indieBRAG Blog

Susan Weintrob
Susan Weintrob, our Foodie Lit writer, is a food blogger and reviewer on her website, Susan grew up around food and its prep. Her father owned a deli and catering business, which taught her the key components of the industry. "Writing food blogs is an amazing opportunity. Cooking and talking about food is simply fun and takes me back to memories of my Dad."

Learning From Our Mistakes . . . Or Not

   Fact: (Notice how the picture of the Triangle fire looks incredibly similar to those in the Times articles of the more recent fires:   History Times ThreeFor those of you following the New York Times stories of the fires at garment factories, first in Bangladesh, India, then in Karachi, Pakistan, you'll notice the lamentable similarities to the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in this country in 1911.When I wrote The Triangle Murders, I researched the details of that fire and blogged about it in past posts. I fictionalized a murder set against the backdrop of the actual fire and detailed the forensic analysis of the fire after the fact. I also blogged about heroines like Clara Lemlich and Frances Perkins who helped raise awareness of the deplorable situation the garment workers found themselves in every day, as well as the changes Clara and Frances helped institute to prevent this kind of tragedy from happening again.Reading the stories about these recent fires in other parts of the world simply blew my mind.But first, back up to Saturday, March 25, 1911, and a few grim facts: The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory occupied the top three floors of the 10-story Asch…

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Thwarted Queen – Cynthia Haggard

Author Interview: Cynthia Haggard I would like to introduce Author Cynthia Haggard, the winner of the BRAG Medallion for her book, "Thwarted Queen."Read the entire interview at: Cynthia, thank you for the pleasure of an second interview and congrats on winning the BRAG Medallion.. You write about an interesting time in History. What inspired you to write Thwarted Queen? I was watching a BBC documentary in which Tony Morrison was talking about the Princes in the Tower, who disappeared in July 1483, and were never seen again. He mentioned that British historian Michael K. Jones had been going through the records of Rouen Cathedral and had discovered that Richard Duke of York, Cecylee's husband, was absent for a period of five weeks in the summer of 1441. This was important because Edward IV, the father of the Princes in the Tower, was born on April 28, 1442, and thus this raised the whole issue of whether King Edward was illegitimate. I did my research, and the more I looked into it, the more I became convinced that Edward IV was illegitimate, because it explained so many things about the subsequent behavior of his relatives. My question as I started…

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Peggy Pinch – Malcolm Noble

Author Interview: Malcolm Noble I would like to introduce Author Malcolm Noble, the winner of the BRAG Medallion for his book, "Peggy Pinch."Read the entire interview at: Thanks for including me in your blog, Stephanie. It certainly needs to be a regular stop for anyone interested in the world of books. You have a knack for interviewing authors who have something to say, so I guess I feel a little out of place! Malcolm, thank you for this lovely interview and my apologies for the delay. Please tell me about your book, "Peggy Pinch." It's a murder story set in an English village at the time of the General Strike. Peggy Pinch, the policeman's wife, knows that any investigation by Scotland Yard will uncover village scandals that will discredit her husband, so she sets out to solve the murder herself. It's my favourite. What inspired you to write this story? I had already published eight Timberdick Mysteries and I wanted to break out a little. However, I felt a different book would disappoint the readers who had been with me from the beginning, so I started out by writing a back story for one of the minor Timberdick characters…

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Oh To Be A Fly On The Wall!

I'm sure many of you have seen the recent press releases announcing that yet another traditional publisher has acquired a self-publishing service, or is opening a new self-publishing division, or in what must be the most bizarre case of them all, has contracted with a competitor to utilize their SP service. It is rather amusing to see the spin that their PR agencies have put on these actions. Ever since the advent of print-on-demand technology opened up the world of publishing to hundreds of thousands (and soon to be millions) of author-wannabees, the traditional publishing houses have looked with disdain upon these unwashed masses. Until now that is. But can it be that the fat cats and effete intellectual editors who populate the giant publishing conglomerates have suddenly decided that "we the people" aren't such bad writers after all? Not! The truth of the matter is that there are three principal reasons behind this rush to get into the SP biz...they are money, money, and more money. Wouldn't you like to be a fly on the wall in the boardroom when the CEO of one of the big publishing houses was first presented with this idea by his senior vice…

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Recording your own Audio Books

Richard Denning's advice on recording your own audio book - Two years ago I recorded The Amber Treasure and released it in episodes via This is a US based site which will publish audio books. It also feeds them to Itunes again as podcast episodes. Over a couple of years the book had 300+ downloads and some good feedback. As a first experiment in recording audiobooks it was not a bad way to go. Recently I decided to move forward and look to record some of my other books and I am using whom I met at the New Writers UK Fair. (This annual event at Nottingham in November is a gathering of self published authors, associated folk such as editors and agents etc). I don't find I sell many books there BUT as a place to network and make contacts it is useful. They are taking both The Amber Treasure and Child of Loki (which I am currently recording). My "home studio" is very basic. It consists of A)This PC B)A free to download copy of Audactity Which is a recording and editing programme. C)A Shure FM 58 XLR microphone . This was recommended to me by…

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Coffee with Doug Carlyle

  One of the things I enjoy the most is getting to know the authors who have joined us at indieBRAG.Doug Carlyle, the author of In Search of the Fuller Brush Man, drove from Texas to Wisconsin to visit his daughter and was able to join me for coffee. It was a wonderful time getting to know Doug, his daughter and very cute- and VERY well behaved – grandson. Although I could not possibly read all the books that our reading teams read, I did have the chance to read Doug's book and I really enjoyed it.Doug is a member of both the Writers' League of Texas and the Houston Writers Guild. I would encourage all self-published writers to take advantage of such organizations. They provide a forum for support and help. And many are genre specific which may help you to refine your skill in telling the story you want. They are also a great source of information for marketing your book. Some of the larger groups provide workshops on writing and promoting along with information on book events and venues for selling your book. I urge you to go online and search out your area for writers groups…

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The Dust Bowl by Ken Burns on PBS

THE DUST BOWL Premieres November 18 and 19, 20128:00–10:00 p.m. ET on PBS   THE DUST BOWL chronicles the worst man-made ecological disaster in American history, in which the frenzied wheat boom of the "Great Plow-Up," followed by a decade-long drought during the 1930s nearly swept away the breadbasket of the nation. Vivid interviews with twenty-six survivors of those hard times, combined with dramatic photographs and seldom seen movie footage, bring to life stories of incredible human suffering and equally incredible human perseverance. It is also a morality tale about our relationship to the land that sustains us—a lesson we ignore at our peril. The Dust Bowl on PBS Fiction: 2012 B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree Dirt by S.L. Dwyer

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Audio book for no investment!

    Did you know that you can have a professionally developed audio book for no investment? Yes, it's true. One thing I sigh about continually is how many people try to sell to us authors. Classes, webinars, conferences, marketing, and on and on. Don't get me wrong; I participate in these activities as much as I can. Many are helpful and work to promote our books, but costly none the same. I have recently found a way to drive more revenue out of the book I already wrote by getting it produced as an audio book! It's true! Sandy Weaver Carman of Voicework on Demand, Inc. is in the business of helping authors grow their "revenue river".Here is how you get started. Amazon has a company called ACX. ACX walks you through registering and uploading your book for auditions. That was actually very fun and extremely rewarding to hear people read your book in character. Then you chose the narrator that you feel captured the essence of your story and you are on your way. You review each chapter and if there is anything you want reread, you let the narrator know and they will redo any mistakes.…

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The Nightmare Stone – Finian Black

Author Interview: Finian Black I would like to introduce Author Finian Black, the winner of the BRAG Medallion for his book, "The Nightmare Stone."Read the entire interview at: Finian, it is a pleasure to be interviewing you. Could you please tell me about your book, The Nightmare Stone? Hi, Stephanie. Thank you so much for interviewing me. It's a real pleasure. To answer your questions: 
'The Nightmare Stone' is about normal people thrown into a very abnormal situation. The main character is a family man, disillusioned with work, who gets the opportunity to give his wife and daughter a life they could only have dreamed of. But dreams have a nasty habit of turning into nightmares! It combines some of my favourite ghost story themes, namely the spooky old house, people who aren't always what they seem, and historical references to place it all in context. Then I throw in a literary twist that has surprised a lot of readers. Who or what inspired you to write this story? Without wanting to give too much away, my son was completely obsessed with Peter Pan when he was about four. I went back to the original novel, to get beneath…

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Ripple by Tui Allen honoured at the 2012 Frankfurt Book Fair

New Zealand was the guest of Honour at the 2012 Frankfurt Book FairRipple by Tui Allen was chosen to represent New Zealand and we are proud to say is a2012 B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree Thank you Tui for taking the time to share your thoughts- My book Ripple was selected by the New Zealand Society of Authors (NZSA) as one of forty to represent NZ literature at Frankfurt. This happened because NZ was this year's Frankfurt "Country of Honour." It's a bit like being the host country at the Olympics, except that the fair is always in Frankfurt Germany.It is the biggest book fair in the world and is the size of a medium sized NZ town except taller. Being on many levels, it goes higher into the sky than towns do here. To get around its buildings you catch a bus!We NZSA authors became known in NZ as the "Frankfurt Forty" The list we were chosen from did not include authors who had already been chosen by the Publisher's Association of New Zealand (PANZ). The PANZ authors were all very well-known and had been thoroughly conventionally published and their Frankfurt costs were paid for them. Several of the NZSA list…

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