Authors' Chat

indieBRAG Interview Team Member Stephanie M. Hopkins

indieBRAG has put together a great group of book bloggers to interview our B.R.A.G. Medallion Honorees. This week we would like our authors to get to know our team a bit better. Today indiebrag Team Member Leader Stephanie of Layered Pages is chatting with us about her website. Stephanie, why do you blog? In a post on Layered Pages back in March, I said that book blogging is our canvas to express our feelings of stories we read. Book bloggers are a special breed of readers and writers. We channel so much of ourselves into our blog. It’s a medium of expression and creativity. I honestly can say that I would be lost without my blog. I am pretty sure I have a blog addiction-ha! Blogging is a profound outlet of expression in today’s world of social media. How many books a year do you read? Generally, I read anywhere from 50 to about 85 books a year. Of course this is a great frustration for me because of my deep love of stories.  I want to be able to read much more than I do. You know the saying, “So many books, so little time…” What are your favorite genres?…

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Interview Team Member Magdalena Johansson

indieBRAG has put together a great group of book bloggers to interview our B.R.A.G. Medallion Honorees. This week we would like our authors to get to know our team a bit better. Today indieBRAG Team Member Magdalena of A Bookaholic Swede  is chatting with us about her website. Why do you blog? I blog because I love to read books. And, through my blogging have I found friends all over the world that just like me likes to read and blog about books. How many books a year do you read? 389! LOL, well that’s according to Goodreads for 2015. But that also includes short stories and graphic novels. I do try to read at least 3-4 books a week, mostly because I have a lot of books to read and I keep getting/buying more. What is your favorite genres? Thriller, horror, mystery, historical, paranormal, crime, fantasy, and science-fiction. Basically everything except romance. Not that I’m totally against romance. I’m just very picky. Where are the different places you read? Either on sofas (home or my mom’s place) or my bed. Of course, I always have books with me (my trusty iPad)! What thrills you the most about reading? What thrills…

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indieBRAG Team Member Heather Campbell

indieBRAG has put together a great group of book bloggers to interview our B.R.A.G. Medallion Honorees. This week we would like our authors to get to know our team a bit better. Today indieBRAG Team Member Heather of The Maiden’s Court is chatting with us about her website. Heather, why do you blog? I started blogging because I wanted to be able to engage in a community who were interested in the same subjects I was; my husband, at that time my boyfriend, was getting tired of hearing all about the Tudors!  I have continued blogging because of the friendships that I have made through it and it’s a fun hobby to work on. How many books a year do you read? The last couple years I have averaged between 45 and 68 – I keep striving for 70 and haven’t hit it yet! What are your favorite genres? Historical fiction, and biographical non-fiction.  I read widely in other genres too, but I don’t feature them on my blog. Where are the different places you read? I typically read before bed every night as a method of relaxation.  A couple days a week I have time to read on my…

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Dreaming Through Summer by Anna Belfrage

To me, summer is clogs, mosquitoes, ice-cream and lying on my back staring up at the sky through the foliage of a birch tree. “Hmph!” Matthew Graham says from somewhere inside my head. “Shows you’ve never been a farmer.” I glance at him, this 17th century hero of mine. A farmer? Yes, I suppose he is, a tall strong man who has spent endless weeks in back-breaking labour just to clear the fields he now has planted. The maples and sycamores, the huge American chestnuts – all gone, as Matthew Graham single-handedly turns American wilderness into fields and pastures to feed his family. But today, I’ve decided to treat him to a picnic, a recreation of a perfect childhood day (mine, not his. His would involve a lot of work, seeing as he was his Da’s main helper on their little Scottish manor) “A picnic?” He gives me a doubtful look. “The hay needs to be brought in, and I’ve got fences to mend, and…” I hold up my hand. “Even an imaginary character needs a break now and then.” “Imaginary?” He throws his head back and laughs. “If I don’t exist, why are you talking to me?” Good question,…

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Marketing Your Book(s) by Alison Morton

Why marketing? Publishing a book yourself is fun as well as hard work. But if you are going to sell your book, you need to adopt some commercial principles and practicalities. We often hear “sales and marketing” bracketed together, but they are two distinctly different things, although intimately connected. Marketing as a way of building awareness of yourself, your work and your brand, thus creating a demand in the customer’s mind so that they will seek you out – basically, the battle for the mind. Sales, on the other hand, is focused on persuading the customer to buy by meeting a need at the right time. But readers can be turned off by overly aggressive sales tactics. Now I love talking to readers face to face and sharing the fun and fascination of my Roma Nova books with them. But there’s a lot of work leading up to the point when you sell that reader your book, and that’s all about marketing. So let’s get down to marketing The pre-requisite is a good product. A well-edited story, with professional layout and design, a great back cover blurb and stunning cover are all taken as given. (Well, the B.R.A.G. Medallion award…

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Choice of Genre by Malcolm Noble

The blurb says that I have written fifteen mystery novels set in the south of England from the 1920s to the 1960s.  However, my recent work has focused on the earlier part of the period.  It is the 1920s and 30s where I feel most at home.  I was born in 1951 My choice of detective fiction (and I am quite picky about the boundary between detective stories and the crime novel) was inevitable.  John Creasey's Hammer the Toff was the first adult book that I read (when the village librarian allowed me to borrow the book with my pink 'Junior Reader' ticket).  Since then, buying, selling, reading and writing detective novels has been an important part of my life.  Most of all, I like talking about them. When, last month, a customer was browsing around my bookshop, we realised that we were detection enthusiasts and talked, for far too long, about the good and bad in the genre.  Through that discussion, with surprising little disagreement, we moved towards defining what made a truly satisfying detective novel.  We realised that readers who come to the genre in retrospect - like us - are probably more critical than those who had…

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Lizzy’s Summer Recipe: Rice Risi-Pisi

I first came across this delicious summer dish on a camping holiday with our local church group, as a teenager, which took us to the former Yugoslavia. I have made it ever since. Recipe for 3-4 persons ½ Large Cucumber - Peeled and sliced ½ Large Onion                     - Sliced ½ Large Red Pepper           - Sliced ½ Large Green Pepper       - Sliced 4 Tomatoes                          - Sliced 200g of brown Rice 2 cans of Tuna Chunks 160g net weight 3 Serving Spoons of Olive Oil 2 Serving Spoon of Vinegar ½ a teaspoon of grainy mustard Pinch of sugar Salt Pepper Mixed herbs Squeeze of a lemon   Salad a) Mix the Oil, Vinegar, Mustard, Salt, Pepper, Sugar, b) Add the prepared Salad ingredients c) Lift and mix carefully d) Drain the opened tins of Tuna e) Add the tuna f) Rinse the tuna tins with a tiny bit of water and pour over the tuna now in the dish. This will dilute the Oil/Vinegar mix and add extra moisture. g) Lift and mix carefully Squeeze the Lemon liberally over the mixture. Cover the salad with Clingfilm and store in a cool place. Rice Boil the rice in the usual manner. Place…

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First Impressions… By Helen Hollick

Covers. It never ceases to amaze me how bad some indie-published covers can be. As Managing Editor of the Historical Novel Society Indie Reviews I see a lot of indie historical fiction – all UK published books initially come through my postbox (and some US ones as well) before being sent out to my UK review team. That first look at a book as it comes out of its packaging can have such an enormous influence on that vitally important first impression – and can even influence the difference between accepting a novel for review or rejecting it. A good cover – usually professionally designed and produced, can create immediate interest; “Oh, this looks good!”  Alternatively, some are ­– I hate to say this, because most authors put a lot of time, trouble and effort into self-publishing their books, but it has to be said – some covers are absolutely awful. Yes, your family member may be good at art, but this person is not a graphics designer. The result will look amateurish, and if the cover gives the impression of not being top-quality professional, then it will be assumed that the text inside is not up to par either.…

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My Classy Women by J.F. Ridgley

I never thought about my first published book like this, but in a way, it is my own vow of revenge… against all the rejections I got over the years. Yes. I can honestly tell you, these little letters/emails from editors and agents are like the water-drip torture. It tears at your soul. Now not all rejections were harsh or rude. Many were very pleasant as tofu is mild. But some were just plain impolite. They ask for a submission but explain that if you don’t hear from us, consider it rejected. You don’t know if they even got your query.  Now, I don’t know if editors or agents still do this still. But I feel this should be outlawed. So I came to a breaking point and considered quitting writing. Just give up this brain fart. Who was I to think I could write anyway? Weeding gardens is easier. Cleaning bathroom etc. Well I didn’t want to.   To thwart that, I attended an RWA conference with full intentions getting recharged, finding out what I was doing wrong, and figuring out now NOT TO QUIT. As RWA conferences are, they had lots for me. Lots, And other writers who…

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