IAM Interview with…Dyane Forde

Guest Feature

Guest Feature

Today we welcome Canadian author Dyane Forde to the blog, for an interview and to hear about her books.


 Wolf's Bane


Dyane FordeDyane Forde’s love of writing began with an early interest in reading and of words in general. She was always amazed at how linking words together in different ways had unexpected and pleasing results. People enjoyed what she created! This sparked a life-long desire to write all types of things, from short stories, novels, flash fiction, poetry…she enjoys trying genres and forms of writing which are different from what she’s used to; every story or book represents new joys and challenges. Dyane views writing as an amazing and intimate communication tool, meaning that it becomes a means through which she seeks to connect with others on a level deeper than intellect.

Dyane is a social worker by profession. Learning to see the world through other people’s eyes as well as sharing in their pain has influenced and enriched her as a person, as well as her writing. She is also a wife, and mother to two children, a cat named JackJack and a dog named Sparky.

She can be reached at her writing blog at www.droppedpebbles.wordpress.com, where her other writing projects, and information and samples of her upcoming books can be found. Please write! Dyane loves to hear from her readers.


1) What is something people would be surprised to know about you?

I love anime and Asian movies. I enjoy their unique method of telling stories through solid (and often complex) character arcs and stupendous imagery; they take risks which mean you either get on board for the ride or miss out. I think I connect with anime in particular because I feel that they show stories the way I see them in my head, something I’ve never really seen anywhere else. So, I’m hooked.

2) How do you react to a bad review?

With fear and trembling and a dip in confidence. It sometimes takes a few days to get over, but eventually I do and then get back to writing with new focus or perspective

3) Which authors have influenced you most, and how?

I read Lord of the Rings when I was 12 and that book blew my mind. However, The Silmarillion is my all-time favorite. Though I don’t write that kind of fantasy, the sense of wonder, magic, and drama are elements I hope to capture in my stories, whether in fantasy or some other genre. Hemingway was another writer I loved for his minimalistic style. I emulated it for years, and though my style has changed over time, I still work hard to keep my work uncluttered and focused. The Knife of Never Letting Go, by Patrick Ness, told in first-person point of view in present tense, also had a big impact on me. The sense of immediacy and intimacy created by the combination of the POV and the tense helped me figure out how to add a layer of depth and feeling to my own writing so that my characters ‘feel’ like real people. Lastly, Margaret Atwood, my fellow Canadian, is my role model. She’s a fantastic writer and she can and does write anything. She’s gripping, funny, sarcastic and witty and she has a writing legacy that spans generations and countries. Her book Surfacing just gutted me, and The Edible Woman was a wonderful and humorous commentary on society and gender roles.

4) How did you celebrate the sale of your first book?

lol Well, my parents bought the first books, but they were so proud and happy that, of course, I felt great. Any sale after that was just a blessing.

5) Night owl or early bird?

I love to sleep in, but not for long or too much of the day is gone. When you’re a mom and working and writing, you need to grasp at every second of the day you can.

6) One food you would never eat?

Lol Only one? Lima beans, liver, eggplant, oysters, really spicy food…

7) Your most unusual or random habit?

I like to twist my hair. It’s a habit I gave to Nyssa, the female protagonist in The Purple Morrow.

8) What are you working on at the moment – do you have any other books in the works?

I’m currently revising Wolf’s Bane, book two of the Rise of the Papilion series, and book 3, Berserker, is in mid-production. I have a slew of short stories and flash fiction on my blog portfolio and a few novels-in-progress on the back burner. Most of my books are in the fantasy genre but my short stories are a mix of various genres and styles.

9) What inspired you to want to become a writer?

I love crafting stories, and using words to create something memorable and unique while giving readers an unforgettable experience. It’s great to know that there are people out there looking forward to my next story or book excerpt.

10) What has been your most rewarding experience since being published?

The feedback. It’s always amazing to hear that people who don’t usually read fantasy really enjoyed The Purple Morrow because the world-building and the characters engrossed them to the point they forgot about the genre and allowed themselves to experience the story as it unfolded.

11) If you could jump in to a book, and live in that world, which would it be?

The world of Middle Earth in the Silmarillion era–but only as an observer since everyone who lived in those stories was miserable or endured some pretty crummy circumstances!

12) Is there a song you could list as the theme song for your book?

There’s this song by Deadly Avenger called Outro, and every time I hear it I can envision the book (movie) trailer for Morrow in my head. It’s a fantastic song.

13) What’s one piece of advice you would give aspiring authors?

Two things, actually: 1) Don’t expect writing quality pieces to come easily– perseverance is the key. Achieving powerful writing takes time and lots of practice, so expect to rewrite over and over again. And again. 2) Learn to love to edit. Learning to find and correct your own mistakes only makes you a better writer, and a good edit is essential to making your final vision a success.


TPMCoverThe Rovers were sent to decimate the Southernlands. Instead, they awoke its savior.

Ten years have passed since the Rover army tore through the Southernlands, leaving behind a trail of devastation and death. Most believed the attacks were random acts of brutality. The wise, however, knew the truth: the Rovers sought to destroy the one thing powerful enough to thwart their conquest. They were searching for the Papilion.

A new commander, bent on completing the mission left unfinished by his predecessors, leads the Rovers back into the Southernlands. Fierce and determined, he comes armed with a precious artifact and a secret purpose.

While the Southernlands reel under the new terror, the Purple Morrow, a harbinger of hope, appears to Jeru, an unsuspecting and solitary clan hunter. Finding himself enmeshed in a series of incredible events beyond his control, Jeru is compelled to take the first steps towards discovering his ultimate destiny.


Want to know more? Check out the links!

Dyane Forde, author of The Purple Morrow

Blog: www.droppedpebbles.wordpress.com

Twitter @PurpleMorrow

Google G+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+DyaneForde/about

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DyaneWriter

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7340969.Dyane_Forde

Amazon Author Page:http://www.amazon.com/Dyane-Forde/e/B00J8R81A2/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=286343198


 Buy Links:

Amazon: The Purple Morrow

IAM Interview with…Anna Hub

Guest Feature

Guest Feature

Our guest author for Indie Month today is Anna Hub, Australian author of Beyond the Shadows. Check out the intriguing blurb for the book here and then find out more about the lady herself in our author interview. There’s a review of “Beyond the Shadows” coming tomorrow.


Beyond_the_Shadows_Cover “A violent shudder travelled up my spine, each vertebrae snapping together like a zip lock, all my muscles tensed but I couldn’t tear myself away from the image …”

If your shadow was trying to consume you, how would you run from it?

What if you were afraid of something you could never escape?

Selena Parker’s journey into the unknown begins in her dreams, but the consequences are carried back into her conscious life and she soon realises paranormal forces are at work. Her shadow has become more than just an image, it is a gateway to a sinister new world where mysterious creatures roam and she is confronted by danger that challenges her will to survive.She finds the man whose fate is linked inexplicably to her own but she knows nothing of him and doubts his true nature. Her only option is to place her life in his hands while they search for a way to stop the shadows claiming them forever.


Which authors have influences you most and how?

I have to say Isobelle Carmody. When I was a kid, I struggled to get into books, until my sister gave me Isobelle’s first book – Obernewtyn. I fell in love with it, and from that point on I realised the magic and wonder that could live inside the pages. Obernewtyn pulled me into a world filled with adventure and magic – I guess I never really came back.

Is there a song you could list as the theme song to your book?

I listened to a lot of Bat for Lashes, in particular the Two Suns album, while I was working on the Shadow Series. It’s gentle enough to work in the background, but it also has a mystical quality. It created the perfect mood.

What has been your most rewarding experience since being published?

I was invited to a local highschool to give a presentation on writing. I’m definitely not a natural public speaker, and to begin with the thought of it horrified me, but it’s the things that challenge us the most which reward us the most. Standing in front of that class was pretty surreal, one of those moments where you have to ask yourself if this is really happening to you.

Can you see yourself in any of your characters?

Absolutely. I used to be embarrassed when people told me they could see me in my characters. Now I’ve realised it’s pretty much impossible to keep yourself out of them. You can only write what you know. My characters are a combination of who I am, what I see, and what I wish I could be.

How do you react to a bad review?

I was absolutely terrified of receiving my first bad review. I was afraid it would make me hate my writing too much to ever go back. To be honest it didn’t hurt as much as I thought it would. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t great, but surprisingly it actually inspired me to work harder. It made me realise where my weaknesses were and it gave me something to prove – that I can do better. Now I use bad reviews to motivate me.

What the best advice anyone has ever given you?

Once you release something you’ve created, it’s already in your past. It’s no longer a true representation of your skills or knowledge. Don’t get caught up in the imperfections, by the time someone criticises it, you’re already better at it.

What are you working on at the moment – do you have any other books in the works?

After releasing a four part series I wanted to work on a standalone project. I thought a short one to two year project might be nice!

My current WIP is set in a dark world where people are haunted by ghosts of themselves – ghosts of the living. The main character, Daniel, is a hunter trained to destroy these ghosts before they can take over their hosts and spread their curse.

It’s a little darker than the Shadow Series, there are definitely some creepy vibes in there, but I’d like to keep it accessible to people who don’t venture too deep into the realm of paranormal. I’m still on the first draft but if everything goes to plan, I’ll be releasing it later this year.

Your most unusual or random habit?

I’m not sure why, but I can’t eat everything on my plate. It’s ridiculous. If I have a bowl of ravioli, I have to leave at least one piece behind. It’s like that one little bit tips me into the dark abyss of psychological fullness. Weird right?

Hidden talent?

I can pick the perfect avocado, every time, without fail! It’s definitely a superpower.

Favourite quote from a movie?

Oh lord, how do I pick? I’m a quote lover. I’m going to go with, “We’re all mad here.” From Alice in Wonderland. It applies quite nicely to most of the writing community hehehe. There was a time when I hated my overactive mind, now it’s my favourite thing about myself! Embrace the madness!

Tell us about yourself. 

When I was a child I wanted to be an author, it seemed like a perfectly attainable dream to me then, but of course I grew up and realised that writing was not the best way to make a future for myself. So I discarded the idea and decided to do something normal.

When I studied nursing I thought I’d found a place for myself, but within six months of working in that field I knew I needed more. So in July 2007 I bought myself a lap top and started writing in my spare time. It took me two years to complete my first book and by the time it was finished I felt as though I’d learnt enough to pursue the dream.

My love for writing has grown rapidly since then and now I know that it’s something I can’t live without. It’s a place where there is no limit, no exact destination and my mind is free to exist in many worlds.

It’s a beautiful sanctuary.


Facebook: www.facebook.com/annahubbooks

Website: www.AnnaHubBooks.com

Twitter: www.twitter.com/annahubbooks

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Anna-Hub/e/B00CKG56TM

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6913627.Anna_Hub  

Blog: www.annahub.wordpress.com

IAM Interview with…Mike Ronny

Guest Feature

Guest Feature

Our guest author for Indie Month today is Mike Ronny, author of Stalkers Drink Free. Check out the intriguing blurb for the book here and then find out more about the man behind the words in our spotlight author interview.


092412 MR Stalkers CoverStalkers Drink Free

Like all aspiring stand-up comics, John Izor’s used to tough crowds and hecklers. But a deranged fan who wants to kill him? Open-mike nights just got a lot scarier.


How do you react to a bad review?

I haven’t gotten all that many reviews yet, good or bad, but I think the key to dealing with bad reviews is preparing yourself ahead of time. Accept that negative opinions from readers are a part of the process. And when you finish a story, spend a few minutes trying to imagine the worst things people could possibly say about it. Then, when a bad review does come, it might not seem as bad. Getting together with a group of writer friends to share experiences with bad reviews is another way to take the sting out of the experience.

Bad reviews are also less painful when you truly believe in your work. Now, believing in your work doesn’t mean you think your writing is perfect. It means feeling that your story is enjoyable and meaningful, and that it represents your best efforts at the time you wrote it.

Night owl or early bird?

I’m certainly an early bird. I enjoy being up late at night once in a while, but my brain is definitely the most active and the most creative early on. Sunrise is my favorite time of day, in fact – everything’s shining and nothing has gone wrong yet.

When you were little, what did you want to be when you “grew up”?                

For many years, starting when I was little, I wanted to be a stand-up comedian. As a kid, watching comics like Bill Cosby and Steve Martin on TV, and renting their videotapes, I found it unbelievable that there were people who got paid just to make other people laugh. I actually performed in a few dozen comedy shows in the Boston area from 2003 to 2006. But I eventually came to peace with the fact that the profession wasn’t for me, partly because of my answer to the previous question.

How did you know you should become an author?

In late 2010 I read a newspaper article about the independent publishing craze, something I was pretty much unaware of prior to that. The whole concept seemed irresistible: by self-publishing short stories I could – hopefully – entertain people, make them laugh, provide them some escape on a bad day. And no rejection letters are involved!

Favorite quote from a movie?

My favorite movie quote comes from the end of Back to the Future Part III, when Marty McFly shows Doc Brown a piece of paper from the future that’s been erased – Marty’s girlfriend Jennifer is standing next to him – and Marty asks Doc what it means. The Doc says, “It means your future hasn’t been written yet. No one’s has. Your future is whatever you make it. So make it a good one, both of you.” Doc Brown sounds so sincere when he says these lines that it always makes me believe for a moment that anything is possible.


Want to know more? Check out the links!

Goodreads profile: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6583803.Mike_Ronny

Twitter: @MattDemko1 (Matt Demko’s my real name.)


IAM Interview with…Mariana Llanos

Guest Feature

Guest Feature

Returning today as our guest is Mariana Llanos, author of the Tristan Wolf series. Yesterday we featured an excerpt from her latest book A Planet for Tristan Wolf, today we’re learning about the lady herself in an author interview…


Mariana Llanos

Please tell us in one sentence only, why we should read your book.

Tristan Wolf and A Planet for Tristan Wolf are unique books that spark creativity and imagination in children, and transport grown-ups to that place in time where they could be whoever they wanted to be.

What are you working on at the moment – do you have any other books in the works?

I am working on two stories: The Wanting Monster, a fun story about a little boy that wants everything, and The Staircase on Pine St., a touching story about a girl and her grandfather, who suffers from Alzheimer’s.

What’s the craziest writing idea you’ve had?

At some point in my life, I wanted to write a new script for a Star Wars movie … now that I come to think about it … I think I should’ve!

What movie and/or book are you looking forward to this year?

This year I’m looking forward to catch up on my reading, especially some classic literature … I love classics! I have lined up some Hemingway, Wilde, Woolf and Shakespeare so far.

Favorite quote from a movie?

“I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.”-Casablanca

“I love you” “I know”-The Empire Strikes Back


About the Author Mariana Llanos writes poetry and short stories since she was very young. In her native Lima, Peru, she explored her interest in the performing arts. She now lives in Oklahoma with her husband and their three children, who inspire her to create touching stories. She works at a preschool where she likes to motivate children through music and art. Her first book, Tristan Wolf, was published early in 2013 and it’s getting great reviews. Now, in A Planet for Tristan Wolf, Mariana takes us one more time to the world of this imaginative boy and his adventures. The art of Rocio Perez Del Solar makes this a beautiful book that will spark creativity and entertain children and adults alike. As Mariana would say: “Let your imagination go wild!”


Want to know more? Check out the links!

Amazon “A PLANET FOR TRISTAN WOLF”: http://www.amazon.com/Planet-Tristan-Wolf-Mariana-Llanos/dp/1492747181/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1392952974&sr=8-1&keywords=a+planet+for+Tristan+Wolf

Amazon “Tristan Wolf”:http://www.amazon.com/Tristan-Wolf-Mariana-Llanos/dp/148205308X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1392953445&sr=8-1&keywords=tristan+wolf

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tristanwolfofficial

Website: www.marianallanos.com

Twitter: www.twitter.com/marianallanos

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/marianallanos

Blog: http://www.marianallanosauthor.blogspot.com


IAM Excerpt from…A Planet for Tristan Wolf by Mariana Llanos

Guest Feature

Guest Feature

Our guest author on Indie Month for the next couple of days is Mariana Llanos, author of the Tristan Wolf series. Check out the books and an excerpt from one today, then find out more about the lady herself in our author interview tomorrow!


  Tristan WolfA Planet for Tristan Wolf

Tristan Wolf is back! And this time he’s not alone on his adventure. After fighting with his  brother, Billy, Tristan and his best friend, Red, run away… to another planet! They want to start over with a new life, in a new place, far away from angry brothers. But this new planet is strange. There are no plants, no parks, and no sun. And Tristan can’t figure out exactly why everyone there is a strange shade of green. But the strangest part of all is the way everyone reacts to Red. It’s like they’re scared to be around him! Tristan will learn that nothing is at it seems in this crazy, extravagant planet! Now he must race to rescue himself and his friend, and get them both back to Earth, before they’re stuck on planet Orb forever! With colorful illustrations and the story line full of surprises, this will easily become one of your children’s favorite stories in no time! Tristan Wolf fans and new fans alike will fall in love with this tale of a young boy, his relationship with his family, and his wild imagination!





Illustrated by

Rocio Perez del Solar

When Tristan opened his eyes, the world was still swirling around him. He stood up to look out the window. His body felt light and slow. He knew he wasn’t on Earth anymore. The almost perfectly-round blue planet was spinning in the distance, and Tristan, inside his spaceship, wiped a tear off his cheek.

He knew he’d have to land soon; he didn’t have enough fuel for a long trip. He didn’t have enough food either. Whatever he had he’d have to share with his best friend, Red, who was traveling with him. Just a few chips, bacon bits, an apple, and half of a peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich … that’s all they had left. Red had such a big appetite that Tristan was afraid they’d run out of food before they found a new home.

Home. That word seemed so cold now. It wasn’t sweet to Tristan, not anymore. Not after that big fight with his brother. Billy had gotten so mad at him! And it wasn’t even his fault… it was Red’s. Billy let Tristan look at his baseball trading cards, instructing him to put them away when he was done, but Tristan forgot and left them on the dining table. Somehow, Red got ahold of Billy’s favorite and most expensive card and completely destroyed it.

“Why did you do that?” Tristan asked Red in disbelief, but Red just turned around and looked away. He looks kinda sorry, Tristan thought.

Oh, Billy was so mad at them! He called Tristan all kinds of hurtful names. He yelled and kicked and even pushed Tristan to the floor. When Tristan threatened to tell Dad, Billy just looked at his brother and Red with a cold and hateful stare and yelled, “Get lost! Both of you!”

And that’s what Tristan and Red were doing. They were getting lost.

“I don’t think Billy likes us anymore, Red.”

Red opened one eye, closed it without making a sound, and rolled back to sleep. Outside, the cold, dark universe kept on doing its thing: planets were spinning, stars shining, black holes forming, big bangs exploding. Tristan watched a moving light sweep across his window. “A shooting star!” he yelled. “Come, Red, let’s wish for something special!” Red lazily got up and sat next to Tristan, looking up at their little skylight.

“I wish,” started Tristan, “to find a good home … and for me and Red to be loved and safe.”

“Grff!” Red said in what seemed to be agreement. And with that he turned his nose towards Tristan and started licking his leg.

“We’ll be all right, Red,” Tristan promised and lay back down on the sleeping bag floating nearby. Red, his loyal dog, wagged his tail and seemed to smile.


About the Author Mariana Llanos writes poetry and short stories since she was very young. In her native Lima, Peru, she explored her interest in the performing arts. She now lives in Oklahoma with her husband and their three children, who inspire her to create touching stories. She works at a preschool where she likes to motivate children through music and art. Her first book, Tristan Wolf, was published early in 2013 and it’s getting great reviews. Now, in A Planet for Tristan Wolf, Mariana takes us one more time to the world of this imaginative boy and his adventures. The art of Rocio Perez Del Solar makes this a beautiful book that will spark creativity and entertain children and adults alike. As Mariana would say: “Let your imagination go wild!”


Want to know more? Check out the links!

Amazon “A PLANET FOR TRISTAN WOLF”: http://www.amazon.com/Planet-Tristan-Wolf-Mariana-Llanos/dp/1492747181/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1392952974&sr=8-1&keywords=a+planet+for+Tristan+Wolf

Amazon “Tristan Wolf”:http://www.amazon.com/Tristan-Wolf-Mariana-Llanos/dp/148205308X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1392953445&sr=8-1&keywords=tristan+wolf

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tristanwolfofficial

Website: www.marianallanos.com

Twitter: www.twitter.com/marianallanos

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/marianallanos

Blog: http://www.marianallanosauthor.blogspot.com


IAM Feature…Being a ‘social’ Indie

Guest Feature

Event Feature

No guest author today, just lil oil’ me pondering the value of marketing and social networking for indie writers 🙂 Mel x


The one thing most writers will agree on, is that you think the writing part is hard…until you release your book and then have to consider how you actually get people to read it! Even over the last couple of years since I released my first book Hope’s Daughter as an indie, I’ve seen the indie writer world change: Goodreads seems to have exploded with people coming to the e-book scene; people are getting more savvy with blog tours, book trailers, well-designed covers…oh and marketing…

No matter how you look at things, everything takes time. When you’re writing, you might give up reading, TV, friends, family…maybe even eating any food that you can’t do with just one hand…but there is an end in sight. Your book has a beginning, middle and end (unless it’s some strange contemporary thing that comes as loose pages in a box that your reader puts together themselves…sorry – I digress) – and when you come to the end of writing the book, edit it and then send it out for the world to see, that part is done.

What begins then is the (perhaps) endless task of promoting your book and getting people to read it. After a while, I imagine some books can gain some momentum and begin generating attention for themselves, but, until you have some reviews on Goodreads, Amazon and co. – until you have a few bloggers reading your book and featuring it on their sites, it can be a very tough nut to crack.

What is tough for any author, but more so for indies, is being your own promoter. If you’re spending time blogging about books or your writing, networking with readers and other authors through websites, blogs and twitbookpindiggit.com then the one thing you’re definitely not doing is writing. Take me for example, right now – the last few hours of free time I’ve had to get on with anything writing related have been spent popping up the guest features for the indie month, posting tweets about the event and now, writing this post. In economic terms, I suppose today, I’m electing to accept the opportunity cost of using my time to do this, rather than the spare hour to progress my ‘Faris’ story.

Does this stuff – Goodreads, blogging, social media – help you get more people reading your books?

Maybe yes, maybe no.

Perhaps a person reading the blog today will say “Hey – I like the waffling style of this person, perhaps their books are equally odd,” then go off to check them out. Or perhaps, I’ll meet another book blogger on here, whose stuff I like reading, which gets me reading other books or thinking about my own writing in a different way, and then I’ll do something different than I might have done before. Sometimes you meet other lovely authors (Mister Talbot is in this group!) 🙂 who become book-buddies and indulge your crazy writing obsession more than ‘real world’ friends might. Plus, it can be worth it for the odd time a reader comes back to you and let’s you know how much they loved reading your book – the positive feedback can make all the time spent cruising the interweb, working out what to post and frittering away good writing time, worth it.

I suppose it all comes back to being about the writing – even if it feels at times like it is completely unconnected (and perhaps even unproductive). So – to help you guys out a little, I’ve shared below some links to interesting blog posts on how to improve your social media stuff as a writer, as well as one for if you want to avoid it altogether. Hopefully then, you’ll find something useful yourself from this blog post and it won’t have been a waste of your time reading it 😉


Duolit SelfPub Team are one of my favourite writing / publishing tip blogs around – I’ve always found their features interesting, useful and real – check them out on Twitter @duolit or online at their site: http://selfpublishingteam.com “Shannon’s the author. Toni’s the geek. As Duolit, we love indie authors, self-publishing, book design, author branding and book marketing. Oh, and Mountain Dew!”

Author Jade Varden blogs on all things writing and has everything from grammar assistance to marketing and social media advice – take a look on Twitter @JadeVarden or her blog: jadevarden.blogspot.com With 24.5k followers on Twitter, she must know something! 


Mel is currently working on book 3 of her indie sci-fi dystopian series, The Ambrosia Sequence, as well as dabbling with a couple of old ideas for children’s books. She launched Aside from Writing in 2012 and blogs here and at her author blog regularly.

Want to know more? Check out the links!

Blog: http://www.melcj.com

Twitter: @melabupa

IAM Interview with…Kim Smith

Guest Feature

Guest Feature

Our guest author for Indie Month today is Kim Smith, author of An Unexpected Performance and several other adult fiction books. Let’s find out a little more about the lady herself in today’s spotlight interview.


AUPsmallIf you could have any superpower, what would you choose?

I would totally be able to fly. It has been a dream of mine many times. It feels so weird to be shooting through the air and have the ability to look down and see the world below. It would enable me to get, quite literally, a bird’s eye view of the places I want to visit and write about.

Night owl or early bird?

Early bird. I can accomplish more in the hours before dawn than all the others during the day. It may be because I can feel free to focus on whatever task I am doing. Other times, people, and ‘have to do’ things hone in on my time.

One food you would never eat? Chocolate covered insects. No way.

Your most unusual or random habit? Petting my dog with my feet. She loves the constant stroking and her fur feels good. It’s totally weird, but wonderful.

Please tell us in one sentence only, why we should read your book.

A drama award, a theatrical mirror, and two teens destined to be great actors if their roles don’t get them killed first.



Want to know more? Check out the links!




Kim’s Radio Show-Writer Groupie – http://www.blogtalkradio.com/writergroupie

Amazon link for Kindle

Amazon link for paperback

IAM Interview with…Mari Wells

Guest Feature

Guest Feature

Our guest author for Indie Month today is Mari Wells,introducing herself through one of our quick ‘This or That’ interviews. Enjoy!


Pirates or Zombies?

Zombies, I’m writing a novel right now about Zombies. I like the monster aspect of them, and their history is quite interesting. My Husband keeps asking me to write about Pirates though, so many soon. I do have an idea or two for a Pirate story.


Popcorn or Chocolate?

Chocolate, always hands down Chocolate. You can’t add popcorn to coffee or ice cream. Raspberry popcorn doesn’t sound as good as Raspberry chocolate. Popcorn truffles just turns my stomach.


When you were little, what did you want to be when you “grew up”?

When I was little, I wanted to be a mom, and a poet. Some really mean teachers in middle school told me I couldn’t ever be a poet. I believed them for a really long time too. (For that matter, they told me never to pursue a career in writing.) I believed that for a long time too.


What’s the craziest writing idea you’ve had?

Hmm, I’ve had lots of crazy ideas. One idea I’m currently playing with takes what society considers as okay for men/ no no’s for women and trades their places. There’s some taboo subjects in this idea and a lot of comedy. Another idea is a mermaid who works for a fishing company or a sushi shop.


Reading or Writing?

Reading or Writing is another hard question. I personally think you can’t have writing without reading. Both are my favorite pass times, they take me from this boring world and let me hang out with my own and other’s imaginations.


Good Book or Good Film?

A good book. I’ve never been in movie fog for weeks, but I’m often in book fog for that long. Movies also “spoon feeds” me, I like to imagine what a character looks like or what the setting looks like.


Vampire or Angel?

Vampire! I like my angels. Angels are cool and if you can create a good “Bad Boy Angel” I’m a content reader, but Vampires have me 99% of the time. There’s something about vampires that stop my heart. Vampires have been my thing since I was a little girl, and they always be my thing.


Drive or Be Driven?

Be Driven, I freak out when I drive. If cars get too close to my sides or ride my tailgate. I get all shaking and have to pull over and let someone else drive. Driving is usually at the root of my panic attacks.


Early Bird or Night Owl?

I’ve been an Early bird and a Night Owl. I’ve burnt the candle at both ends too. However, as far back as I can remember I’ve been a Night Owl. Night Owl is my favorite, there’s nothing like being awake late at night writing a paranormal story. 😀


Quiet Night In or Out On The Town?

This one was the easiest question of all, No Doubt about it, Quiet night in. I’m the kind of girl that would rather curl up with a good book (or writing utensils) than go out to party. If I really have to, I’d watch a movie (Young Frankenstein anyone?) and cuddle on the couch with the whole family than be out on the town.


Want to know more? Check out the links!




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IAM Guest Feature…A Day in the Life of an Author

To launch our Indie Author Month 2014, we’re pleased to welcome back to the blog author and satirist Michael Cargill. Regular visitors to the blog may well recognise Michael from his previous interviews and features where we’ve reviewed his books (see previous features here) – today he’s back to tell us about being an author.


A day in the life of an author

By Michael Cargill


The other day I received an email from a friend complaining that I spend far too much time writing and not enough time socialising. I found myself surprised by the email, initially because I couldn’t help but notice that the apostrophes were in all the wrong places, but as I read through it a realisation began to dawn on me: my lifestyle has become wholly incompatible with how my friends live.

I’ve been an author for nearly three years now and, although the changes that this has brought to my life are dramatic and overwhelming, they have occurred at such a gradual pace that I hadn’t really noticed them until now. Imagine travelling across Europe, absorbing and immersing yourself in all the sights and local cultures as you go, and before you know it you’re dining on racoon goulash and vodka coffee in the Siberian plains like it’s the most natural thing in the world. It’s as if the Twilight Zone has come to life… and by Jove is it effing marvellous.

This morning my alarm clock went off as it usually does and after splashing my face with cold mineral water I had to shoo Apple, my Siamese cat, off of my yoga mat lest he claw it to bits and spoil my chi. Bear in mind that I get up at midnight so there’s always a few minutes of fumbling around in the dark as I try to get my bearings but once all the lanterns have been lit (why do the matches never seem to be in the same place that I left them?) I’ll spend a few minutes doing leg stretches and finger exercises before stepping into my sun-blushed slippers and unlocking the door to my office. I sit down, make myself comfy, and check with Roald Dahl to see if anyone has sent me any important letters, fan mail, or ideas for future stories, all of which happen with surprising regularity these days. Although he has something of a high pitched voice and an annoying tendency to ramble on a bit, the great man does an important job for me so I patiently wait for him to finish. Just to clarify, Roald Dahl is the name I’ve given to my fax machine and may God bless his noisily efficient soul.

With all the boring admin and paperwork out of the way, I’m free to move onto the more interesting things that the modern world has blessed us with. If it’s a Wednesday I’ll fire up the laptop and connect up to one of those online elearning portals that are all the rage these days. Although Sting and his wife have developed something of a reputation for bad time keeping, their tantric sex meditation sessions are worth their wait in gold so I just sit tight until they’re ready to get things started.

When that palaver (finally) finishes my other alarm clock goes off to remind me that it’s 6am and the local coffee shop will be opening up for the day. After popping down on my scooter I’ll order a strawberry latte and, depending on how hungry I’m feeling, maybe even an apricot croissant.

By the way, does anyone else’s coffee shop sell those overpriced wafer biscuits? £3.50 for a flimsy hazelnut cream snack? No thanks, not when I’ve already got a bag of Melba toast in the kitchen cupboard.

Anyway, the barista is a pretty girl from Romania who pronounces the silent ‘p’ in the word receipt and I’m sure she’d be thrilled to learn that she made a brief appearance in one of my books… and the three year old girl in a pushchair who pulled a blanket over her head when I poked my tongue out at her, she’d be tickled pink to hear that her shyness planted the seed for an unwritten story that has been bouncing around in my head for the past six months or so.

There’s also the teenager in baggy jeans and oversized baseball cap who, even though I only caught sight of him for a few seconds on the London Underground, gave me the idea for the as yet unpublished short story that is currently sitting pretty on my external hard drive. And the woman in black tights who was sat cross-legged in her chair, completely oblivious to the fact that I was staring at her as she casually bounced a loose shoe off the end of her foot… she’d probably think I was an oddball if she knew that her slender thighs were the inspiration for a short scene in a book I published last year.

Once I’ve had my fill of coffee and grown bored of observing the actions of people minding their own business I’ll scoot back home to check my sales ranking. I load up the Amazon page, enter my password, and OHMYGOSHASALE! This is wonderful, it’s been ages since someone expressed an interest in… hold on, they went and got a refund shortly afterwards. How dare they do such a thing, that’s… that’s just plain unfair.


If only I could hold down a regular 9-5 office job.


About the Author: Living in England, Surrey and about to break the 33-years old barrier.  I can honestly say that coming to terms with getting older is worse than puberty.  At 14 every extra hair was greeted with rapturous applause and a desire to show it off at school.  Every time a small breeze blew I would worry that it was going to blow away.

These days whenever I spot a new nasal hair I can hear it laughing at me.  I even have to make use of electronic devices to prune it back.


Want to know more? Check out the links!

Blog – http://michaelcargill.wordpress.com/

Twitter – @MichaelCargill1   Facebook

The Books…

Author Page on Goodreads

 Trailer for Underneath  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IUBrxs38Dkc


UK Amazon

‘Bad Monsters’ Blog Tour – Interview

Bad Monsters -- Blog Tour Banner

Back in February we told you that we’d be hosting a special event in March for author Clinton Harding, as part of the blog tour for his latest book Bad Monsters. Well, today is the first day of the tour (click the banner to go to Clinton’s own website and find out more about the book) and we’re kicking off our week of features with one of our ‘This or That’ interviews with the author himself…

Hero or Villain?

My first impulse is to shout hero. Who doesn’t want to save the day, kick some evil ass, and get the girl and the key to the kingdom/city? Then again, the villain gets to be angsty and brooding and is excused for being angry at everything. Plus, there is always a chance a villain can be redeemed and that is a good story, usually. So… Yeah, villain it is.

Pirates or Zombies?

I’ve always been partial to the dashing, swashbuckling rogue. Then there’s the booty… get your mind out the gutter! Let’s go with the pirate. Arrrgh!

Cruiser or Racer?

I’m always going fast. Racer.

Minimalist or Hoarder?

Depends. I need order in my chaotic life. It’s how I write, with detailed notes, charts, and a plan. Yet I hoard novels, comic books, and other cool things. As long as the things are cool, hoarding is acceptable. Plus! Having a huge e-book collection is completely acceptable because that obsession of mine no longer takes up valuable house-space… so says my wife.

Sprint or Marathon?

Life is about the journey, not the destination. Although I’m always rushing to fit everything into my day, sometime it’s nice to relax and the let the day just be. Plus, movie marathons are awesome!  

Popcorn or Chocolate?

Mmmm… popcorn. I’m not much for sweets. Plus, the smell of soy-butter and freshly popped kerns takes me back to my last years in high school when I worked at the local movie theater. Good times.

Half-Empty or Half-Full?

Life is better when the glass is half-full. Then there are those half-empty days.

London or New York?

Never been to either city but I want to visit both. London is higher on my to-do list since it seems much more magical and filled with a richer history.

Cats or Dogs?

Dogs are man’s best friend.

Apples or Oranges?

Apples. Less messy and thus more portable.

Classical or Pop?

Classical. A short piece of classical composition is able to capture more emotion than most flavor-of-the-month pop music. Feelings are good.

Hogwarts or Mallory Towers?

Not sure what or where Mallory Towers is, before my time I guess. Put Hogwarts up against any place and I’ll always choose to head to magical boarding school.

Hermione or Ron?

Hermione. She was always the person Harry could count on. Seems like Ron was always in a mood and running off to sort his own insecurities, you can count on Ron to return but what if one day he comes running back a minute too late?

Cause or Effect?

By nature I’m a worrier. I’m always concerned with the effects of my actions or the reactions to what I write.

Heads or Tails?

Can I flip a coin?

Facebook or Twitter?

Twitter keeps my ramblings to a minimum.

Elf or Dwarf?

Dwarf. These characters tend to possess more ingenuity and they have great beards too.

Text or Talk?

I’m an introvert at heart. Texting allows me to socialize in comfort. It’s quick and I can think about exactly what I want to say.

Reading or Writing?

I should be writing more than I am reading. Writing is more productive for my goals. I write so others may read.

Good Book or Good Film?

Good books always last longer for me and are more fulfilling.  

Vampire or Angel?

There’s something about angels. Perhaps it’s that they’re tragic creatures. Not human. No souls (in most iterations and mythology). Cast aside by their creator in favor of fault-prone (sometimes atheist) monkeys. Monkeys who only ask “save me” or “I need” or “I want” from guardian angels. We’re sitting on a powder keg ready to blow and release razor-sharp wings and heavenly maces of death. Forgot the zombie apocalypse, I’m waiting for pissed-off angelic beings to snap and come down from on high to kick my ass!

James Bond or Jason Bourne?

Bond will always be the superspy. He’s the original suave man-of-action. I’ll have to go with Daniel Craig as my favorite Bond as he’s how I always pictured the character after reading a couple of the Fleming novels.

Drive or Be Driven?

I usually need someone to drive me, especially on long trips. I tend to fall asleep when driving long distances, the cadence of the road always relaxes me. Plus! When I’m not sleeping I can read. I have no problem reading while in the car.

Summer or Winter?

Winter. There are only so many pieces of clothing you can take off when it’s hot before you start offending the Puritans. When it’s cold, you can bundle up with as many blankets as needed. The winter is more romantic too.

Early Bird or Night Owl?

I’m forced to be both. My day job has me up before the rooster at 5:00AM so I can race the sun to the office. Then at night, when everyone is in bed, I get my chance to write. My true nature is as a night owl, those hours of quiet when everyone is in bed.

Quiet Night In or Out On The Town?

Always a night in. Good books. Movie marathons. Board games and video games. Throw in some good friends and you have a good time or enjoy the quiet of solitude. There’s so much to enjoy.


About Bad Monsters

In Clinton D. Harding’s debut novel “Our Monsters”, Jon Graves and his friends escaped their parents and the military, leaving behind the only home they’d ever known, the small town of Carpenter. But their freedom is short lived as they find themselves in more danger than before they left Carpenter.

“Bad Monsters”—the second book The Our Monsters Chronicles, released March 2014—picked up where its prequel ended. Jon and his friends are on the run and hunted and by General Mauser and his military dogs. Jon can practically feel them breathing down his neck, as the jaws of the military dogs snapping at his heels.

Synopsis Blood is spilled, friendly and not, and now Jon must answer his friends’ questions sooner than later, or risk one of those friends dying. He’s just not sure he’s the person to be deciding their fates or if he, Alice, and George are fully prepared to walk away from their normal lives. 

A farm in northern California may serve as salvation to this scared, but brave, group of teenagers. However, can they trust the inhabitants they find there, who themselves have a history with Carpenter? If Jon can talk his way past the shotgun in his face, he might just discover what he and his friends need; answers about the history of Carpenter, the hybrids, the powers the teens borrow from their hybrids and who are the true monsters. In all this confusion and danger, Jon may also find a young woman who can help heal the wounds left by Mikaila when she left him and the group.

 Pick up “Bad Monsters”, the second installment in The Our Monsters Chronicles, is now available and can be found in e-book and paperback form at major online retailers: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Smashwords.

About the Author When Clinton D. Harding is not busy wrestling and taming wild Scottish Terriers in wilderness of Oxnard California, he’s using a magic pen he pulled from a stone to craft new worlds filled with fantastic beasts and evils that need fighting. He is also the author-publisher of The Our Monsters Chronicles, a YA series of novels that combines fantasy/sci-fi elements with horror chills. For more information about Harding and his creations visit his website, like him on Facebook, follow him on Twitter, or become a fan at Goodreads.