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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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


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Who’s That Indie Author? Jonathan Pongratz

Author Name: Jonathan Pongratz

Genre: Horror/Scifi/ Fantasy

Books: Conscience, Reaper: A Horror Novella

Are you a full-time author? If not, what’s your side gig? I wish! During the week I do finance work for a legal firm. It may be a bit boring, but it certainly pays the bills!

Favorite author/books: Shutter by Courtney Alameda, Scythe by Neal Shusterman, and Battlecry by Emerald Dodge.

What experiences or people have influenced your writing the most? Hard to say exactly. My need to read has probably influenced me the most. Reading fuels my inspiration to write.

Do you keep a writing journal and if so, how do you use it? Nope.

Do you belong to a writers’ group? If so, describe your experience: Nope.

Are you up with the sun or do you burn the midnight oil? Definitely an early bird. During the week I sometimes get up as early as 4am! Do I like it? Not really, but it’s how I get things done.

How do you get over a writing slump? Honestly, I just keep writing. If I feel a writing slump coming, I write even more to try and beat it. It will pass eventually.

Do you prefer writing dialogue or descriptive passages? Both are intrinsically linked to a balanced story, so I would say both. Sometimes you need dialogue to move the story, other times you need the setting to do the work for you.

What are you working on now? I’m working on the sequel to Reaper: A Horror Novella. I’m chiseling out the first draft and hoping to get this baby published by end of year or early 2021.

What advice would you give to someone thinking about writing and publishing a book? Keep at it. Set aside time for writing and force yourself to commit to it.

Do you listen to podcasts? If so, which podcasts do you find the most interesting? Yes! I prefer true crime, anything paranormal, and a little bit of comedy.

Favorite escape: A book or somewhere rural and scenic.

Have you ever tried Kombucha tea? No, but a friend let me smell Kombucha once and that pretty much sealed my disdain for it.

Do you prefer a couch with pillows or no pillows? What is life without pillows, tons and tons of pillows?

Would you rather rake leaves, shovel snow or weed? I very much enjoy raking leaves. No idea why. Sign me up!

Favorite mask – disposable paper, plain fabric, colorful print or something else? Plain fabric. I have some black ones that are great.

Biggest writing challenge since Covid-19: Keeping up with life and wellness. Things have somehow gotten much busier than they were pre-Covid.

Website and social media links:
Website: www.jonathanpongratz.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/jonathanpongratz
GoodReads: www.goodreads.com/jonathanpongratz
Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/jonathan-pongratz
Tumblr: https://jonathanpongratz.tumblr.com/


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Who’s That Indie Author? Annika Perry

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Author name:  Annika Perry

Genre:  Contemporary Fiction / Short Stories

Book:  The Storyteller Speaks

Bio:  Although writing has been a lifetime passion for Annika, her route to full-time writing has been circuitous. She formerly worked within journalism and the timber trade before severe illness followed by motherhood gave her an opportunity to pursue her dream. The Storyteller Speaks, a collection of short stories, flash fiction and poetry, is Annika’s debut book. She has also written a novel, Island Girl, which is in its final editing stages as well as two, as yet unpublished, books for younger children. Annika is an avid reader (a world without books is unimaginable to her), a keen gardener, walker and she enjoys travel (in spite of her well-documented fear of flying!)

Favorite thing about being a writer:  The very act of writing, of losing myself in the story and gradually letting itself unravel to me. It is pure magic when the characters almost come to life, speak to me and lead me along unexpected paths to surprise endings. Finally it is a richness to be able to share my work and know it reaches people’s hearts.

Biggest challenge as an indie author:  Never having enough time in a day! Whilst publishing my book I realised the writing element was the easy part! The time and work involved in self-publishing is immense, even with excellent support, and consumes the hours in the day. On top of this, my blog, promotion and publishing problems (I’m currently sorting out an issue with Amazon) eats into a day.

Favorite books:  Here are just a few! The Music Shop by Rachel Joyce; If This Is a Man by Primo Levi; An Evil Cradling by Brian Keenan; Illusions by Richard Bach; The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkein; All the Light We Cannot See by Alexander Doer; The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey; The No 1 Ladies Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith.

Contact Information:
Blog: annikaperry.com
Twitter:  @AnnikaPerry68
Amazon: Annika Perry

Goodreads: Annika Perry 

Awards/special recognition:  First Prize in Writing Magazine Short Story competition in 2014; Short-listed in InkTears Short Story competition in 2015.


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Who’s That Indie Author? Sandra Butler

whos-that-indie-author

Author name:  Sandra Butler

Genre:  Non-fiction

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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Who’s That Indie Author? James J. Cudney

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Author name:  James J. Cudney (Jay)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Who’s That Indie Author? Willie Handler

whos-that-indie-author

Author name:  Willie Handler

Genre:  Humor

Book:  The Road Ahead

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

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

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

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

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


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Who’s That Indie Author? Sarah Woodard

whos-that-indie-author

Author name:  Sarah Woodard

Genre:  Children’s Lit

BookAdri’s Big Dream

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

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

Biggest challenge as an indie author:  Marketing

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

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


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Who’s That Blogger and Indie Author? Audrey Kalman

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Blogmaster/Indie Author:  Audrey Kalman

Blog name: Audrey Kalman – Fiction with a Dark Edge

Type of blog: Meditations on writing, life, philosophy, art, and culture

Where in the world?  United States

Blogging since when? 2011

What’s your story? When I published my first novel, Dance of Souls, in 2011, I knew it was important to have what we call an “author platform.” At the time, a blog was a necessity. Now, six years later, some people argue that you don’t need a blog any more since you can publish your ideas and opinions on sites like LinkedIn and Medium. But I like being able to completely control my content and presentation. In the beginning, I blogged a lot about the challenges of being an indie author. Now that I’ve published one book and have another scheduled for publication, I write about more general subjects, though still with a focus on art and literature. My most popular posts have been the ones where I’ve opened up personally about something going on in my life, like one I wrote about dealing with anxiety.

What types of blogs do you follow? I follow many blogs by people who offer advice on writing and marketing. I also follow a couple of great mindfulness blogs and I recently discovered Vox Populi, described as “a community of writers, artists, teachers and activists who share a vision of what American life is and what it could be.” They post a lot of poetry, which is quite refreshing!

Early bird or night owl? Definitely early bird. I try to do all my creative stuff before 11 a.m. and reserve the afternoon for activities that don’t require laser-like attention, since, as I get older, my brain power wanes considerably after about 3 p.m. I treat blogging like a job. I’ve been a freelancer for more than 20 years, so I’m fairly disciplined about deadlines—which is very helpful in supporting my own writing.

Coffee or tea? Tea, definitely: loose leaf. My current favorite is Early Grey green from Ahmad Tea, which I buy by the pound.

Most recent binge watch: “White Collar,” originally on USA Network, now available on Amazon. I love the two main characters, an FBI agent and his ex-con sidekick.

Check out these recent blog posts by Audrey Kalman:

Leave your garret and come to my party – 7/19/17
Grammar can save the world – 7/3/17
A weekend among the book people – 6/6/17


More about Audrey: Audrey Kalman writes literary fiction with a dark edge, often about what goes awry when human connection is missing from our lives. She is the author of two novels and numerous short stories, which have appeared in literary journals ranging from Pithead Chapel to Sixfold. She edited two editions of the Fault Zone anthology of California Writers and serves as VP/Speakers for the SF-Peninsula Branch of the California Writers Club. She lives in northern California with her husband, two children, and two cats, and has a day job (actually more like a middle-of-the-night job) as a birth doula. She is working on another novel. Or two.

I love character-driven novels, especially those structured as interlocking stories and/or multiple points of view. Some favorites: Elizabeth Strout’s Olive Kitteridge, Emma Donoghue’s Room, Khaled Hosseini’s And the Mountains Echoed, William Faulkner’s Light in August.

BookWhat Remains Unsaid


Contact Information (blog, website, etc.):
Twitter – @audreykalman
Facebook –@AudreyKalmanAuthor
Web site – audreykalman.com
Goodreads – Audrey Kalman

Awards/special recognition:
Best of Show: Literary Essay, June 2016 San Mateo County Fair Literary Arts Competition
Short listed for the 2016 Pithead Chapel Larry Brown Short Story Contest
Placed for publication for the Winter 2015 edition of Sixfold
Best of Show: Short Story, June 2013 San Mateo County Fair Literary Arts Competition
Most Promising Writer of the Year, June 2012 California Writers Club


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