Who’s That Indie Author? Jacqueline Church Simonds

Jacqueline Church Simonds

Author Name: Jacqueline Church Simonds

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Books: The Heirs to Camelot series: The Priestess of Camelot (prequel); The Midsummer Wife (Book 1); The Solstice Bride (Book 2); Mistress of the Rose Moon (Book 3)

Bio: I have been writing for as long as I’ve been able to hold a pencil. Along the way, I have been everything from a lady’s companion, to a salesperson, to a rock band roadie, to a publishing consultant. Somewhere in there, I’ve written six books and ghostwritten an additional seven to eight.

What got you started as a writer? I always told myself stories. One day, my mom suggested I write them down. It took until I was forty to actually write a novel. (I have been a professional editor, so I was always in words.)

What is your writing routine? What’s that? Seriously, I write when/as/if I have time.

What route did you take to get your books published? I self-published my first book, Captain Mary, Buccaneer (I sold all three thousand copies and foreign rights to Italy’s Harlequin Mondadori). For this series, I went with a small press.

What things do you do to promote your books? I’ve done newspaper/radio/TV interviews, podcasts, website interviews and guest hosting, signings at bookstores/libraries/author events, a table at a garage sale, and a local convention.

What is your favorite genre to read and why? I read a lot of sci-fi, but I’ll read anything not nailed down. I post my quick Book Takes on my website.

Do you prefer to write dialogue or description? I often write a lengthy description, then turn it into dialogue because it reads better.

Have any of your characters ever surprised you? Did this change the plot of your book? Ava, the main character of my series, totally surprised me in the first book. In the first draft, I felt she was sort of lifeless. A fellow writer suggested I try writing in first person, so I could “hear” the main character clearly. I discovered Ava suffered from massive anxiety attacks/poor self-esteem/PTSD from a terrible event in her life. Although I went back to third person, it gave me a better handle on how to handle the character.

What is the most difficult thing you have accomplished in your life? I had a brain tumor and recovered almost fully from it. It changes the way you think about time and what you are doing here.

What three events or people have most influenced how you live your life? Going back/finishing college in my thirties. Sitting down and writing that first novel. Recovering from brain tumor.

What would you tell your younger self? Own being a writer. Don’t give up because it’s hard and you’ll get no support. Get jobs writing. Write that big book that’s in your head. WRITE, DAMMIT!

Have you ever met up with a bear on a hike? If so, what did you do? If not, are you looking up what to do right now? I stopped hiking long ago, but the best method for dealing with a bear is: don’t be where there are bears.

You’re locked in your local library for the night with no dinner. Thank goodness you have water, but you only have enough change to buy one item from the vending machine. Choices are limited to: Fudge Pop Tarts, Snickers or Doritos. Which would you choose and why? I almost went with Doritos, but then I’d get that fake nacho dust on my fingers and I wouldn’t want to leave that on the pages. I guess I’d get a Snickers.

What’s the largest number of people you’ve had in your kitchen at one time? Ten? Last family Christmas at my folks’ place before they sold it. My kitchen is pretty quiet—my Hubbers is the cook and hates anyone else in there until he’s done.

Closing thoughts: I’ve been involved in publishing for twenty-two years. I’ve helped other people get their book babies published and launch their dreams. Indie and self-publishing is a great way to get our work out. We need more readers!

Website and social media links:
Website: www.jcsimonds.com
Facebook: @jacquelinechurchsimonds
Twitter: @jcsimonds (Caution: I am VERY political and this is where I vent.)


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

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Share your news on Book Club Mom’s Author Update

Are you working on a new or your very first book? Have you won an award or a writing contest? Did you just update your website? Maybe you just want to tell readers about an experience you’ve had. Book Club Mom’s Author Update is a great way to share news and information about you and your books.

Email Book Club Mom at bvitelli2009@gmail.com for more information.

Open to all authors – self-published, indie, hybrid and anything in between.

Thanks for visiting – come back soon!

Who’s That Indie Author? W. L. Hawkin

W. L. Hawkin

Author Name: W. L. Hawkin (Wendy)

Genre: blended mystery/suspense/fantasy/romance

Books: Hollystone Mysteries—To Charm a Killer, To Sleep with Stones, To Render a Raven, To Kill a King, and Lure River Romances—Lure: Jesse & Hawk

Bio: W. L. Hawkin writes mysterious romantic adventures from her home on Vancouver Island, Canada. Wendy graduated from Trent University with a BA in Indigenous Studies, then went on to study English literature at SFU in British Columbia, and teach high school. She found her voice publishing poetry and Native Rights articles in Canadian news magazines and is now an Indie author/publisher at Blue Haven Press.

What got you started as a writer? I started writing poetry as a teenager to make sense of my world: “It’s a maze. It’s a haze. It’s a crazy place.” But when I saw Romancing the Stone in the 1980s, I wanted to be a romance novelist. Shortly after that, I wrote the first draft of what has become my latest romantic suspense release (Lure: Jesse & Hawk).

What is your writing routine? I write when the muse is with me and then for as long as my body holds out—some days six hours if I’m on, and other days not at all.

What routes did you take to get your books published? When I first wrote To Charm a Killer, I sent it to a few agents and publishers. I had some interest, but no one wanted to commit to a first-time author who wrote blended genres. It’s hard to sell.  So, I took a chance and published it myself. By that time, I’d finished my fourth book in the Hollystone Mysteries, I’d learned the ropes.

What things do you do to promote your books? I created a solid website and keep it updated. I enter contests and do readings/sales in my local community. Last year, I started working with a publicist who booked me on all kinds of media (TV, radio, podcasts, magazines) so I became comfortable talking about myself and my work (again, not easy for an introvert). I’m now able to approach people like you, Barb, and ask.

What is your favorite genre to read and why? Mystery/suspense is my favourite, no matter what century it’s set, and that’s what I write as well. Sometimes I venture into fantasy and action/adventure. I’m a regular reviewer with the Ottawa Review of Books so receive excellent ARCs from Canadian publishers.

Do you prefer to write dialogue or description? I don’t have a preference and you need to balance both in a scene to make it dynamic.

Have any of your characters ever surprised you? Did this change the plot of your book? Absolutely, and often. Once I connect with my characters, I meditate to get into an almost trance-like space where I can see and hear what’s happening. I’ve had reviewers say my writer is “cinematic” and I think that’s why. In To Sleep with Stones, one of the characters died in a very dramatic scene and I had no idea that was going to happen. I wrote that sequence in tears, and I think that raw emotion comes through to the reader.

What is the most difficult thing you have accomplished in your life? I quit high school in grade ten. In my mid-thirties, I was compelled to finish. One of the courses was Native Ancestry 11, and I had such an epiphany with that content, I wanted to go on and take university courses in Indigenous Studies. Coincidentally, I wrote the first draft of Lure: Jesse & Hawk, my latest release during that time. My ex-husband didn’t support me, so I left my marriage and completed my B.A. as a single mother going part-time to university courses for years. That was a challenging time, but also a healing time for me.

What three events or people have most influenced how you live your life? One: reading The Power of Myth by Joseph Campbell in 1990 blew open my world and taught me to follow my “bliss.” Two: leaving my marriage and taking my young daughter taught me many things about living in this world. Three: graduating from university and getting my first paying gig as a teacher gave me financial independence and a sense of moral/ethical living in a community.

What would you tell your younger self? Borrowing from my mentor, Joseph Campbell, I’d say follow your passion, your bliss, and doors will open for you. Bundle up your problems and leave them outside, then walk through that door carrying a sense of curiosity, wonder, and hope.

Have you ever met up with a bear on a hike? If so, what did you do? If not, are you looking up what to do right now? I sure have! I live in the Pacific Northwest on bear territory so regularly see them. Remember that you’re a guest on their land, back up slowly, and give them the right of way. Hawk meets up with a bear in Lure, and unfortunately, he’s unable to back up and walk away, but that’s another story.

You’re locked in your local library for the night with no dinner. Thank goodness you have water, but you only have enough change to buy one item from the vending machine. Choices are limited to: Fudge Pop Tarts, Snickers or Doritos. Which would you choose and why? Doritos by default, despite the crumbs. I can’t eat gluten or cow dairy so until they start making junk food gluten free, and chocolate out of water buffalo milk and/or pure cocoa butter, I’ll stick to my corn chips.

What’s the largest number of people you’ve had in your kitchen at one time? In my whole lifetime? Probably a dozen at my parent’s wedding anniversary.

Website and social media links:
Website: Blue Haven Press
Linktree: https://linktr.ee/wlhawkin


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

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

Book Club Mom’s Author Update: News from Darlene Foster

Darlene Foster

Author name: Darlene Foster

Genre: Middle Grade, Adventure/Travel

Books: Amanda Travels Series

News: Book #9, in the Amanda Travels series is soon to be released. This time we find Amanda Ross in Paris, France.  She’s in awe of the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe, the Louvre and Notre Dame Cathedral. While there, she gets to work as a volunteer and stay in a famous book store, along with her bestie Leah and Leah’s eccentric Aunt Jenny. A dream come true for a book lover like Amanda.

But things are happening that may ruin her trip to this amazing city. While she’s at the Paris Opera House there is a bomb threat. Then the lights go out during their visit to the Louvre. Worst of all, a devastating fire blazes in Notre Dame. Why does a mysterious man, who claims to be a busker, writer and artist, show up every time something bad happens?

Amanda explores the exciting streets of Paris, the fabulous Palace of Versailles and the gardens of the painter Claude Monet, all the time looking for clues as to who would want to destroy such a beautiful, historic cathedral. She questions her courage and begins to wonder if it is getting too dangerous to travel.

An early review:

Amanda thinks she’s in for a relaxing holiday in the world’s most loved city, but instead she’s drawn into the danger and mystery surrounding the destructive fire of Notre Dame.” Gina McMurchy-Barber Author of The Jigsaw Puzzle King (Winner of the 2021 Silver Birch Awards)

Amanda in France: Fire in the Cathedral will be released on September 13th, 2022.

Check out all the Amanda Travels 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
  • Amanda in France: Fire in the Cathedral

Website/blog link:  https://darlenefoster.wordpress.com/


Are you working on a new book? Have you won an award or a writing contest? Did you just update your website? Maybe you just want to tell readers about an experience you’ve had. Book Club Mom’s Author Update is a great way to share news and information about you and your books.

Email Book Club Mom at bvitelli2009@gmail.com for more information.

Open to all authors – self-published, indie, big-time and anything in between

Thanks for visiting – come back soon!

Who’s That Indie Author? Leon Stevens

Author Name: Leon Stevens

Genre: Poetry and Science Fiction

Books: Lines by Leon: Poems, Prose, and Pictures, A Wonder of Words, The Knot at the End of the Rope and Other Short Stories, The View from Here, Journeys: Eight Original Pieces for Classical Guitar

Bio: I am a Canadian multi-genre author, composer, guitarist, songwriter, and artist with a Bachelor of Music and Education.

What got you started as a writer? I became a writer out of necessity. Along with songwriting, poetry was therapeutic and allowed me to accept and make sense of events and situations in my life. I decided that what I wrote could help and entertain others, so I decided to publish my first book of poetry.

What is your writing routine? I don’t have a set routine. However, most of my blog posts are written in the morning, so often, I’ll write a few things down after that. I’m a slow writer and will often write when inspiration strikes. I do try to write each day.

What route did you take to get your books published? I made a mistake that many new authors have made and used a vanity press to publish. I had no idea what to do, so it seemed to be the quickest and easiest way. They did provide a lot of invaluable publishing and marketing information and took care of the distribution. All my other books have been through KDP.

What things do you do to promote your books? Like most indie authors, money is a concern. Advertising costs vary greatly, and it’s a lot of work and research to decide where the investment will be the most effective. I also use BookFunnel and StoryOrigin to connect with other authors to promote to their readership. I have been interviewing authors as well, which is a great way to not only help promote their work but to introduce mine to others.

What is your favorite genre to read and why? I try to read a variety of genres, but I am very picky, so many books get left unfinished. Science fiction and historical fiction is what I prefer.

Do you prefer to write dialogue or description? I used to struggle with dialogue. Often, if I am getting stuck with descriptions, I’ll just write dialogue to get things moving. Also, I’m not one for writing lengthy descriptions, which is probably why when I set out to write my first novel, it wound up being a novella.

Have any of your characters ever surprised you? Did this change the plot of your book?
Nah. They’re pretty open to dealing with the situations I put them in. I haven’t heard any complaints. Yet.

What is the most difficult thing you have accomplished in your life?  Probably getting my degrees. 

What events or people have most influenced how you live your life? I think my father has had the most influence. He was the one who instilled the love of science fiction in me at a young age. He is such a hard worker, and I’ve never seen him get mad or complain. When people say, “You’re just like your dad.” I know I’m doing something right.

What would you tell your younger self? Funny you should ask. In my latest poetry book, I wrote about just that.

What I Want to be When I’m Young

I want to listen more. To the people who know better. To the people who say, “Don’t make the same mistakes that I did.” Learning from mistakes? Sure, we do have to make errors in life sometimes, but what’s wrong with looking up how to spell a word or use spell-check…? Nothing.

I want to set goals. Obtainable ones. Despite what people say, you can’t be anything you want to be. That’s a lie. There are some things that you just won’t be able to do. Although, by trying and failing, you will find out what you are good at.

I want to be a better student. I didn’t try my best. I think that I needed glasses. I didn’t understand the importance of learning—the importance of wanting to learn.

I want to not be a quitter. Piano, guitar, sports. I should have tried harder. Much harder.

I want to save 10% of all my earnings. I shudder to do the calculations. I never made a lot, but my father-in-law always said that compound interest was the eighth wonder of the world. He was right.

I want to be brave. Not reckless, just not so afraid.

I want to stay awake so that I can see Halley’s comet.

Have you ever met up with a bear on a hike? If so, what did you do? If not, are you looking up what to do right now? I have. Sort of. We could hear the bear just around the corner. There was a tree moving, so it was probably scratching it. We turned around and headed back to the tent. The next day we successfully completed the hike with no encounters. Except for the angry squirrel.

You’re locked in your local library for the night with no dinner. Thank goodness you have water, but you only have enough change to buy one item from the vending machine. Choices are limited to: Fudge Pop Tarts, Snickers or Doritos. Which would you choose and why? No contest. Snickers. It’s a delicious meal. But those Doritos are looking pretty tasty. Just my luck, whatever I buy will get stuck.

What’s the largest number of people you’ve had in your kitchen at one time? Interesting question. Had I known I’d be asked this later in my life, I might have kept a record. It’s funny how people gravitate to kitchens during get-togethers. Closer to the food and beer I suppose.

Closing thoughts: Thank you for having me here. Any opportunity to get the word out about my books is appreciated.  

Website and social media links: I have recently discovered linktree, so all my links can be found in one handy place: https://linktr.ee/leonstevens


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

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

Who’s That Indie Author? Mark Paxson

Author Name: Mark Paxson

Genre: Primarily literary, but a little bit of everything, including a legal drama (my first novel), and a domestic thriller (my current WIP)

Books: One Night in Bridgeport; Shady Acres and Other Stories; The Marfa Lights and Other Stories; Deviation; The Irrepairable Past; and The Dime

Bio: A semi-retired government attorney, I live in California. Two adult sons, two dogs, a wife, and a whole bunch of interests like painting, writing, cycling, hiking, gardening, cooking and baking that keep me motivated to keep exploring.

What got you started as a writer? I’ve always been a voracious reader but didn’t believe I could write, although I spent years imagining writing a novel. One day, almost 20 years ago, I outlined a story in my head on my drive home and I’ve been writing ever since.

What is your writing routine? I have a bit of a block that has lasted for a number of years and I allow all of life’s distractions to deprive me of a writing routine. But … these days, I write when I can and am making a little bit of headway. Typically Saturday or Sunday afternoons when I’m simply worn out by all of the distractions.

What route did you take to get published? With my first novel, I tried a little bit to get an agent. Without success there, I turned to what was then CreateSpace to publish a paperback and used KDP to publish the eBook. That’s what I’ve been doing ever since. With my last novel, The Dime, I tried again to get an agent without any success. I apparently don’t know the secret handshake.

What things do you do to promote your books? I have two blogs that I use to share news about my writing and publishing. I also use Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook but not relentlessly like some authors. When I publish something, I post and tweet about it. And occasionally when I get a good review, I’ll use that to remind people that I’ve got books out there. I also try some of the promo sites, but have found almost no success with them lately.

What is your favorite genre to read and why? This may be the most difficult question to answer. I’ll read anything. The books that have the most meaning to me are the ones that make me feel something deeply. I’m not ashamed to cry while I’m reading.

Do you prefer to write dialogue or description? Dialogue. I’m not a fan of a lot of description when I’m reading and I think that comes across in my writing as well. I want to leave things to the reader’s imagination and just tell the story. If the description isn’t relevant to the story, I try to avoid it.

Have any of your characters ever surprised you? Did this change the plot of your book? I’m a pantser so I’d have to say that my characters don’t surprise me. I generally start with an idea, a concept, and then I start writing. The entire thing is somewhat of a surprise for me as a result, which is what helps me write. It’s when I figure out the “rest of the story” when the block settles in because the surprises are over.

What is the most difficult thing you have accomplished in your life? Raising two boys to adulthood. Nothing else compares.

What three events or people have most influenced how you live your life? I can’t deny the influence my parents had. My dad was (still is at the age of 89) a writer. My parents gifted to me a love of reading and my mom has always been one of the biggest fans of my writing. And then there is the birth of those two boys—two little munchkins who changed my life forever.

What would you tell your younger self? Be bolder, don’t be so scared.

Have you ever met up with a bear on a hike? If so, what did you do? If not, are you looking up what to do right now? Great question. No and I hope I never do. Where I hike, I’m more concerned with mountain lions. All I know is “make yourself as large as possible!”

You’re locked in your local library for the night with no dinner. Thank goodness you have water, but you only have enough change to buy one item from the vending machine. Choices are limited to Fudge Pop Tarts, Snickers or Doritos. Which would you choose and why? Totally a Snickers. Brown Sugar Cinnamon Pop Tarts are the only ones worth eating. Doritos are meh. Snickers has everything that makes a candy bar a candy bar.

What’s the largest number of people you’ve had in your kitchen at one time? Probably around 10-12. I make pizza and occasionally have pizza parties. Instead of hanging out elsewhere, most of the attendees like to hang out in the kitchen while I make the pizza.

Closing thoughts: Thanks for giving me this opportunity to share my writing. I’m a big fan of indie writers and think we need to do everything we can to support each other.

Website and social media links:
Blog: kingmidgetramblings.wordpress.com
Website: markpaxson.com
Writers group: writerssupportingwriters.com
Twitter: @mkpaxson


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

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

Book review: Patricia Highsmith: Her Diaries and Notebooks, 1941-1995 edited by Anna von Planta

Patricia Highsmith: Her Diaries and Notebooks, 1941-1995
edited by
Anna von Planta

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I only knew a little about Patricia Highsmith before I read Her Diaries and Notebooks, but after finishing this 999-page compilation, edited down from eight thousand pages, I know a lot more! During her lifetime, Highsmith wrote twenty-two novels and numerous short story collections, but today she’s best known for her 1950 debut novel, Strangers on a Train, made into a movie by Alfred Hitchcock, The Price of Salt (1952) and The Talented Mr. Ripley (1955). The Price of Salt, a lesbian novel, was first published under the pseudonym Claire Morgan. It was republished in 1990 as Carol under Highsmith’s name. The Talented Mr. Ripley was the first in her series of five psychological thrillers featuring the character Tom Ripley.

When Highsmith died in 1995, her editor, Anna von Planta discovered fifty-six journals in the back of Highsmith’s linen closet. And so began the decades-long process of transcribing and condensing these pages into a book.

After reading nothing else for over two straight weeks, I finished feeling exhausted, not just from the sheer number of pages, but from the intensity of her entries. Pat kept both a private diary and a writing journal and here, they are combined chronologically. The diaries and notebooks begin in 1941 when Pat is twenty and a student at Barnard College in New York. During these years and after college, Pat reads and writes prolifically.

After college, Pat takes a job as a comic book script writer to pay the bills, all the while writing and submitting short stories to magazines. When she isn’t writing or working, Pat leads a wild social life. Her friends and lovers are artists, poets, photographers and writers and Pat is so wrapped up in her life she is nearly oblivious to outside events, including World War II. Despite many relationships with women, Pat struggles with her homosexuality. She considers marrying and at one point enters therapy to try to convert herself.

In 1948, Pat goes to the Yaddo artists’ colony where she completes the first draft of Strangers on a Train. During these years and for decades, she keeps a rigid writing routine and has affairs with dozens of women. She falls in love quickly and idolizes the women she sees, but struggles to sustain even her more serious relationships.

From 1951 on, Pat travels extensively and later moves to Europe, living in England, France, Germany and Switzerland. Throughout her life, she battles alcoholism, loneliness and depression, yet prefers to be alone in order to maintain a grueling work schedule. Like most diaries, Pat’s are uncensored. She is opinionated, hard on people and over the years makes racist and anti-Semitic comments. In her writing journals, she works on ideas for characters, plots and themes.

As a reader, it is tough to like Pat, but in the end, I’d say she was mostly tormented by her own unhappy childhood and a toxic relationship with her mother. There’s no question that Pat was destined to become a writer. She thought of nothing else, her drive was impressive and this dedication made her a successful writer. If you like reading about writers and their lives, and you also like long books, this one’s for you!

Thanks for visiting – come back soon!

Who’s That Indie Author? Geoff Le Pard

Author Name: Geoff Le Pard

Genres: magical realism, mystery, relationship, thriller, comedy/coming of age, poetry, anthologies of short fiction, contemporary/ gritty urban and a memoir

Selected Books: Life Sentences (2022); The Art of Spirit Capture (2021); Booms and Busts (2020); Walking into Trouble (2020); Buster and Moo (2017). For more titles visit: geofflepard.com.

Bio: I started writing to entertain in 2006. I haven’t left the keyboard since. When I’m not churning out novels, I write some maudlin self-indulgent poetry, short fiction and blog, I walk the dog for mutual inspiration and most of my best ideas come out of these strolls. I also cook with passion if not precision.

What got you started as a writer? My wife suggested I join her at a summer school where she was taking a printing class. We ballroom danced in the morning and, in the afternoon, while she printed I took a creative writing class.

What is your writing routine? Mostly I start writing from about 4 pm, stop to cook dinner and begin again ending at any time between 9.30 pm and 1.00 am. I try and write daily

What route did you take to get your books published? I briefly flirted with approaching agents but thought better of it. I didn’t want to delay; I didn’t want to be told to make major revisions that I might well not agree with. Self-publishing is so straightforward these days I thought, why not go that route. Publishing has not been about kudos or sales but to stop myself tinkering with the latest book. Once it is published I leave it alone. Before that I’m always nibbling away at it.

What things do you do to promote your books? A bit on the blog I write. Occasional guest posts and pieces like this.

What is your favorite genre to read and why? Probably crime fiction. I like well plotted books with good characters and intriguing stories. After that it is comic fantasy.

Do you prefer to write dialogue or description? Dialogue

Have any of your characters ever surprised you? Did this change the plot of your book? Every time. It’s true they take over. If you let them into your subconscious they work away at you until you do what you’re told.

What is the most difficult thing you have accomplished in your life? Staying in the same job for thirty-five years—a quite extraordinary example of patience, determination and a supreme lack of imagining alternatives.

What three events or people have most influenced how you live your life? My wife is (and has been since we met in 1976) a constant source of guidance, surprise and ruthless criticism; being able to obtain a high quality and free education right through to my degree that allowed me to become a lawyer in the City of London just when the need for financial legal services exploded in the 1980s; and the example of my parents who combined humour, old fashioned manners, a love of literature and the spoken word, a deep affection, an utterly surreal take on some aspects of life, kindness and a love of cake and gardening.

What would you tell your younger self? Stop worrying and yes, your nose will always look too big.

Have you ever met up with a bear on a hike? If so, what did you do? If not, are you looking up what to do right now? I read A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson who has a section on human-ursus interfaces and what to do. My main take away was not to eat Snickers. The nearest bear to me right now is a small statue of my ursine hero Paddington at the station he is name after.

You’re locked in your local library for the night with no dinner. Thank goodness you have water, but you only have enough change to buy one item from the vending machine. Choices are limited to: Fudge Pop Tarts, Snickers or Doritos. Which would you choose and why? Doritos. Pop Tarts are merely jam that has not had the packaging removed; fudge can only be eaten with tea or coffee or my fillings rebel at the excess of sugar and Snickers remind me of Bryson’s advice.

What’s the largest number of people you’ve had in your kitchen at one time? We have had several parties here so we’ve squeezed in a fair number but probably something like the seventy-two teenagers.

Closing thoughts: Having lived to be three score years and five, I have reached a few tentative conclusions about living life well: try most everything once; look up more than down or you will buy too many shoes; outdoors is better than in so long as you wear the right clothing; instant coffee never gets any better; failure is a myth—it’s just another example of ‘not yet’; everything will be alright in the end and if it’s not yet alright, it’s not yet the end; and there’s good in everyone.

Website and social media links:
Blog: TanGental
Twitter: @geofflepard
Facebook: Geoff Le Pard
Instagram: geofflepard1


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

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

Who’s That Indie Author? Christina Consolino

Christina Consolino

Author Name: Christina Consolino

Genre: Women’s Fiction with romantic elements

Book: Rewrite the Stars

Bio: Christina Consolino is a writer and editor whose debut novel, Rewrite the Stars, placed as a finalist for the Ohio Writers’ Association Great Novel Contest 2020 and the 2021 Best Book Awards. She serves as senior editor at the online journal Literary Mama, freelance edits both fiction and nonfiction, and teaches writing classes at Word’s Worth Writing Center. She lives in Ohio with her husband, four children, and a rotating cast of pets.

What got you started as a writer? Writing is something I have always wanted to do, and when my children were little, I blogged (mostly to appease the little voice inside that kept telling me to write). When that voice changed to a character prodding me to tell their story, I took up the call to write. That was a decade ago.

What is your writing routine? After the alarm rings at 5:15 a.m., I grab my computer, coffee, and water, and I sit with my cats in the dining room as I work. I can get about an hour of work in before my obligations for the day begin, but I try to squeeze in fifteen-minute chunks of writing time in my day. And sometimes, I block off entire days for writing (those seem like gifts!).

What route did you take to get your book published? This book took so long to become the book it is today (eight years), and during that time, my outlook on publishing and what I wanted changed. In the end, I pursued a small publisher because that model would work best for me, my goals, and my family.

What things do you do to promote your book? I can cheerlead anyone else, but when it comes time to cheerlead for myself—I just hate it. But no one will support your work if you don’t, so I do what I can with my limited time, primarily using Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for posts, and I have been featured on podcasts or in written interviews like this one (thank you so much!).

What is your favorite genre to read and why? I’d have to say women’s fiction with romantic elements (which makes sense, since that’s what I write!). However, with the thriller genre back in favor (or maybe it never left), I’ve realized that I do enjoy a good thriller.

Do you prefer to write dialogue or description? Dialogue!

Have any of your characters ever surprised you? Did this change the plot of your book? I won’t go into the whole story (if you’re interested, you can read about it here), but at one point, Theo (now a POV character in Rewrite the Stars), said to me, “Excuse me? I need to tell my side of the story.” The fact that he wanted to tell his story really surprised me, and I had to perform an entire structural rewrite of the book.

What is the most difficult thing you have accomplished in your life? I got married, got pregnant, and gave birth to twins while in graduate school. That meant that I needed to write a dissertation and defend that dissertation with two infants at home. It took a village, but I did it! Come to find out, that was only slightly more difficult than birthing a book.

What three events or people have most influenced how you live your life? My husband—he’s far more chill than I am, and I’ve learned that there’s no need to worry about most things. My parents—every day I apply what they did or didn’t do to my own situation. My children—they are far wiser about many things, and they teach me something new every day.

What would you tell your younger self? Be confident, be kind, believe in yourself.

Have you ever met up with a bear on a hike? If so, what did you do? If not, are you looking up what to do right now? No. When I visited Sequoia National Park, I was warned of bears, but I did not encounter one. And no, I’m not looking up what to do right now. But I probably should!

You’re locked in your local library for the night with no dinner. Thank goodness you have water, but you only have enough change to buy one item from the vending machine. Choices are limited to: Fudge Pop Tarts, Snickers or Doritos. Which would you choose and why? Being locked in a library sounds divine! And I’d go for the Snickers. That little bit of protein from the peanuts would keep me more satisfied than the others!

What’s the largest number of people you’ve had in your kitchen at one time? Twenty.

Closing thoughts: Thank you so much for having me! I love hearing from readers and writers, so feel free to reach out to me via any of the venues listed below!

Website and social media links:
Website: christinaconsolino.com
Twitter: @cmconsolino
Instagram: @cmconsolino
Facebook: @AuthorChristinaConsolino


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Who’s That Indie Author? Anne Goodwin

Anne Goodwin

Author Name: Anne Goodwin

Genre: Literary/reading group fiction

Books: Sugar and Snails (novel, 2015); Underneath (novel, 2017); Becoming Someone (short stories, 2018); Matilda Windsor Is Coming Home (novel, 2021)

Brief bio: Anne Goodwin writes entertaining fiction about identity, mental health and social justice and is the author of three novels and a short story collection published by small independent press, Inspired Quill. Her debut novel, Sugar and Snails, was shortlisted for the 2016 Polari First Book Prize. Her new novel, Matilda Windsor Is Coming Home, is inspired by her previous incarnation as a clinical psychologist in a long-stay psychiatric hospital.

What got you started as a writer? I’d written since childhood, but was too shy to share the results with anyone but my sister, although I did win a national student writing competition in my late teens. Later, I was too busy writing reports and academic papers for fiction. When a family tragedy sparked a midlife crisis, my therapist (see next answer) urged me to consider what I wanted for myself. It was the prompt I needed to make space for my hitherto secret ambition to become a published author.

What difficult experience has helped you as a writer? The complicated bereavement forced me to take my writing seriously. Plus, several years of psychotherapy helped me mine the depths of childhood trauma and to accept it, however painful, as part of who I am. I believe my fiction benefits from this meticulous processing: I can delve into characters’ challenging emotions without my own issues contaminating the story.

Have you ever participated in the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo)? If so, how many times and what was your experience? Not officially, as the pace is too fast for me, but I’ve started a new novel in November a couple of times, averaging 1000 words a day to complete a draft before the end of January. However, contrary to most advice to hare through the first draft to have something to edit, I remain a contented tortoise.

What advice would you give a new indie author hoping to publish a book? Set up your author newsletter early, preferably before you publish.

What has been the biggest challenge for you during Covid? Tolerating the UK government’s mismanagement, especially in relation to PPE shortages, neglect of care homes and apparent indifference to higher death rates among people of colour. But it’s catalysed my next novel about a care home resident with delusions of grandeur who becomes convinced she’s responsible for the transatlantic slave trade.

What are you reading right now? The Promise by Damon Galgut, winner of the 2021 Booker prize.

Would you rather laugh or cry over a book? As in life, I value both.

Have you ever climbed a tree to read a book?  Not that I can remember, although I have read in a hammock hanging from a tree. (Make that two trees.)

Have you ever dropped a book in the tub, in a pool or in the ocean? Books are far too precious to read where there’s risk of damage.

Could you live in a tiny house? A tiny house is far preferable to no house, so yes, of course. But, as I live in a larger-than-average house at the moment, I’m not looking forward to downsizing.

What are the small things that make you happy? Butterflies, the first snowdrops, a surprise sight of deer on my morning walk. Choral singing, cuddling up with my husband, cuddling up with a book. Connecting with readers, learning new words, a fresh insight into my WIP. Moorland, spectacular sunsets, lentil soup.

Website and social media links:
Website annegoodwin.weebly.com
Book blog Annecdotal
Facebook @Annecdotist
Instagram authorannegoodwin
Twitter @Annecdotist
YouTube Anne Goodwin’s YouTube channel


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