Authors' Chat

Interview with Crime Fiction Writer and Award Winning Author Liv Hadden

We’d like to welcome B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree Liv Hadden today. Stephanie has some interesting questions to ask her about crime fiction. Liv, when writing crime fiction, there is usually several characters involved. What is your advice in presenting each character so they stand out? For me, dialogue is a great way to create distinctions between characters. For example, my main character is extremely sardonic, and that comes across in their responses to others via word choice and sarcasm. One of my supporting characters is young, naïve, and extremely positive, so his dialogue reflects that with a lot of “dudes, bros” and exclamations. I also think physical attributes, like a nervous tick, are great ways to define characters. I think it is important for writers to give conflicting reasons for their characters to be criminals. For readers to find that connection-if you will-or to perhaps sympathize with them. How do you pull that off and what is your advice on doing so? Honestly, I think this is easy. Think about real life—all humans are complicated. We all have complex intentions and motivations as well as rich histories. Society does a disservice to humanity by labeling someone as “bad” or “good”. What…

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Staying Single in Regency England with Maria Grace

Regency society organized itself around marriage and family. Adults were identified by their place, or lack thereof, in a married, family unit. Married women were ranked higher and more respected than the unmarried. Married men were perceived as having come into their own and given the esteem and authority that went with such an accomplishment. The plight of the regency spinster is fairly well understood. The local tax or judicial records says it all. Women were typically identified in tax or judicial records by their marital status (spinsters, wives and widows) whereas men were always identified by their occupation or social status. (Shoemaker, 1998) A woman’s identity (and legal existence) was determined by her marital status. Spinsterhood was considered ‘unnatural’ for a woman, even though nearly one in four upper class girls remained unmarried (Day, 2006). They were called ‘ape-leaders’ (for that was what they would be doing in hell as punishment for the unnatural lifestyle. Enough said on that point….) and ridiculed for their failure in the most basic requirements of femininity. However, if a single woman possessed independent means—a fortune of her own sufficient for her to live on, it was possible she could maintain her own household…

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An Eighteenth Century Love Letter by Lucinda Brant

The eighteenth century saw an explosion of letter writing on a scale never seen in previous centuries, and similar to what we are experiencing today with the flood of digital communication. Everyone wished to express an opinion on all manner of topics, from the current political climate, to the war in the American Colonies, crime rates, and what the fashionable were wearing in town. Letters were the main form of communication and none mattered more than those professing love. Receiving a physical love letter was something to cherish, as it is today, to be carefully read and re-read and kept as a treasured object. In my Roxton Family Saga, the Duke of Roxton leaves his bride a love letter on her dressing table, the morning after their wedding night. Roxton is a nobleman who chooses his words carefully, and thus is economical in his conversations, both spoken and written. His title, pre-eminent position in society, and arrogance mean one word or a look from him is sufficient to convey his wants and needs, most of which are often anticipated. Thus his love letter is all the more significant, and serves a dual purpose—of reassuring his bride of his deep love…

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Conspiratorial Conversation between That Scoundrel Émile Dubois’ and his Right Hand Man Georges

Émile Dubois: [lounging in his rich dressing robe] Georges, I have news of the most tiresome. And by-the- by, mon ami, we are not alone. We are surveyed – even as we speak, so be discreet. Georges: [clenching his fists] Merde! Do you mean, them Bow Street Runners has finally guessed who Monsieur Gilles and his Gentlemen of the Road really was and is spying on us? The sneaking –! Émile Dubois:  No, I do not think we need fear the forces of justice closing in upon us. Georges: Never say that mad vampire inventor is back yet again! [Expresses himself even more coarsely.] Émile Dubois:   I have yet to hear that happy news.  No, by news of the most tiresome, I mean that our biographer has delayed in recounting our further adventures, in favour of some story about some fellow in 1821.  No, when I say we are surveyed, we are followed in the form of what is known as a ‘web log post’. That is why we’re speaking English, with some French expressions thrown in.  That being so, limit your maledictions. Georges: Merde! What’s maledictions? Émile Dubois:  The low manner in which you and I normally converse, when…

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The Creative Process of Writing The Particular Charm of Miss Jane Austen

Cass Grafton and I are longtime friends, despite the fact we have never spent more than a week together in the same place. We have traveled across the world to celebrate each other’s marriages, children, new homes, cancer survival, weight loss, and even the occasional mutual fanaticism.  One might think writing a book together would be the next natural step in our relationship. No? Maybe I left out some important details. That’s what I do. I’m the one who throws around plots and scenes like the Swedish Chef from The Muppet Show. Cass is the one who lovingly and painstakingly crafts the core of the story and gently reminds me the tangent I just introduced makes little sense, throws our climax into upheaval, and also probably isn’t possible. Believe it or not, I take this feedback pretty well… about as well as Cass accepts that, no matter how beautifully she has described a specific room, none of our characters have entered that room, nor are they likely to; therefore we should not keep its description in the book. The truth is, no matter how much we’ve each pretend-sulked over the loss of lines or ideas, we went forward because of…

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How to Create an Audiobook by Liv Hadden

So you want to make an audiobook, but you aren’t sure where to start. Or, at least that’s how I felt last year when I decided I wanted my novel, In the Mind of Revenge, to reach auditory novel consumers. After doing a lot of Googling, I stumbled my way through it and successfully got my audiobook on Audible, Amazon, and iTunes. To save you some heartache, here’s how I did it. Quick – bookmark this before you forget so you can refer to it whenever you need to! Step 1 Decide if you’re going to narrate, or if you’d like to hire a voice actor. If you choose the latter, the easiest way to find the perfect voice is to create a post for auditions on ACX.  ACX is the audiobook version of KDP or Createspace. In other words, Amazon’s DIY publishing platform for audiobooks. If you’re narrating your own book, you’ll still need to create an ACX account, you just won’t post a call for auditions. If your book is already being sold on Amazon, you can simply search for it on the homepage and set up your audition request. Otherwise, click Sign Up Now in the top…

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Your audience awaits!

Author platform,                             audience,                                             social media,                                                                     engagement,                                                                                            reach,                                                                                                       conversions,                                                    …

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History in the Making by Susan Hughes

How I wove in the history to my story and what I chose to include: My novel, A Kiss from France, is set during the latter part of WWI and into the first year of the peace (1917-1919). I didn’t want to write about the trench experience because that was primarily a male perspective. I was more interested in the women left at home because their history is a dynamic one: they didn’t sit still and wait for the war to end, instead they also became active participants in the war effort by taking over the absent men’s jobs and keeping the country going. At the time my story is set the British people were war-weary and weighed down with grief and loss, so I explored this through the character of Eunice Wilson. Amidst all of this sorrow, women began to embrace new-found roles and enjoy greater independence. With this change, came opportunities for self-fulfillment, but also to go off the rails because did it matter what you did one day if you might be dead the next? This attitude promised potential for multi-layered complications and the character of Lizzie Fenwick embodies this. During my research into WWI, I discovered…

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A Writer’s Life With Award Winning Author Noel Coughlan

We would like to welcome Award Winning Author Noel Coughlan to indieBRAG today. He is here to talk with us about his writing. Noel lives in western Ireland with his wife and daughter. From a young age, he was always writing a book. Generally, the first page over and over. Sometimes, he even reached the second page before he had shredded the entire copy book.  In his teenage years, He wrote some poetry, some of which would make a Vogon blush.  When he was fourteen, he had a dream. It was of a world where the inhabitants believed that each hue of light was a separate god, and that matter was simply another form of light. He writes stories in this so-called Photocosm and also other fantasy and science fiction. When writing, what makes you feel happiest? The thing I most enjoy is when the characters write their own story. Aside from saving me a load of work, I get to sit back and savour what’s happening like a reader. There’s been a couple of times in my books when I had two possible outcomes for particular scenes and I didn’t know which one to take until the words appeared…

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History In The Making With Gloria Zachgo

We would like to welcome Award winning Author Gloria Zachgo today to talk with us about some of the history in her story. Never Waste Tears takes you on a journey with Rebecca, Nathan, Hannah, Carl, and Sarah to homestead on the lonely Kansas prairie, where they pave the way for generations to come. They individually share their dreams, challenges, heartaches, and guilt. Each had their own reason to leave everything they knew. The land was free—the true price—often high, where opportunities and tragedies were in equal abundance. Those who were strong, didn’t waste their tears, but used them wisely to help wash away their grief. Gloria, why is Historical Fiction important to you?  Near the farm where I grew up, my sister and I found the scarce remains of a fire pit in a neighbor’s pasture. I was told it had been part of a dugout that our ancestors had lived in when they first settled in the area. Why would they have tried to farmstead on a rocky hill? Did their wagon break down and the woman said she’d go no farther? Was it the last of the free land that the government gave away? Or did a member…

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