indieBRAG Blog

Moi Name’s Jenno

‘Allo ev’rybody…! Moi name’s Jenno; leastways, that’s wot most o’ moi friends call me, so Oi reckon as ‘ow yew can call me that an’ all. Actually, moi name is Jean Bryce. Moi mum calls me Jeanie, ‘cept when she calls me “Jean”. But cripes, when she does that, Oi gotta look out, ‘cos it means she’s real cross wiv me. Oi live in a village in England called Widdlington. It’s quite a big village taken all-together, only it’s cut inter two parts by a river an’ a railway going through the middle. Each part ‘as got its gangs. The part, wot we call “The Street” is real old. It were started by the Vikings about 1200 years ago. It’s got two gangs. The new part, wot is where Oi live, were mostly built along Pepper Mill Lane when the railway came. It’s got two gangs an’ all. Each gang ‘as got a territ’ry, an’ nobody ‘ad better go alone inter the territ’ry of anovver gang, ‘cos that’s jus’ plain askin’ fer trouble. Oi’m talkin’ about the kids, o’corse, ‘cos the grown-ups ‘ave got ovver sorts o’ gangs, wot ‘ave ter do wiv political parties, or sport, or religion an’…

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Getting to know Cayden

Award winning author Crystal Marcos- B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree On this balmy night, I was intrigued by Linnayah’s questions. I watched her lips intently with every word she spoke. Wondering how or why this enchanting Human girl would want to know more about me. Sunrise or sunset? Sunset, I spent many warm nights in the sand watching the sun disappear on the horizon. Breakfast or Dinner? At this point, I will take either. If I have to choose, I pick breakfast as it is hard to go most of the day without eating. If I start with some sort of breakfast, I am in pretty good shape for the rest of the day. Underground or above? Honestly, up until recent events, I would have certainly said above ground. In light of the new situation, I think I will take my chances beneath it. Hunting or Fishing? Fishing, I believe I am a better fisherman than a hunter.  I have a greater chance of bringing something to the table. Dancing or Singing? Well, I do not know that I have ever sang a note in my life and I most certainly did not learn how to dance until little Tara taught me.…

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BRIGIT QUINN’S MINI-TOUR OF IRELAND

Award Winning Author Valerie Biel-B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree  In honor of Teen Read Week, I am celebrating with all of you lovely readers with a package of goodies which includes: A $.99 e-book sale of the first book in my YA series (Circle of Nine: Beltany). A sample for your reading pleasure on Wattpad. A great giveaway contest via Rafflecopter.  (Details on all of these are near the bottom of this post!) AND BEST OF ALL, Brigit Quinn (the main character in the series) has agreed to take you on a tour of her favorite places from her May Day trip to Ireland in Circle of Nine: Beltany. BRIGIT QUINN’S MINI-TOUR OF IRELAND On my 15th birthday everything changed. I wished for the same thing I always wished for—to just be normal! But that’s not what I got, not even close!! Truthfully, I knew it was an impossible wish. “Normal” has always been out of reach with a mom who openly practices a pagan religion, making everyone in our small town believe she is a witch. Instead, my birthday gifts included the unbelievable revelation that I am descended from a legendary Celtic tribe—the guardians of the stone circles of Ireland. While…

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Fair game or a theme too far?

By G.J. Reilly-B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree As a writer, this week is perhaps one of the most important in my calendar, so, when indieBRAG and Layered Pages announced that they were looking for posts, I jumped at the chance. It’s funny how teen readers get just one week. I love the fact that teens get a week at all, but as a novelist who writes with young adults in mind, part of my job is to encourage teens to read as often as they can. It was teaching that led me to write for that age group. Many of my characters have been influenced by the people I’ve taught over the years. Indeed, some of the themes I’ve tried to explore in the Book of Jerrick series have come from snippets of conversations that I’ve overheard in the corridors, or in the classroom. Before we go on, I’d like to emphasise something that all writers should know – ‘Young Adult’ is NOT a genre, it’s an age bracket which, although popular with older readers, is written with teens in mind. Young adult readers enjoy exactly the same ‘genres’ of books as everyone else (and many of the same themes too). That’s…

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The Magic is in the Balance

On Sale for $0.99! By Award Winning Author Elle Jacklee-B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree  Writing for the middle grade/YA audience is like my own fountain of youth! Getting into my characters’ heads means thinking like they would, which is truly a gift. As we get older, some of the whimsy that we enjoy as kids and teens can become a little (or a lot!) tarnished if we let it, if we forget to look for the wonder that’s all around us. That’s one of the themes in The Tree of Mindala, the first in my Wunderwood series: that there truly is magic in the world if you open yourself to see it. And even though most of the story takes place in a different world, the themes I chose to weave into it are ones that mirror truths about our own world. Nature in our world has a way of maintaining a delicate balance. For example, droughts are followed by rains, and some species hibernate when conditions are undesirable. Balance in Wunderwood is also naturally maintained. That means, among other things, that whatever is needed–like food and shelter–is always provided. But it also means that justice has a way of being done,…

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The Dirty Secret to Writing your Novel

By Christopher Angel -Award Winning B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree You’ve just completed the manuscript to your novel.  You’ve had friends and family proof-read it, maybe even a professional editor takes a pass.  You’re ready to share your bouncing new baby with the world. And you know there’s a few final things you have to take care of.  The book cover is the obvious one.  I spent a lot of time agonizing over the right image and font to represent my novel, The Mona Lisa Speaks (about the theft of the Mona Lisa from the Louvre).  I was fortunate, because I had a friend who is an expert at designing art book jacket covers who helped me out (check out her amazing work at here) So, you have your cover art, so now you’re ready to publish right? Well, hold on.  Here’s the secret.  I’m going to give it away right now. Writing the book is only part one of a two-part job.  And unfortunately, the skills of being a great writer only partly translate to the second job.  Because these days, in our cluttered media space, being an author means you also have to become a marketing expert. The good news…

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Criteria of a Specific Genre or Subgenre

Does your book fit a general genre or does it fall in a subgenre? Could it be that other elements in a story go beyond the criteria of a specific genre or subgenre? For example, “Thrillers.” We know that thrillers are a broad genre of literature. Which is defined by key elements in the story to drive the plot and characters actions, what they must overcome, crime and suspense. When we add other elements such as courtroom drama and legalities…do we give it a new name? Tim Vicary shares with us today a conversation he had with a friend and fellow reader about this very topic. Please join us in this conversation and share which category does your book fall under. ************ I met my friend Angela outside the supermarket one day, and I made a mistake. I told her I like legal thrillers. ‘Legal thrillers?' she asked. 'What’s that? Some sort of drug?' 'No, of course not,' I said.  'Though they can be quite addictive, I suppose. A legal thriller is a book - a sort of crime novel.' 'So why not call it a crime novel then, and have done with it? At least then, I'd know what you were…

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How to Write Great (Awful) Zombies

By Melanie Karsak It’s October, my favorite month of the year. Without fail, I always get in the mood to write something spooky this time of year. Over the summer, I completed the fifth and final book in The Harvesting Series. The Harvesting series begins with an outbreak that leads to a zombie apocalypse. Once mankind is mostly dead, the survivors learn that we weren’t as alone as we thought we were. The fey, vampires, and other supernatural creatures and powers always existed in our world, we just didn’t know it. Writing five books in a zombie series pushed me to constantly innovate and look for new ways to write scary creatures. Just how many ways are there to describe a zombie? In the end, I found the best was to go back to basics. Hit the readers right in the senses: 1) Zombies smell like… I spent a lot of time considering how a zombie might smell. From the harrowing bouquet of the rotted corpse to the whiff of an entire horde of the decaying undead, zombies stink. When writing zombies, you will get your readers into the scene more completely if you can help them envision what it…

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Halloween-An Unusual Holiday

Award Winning B.R.A.G.Medallion Honoree Saving Halloween Halloween is an unusual holiday - it's the one day of the year when we're allowed to deceive one another in a spirit of fun. We dress up in costumes, hide our faces, and believe we are someone or something else. We let our imaginations run wild! In writing 'Saving Halloween', I wanted to draw the reader into an imaginary and mysterious world by using deception.  When book-smart Anne Parson meets the lively Halloween Spavento for the first time in the orchard, it may dawn on the reader that something is a bit odd about this free-spirited girl. As more of the Spavento family is introduced, the magic surrounding this household is revealed. But, it's not just the characters and actions that may dupe the reader; their names are significant. The magical family's last name -- Spavento, means fright or terror in Italian. There's more hidden meanings in the names than that and I've included in the back of the book a listing of Italian phrases sprinkled throughout the book. If readers get really curious, they'll look up (Uncle) Fenris's name and discover more quickly how well that describes him. Oh there's lots of mystery and…

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Fog often shrouds the blue hour of evening –

       The Blue Hour          Patti Davis Halloween has always been my favorite time of year. Not because of the costumes but because the dark swirling realm of ghosts and unsettled spirits is talked about, described, and believed in. As a child, I loved ghost stories. As an adult and an author, I have chosen to write about ghosts – in two short stories and in my novel The Blue Hour. The Blue Hour takes place in the fictional California town of Clearoak. Joshua Baron, who just turned nine, and his family, re-locate to the town and soon realize that the house they have moved into is not entirely vacant. Joshua is a boy who believes in ghosts, and the ghost that is haunting Clearoak knows this. In a town that hides its history, where people remember more than they are willing to say, the ghost is as unpopular in death as the boy was in life. Joshua is his one hope. In Clearoak, fog often shrouds the blue hour of evening – Joshua’s favorite time of day. The coyotes up on Oak Hill howl when the moon is full, rest on the gravesites of…

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