indieBRAG Blog

THE BIRR ELIXIR-JO SPARKES

Author Interview with Jo Sparkes A well-known Century City Producer once said that Jo Sparkes "...writes some of the best dialogue I've read." Not only are those words a compliment to Jo's skills as a writer, but a true reflection of her commitment to her work as a screenwriter. Jo Sparkes graduated Magna Cum Laude from Washington College, a small liberal arts college famous for its creative writing program. Some years later, she renounced life in the corporate world to pursue her passion for writing. Jo went on to study for two years with Robert Powell; a student of renowned writers and teachers Lew Hunter, and Richard Walter, head and heart of UCLA's Screenwriting Program. The culmination of those years of hard work was the short-film "The Image", which Jo wrote and produced single-handedly. Since then, Jo hasn't looked back – having written seven feature film scripts. Jo's body of work includes scripts for Children's live-action and animated television programs, a direct to video Children's DVD, commercial work for corporate clients, as well as a being a feature writer on ReZoom.com. As a contributing writer for the Arizona Sports Fans Network; where she has been called their most popular writer,…

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Little Miss History Visit the Statue of Liberty- Barbara Ann Mojica

Author Interview with Barbara Ann Mojica   Barbara is a historian who holds graduate degrees in history and multiple New York State certifications in education. Now a retired educator and principal, she is staying busy by writing historical pieces under the banner of "Passages" for The Columbia Insider, a biweekly news magazine and developing her series of children's books featuring the Little Miss HISTORY character. Marrying her love of history and teaching, Barbara hopes that her Miss HISTORY character will inspire children and adults to learn more about historical people and visit these landmarks. Barbara also finds time to read and review books twice weekly on her blogging page. Little Miss HISTORY is a funny, whimsical character invented by the author and her illustrator/husband. The character is based on a younger version of the author. She looks like a wannabe park ranger with pig tails and hiking boots three sizes too big. In the first book of the series, Little Miss HISTORY Travels to MOUNT RUSHMORE, she presents the evolution of this monument as well as its connections to Native American history and human rights. When she arrives at her second destination, Little Miss HISTORY Travels to The Statue of…

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Little Miss History Visits the Statue of Liberty- Barbara Ann Mojica

Author Interview with Barbara Ann Mojica   Barbara is a historian who holds graduate degrees in history and multiple New York State certifications in education. Now a retired educator and principal, she is staying busy by writing historical pieces under the banner of "Passages" for The Columbia Insider, a biweekly news magazine and developing her series of children's books featuring the Little Miss HISTORY character. Marrying her love of history and teaching, Barbara hopes that her Miss HISTORY character will inspire children and adults to learn more about historical people and visit these landmarks. Barbara also finds time to read and review books twice weekly on her blogging page. Little Miss HISTORY is a funny, whimsical character invented by the author and her illustrator/husband. The character is based on a younger version of the author. She looks like a wannabe park ranger with pig tails and hiking boots three sizes too big. In the first book of the series, Little Miss HISTORY Travels to MOUNT RUSHMORE, she presents the evolution of this monument as well as its connections to Native American history and human rights. When she arrives at her second destination, Little Miss HISTORY Travels to The Statue of…

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Oh My, Too Many Books!

  I just spent the day cleaning out my bookshelves- too many books for too little space. It seems I've kept every book I ever enjoyed – not sure why. I probably should have been giving them to my local library, or selling them in a garage sale, but I didn't. In my defense, I kept them all because I thought I might want to read them again one day. But since I kept buying more books that I couldn't wait to read, this didn't ever, or rarely ever, happened. So my shelves are overflowing with my treasures –beautifully bound classics, historical fiction (lots of these), fun reads, tear jerkers, bodice rippers (I admit it), even a few non-fiction books (memoirs, biographies and travelogues, oh my)...all books that I just could not give up. However, life moves on and things change; now I only buy and read books on my Kindle. They are much less expensive and I can take as many books as I like with me everywhere. I don't have to get sore arms holding a heavy book up in front of me in those dreadful airplane seats (never on take-off or landing, of course, except when the…

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Can An Author Have It Both Ways?

Along with the ease of self-publishing came the ability to publish cheaply, and this may be one of the biggest problems with self-publishing today. Some of the disadvantages of getting a traditional publishing house contract are a loss of control and much lower royalties. The publisher chooses a cover they think will sell and they edit a book, including copy, line, and development editing. Even so, I have to say that not all traditionally published books are edited to perfection, or to the author's satisfaction, despite the fact that the publisher uses professional editors. Most self-published authors love the higher royalty percentage but often don't want, or can't afford, to hire the appropriate professional talent to make their book a quality product. I think it is accepted that in most cases an indie author simply can not properly edit their own work. Being so close to it, an author often sees what they think is there and not what is actually written on the page. Catching spelling mistakes is hard work (let's hope I didn't miss any in this blog), and in many cases, they fall in love with their own words. This makes it very hard to remove words,…

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INCEPTIO-ALISON MORTON

Author Interview with Alison Morton Stephanie: Hello Alison! Welcome back and thank you for chatting with me today and congrats on winning for the B.R.A.G Medallion twice! Today, I would like to talk to you about your book that won the first medallion, INCEPTIO. Please tell your audience a little about your story. Alison: Hi Stephanie. Thank you so such for having me on Authors' Chat. Yes, I'm delighted to have been twice honoured. INCEPTIO is an alternate history thriller, the first in the Roma Nova series, which begins when New Yorker Karen Brown, terrified after a kidnap attempt and hunted by a killer, is forced to flee to her mother's mysterious homeland in Europe – Roma Nova. Founded sixteen hundred years ago by Roman exiles and ruled by women, Roma Nova gives Karen safety – at a price. But the killer has followed her and sets a vicious trap knowing she'll have no choice but to spring it... Stephanie: Please tell me a little about the mysterious Roma Nova and how you came up with that name. Alison: 'Roma Nova' means 'New Rome' in Latin, and this is the language they speak, although it has evolved over the centuries.…

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Reading Around the World- Where Does Your Country Rate?

  1,600 people in 30 countries were surveyed by the NOP World Culture Score Index to find out how many hours are spent reading. The results are both interesting and significant. It appears that trends bunch in geographic clusters- Asian countries read the most, while Southern Hemisphere countries including South Africa, Australia, and Argentina show similar results. Strangely, industrialized first world countries are at the bottom of the rankings. Better minds than mine will have to interpret these findings as interesting as they are. This same study asked which genres were favored. The most popular genre was fantasy! 32% of the people surveyed said this was the genre they favored, especially among men, followed by the Russian classics, and historical fiction. Not surprisingly, romance was favored by females around the world. Modern prose came in as the least favored. Although India has the highest number of hours read per week, 25% of the country is illiterate. I think we can deduce from this that those who can read, read a lot. In contrast, only about one half of the adults in the USA read books and only about one fifth are regular book buyers.Why does this matter? Here are a couple…

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GOD JOHNSON- LINDA GODFREY

Author Interview with Author Linda Godfrey Linda S. Godfrey is the award-winning author of over a dozen non-fiction books on strange creatures, people and places and recently released her debut paranormal/urban fantasy, God Johnson: the Unforgiven Diary of the Disciple of a Lesser God as a self-published e-book, the first in a series. Godfrey is also an artist and illustrator and a former newspaper reporter. She has been a featured guest on dozens of national TV and radio shows including Monsterquest, Sean Hannity's America, Lost Tapes, Inside Edition, SyFy's Haunted Highway, Monsters and Mysteries, Wisconsin and Michigan Public Radio, CoasttoCoastAM radio and many more. She lives with her husband and Lhasa apso, Grendel, on the edge of Southeast Wisconsin's Kettle Moraine State Forest, and her latest nonfiction book, "American Monsters; A History of Monster Lore, Legends, and Sightings in America" will be released in August by Tarcher/Penguin. Stephanie: Hello, Linda! Congrats on winning the B.R.A.G. Medallion. Please tell me about your book, God Johnson: The Unforgiven Diary of the Disciple of a Lesser God. Linda: Thanks so much for the honor, and I'd be happy to discuss God Johnson! Premise: A geeky, lesser known deity named God Johnson takes on…

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gimme shelter- louis spirito

Author Interview with Louis Spirito   Louis Spirito has written for magazines and newspapers including The New York Times, WOOF! Magazine, Good Housekeeping, Men's Fitness, Bird Talk, Woof!, Black Belt and Bride's Magazine (the last two in the same month). As a screenwriter, he's sold material to Universal Studios, Alliance-Atlantis, Triumph Pictures and Daniel Blatt Productions. His work has been honored by WorldFest Houston, the Nuyorican Poets Café, Writer's Digest, and the Nicholl Fellowship Competition. GIMME SHELTER is his first book. It was recently awarded the B.R.A.G. Medallion for Nonfiction. A lifelong dog lover and recovering 'angry guy', Lou originally hails from Elizabeth, NJ. He attended Iona College (B.A.) and Fordham University (M.A.) in New York City. Lou lives in Malibu, California with his wife, Eugenie, the love of his life, and their rescue Pit Bull, Tanner. When he's not scribbling, Lou teaches Okinawan GoJu Ryu karate and works with juvenile offenders the Los Angeles County Probation Camps where officials plan to use Gimme Shelter as an anger management/literary resource. In their down time, Lou and his wife travel to Italy where they were married and where they have dual U.S.- Italian citizenship. Stephanie: Louis, it is a pleasure to…

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The New International Author Fair

  The Business Of Books The first of the International Author Fair series organized by Authoright kicked off in London Friday February 28th. Its mission: to equip authors with the commercial, technical and political knowledge of where things are in the business of books and where they are going. The event is a sure sign that the industry is coming to terms with change and realizes it needs to create some kind of structure amid the new trends led by Amazon and indie publishing. Indeed, according to the panel chaired by the genial Porter Anderson around 75% of books could well be self-published by the year 2020. But this is not 2020 and the real challenge in today's changing world for both for writers and readers, is recognizing and sorting out the junk from the good stuff. There is apparently an awful lot of self-published books that really are not up to standard, consequently much of the discussion was about means of professionalizing indie publishing. I was surprised, though, that nothing was said about book approval platforms such as indieBRAG, which constitute a filter for the reader and a pedestal for the writer who is serious about their work. Workshops,…

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