Who’s That Indie Author? Bill Moseley

Author Name: Bill Moseley

Genre: Young Adult Fiction / Adventure

Book: La Cuesta Encantada

Are you a full-time author? If not, what’s your side gig? I’m not a full-time author. My side gig is working in higher education. I’m the Dean of Academic Technology at Bakersfield College, a community college in California. I’m just getting more serious about writing, and it’s an important creative outlet for me.

Favorite author/books: I really love books, and my taste in reading is really varied. As a child, I loved The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis. Lately, I lean a little more toward Neil Gaiman and I really love the sort of whimsical adventure that he creates in The Graveyard Book. Toni Morrison’s work, especially the Song of Solomon, is really powerful. I admire how she gives readers a glimpse into another culture in such a visceral way.

What experiences or people have influenced your writing the most? I think my writing is a combination of a wild imagination, the places I’ve been, and a childhood obsession with Indiana Jones movies and the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disneyland, with a side interest in romantic comedies. This book, in particular, takes place in some of my favorite locations – places where I played and visited as a child. I think of it as a story that’s been woven together in my imagination for much of my life.

Do you keep a writing journal and if so, how do you use it? I don’t. First, I’m not formally trained as a writer, so I’m guessing my approach is somewhat unconventional. Second, my work has been sort of project-oriented so far, and I spend a lot of time thinking about ideas and developing scenes in my head.

Do you belong to a writers’ group? If so, describe your experience: I don’t, but I’d love to. I think community is one of the best ways to develop any skill.

Are you up with the sun or do you burn the midnight oil? I used to burn the midnight oil.  With age, I’ve shifted the other direction. I’m up early these days, to walk with my wife before we start the day. If I’m honest, I feel like my best time for writing is in the afternoon – I think some days I get tired of the grind, and my brain is looking for a way to get creative by that time.

How do you get over a writing slump? I don’t think I’ve had a real slump. I often write when I have enough pent up creative energy that I am anxious to sit down and get some words on the page. I think in the few times when I just haven’t been feeling it (writing my dissertation comes to mind), the trick is to just write something. Even if it isn’t your best, there are times when the forward movement of just doing it is what matters. Anne Lamott’s notion of a shitty first draft applies here, I think.

Do you prefer writing dialogue or descriptive passages? Descriptive, I think. I’m a visual person, and I often “see” the things that I write long before they hit the page. They play out in my mind like a movie. I hope one day to be able to describe them the way I see them in my mind, but I’m not there yet.

What are you working on now? I’ve started outlining the sequel to La Cuesta Encantada, because there is some more story there that I want to tell. I have another story in my mind that I’ve been thinking about for a while, as well, but I’ve decided to hold on to that for now. As an academic, I usually have another non-fiction project or two in the works as well. I’m also working on a non-fiction book on the topic of failure, and how failure can be used as a tool for growth and development. Reclaiming Failure is something I hope to have published in early to mid-2021.

What advice would you give to someone thinking about writing and publishing a book? The world always needs more books. Stories are important to us as a society. Writing a book is hard, and the competition for the attention of agents and publishers is insane. However, if you want to write, and you enjoy writing, then you should do it. Honestly, I think that’s the best reason to do anything. Publishing – even self-publishing – is a nice way to celebrate the completion of your work, and to share your work with others. I think it’s probably natural to fantasize about dropping the next bestseller, but make sure you have the intrinsic motivation above all else.

Do you listen to podcasts? If so, which podcasts do you find the most interesting? I do listen to podcasts. The one writing-related podcast I listen to is called “Story Grid.” It’s an application of the book by the same title. This book and podcast were very helpful in guiding my thinking around how to put together an effective novel. I’m also a pretty regular listener of “Armchair Expert,” “The Tim Ferriss Show,” and “Up First.”

Favorite escape: Almost anything creative, from drawing and painting, to cooking, and even writing computer code (this is very creative, despite the reputation it has for being sort of stiff and mechanical). I also love to travel (pre-COVID) and get active with my family (we have seven kids, so there is always someone to do something with).

Have you ever tried Kombucha tea? Nope. Can’t get past the smell for some reason.

Do you prefer a couch with pillows or no pillows? I’ll say no pillows, mostly because my ideal couch is long and wide enough for me, a fairly large human, to easily take a nap on without limbs hanging off onto the floor. Pillows just take up space that I would rather use for myself.

Would you rather rake leaves, shovel snow or weed? Hard stop on weeding. I will avoid that at all costs. Being a California native, I’ve never shoveled snow, and I’m not sad about that.  There is a certain satisfaction in raking leaves on a nice fall afternoon. When I was young, my grandparents had a house with three very large mulberry trees in the front yard. I remember raking those leaves, and how satisfying it was to make them into neat piles that I could jump into. The earthy smell of leaves in the fall still takes me right back to that place.

Favorite mask – disposable paper, plain fabric, colorful print or something else? Plain black, but with straps that go around the back of my head. I must have an abnormally large head, because when I wear the kind with ear loops, my ears get pulled straight out to the sides.

Biggest writing challenge since COVID-19: In my day job, I’m in charge of distance education for a college of almost 40,000 students. As you can imagine, this has been a busy time. Fortunately for me, writing is something that I really want to be doing, so I find the time in between other things.

Website and social media links:
www.bmoseley.com – This is my personal site, and everything else links from there.  Thanks so much for this opportunity.  I’ve really enjoyed reading the other “Who’s that Indie Author?” entries.


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Who’s That Indie Author? Richard Fulco

Author Name: Richard Fulco

Genre: Literary Fiction

Book: There Is No End to This Slope

Are you a full-time author? If not, what’s your side gig? My paying gig is teaching high school English Literature and Creative Writing.

Favorite author/books: My list is quite lengthy, so I’ll just mention a bunch of authors I’ve been interested in recently: Baldwin, Morrison, Camus, Whitehead, Woodson, Adichie, Diaz, Frost, Eliot and Beckett. Always Beckett.

What experiences or people have influenced your writing the most? When I was nine, my teacher, Mrs. Nevins, told me that I had a creative mind and that I could be a writer when I grew up. A teacher’s words can lay the groundwork for a lifetime of toil and misery (kidding).

Do you keep a writing journal and if so, how do you use it? I keep a journal, though I don’t write in it every day. But I frequently jot down thoughts and ideas that I might explore or otherwise incorporate into a piece I’m working on.

Do you belong to a writers’ group? If so, describe your experience: I haven’t had much luck with writers’ groups. It’s difficult to organize a quorum of like-minded individuals. Although I am fortunate to have a trusted and worthwhile collection of astute readers who are generous, kind and critical of my work.

Are you up with the sun or do you burn the midnight oil? I’m up with the sun, plugging away before a full day of teaching. It’s not perfect, but it’s a faithful routine and a productive way to begin the day, especially in the dead of winter.

How do you get over a writing slump? I think writers, like baseball players, are in a slump more often than they are in a groove, and the only way out of a slump is to step up to the plate and take your cuts. Sure, you’ll strike out a bunch of times, but you’ll eventually get your hits too.

Do you prefer writing dialogue or descriptive passages? I write plays too, so I am drawn to clean, crisp and provocative dialogue, dripping in subtext.

What are you working on now? My latest novel, WE ARE ALL TOGETHER, is the story of a young guitar player’s willingness to prove he’s not the washed-up wannabe he fears he might become. My novel addresses questions of race, integrity, narcissism and greed that drive the art and lives of those who have a dream. How much does the artist owe the world and what do we expect in return?

What advice would you give to someone thinking about writing and publishing a book? First, ask yourself, “Why do I want to write a book?” If your answer is something like “I want to be rich and famous,” then you’re in the wrong profession. But if your answer is something along the lines of “I have a story that only I can tell,” then sit down immediately and begin writing. You should know, however, that the sea is lonely and it will be long, treacherous, disheartening and you’ll want to abandon ship on more than one occasion, but if you maintain the oars and ride out the storms, you will eventually steer the ship into port.

Do you listen to podcasts? If so, which podcasts do you find the most interesting? I should probably get on that.

Favorite escape: My version of a great day includes, running, playing guitar, hanging out with my children and reading (and of course, some writing too).

Have you ever tried Kombucha tea? Kombucha is not my cup of tea.

Do you prefer a couch with pillows or no pillows? I prefer a couch with a couple of pillows to rest my head.

Would you rather rake leaves, shovel snow or weed? If I even look at poison ivy, I get a rash. However, I’d rather rake leaves and weed the garden over the back-breaking work of shoveling snow any day.

Favorite mask – disposable paper, plain fabric, colorful print or something else? My favorite mask is one that hides my wrinkles.

Biggest writing challenge since Covid-19: It has been difficult to maintain my writing routine.

Website and social media links:
Publisher’s Website: wampus.com/richard-fulco/
Amazon: There Is No End to This Slope
Twitter: @RichardFulco


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Who’s That Indie Author? Robin Delnoce

Author Name: Robin Delnoce

Genre: Women’s Humor Fiction

Book: Bunco: A Comedy About The Drama Of Friendship

Are you a full-time author? If not, what’s your side gig? I am not a full-time author. I have had many gigs over the years… accounting, retail store manager, elementary school/juvenile detention center office clerk. I was just getting back into accounting when the world turned upside down.

Favorite author/books: Okay… this is going to be weird list. I love Carrie Fisher! Her wit and cynicism cracked me up! Diane English, creator & writer of Murphy Brown, was my absolute hero going through high school and college. JK Rowling… I know… I know… but I started reading her books to my children when the were young. They would fall asleep and I was compelled to continue reading.

What experiences or people have influenced your writing the most?  A combination of my friends and family in real life interactions and my imagination. I tend to play out potential scenarios to the extreme and when they don’t transpire, I throw them in the story😊

Do you keep a writing journal and if so, how do you use it? I don’t keep a journal. I should. I keep a Facebook account… which I have been advised to shut down and keep a private journal😊

Do you belong to a writers’ group? If so, describe your experience: I don’t belong to a writers’ group. I live with my husband and two daughters who think they are all hilarious, if that counts.

Are you up with the sun or do you burn the midnight oil? I’m 50… I’m up late, awake for 2-3 hours in the middle of the night, and then up with the sun! I think I do my best work in my pajamas, and that can be any time of day😊

How do you get over a writing slump? A long drive! I’m sure I’ve had several passing cars question my mental stability as they watch me talk to an empty passenger seat.

Do you prefer writing dialogue or descriptive passages? DIALOGUE! I have taken over 9 years to make my characters sound incredibly quick witted.

What are you working on now? Getting through this pandemic without a criminal record.

What advice would you give to someone thinking about writing and publishing a book? I don’t think I’m qualified to give advice about publishing a book. I’m new at this and really just kind of faking my way through it. I do, however, have experience in endurance events, and I will give the advice I used to give to new runners who would ask me if they could complete a certain distance. If it doesn’t scare the hell out of you, you aren’t challenging yourself enough.

Do you listen to podcasts? If so, which podcasts do you find the most interesting? I listen to a lot of true crime podcasts. It creeps out my husband because whenever he asks what I’m doing I always answer, “research.” I don’t really want to kill him, but I’ve listened to so many, I’m pretty sure I could get away with it 😉

Favorite escape: Going to thrift and antique stores and buying ridiculous things I have no room in my house for.

Have you ever tried Kombucha tea? I tried it once… maybe I got a bad batch.

Do you prefer a couch with pillows or no pillows? You can NEVER have too many pillows! I like them behind me, and next to me, and most of all, covering up my belly😊

Would you rather rake leaves, shovel snow or weed? Shovel snow for sure! Raking leaves isn’t so bad, but I have to resist the urge to jump in the pile. Weeding is the punishment of Satan.

Favorite mask – disposable paper, plain fabric, colorful print or something else? For comfort, the disposable paper… colorful print is my everyday go-to… but when this whole thing started, I used my Darth Vader voice changing mask. It was more uncomfortable than I thought it would be. That was a bummer.

Biggest writing challenge since Covid-19: I’m lucky if I can set aside enough time to write a grocery list.

Website and social media links:
Website: www.buncothebook.com
Goodreads link to: Bunco: A Comedy About The Drama Of Friendship
Amazon link to: Bunco: A Comedy About The Drama Of Friendship


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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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