indieBRAG Blog

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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Cover Crush: Breaker of Bones by David Penny

I am not a cover designer but I can agree that cover layouts play an important role in the overall presentation of books and I must admit, often times I first judge a book by its cover. Synopsis B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree Torn between duty and survival. Moorish Spain, 1483. As the country prepares for more war, surgeon Thomas Berrington makes a reluctant journey to Qurtuba at his master’s request. What he thinks will be a simple operation and a return home to al-Andalus becomes something much more sinister. A warped killer is murdering young women and creating twisted creatures from their bodies. When Queen Isabel tasks Thomas to hunt down the culprit, he has no choice but to plunge deep into an unfamiliar world of religious mania. Meanwhile, the eunuch Jorge tracks down the family he hasn’t seen in decades, only to learn his newfound niece has been chosen as the killer’s next victim. As Thomas and Jorge pursue a monster known only as The Bonebreaker, they must face their most dangerous challenge yet. Failure to catch the killer in time could rid Jorge of the only family he’s ever known. Breaker of Bones is the second book in the Thomas…

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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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indieBRAG Cover Crush: If I Never Went Home by Ingrid Persaud

Cover Crush is a weekly series that originated with Erin at Flashlight Commentary Synopsis Sometimes the only way home is to leave the one you know. Written in two distinct, alternating voices, If I Never Went Home follows ten years in the turbulent lives of two narrators – thirty-something Bea, an immigrant in Boston, and ten-year-old Tina in Trinidad – as they separately navigate devastating losses, illness and betrayal in their quest to belong. Moving back and forth from the present to the past through flashbacks, this is the powerful story of how these women unearth family secrets that go beyond anything they could have imagined. Then unexpectedly their lives collide, and they are offered the chance to create a home. But can this gamble survive one last surprise about Tina’s real identity? Thoughts on the cover I think this is such a cool cover! My first instinct was that this was about one person that either went from the deep country to the big city or vice versa. With two such different settings that leaves the narrative open to all sorts of possibilities and could be centered around romance, drama, thriller…it could really be anything! It would definitely prompt me…

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Your audience awaits!

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

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Cover Crush: Sorrel and Myriana by Evelyn Sun

I am not a cover designer but I can agree that cover layouts play an important role in the overall presentation of books and I must admit, often times I first judge a book by its cover B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree Synopsis Pain begets insanity. Insanity begets love. Love begets pain. It is 1932, and the City of Dalltop is teeming with corruption. In the dead of night, a woman cries for help, but none turn an ear to her pleas. She scuttles through the lost buildings under their leaky roofs for shelter, but they always come. They dress as dark as the night and hide in the shadows. She pierces her feet in mileage and tears her clothes in desperation, but they always find her. Myriana was a rich young lady with no ambitions, no voice of her own that is until she became the wife of the handsome tycoon, Sorrel Borchardt. She soon learns that nothing is as it superficially appears. The streets that shine during the day actually stand upon the rotten foundations of a mafia organization known as Idon. What hand does Sorrel Borchardt have in Idon? Will Myriana learn to adapt to her new violent lifestyle…

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