I thought it would be interesting to see the story through the eyes of the teenage lead - Ben McCloud. I hoped the boy’s that bought the book would enjoy this and the girls that read it would find it interesting to see how it might feel for a teenage boy to fall in love and how he might deal with the range of emotions which comes with that.

Also in most of the other Paranormal Romance books that I’ve read, the mystery always revolves around the male lead. Who is he? What is he? And the female in the book always seems to hang off every word that they say. Well, I wanted to turn that on its head too. I wanted my female character (Andy) to be the mystery. I wanted Ben to be besotted with her and have to try and work out who she was.

But what about the paranormal element? I wanted that to be different too. I didn’t want vampires, shape-shifters, werewolves or anything like that. But I can’t say what the paranormal element is as it doesn’t get revealed until the end of the book and I don’t want to spoil the story for those that haven’t read it yet.


When did you start writing?


I started writing short stories at the age of thirteen. I’d struggled to read and write for many years, but my head was always filled with ideas. I was always making up stories which I would tell to friends and family. It wasn’t until I grasped the reading that I learnt how others put their imagination down on paper. I was given a very old typewriter by a friend of the family, and there I would sit and write story after story. Most of them were horror/ghost stories and I would share them with my family. They seemed to enjoy them and this spurred me on to write more. I probably wrote my first novel at the age of fifteen but when I look back at it now I cringe. But we all have to start somewhere.

I carried on writing throughout my teens and also tried my hand at plays and poetry. Some of my plays were put on at college and I always found it quite surreal to hear the actors saying the words that I had written.

I had a quiet spell during my twenties as I helped raise my family and get a career, but always carried a note book with me which I would be forever writing down ideas, pieces of conversation between characters and sometimes even sketch the characters that I imagined.

Come thirty, I started hitting the keypad again and haven’t stopped since.


When did you realize that you were a serious writer?

When my wife said, ‘Tim what are you going to do with all these boxes of books and stories you’ve written? What’s the point in writing them if you don’t share them with anyone?’

I knew that I was serious about my writing as I’d written so much of the stuff!



When did you decide that you wanted to write a book?


I’ve never had a problem with coming up with ideas - my head is full of them. So at an early age I decided to put those ideas down on paper and give some of the characters a life between the pages of a book. Once that particular story was down and out of my head it made more room for other stories to develop. The process of writing a book for me is to shed those ideas and characters and then move on to the next.


What is your writing process?

I usually have to have a rough idea of where the story is going and pretty much what happens to each character. I don’t write pages of notes of detailed character outlines. I find that if I do that it becomes more a recipe. I do sometimes draw a sketch of the character. It helps if I have a visual image of them. I like the process of writing to be an organic one - so it grows and develops as I write - I don’t like boxing myself in from the start. Once I’ve started on a new book, I have to keep at it until its finished. I try not to take breaks for a day or two as I find I loose the flow. I like having music playing in the background - usually movie soundtracks or classical.

Once I’ve written it, I let my wife and son’s read through it and take any advice that they give. My wife is my harshest critique and goes through the draft with a big marker pen hacking away at it - slashing words, sentences and sometimes even whole paragraphs and chapters. Sometimes I sulk at the changes she’s made but she is usually right.

I then go back and make the changes and then read through myself and make any changes that I feel need to be made. I think two to three drafts is good but any more than that and I feel that the work looses its initial spark and can become stale.


How long does it take you to write your first draft?

Even though writing is my passion it isn’t my day job. So I write in my free time and on my day’s off. Black Hill Farm was written in twenty days and that was me spending almost all of my free time writing. When I’m working on a new book I try to write at east 2,500 words in a sitting. On a weekend I try and make the most of the full days and write anywhere between 6,000 - 7,500 words.


Why did you publish on Kindle?

I found the whole process of approaching agents and publishers very frustrating. I did send work out to them, but you could end up waiting weeks and sometimes months for a response. Sometimes they didn’t respond at all even though I always enclosed the cost of return postage. When the response did turn up, it came in the form of a pre-printed letter saying basically “we read your submission with interest, however…” Sometimes you could tell that the work hadn’t even been looked at as it hadn’t been thumbed through etc. I carried out some research on the internet and other unpublished writers had sent in copies of their washing machine manual, the first three chapters of books by Thomas Hardy etc and they all received the same response from agents/publishers.

I then heard that one agent threw any new manuscripts straight into the rubbish if it didn’t come with an elastic band wrapped around it! I heard loads of horror stories about agents/publishers who would just throw the submissions away without even so much as looking at the title page so I kind of got the idea that I was wasting my time and a lot of postage.

I then discovered agencies that for a fee would read your MS and if it was good enough they would pass it onto an agent and then if the agent thought the work was good enough they would pass it to a publishing house and if they liked it they would pass it to…and so on it goes. How many people do you have to go through to actually share your work and ideas with other people?

In the UK there are about five or six people that are deciding what children read. So every time you go into a book shop to buy a new book for your child the books on display have been put there by that select few. Is that really choice?

So I believed in my writing enough to take the plunge and put the work out there myself. I believe that if my books are good enough they will find an audience.

Being published by a big publishing house still doesn’t guarantee success.


What kind of advice would you like to share with an aspiring writer who’s looking to publish a book for the first time?


Believe in yourself and your skill as a writer. There are lots of people that wont. But hey, writing is so subjective that you will never please everyone. Write for yourself. Write stories that you enjoy and if others like them then that’s great. Read as much as you can. I always try and read more than I write. And don’t’ give up ! If you want to go via the established publishing route remember that this doesn’t always mean success. I have a friend who is published by an established publishing house and they didn’t spend a penny on promotion and in fact they didn’t even get the review copies out on time so when their book was published it didn’t even go into any stores. He is making about 7p for every book he sell’s via the established route.

I went the indie route as it gives you more control over pricing, content, cover design etc. You can write what you want, when you want and I enjoy that freedom.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Interview with Nicholas A. Rose

Name of the book:
Markan Throne
Kindle Price:
$2.99

Available from:

Smashwords (http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/45254)
Amazon US (http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004SBZ16A)
Amazon UK (http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B004SBZ16A)

Authors Website:

http://ilvenworld.blogspot.com

Bio:
Nicholas A. Rose is the author of the “Markan Empire” trilogy. He loves everything to do with the sea, the outdoors, photography, movies and writing. He also enjoys the rather more sedentary hobbies of reading, real ale and chess. For those who must know, the “A” stands for Andrew.

How would you describe your book?

Epic or heroic fantasy. The sub-genres have become so blurred at the edges nowadays, maybe I should just say fantasy.

What will readers like about your book?

It’s impossible to say what readers will like about a book. I hope they enjoy the interplay between the characters and the way these guys develop. The plot is very character-driven and shows how they deal with events threatening to sweep them along, in many cases unwillingly.

What inspired you to write this particular story?


I was doing background work for another story, which included writing a list of rulers. One of them stuck out and the idea for the story came from that. I kicked it around for a few months, then started to write it.

The story for which I was doing the background work was forgotten. Or is it lying around in a desk draw somewhere…?

When did you start writing?


Off and on, I’ve been writing all my life. Even in school I turned in story essays twice as long as my classmates’ efforts. I started writing books in 1989. And those early efforts are **definitely** still with me – they’ll be rewritten one day.

When did you realize that you were a serious writer?

When I completed my first trilogy. By then, it was obvious I had the stamina to do it.
When did you decide that you wanted to write a book?

It was something that had always lurked in the back of my mind. Like 99.999% of writers, I’m also an avid reader, and I’ve always wanted a slice of the action.

What is your writing process?


I write the first paragraph, followed by the last paragraph. Then it’s just a matter of joining the two together. I usually have a broad outline of the plot and a few set-pieces ready for inclusion, but the book’s development is very fluid and flexible. Writers who plan everything out to the nth degree have my serious respect, but I can’t work that way. My method is very editing-heavy though, so I don’t recommend it if you can work the other way.

How long does it take you to write your first draft?

Once I know where I’m going with the story, the first draft is written very quickly, often 6-8 weeks. While writing, I’m more or less living with my word-processor, as every spare minute (not to mention lots of minutes when I should be doing something else) is spent on the project.

However, the editing takes a lot longer and I usually have to do a lot of rework.

Why did you publish on Kindle and other eReaders?

Unless already a celebrity, or with a lot of contacts in the mainstream publishing industry, the chances of your work being read, let alone considered for publication, is very slim. A new writer is a huge risk to a publisher, especially when nobody has ever heard the name before. ePublishing gives us a chance; at the very least we stand or fall on our own merits, our fate decided by readers, not middlemen.

What kind of advice would you like to share with an aspiring writer who’s looking to publish a book for the first time?


Go for it. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.