Authors' Chat

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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How to Use a Free Short Story to Entice New Readers

Stephanie: I love the idea of authors offering a short story for free when people sign up for their mailing list. That is a great marketing strategy and as a reader myself, it really helps me to decide if the author’s work is something I want to invest my time and money in.  Deborah Swift -B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree does this and I have asked her here today to talk with us about that and she gives a list of benefits in doing so…Thank you, Deborah. Please share your experience. I write under two separate personas – Davina Blake who writes WW2 fiction, and Deborah Swift who is currently writing a big book set in the 17th century. My husband says Davina Blake is not as grouchy as Deborah Swift! Just before Christmas, longing for a breather from my long novel, I decided to swap personas and leave the Deborah Swift book (then 300 pages long) and write something shorter. Feeling a bit Christmassy, I had an idea for a short story with a winter theme, and hit upon the idea of making it a free gift to my Newsletter subscribers, and any other readers or bloggers I’d come into contact…

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Books and Me by Steven McKay

I’ve always loved books, for as long as I can remember. My mum was a teacher so I suppose she felt obliged to make sure I could read well so she’d take me to get books from the library all the time. I have vivid memories of borrowing one with a little clock that you could move the hands on. I must have been about three or four-years-old but it’s still in my mind and must have helped spark my love of books. When I was old enough I would go along to the library myself and get out things like the Hardy Boys, Asterix and anything I could find about ghosts or the supernatural. I enjoyed writing little things myself eventually – silly short stories that made no sense and infuriated my English teacher who clearly recognised I had some skill but only wanted to waste it by writing nonsense to entertain my adolescent friends. Sadly, adolescence passed and I grew up into a sensible man who wanted to write things a little more serious and my grandma would always say to me, “Hurry up and write a book. I want to see your book in the library.” She…

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A Victorian San Francisco Christmas

By M. Louisa Locke-Award Winning Author   Because the most recent book in my Victorian San Francisco Mystery series, Pilfered Promises, is set during the period between Thanksgiving and Christmas, 1880, I spent a good deal of time researching how residents of that city were celebrating the holidays that year, including looking for articles in the San Francisco Chronicle. What I found was that many of the traditions that we are familiar with today started in the Nineteenth century…including the importance of advertising special holiday sales! “The Arcade: We are offering this week SPECIAL and EXTRAORDINARY INDUCEMENTS to buyers of HOLIDAY PRESENTS, especially in our SILK DEPARTMENT” ––San Francisco Chronicle, December 19, 1880 However, these traditions were actually relatively new. Before the mid-1880s, most native-born Americans, particularly Protestants from the Northeast, saw Thanksgiving and not Christmas as the key national holiday. In fact, throughout the 1800s, a number of Protestant denominations were very resistant to the celebration of the birth of Christ in any fashion beyond religious observances. Not surprisingly, it was the Southern state of Louisiana, where there was a significant Catholic population, that first declared December 25th a holiday (in 1837), and Christmas wasn’t declared a national legal…

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A Message From Award Winning Author Vicki Pardoe

When I was six years old, my family moved to a house that was very close to a public library.  I couldn’t wait to get over to the large, gothic looking building to apply for my new library card.  Every time I went to the library, I would check out five books, which was my limit.  I was always so excited that I would run home and take the books to my bedroom.  Not knowing which book to start reading, I would pick up each book and read the first chapter of the book.  Sometimes I would continue taking turns with the books, but other times one book would become so interesting to me that I would have to stick with that one until I was totally finished reading it and then go back to the others. This book ritual continued on during my entire childhood.  It didn’t matter what in the world was going on outside my bedroom door, because in my room I was flying high on broomsticks with witches, standing next to Martians exploring Earth, or helping Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys solve mysteries.  As an adult, I found that I didn’t want to just read…

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