Who’s That Indie Author? Sheila M. Cronin

Author Name: Sheila M. Cronin                        

Genre: Fiction

Books: The Gift Counselor, Best of All Gifts, Heart Shaped (out of print), Heart Shaped II, a collection of short stories.

Brief bio: I was born and raised in Chicago, the third eldest of ten. After earning my graduate degree in Philadelphia, I taught and practiced art therapy there until relocating to Los Angeles to pursue my talents in art, music, writing plays and screenplays. Upon returning to Chicago, I adapted one of my screenplays into a novel and named the characters in the story for the streets of the neighborhood where I grew up.

What got you started as a writer? For as long as I can remember I have been writing. My first poem was published in childhood and I remember the thrill of seeing it in print. I began to keep a diary in grade school. My mother was a non-fiction writer and her disciplined approach to her work influenced me steadily as I was growing up. In college, I transferred to journaling. Though an art major, I found that some things were better expressed through words.

What difficult experience has helped you as a writer? Being laid off from my last job and not finding another job quickly made me finally stop looking and take up a novel I had begun writing years earlier. Reading The Artist’s Way by Julie Cameron further convinced me that if I didn’t do it, no one else would.

One of my novel’s earliest and strongest fans was my youngest sister, Ellyn. After I told her the plot, whenever we got together, she always, always asked me how the book was coming along. She loved it and encouraged me to keep going when I had doubts. Ellyn’s son inspired certain aspects of the ten-year-old character in my book. We lost Ellyn to cancer before the book was published. It’s hard to put into words how much her courage inspired me. No doubt, many readers here will be able to imagine the effect her loss had on me and how it made me want to persevere.

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

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

  • Get started and have fun. There’s no right or wrong way to write. There’s your way. Trust it.
  • If you find writing too lonely, join a good writing group or class.
  • If you can’t find a writing group, sign up one or two beta readers.
  • Read other books while you write, for encouragement and suggestions on how to solve plot problems and to expand your vocabulary.
  • Get a short story or two published before you publish your book. Check out the short story guidelines in Woman’s World Magazine, for example. That’s where I started and became a paid writer.
  • Learn how to use social media for marketing, promoting and networking.
  • Prepare to wait. Waiting is Job One when your goal is to get published.
  • Believe that you will be given the things you need to achieve your goal.

What has been the biggest challenge for you during Covid? The isolation! My writing group used to meet in person at a restaurant. While I am grateful that we can continue to meet online, nothing takes the place of live gatherings. At first, I kept working on my third novel and other projects with no disruption. But as time wore on, I found it harder and harder to work. So, instead I read and, because books never let me down, I eventually found my drive again.

What are you reading right now? This is Happiness by Niall Williams.

Would you rather laugh or cry over a book? I enjoy books that move me either way. Since my own writing is most often described as heartwarming, I savor the stories that make me cry. The books that make me stop and catch my breath—those are the gems.

Have you ever climbed a tree to read a book? Though I loved climbing trees as a child, I never read a book in one.

Have you ever dropped a book in the tub, in a pool or in the ocean? Not that I recall. However, one time I did buy the same book twice. It was a prayer book that I had misplaced at church. About a year after I lost it, I went back to the same bookstore and bought another copy—or so I thought. Later at home, I found a mark I had made in it when I first owned it!

Could you live in a tiny house? I already do. I live in a studio apartment. If I had a choice, I’d prefer to have a studio as well as a house!

What are the small things that make you happy? I am delighted when I go to the store for a specific item and find only one on the shelf, like it was waiting there just for me. I am grateful for the miracle of sound recording. Whether via voice mail, or YouTube or radio or television or streaming, to be able to hear a beloved voice when the person is far away or unavailable is to me one of the greatest gifts of living in modern times. I never take for granted clean, accessible running water.

Website and social media links:
Website: giftcounselorbook.com
Twitter: @sheilamcronin
Alignable: Sheila M Cronin
Linkedin:  Sheila Cronin
Goodreads: The Gift Counselor


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Who’s That Indie Author? Gail Aldwin

Author Name: Gail Aldwin

Genre: Contemporary fiction

Books: This Much Huxley Knows, The String Games 

Brief bio: I am a British writer who has lived and worked in Australia, Papua New Guinea, Uganda and Spain. As well as novels, short fiction and poetry, I co-write short plays and comedy sketches that are staged in my home county of Dorset. I love to appear at national and international literary festivals, including input at the Mani Lit Fest in Greece 2021.

What got you started as a writer? When I lived overseas, the letters and emails I sent home were the start of my journey to becoming a published author. When I ran out of anecdotes to share, I began making them up and developed the skills to write fiction.

What difficult experience has helped you as a writer? As a writer you need plenty of resilience. It’s a competitive field and to get published involves a lot of rejections. When I lived in Uganda, I volunteered at a refugee settlement for those fleeing conflict in South Sudan. I had such respect for the children and families who owned nothing but still found joy. My living conditions were tough with little piped water and a poor supply of electricity. I learnt how to toughen up from the refugees I worked with and I carry that experience with me today.

What advice would you give a new indie author hoping to publish a book? Seek beta readers to offer feedback on your work. Keep polishing your novel until it feels like you can recite every word.

What has been the biggest challenge for you during Covid? As the weekdays and the weekends merged during lockdown, I found it difficult to focus on writing. That’s when I joined Writers’ Hour with the London Writers’ Salon. Each weekday morning at 8am I joined a Zoom call which provided a kick start to get my writing going.

What are you reading right now? Tangled Lies by Karen E Osborne. It’s such a great book with standout characters.

Would you rather laugh or cry over a book? Laugh. It’s especially important to see the funny side during these Covid days.

Have you ever climbed a tree to read a book? No, but the young narrator in This Much Huxley Knows climbs trees and gets stuck at the top. Passing friends help to talk him down.

Have you ever dropped a book in the tub, in a pool or in the ocean? That is a criminal question. The worse thing I’ve ever done is to drop a book, see it catch the wind and chase it along the road.

Could you live in a tiny house? Oh yes! I love small spaces and used to spend hours sitting in the airing cupboard when I was a girl. To get into the mind of the young narrator in This Much Huxley Knows I recreated that experience to connect with the thoughts, worries, joys and preoccupations of a child and feed these into my novel.

What are the small things that make you happy? Sunlight turning leaves golden in autumn.

Website and social media links:
Twitter: @gailaldwin
Facebook: @gailaldwinwriter
Instagram: gailfaldwin
Blog: gailaldwin.com


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Who’s That Indie Author? Lauren Scott

Author Name: Lauren Scott

Genre: Poetry, Memoir

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Who’s That Indie Author? Jane Elizabeth Hughes

Author Name: Jane Elizabeth Hughes         

Genre: Women’s Fiction

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Who’s That Indie Author? K. Blanton Brenner

Author Name: K. Blanton Brenner

Genre: Family Saga

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Who’s That Indie Author? Jill Culiner

Jill Culiner

Author Name: Thank you so much, Barb, for having me here on your blog. My author name is Jill Culiner but I also write romance as J. Arlene Culiner

Genre: I write non-fiction, mysteries, as well as romance, and romantic suspense.

Books: My non-fiction book is: Finding Home in the Footsteps of the Jewish Fusgeyers.

My mysteries are: Death by Slanderous Tongue and Sad Summer in Biarritz.

My romances are: All About Charming Alice, Desert Rose, A Swan’s Sweet Song, Felicity’s Power and A Turkish Affair.

Are you a full-time author? If not, what’s your side gig? I am also a social critical artist, a cartoonist, a photographer, and very occasionally I work as an actress.

Favorite authors/books: At the moment I love Kapka Kassabova, Charles King, Robert A. Rosenstone, Stephen Morris, W.G. Sebald and Anita Brookner.

What experiences or people have influenced your writing the most? Wonderful books like those of the above authors.

Do you keep a writing journal and if so, how do you use it? I kept a journal for most of my life and I’m glad I did because much of my writing is the result of what I wrote down. However, unless I’m travelling and working on a project, I no longer keep one. Everything I write is for my books or my podcast. That’s enough writing for me.

Do you belong to a writers’ group? If so, describe your experience: No, I don’t. I live in a French-speaking country and I write in English. I do have the feeling I write in isolation, but that’s just fine.

Are you up with the sun or do you burn the midnight oil? Usually, I’m an early riser. My brain turns itself off at around 9:00 pm and I become lazy and dull-witted.

How do you get over a writing slump? I go do something else. If it is a temporary slump—being at war with a paragraph, for example—I’ll go for a walk. If it is a long slump, I’ll just stop writing for a few months. I know the world won’t come to an end if I take a big pause and let my subconscious get to work.

Do you prefer writing dialogue or descriptive passages? I love both. I love writing down cynical, satirical, tongue-in-cheek descriptions, and conversations.

What are you working on now? I’m editing my two most recent manuscripts. One is a non-fiction about a rebellious poet I fell madly in love with. Unfortunately, he died 130 years ago, but I tracked him down in Ukraine, Romania, Austria, and Turkey. The book, A Contrary Journey: with Velvel Zbarzher, Bard, will be published by Claret Press in October.

The other manuscript, The Room in Blake’s Folly, is a romance that starts in 1889 in a Nevada saloon and ends in 2020. I was inspired by the idea that we’ll never know the sort of mischief our ancestors got up to.

What advice would you give to someone thinking about writing and publishing a book? Read, read some more, read in other genres, read non-fiction, read history, read excellent poetry, read wonderful writers like Anita Brookner or the other authors mentioned above.

Do you listen to podcasts? If so, which podcasts do you find the most interesting? I have my own storytelling podcast: https://soundcloud.com/j-arlene-culiner. But I love old the Podcasts on France Culture (history, analysis, stimulating stuff).

Favorite escape: Cooking, experimenting with food, inventing dishes and eating

Have you ever tried Kombucha tea? No. What is it?

Do you prefer a couch with pillows or no pillows? Don’t own one so I can’t answer.

Would you rather rake leaves, shovel snow or weed? I never weed because weeds are simply wild flowers that insects need: we desperately need insects. Ditto for raking, because they provide ground cover for the beasties we need and because leaves are also wonderful mulch. As for snow, I live in such a temperate part of the world (France) that snow only comes around for a day or two each year. It’s so lovely, why shovel it away?

Favorite mask – disposable paper, plain fabric, colorful print or something else? Definitely a reusable mask. We don’t need more throw-away items in the world.

Biggest writing challenge since Covid-19 I haven’t really noticed a difference in my life other than not being able to sit in cafés and restaurants for long lunches with friends.

Website and social media links:
For romances:
Website: j-arleneculiner.com
Blog: j-arleneculiner.over-blog.com
Amazon Author: J. Arlene Culiner
Goodreads Author: J. Arlene Culiner
Facebook: J Arlene Culiner (J Arlene Culiner Romances)

For other books: 
Website: jill-culiner.com
Amazon Author: Jill Culiner
Blog: jewish-histories.over-blog.com


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Who’s That Indie Author? Margaret Rodenberg

Margaret Rodenberg

Author Name: Margaret Rodenberg

Genre: Historical Fiction

Book: Finding Napoleon – it’s based partly on Napoleon Bonaparte’s own attempt to write a novel and costars his little-known last love, Albine de Montholon.

Are you a full-time author? If not, what’s your side gig? I’m an escapee from the business world who’s thrilled to be a full-time author.

Favorite author/books: A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens, Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy and The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald are three perfect novels that I reread every few years. For more recent releases, I loved Stephanie Dray’s The Women of Chateau Lafayette, Louis Bayard’s Courting Mr. Lincoln, and Emily St John Mandel’s The Glass Hotel.

What experiences or people have influenced your writing the most? I lived in France as a young teen, which sparked my passion for travel, history, and language. Plus, I come from a bookish family and took it for granted that I’d write novels.

Do you keep a writing journal and if so, how do you use it? No, but during my travels, I jot down notes, collect mementos, and take a ton of photos.

Do you belong to a writers’ group? If so, describe your experience: When I was starting out, I lucked into a supportive circle of talented women writers. We met in person every three weeks for ten years. I still have a weekly check-in with one of them, and others read drafts for me. I also have a remote group of insightful writers whose monthly critiques are invaluable.

Are you up with the sun or do you burn the midnight oil? I prefer a leisurely awakening so midmorning coffee to midnight oil are best for me.

How do you get over a writing slump? I don’t have “slumps” so much as distractions. When I do get frustrated with a project, I switch to a different aspect of the work—marketing, researching, or organizing—or to a different section of the manuscript.

Do you prefer writing dialogue or descriptive passages? Oh, I love dialogue—that’s where the drama happens. Plus, I’m a theatre buff, so I like the talky stuff.

What are you working on now? A French Revolution-era dystopian novel about social justice that speaks to our time.

What advice would you give to someone thinking about writing and publishing a book? Do it! But make the writing itself—the immense intellectual gratification—your primary reward. Be realistic about the publishing industry and the financial rewards.

Do you listen to podcasts? If so, which podcasts do you find the most interesting? I listen to reruns of the day’s cable news shows, book podcasts such as write-minded, The NYT Book Review or Book Riot, and French and Spanish language lessons. Mostly, I listen to audio books.

Favorite escape: Going anywhere with my husband. We’re as happy in a Paris art museum as we are kayaking in British Columbia or hiking in our local national park.

Have you ever tried Kombucha tea? Yes, but I’m not an enthusiast.

Do you prefer a couch with pillows or no pillows? If the couch is deep, I want a pillow for support, but, please, don’t surround me with  them.

Would you rather rake leaves, shovel snow or weed? Shoveling snow on a clear, crisp day. Love the invigorating workout!

Favorite mask – disposable paper, plain fabric, colorful print or something else? I recently bought an adjustable gaiter with a slot for disposable filters (double ‘em up!) that I really like.

Biggest writing challenge since Covid-19: Initially, I had difficulty focusing, because I was anxious about the future. Now, I burrow into my writing and try to forget the outside world.

Website and social media links:
Website: margaretrodenberg.com
Facebook Author Page: @MargaretRodenberg.author
Instagram: margaretrodenberg
Twitter: @MargaretRodenberg
Email: margaret@mrodenberg.com


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Who’s That Indie Author? Bruce W. Bishop

Author Name: Bruce W. Bishop

Genre: Historical Fiction / Family Saga

Book: Unconventional Daughters

Are you a full-time author? If not, what’s your side gig? Thank you for asking! Yes, I am, and I still occasionally write freelance articles.

Favorite authors/books: Margaret Atwood, Timothy Findlay, Tom Harpur, A Separate Peace by John Knowles, On Writing by Stephen King

What experiences or people have influenced your writing the most? The first time I imagined becoming a ‘real’ journalist was when I was my high school’s newspaper editor in the mid-1970s. I later sold articles to local and city newspapers which gave me more confidence to continue the craft. But it wasn’t until I became the president of the Travel Media Association of Canada and seeing my byline in national newspapers that I felt I was a bona fide, legitimate writer.

Do you keep a writing journal and if so, how do you use it? I haven’t kept a journal for many years but I normally use a travel diary if I am away for a week or longer.

Do you belong to a writers’ group? If so, describe your experience: I was directly involved with a national writers’ organization, as mentioned above, for some time, and it was one of the most fascinating and enjoyable periods of my life.

Are you up with the sun or do you burn the midnight oil? I suppose as is typical with many Geminis, I do both! But I tend to be up with the sun in the warmer months. I don’t think I do my best writing late at night.

How do you get over a writing slump? It’s funny, but I was talking about this with my brother recently. I don’t normally refer to this as a ‘writer’s block’ (or slump) but more of a ‘writer’s fear’. In other words, will I be able to write something that people actually want to read? When I put myself in the reader’s shoes, I don’t want to disappoint and I want to entertain and/or enlighten, if I possibly can.  

Do you prefer writing dialogue or descriptive passages? Dialogue, for sure. This may harken back to my college days and courses in film theory and screenwriting.

What are you working on now? It’s an interlinked novel with Unconventional Daughters, which I’m calling Unrepentant Sons. One won’t have to have read Daughters in order to enjoy Sons, but some of the characters from the first novel are in the second. It also takes place in the same time period as when the first book finishes (mid-1930s).

What advice would you give to someone thinking about writing and publishing a book? Just do it! It is one of the best decisions I have ever made, and it was the pandemic lockdown that really convinced me to do so. We have such a finite time on earth, and living in a period of major societal and economic change should be enough to convince anyone to at least attempt to write and publish.  Initially, for at least three months, I researched the traditional publishing route, including how to get a literary agent. Then I decided to go the independent route because I didn’t want to waste any more time seeing my novel published, and to me, that’s a big “pro” with self-publishing.

Do you listen to podcasts? If so, which podcasts do you find the most interesting? No, I don’t. I wish I could devote more time for leisure reading and perhaps listening to podcasts. Podcasting is a wonderful medium we could not have envisioned thirty years ago.

Favorite escape:  A deserted beach, anywhere.

Have you ever tried Kombucha tea?  I’ve heard of it, but haven’t tried it yet. Is it savory or sweet? I usually prefer dry or bitter to sweet.

Do you prefer a couch with pillows or no pillows? Pillows, for sure, to barricade myself before a good movie!

Would you rather rake leaves, shovel snow or weed? If I had to do either of the three, I guess I would choose raking leaves, which I did a lot in my past. Living in a city apartment now gives me the freedom not to have rake, shovel or weed!

Favorite mask – disposable paper, plain fabric, colorful print or something else? I’ve tried homemade with fabric, a heavy-duty one that smothers, and finally chose to only use the disposable ones.

Biggest writing challenge since Covid-19: I’m almost afraid to say that there hasn’t been a writing challenge during the pandemic because I have accomplished more since its beginning than in the previous couple of years. I consider myself to be very fortunate in this regard.

Website and social media links:
Website: brucebishopauthor.com
Facebook: @bbishop.writer · Author
Twitter: @Bruce_W_Bishop
Instagram: bruceinhali
Goodreads: Bruce W Bishop
YouTube: Bruce Bishop_Canada


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Who’s That Indie Author? Kaitlyn Jain

Author Name: Kaitlyn Jain

Genre: Non-fiction, travel, memoir

Book: Passports and Pacifiers—Traveling the World, One Tantrum at a Time

Are you a full-time author? If not, what’s your side gig? I spent fifteen years doing marketing and project management in corporate America. As of a few weeks ago, I’m taking a (short?) break to focus on writing, along with overseeing virtual learning.

Favorite author/books: Bill Bryson, Isabelle Allende, Malcolm Gladwell, To Kill a Mockingbird

What experiences or people have influenced your writing the most? I’ve been blessed with great teachers and a fantastic college professor who encouraged my creativity. Traveling with the kids in Scandinavia inspired the book. I recognized the absurdity of what we were doing, but also the pure joy, and I wanted to encourage others to see the world.

Do you keep a writing journal and if so, how do you use it? I’m not the best at keeping it current, but I use it while traveling and write in it when I have time.

Do you belong to a writers’ group? If so, describe your experience: Yes. We meet twice a month to review two pieces. Each of us brings diverse strengths and we’re all at different phases. It’s been a great learning experience—and I’ve read more sci-fi in the past year than I have in my entire life.

Are you up with the sun or do you burn the midnight oil? Neither. I love sleep so try to get in as much as I can while the kids are asleep.

How do you get over a writing slump? Reading a good book, writing in my journal, or just getting out there and experiencing new things. I come up with my best ideas when I’m running or putting my littlest down for a nap—and try to remember what I was thinking in case I fall asleep before she does!

Do you prefer writing dialogue or descriptive passages? I usually start with descriptive passages and change to dialogue to improve the flow. Descriptive is easier for me but the dialogue balances it to make the reading less dense.

What are you working on now? Since I’m launching my first book February 2021, I’m focused on successfully getting this out the door! I have started a second book, similar in content, but with a different spin.

What advice would you give to someone thinking about writing and publishing a book? Go for it! It’s important to try new things and push yourself to do things you’re not quite sure you can do. I find that challenges are merely opportunities you haven’t succeeded at yet.

Do you listen to podcasts? If so, which podcasts do you find the most interesting? Not really.

Favorite escape: I love reading and travel. I’ve visited nearly every state and 25+ countries. This year, when we couldn’t travel, I read a lot and hiked with my family.

Have you ever tried Kombucha tea? No. My mom loves it though so, based on my genes, perhaps I will at some point.

Do you prefer a couch with pillows or no pillows? Pillows, for sure, though they’re always a mess in my house. They need to be put back or rearranged since they’re inevitably removed for some fort or turned wrong when the kids are pretending the floor is lava.

Would you rather rake leaves, shovel snow or weed? Not weeds. I got poison ivy this summer and it was MISERABLE. I like shoveling because that means there’s snow to play in and go sledding. You can take the girl out of Michigan, but can’t take the Michigan out of the girl.

Favorite mask – disposable paper, plain fabric, colorful print or something else? Reusable and colorful. I usually wear a green mask bearing the name of my kids’ school since I’m PTA president and need to encourage sales.

Biggest writing challenge since Covid-19: Focus and time. Without childcare for three months (and my husband and I both working full-time), it was quite difficult to do much beyond put food on the table. Plus, for my genre, actually going anywhere! I can’t wait to travel with my kids again.

Website and social media links:
Website: www.kaitlynjain.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/PassportsandPacifiers/
Twitter: @KaitlynJain
Instagram: kaitlyn.jain


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

Who’s That Indie Author? R. Lee Ingalls

R. Lee Ingalls

Author Name: R. Lee Ingalls

Genre: Non-Fiction

Book: Ingalls on the Prairie – The Gene and Fern Ingalls Story

Favorite author: Laura Ingalls Wilder

Are you a full-time author? No I am not. If not, what’s your side gig? I am a Project Manager by career.

What experiences or people have influenced your writing the most? Laura Ingalls Wilder is a family member and knowing I was part of that family was the initial event that caused me to decide to write a book. My parents and their life together was an amazing thing to see, a love story of a different type.

Do you keep a writing journal and if so, how do you use it? I do not but I have been jotting down memory joggers for a couple decades.

Do you belong to a writers’ group? If so, describe your experience: No I do not.

Are you up with the sun or do you burn the midnight oil? I am up with the sun but can and do write late in the day as well. Normally I write new material in the morning and do my edits in the afternoon / early evening.

How do you get over a writing slump? I just start typing whatever comes into my mind.

Do you prefer writing dialogue or descriptive passages? Descriptive passages for sure.

What are you working on now? My second book is what I thought would be my first book but as I began to write I found my parents story to be much more compelling. My second book will also be non-fiction but my story.

What advice would you give to someone thinking about writing and publishing a book? Do it, don’t wait, begin now and don’t force it. I finally allowed the story to take a more organic path and then everything fell into place.

Do you listen to podcasts? If so, which podcasts do you find the most interesting? No, not really but I have been invited to participate in a couple mostly addressing the connection and continuing story of the Ingalls / Little House on the Prairie story.

Favorite escape: I love going on cruises, they are relaxing and I can completely disconnect.

Have you ever tried Kombucha tea? No I have not.

Do you prefer a couch with pillows or no pillows? With pillows

Would you rather rake leaves, shovel snow or weed? Rake leaves

Favorite mask – disposable paper, plain fabric, colorful print or something else? I have a variety but normally I wear one with a pattern and reusable.

Biggest writing challenge since COVID-19: No writing challenge it actually freed up my time to be able to complete my book, but the lack of travel and social distancing has limited my ability to promote my book.

Website and social media links:
Website: www.ingallsontheprairie.com
Instagram: ingallsontheprairie
Facebook: R Lee Ingalls Author


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.