award winning indie

In Praise of indieBRAG- Pauline Barclay

Writing and publishing a book is just the beginning of a journey for an indie author. Once your book is out there, marketing and promoting your baby begins. These days there is a plethora of platforms where you can reach out to a wider audience. Book signing offers the opportunity to connect with readers.  Reviews play an important role in providing readers with an overview of what others think of you your book. These are all tools that can be used in your marketing plan, but one thing that does makes people sit up and want to learn more about your book is an award. There are zillions of books published and only a few of these will ever receive recognition or an award.  Receiving an award is an indicator your work has reached a high level. To be honoured with a BRAG award is a first class accolade on any scale of published books. My third published book, Sometimes It Happens… in 2012 received a BRAG award. I was speechless when I learnt of the award because BRAG does not give out awards to any author. In fact more than 90% of books that pass through their hallowed halls…

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

Clare Flynn   Award winning author and 3 time B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree, Clare Flynn is sharing here thoughts on creating a great story. Thank you for sharing with us Clare- What are the steps in creating a setting for your story? My start point with a book is usually setting. My imagination is captured by a particular location. There will be something specific that is the source of its appeal to me as a writer and then I think how I can bring that to life on the page. I then imagine a character within this setting and let my imagination go from there. Sometimes I will have visited a location – perhaps on holiday – or in the past on a business trip, and having been inspired by it, I may return to spend more time there. On the return visit I’m gathering detail and texture to bring the setting to life on the page. This may include sounds – what can I hear that makes this place different? smells – everywhere has its special smell – what is this one? touch – how can I pull in sensory imagery that evokes what it is really like to be there?.…

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Oh, The Characters We Love To Hate!

Oh, the characters we love to hate! Writing a horrible antagonist is great fun for an author. In my Circle of Nine series the main antagonist is an older woman named Adele. In fact, she is the grandmother of the protagonist’s boyfriend and that makes things a little tricky! Although she is older in the main storyline, we do get to see her within the series at many ages beginning at age eighteen. Adele is both conniving and jealous. In fact, jealousy and perceived slights are her main motivations throughout the series. These feelings are mainly directed toward the women in the Circle of Nine who serve as the guardians of the ancient stone circles of Ireland and the old ways of their tribe, the Tuatha de Danann. Adele has always coveted a spot in the Circle and believes that she (as the more devoted to the old pagan ways and spells) ought to have inherited the position that went to her cousin. The Circle has very firmly established lines of inheritance from one eldest daughter to another . . . and since Adele’s mother was NOT the eldest daughter, Adele has spent her life aching (and plotting) for something…

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A Writer’s Life With Award Winning Author Noel Coughlan

We would like to welcome Award Winning Author Noel Coughlan to indieBRAG today. He is here to talk with us about his writing. Noel lives in western Ireland with his wife and daughter. From a young age, he was always writing a book. Generally, the first page over and over. Sometimes, he even reached the second page before he had shredded the entire copy book.  In his teenage years, He wrote some poetry, some of which would make a Vogon blush.  When he was fourteen, he had a dream. It was of a world where the inhabitants believed that each hue of light was a separate god, and that matter was simply another form of light. He writes stories in this so-called Photocosm and also other fantasy and science fiction. When writing, what makes you feel happiest? The thing I most enjoy is when the characters write their own story. Aside from saving me a load of work, I get to sit back and savour what’s happening like a reader. There’s been a couple of times in my books when I had two possible outcomes for particular scenes and I didn’t know which one to take until the words appeared…

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A Victorian San Francisco Christmas

By M. Louisa Locke-Award Winning Author   Because the most recent book in my Victorian San Francisco Mystery series, Pilfered Promises, is set during the period between Thanksgiving and Christmas, 1880, I spent a good deal of time researching how residents of that city were celebrating the holidays that year, including looking for articles in the San Francisco Chronicle. What I found was that many of the traditions that we are familiar with today started in the Nineteenth century…including the importance of advertising special holiday sales! “The Arcade: We are offering this week SPECIAL and EXTRAORDINARY INDUCEMENTS to buyers of HOLIDAY PRESENTS, especially in our SILK DEPARTMENT” ––San Francisco Chronicle, December 19, 1880 However, these traditions were actually relatively new. Before the mid-1880s, most native-born Americans, particularly Protestants from the Northeast, saw Thanksgiving and not Christmas as the key national holiday. In fact, throughout the 1800s, a number of Protestant denominations were very resistant to the celebration of the birth of Christ in any fashion beyond religious observances. Not surprisingly, it was the Southern state of Louisiana, where there was a significant Catholic population, that first declared December 25th a holiday (in 1837), and Christmas wasn’t declared a national legal…

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A Writer’s Life: Interview with Gloria Zachgo

Today, award winning author Gloria Zachgo is here with us to talk about her writing!  It’s a natural for Gloria to write stories with Kansas settings. She grew up on a farm in Lincoln County, Kansas, where she attended one of the last one-room schoolhouses in the country. After graduating from Brown Mackie Business School she married her high school sweetheart. Living out of state for several years, Gloria and her husband moved back to their Kansas roots.  While their children were young, she ran a small business out of their home.  When her children left the nest, she pursued a lifelong dream and took various art lessons. Always wanting to learn new things she joined a creative writing group in 2006. She soon found she had a passion for writing fictional short stories.  One particular short story was written from the prompts of a gingerbread man and a small toy horse. It led to her first novel, The Rocking Horse.   “I knew there was more to the story. I kept seeing the image of a young woman, all alone, with a quirky little toy trying to give her a message.” After her debut novel won honorable mention in the 20th Annual…

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IndieBRAG Cover Crush: A Song for Bellafortuna by Vincent LoCoco

Cover Crush by Colleen Turner Synopsis A SWEEPING EPIC TALE OF LOVE, DRAMA, SACRIFICE, AND REDEMPTION, SET AMONG THE BEAUTIFUL LANDSCAPE OF SICILY. The beautiful, yet secluded, hilltop village of Bellafortuna, Sicily, is a great producer of wine and olive oil. The entire village prospers. However, after the arrival of the Vasaio family, production dwindles and the villagers soon find themselves in crushing debt to the Vasaios. Only the Sanguinetti family remains outside the control of the Vasaios, but the reason haunts Antonio Sanguinetti every day of his life, and he offers financial and emotional support to his fellow villagers. When Antonio’s only son, Giuseppe, discovers his family’s past, he becomes determined to take on the Vasaios and remove them from power. Led by the young Giuseppe, a plan is hatched that could result in either complete freedom for the villagers, or if it fails, forever solidify the Vasaios’ control. Find out what happens in A Song for Bellafortuna. Thoughts on the cover Come on, look at that landscape! It just looks so peaceful and inviting. The leaves hanging down from the top make me feel like I’m getting a secret peek at something quite special. It clearly represents the…

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A Writer’s Life: Interview with Glen Craney

I’d like to welcome back award winning author Glen Craney today. He is here to talk with us about a big part of his writing. I first started this series-A Writer’s Life- over at Layered Pages and decided to bring it to indieBRAG for our authors.  Glen Craney is a novelist, screenwriter, journalist, and lawyer. The Academy of Motion Pictures, Arts and Sciences awarded him the Nicholl Fellowship prize for best new screenwriting. He is also a two-time indieBRAG Medallion Honoree, a Chaucer Award First-Place Winner for Historical Fiction set during the Middle Ages, and has three times been named a Foreword Reviews Book-of-the-Year Award Finalist. His debut novel, The Fire and the Light, was recognized as Best New Fiction by the National Indie Excellence Awards and as an Honorable Mention winner for Foreword's BOTYA in historical fiction. His novels have taken readers to Occitania during the Albigensian Crusade, to the Scotland of Robert Bruce, to Portugal during the Age of Discovery, to the trenches of France during World War I, and to the American Hoovervilles of the Great Depression. He lives in southern California.  Glen, what makes you feel happiest when writing?  I agree with the satirist Dorothy Parker, who reportedly answered with the quip: “I…

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Interview with Award Winning Author & Graphic Designer Lee Davis

A few months ago I wanted to create a series that went deeper into the process of cover art for books and the graphic designers who created them. Without these truly gifted people, I often wonder if book sales would be what they are today. After all, we are such visual creatures. I can agree that cover layouts and graphic designs play an important role in the overall presentation of books.  I’d like to welcome, award winning author, Lee Davis to indieBRAG today. Lee is here to talk with us about his graphic designing. He is a talented guy who loves the art of graphics and it certainly shows through is creative designs and process!   Lee Davis once pursued a career in thuggin’ gangsta rap, but then remembered that he grew up in suburbia and to do so would make him nothing more than a raging poser, so he revived his childhood dreams of illustrating and writing and filming stories of monsters and villains and good guys and copious amounts of blood and guts. He spent his teen years misusing his gifts as means to offend people after spending adolescence being bullied and having teacher figures beat the notion into his head that…

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A Writer’s Life: Interview with Award Winning Author Annie Whitehead

I’d like to welcome back award winning author Annie Whitehead today. She is here to talk with us about a big part of her writing. I first started this series-A Writer's Life- over at Layered Pages and decided to bring it to indieBRAG for our authors. Annie is a history graduate and prize-winning author. Her first novel, To Be A Queen, is the story of Aethelflaed, daughter of Alfred the Great, who came to be known as the Lady of the Mercians. It was long-listed for the Historical Novel Society’s Indie Book of the Year 2016, and it has been awarded a B.R.A.G. Gold Medallion. Her second novel, Alvar the Kingmaker, is a tale of intrigue, deceit, politics, love, and murder in tenth-century Mercia. It charts the career of the earl who sacrificed personal happiness to secure the throne of England for King Edgar, and, later, Aethelred the Unready. It too has just been awarded a B.R.A.G. Gold Medallion. She has completed a third novel, also set in Mercia, and scheduled for publication in 2017. She has twice been a prizewinner in the Mail on Sunday Novel Writing competition, she won first prize for nonfiction in the new Writing Magazine Poetry…

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