Friday, February 17, 2012

Indie Insider - Marc Nash


What is the best way to create tension?

I like unreliable narrators, so that the reader is never quite sure whether they can trust the person guiding them through the story, which sets up an inherent tension between reader and character, but also establishes a relationship between the two so that the reader has a genuine stake in the character's fate. For me the authorial duty is why the lead character is unreliable, there has to be a good fictional reason, not just used as a device. In "Not In My Name" there is a very good reason for the lead character deliberately misleading both the other main character and the reader, as he is operating online and deliberately concealing his true identity as he looks to steal that of others


Do people judge a book by it’s cover? Who makes yours?

I think they certainly used to, but with thumbnails on AmazonKindle now I'm not so sure. I have a couple of designers I've never met in person who do mine, such is the wonderful interconnectivity of the modern world! Esther Harding and Craig Slade


What are the best ways to ‘show’ and not ‘tell’?

Through the use of metaphor, the suggestion of something in terms of something else. It provides a layer of distance. Having said that, often in my novels the main character addresses the reader directly, so that it's like a conversation, which inevitably makes it appear that I'm 'telling', but their language is quite poetic, so that it's also 'showing' at the same time


How many books do you produce a year? Are you meeting your goal?

It varies. I'm a momentum writer. I published 3 this year, and wrote another for NaNoWriMo. As to goals, I let my books take as long as they need to be written, so I'm not hard and fast about goals.



How many words do you produce a day? Do you have a daily quota to fill?

No. When I get an idea I let it seethe away in my unconscious for 6 months, maybe make some notes. When I'm ready to write, I go flat out, all day and much of the night until that first draft is written. So I can write several thousand words a day during that spell. When I do retire to bed for some sleep, my mind is usually still whirring with the book and I actually get loads more words as I'm lying there with my eyes shut!


What is your greatest challenge as an author?

There are so many. Developing a readership. Finding sufficient time to realise all the ideas and voices in my head demanding their liberation. Putting into practise my ideas on the form of the novel, for instance I want to write a non-linear novel and involve designers and typographers. In "Not In My Name" there is some non-linearity as the second section is written as online scrolling forum chats, so that you get the last post up on the page first and the narrative order is subverted


Do you use a professional editor, critique partners, or beta readers? Briefly describe your process.

I don't, simply because I haven't found the beta readers. My process is as stated above, once I have the main voice and the central metaphor, then I sit on the idea for 6 months or so letting it stew in my subconscious. When I'm ready to write it, I do it all at once. That first draft for me is totally about fun, it's like playing with clay. Then the hard work really happens with all the subsequent editing to knock it into readable shape. I don't have a set number of re-edits. I just know when it's ready


What is you favorite part of the whole process? (Besides receiving a check or 5 star review!)

I love the plasticity and play element of the whole first draft. The other thing I love is when you chat with readers on Twitter and they take you through their process of buying your book, while they're reading it and then having read it what they thought. That is just mind-blowing to me, to follow every part of their process as it happens


What are three web sites or blogs that you can recommend?

http://madutopia.com/blog/fridayflash/ is a great site for reading flash fiction from all round the world and of all genres and since the stories are tagged by genre you can sift through for your preferences.

http://www.youwriteon.com/ is a good peer review site for writers to display 7000 words of their work and get fellow writers to crit it. The forums are very good for advice on marketing, though they can also have heated debates on all things literary.

http://www.fictionaut.com/ is a site that displays exceptional writing, though has less social interaction than most writer sites. it reminds me of a library in its seriousness!


Is there anything else you would like to share?

The beauty of independent publishing is that you have no constraints, you can really experiment or offer up things that would never see the light of day in the commercial publishing world. I love that freedom to create

Amazon US http://amzn.to/qBs2N4
Amazon US http://amzn.to/nu5q8P
Website on "Not In My Name" http://marcnashNIMN.weebly.com
Blog http://www.sulcicollective.blogspot.com
Trailer http://www.blazingtrailers.com/show.php?title=1678

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Indie Insider - Steve Reeder


How many words do you do write a day? Where do you do it?

That depends on a number of things: I’m busy setting up a publishing firm as well as marketing my own book, which mean trips to Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban to talk to people, give speeches on writing, publishing and of course on my book. So, when I’m at home I write for an hour a day while knowing that I should be doing a lot more, especially since I’m actually busy with 2 manuscripts and have two more ready to start with.


Do you think that people judge a book by it’s cover? Who makes yours?

I think the cover of a novel will be the first thing that draws someone to picking it up and reading the back cover blurb, perhaps reading the first few pages, so yes, I do think that, initially, that’s true. Hopefully though, it won’t be the deciding factor. After all, you know what they say about judging a book by its cover!


What do you do when you get writers block?

I can honestly say that I’ve never had writers block. If anything, the reverse is true. There are times when I find myself writing a chapter and then getting side-tracked and writing either the start of another book, or a chapter that will only appear later in the book; the scenes come to me and I write then down and then work out how the book will get to that scene! Sometimes the book seems to write itself while I sleep and I wake up and type madly before I forget. Naturally, this does lead to an awful lot of deleting and editing.


How much time do you spend on social media per day? What do you concentrate on?

I do. I have friends and family scattered around the world and Face Book is the best way to keep in touch and let each other know what’s going on in our respective lives. But it’s an important method of promoting yourself and your work. These days practically every business has an identity on Face Book and there are groups for everything including authors. I find it to be very helpful.


Do you use a professional editor, critique partners, or beta readers? What is your process?

Once my manuscripts are finished I send them to contacts of mine to read and comment on. I take in what they say and then read the story again and try to see it from their point of view and I may make some small changes. Then I send it to a firm in London – professional editors and critique people – and that will come back in four to five months’ time. I then go over their comments, correct the spelling, punctuation and grammar – there is always lots to correct there – and then think about their suggestions and criticisms. Usually this will result in changing a word here or there, but in the book Adrenalin Rush I did rewrite half a chapter in the middle of the book and they were correct, it did read better.


How important is it for an indie author to use a professional editor?

Very important. The last thing we can afford, as indie authors, is to look amateurish and have mistakes, bad grammar and punctuation will kill your book. Not to mention that the pros are very good at fine-tuning not your story, which is your own and should remain so, but making it just that little bit more readable; making your writing flow more smoothly so as not to distract the reader from the story.


How long does it take you to create a book from start to finish?

Once again this is a difficult question to answer. I wrote the first draught of Adrenalin Rush in six months working three hours a night (usually between 11pm
And 3am) but if I had worked flat or it may have taken two months. Bu then again I believe that a story needs to flow out of you at a space that is comfortable and not forced. I put the book aside for two months after I had finished it before reading it from start to finish as a way of critiquing it myself. That first book was a major learning experience for me and although it took three years to get it into print, in the professionally written and edited way it is now, I could, knowing what I now know, do it all in a year.


Please list three unique blogs or web sites for writers that you read on a regular basis.

http://www.braxtonacosbygodson.com/ who is one of Bill Cosby’s family. He started following me on Twitter and I began to read his tweets.
http://twitter.com/#!/Jack_Hanger. James is a local author of the book Jack Hanger
http://twitter.com/#!/RonBarakAuthor. Ron is an American author of political novels
http://twitter.com/#!/VanHaywood. Actress, model and friend

I also have joined the Face Book groups: Authors, Agents, and Aspiring Writers as well as Uncensored Writing - All Genres Welcome.


Is there anything else you would like to share?

I believe that as an author, the first prize is a huge publishing deal with one of the Random House or Penguin or so on firms. They throw lots of money at you and you can go about your business writing the next two novels that your contact demands while they spend serious money marketing your book. You get very small amounts of money from each sale, but there will be, hopefully, lots of sales. These sorts of deals are getting more and more difficult to get though. One in a thousand manuscripts submitted to a publishing house or an agent will ever get published and make money! There are all sorts of reasons for this that I won’t go into now.

However, these days there a growing number of ‘vanity press’ publishing firms (they are so called because most of the books they publish are so that the author can see themselves in print) or more recently ‘Subsidized’ publishers, where you pay most of the costs and they promise to help market your book around the world. I know several authors who have gone this route and none of them are happy, so I not keen on the idea.

I believe that with the technology and social media available to us today we can self-publish in a very professional way, so long as you use the out-sourced professionals mentioned above. The only problem then is the marketing one. How do you get your book in front of millions of potential buyers so that you can sale a hundred thousand books? Social media help quite a bit here. This is a question of profit and the numbers add up differently depending on the way you go about it.

My books are stocked in shops – I have a distributor in Cape Town – and when a book sells I take a profit, deduct the cost of printing (you MUST print large numbers and have a top printing firm do it) and end up with the equivalent of $2.00. So I need to sell many thousands of books that way to live. If I had gone through one of the traditional publishing firms, and two of the local branches made me an offer, but told me that this wouldn’t help get an international deal, then my income per book would be half that.

The big advantage of self-publishing, in the absence of one of those mega dollar deals, is that I hold book signings around the country and bank $17.37 per book AFTER print costs. And that means that for every 1000 copies I sell, I make as much money as someone like Wilbur Smith when 9 000 copies of his books sell. I’d still like to be in his shoes, but I’m a lot happier being self-published that either not being published at all, or have one of the vanity-press or subsidized deals.


Saturday, February 11, 2012

Indie Insider - Gordon Bonnet


How many words do you do write a day? Where do you do it?

It varies a good deal, but on the average, I’d say around 2,000. I have a science/skeptical thinking blog that I post to every day, and I’m always working on some fiction project or another. I’m a bit of a compulsive writer, really.

As far as where I write, that never varies – my computer, in our den. Usually with a cup of coffee at my side, the space heater on, and a snoring dog at my feet. I always type rather than writing long-hand – for one thing, I’m a fast and fairly accurate typist, and for another, my handwriting looks a little like the Elvish script from Lord of the Rings. As written by a rather dimwitted Elf with a severe disorder of the central nervous system. I can barely read my own handwriting – what anyone else would do with it, I don’t know.


Do you think that people judge a book by its cover? Who makes yours?

Absolutely. It’s the first thing anyone sees about a book. I’ve been known to buy books solely because the cover intrigued me (which has, on occasion, prompted me to buy a book that was truly atrocious). I tend to like intriguing, eye-grabbing covers, so mine also tend in that direction. I have thus far designed my own covers, with the help of my wife, who is a computer whiz, and several friends who are photographers.


What do you do when you get writers block?

It doesn’t happen often, but when it has, I’ve found that working on something other than the bit I’m stuck on often frees the stuck part. When I’ve become stymied, it’s usually over some twisty plot point that I can’t make work – so I go on to something else, either a different scene from the same story, or something else entirely. And because of the byzantine way my brain works, I often find that a solution will pop into my head suddenly, while I’m doing something unrelated, like taking a shower. When I’m having trouble writing, I take lots of showers.


How much time do you spend on social media per day? What do you concentrate on?

I’m on Twitter and Facebook, and maybe spend an hour or so a day on it. Self-promotion is one of my weaknesses, and I find it awkward at best to bombard my friends and contacts with messages saying, “Oh please oh please buy my book!” I know that there are a lot of indie writers who have made social media work for them – I’m just beginning to figure it all out.



Which narrative form and tense do you think is the most difficult and why?

I’ve written in both first and third person, and used a variety of different approaches to point of view. In my experience, first person is the hardest, because you can only show what your main character sees/hears/thinks – anything outside of that realm literally doesn’t exist. The character becomes a lens through which the entire story has to be viewed. That said, if you can make it work, it works brilliantly, because the reader in some sense becomes the character. I’ve only written two novels in first person – the Icelandic historical fiction K├íri the Lucky, and a paranormal story set during the Black Death in England during the 14th century, We All Fall Down.

One point-of-view technique I never use is omniscient – where the reader is literally inside everyone’s, and no one’s, head. For me, stories are all about characters, and having a couple of characters whose thoughts you witness is plenty. Both my most recently released book, Signal to Noise, and my current work-in-progress, Poison the Well, have three point of view characters, and chapters alternate between them. I find this an intriguing way to write a story, because in both cases the point of view characters are extremely different from each other, and the reader gets to see the same events as witnessed, and interpreted, by radically different minds.


Do you use a professional editor, critique partners, or beta readers? What is your process?

I belong to a writers’ group, and it’s been invaluable. Several of the members of my group have incredibly sharp eyes for detail, and have caught things I never would have. I have also used beta readers, and have found the same thing. It’s hard, when you’re up close to a story, to see the problems – a set of fresh eyes can discern the parts that don’t work.

I haven’t used professional editors for the simple reason that I can’t afford them. I think that if you can, however, they can be wonderful. However, it’s a fine line – letting someone edit your work for structure and consistency can easily slip into letting someone else alter your own voice as a writer, and that’s a pity when it happens. If you use an editor, or even if you just rely on critique partners and beta readers – make sure to retain your authentic voice. It may be the most important thing of all.


How long does it take you to create a book from start to finish?

It has varied a lot, largely because I’ve put some books aside for a while. I wrote the first few chapters of House of Mirrors, and then it vanished into my desk drawer (a.k.a. the Black Hole of Calcutta) for ten years. I was digging through my old papers, and found it, and thought, “Oh, yeah, that!” And I reworked the old chapters, kept going, and had the whole thing done about eight months later. But if I write through – I think my record, for “starting word to final edit” was six months, with Adam’s Fall. But that’s also one of my shortest novels, so bear that in mind.


Please list three unique blogs or web sites for writers that you read on a regular basis.

Here are three of my favorites:

http://www.traceyhansen.com/
http://thewritingnetwork.com/
http://www.justbreathenovel.com/

These are all sites maintained by writer friends of mine, and I find them to be unfailingly inspirational, funny, and provocative.


Is there anything else you would like to share?

Just my personal view: I write because I have to, because it is my truest way to express who I am. If you’d like to know me better, read what I write – then you’ll know me.


Here are links to my sites:

Skeptophilia (my science/skeptical thinking blog): http://skeptophilia.blogspot.com
Tales of Whoa (my fiction blog): http://gbfiction.blogspot.com



Friday, February 10, 2012

Indie Insider - Ty Johnston


How many words do you do write a day? Where do you do it?

My word count is all over the place. Some days I only write 500 words. Other days I write 5,000. If I had to guess, I probably average about 2,000 words a day. I’m usually slower at the beginning of a project, and then again right at the end. The middle section of a novel is where I seem to write the fastest. In the beginning, I’m feeling things out, the characters and environments and plots, etc. Towards the end, I’m not wanting to let go of the story, so I hold onto it for a while.

As to where I write, again, it varies. I probably do most of my writing at home in my bedroom, but at least a couple of days a week I take a laptop out to a book store or coffee shop and spend a few hours writing. I can write in public easy enough, but I can’t edit because there are so many distractions, so I tend to do my rewriting and editing at home.


Do you think that people judge a book by it’s cover? Who makes yours?

Covers are a funny thing. You ask a hundred readers if they are influenced by a cover, and probably 80 of them will pull out the old individualistic argument that “of course not because I think for myself.” Then you look at the top sellers and realize pretty much all of them have solid covers.

I’m not sure a great cover is enough to get a reader to buy a book or e-book, but I do think great covers help to draw readers’ attention.

I do my own covers. I worked in the newspaper industry as an editor and graphic designer for nearly 20 years, so I feel fairly capable of churning out decent covers. Great covers? No. Why? Because I’ve found there’s a difference between good newspaper design and book design, and I’m still learning to some extent, though with each novel I feel it has a better cover than the one before.


What do you do when you get writers block?

Oh, gosh. I have a looooong story about writers block, but I’ll try to keep it short as possible. I spent the late ‘80s and much of the ‘90s writing short stories, then it finally dried up on me about ‘97 or so. I hit a wall. At the time I didn’t know what it was, but looking back I realize it was fear. Fear of success. Fear that I was a lousy writer. Probably some other, lesser fears mixed in. I went five years without writing hardly a word of fiction.

Then about 2002 I read a book on screenwriting by Syd Field. It was a rather dry book, but it broke storytelling down into a format that to me was almost like simple math. A story has a beginning, a middle, and an end, and within those structures are lesser events which need to occur. Just for kicks, I decided to try to write my own screenplay.

Two months later, I had finished it, then when on to write another. It was quite freeing. Screenwriting really breaks storytelling down to its most basic elements, and I could focus upon those without having to worry about whether or not I was spewing forth great prose. By the time I had finished my second screenplay, I had found my writers block had vanished. I then returned to prose writing and have been doing so ever since. I might someday write more screenplays, but for now I’m having fun churning out novels.

That’s how I dealt with writer’s block. As far as what I could advise others, I always say: Allow yourself to write badly. Yes, I realize how that sounds, but it’s the truth. If you want to break through writers block, stop thinking every word you write has to be golden. A lot of what one writes isn’t going to be very good, but some of it will. Eventually, with experience, there will be more good than bad.



How much time do you spend on social media per day? What do you concentrate on?

How much? Way too much! On an average day, I probably spend two hours on social media, but I’m including blogging. I use Facebook mainly for friends and peers, but I turn to Twitter pretty much only for promotions. I tend to focus more on blogging, on my own blog and guest blogging on others’ sites, because I feel I’ve had more success there, and I get to meet a lot of people I otherwise might never know.


Which narrative form and tense do you think is the most difficult and why?

I personally tend to think a first person omniscient narration is the most difficult to write because there is so much that could be covered. The narrator, or narrative voice, knows everything, and deciding what and what not to reflect upon can be difficult.

I prefer to write from a third person limited perspective, and I’m willing to jump around in novels to show different characters’ points of view. Some readers don’t like that jumping around, but others seem to enjoy it or at least don’t mind.

As for tense, I find present tense more difficult to write, at least for novel-length projects. I can keep up present tense in a short story pretty easily, but I find it more difficult in longer works. Present tense offers a notion of immediacy, and I find that drains away in longer works. In other words, how can something be immediate if it’s going to take me a week or longer to read it?


Do you use a professional editor, critique partners, or beta readers? What is your process?

This is another one that’s both yes and no. I do not hire out a professional editor for my novels, but I’m fortunate enough to have enough friends who are or have been professional book editors or professional newspaper editors. They are my beta readers. I return the favor when I can.

As for my process, I complete the first draft without any major editing. During that draft, I try to do as little editing as possible, but it seems I’m always noticing some little error whenever I look back to check some facts or some such. After the first draft, I try to set a manuscript aside for a while to give myself a little perspective. Six months would be perfect, but it’s usually more like a week. Then I go through that first draft and do a rewrite on areas I feel need it, as well as some editing.

After that, I do one more run through the manuscript, usually only cleaning up minor mistakes and the like. After that, I e-mail off the novel to my beta readers. Usually within two weeks to a month, I begin receiving feedback. Once I’ve heard from at least a couple of people, I start back in on the manuscript again, fixing what I think needs fixing, changing what I think needs changing. After that, I usually give the novel one last read, a final hunt for minor errors. Then it’s publishing time.

That being said, with today’s technology, it’s easier than ever to make corrections. More than once I’ve gone back to a novel and found an error, or I’ve had a reader point something out to me. I always make corrections, and within a day or so the corrected version is available online.


How important is it for an indie author to use a professional editor?

More than important. It’s an absolute necessity. Never trust your own eyes, because I promise you will glaze over your own mistakes. Friends and relatives are nice to have as beta readers, but often they will be leery of pointing out errors. If one can’t afford to hire a professional editor, then I suggest getting as many beta readers as possible, and looking over one’s own manuscript at least a dozen times. And then some.

Start making friends online with editors and publishers and other writers. Don’t push your novels on them, but after you’ve known some of these folks for a while, I’m sure some of them would be willing to read your work and offer advice. But not me. I’m busy. Sorry. ;-)


How long does it take you to create a book from start to finish?

No longer than six months. I’ve finished one novel in as little as two months, but I think that was a fluke. I’d say I average about four months. Three months to get the first draft down, then a month for editing and to hear back from my beta readers.


Please list three unique blogs or web sites for writers that you read on a regular basis.

Blog of Dean Wesley Smith: http://www.deanwesleysmith.com/

A Newbie’s Guide to Publishing: http://jakonrath.blogspot.com/

Razored Zen: http://charlesgramlich.blogspot.com/


Is there anything else you would like to share?

Though I am probably best known (among my three fans) as a fantasy writer, specifically epic fantasy, my interests as a writer are much broader. Right now I do tend to focus upon fantasy, but I’ve also penned some horror tales and one more literary novel that contains no speculative elements. I don’t wish to be one of these writers who only writes one type of novel or only writes one series, though there’s nothing wrong with that if one wants to do it. It’s just not for me.

By stating this openly, I’m hoping readers will come away with the idea that I am not a writer of just one genre or type of novel. Yes, I write fantasy and horror, but I also plan to write thrillers, dramas, more literary works, maybe even some science fiction. I might even pen something off the wall, maybe comedy. It really depends upon my mood and thought processes at any given time.

Finding me online:

Blog: http://tyjohnston.blogspot.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/htjohnston

Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/HTJohnston


Where to find my e-books:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Ty-Johnston/e/B002MCBQRU/

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/Ty-Johnston

Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/darkbow


Indie Insider - Carl Hitchens


How long does it take you to create a book from start to finish on average?

It’s hard to answer that. If you consider the entire creative process from jotting down thoughts and ideas to that first dawning of inspiration that those random impressions could be, perhaps should be a book, it could take years. Not to mention life situations interrupting the creative flow. Also, there is a difference from the notion of a book taking form and that moment of getting serious about turning out something to share with the world.

I have a poetry manuscript that became a book, when the thought seized me that all of these separate poems I had written over a number of years could be collected up into one volume. This was followed by the practical sense of organizing them into a theme for a poetry book contest. (That hadn’t occurred to me. I was still caught up in the genuineness of “spontaneous creation,” and didn’t want to tamper with the purity of content and order of universal creative-intelligence using me as its instrument.) From the moment of deciding on a thematic charge to author renown, it took about a month of revising, rewriting, and ordering poems according to theme movement to a submission-ready manuscript.

This present work, Sitting with Warrior, began as mostly a short story memoir and then took on a life of its own. Personal revelations beyond my ken became a protagonist mythical ancestor dwelling in another dimension of existence. Stanzas from an epic poem became introductory poems for each chapter of the book. Before I knew it, I had a multi-genre tale combining memoir, myth and history. From that point of organic coalescence—start to finish— it took four years. Four years that went by like a bolt of lightning streaking from the sky. During this period of time, I moved four times, putting my muse into suspended animation. But after each time, we restarted our creative engines. In the end, Warrior made himself known to the world.


How many hours a day do you spend writing? Editing? Procrastinating?

I am an obsessional, spontaneous combustion writer. When I am combusting, I write all day and all night, barely stopping for food and biological imperatives. My writing habits are just that—habits. They appear to the outside observer as an extreme form of self-discipline. In reality, I am a writing ascetic, driven not by extraordinary discipline, as much as by ruthless self-compulsion to break the inhibiting chains of time, space, and matter.

To some degree, I edit as I write, going back to clean up after a page or two. When done with a chapter, I review it and make editing changes and revisions. I really don’t set times for writing and editing, per se. I’ve never looked at how much time I might spend procrastinating. If I were to guess a percentage, I would say 10–15 percent of my writing time. But even that is divided between pure wasting of time and needed relief from bodily and mental battery. When I’m in a creative flow, everything else, no matter how essential, feels like interference.


How are your book covers designed?

I’m actually new to publishing. I’ve spent more than half of my lived years writing, but, other than having a few poems and a short story submitted and published, I’ve been the publishing world’s best-kept secret.

Sitting with Warrior’s cover was found on the stock photo site, fotosearch.com. I didn’t like the image that my POD publisher, iUniverse suggested from another stock photo site that they use principally. Their image, though accurately portraying Native American culture, was not a appropriate for my story line. Warrior, during his earthly life was not a western plains Indian, but an eastern, coastal-woodlands Indian.



What do you do when you get writers block?

My first instinct is to soldier on and not capitulate to the clogging up of the creative flow. I usually make little real progress in bending creativity to my will, though. When I accept the futility of this, I get away from my desk, my office, and seek diversion. I’ll exercise, do yoga, or water the garden. If I’m unable to shift my mind away from writer’s agitation, I just get out of the house and find some activity: hiking, running an errand, eating out, etc.


Which narrative form and tense do you use and why?

I have fallen into writing from an instinctual grounding, rather than academic. Because of this, I don’t experiment for experiment’s sake, when it comes to this voice or that voice, or this form or that form. I do what comes natural, and, if need be, connect the dots after the fact.

It will say that I love story telling. I love essay. I love lyrical narrative. I find myself naturally weaving the elements of story telling and lyrical expression even into my essays. I guess that means I use narrative story telling and narrative essay. Even my poems seem to have a beginning, middle, and ending “plot,” if you will.

Naturally, it gets tricky with narrative when the story alternates between present and past. I had to really labor over proper tense selection in Sitting with Warrior. The other thing that I spent a lot of editing and revision time on was unfolding the plot with a realistic exchange between Warrior and narrator. Since the dialogue between Grandfather Warrior and grandson (writer) carried the perspective voice of the story, there was a constant shifting of these two characters in and out of first, second, or third person.


Where do you get your ebooks formatted?

I have only one e-book to date, the e-book version of Sitting with Warrior, formatted by the publisher, iUniverse. But I am looking at e-book publication very seriously for future writing endeavors. With the increasing popularity of electronic books and readers, combined with lower publishing overhead and higher royalty percentages, authors have to embrace e-books as the wave of the future.


Do you use a professional editor, critique partners, or beta readers? Briefly describe your process.

I edit my manuscripts as I go along. Then comes the process of rewriting and revising. When I am finally satisfied that the manuscript is “perfect,” I turn It over to a professional editor. If one is an exceptionally good self-proofer, it may be that a good copyeditor will suffice. I actually paid for a line editor, via iUniverse, to comb through my book line by line. Afterwards, I took two months to review the editing suggestions and decide if, where, when, and how to revise the manuscript.


Which is the most important social media platform and why? Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Google+, LinkedIn, or any other one you use.

Thus far, I use Facebook and LinkedIn, and haven’t had any great success with either in driving readers to my author’s website or in book sales. Many, however, are sold on these social networking sites being advantageous to their promotion efforts.


What are three unique web sites or blogs that you follow on a regular basis?

I don’t follow any blog or website religiously, but I have the highest respect for the writing wisdom and talent of Kate Robinson, a friend:
http://jellyfishday.blogspot.com/

Then there’s the author of one of my favorite books, The Journey of Crazy Horse: http://josephmarshall.com/


Is there anything else you would like to share?

“True glory comes of itself. It cannot be tarnished. It is either present or not. It is not formed by events but revealed by them. It is not darkened by circumstances but shines above them. It is not soiled by conditions but purifies them. It is the exaltation of light calling forth the true nature of existence. Understand?”



Carl Hitchens' website with reading trailer:

Facebook:



Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Indie Insider - E. W. Saloka


What is the best way to create tension?

We like to create subtle tension, a raised eyebrow, muscles in the jaw twitching and .realistic dialogue within the action scenes. By shortening the words and sentences you also increase tension, short sentences make the scene more suspenseful.


Do people judge a book by it’s cover? Who makes yours?

I believe you should be able to have an idea about the story by looking at the cover. The author has done his job well if his potential reader is already interested. Our son Ian did the cover for this book. His illustrative style and color pallet sets the tone in the readers’ “minds-eye”.


What are the best ways to ‘show’ and not ‘tell’?

By providing emotional language and descriptive details, you bring the story to life. Once you provide this the reader experiences, what the writer intended when envisioning the story. Engaging all the senses truly brings the reader into the author’s world and that connection is vital.


How many books do you produce a year? Are you meeting your goal?

This is our first book in the series, released August 2011. As we’re finishing the second book in the series, there are a few children’s books we want to publish in the next year. With our busy family and time, issues I would say were just about where we should be.


How many words do you produce a day? Do you have a daily quota to fill?

The creative process for us is something we cannot put a number to, we’re either writing or brainstorming, then we come together. It is probably more complicated this way as we have two different viewpoints. We have to blend our two styles and this takes time. The finished result can be surprising giving thus a fresh twist to our working process.


What is your greatest challenge as an author?

We are finding that the writer needs to be quite savvy in all things technical, also marketing has it’s challenges with the time and research required.



Do you use a professional editor, critique partners, or beta readers? Briefly describe your process.

W. is the proof reader , he easily takes on this job and critiques every word we write I have a beta reader for the next book in our series. It just seems like this would be good too, although I cannot imagine anyone being tougher than W. He’s brutal!


What is you favorite part of the whole process? (Besides receiving a check or 5 star review!)

We like putting our characters out there and giving them to the world, its fun and frightening at the same time. We hope readers will find a place for them in their hearts and that will bring it all full circle.


What are three web sites or blogs that you can recommend? (related to writing etc.)


http://www.thecreativepenn.com/

http://jakonrath.blogspot.com/

http://www.writersdigest.com/writing-articles


Is there anything else you would like to share?

W. and I really enjoyed writing our first book. It was such a joy bringing our characters to life in our story. My husband is quite an accomplished sculptor and we have a great collectible line to accompany our book. It really brings you into living our kingdom. This is a little new for us but we have risen to the challenge of being indie authors by learning all that we can from the seasoned authors that have taken the plunge before us. I love their stories and their attitudes and I am inclined to believe that we just may have the stuff to make it through the long haul, thick skins and all that.

Every day brings something new for both of us. At this time instead of reading much fiction I have been reading writing blogs and belong to a few writing groups but it’s still a thrill to find a great book and immerse myself in that world for just a while.

Thanks for letting us visit, we appreciate the opportunity..


http://www.amazon.com/Volumes-Silver-Leaf-ebook/dp/B005I5W4PQ

http://bookblogs.ning.com/profile/EWSaloka

http://ewsaloka.com

http://www.facebook.com/pages/EW-Saloka/128373993926004

http://twitter.com/#!/silverleaf02


Thursday, February 2, 2012

Bestseller For A Day - 8 Hearts Beat As One!

“This Valentine’s Anthology has everything! A romance to make you laugh, cry and grip the edge of your seat. Satisfied all of our reading needs!”
~Your Need To Read

~~~~
Eight tantalizing stories under one cover:

A bomb raid isn’t exactly the romantic proposal he had planned, but if they survive, he’ll make her happy ‘til the end of time.

A cupid trying to shave off a few years of her sentence. Oops, speed dating is a disaster.

All she wants is a second date. Too bad her mouth gets in the way.

Can a haunted guitar bring two damaged souls together or will fate stop the music?


Each story will weave its way into your heart!




What are reviewers saying about 8 Hearts Beat As One? See for yourself:

"This Valentine’s Anthology has everything! A romance to make you laugh, cry and grip the edge of your seat. Satisfied all of our reading needs!”
~Your Need To Read, Reviewer

"An amazing compilation of breathtaking romance stories that will leave you wanting more. We look forward to the stories that held promises of a sequel."
~ParaYourNormal, Reviewer

This February, to celebrate our 1st Birthday we are offering 8 Hearts Beat As One for FREE. Eight Valentine’s Day themed reads ranging from action packed to sigh out loud romance.

Just grab “8 Hearts Beat As One” at the free promotional price, send a friend who you know would love finding a fun, fast-paced read for free and grab the 4 Free Bonus Reads that are the perfect companion to this Valentine’s Day themed anthology.