indieBRAG Blog

Ingredients In Story-Telling That Impact A Reader’s Imagination

Writing a story is an art in itself. Creating the right setting, the perfect characters, plot, believable dialogue and conflict. With those blended ingredients are what makes a story impact the reader’s imagination, mind and heart. The most important aspect of story-telling is to draw the reader in your character’s world. How are the stories written to do this and how does one make it work? Today, multi award winning B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree David Penny shares with us his expertise with us. What are the steps in creating a setting for your story? How long have we got? I write Historical Mysteries which are also set in Southern Spain during the time of the expulsion of the Moors, so for me creating a setting is a mixture of detailed research and outright imagination. When I started my research, I discovered that little is known about my chosen period, and much of what is published can be over 150 years old. The world of Moorish Spain would have been very different to modern Spain, so I needed to world build as much as recreate a world now lost. I also walk the ground. I spend long periods of time in Spain,…

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Did you know that many of our indieBRAG readers are authors? Why should that matter?

  I read an interesting article the other day about the importance of authors reading books – even if they don’t like to read.  Does that strike anyone else as very strange-- Not the importance of reading, but an author not liking to read?  How can an author write a compelling story and expect readers to enjoy their work if they don’t enjoy reading?  Mind boggling. Reading for indieBRAG gives a reader an opportunity to analyze both the good and not so good attempts at writing a worthy book.  I have often been told by authors that after reading a book for indieBRAG they have gone back to change things in their current works.  It is not uncommon to find things they don’t particularly like only to realize they have committed the same error in their writing.  So, you see, it isn’t important to only read the great classics, but to also learn from those who are trying to appeal to your audience as an author. Stephen King has also said in his book on writing: “The real importance of reading is that it creates an ease and intimacy with the process of writing… Constant reading will pull you into…

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Ingredients In Story-Telling That Impact A Reader’s Imagination

Writing a story is an art in itself. Creating the right setting, the perfect characters, plot, believable dialogue and conflict. With those blended ingredients are what makes a story impact the reader’s imagination, mind and heart. The most important aspect of story-telling is to draw the reader in your character’s world. How are the stories written to do this and how does one make it work? Today, Award Winning Author Sophie Perinot, shares with us her expertise. What are the steps in creating a setting for your story? Creating a realistic 3-dimensional world for our characters and readers to inhabit together is one of a writer’s most important tasks. Historical novelists have both an advantage and a disadvantage when creating settings, because that many of the locations in our work are real. The advantage to genuine settings is we can visit them in person or—if that is not physically or financially possible—visit them virtually via the internet. We can also research the bejeebers out of them. As someone who majored in history, I am very serious about my research. I’ve also been to many of the locations featured in my work, especially those in my most recent novel, Médicis Daughter,…

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Ingredients In Story-Telling That Impact A Reader’s Imagination

Writing a story is an art in itself. Creating the right setting, the perfect characters, plot, believable dialogue and conflict. With those blended ingredients are what makes a story impact the reader’s imagination, mind and heart. The most important aspect of story-telling is to draw the reader in your character’s world. How are the stories written to do this and how does one make it work? Today, writer Stuart S. Laing, author of the, The Robert Young of Newbiggin Mystery Series shares with us his expertise. First of all, please allow me to thank you for giving me the opportunity to join you today. It is always a pleasure to spend some time discussing writing with someone who works tirelessly to promote writing and authors. -Stuart What are the steps in creating a setting for your story? As a real estate agent might put it: location. Location. Location. As I write a series of murder mysteries set in Edinburgh, Scotland during the 1740s I enjoy trying to take the reader back to what, for some, are familiar streets but create a picture of how they were almost 300 years ago. Fortunately, I have several maps from the period which are…

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One Reader’s Voice Out Loud with Terri

Our readers are the foundation of what makes indieBRAG unique.  They not only select the books to become the next B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree but give feedback to our authors. This feedback is important not only to the authors but to the reader as well. Readers carry a lot of weight in what we regard as quality in self-publishing. Not only that but how readers see author’s platforms and performance on social media. Today Terri shares with us a little about her reading habits, reviewing books, how she finds books, book covers, and much more. Thank you, Terri for sharing with us today. First please tell us about your reading interest. How do you choose a book to read? I choose a book to read either by recommendation, reading a short synopsis, or the book falls into a genre I enjoy. How much does the cover and title matter?  The cover and title surprisingly matter to me at least. I believe an interesting title and cover give an immediate visual to the book and story.  Without that, I typically won't pick up a book to see what the story is about. When selecting a book, do you check who or how…

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Ingredients In Story-Telling That Impact A Reader’s Imagination

Writing a story is an art in itself. Creating the right setting, the perfect characters, plot, believable dialogue and conflict. With those blended ingredients are what makes a story impact the reader’s imagination, mind and heart. The most important aspect of story-telling is to draw the reader in your character’s world. How are the stories written to do this and how does one make it work? Today, award winning B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree Scott Prill shares with us his expertise with us. Stephanie: What are the steps in creating a setting for your story?  Scott: I have a beginning and an end in mind before I start writing.  Filling in the "in-between" is what is fun and challenging about writing a book.  As I create characters and scenes, additional thoughts for existing and new settings and characters follow. Stephanie: There is a fine line between creating a visible backstory and a hidden backstory of your characters? What are the steps in balancing it out? What should you not do?  Scott: I am not sure if this answers the question – but I try and have twists and surprises in the story.  It is fun to create a story where a reader…

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Antagonist Hun King, Uldric with Award Winning Author Scott Prill

I’d like to welcome Award Winning Author Scott Prill today to talk about his antagonists. Scott was born in Iowa and received a M.S. degree in Environmental Engineering from the University of Iowa in 1977.  His subsequent career choices have reflected a strong interest in natural resources.  Since graduating, Scott has held positions as a limnologist and environmental consultant.  He also has a M.B.A. and is a Certified Hazardous Materials Manager.  For the previous twenty-six years, Scott has been an in-house environmental consultant for the law firm of Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren s.c. in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  Scott resides in Bayside, Wisconsin, with his wife, Marcie.  He enjoys spending time with their three adult children and writing.  Into the Realm of Time is Scott’s debut novel.  Antagonists name.  There is more than one antagonist in Into the Realm of Time.  However, the number one antagonist would be the Hun King, Uldric. What are two emotional traits your antagonist has? Uldric's is a man with a narrow focus.  His two primary emotional traits are ambition on both personal and establishing Hun empire levels.  He is also has a "chip on his shoulder" and motivated by revenge. Does your antagonist feel victimized? How so? Yes.…

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Sweet Potato Pie in Julia’s Garden!

Foodie Lit: A genre of novel and memoirs filled with food stories and recipes Each month, I’ll share the magic of a good foodie lit read and one of its recipes. Cooking and recipes in books take us into the mind of the character or narrator and brings us into the book’s kitchen to see, smell and share the lives within. ​Or I’ll take a good read and, with the author, find a recipe to pair with it! Either way, here’s to cooking and reading together! Laura Wharton’s Julia’s Garden Landscape designer Lily McGuire not only has to take over a big landscaping job after her boss unexpectedly dies, but then has to follow the clues about a long ago disappearance, a buried brooch and an unusual collection of toxic plans! Author Laura Wharton told me, “As I plotted the storyline, I wanted the garden to mirror the characters, who are not at all what they seem, as Lily McGuire finds out.” A strange man shows up in Lily’s office and gives her a 1940’s garden journal, which he says killed her boss and best friend.  This connects Lily to Julie’s disappearance, her buried brooch and her unusual collection of toxic plants—a mystery perfect for a landscape architect to…

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Sarah’s Tomato Pie

Foodie Lit: A genre of novel and memoirs filled with food stories and recipes Each month, I’ll share the magic of a good foodie lit read and one of its recipes. Cooking and recipes in books take us into the mind of the character or narrator and brings us into the book’s kitchen to see, smell and share the lives within. ​Or I’ll take a good read and, with the author, find a recipe to pair with it! Either way, here’s to cooking and reading together! Susan  the indieBRAG Food Sarah’s Journey by David Beasley Review and Recipe by Susan Weintrob Her father and later her half-brother were her masters.  But family ties did not free her nor guarantee fair treatment. Sarah’s situation worsens, becoming so horrific that she fears for her life from her step-brother-master’s brutality. Sarah Kinney Lewis, born into slavery in 1790, finally escapes to Canada in 1822 with three of her children. "I heard a school librarian in Simcoe mention that a student wrote an essay about a slave who had a son by the town’s richest merchant and that their son became one of the richest men in NYC.” Thus began David Beasley’s research on the life of Sarah Kinney Lewis, born into slavery…

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2017 indieBRAG Cover Contest Summary

indieBRAG held their 2017 Cover Contest and had a great turn out of votes. Johnny Big Ears by John Paul Padilla is the overall winner of the contest. What makes a great cover and what are readers and book bloggers opinions about them? Do the covers really matter when deciding if a reader is going to read the book or not? Does the cover help the reader imagine the setting and period of the story in their minds? What do readers not like in books covers and do they consider the covers as part as their rating when reviewing books? To get a picture of these questions, I interviewed the indieBRAG Interview Team Members and you will find their opinions and taste in covers insightful. Interview with Lisl Zlitni Interview with Erin Davies Interview with Colleen turner Interview with Magdalena Johansson Interview with Charla White Interview with Heather Campbell Be sure to visit indieBRAG’s Home Page to view the genre/category winners in the 2017 Cover Contest! The overall opinion of the team is that book covers do matter and play a big role deciding if they will read the book or not. I’d like to thank the team for taking…

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