Who’s That Indie Author? Miriam Hurdle

Author Name: Miriam Hurdle

Genre: Poetry and Children’s Books

Books: Songs of Heartstrings: Poems of Gratitude and Beatitude and Tina Lost in a Crowd

Brief Bio: I write poetry, flash fiction, short stories, and children’s stories. I’m retired after two years of counseling, fifteen years of teaching, and ten years of school administration. During my retirement, I enjoy gardening, painting, photography, and traveling, especially going to visit my granddaughters.

What got you started as a writer? After I finished college in Hong Kong, I wrote children’s books as part of my job in a literacy company. In 2016, I started blogging with the desire to share my cancer recovery journey. The blogging took me to write about my travel notes, flash fiction, gardening, and poetry. I compiled the poems written in two years to publish my first poetry collection.

What difficult experience has helped you as a writer? I think the ten years of my first marriage, the five years being separated from my daughter, and my cancer experience made me look at life differently and helped me as a writer.

Have you ever participated in the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo)? If so, how many times and what was your experience? I have participated in the NaNoWriMo 2017, and the NaNoWriMo Camp in July 2020. November is not a convenient month for me to make a commitment to write every day because the Thanksgiving week is a family time. I completed the word count in 2017, but the last one-third of the story is messy. July is a better time to write, and I could use what I wrote in 2020.

What advice would you give a new indie author hoping to publish a book? My advice would be:

  1. Write what you’re passionate about and write freely,
    as if nobody will read it.
  2. Read aloud what you write to see if YOU like it.
  3. Take a few online writing courses to refresh your writing skills.
  4. Do research to get a bird’s eye view of writing, editing,
    publishing, and marketing.
  5. Have a good or professional editing of your book for the publication.

What has been the biggest challenge for you during Covid?  The biggest challenge during Covid was not being able to see my granddaughters. I missed being with my daughter for her childbirth for my second granddaughter. I didn’t see my younger granddaughter until she was eight months old. On my first visit, it took her several days to warm up with me. In fact, studies show that babies born during Covid take a while to get used to the social contact.

What are you reading right now? I’m reading my blogging friend Elizabeth Gauffreau’s new book Grief Songs: Poems of Love. I should be done reading it by the time this interview is posted.

Would you rather laugh or cry over a book? I would rather laugh over a book with a pleasant sense of humor. I have plenty of experiences that remind me of the tears.

Have you ever climbed a tree to read a book? I grew up in a city full of skyscrapers rather than trees, so I have never climbed a tree to read. I have had no experience of climbing trees.

Have you ever dropped a book in the tub, in a pool or in the ocean? I read Kindle books on my phone. I once left my phone in the pocket and put the jacket in the washer. It almost gave me a heart attack, not because of the books, but my contacts. It makes me very conscientious about holding a phone in the tub at home or in the spa at the gym.

Could you live in a tiny house? From childhood to young adult, I lived with my family in a tiny apartment in Hong Kong. After forty-some years of living in good sizes of houses, it would take a big adjustment to live in a tiny house.

What are the small things that make you happy? The smallest things are when my older granddaughter called me “grandma,” asking me to do things with her, and when my younger granddaughter warmed up with me and let me hold her.

Website and social media links:
Website/Blog: theshowersofblessings.com
Amazon Author Page: Miriam-Hurdle
Goodreads: Miriam Hurdle
Twitter: @mhurdle112
Facebook: Miriam-Hurdle-Author


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Who’s That Indie Author? Lauren Scott

Author Name: Lauren Scott

Genre: Poetry, Memoir

Books: New Day, New Dreams (2013), Finding a Balance (2015), and new release this year: More than Coffee: Memories in Verse and Prose

Bio: I live in California with my husband of 32 years, and we have two adult children. Through my experiences over three decades: raising a family, grieving through loss, finding joy in the smallest things, and the many backpacking and camping adventures, my writing takes a magical path of its own. I also love to read, and my bookcase is bursting at the seams!

What got you started as a writer? When I was a teenager, I wrote poetry about the boys I had crushes on. I continued to put thoughts to paper throughout my life, but I grew more passionate within the last decade. Now I write each day; it’s a natural part of my routine, either creating poems, drafting a short memoir, or dabbling in fiction.

What difficult experience has helped you as a writer? My love for writing turned into a passion when my daughter was diagnosed with a rare disease that would necessitate a future transplant for her survival. It isn’t fair for children to suffer, and as her mother, this news took processing that prompted me to write. My hurting poured out through words into poems and stories, some personal, some shared.

Have you ever participated in the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo)? If so, how many times and what was your experience? I haven’t participated in NaNoWriMo, but it sounds like a wonderful organization. Maybe someday.

What advice would you give a new indie author hoping to publish a book? Do your research, initiate dialogue with authors who have self-published. Persevere, because if publishing your book means that much to you, you’ll do the work to achieve your goal.

What has been the biggest challenge for you during Covid? What tugged at my heart was not being able to see my daughter and son-in-law who live in Tennessee. Regarding writing, inspiration flowed at lightning speed. The last year and a half have been a challenge, but I am grateful for the abundance of creativity.

What are you reading right now? Dead of Winter, Journey 5, by Teagan Riordain Geneviene. This book is part of a series of short novellas and Journey 9 is her latest release. It has been an exciting adventure diving into this fantasy tale.

Would you rather laugh or cry over a book? Laugh!

Have you ever climbed a tree to read a book? I can’t say that I have. I enjoy sitting in the comfort of my living room or on the patio in the company of nature.

Have you ever dropped a book in the tub, in a pool or in the ocean? From my childhood, I have memories of a favorite paperback slipping out of my hands into our aquamarine kidney-shaped pool.

Could you live in a tiny house? No, but my husband and I live in a modest 1200 square foot home, a cozy dwelling, where we raised our two children. Even though we are new empty nesters, our 75-lb lab, Copper, still happily trots around the house.

What are the small things that make you happy? Baking.Flowers in bloom.Chocolate. Music. Carrot cake. A walk around the neighborhood. Backpacking. Freshwater lakes. Ping pong. Watching rom-coms or compelling thrillers. Reading. Family and writing are the Big things in life.

Website and social media links:
baydreamerwrites.com
Lauren Scott Amazon Author page


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Who’s That Indie Author? Jane Elizabeth Hughes

Author Name: Jane Elizabeth Hughes         

Genre: Women’s Fiction

Book: The Long-Lost Jules (Spark Press, August 3, 2021)

Brief bio: I’m an obsessive reader with two fully-loaded Kindles and a collection of audiobooks for the car. Unfortunately, reading novels all day is not an easy career path, so I have a day job as a professor of international finance. A native New Yorker, I now live on Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

What got you started as a writer? I always wanted to write novels. I wrote my first “book” when I was seven (Lorena Lorenson, Student Nurse – I guess the title tells you everything you need to know). Somehow I morphed into a banker and finance academic instead (to pay the bills, I guess), and I published business books including the forthcoming Greed Gone Good, but I never let go of this dream. Finally, I was able to take a sabbatical from the finance world a few years ago, and started writing fiction. I haven’t stopped since.

What difficult experience has helped you as a writer? I was that little short kid who read all the time. And I mean, all the time. At the dentist, during math class, at the dinner table, even at eye doctor appointments (which was problematic). I was always the last kid picked for teams at recess, but I didn’t care because I could curl up in a corner of the courtyard and read. That need to escape into books, I think, drove me into writing because there I can not only escape – but I can create my own world.

Have you ever participated in the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo)? If so, how many times and what was your experience? No, but I think it’s a wonderful notion and would love to participate in the future.

What advice would you give a new indie author hoping to publish a book?

  1. KEEP WRITING! You get better at it as you go along. My first and second novels never got published and, with the benefit of hindsight, didn’t deserve to get published. I didn’t have that clarity of hindsight at the time though, and it was just pure slog to keep going.
  2. DON’T BE ALONE! Have cheerleaders in your corner (my husband and sister were phenomenal), and don’t quit your day job.
  3. REMEMBER: This can take a long time, and a lot of rejections along the way.
  4. INVEST? Think about putting away a little money to invest in your writing career – writers conferences and publicists are your best friend. The latter is especially a biggie for me, since I’m super-uncomfortable promoting and marketing my books.
  5. ACCEPT THAT WRITING IS A JOB, NOT A HOBBY! Hobbies are fun and relaxing; writing a book is work.

What has been the biggest challenge for you during Covid? Not seeing my grandchildren!

What are you reading right now? I’m rereading one of the Stephanie Plum mysteries by Janet Evanovich, and Sheila O’Flanagan’s The Women Who Ran Away. I’m listening to a real nail-biter about climbers on Mount Everest in my car.

Would you rather laugh or cry over a book? Laugh laugh laugh!

Have you ever climbed a tree to read a book? No, I was much too timid. Why climb a tree when I had that overstuffed armchair in the living room?

Have you ever dropped a book in the tub, in a pool or in the ocean? Oh, yes (along with my cellphone, keys, and wallet).

Could you live in a tiny house? I think so. I actually like small spaces quite a bit; they’re much cozier and more inviting than big, open spaces.

What are the small things that make you happy? Reading. Writing. Family — my long-suffering husband, my four children, my precious grandchildren. (We had eight of them in just seven years, so they’re a very exhausting joy.) Buttered popcorn and pecan pie with gobs of whipped cream on top. Dancing. Bruce Springsteen, the Beatles, and Ariana Grande. Bookstores. Beaches. Babies.

Website and social media links:
Website: janehughesauthor.com
Facebook: janehughesnannyland
LinkedIn: Jane Elizabeth Hughes


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Who’s That Indie Author? K. Blanton Brenner

Author Name: K. Blanton Brenner

Genre: Family Saga

Books: Appaloosa Sky published December 2019. Trinity Rivers Trilogy will be published by the end of September 2021.

Bio: I grew up in North Texas in a large, extended family that raised horses and holy hell. Living in Chicago, I co-founded a Montessori School for children who are deaf. My husband, Tom (a gerontologist) and I created the Montessori Method for positive dementia care for people living with dementia and we’ve co-written and published two books on our work.

What got you started as a writer? When I was in second grade a substitute teacher asked the class to write a story about Christmas. I wrote about an angel who came down to earth to help children create a Christmas play. The teacher called me up to her desk and said, “You are a wonderful writer!” And the seed was planted.

What difficult experience has helped you as a writer? When I was 13 years old, my parents (stalwarts of our small town) split up. My entire world was turned upside down and inside out. I learned from that experience that we humans are resilient and can survive heartbreak and loss. My books are stories of families who are seeking resolution and grace.

Have you ever participated in the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo)? If so, how many times and what was your experience? No

What advice would you give a new indie author hoping to publish a book? Tight rope walkers learn to walk the rope by practicing this skill over and over and taking more and more risks. It’s the same for writers: we have to keep writing and writing and learning to take the risks necessary to create our stories.

What has been the biggest challenge for you during Covid? As with almost everyone, I missed being with our children and grandchildren. It has been heartbreaking to learn about so many people becoming desperately ill and so many dying. How will we honor them? How will we remember them?

What are you reading right now? Let the People Pick the President by Jesse Wegman and re-reading Barbara Pym’s books in chronological order.

Would you rather laugh or cry over a book? I love that rare book that makes me both laugh and cry. P.G. Wodehouse is my go-to guy when I’m feeling discouraged or down. My husband was reading one of his books aloud to me as we were waiting for me to go into surgery for uterine cancer. The medical staff was a bit shocked to hear me laughing while hooked up to IV’s lying on a gurney.

Have you ever climbed a tree to read a book? No, but I did read books while lying on the back of my horse as she wandered around the pasture. When Star got tired of me, she’d shake herself and off I’d come.

Have you ever dropped a book in the tub, in a pool or in the ocean? OMG! I was in the bathtub reading How the Irish Saved Civilization by Thomas Cahill and somehow the book slipped out of my hands into the water. I was stupid enough to tell him this story at a book signing. Mr. Cahill looked up at me and said, “I don’t approve of people reading my books in the bathtub.” YIKES!  

Could you live in a tiny house? I do live in a small house, the ground level apartment of a two flat in Chicago. It’s about 850 sq. ft. We raised our children here and have had some great parties and gave lodging and meals to rock and roll bands overnight in this little place. (We have a lot of musicians in our family.)

What are the small things that make you happy? I grew up with the enormous Texas sky. Clouds chasing the sun kind of days make me very happy as do the flowers in our garden, listening to a child who is deaf read for the first time, my husband reaching out to me in the night.

Website and social media links: Working on a website. I have an author’s page on Facebook and an author’s page on Amazon.


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Who’s That Indie Author? Tabitha Forney

Author Name: Tabitha (Tobey) Forney

Genre: Upmarket Fiction

Book: Paper Airplanes (9/7/21)

Brief bio: Tabitha (Tobey) Forney writes books to appease the voices in her head. She’s a mom, attorney, and yoga devotee who lives in Houston with her three kids and a husband who was on the 85th floor of the North Tower on 9/11 and lived to tell about it.

What got you started as a writer? As a child, I inhaled books. But when I was ten, my mother married the austere son of a Pentecostal preacher who disapproved of my reading. He dismissed books and higher education as useless endeavors and tried to teach the six of us (half his, half hers) that manual labor and the ruthless pursuit of money were the only worthwhile endeavors. I spent hours in the reading nook of my elderly neighbors, who provided me with lemonade and cookies while I would read to my heart’s content.

Even though I processed the world through books as a child, I never thought I could write one. I started to explore writing in my twenties, just before having children. I’m also a practicing attorney, though, and once I had kids I had little time for anything else.

I did finally start writing in 2007, and in 2009 I met my best friend who is also a writer. At the time, she was further down the road than I, and we instantly bonded over our love for writing. She was a huge inspiration to me, and showed me that with enough effort and determination, I could be a writer too.

What difficult experience has helped you as a writer? Ironically, getting an agent in 2017 and then parting ways with her in 2018 was not only one of the most heartbreaking experiences of my life, but it showed me that when something doesn’t feel right, it’s not, and to follow my gut rather than conventional wisdom. With my agent’s direction, I spent over a year gutting and re-writing my novel to introduce a new character. We were about to go out on submission when she left her agency and told me she couldn’t take me with her due. In the end, I unraveled everything I did, restored the book as it was meant to be (Paper Airplanes), and rewrote the story of the new character, Rosie, into a book that is better than before. So now instead of one book written with somebody else’s vision, I have two books that I am happy to launch into the world. Ultimately, parting with her was the best thing to happen to me.

Have you ever participated in the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo)? If so, how many times and what was your experience? I have! Paper Airplanes was actually birthed during NaNoWriMo 2015. I am planning to participate in 2021 with a new project I’m very excited about. While the book that you write in a month may not be even close to the final project, NaNoWriMo gives writers momentum and propels books into being.

What advice would you give a new indie author hoping to publish a book? Never. Give. Up. Keep writing until you’re happy with your work. And make sure you surround yourself with people who will be honest with you. It might hurt, but it teaches you how to fix the problem.

What has been the biggest challenge for you during Covid? Learning how to work and manage three kids’ school schedules and still have time to write was tough. I developed new respect for teachers. Not being able to see my elderly mother was also really hard. And confronting an existential threat every single day was no joke, as we all know!

What are you reading right now? I am listening to the audiobook of Blow Your House Down by Gina Frangello. It’s gripping. I’m impressed with and inspired by her bravery and honesty, and her writing is crisp and original.

Would you rather laugh or cry over a book? Both! I think a good book will have me doing both in the course of an hour. I strive to bring humor into my books, which is more difficult to achieve than one would think.

Have you ever climbed a tree to read a book? Yes, definitely.When I was child, it was another way I escaped from my abusive stepfather. He wore boots all the time and never looked up.

Have you ever dropped a book in the tub, in a pool or in the ocean? Not in the ocean, but many times on the sandy beach, and once in the toilet. Oops!

Could you live in a tiny house? For about a week, yes. Maybe.

What are the small things that make you happy? Yoga, French fries, dark chocolate, good coffee, The Lumineers, comfortable shoes, happy people, and staring at the sky, whether cloudy or starry.

Website and social media links:
Website: tabithaforney.com
Facebook: tobey.forney
Instagram: tabithawritesbooks
Twitter: @TobeyWrites


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Who’s That Indie Author? Tammy Pasterick

Author Name: Tammy Pasterick

Genre: Historical Fiction

Book: Beneath the Veil of Smoke and Ash

Brief bio: I began my career as an investigator with the National Labor Relations Board after graduating from Penn State and later studied German language and literature at the University of Delaware. When I decided to stay at home full-time with my children, I began writing fiction.

What got you started as a writer? I wrote constantly when I was on my high school’s yearbook staff and also while I was a student of German. When my youngest went to kindergarten, I started a genealogy project that took on a life of its own and became a novel.

What difficult experience has helped you as a writer? Parenting two very different children has helped me become a more empathetic person and has taught me many valuable lessons about human nature. Understanding people is the key to creating complex, believable characters. 

Have you ever participated in the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo)? If so, how many times and what was your experience? I haven’t yet. It’s on my bucket list.

What advice would you give a new indie author hoping to publish a book? Query agents for at least a year before you approach an indie press or self-publish. I received so much helpful feedback while querying and ended up making major revisions to my novel. All those rejections helped me grow as a writer.

What has been the biggest challenge for you during Covid? The biggest challenge was having my husband and kids at home. I’m used to writing in a very quiet house with my dog at my feet, so I got very little accomplished during quarantine.

What are you reading right now? I’m reading The Woman with the Blue Star by Pam Jenoff and listening to The Dutch House by Ann Patchett.

Would you rather laugh or cry over a book?  I’m always up for a good cry.

Have you ever climbed a tree to read a book? Yes! When I was in elementary and middle school, I used to read in trees all the time, but only on the low branches. I have a fear of heights.

Have you ever dropped a book in the tub, in a pool or in the ocean? I have never dropped a book in the water, but the wind blew my favorite bookmark into the pool just a few weeks ago. It’s a drawing of Jabba the Hut and Salacious Crumb that my son made for me when he was ten and thoroughy obsessed with Star Wars. Luckily, I fished the bookmark out with a skimmer before it sustained any real damage.

Could you live in a tiny house? I could probably live in a tiny house if I only had to share it with my dog.

What are the small things that make you happy? Snow, cherry blossoms, pumpkins, and dogs always put a smile on my face, but nothing beats watching my kids play baseball and soccer.

Website and social media links:
Website: www.tammypasterick.com
Facebook: @authortammypasterick
Twitter: @TammyPasterick
Instagram: @authortammypasterick


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Who’s That Indie Author? Leora Krygier

Author Name: Leora Krygier

Genre: Memoir, Fiction and Non-Fiction

Books: Do Not Disclose (8/24/21), Keep Her, When She Sleeps, Juvenile Court

Brief bio: Leora Krygier is a former Los Angeles Superior Court, Juvenile Division judge. She’s the author of When She Sleeps, praised by Newsweek, Booklist, Library Journal, and Kirkus. When She Sleeps was also a New York Public Library Selection for “Best Books for the Teen Age.” She’s also the author of Juvenile Court: A Judges Guide for Young Adults and their Parents and Keep Her, a young adult novel. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, David.

What got you started as a writer? I started writing little stories, poems and micro-autobiographies when I was in third grade. I loved going to my local public library and sitting on the floor in between the stacks. It was there that I started dreaming of seeing my name one day on a bookshelf. It felt like something magical and permanent to write a book, something that would outlast me.

What difficult experience has helped you as a writer? As writers, we absorb and observe everything around us – people, places, events, along with all our good and bad experiences. I started writing fiction so I could make up the stories I wanted to read. Much harder was to write a memoir, my current book, with real people and real events that happened to me and my family. Knowing the truth about my family, learning that my best friend from childhood was actually my sister, was a difficult but freeing experience and writing about it was hard but also cathartic.

Have you ever participated in the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo)? If so, how many times and what was your experience? I haven’t participated in this.

What advice would you give a new indie author hoping to publish a book? Publishing used to be a sort of “old boys club” where few writers were chosen by a small, select group of New York City publishers. We are luckier today with the advent of self, hybrid and boutique publishers. New voices can now be heard and this democratization of books is good for everyone. That said, because of the new (and large) influx of books on the market, it’s not easy to be found or heard, even once a book is published. You have to be prepared to work as hard or maybe even harder at marketing your book than writing it and you have to have realistic expectations. Also, it’s a good idea to contribute to the general conversation out there – pitch articles, personal essays or your own expertise. Every article you write, every IG or Facebook post you make is a piece of the publishing puzzle.

What has been the biggest challenge for you during Covid? Hardest for me, like many others, was not to be able to see and hug the people I loved. Also, not to be out and about to plan, look for and find new experiences. Yet, Covid was certainly a time for reflection and gratitude and an understanding of what is important. Time seemed to stand still and melt away quickly, both at the same time. Covid gave me more time to read, walk and think. I think we will all incorporate some of the lessons we learned about ourselves and the world post-Covid.

What are you reading right now? I’m actually rereading a classic – Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. Every once in a while, I go back to the classics I read in high school, especially the ones with female protagonists and female writers. I’m blown away by the fact that despite the fact that Jane Eyre was written in the late 1800’s, the novel has not only stood the test of time but continues to be relevant, beloved and appreciated today.

Would you rather laugh or cry over a book? I think I’d rather have a good cry, even though I always hope there are some lighter moments in a book.

Have you ever climbed a tree to read a book? Not exactly “climbed,” but my parents had a large tree in front of their house that had a little half-wall around it where I would sit, play “imaginary kitchen” and read until dark.

Have you ever dropped a book in the tub, in a pool or in the ocean? Well, almost. Does spilling an entire large cup of coffee count? I’ve got a few older, but treasured books with coffee stains that I don’t have the heart to throw away. A few stuck-together pages don’t seem to bother me.

Could you live in a tiny house? Hmmm, a tiny house. I’ve lived in tiny apartments in Paris and Saint Tropez, so the thought of living in a tiny house is both challenging and intriguing. I do love the notion of paring down and living only with what is absolutely necessary. But my tiny house would have to be on a piece of land that included a creek, a forest or a mountain within sight.

What are the small things that make you happy? Reading, starting to think about and writing a new book, taking photographs, shopping, (especially after a year of Covid) traveling, hiking, and chocolate.

Website and social media links:
Website: leorakrygier.net
Instagram: @leorakrygierauthor
Facebook: @LeoraKrygierAuthor


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Who’s That Indie Author? Kim Fairley

Author Name: Kim Fairley

Genre: Nonfiction; memoir

Books: Shooting Out the Lights: A Memoir, She Writes Press, July 27, 2021; Photographs and Two Diaries of the 1901 Peary Relief Expedition, University of New Mexico Press, 2002    

Brief bio: As a writer, I focus on my quirky family, my experience as a competitive swimmer, and my age-gap marriage (my husband was 32 years older). I grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio, attended the University of Southern California on a swimming scholarship and eventually my interest in art led me to Michigan where I attended grad school, raised my kids, and have lived ever since.

What got you started as a writer? With a great grandfather who in 1901 was an early Arctic tourist, I’ve always been fascinated by polar exploration. At the University of Michigan, I created monumental collages about the Arctic, and discovered I enjoyed crafting family stories more than creating art about them. And that’s when I began to write.

What difficult experience has helped you as a writer? Starting when I was twelve, my parents left my four younger siblings and me to manage on our own for a week or two every month while they traveled on business. My siblings were ages four, six, eight, and ten. We kids prepared meals, cleaned the laundry, deposited checks, and answered sales calls. We learned early how to manage everything by ourselves, and if we wanted something, we needed to go after it. I developed self-reliance and resilience. I became a fighter. I also learned the importance of consistency.

Have you ever participated in the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo)? If so, how many times and what was your experience? Not yet.

What advice would you give a new indie author hoping to publish a book? My best advice for any new author is to write the stories that they find themselves repeating. When we wrestle with the words on the page, we discover truths about ourselves. These discoveries connect with readers.

What has been the biggest challenge for you during Covid? During Covid, I found myself craving human contact and sometimes feeling paralyzed by anxiety. The pandemic has been a reminder to pay attention to my body and my spirit.

What are you reading right now? I saved a book that my husband had read the year before his death. It was called Growing Young by Ashley Montagu. The book focuses on the evolution of human behavior which didn’t appeal to me in my twenties. Recently, I discovered he had marked some of the passages, so I began reading it. I see these marks now as clues into how he was thinking decades ago.

Would you rather laugh or cry over a book? I prefer books that make me cry like When Breath becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi or Autobiography of a Face by Lucy Grealy. These books stay with me.

Have you ever climbed a tree to read a book? Never. I’ve hidden in a closet to read a book though.

Have you ever dropped a book in the tub, in a pool or in the ocean? No, but it’s a miracle because I spent half of my childhood in a swimming pool. From age twelve to twenty, I swam nine to eleven miles a day.

Could you live in a tiny house? If I had to, sure. After college I slept on a twin mattress on the floor of my apartment. The only other furniture were milk crates where I stored my books.

What are the small things that make you happy? I love waking to the sound of songbirds at my window, the smell of strong coffee, and the company of my sweet foxhound, Harley.

Website and social media links:
Website: kimfairley.com
Facebook: @kimfairley11
Twitter: @kimfairley1
Instagram: kimfairleywrites


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Who’s That Indie Author? Laurie James

Photo by Bradford Rogne Photography

Author Name: Laurie James

Genre: Memoir

Book: Sandwiched: A Memoir of Holding On and Letting Go

Brief bio: I am a mother, caregiver, divorcée, turned author and transformative coach. I have successfully launched four daughters into adulthood and have been the primary caretaker for my elderly parents for thirteen years. I have learned through therapy and other healing programs that I have everything I need within me to create the life I desire, and I want to share that knowledge with other women through writing and my coaching practice. I live in Manhattan Beach with my adopted husky, Lu. When I’m not walking my dog, volunteering, promoting my book or coaching, I can be found skiing, sailing, hiking, doing yoga, spending time with my girlfriends or planning my next adventure.

What got you started as a writer? It all started when my mother had a heart attack and fell ill. The tables quickly turned from her helping me with my teen and pre-teen daughters to my needing to oversee her care, the care of my dad, and hiring caregivers for both of them. Over the next several years, I’d laugh and cry with my friends and then husband about the antics my caregivers were pulling. They encouraged me to start writing down these stories, because I couldn’t have made these things up if I’d tried. I called them The Caregiver Chronicles. After writing for several years, I realized my story was bigger. Not only was I caring for my parents and managing unruly caregivers, I was also raising four teenage daughters, and my marriage was crumbling. That’s when I changed the title to Sandwiched for the sandwich generation.

What difficult experience has helped you as a writer? When I was going through the difficult challenges above, I took that opportunity to ask myself, “What’s my part in this and what am I suppose to learn from these experiences?” Writing with reflection about my difficulties has given me a deeper insight to who I am and how I can learn and grow when challenges arise. Hopefully my readers will also see a part of them in my character and learn to grow along with me.

Have you ever participated in the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo)? If so, how many times and what was your experience? I haven’t participated in NaNoWriMo, but know other people who have. I have heard it’s a very productive experience. I will consider doing it if another book surfaces within me.

What advice would you give a new indie author hoping to publish a book? If writing a book has been a dream of yours or it keeps nudging you, just start. We all have to begin somewhere.

What has been the biggest challenge for you during Covid?  My biggest challenge during Covid was when my daughters left to go back to school in the fall. Even though their classes were virtual, they had previously committed to housing. I was sad and worried about being alone during the upcoming winter, but they came home at Thanksgiving and Christmas and we all made it through.

What are you reading right now? I’m reading the The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett and loving it.

Would you rather laugh or cry over a book? The best is when I can do both. I love putting a book down and feeling all the emotions it has stirred within me.

Have you ever climbed a tree to read a book? No, I haven’t climbed a tree to read a book, but as a child, I loved to climb the tree in my front yard.

Have you ever dropped a book in the tub, in a pool or in the ocean? I’ve dropped a book in my bathtub while in it, then dried it off and kept reading it.

Could you live in a tiny house? No, I have 4 adult children and they have significant others, so I need more space for when they visit.

What are the small things that make you happy? The small things that make me happy are laughter, my four daughters, friends, nature and love.

Website and social media links:

Website: laurieejames.com
Facebook: @Lauriejamesauthor
Instagram: laurie.james


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Who’s That Indie Author? Joe Wells

Author Name: Joe Wells

Genre: Murder mystery

Book: The Case of the Grease Monkey’s Uncle

Bio: I worked in the family bakers business and became a professional actor through amateur theatre. Following my father’s death and my mother’s decline into dementia, I became her full-time caregiver, which necessitated my retirement from acting, but sparked my desire to write more as a means of stimulating my creative side.

What got you started as a writer? I have always written since school just for fun, but my wife suggested I should write a children’s book which led to a collection of eight.

What difficult experience has helped you as a writer? Looking after my mother who had dementia as her full-time caregiver meant I could escape in my head by creating a story which I could later use for a story or a book, but they certainly weren’t the easiest years of my life by any means.

Have you ever participated in the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo)? If so, how many times and what was your experience? I have never participated in the National Novel Writing Month. I will have to look into it.

What advice would you give a new indie author hoping to publish a book? Don’t give up, it’s a long road, but well with it in the long run.

What has been the biggest challenge for you during Covid? As I am retired, I have to say I have had an easy time during Covid except when I contracted it at Christmas, but luckily it was like a very bad dose of flu and left me with no long-term symptoms. During the first lockdown, I wrote my book The Case of the Grease Monkey’s Uncle, which was relatively easy as there were no distractions as all we could do was stay indoors, so I very much enjoyed writing the book. However, I am writing a second book called The Case of the Punch and Judy Man which continues the story of my detective characters, James Arbuthnott and Archie Cluff. But there are many more distractions. I am assisting my wife with her health and beauty clinic, making it somewhat slower progress this time round.

What are you reading right now? I am reading A Fighter Command Station at War by Mark Hillier. It is about RAF Westhampnett, which is research for my next book set in the 1940s.

Would you rather laugh or cry over a book? I think I would prefer to laugh, but I’m quite happy with any book that stirs any of my emotions.

Have you ever climbed a tree to read a book? I have never climbed a tree to read a book. I have, however, climbed a tree to build a treehouse when I was a child. It was not too far from the ground, though, as my mother was very protective of my brother and me, probably because we were adopted which made us a tad more precious to her.

Have you ever dropped a book in the tub, in a pool or in the ocean? I have never had a book in close enough proximity to any of these things to drop one in.

Could you live in a tiny house? We currently live in a large house but I have lived in a small house and I think I am sufficiently adaptable that I could cope wherever I might live.

What are the small things that make you happy? I love my wife and my classic cars although if I was forced to make a choice my wife would just edge it!

Website and social media links:
Blog: https://thediaryofacountrybumpkin.com/
Website: https://lordjoewells.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/joe.wells.7921/


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