Authors' Chat

Voice of the Dophins – Hardy Jones

Author Interview: Hardy Jones I would like to introduce Author Hardy Jones the winner of the winner of the B.R.A.G Medallion.   Please tell us about your book, "The Voice of the Dolphins."The Voice of the Dolphins is the story of more than thirty years of filming and research among dolphins around the world. In 1978 filmmaker Hardy Jones was swept into the universe of dolphins. In his work as a filmmaker he came to know many of these magnificent animals as individuals. "I know when I'm with them that I'm relating to creatures as intelligent, social, and imbued with emotion as I am." Hardy's life became even more closely entwined with dolphins when he learned that he and the dolphins share a genetic trait that imperils both his life and the survival of dolphins worldwide. Starting with the film that came from his first life-changing encounter with spotted dolphins in the Bahamas, he's made over 70 documentaries for PBS, National Geographic, Discovery Channel, and foreign broadcasters. "Filming became my entrée into the world of dolphins but not my ultimate purpose there. My true aim was to get inside the minds of these enormously intelligent and friendly animals." His book…

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Six Steps to Sustaining an Indie Career

Six Steps to Sustaining an Indie Career By Scott Nicholson (Scott Nicholson is author of the new mystery thriller Liquid Fear—available for 99 cents at Amazon,, and Smashwords—as well as The Skull Ring, The Red Church, Disintegration, Speed Dating with the Dead, and 20 other books. He resides at I am not sure anyone yet knows how to sustain an indie career in the digital era, despite some people who have been self-publishing since the dinosaur days of paper. The only ones who have careers are those who are already closing in on their indie million. If it all ended tomorrow, they could probably manage okay with some smart investing. Those who are getting a decent income right now could see it go one of two ways. If it ended tomorrow, a solid percentage would immediately shift to giving their books away to “build audience,” even if a paying audience down the road seems unlikely. Those who quit their day jobs to go indie can probably find other jobs, and have a great story for the grandkids about when they were ‘real authors.” A few will continue to parlay indie success into a corporate career. But even corporate…

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Use of Social Media: Scary but Necessary

Use of Social Media: Scary but Necessary After writing my first book and self-publishing it through a company who does such things, I thought that the tough and time-consuming work was completed. Boy was I mistaken! I quickly realized that the process of promoting my book was every bit as hard and time consuming. And, I realized that using social media was going to be a huge asset to promoting my book. Now, I must admit, at that point in time I was only using Facebook. I had begun on Twitter and had abandoned it because I did not want to take the time to learn how it functioned and Facebook seemed easier for the novice to understand. Further, blogging was a totally unknown media that I only presumed was some new swear word when people mentioned it in conversation with me. I was really not any where near the mainstream of social media: not in the ball park as they say. So, I went back to the company that helped me publish and selected their social media program option. For six weeks, I had my own media publicist who taught me about Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, blogging and Hootsuite, a…

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Doug Carlyle

Doug Carlyle My second novel, Vinegarone, is in the hands of beta readers and my editor. I'm looking forward to self-publishing that novel this summer or early autumn. I attended a writers' conference this past April sponsored by the Houston Writers Guild, of which I am a member. The conference served two purposes. First, it provided some long overdue time for me to surround myself with like-minded people who enjoy writing. It was during one session that I experienced a badly needed "ah-ha!" moment, enabling me to clarify a particular weakness in the plot of Vinegarone that had been nagging me for far too long. That moment of inspiration allowed me to finish the novel to my satisfaction, and I am my own worst critic. I will never publish junk! Secondly, it reaffirmed my belief in self-publishing. If a noteworthy agent contacted me tomorrow and expressed interest in my novel would I foam at the mouth? Perhaps. But let me share a bit of my experience in Houston. I was particularly struck by the break-out sessions lead by authors Rhiannon Frator and Nikki Loftin. Rhiannon Frater She is a well known, self-published author of zombie/vampire books. She has recently been…

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Writing Tips from Joe Perrone, Jr.

Writing Tips from Joe Perrone, Jr. Inspiration - I find ideas everywhere there are news articles, books, movies, real-life situations.  Sometimes I'll be reading a non-fiction book, and something in it will give me a direction for one of my books.  This is where I got the idea for Twice Bitten.  Another "germ" came to me when I was mowing my lawn, and resulted in the genesis for Changes, a literary novel that I am working on, periodically.  Naturally, real life experiences help me to flesh out events and characters.  Inspiration?  It's all around you!  Use it. Routine - My routine has evolved over many, many years.  Once I have a "germ" of an idea, I begin roughing it out in an outline.  Then, I decide what characters I'll need to tell my story.  I like to do a little "bio" for each character, which includes age, height, weight, interests, hair color, eyes, etc.  I save these for reference as I proceed with my writing.  Each day, when I'm moved to write, I first go over what I've written in my previous session, and make editing, proofing changes as needed.  I don't write a single new word until I have…

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First Year as a Newborn and Newbie Published Author

First Year as a Newborn and Newbie Published Author Last year I rang in the New Year with my daughter, who had just had her first baby. I was exhausted (she had had a difficult delivery) and elated at being a grandmother. This New Year’s day, as I look back at the wonderful year of watching that sweet grandson grow and develop, I can’t help but notice some of the parallels between my experiences as a newly published independent author and that of my grandson. Last New Year as my grandson was trying to figure out how to nurse, when I added up my first month of sales of Maids of Misfortune, the historical mystery I had self-published in both ebook and print form, I discovered I had sold only 47 books, mostly to friends and family. I had an author website (but no reviews), and a blog (where I hadn’t posted anything yet), and I had read enough advice on self-publishing to know that I had a lot of work to do if I wanted anyone else to even discover my book existed. In the first six months of 2010, as my grandson learned to hold his head up,…

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A Note from a Graphic Designer on Book Cover Designs

A Note from a Graphic Designer on Book Cover Designs I cannot stress enough how important it is to have an attractive and professionally designed cover for your novel. The cover is the first impression any potential reader will have of your book. And despite that old adage 'Do not judge a book by its cover', nearly everyone does! Even before I became a graphic designer, I would only pick up books in the shops that had covers that I found attractive and were obviously well done. A cover quickly pasted together in a word processor or novice-level graphic program sticks out like a sore thumb, and people automatically assume the book inside is just as un-polished as the cover without even picking up the book! You've no doubt poured your life's blood into writing your book - let it be represented in the best possible light with an expertly designed cover. The investment is well worth it. When you begin planning the cover jacket layout for your novels, take the time to research existing publications within your genre, and consider what attracts you to various covers. And then talk to a designer about representing your novel with a well…

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Going ‘Independent’? (Self or Assisted Publishing)

Going 'Independent'? (Self or Assisted Publishing) Many writers – and not just novices - frustrated by the endless arrival of enough reject slips to paper the downstairs cloakroom, are turning to self- or assisted publishing – now more commonly called ‘Independent Publishing’. ‘But,’ I hear you cry, ‘isn’t this the dreaded vanity publishing?’ In a word: ‘No!’ Vanity publishers take your manuscript as it stands; their only input is to turn it into print, glitches and all, crop the pages to make it look somewhat like a book and slap a cover on it – for which they will charge you through the nose, no matter how well – or otherwise – you have written it. Your book is not produced to sell in bookstores, but for you, your friends and family to admire and enjoy. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong in that - if that is all you want. To self publish implies a greater degree of author-involvement. Indeed, and as the term suggests, it is to do everything for yourself bar the actual printing. From obtaining an ISBN, to finding a printer to print your novel; an artist to design the layout and create the cover; a copy-editor…

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