Who’s That Indie Author? Graeme Cumming

Author name: Graeme Cumming

Genre: Where do I start? Seriously, I’d say I write thrillers, but they often cross genres.

Books: Ravens Gathering; Carrion

What’s your story and how did you become a writer? I live in Robin Hood country, so there’s plenty of atmosphere to soak up here. Not that I’ve needed it especially. I’ve enjoyed making up and telling stories since I was a child, though it wasn’t until I was in my 40s that I started taking it more seriously. I have wide and varied tastes when it comes to fiction, which is reflected in my writing.

How do you balance your work with other demands? With difficulty, if I’m honest. I’m not the most disciplined person in the world and find it very easy to get side-tracked on to less important things. But I’m getting better as I get older. Mortality is a big motivator.

Name one of the happiest moments in your life: There are so many to choose from but, bearing in mind this is about my writing life, I’ll pick out selling my business a few years ago. As an event, it happened with very little fanfare, but it allowed me to take five years off work so I could focus on my writing. I’m near the end of year three, so I’ve got even more motivation now!

What’s your approach to writing? Are you a “pantser” or a planner? Planner. My latest book, Carrion, was written without a plan, and it’s taken over a decade to get it how it should have been in the first place. From start to publication, Ravens Gathering took just over eighteen months. That’s still a long time, but it went a lot faster because it was planned.

Could you write in a café with people around? I doubt it. I need a lot of space and quietness around me.

Have you ever written dialogue in a second language? If so, how did you do it? Short answer: no.

What’s your favorite book and what are you reading now? A favourite book would be hard to pin down. There are so many good ones, and often in different ways. I suppose the closest I can get to that would be to say that I’ve read Eagle in the Sky by Wilbur Smith more often than any other. Some of it feels dated now, but the closing pages always leave me with a tear in my eye.

Right now, I’m reading The Last Will of Sven Andersen by fellow Indie author Geoff Le Pard. His books always entertain.

What’s your favorite way to read a book: hardcover, paperback, eReader?  eReader – though I took some convincing in the early days.

Do you think print books will always be around? Yes. In spite of my preference, I do still enjoy picking up and reading a paperback now and again, and I know a lot of people who wouldn’t dream of touching an eReader. There’s also the fact that you can’t get an author to sign an eReader – well, you could, but it wouldn’t be as long lasting!

Would you ever read a book on your phone? I have done, though probably not the whole thing. Usually it’s because I’ve suddenly found myself at a loose end and don’t have anything else to read from.

What’s your go-to device? iPhone, Android or something else? Android, I suppose, but really – in spite of what I’ve said about reading on it – I try not to be too attached to it.

How long could you go without checking your phone? The answer to that varies depending on how engaged I am in what I’m doing. If I’m sailing, for example, I can go for hours without touching it. At the other extreme, there are times when I check it every five minutes.

Do you listen to audiobooks? If you do, what do you do while you’re listening? It’s not something I’ve done in a while. When I did it was usually while I was driving.

Do you like using social media to promote yourself and your book? If so, what’s your favorite platform? Does anyone actually like using social media to promote themselves? Clearly, I do use it, but I don’t feel I’m very good at it. At the moment, aside from my blog, I’m only active on Twitter and Facebook. Of those, I seem to get the better interaction with Facebook.

Website and social media links:
Website: graemecumming.co.uk
Facebook: @GraemeCummingAuthor
Twitter: @GraemeCumming63

Awards/special recognition: Sadly, none I can think of – though I have had some excellent reviews from well-respected book bloggers.


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Who’s That Indie Author? C. Faherty Brown

Author name: C. Faherty Brown

Genre: Fiction

Books: Yellow Door; The Sentinel; When I Go; When I Was Little; I Live, When; When You’re Not A Poet; Bring Me Christmas; Make Life Better

What’s your story and how did you become a writer? I am number 4 of 8 children. There was nothing extraordinary about my childhood, other than the worlds I lived in when I read books, or the worlds I thought of writing about. I believe I could read and write before I could think. I do not remember not being able to read and write. I remember holding pencils, pens and books. I think I was born to write.

How do you balance your work with other demands? It’s not always easy. But I write, or create, something every day. I work full time as a court investigator. I’ve had a career based in other people’s lives for a very long time. I need to make it a focus to create positive words, vibes, to keep me from focusing on the negative.

Name one of the happiest moments in your life: Aside from amazing moments of marriage, births, etc., I would have to say when I earned my first black belt. It was a culmination of perseverance on my part, of determination, of empowerment (mental and emotional being more important than the physical). It was a process when I realized I had ability and value.

What’s your approach to writing? Are you a “pantser” or a planner? I don’t plan anything. I write things out as they come to life in my head.

Could you write in a café with people around? I could. I prefer to write alone, undistracted.

Have you ever written dialogue in a second language? If so, how did you do it? I have not written dialogue in another language but I have written dialogue based off of other ‘times’ and other cultures.

What’s your favorite book and what are you reading now? I am currently reading an older book, My Village, My World. I don’t have a favorite book. But my favorite kind of book is one that lets me become immersed and makes me sad when I am nearing the end of it.

What’s your favorite way to read a book: hardcover, paperback, eReader? Paperback.

Do you think print books will always be around? Yes. Even if only in my house.

Would you ever read a book on your phone? Yes. And I have. It has been convenient to have on my phone when I am stuck somewhere unexpectedly. Not my preference though.

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

How long could you go without checking your phone? If my brain is occupied, or I am physically active I can go longer than if I am sitting or being bored by something I ‘have’ to do.

Do you listen to audiobooks? If you do, what do you do while you’re listening? I have not, yet.

Do you like using social media to promote yourself and your book? If so, what’s your favorite platform? I am not good/great at self-promotion. I ‘do’ it but would prefer to be successful enough to have a team do it for me. 😉 I have used my blog and Instagram to promote.

Website and social media links:
Blog: bikecolleenbrown.wordpress.com
Instagram: cfahertyb

Awards/special recognition: For writing, I was ‘fresh pressed’ on WordPress three times.


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Who’s That Indie Author? Dorothy A. Winsor

Author name: Dorothy A. Winsor

Genre: Young Adult and Middle Grade fantasy

Books: The Wysman (Inspired Quill, June 2020), The Wind Reader (Inspired Quill, 2018), Deep as a Tomb (Loose Leaves, 2016), Finders Keepers (Zharmae, 2015)

What’s your story and how did you become a writer? I’m a former English professor who decided that writing YA and MG fantasy was more fun. My first ventures into writing fiction came in the form of Tolkien fanfiction. I didn’t want the story to end, so I wrote more of it myself. I’d read that writers produce a million words of bad stuff before they write well. One of the sites I posted on kept track of your word count and when I hit a million, I figured I was there! So I switched to writing my own stuff.

How do you balance your work with other demands?  I schedule my writing time and usually leave my house to do it so I’m not tempted to do something else.

Name one of the happiest moments in your life:  The birth of my son

What’s your approach to writing? Are you a “pantser” or a planner?  I’m a planner. Having a plan is reassuring, though I feel free to change it once I get to know my characters better and see if my plan will work.

Could you write in a café with people around?  That’s where I usually write. As long as the music isn’t too loud, I’m good.

Have you ever written dialogue in a second language? If so, how did you do it?  No. Sounds tricky.

What’s your favorite book and what are you reading now?  I’m currently reading Ann Patchett’s Bel Canto, which came highly recommended. My favorite book varies. Right now it’s probably Turner’s Queen’s Thief series.

What’s your favorite way to read a book: hardcover, paperback, eReader?  It really makes no difference to me. Whatever’s at hand.

Do you think print books will always be around?  Absolutely.

Would you ever read a book on your phone?  No. The screen is too small.

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

How long could you go without checking your phone?  An hour or two, probably.

Do you listen to audiobooks? If you do, what do you do while you’re listening?  I listen while I drive.

Do you like using social media to promote yourself and your book? If so, what’s your favorite platform?  I use both Facebook and Twitter. Facebook is mostly old friends and family. Twitter is where I make connections and meet new people.

Website and social media links:
Facebook: Dorothy Winsor
Twitter: @dorothywinsor
Blog: dawinsor.com


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Who’s That Indie Author? Darlene Foster

Author name: Darlene Foster

Genre: Middle-Grade Travel/Adventure/Mystery

Books: Amanda in Arabia: The Perfume Flask; Amanda in Spain: The Girl in the Painting; Amanda in England: The Missing Novel; Amanda in Alberta: The Writing on the Stone; Amanda on The Danube: The Sounds of Music; Amanda in New Mexico: Ghosts in the Wind; Amanda in Holland: Missing in Action; Amanda in Malta: The Sleeping Lady to be released Spring 2021

What’s your story and how did you become a writer? I am a Canadian author who has written the Amanda Travels series featuring a spunky twelve-year-old who loves travelling to unique places where she encounters mystery and adventure. Readers of all ages enjoy following Amanda as she unravels one mystery after another. I’ve won prizes for my short stories and have been published in various anthologies. I have also written a bi-lingual book for English/Spanish readers.

I grew up on a ranch near Medicine Hat, Alberta, where I dreamt of writing, travelling the world, and meeting interesting people. I come from a long line of storytellers and have been telling tales for as long as I can remember. My grade three teacher encouraged me to write my stories down, and when I was twelve I had a short story published in a local paper. It was about an amusing experience two young girls have while shopping in a department store. Little did I know, all those years later, I would publish a series of books about two girls having adventures in various countries.

I believe in working hard to make my dreams come true. Over the years, I have had wonderful jobs such as being an employment counsellor, ESL teacher, recruiter and retail manager. I would write whenever I had a few spare minutes. I am now retired and write full time. When not travelling, meeting interesting people and collecting ideas for my books, I enjoy spending time with my husband and entertaining dog, Dot. Dreams do come true.

How do you balance your work with other demands? When I worked full time, I made sure I wrote two hours every day, usually in the evening after dinner. Now that I´m retired I´m not as organized, but I write every day. I could be at my computer all day, but my dog makes sure I get up and take her for walks and my husband makes sure we eat something together.

Name one of the happiest moments in your life: There are many, but the one that comes to mind is the first time I got on an airplane, at age 27, and travelled to the UK. It was a dream come true, and I was so happy and excited. It was the start of my love for travel which eventually launched my writing career.

What’s your approach to writing? Are you a “pantser” or a planner? I am a dedicated panster. I have tried planning and it just doesn´t work for me. The only thing I do is create a mind map with the locations that will be in the story. These mind maps are very messy and wouldn´t make sense to anyone else.

Could you write in a café with people around? I haven´t done this but I think I could. Once I get into a story, nothing distracts me. I’ve made notes in cafés as I people watch and listen in on conversations. The thought of sitting in a coffee shop in Spain or France writing away appeals to me.

Have you ever written dialogue in a second language? If so, how did you do it? Because Amanda travels to a different country in each book, I always include some words in the language of the country she is in, which readers say they enjoy. Amanda isn´t fluent in other languages, so I make sure the other characters can speak English and sprinkle in the odd word in their first language.

What’s your favorite book and what are you reading now? That is such a difficult question as I have many favorite books. As a child, one of my favorite books was Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery and as an adult, I guess it would be Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. But there are many other books I love. Right now I am reading The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafron, and I am loving every word.

What’s your favorite way to read a book: hardcover, paperback, eReader? I love to read, in any format. I alternate between printed books, both hardcover and paperback, and books on my eReader. Holding an actual book in my hands is still a great feeling.

Do you think print books will always be around? Yes, I do. Many folks still like to hold a book in their hands. A funny thing, I found that kids, even in this digital age, still prefer a print book.

Would you ever read a book on your phone? I don´t think so as it would be too small for me.

What’s your go-to device? iPhone, Android or something else? I love my Android tablet.

How long could you go without checking your phone? I don´t use my phone much as it has limited data and it´s a pay as you go plan so I don´t want to run out of minutes. But, I check my emails and social media constantly on my tablet or laptop, which is distracting while writing. I couldn´t go more than half a day without checking my social media sites.

Do you listen to audiobooks? If you do, what do you do while you’re listening? I don´t listen to audiobooks but I think they are wonderful, especially for the elderly who can no longer read or for someone who does a lot of driving.

Do you like using social media to promote yourself and your book? If so, what’s your favorite platform? I love using social media to market my books. My favorite platform is my WordPress blog.

Website and social media links:
Website: Darlene Foster
Facebook
Amazon author page
WordPress Blog 
Goodreads
Twitter@supermegawoman


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Who’s That Indie Author? John W. Howell

Author name: John W. Howell

Genre: Thrillers mostly

Books: My GRL, His Revenge, Our Justice, Circumstances of Childhood, The Contract

What’s your story and how did you become a writer? I was held prisoner of organized commerce for over forty years. Once I broke out, I started doing what I had wanted to do for all those forty years and that’s write. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. So far, I have five books published and have finished the sixth which should be ready in June. I live in Lakeway, Texas with my wife and our spoiled rescue pets.

How do you balance your work with other demands? My writing comes first and then after it is done, I spend no less than three hours on other than writing projects. So, my day really breaks down into writing and non-writing. I never spend a whole day doing one or the other exclusively. I think balance is achieved by doing a little of both every day.

Name one of the happiest moments in your life: I have to say one of the happiest moments of my life was the birth of my daughter. The labor was long and hard, and she was born breach. I was so worried and when I finally held her in my arms and looked into her face, I could almost not contain my joy.

What’s your approach to writing? Are you a “pantser” or a planner? I am a dyed in the wool pantser. Most of the time I allow the characters and the story to carry themselves. I do have a rough idea of where I want the story to go but do rely heavily on going with the seat of my pants. One thing I do is lay out the last three lines of the story. In this way I at least know where all this “pantsering” will need to end up.

Could you write in a café with people around? I can write anywhere. I don’t need silence to concentrate. Right now, I’m writing outside while Twiggy my French Bulldog is having a shouting match with the neighbor’s dog.

Have you ever written dialogue in a second language? If so, how did you do it? I have only done a couple of lines of dialog in German. The way I did it was to Google ‘English to German translation,’ and up popped a neat translation engine. I typed in the English phrase and out came the German.

What’s your favorite book and what are you reading now? My favorite book caused me to want to become a writer. It was On the Beach by Neville Shute. What fascinated me was how the characters all dealt with the fact they were going to die. Right now, I am reading one of Mae Clair’s Hodes Hill thrillers, Eventide.

What’s your favorite way to read a book: hardcover, paperback, eReader? I was about to say “propped up in bed” but then re-read the question carefully. I used to be a purist in only reading hardcovers. Then I got a Kindle about seven years ago and as they say, my life changed. The idea of being able to get any book I want in ten seconds convinced me that the Kindle was my reading device of choice.

Do you think print books will always be around? I think there will always be a demand for printed books. There is something to be said for holding an actual book in your hands that the Kindle does not replicate.

Would you ever read a book on your phone? I suppose I would if there was no other way. Call me crazy but I don’t see my phone and me reading books together.

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

How long could you go without checking your phone? I never check my phone anymore. I have it on silent and totally ignore it. I have to confess I also have an Apple Watch. It constantly looks at my phone and then tells me everything I need to know instantly. (I know it’s cheating.)

Do you listen to audiobooks? If you do, what do you do while you’re listening? I have not gotten into audiobooks. I do want to convert mine but am trying to figure the best way to do it.

Do you like using social media to promote yourself and your book? If so, what’s your favorite platform? I like Twitter, my blog, Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.

Website and social media links:
Blog – Fiction Favorites with John W. Howell: johnwhowell.com
Facebook: John Howell
Twitter: @HowellWave
Authorsdb: John W. Howell
LinkedIn: John W. Howell
Goodreads Author: John W. Howell
Amazon Author: John W. Howell

Awards/special recognition: Honorable mention in the Writer’s Digest Short Story competition. Circumstances of Childhood – Finalist Top Shelf Indie Awards. The Contract – Finalist Indie Book Awards. Winner American Fiction Awards. Semi-Finalist Chanticleer International Book Awards. Finalist IAN Book of the Year Awards


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Who’s That Indie Author? Lillian McCloy

Author name:  Lillian McCloy

Genre:  Memoir / Travel Literature / Espionage

Book:  Six Car Lengths Behind an Elephant: Undercover and Overwhelmed as a CIA Wife and Mother

What’s your story and how did you become a writer?  I was always a writer, since I was six years old. I wrote stories on the middle pages of my notebooks in school. Sometimes I would add pictures to go with the stories. Genius.

I grew up in Canada. I became a big band jazz singer and also worked as a secretary and a paralegal.  After I moved to San Francisco, I became Melvin Belli’s secretary. That’s when I met my husband Frank.

I write for pleasure, but I don’t really know the answer to how I came to write my memoir. I may have felt the need to write my story down after my house and everything burned in the 1991 Oakland hills fire. I wrote my manuscript a year later.

How do you balance your work with other demands?  Well, I am 94 years old, so this isn’t an issue for me. I’m blind from macular degeneration. I have no other demands.

Name one of the happiest moments in your life:  Hmmm. I couldn’t answer that succinctly. I’d have to think about that for a while.

What’s your approach to writing? Are you a “pantser” or a planner?  I’m a planner. I’m a Capricorn and I’m very organized.

Could you write in a café with people around?  No, I like solitude and quiet.

Have you ever written dialogue in a second language? If so, how did you do it? No, I haven’t.

What’s your favorite book and what are you reading now?  My favorite book is Little Women, which I read when I was seventeen. And it’s still my favorite book. I am not reading now at all, because I am disabled, but I’ve always loved reading and having stacks of books from the library. Unfortunately, I am not able to read anymore. I miss it terribly.

What’s your favorite way to read a book: hardcover, paperback, eReader?  I don’t even know what an eReader is. That was after my time. I prefer a hardcover. I like the smell of a book.

Do you think print books will always be around?  No. Sadly, I don’t think so. I think it won’t be very long before they just don’t bother anymore.

Would you ever read a book on your phone?  No, I wouldn’t.

What’s your go-to device? iPhone, Android or something else?  A standard phone (landline) does me just fine.

How long could you go without checking your phone?  Always. I never check my phone. I wouldn’t know how to check a phone. Mine just rings.

Do you listen to audiobooks? If you do, what do you do while you’re listening? I don’t listen to audiobooks because I don’t enjoy it. I think there’s too much acting going on with the voice. If everyone read books in a plain reading voice, I probably would enjoy it. They’re always trying too much to dramatize, and I don’t like that.

Do you like using social media to promote yourself and your book? If so, what’s your favorite platform?  My daughter Johanna has done all of my promotion. She says she does it on a dedicated Facebook page.

Website and social media links:
Website: bordertownpublishing.com
Facebook: bordertownpublishing

Awards/special recognition:  Certificate of Recognition from the California State Assembly 2017


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Who’s That Indie Author? Marian Longenecker Beaman

Author name:  Marian Longenecker Beaman

Genre:  Memoir

Book:  Mennonite Daughter: The Story of a Plain Girl

What’s your story and how did you become a writer?  I am a former professor at Florida State College in Jacksonville, Florida. My memoir, Mennonite Daughter: The Story of a Plain Girl, records the charms and challenges of growing up in the strict culture of the Lancaster Mennonite Conference in the 1950s.

Now in my Third Act, I have embraced blogging, which led to re-purposing blog posts to craft my memoir. I share my story to preserve early memories and to leave a legacy for future generations. I live with my artist/designer husband Cliff in Jacksonville, where my grown children and grandchildren also reside.

How do you balance your work with other demands?  Just like everyone else, I have appointments and to-do’s: dentist, haircut, grocery shopping. Even so, I sit on my writing chair every day: It’s a habit now. Today is dreary, so I have white string lights glowing and a candle burning in my writing space.

Name one of the happiest moments in your life: Opening the box containing my Advanced Reader Copies. I made a video of it!

What’s your approach to writing? Are you a “pantser” or a planner?  I’m generally a planner, but sometimes ideas for blog posts come to mind whimsically: walking in the woods, taking a bath. Usually, I make a messy draft on WORD and then copy it to WordPress where I tweak it.

Could you write in a café with people around?  NO! Silence is my friend. If I’m stuck, I turn on music – classical or country.

Have you ever written dialogue in a second language? If so, how did you do it?  Dialogue, even in English, has been tricky for me. Scales fell from my eyes a while ago when I read somewhere that writers don’t need to be stuck with the clichéd “He said – She replied” formula. Let the reader know that your characters can be scratching their backs or opening mail while the dialogue is taking place. Just switch to a new paragraph when the speaker changes.

What’s your favorite book and what are you reading now?  When we moved over three years ago, I gave away so many books. A sampling of the remaining: Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights, Charles Frazier’s Cold Mountain and Zora Neale Thurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God. Also: Anything by Dani Shapiro, most recently Inheritance. Now I’m reading Ann Napolitano’s A Good Hard Look, a fictional version of Flannery O’Connor’s life. I’d give it five stars!

What’s your favorite way to read a book: hardcover, paperback, eReader?  Hands down, paperback – lightweight with “turn-able” pages

Do you think print books will always be around?  Surely in my lifetime, but beyond that I don’t know. Most of the articles I’ve read say, “Yes.”

Would you ever read a book on your phone?  Ha! Unless the phone is 4” by 6” probably not.

What’s your go-to device? iPhone, Android or something else?  My smartphone has always been an iPhone.

How long could you go without checking your phone?  It depends on the day. Wednesdays my blog posts publish, so I check my phone often so see if there are comments needing response.

Do you listen to audiobooks? If you do, what do you do while you’re listening? Although my husband listens to audiobooks exclusively, I never do. However, I listen to teleseminars while I’m doing something else. For instance, my friend Kathy Pooler promoted her book via Linda Joy Myers’ Virtual Book Club. I’ll probably listen to the hour-long broadcast while I’m making a salad today.

Do you like using social media to promote yourself and your book? If so, what’s your favorite platform?  Facebook, by far because most of my friends pick up my blog post on Wednesdays there, unless they find my feed elsewhere. I use Twitter too, but don’t really understand how it works: It’s easy to click LIKE and not actually read any content. Also, I opened my Twitter account years ago with a nickname @Martabeaman before I began writing seriously, so I would change my handle to my real name, but then I’d probably lose earlier connections.

I’m getting used to Instagram – quick and easy – but sometimes I forget to include hashtags. Remember: I’m a digital immigrant, not a native, like my children and grandchildren.

Website and social media links:
Website: marianbeaman.com
Facebook: Marian Beaman
Twitter: @MartaBeaman
Instagram: marianbeaman
Amazon: Marian Beaman

Awards/special recognition:  February 18, 2020, Amazon reviews (almost all 5 stars) hit the 30-mark. The review from Mee Mee was short and sweet: “Absolutely charming memoir! I can go back again and again and even skip around just for a lovely escape to a different world. So well crafted and readable. I love when you can fly through the chapters because the writing is so fluid.”


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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


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Who’s That Indie Author? Chloe Helton

Author name:  Chloe Helton

Genre:  Historical fiction

BooksThe Red Pearl, Culpa, Sanguis (and more)

What’s your story and how did you become a writer?  At age 10, my first novel about Queen Elizabeth I was published on Wattpad and became popular after it was featured. Since then, I’ve written five additional historical novels from various time periods – the Civil War, the Revolutionary War, and a duet about Ancient Rome.

How do you balance your work with other demands?  I also work full-time in real estate. I get up early before work every morning to write, and on nights and weekends. I’ve found that small, consistent steps can work wonders – so the fact that I write every day, even if it’s not always a lot, allows me to finish things quickly.

Name one of the happiest moments in your life:  I sat in the front row of a Paul McCartney concert!

What’s your approach to writing? Are you a “pantser” or a planner?  Both. I usually “pants” the first draft and then use it as a basis to plot the second draft. It can be difficult to plot without having a sense of the character’s voice, which is why I usually wing it the first time to get into the character before using the second draft as an opportunity to lock in the structure of the story.

Could you write in a café with people around?  That’s how I do it every morning! My local Peet’s knows to put extra whipped cream on my drink.

Have you ever written dialogue in a second language? If so, how did you do it?  Not much, but I’ll throw in words. For example, my characters in Culpa and Sanguis would have spoken Latin, so I peppered their speech with some Latin words when appropriate.

What’s your favorite book and what are you reading now?  Mm! Right now, I’m reading The Alchemy of Noise by a fellow indie author Lorraine Devon Wilke. Normally, I stick with historical fiction: Philippa Gregory, Kate Quinn, and Michelle Moran were the ones who got me started, so anything by them is a favorite.

What’s your favorite way to read a book: hardcover, paperback, eReader?  Kindle. I spent a lot of money on Kindle books.

Do you think print books will always be around?  Yes.

Would you ever read a book on your phone?  I have done so – I prefer a Kindle because, even though I can see the book fine on my phone, it just feels wrong somehow. I try to use my phone only for texts and calls as much as possible, and not use it as a “smartphone.” It’s difficult!

What’s your go-to device? iPhone, Android or something else?  Android. I’ve had a few Android phones in a row now and I prefer them.

How long could you go without checking your phone?  I often shove my phone to the bottom of my purse and won’t check it for several hours. My friends love it when they’re trying to get a hold of me.

Do you listen to audiobooks? If you do, what do you do while you’re listening?  Yes! Podcasts, too. Usually while driving, because I do a fair amount of driving for work.

Do you like using social media to promote yourself and your book? If so, what’s your favorite platform?  I love my email newsletter! (You can join it on my website). But blogs have been a great source of attention. Goodreads and Bookbub are also great.

Website and social media links:
Book and newsletter sign-up: chloeheltonbooks.com
Facebook: @chloeheltonbooks
Twitter: @heltonbooks


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Who’s That Indie Author? Kit Falbo

Author name: Kit Falbo

Genre: Science Fiction – Fantasy

Books: The Crafting of Chess, Intelligence Block

What’s your story and how did you become a writer? Books were my best friends during the entirety of my teenage years. They presented my first mental experiences of many ideas and concepts more than shows or television. How could I not want to write? It just takes a long time and a lot of thinking to get decent. I took college classes, read hundreds of books, dedicated hours and hours. Still, I had to be almost forty before I completed one.  Hard work and practice, how you master anything.

My youth consisted of studying people when I was not hiding in books. I’m autistic, though that wasn’t a thing at the time. To most I was just weird. A valuable tool, studying people, for writers. Then I continued that in college by getting a degree in psychology. I graduated and spent a hellish near decade in Texas, having stumbled out the gate during the post 9/11 recession. A rocky journey back to Oregon, two kids, trials and tribulations of life, and now I finally have books out. I’m currently juggling life and writing in the hopes of getting more works of fiction out for my small group of fans.

How do you balance your work with other demands? Poorly. I find myself sometimes being imperfect at everything, including writing, in order to get everything done. This makes me more of a generalist where people are dissatisfied with any aspect of my work, rather than an expert who gets things done with laser focus. I juggle kids, writing, housework, relationships, bills, etc. Often literally juggling, instead of balancing. Sometimes I drop things and break a few eggs.

Name one of the happiest moments in your life: Marrying my wife. Now I’m contractually obligated to not be alone. (kidding). Still going strong.

What’s your approach to writing? Are you a “pantser” or a planner? I’m a pantser with plans, and my pantsing changes my plans.  I can, and often go without a plan until I have one form. Then once I have one form, it can change if an odd line becomes a major plot thread.

Could you write in a café with people around? Certainly easier than trying to write at home with kids around and something like Super Monsters on in the background. Some noise you can filter out. Others drills into your soul and destroys your brain cells.

Have you ever written dialogue in a second language? If so, how did you do it? Fictional languages yes. Real languages no. When I’m in control of all the rules, I have as many cheats as I want. One of the things I love about fiction.

What’s your favorite book and what are you reading now? I don’t have a favorite book. I have many favorite books. No one is king. Diana Wynne Jones, maybe as the author of my youth. As for what I’m reading right now, I haven’t quite decided yet. I’m between books.

What’s your favorite way to read a book: hardcover, paperback, eReader? I have an ancient paperwhite e-reader that has been known to die and work again on and off at times. Just not as much of a fan of the new ones. I do enjoy a book paper book though.

Do you think print books will always be around? Yes. There was a big debate, but it is clearly settled. As long as there is reading, print books will be around. I just want more people to read. Sure, my books included, just in general as well.

Would you ever read a book on your phone? Web novels generally. Things on Royal Road that appear every week or so. A whole book, not as much. Though by reading web novels, I know I’ve read more than most novel lengths of works on my phone.

What’s your go-to device? iPhone, Android or something else? Whichever one my wife buys me. Since I’m cost concerned, usually Android. I hardly see a point in paying for the Apple brand, unless they want to sponsor me.  I will take sponsorships, they are not beneath me. Product placements even if they pay is right.

How long could you go without checking your phone? Too many responsibilities to go too long without checking. Back before I had kids I could go a day or two. Now, every hour I should check. Just in case I’m needed for an emergency.

Do you listen to audiobooks? If you do, what do you do while you’re listening? I actually don’t. I feel that puts me at a disadvantage with the audiobook aspect of my books. I am working on trying to get audiobook versions out. If I could do it myself I would, but no one wants to hear me speak for hours on end, let alone myself. One day they will be out.

Do you like using social media to promote yourself and your book? If so, what’s your favorite platform? My favorite one is doing guest posts for blogs. I like to educate and inform. It is probably my least productive part of social media due to the fact that I doubt I get many new readers that way. It is still my favorite. I feel more productive doing an article on crafting believable characters or trauma in writing vs. tweeting out.

Website and social media links:  www.kitfalbo.com (mailing list actually doesn’t work, I need to go in and fix stuff but don’t have time)

Twitter: @WritesKit
Facebook: Kit Falbo, Author
Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/KitFalbo

Awards/special recognition: https://www.levelup.pub/bestlitrpg  (#6)


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