Who’s That Indie Author? Michael J Moore

Author name: Michael J Moore

Genre: Horror/YA/Literary/Thriller

Books: After the Change (YA) (published by MKM Bridge Press 2019); Highway Twenty (Horror) (published by Hellbound Books 2019); Secret Harbor (Literary/Thriller) (to be published by Black Writing in June 2020)

What’s your story and how did you become a writer? I grew up an hour north of Seattle, in a small town called Mount Vernon, Washington. As far back as I can remember, though, I’ve always had an infatuation with bigger cities and horror. When I was in the fourth grade. I remember writing a short thriller, and the school librarian was so impressed that she encouraged me to enter into some young authors contests. I never did, but I wrote periodically after that. All my English teachers pushed me to pursue writing and in the back of my mind, I always planned to. It wasn’t until a few years ago, when I was twenty-nine, that I realized that writing wasn’t just something I was good at, but what I needed to be doing. So I wrote my first book After the Change and I’ve never looked back. I’ve since landed three book deals through different publishers, two of which will be released this year, one of my books was adapted into a play, and was performed in Seattle last year and I’ve had more than a dozen short stories accepted for publication.

How do you balance your work with other demands? With great difficulty. Being a writer and a Father and a husband has all sorts of demands. I just try to make sure I write two thousand words a day and when that’s done, I concentrate on my other responsibilities.

Name one of the happiest moments in your life: The happiest moments in my life were the birth of my two daughters, Gaby and Jazi, closely followed by my current horror novel Highway Twenty being placed on the Preliminary Ballot for Superior Achievement in a Novel for the Bram Stoker Award.

What’s your approach to writing? Are you a “pantser” or a planner? I am definitely a “pantser.” Writing is such a personal and intimate thing, that it’s hard to say where my process differs from others’. I do most of my first draft work in longhand, which I imagine is becoming less frequent these days. I don’t work from an outline. I know some authors do, but it has a negative effect on my creativity. I find the story’s able to play out more organically and less predictable if I don’t plot it too heavily.

Could you write in a café with people around? I could definitely do my marketing and answering of interview questions in a café but I could not write my two thousand words in a café as I need silence. I used to write with the radio playing but I guess old age has affected me and I can’t anymore. Where do I actually write? It’s the most bland, little room you could imagine, with white walls and a tiny wooden desk–two feet, by two feet. It keeps me from becoming distracted during the long hours I spend in it, and allows me to retreat into my real writing space, which is the part of my mind where the stories get stuck after having found their way in.

Have you ever written dialogue in a second language? If so, how did you do it? No I haven’t but I’d like one day to write a book in Spanish given my Latino roots. I would be delighted however if my books were translated into other languages by a translator. What an honour!

What’s your favorite book and what are you reading now? I’m a huge fan of Stephen King. My favourite book is one of his called Joyland. As for what I’m reading now – once again it’s another Stephen King book called The Outsiders.

What’s your favorite way to read a book: hardcover, paperback, eReader? I only read books in paperback. My children love ebooks and my wife likes all formats except hardcover. I’d have to say that hardcover is the least favourite in our family.

Do you think print books will always be around? Absolutely, I’d like to think so. When the internet was invented, the postal services feared that they would go out of business yet they are making just as much profit as ever. The same with movie theatres when Netflix became popular. I feel the same way about print books. There will always be a market for them.

Would you ever read a book on your phone? I wouldn’t read a book on my phone but my wife and children would. I know my wife does a lot of waiting around for the children and so she often reads short stories on her phone if she’s forgotten her devices.

What’s your go-to device? iPhone, Android or something else? My go to device is my tablet. I use any form of tablet I can get my hands on. I write on the tablet too if I’m not at home. I’m not a fan of a certain brand.

How long could you go without checking your phone? I’d say as long as it takes to write two thousand words. So much of my marketing is done on Twitter and Facebook that the phone becomes a part of me as it’s portable and more relaxing to work with.

Do you listen to audiobooks? If you do, what do you do while you’re listening? No, I don’t listen to audiobooks. My wife used to when she was pregnant and I know she does now. Both of my published books After the Change and Highway Twenty are available on Audible and my wife has listened to both of them.

Do you like using social media to promote yourself and your book? If so, what’s your favorite platform? Social media is a necessity, whether we like it or not. I use mostly Twitter and Facebook but am present on the others too.

Website and social media links:
Email: michaeljmoorewriting@gmail.com
Website: Michael J Moore Writing
Facebook: Michael J Moore
Twitter: @MichaelJMoore20
Instagram: michaeljmoorewriting

Awards/special recognition: Honorable Mention in the L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future contest; Preliminary Ballot for Superior Achievement in a Novel for the Bram Stoker Award 2019


Are you an indie or self-published author?  Do you want to build your author network? Get your name out on Who’s That Indie Author!

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Who’s That Indie Author? Gary D. Hillard

Author name: Gary D. Hillard

Genre: Fiction

Books: 12.5 so far: Betts’ Best, Betts’ Becoming, Betts’ Belonging, The Buckman Kids, Road Trip, The Fosters of Camp Algonquin, Page of Swords, Alicia and the Queen of the Forest, Kenny and Stan, Cora Jenny, and the Keeper, Anna, Flossy Underoak. Jessica Jett Takes Off is a work in progress, which I hope to have done in early April.

What’s your story and how did you become a writer? I retired at 57 after twenty-two years as a child and family therapist, and eleven years as a school teacher. I had raised four kids, including two girls I adopted out of foster care, and was a foster parent as well. I came away from my work pretty well burned out, and filled with stories, that I thought needed to be told.

How do you balance your work with other demands? Work wins. I’m single, retired, and my youngest child is 22 years old. I don’t even have a dog at this point.

Name one of the happiest moments in your life: A seven-week cross-country tent-camping trip with my two youngest girls. All done in an early 70s Toyota. It’s pretty much their favorite time, too.

What’s your approach to writing? I wait at the end of a dock, and out of the fog, a story-ship appears. When it docks, I climb aboard and explore, taking notes as I go. It’s magic. There is usually about a day or two in between finishing one book and starting on the next.

Could you write in a café with people around? I could, and have. But most of my writing is early in the morning, in my Vermont cabin. Tunes on, coffee or tea, and the story.

Have you ever written dialogue in a second language? Nope. Can’t imagine it.

What’s your favorite book and what are you reading now? Peace Like a River, by Leif Enger, is my long-term favorite. Read it. It’s pretty great. I’m currently reading Invisible Americans, by Jeff Madrick, The Poet’s Corner, edited by John Lithgow, and Sunday’s Children, by Ingmar Bergman. I can do multiple books if only one of them is fiction.

What’s your favorite way to read a book: hardcover, paperback, eReader? I spend about four to six hours each day writing on my MacBook. That’s way more screen time than I would like, so I only read paper.

Do you think print books will always be around? I hope so. Something magic about paper and ink.

Would you ever read a book on your phone? I have a flip phone, without internet connection. No books on there. I have to squint to see the texts.

What’s your go-to device? iPhone, Android or something else? Probably a guitar or a mandolin. If it has to plug in, it would be my turntable, a vintage receiver and JBL speakers. Plus maybe ten feet of vinyl records.  Currently listening to Dire Straits.

How long could you go without checking your phone? Days at a time. My kids hate that.

Do you listen to audiobooks? If you do, what do you do while you’re listening? Once or twice, when traveling. I’m kind of a fan of silence these days. Wanting to just sit and think about stuff. I love to drive and see where I am, and think about it.

Do you like using social media to promote yourself and your book? If so, what’s your favorite platform? I’m on Facebook, and pretty much hate it. I used it to stay in touch with my students, who now have kids of their own. I push my books on FB as well, awkwardly, with some success.

Website and social media links: Bear Hill Books, on FB

Awards/special recognition: My kids think I was a pretty good dad. That’s the best one.


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Who’s That Indie Author? David Ruggerio

Author name:  David Ruggerio

Genre:  Horror

Book: A Wistful Tale of Gods, Men, and Monsters

What’s your story and how did you become a writer?  David Ruggerio, is a well-known celebrity chef and restaurant owner in New York City. Ruggerio honed his culinary skills in France at several of the country’s leading restaurants, among them, the Hotel Negresco with famed chef Jacques Maximin; Moulin de Mougins with renowned chef Roger Verge; l’Auberge du Pont de Collonges with legendary chef Paul Bocuse, and Les Pres d’Eugenie with mythical chef, Michel Guerard.

His rise to fame began as the chef at the legendary New York eatery, La Caravelle. At the time Ruggerio was only twenty-five years old and garnished rave reviews as the restaurant was hailed as one of the best in the country. He went on to take command of Pierre Cardin’s New York outpost of Maxim’s de Paris where he unbelievably garnished three stars from the New York Times. He then took his talents to the iconic Park Avenue restaurant, Le Chantilly. Here he gained national acclaim by again receiving three stars from the New York Times. David has cooked for five US Presidents.

He was honored in 1995 by noted vintner Robert Mondavi as one of the thirteen best young chefs in America. He went on to star in his own popular PBS cooking series entitled, Little Italy with David Ruggerio. He later went on to star in his own iconic series on Food Network entitled, Ruggerio to Go.

David has written two acclaimed cookbooks which were published by Artisan books, Little Italy with David Ruggerio and David Ruggerio’s Italian Kitchen.

How do you balance your work with other demands?  I wake up daily at 4am and write till 8am. At that time of the morning there is little distraction, I focus completely on writing.

Name one of the happiest moments in your life:  Without a doubt, the birth of my children.

What’s your approach to writing? Are you a “pantser” or a planner?  The only thing I plan is the time I set aside to write. Other than that, I sit in front of my laptop with little planned. I write as it comes to my mind.

Could you write in a café with people around?  Absolutely not, I can’t work with distractions. I can’t even write with music playing.

Have you ever written dialogue in a second language? If so, how did you do it?  Yes, I do take liberty injecting French in particular. French and Italian are second languages for me, so it comes somewhat easy.

What’s your favorite book and what are you reading now?  Right now, I reading Make Your Bed by Admiral William H. McRaven and Grant by Ron Chernow. It’s hard to put my finger on one single book, but since I recognize with horror, then it would be Salem’s Lot by Stephen King.

What’s your favorite way to read a book: hardcover, paperback, eReader?  First and foremost, hardcover. I need to feel the book, so eReaders are a no-go for me.

Do you think print books will always be around?  I hope so, that includes newspapers (although I think they will be the first to disappear). There is something special about the feel of a book, the text on a computer screen will never be a replacement.

Would you ever read a book on your phone?  No! God, I hope it never comes to that.

What’s your go-to device? iPhone, Android or something else?  iPhone

How long could you go without checking your phone?  Not more than an hour, although when I lie in bed, I do not pick it up.

Do you listen to audiobooks? If you do, what do you do while you’re listening?  Love them! I love to take long drives, and I often listen to them as I drive.

Do you like using social media to promote yourself and your book? If so, what’s your favorite platform?  I do use as many platforms as possible. They are inexpensive methods of promoting yourself. Although I find when someone else promotes you, it’s much more effective.

Website and social media links:
Food Website: davidruggerio.com
Business Website: canvasbackfarms.com
Book Website: ruggeriobooks.com
YouTube Channel: David Ruggerio
Facebook: David Ruggerio
Twitter: @DavidRuggerio
Instagram: david.ruggerio
Goodreads: David Ruggerio
Amazon: David Ruggerio
Pinterest: David Ruggerio
Linkedin: David Ruggerio
Tumblr: chefdavidruggerio.tumblr.com

Awards/special recognition:  A Wistful Tale of Gods, Men, and Monsters– PenCraft Award 2019 Winner – Horror; Maxy Award 2019 Winner- Horror


Are you an indie or self-published author?  Do you want to build your author network? Get your name out on Who’s That Indie Author!

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Who’s That Indie Author? Stevie Turner

Author name:  Stevie Turner

Genres:  Romantic Suspense, Memoir, Dark Humor, Women’s Fiction, Family Dramas, and Paranormal

Books:  A House Without Windows; The Pilates Class; For the Sake of a Child; The Daughter-in-law Syndrome; Repent at Leisure; The Donor; and many more titles available here.

What’s your story and how did you become a writer?  I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t writing.  Since childhood I’ve always made up stories and poems, and won an inter-schools’ writing competition at the age of eleven.

How do you balance your work with other demands?  I work as a medical secretary three days per week, and write as a hobby in my spare time.  Until I earn more royalties than working as a medical secretary then my work will always have to come first.

Name one of the happiest moments in your life:  My wedding day. Also the births of my two sons.

What’s your approach to writing? Are you a “pantser” or a planner?  I’m definitely a ‘pantster.’  I make it all up as I go along.

Could you write in a café with people around?  Absolutely not. I need to be on my own and in a totally silent room so that I can think.

Have you ever written dialogue in a second language? If so, how did you do it?  Yes, in Examining Kitchen Cupboards, I needed one of my characters to speak Portuguese.  I looked up the words on Google Translate.   

What’s your favorite book and what are you reading now?  The one I could read over and over again is L.P Hartley’s The Go-Between.  It was written in a different age, without computers and iPhones etc.  Sometimes I wish we could go back to that foreign country, the past. What am I reading now?  I’m just about to start I Am Watching You by Teresa Driscoll.

What’s your favorite way to read a book: hardcover, paperback, eReader?  My Kindle is my preferred choice, but I do read quite a few paperbacks too.

Do you think print books will always be around?  Yes, I think so.  Not everybody prefers eReaders.

Would you ever read a book on your phone?  No. My phone is for making phone calls or reading text messages.

What’s your go-to device? iPhone, Android or something else?  I have an iPhone, but I’m not always going to it!

How long could you go without checking your phone?  All day, and I sometimes do.  At work it lives in my rucksack, and when I get home I sometimes forget to take it out.

Do you listen to audiobooks? If you do, what do you do while you’re listening?  No, as I find them rather expensive to buy.

Do you like using social media to promote yourself and your book? If so, what’s your favorite platform?  I’ve given up Facebook and LinkedIn as I wanted to cut down a bit. My favourite social media platform is WordPress followed by Twitter.

Website and social media links:
Website: stevie-turner-author.co.uk
WordPress Blog: steviet3.wordpress.com
Twitter: @StevieTurner6
YouTube: Stevie Turner
Amazon: Amazon.uk; Amazon.com; Amazon Author Page (worldwide)
Goodreads: Stevie Turner

Awards/special recognition:  Several Indie awards, which you can find here


Are you an indie or self-published author?  Do you want to build your author network? Get your name out on Who’s That Indie Author!

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Who’s That Indie Author? Deanna King

Author name: Deanna King

Genre: Fictional Crime, Fantasy Romance, Children’s Stories

Books: Twist of Fate- A Jack West Novel and Gracie’s Stories (Ages 6-11). New fantasy to come out this August.

 

What’s your story and how did you become a writer? I have loved to read since I was eight years old. I began writing in my junior year of high school but not seriously. In 1996, I began writing again, romance with a hit of intrigue or history, yet never finished any manuscript, as my life (husband, kids, work, divorce, kids, work and single life) got in the way of ‘my life.’ I met a man and remarried after twenty-four years of being single. A few years later, downsized from my position at work, I found myself with plenty of time and support from my husband, and picked up the proverbial pen.

I grew up with an Air Force father, turned Baptist minister, moving from place to place. I found that being an introvert was not my best recourse for a lifetime of making new friends, so shyness is not a problem I deal with. My love of reading came from my aunt who got me interested in at a young age. I grew up loving the classics, Black Beauty by Anna Sewell, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain and Heidi by Johanna Spyri, then I moved on to Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys.

After a few years, I began reading romance for a while, and quickly got right back into mysteries and detective stories. Books, TV, movies, all about crime, true or fictional, to the fluff type shows all interest me. Twist of Fate – A Jack West Novel is my official debut novel, and this is only the beginning of my plans for multiple books for the “Jack West” series.  The second novel is already a work in progress and the third novel is already a working idea. Jack is going to be very busy over the next few years! I live in Texas with my husband, Travis who is my biggest fan, and one completely spoiled little dog.

How do you balance your work with other demands? By setting myself a schedule for a daily routine, be it marketing, scheduling book event, to home and personal chores. Once these are out of the way on the days they need to be cared for, I try to write, rewrite or research. My biggest goal as of late is trying to find more time to write and stay in the groove.

Name one of the happiest moments in your life: The births of my children

What’s your approach to writing? Are you a “pantser” or a planner?  Pantser, but I keep a white board with all important story lines and people so I do not leave any story holes.

Could you write in a café with people around?  Absolutely not.

Have you ever written dialogue in a second language? If so, how did you do it?  Yes, some dialogue which I researched on Google.

What’s your favorite book and what are you reading now? No favorites. There are too many books I truly love. As I kid though, I loved Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White and the classics. I am currently reading The Last Precinct by Patricia Cornwell.

What’s your favorite way to read a book: hardcover, paperback, eReader?  Hard cover or paperback. I love turning to the next page.

Do you think print books will always be around?  YES!

Would you ever read a book on your phone?  No

What’s your go-to device? iPhone, Android or something else?  I use the iPad, but not for reading.

How long could you go without checking your phone?  All day

Do you listen to audiobooks? If you do, what do you do while you’re listening?  No

Do you like using social media to promote yourself and your book? If so, what’s your favorite platform?  Yes, Facebook and LinkedIn are my favorite platforms.

Website and social media links: (working on website)
Facebook: @deannakingwriting
LinkedIn: Deanna King
Twitter: @DKingnovelist

Awards/special recognition:  None (yet)


Are you an indie or self-published author?  Do you want to build your author network? Get your name out on Who’s That Indie Author!

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Who’s That Indie Author? Berthold Gambrel

Author name:  Berthold Gambrel

Genre:  Science-Fiction, Horror, Fantasy

BooksThe Directorate, The House of Teufelvelt, 1NG4, Vespasian Moon’s Fabulous Autumn Carnival.

What’s your story and how did you become a writer? When I was in college, I read a lot of horror fiction while hanging out between classes, and at some point I started thinking, I could write something better than this. As it turned out, I really couldn’t—looking back, most of my early horror stories were pretty weak—but I got better at writing in other genres, in particular science fiction. More significantly, I discovered I really enjoyed doing it.

How do you balance your work with other demands? It’s a struggle. Sometimes, when I have an idea I really like, I’ll stay up late at night on weeknights writing to get it all down as fast as I can. Other times, I feel like I can’t write a word even when I have the whole day to myself. The main thing is forcing myself to refrain from time-wasting activities and focusing on writing whenever I have the free time.

Name one of the happiest moments in your life: Getting my first job. I was over the moon.

What’s your approach to writing? Are you a pantser” or a planner?  Some combination of both. I usually come up with a general outline of points I want to hit, but I take a very loose approach about getting to them. Sometimes as I’m “filling in” my outline, I’ll come up with a new idea that I want to work in to the story that changes the whole thing.

Could you write in a café with people around?  The people, I could ignore. The food and the coffee could be harder. 🙂

Have you ever written dialogue in a second language? If so, how did you do it?  I’ve never written in another language. I have written one (unpublished) novella that features a character who speaks entirely in Shakespearean iambic pentameter. At first, it was brutal and I wondered why I was even doing it. By the end, it felt incredibly natural, and unconsciously / I found my pen did lapse with greatest ease / into that arcane, forbidding style.

What’s your favorite book and what are you reading now?  My favorite book! Oh, that’s a hard question. The King in Yellow by Robert W. Chambers is certainly a contender, but it’s a collection of short stories. A Confederacy of Dunces is a great novel, as are most of Wodehouse’s Jeeves novels. Currently, I’m reading Hyperlink from Hell by Lindy Moone. It’s a very unique book; I can’t wait to write a review.

What’s your favorite way to read a book: hardcover, paperback, eReader?  eReader every day of the week!

Do you think print books will always be around?  Probably not—come the year 3000 they’ll likely have been replaced by something else.

Would you ever read a book on your phone?  I have a flip-phone, so it would be impractical. That said, if a book somehow could somehow be put on it, and I had nothing else to read, I’d probably try.

What’s your go-to device? iPhone, Android or something else?  My ancient iPad 2.

How long could you go without checking your phone?  An hour and a half. I know this because I don’t take my phone when I work out, and that’s how long it takes.

Do you listen to audiobooks? If you do, what do you do while you’re listening? I love audiobooks. I listen to them sometimes while playing video games or working on mindless computer tasks.

Do you like using social media to promote yourself and your book? If so, what’s your favorite platform?  I do use it for self-promotion, although I feel dirty whenever I do. More fun is using it to discover and promote other indie authors. I’ve met so many wonderful, talented people this way! Twitter is my favorite platform for discovering other authors, WordPress is my favorite for posting reviews and other writings.

Website and social media links:

Blog: https://ruinedchapel.com
Twitter: @BertholdGambrel


Are you an indie or self-published author?  Do you want to build your author network? Get your name out on Who’s That Indie Author!

Email bvitelli2009@gmail.com for a bio template and other details.

Looking for indie authors – is that you?

We all know how hard it is to write and promote yourself. How many writers are also book publicists? Even if you are both, do you have time to do both? Probably not. That’s where Book Club Mom comes in.

Who’s That Indie Author is a regular feature on Book Club Mom. It’s a free and easy way to promote yourself and your books and, at the same time, allow readers to know a little bit about you. Because we want to know how you got started, when you write and whether you prefer coffee over tea!

Who’s That Indie Author is also a great way to meet other writers and book lovers as they check out your profile, leave comments and share your information on social media.

After you submit your information, Book Club Mom will publish your profile on WordPress, Twitter and Facebook, the way to go when you want to get people to know you.

Take a look at these recent profiles on Who’s That Indie Author:

Matthew Williams

Ritu Bhathal

Cage Dunn

Kit Falbo

Amy Tasukada

For more information, email Book Club Mom at bvitelli2009@gmail.com.

Thanks for visiting – come back soon!

Who’s That Indie Author? Matthew Williams

Author name:  Matthew Williams

Genre:  Memoir & Poetry

Books:  Something Changed: Stumbling Through Divorce, Dating and Depression; A Familiar Stranger

What’s your story and how did you become a writer?  I’ve always been a bookworm and I like nothing more than sitting in a café with a cup of tea and a good book, in my native north east of England.

In the aftermath of divorce, in 2015 I took to my tablet and I wrote. I’d never written anything outside of studies and work, yet I felt compelled to write about what I was experiencing. So I did. I wrote, I wrote, and I wrote. The words poured out of me and, before I knew it, in August 2017 I had my first book ready for publication.

I would never have imagined that I would be a published author, and now I have published two books. Writing has helped me to make sense of some difficult life challenges; through it I have learned new things about myself and have had some wonderful opportunities and met many inspirational people. I have discovered a love of poetry and have had a number of opportunities to share my story at various events.

More than anything, it means a lot to me that my writing has helped others to navigate challenges in their own lives, and I am grateful for the platform that writing has given me to raise awareness of mental health.

How do you balance your work with other demands?  With difficulty! Like most people these days life is very busy, I work full time for a mental health charity and I am a dad to two beautiful children, who I have shared custody of. So most of my time is spent running around from here to there and chipping away at an ever-growing to do list. I write when I can, I love it and I really feel in my element when I am sat at my keyboard and typing away. I’m not complaining, I’m lucky to have a life filled with things that I am passionate about. I could just do with a few more hours in the day sometimes!

Name one of the happiest moments in your life:  Like most parents I would say the two happiest moments of my life were the births of my children. Outside of that, and the smiles and laughter they bring into my life each day, holding my first book in my hands for the first time was a very special – and quite surreal – moment.

What’s your approach to writing? Are you a “pantser” or a planner?  With what I have written to date I have been a pantser. I tend to get a word or an expression come to mind and the rest flows from that. I usually don’t know what will come out and that’s the real thrill of writing for me. My goal is to write a novel; I’m curious as to how I will approach the challenge and whether my writing approach will need to adapt.

Could you write in a café with people around?  Absolutely, there are few greater pleasures in life! A lot of my first book was written in cafes. When I’m focused on what I am doing and the words are flowing I tend to be in my own little world and am quite oblivious to what is going on around me.

What’s your favorite book and what are you reading now?  That’s so difficult to answer! It’s very difficult to pick just one. There are a few authors that I adore – Louis de Bernieres, Haruki Murakami, Tolstoy, Michael Chabon, Salman Rushdie, Donna Tartt, Thomas Wolfe – but if I had to pick one I would say War and Peace. All human life is there and Tolstoy has an incredible understanding of the human condition.

I usually have a few books on the go. At the moment I am reading Dead Men’s Trousers by Irvine Welsh and 12 Rules for Life by Jordan B Peterson.

What’s your favorite way to read a book: hardcover, paperback, eReader?  I tend to get lost in whatever it is I’m reading, regardless of the format. I like the convenience of an eReader but you can’t beat the feel of a paperback in your hands.

Do you think print books will always be around?  I hope so! Reading print books is about so much more than the words, it’s the experience too and I think that there are enough readers that feel the same way to ensure that print books are with us for a good while yet. With so many high street stores closing down I do wonder about the future of physical book shops, but I hope they are around for many years to come.

Would you ever read a book on your phone?  Short and simple – no!

What’s your go-to device? iPhone, Android or something else?  My iPad; I do the majority of my writing on it, as well as the social media, promotion etc. that follows.

How long could you go without checking your phone?  Not long enough! It’s something I’m conscious of. I think I’m pretty good at not playing about with my phone in company, especially at meals. I don’t have social media apps on my phone either. That said, it’s too easy to reach for your phone when walking for instance, and more and more I am resisting the impulse to check it when there is no good reason to.

Do you listen to audiobooks? If you do, what do you do while you’re listening?  No. I do think that they’re a good thing but, for me, I love reading so much that if there’s something that interests me I will always want to read the book.

Do you like using social media to promote yourself and your book? If so, what’s your favorite platform?  I wouldn’t go so far as to say I like it, but it’s necessary. I like the opportunity it gives to engage with readers and I think it’s a fantastic tool for getting your work out there. That said, it can be very time consuming and I’m not a natural self-promoter so it can feel a little uncomfortable for me at times.

Website and social media links:
Website: A Familiar Stranger www.afamiliarstranger.co.uk
Twitter: @3DMathW
Facebook: @mwfamiliarstranger
Instagram: math_williams


Are you an indie or self-published author?  Do you want to build your author network? Get your name out on Who’s That Indie Author!

Email bvitelli2009@gmail.com for a bio template and other details.

Who’s That Indie Author? Ritu Bhathal

Author name:  Ritu Bhathal

Genre:  Chickpea Curry Lit – Chick Lit with an Indian Twist!

Books:  Marriage Unarranged, Poetic RITUals

What’s your story and how did you become a writer?  What is my story, indeed. I am a British born Indian woman, born to Kenyan born Indian parents who moved to the UK in the seventies from Kenya. I was born in Birmingham, in the Midlands, and was raised with a massive extended family around me. After school, I went to university to study to become a teacher, my dream since I was seven. Along the way, I developed a passion for reading, thanks to my mother, and the urge to write stories came from the wonderful books I grew up reading. I would write short stories as a child and won a competition at school which definitely gave me more of an urge to write.

The beginnings of this novel started twenty years ago, as I was preparing for my own marriage. I would write little bits, then save and file away my installments. Life happened and with the addition of a husband, in-laws and then two children, there was precious little time to think about my book.

Almost fifteen years after I started writing it, I created my first blog, and realized that I had a story I really needed to finish, and hopefully publish. I also uncovered a hidden love of poetry by taking part in challenges and ended up with a poetry anthology out in the world too!

I have to say that blogging has been hugely instrumental in me getting this book out there.

From finding like-minded souls, to writers I have grown to love and admire, I have managed to learn so much about the writing and publishing process and have got an amazingly supportive team behind me.

How do you balance your work with other demands?  Well that is a tough one! As a wife and mother, my hands are full. Add in being a full-time teacher, and you must be wondering where I find the time!

Writing and reading, for me, are a release. I find that when I write, or read, I sink into a world that is all mine, with no interruptions. So, during term time, I make time in the evenings, to do both. I get the kids settled, then I have my time. I’m not a huge television watcher, so that helps. In the holidays, I know my teen and tween will be sleeping late in the mornings, so those couple of hours are perfect, before they all wake up, to get creative. It’s all about making time to do what you love.

Name one of the happiest moments in your life:  Oh my… just one? Finding out we were pregnant for the first time. I suffer from PCOS and had great difficulty in falling pregnant, so after a few years of disappointments, and upsets, seeing that little plus sign on a pregnancy test, then having it confirmed by the doctor was something else. Seeing the little heart beating inside our baby bean at that first scan brought tears to our eyes! Now, as that little bean gets older, the tears are caused by his attitude…but that’s teenagers for you.

What’s your approach to writing? Are you a “pantser” or a planner?  I proudly call myself a plantser! I fall heavily in the middle. I usually start off as a true pantser. I get an idea and let it fly. Then I realize that without a skeleton plan, at least, I am going to trip up, so I create more of an outline. But I don’t over-plan. I know the gist of the story. I have an idea of where I’d like us to end up, then I let my characters take me there! It can make for a fun journey. I mean, with this new release of mine, I had no idea I’d end up with a homosexual character, who ends up crying out for a book of his own, with his antics!

Could you write in a café with people around?  Honestly, I have tried this, but I am too much of a people person, and I end up in conversations with everyone. I do like the idea though, so there have been countless times my computer and I have journeyed to a coffee shop, and a few words have been typed. But not many. In all honesty, I think I prefer to people watch, or talk. After all, there is inspiration in every situation, don’t you think?

Have you ever written dialogue in a second language? If so, how did you do it?  The characters in my book are British born Indian Sikhs, with a home language of Punjabi. They tended to speak English, with a smattering of Punjabi words within. I tried to convey the meaning of the words through how they said things. Initially I had some whole sentences, but then translating was tedious, and the language glossary page count was rivaling that of the book, so I decided to lessen the second language, and use the power of inference instead!

What’s your favorite book and what are you reading now?  I always stumble with this question of a favorite book. It is a tough one, as I have read and loved so many books! As a child, anything by Enid Blyton was my favorite, or A.A.Milne. Then I started Danielle Steele books. My mother had the Flowers in The Attic series by Virginia Andrews, which I absolutely loved, but there was one book of hers that I reread many times, My Sweet Audrina. I think I was captured by the twists and turns that Andrews would create in her writing. Right now, I am about to start the fourth book in the Cliffside Bay series, by Tess Thompson. It is a Small-Town Romance set of books, with a host of interwoven stories written from the perspective of the different residents of the town.

What’s your favorite way to read a book: hardcover, paperback, eReader?  I am not as much a fan of hardbacks as others, because they can be cumbersome to hold when reading. I do love a paperback, but space doesn’t permit me to buy many, so for convenience, my Kindle Paperwhite is my faithful companion. And it has the added bonus of a back light, so I don’t have to disturb my Hubby Dearest at night, if I am engrossed in a book, and it is so light!

Do you think print books will always be around?  Oh, most definitely. How could the bookstagrammers of the world create such enticing book posts without the paperbacks to play with? Sure, you can get the photo of a cover on a screen but seeing the spine of a book on a bookshelf… there’s nothing to beat that! I know of many readers who will not read anything other than print books.

Would you ever read a book on your phone?  I try to keep my Kindle with me at all times, but I can forget, and this is why I have the Kindle app on my phone. I don’t do it often, but I have, on occasion, read on my phone, while sitting at the doctor’s surgery, or if I have a spare moment.

What’s your go-to device? iPhone, Android or something else?  I currently own an Android phone and have never had an iPhone. Though, having said that, I recently bought a MacBook Air, so who knows… an iPhone might be on the cards!

How long could you go without checking your phone?  Hands up, I admit I am terrible. Unless I am at school, during the teaching day, my phone is near me and if I am bored, I will pick it up and check notifications. My Hubby Dearest has me down in his phone as #Valiyey, translation Girl of the Hashtag! But then, I have to keep on top of my Social Media for my Author brand… (see, I have an excuse!) I dread to think what one of those apps would tell me about my phone usage! But then again, my brother lives in Finland, and I have two Finndian (their mummy is Finnish, to their daddy’s Indian, hence, Finndian) nephews. So, we use the video call functions a lot so we can all stay in touch.

Do you listen to audiobooks? If you do, what do you do while you’re listening?  I have to confess to being a non-listener. I prefer to read my books, instead of listening. If I was a commuter, I might have got into listening to audiobooks, but my drive to work is short, and the kids are with me. They’d refuse to listen to a book in the car, favoring their latest music!

Do you like using social media to promote yourself and your book? If so, what’s your favorite platform?  As I mentioned earlier, I do love social media. I am active on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram mainly.

Website and social media links:
WordPress Blog Website: But I Smile Anyway
Author Website: ritubhathal.com
Twitter: @RituBhathal
Instagram: ritubhathalwrites
Facebook: @butismileanyway (But I Smile Anyway) and @RituBhathal (Author, Poet and Storyteller)
Goodreads Author: Ritu Bhathal

Click here for more information about Ritu’s latest book, Marriage Unarranged.

Awards/special recognition:  Best Blogger at the Annual Bloggers Bash 2017 and Best Book Blog at the Annual Bloggers Bash


Are you an indie or self-published author?  Do you want to build your author network? Get your name out on Who’s That Indie Author!

Email bvitelli2009@gmail.com for a bio template and other details.

Book Club Mom’s November recap

Well Thanksgiving week threw me for a blogging loop and, while I did read a book during that time, I didn’t get on my blog much!

But I had a good November, so here’s a rundown in case you missed anything:


Just three books this month, but sometimes that’s how it goes.

Back of Beyond by C. J. Box – we read this for my mystery book club at the library where I work. Our whole group gave it high ratings. C. J. Box writes a lot of books and he knows what he’s doing!

Fool Me Once by Harlan Coben – I like Harlan Coben’s books, but this one was a little disappointing. Still, I’m sure I’ll read more by him.

Less by Andrew Sean Greer – By far one of the best books I’ve read all year. Less won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2017. I highly recommend it.


BC Mom’s Author Update:
Author Roberta Eaton Cheadle announces
publication of Through the Nethergate

BC Mom’s Author Update is open to all authors who have news to share.
Email me at bvitelli2009@gmail.com for more information.

I introduced two indie authors this month, Cage Dunn and Chloe Helton. Be sure to visit these posts and say hello:

Who’s That Indie Author? Cage Dunn
Who’s That Indie Author? Chloe Helton

If you are a self-published or indie author and would like to be profiled on Book Club Mom,
email me at bvitelli2009@gmail.com and I’ll send you a template.

I love thinking about book trends and here’s one I discovered:

Books with commanding titles – a new trend?


Historical fiction is one of my favorite genres. Here are the top 20 on my list:

Book Club Mom’s top 20 historical fiction books


Source: brainsonfire.com

I’m always thinking about blogging and the news that Instagram has been considering permanently doing away with “likes” got me talking. I’m not an Instagrammer, and I don’t care much about Facebook, but I think WordPress bloggers want to see the likes.

Blog views and other obsessions – followers, views, likes and comments


Images: Pixabay

We all make grammar mistakes, so it’s good to review some of the rules:

Grammar check – past tenses of dream, learn, dive,
loan and lend – what are they?


Just a sentimental memory as we gear up for the holidays:

Thanksgiving Memories When You’re Small


And this post got a lot of discussion. Most of you think the classic editor is the way to go. Someday we will all have to move to the new WordPress block editor. Despite the negative comments, I’m still considering the switch.

Blogging with the new WordPress Editor – are you using the blocks?

That was my month – how was yours?

Thanks for visiting – come back soon!