Who’s That Indie Author? Sandra Butler

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Author name:  Sandra Butler

Genre:  Non-fiction

BooksIt Never Ends; Mothering Middle-Aged Daughters (2017); Cancer In Two Voices (1988); Conspiracy of Silence: The Trauma of Incest (1978)


Bio:  In addition to her three non-fiction books, Butler is also the co-producer of the award-winning documentaries Cancer in Two Voices (1991) and Ruthie and Connie: Every Room in the House (2004). Both films screened in Toronto, Montreal, Berlin, and Sundance, and are widely used for training and educational purposes. She was a founding editor of Persimmon Tree, persimmontree.org, an on-line magazine by women over 60 for readers of all ages. She is the mother of two daughters and a lover of noir movies accompanied by buttered popcorn.

Favorite thing about being a writer: My favorite part of writing is finding truthful and skillful language that allows me to bring the issues affecting the lives of women and girls that still remain in the shadows, into clear focus on the page. Often working with difficult subject matter, I work to be inviting, illuminating and encouraging to my reader.

Biggest challenge as an indie author:  My experience has been a good one. Glide Church published my first book. Spinsters, Ink, a feminist press published the second, and She Writes, a feminist hybrid press published the most recent.  I have been blessed with three publishers who echo my values. My life is embedded in a series of overlapping communities, and they have served to allow my books to find their way into the larger world, for which I am very grateful.

Favorite books:  All of Mary Carr’s  books—for her scrupulous honesty
All of James Baldwin’s writing- for his courage and grace with language
All of Alice Munro’s short stories for expanding my sense of what it is to be human.

Contact Information:
website:  sandrabutler.net
email:  motheringdaughters@gmail.com         
Facebook: It-Never-Ends-Mothering-Middle-Aged-Daughters

Awards/special recognition:  Lambda Literary Award for Non-Fiction l991


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Who’s That Indie Author? Sarah Kowalski

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Author name:  Sarah Kowalski

Genre:  Memoir

Book:  Motherhood Reimagined: When Becoming A Mother Doesn’t Go As Planned

Bio:  Sarah Kowalski is an author, life coach, fertility doula and former attorney. Through her one on one coaching, support groups, and writing, she is redefining what it means to be a mother so she can inspire others to cultivate the love, courage and tenacity it takes to conceive and raise a child by unconventional means. As a single mother who battled fertility to get pregnant, she is a go to guide for women who are contemplating single motherhood, having fertility issues, raising donor conceived children or navigating life as single mothers. When she’s not writing, coaching women, or chasing her very curious three-year old son, she can be found doing Qigong or other mind/body practices, cooking or dancing.

Favorite thing about being a writer:  I love writing as a vehicle to make sense of my inner landscape and thought process.  Once I’ve reached clarity, I feel inspired to share what I’ve learned in hopes of shedding wisdom on another. I hope that by finding clarity, I can guide others and help them feel less alone in their own experiences. My writing also feels like a calling to change the narrative around infertility and unconventional paths to motherhood.  By bolding sharing my story, I hope others will also be courageous, ending the shame and secrecy around these topics.

Biggest challenge as an indie author:  Finding time to write substantive pieces such as my memoir, while balancing the need to write short blog posts for my business and for marketing.

Favorite booksWild: Sheryl Strayed; State of Wonder: Ann Patchett ; Saving Fish From Drowning: Amy Tan; House of Spirits: Isabel Allende

Contact Information:
Website and blog:  motherhoodreimagined.com
Facebook:  @motherhoodreimagined
Twitter: @ChoiceMamaBaby


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Who’s That Indie Author? James J. Cudney

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Author name:  James J. Cudney (Jay)

Genre:  Adult / Contemporary Fiction, Family Drama, Mystery & Suspense

Books:  Watching Glass Shatter (2017), Father Figure (2018)

Bio:  James is my given name; most call me Jay. I grew up on Long Island and currently live in New York City. I’m an avid genealogist (discovered 2K family members going back about 250 years) and cook (I find it so hard to follow a recipe). I love to read; between Goodreads and my blog, I have over 500 book reviews which will give you a full flavor for my voice and style. On my blog, I started the 365 Daily Challenge, where I post a word each day that has some meaning to me, then converse with everyone about life. There is humor, tears, love, friendship, advice and bloopers. Lots of bloopers where I poke fun at myself all the time.

My debut novel, Watching Glass Shatter, is an emotional rollercoaster about a family full of secrets. When the patriarch dies in a car accident, his widow Olivia, and their five adult sons must learn how to re-connect, except all the secrets stand in the way. It’s full of humor and tears, but you will find a whole new family to love when you take this book on.

Favorite thing about being a writer:  Being able to create characters and a plot that truly bring emotions to a reader, whether it’s tears, laughter, inspiration or fear. Knowing that I can share an idea that’s in my head, and seeing how it materializes for each distinct reader, brings me immense joy.

Biggest challenge as an indie author:  Convincing people to take a chance on reading your work when there are so many talented authors in the world. I try to build relationships rather than just ask someone to read my book; my available time becomes a challenge as building connections doesn’t happen overnight. I am committed to finding success by always being honest and sharing who I am, connecting with my readers as much as possible.

Favorite book:  It changes, but right now, Ken Follett’s Night Over Water

Contact Information:
Author Site:  jamesjcudney.com
Blog:  thisismytruthnow.com
Amazon Author Page:  James J. Cudney
Goodreads Author Page:  James J. Cudney

Awards/special recognition:  As an October 2017 debut author, I am just submitting my work for contests and awards. My book was written in for the Goodreads Debut Author Choice Awards by over a hundred people, which was heartwarming humbling. I hope to make a huge splash in 2018 as I begin marketing the first book, Watching Glass Shatter, and publish the second one, Father Figure.


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Who’s That Indie Author? Anne Leigh Parrish

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Author name:  Anne Leigh Parrish

Genre:  Literary Fiction, Contemporary Fiction, Women’s Fiction

BooksWomen Within, a novel (Black Rose Writing, 2017); By the Wayside, stories (Unsolicited Press, 2017); What Is Found, What Is Lost, a novel (She Writes Press, 2014); Our Love Could Light The World, stories (She Writes Press, 2013); All The Roads That Lead From Home, stories (Press 53, 2011).

Bio:  Anne Leigh Parrish is an award-winning author, now also a poet. She lives in the South Sound region of Washington State with her husband of forty years. Aside from the evergreen forests all around her, her favorite places are the deserts of the American Southwest, and the Hawaiin Islands.

Favorite thing about being a writer:  Creating beautiful worlds full of complex, courageous characters

Biggest challenge as an indie author:  I’d say getting the word out about my books and story publications.

Favorite booksThe Roundhouse by Louise Erdrich; Mendocino Fire by Elizabeth Tallent; Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout; Moon Tiger by Penelope Lively; The London Train by Tessa Hadley

Contact Informationanneleighparrish.com

Awards/special recognition:

  • Finalist in the short story category, 2017 International Book Awards, By the Wayside;
  • Best Fiction WINNER, 2017 Maxy Awards, Women Within;
  • Winner, Literary Fiction, 2015 Book of the Year Award, What Is Found, What Is Lost
  • Finalist in the literary fiction category, 2015 International Book Awards, What Is Found, What Is Lost
  • Finalist in the short story category, 2014 Next Generation Indie Book Awards, Our Love Could Light The World

For a complete list, please visit the “Awards” page of my website.


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Who’s That Indie Author? Shirani Rajapakse

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Author name:  Shirani Rajapakse

Genre:  Poetry and Short Stories

Books:  Chant of a Million Women (self published August 2017) Breaking News (Vijitha Yapa 2011)

Bio:  Shirani Rajapakse is an internationally published, award winning poet and author. She won the Cha “Betrayal” Poetry Contest 2013 and was a finalist in the Anna Davidson Rosenberg Poetry Awards 2013. Her collection of short stories Breaking News (Vijitha Yapa 2011) was shortlisted for the Gratiaen Award. Rajapakse’s work appears in publications around the world including, Flash Magazine, Litro, Dove Tales, Mascara, Skylight 47, Berfrois, Counterpunch, Moving Worlds, Deep Water, Kitaab, New Verse News and many others.                                 

Favorite thing about being a writer:  I love the freedom to write what I want. I’ve worked in journalism and research and although they too involve telling compelling stories, they are based on fact. In fiction or poetry you can risks, creating total worlds out of mere pieces of facts. I also think it’s an effective way of telling a story that might otherwise not be told, like a narrative about a rape victim or a woman who has been murdered. In fiction we can create her world and tell it from her point of view.

Biggest challenge as an indie authorBreaking News my first publication, was through a small press in Sri Lanka. When I decided to self publish my poetry collection Chant of a Million Women, I had to work twice or even thrice as hard on the book. Because I was doing it on my own I had to learn everything from start. It felt like going to school, trying to learn about self publishing, how to format a book, do covers (although I got someone to design it for me), and marketing and promoting. I thought writing the book was hard, but turns out that was the easy part. The biggest challenge is in marketing and promoting.

Favorite booksTonight No Poetry Will Serve – Adrienne Rich, Snow – Orhan Pamuk, Midnight’s Children –Salman Rushdie, An Equal Music – Vikram Seth, Stags Leap –Sharon Olds, For the Most Beautiful – Emily Hauser.

Contact Information:
Blog:   Shirani Rajapakse – Poet. Author.
Facebook:  @shiranirajapakseauthor
Twitter:  @shiraniraj

Click here to learn more about Shirani Rajapakse’s books on Amazon.

Awards/special recognition:
Winner, Cha “Betrayal” Poetry Contest 2013
Finalist, Anna Davidson Rosenberg Poetry Awards 2013.
Shortlisted, Gratiaen Award for Breaking News (Vijitha Yapa 2011) (short stories)


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Who’s That Indie Author? Anna Chant

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Author name:  Anna Chant

Genre:  Historical Fiction

Books:  I am writing a series of books called Women of the Dark Ages. All are standalone novels telling the stories of the often forgotten and uncelebrated women of the era. I have recently been shortlisted for the UK Novel Writing Competition. Kenneth’s Queen, The Girl from Brittia and Three Times the Lady.

      

Bio:  I was born and grew up in Harlow, Essex in the UK. After studying history at university I spent a year in Germany before training as a teacher. I currently live in Devon with my husband and three sons. I published my first novel, Kenneth’s Queen in 2016 and have fallen in love with the Dark Ages and in particular the part played by the women of those tumultuous times. I plan to tell the story of as many as possible!

Favorite thing about being a writer:  I enjoy all aspects of creating my book. A lot of research needs to be done before I start writing and this often feels like a treasure hunt as I never know who or what I might find. I love using that research to create the characters, most of whom really existed. The minor characters can be as fun to create as the main ones, particularly if they are the more famous figures of the age. My last book featured a very young Alfred the Great and creating his character was one of my favourite parts of writing that book.

Biggest challenge as an indie author:  Like a lot of indie authors I struggle with promoting my books. Discovering advertising platforms and using social media effectively has proved to be a steep learning curve and it’s a learning process which remains ongoing!

Favorite book:  There are far too many to just pick one! My favourite historical novel and the book which most influences me as a writer is Katherine by Anya Seton. My favourite book of all time is JRR Tokein’s Lord of the Rings. My favourite books that I’ve shared with my children is a series called The Worlds of Chrestomanci by Diana Wynne Jones.

Contact Information:
Blog:  Dark Age Voices
Facebook: @darkagevoices
Twitter: @anna_chant

You can also find me on Pinterest, Goodreads and Amazon.


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Who’s That Indie Author? Willie Handler

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Author name:  Willie Handler

Genre:  Humor

Book:  The Road Ahead

Bio:  Willie Handler grew up in Toronto and did his undergraduate work at the University of Toronto. He also has graduate degrees from the Schulich School of Business at York University in Toronto and the Fox School of Business at Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He spent over thirty years in various positions in the Ontario public service. before leaving in 2011. He has a number of humorous short stories published online on CommuterLit and Show Me the Funny, as well as many articles published in professional trade journals. THE ROAD AHEAD is his first novel. Willie is currently working on funny story about a chef stranded on Mars who is rescued by two Martians.

Favorite thing about being a writer:  I was a technical writer for much of my work career. Three years ago, I decided to try creative writing and have been loving it. I enjoy storytelling, creating humor and using my imagination. Writing has been a wonderful opportunity to develop skills.

Biggest challenge as an indie author:  The publishing industry has changed a lot over the years and authors are expected to actively market their books. Indie authors have to carry the ball largely on their own. I have no background in marketing and was not very active on social media. This aspect of writing has been challenging but I’m getting better at it.

Favorite books:
Cider House Rules – John Irving
Goodbye, Columbus – Philip Roth
The Plot Against America – Philip Roth
Nineteen Eighty-Four – George Orwell
A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole
To Kill A Mockingbird – Harper Lee

Contact Information:
Blog: williehandler.com
Twitter – @WillieHandler
Facebook – @willietheauthor


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Who’s That Indie Author? Sarah Woodard

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Author name:  Sarah Woodard

Genre:  Children’s Lit

BookAdri’s Big Dream

Bio:  Sarah Woodard is a writer and shaman. She hopes to inspire children and adults to reach for their dreams through her writing. Sarah is a freelance writer for a variety of businesses and publications, fulfilling a life-long dream to be a writer. She lives in Nashua, NH with her cats. When she’s not writing, Sarah enjoys hiking, crafts and putting her personal touch on her home.

Favorite thing about being a writer:  Using my creativity and love of words to inspire others

Biggest challenge as an indie author:  Marketing

Favorite books:  As kid, Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel by Virginia Lee Burton. Now, any and all mysteries, but especially Agatha Christie.

Contact Information:
Website: Sarah Woodard – Author
Facebook:   @sarahwoodardauthor


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Who’s That Indie Author? Brigid P. Gallagher

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Author name:  Brigid P. Gallagher

Genre:  Memoir

Book:  Watching the Daisies – Life Lessons on the Importance of Slow

Bio:  Brigid was a natural medicines therapist and teacher for 20 years. She facilitated classes for community projects, prisons, and women’s groups in Scotland and Ireland, including self-healing classes for Stirling University Open Studies and Summer Schools from 1993 to 1999. In 1999, she relocated to Donegal, Ireland the home of her ancestors. Brigid succumbed to a mystery illness in 2003 that was eventually diagnosed as fibromyalgia. She retrained in organic horticulture and taught this subject in schools until recently.

Favorite thing about being a writer:  I write about the topics I love, and hope to inspire others on their self-healing journey.

Biggest challenge as an indie author:  Marketing and book promotion.

Favorite bookThe Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron

Contact Informationwatchingthedaisies.com

Awards/special recognition:  Blog shortlisted in 2016 Ireland Blog Awards


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Who’s That Indie Author? Robert L. Ruisi

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Author name:  Robert L. Ruisi

Genre:  nonfiction, fiction, children’s and adult

BooksTurning Point – A Pathway out of the Fog of Alzheimer’s, The Hitchhiker, The Unknown Stories, The Green Book

             

Bio: I did not start writing stories until I became ill with Alzheimer’s disease. I am not sure what it was, a need to write my memoirs or just the way the disease struck me, but I was on fire writing stories and ended up writing about 70 short stories. The stories were mostly about childhood and then, as things changed, I was writing more adult until I wrote Turning Point – A Pathway out of the Fog of Alzheimer’s, my next to last book. I am grateful and feel blessed. I have had one doctor hold up my book stating that it is a “must read,” and another doctor verified I’ve beaten the disease!

Favorite thing about being a writer:  I have expressed myself in many ways music, art, designing of costume jewelry and clothing and now writing. I fully enjoy the freedom of expression that writing offers.

Biggest challenge as an indie author:  As an indie author trying to get the word out about your newest book can be a daunting task. Marketing is the make or break it for any indie author.

Favorite booksThe Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain, Moby Dick by Herman Melville

Contact Information:
Facebook:  @hope4AlzheimersDisease
Facebook:  Robert L Ruisi
I am available for speaking engagements:  (732) 343-4571


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