indieBRAG Blog

That Grey Area of Copyright

By Helen Hollick I read an article the other day about a self-published ‘author’ (hmm, debatable term) who had produced dozens of new books in one year. Someone got suspicious and looked into the details. It turned out this ‘author’ had copied, almost word for word, other books just changing the characters’ names, sex, and altering the location. So Jane Brown became John Black, and London became New York. That in itself was fine, but when an original sentence of: ‘Jane looked out of her bedroom window at the grey, drizzly sky of a London afternoon and sighed,’ became: ‘John looked out of his bedroom window at the dull, drizzling sky of a New York afternoon and sighed,’ things are not so fine. (I made the example up by the way!) What is even more disturbing, it seems this particular person knew exactly what he/she was doing because they had been caught, and cautioned, before. Apart from this is damaging to the original author and nothing more than copyright theft, what did this person get out of it – beside raking in a few ill-gotten pennies? We are not talking big time best-seller here. But then of course, the best-sellers…

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An Author’s Angle on Date Night by Annie Whitehead

B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree-To Be A Queen I’m going on a date with a handsome man called Alhelm, a real-life 10th century warrior and nobleman, who held lands in the northern area of the kingdom of Mercia. How do I know he’s handsome? Aethelflaed, from To Be A Queen, seems rather taken with him: “His blond hair, recently cut by the look of it, was sticking out at odd angles, where curls had been shorn, but not short enough to subdue them. His blue eyes were so pale that the pupils shone uncommonly black. A sprinkling of freckles spilled over both cheekbones and spread over his nose. He smiled at her … she felt an urge to smile back but also look away, at once a grown woman yet still a foolish child.” This is when she first meets him, and she is smitten. So I imagine someone who looks a little like this:    Although the reality is probably more like this:  But, I muse while I’m straightening my hair, how can we know what they looked like? The Mercians were the ‘Angle’ part of Anglo-Saxon; Pope Gregory, upon seeing some slaves in the market said they were “Not Angles,…

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Where do you like to take a day for yourself and read?

Tranquil places far from the demands of my keyboard are necessary escapes to keeping my imagination free to travel - anywhere. Less than an hour from our home on the Olympic Peninsula, I've found such an idyllic locale along the shore of Lake Crescent. Last week, my husband and I bundled up on a rainy morning to make the trip along the narrow 101 to the National Park Lodge for a much-needed getaway. After a tasty breakfast, we planted ourselves on two cushioned, wicker chairs in the lodge sunroom overlooking the lake. It wasn't hard to let imagination transport me into a cozy mystery novel in someone's Victorian lake house. With its worn wood floors and floor-to-ceiling windows, I had to work to pull my focus back to the Brandon Sanderson fantasy novel I'd brought with me. On this particular morning low clouds hovered above the water obscuring most of the mountains that border the twelve-mile-long lake. For awhile the view was less of a distraction so the world of the final empire drew me in. Soon the clouds lifted, revealing Storm King and Pyramid Peak. Tourists ambled out onto the wooden dock for selfies. The view and the aroma…

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So, what kind of books do you write? by Carrie Beckort

Genre. It’s like the gender classification for books, except there are more than two options: Literary Romance Historical Science Fiction Children’s Self-help On and on and on . . . Just as it is with gender, a book’s genre classification gives people a set of expectations for how the book should ‘act’. Romance novels should have a happily ever after ending. A Fantasy novel should transport the reader to a world they’ve never before seen. A Mystery novel should have unexpected twists and turns from start to finish. But what if I don’t want to be boxed into one category? What if I don’t want to follow the rules? “Um, that’s great. But tell me, what kind of books do you write?” When someone asks me this question, I know they’re expecting me to respond with a genre classification. In the beginning of my writing career, I would cringe and stutter and overall just make myself look like a blubbering idiot. My books don’t fit neatly into a specific genre, and I didn’t want to pigeonhole them into one. Instead of blurting out a genre, I decided to tell my perspective readers what my books are about. The primary focus…

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indiebrag Cover Crush: A Boy Called Duct Tape by Christopher Cloud

By Book Blogger Margaret Cook - Just One More Chapter A Boy Called Duct Tape The cover for this book jumped out at me right away for various reasons. I recall seeing a pair of shoes identical to that in my front hallway once.  So looking at this cover just brought back so many memories and there are so many possibilities where this book can go.  As I write this up I have not read the synopsis for the story I am really curious to see where it goes. My initial thoughts and what I picture in my mind is an adventurous young boy who doesn't let the fact that he cannot get new runners stand in his way of doing what he wants. His family may be down in their luck and they cannot afford it or he is a boy who just likes to improvise and do his own thing. He is confident in who he is and doesn't care about the laughs and jeers these shoes invoke from fellow classmates.  I am also picturing a polite and respectful lad who is devoted to family and his friends (though he might not have many). Aside from the possible health…

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Growing Up Jewish in Egypt- Their were no recipes, just cooking!

Growing up Jewish in Alexandria: The Story of a Sephardic Family's Exodus from Egypt By Lucienne Carasso Susan Weintrob indieBRAG Food Blogger Everydayhappyfoods A dear friend of mine grew up in Cairo.  Her story was quite similar to Lucienne's so it was natural to call her to ask about recipes from Egyptian Jewish Families.  "Recipes?" she responded. "There were no recipes, just cooking!" She went on to say "a lot of our food was vegetables stuffed with round meat and rice, fried, then you make a tomato sauce with lemon, a bit of sugar, and whatever spices you like.  In Egypt, we did not have steaks like here; our cows were skinney.  Our cholent (traditional Sabbath slow cooking stew) was meat, garbanzo beans and eggs wrapped separately, Mucluschia soup and of course, a lot of eggplant as a relish, fried or cooked. A favorite dish from Egypt and, in fact beloved in most of the Middle East, is eggplant relish, commonly known here as Baba Ganoush.  Simple, with variations from different traditions, eggplant relish is eaten warm or cold, as a side dish or a snack. The eggplant is roasted or baked.  Seasonings are often distinct to regions and cultures.  Serve…

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IT TAKES A TEAM by Barbara Kyle

I've gratefully learned this lesson in having ten novels published: it takes a team. My Thornleigh Saga is a seven-book historical series that features a middle class English family's rise through three turbulent Tudor reigns. The latest is The Traitor's Daughter. For this series my publisher wanted a book a year, and for me that's a challenge. I couldn't achieve it alone. I'm happy to say I've been blessed with a support team, three people that are definitely an "A" team. I sing their praises here. First is my agent, Albert Zuckerman. Al is something of a legend in the publishing world. He founded Writers House, one of the largest literary agencies in the world. He's been midwife to dozens of bestselling books, many of them blockbusters such as Dr. Stephen Hawking's A Brief History of Time, Michael Lewis's Moneyball (made into the film with Brad Pitt), and Ken Follett's mega-bestsellers like Pillars of the Earth and World Without End. I'm honored that Al names me as one of his leading clients. Years ago, when I was a rookie in this business, peddling my first novel but knowing nobody, I sent queries out to a slew of agents, as all…

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indieBRAG Interview with Victor Ramon Mojica-Graphic Designer

Indiebrag would like to welcome, Victor Ramon Mojica today to talk about his Graphic Design company. Victor, what is your Graphic Design Company called? -eugenus STUDIOS LLC How did you get in Graphic Design? -I completed 2 years of college and 6 months later was picked up by an agent and began illustrating children's books full time, but I have always worked on designs as far back as I can remember: comic book characters, costumes, splash pages (cover pages) and logos. Will you please share the first book cover you designed? -sure, it was for my comic book series eugenus, The Next Step In Human Evolution! It was tough 'cause up until then my art style was surealistc, and eugenus had to be illustrated as a grapgic novel. I had to adopt a more realistic stlye to better tell my stories in pictures as well as with words. My first cover in the Little Miss HISTORY® series was for Little Miss HISTORY Travels to MOUNT RUSHMORE. Where do you find inspiration for your creations? -mostly from within, from all that I have seen, heard and felt. Mostly what I have taken from others is their techniques in expressing their art.…

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Self-Publishing: An Author’s Experience

Today B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree G.J. Reilly is talking with us about his self-publishing experience. G.J., when did you decide you were going to self-publish? When I sent out my first manuscript and it took close on a year to receive a reply. Okay, that’s not really fair. A major publishing house had an open submission window for a very exciting new project. ‘Inquisitor’ was barely finished, unpolished and pushed through editing using the bare bones of MS Word. By the time I’d received my first inevitable rejection, ‘Inquisitor’ had changed and evolved and I was so close to it that I really couldn’t tell if I was deluding myself, or whether it was actually worth reading. I’d had a few beta readers, but nobody who’d ever really written for themselves and, although trusted their opinions and they were very honest, I felt like I needed completely impartial feedback. However, just about every article on the internet was telling me that getting feedback is like winning the lottery on Friday the 13th. So, instead of wasting professional time, I decided to read as much as I could about self-publishing in the hope that readers might leave reviews. It took a long…

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indieBRAG Interview Team Member Stephanie M. Hopkins

indieBRAG has put together a great group of book bloggers to interview our B.R.A.G. Medallion Honorees. This week we would like our authors to get to know our team a bit better. Today indiebrag Team Member Leader Stephanie of Layered Pages is chatting with us about her website. Stephanie, why do you blog? In a post on Layered Pages back in March, I said that book blogging is our canvas to express our feelings of stories we read. Book bloggers are a special breed of readers and writers. We channel so much of ourselves into our blog. It’s a medium of expression and creativity. I honestly can say that I would be lost without my blog. I am pretty sure I have a blog addiction-ha! Blogging is a profound outlet of expression in today’s world of social media. How many books a year do you read? Generally, I read anywhere from 50 to about 85 books a year. Of course this is a great frustration for me because of my deep love of stories.  I want to be able to read much more than I do. You know the saying, “So many books, so little time…” What are your favorite genres?…

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