For most of my career one name kept popping up Katie Salidas. Eventually, my curiosity led me to her and the Spilling Ink crew. On the recommendation and encouragement of others I have appeared on this show, but before that all I knew was Katie was one of the ‘big wigs’ of indie. I’ve since learned so much about this fantastic woman that I approached her for an interview, even admitted to her that I was nervous to do so, but she agreed.

This back and forth led to the following interview to take place. With that, let me introduce to you Katie Salidas, the intelligent go-getting hardworking multi-tasking Queen of Indie Podcasting!


You’re one of the biggest names in podcasting with being a part of the show Spilling Ink. It’s a must-be-on show for anyone in publishing to appear on, but what was life like for you before the show? How did the show begin?

I’m blushing, really. Such high praise. I’m so happy to see Spilling Ink has come so far. It began as a conversation between myself and another indie author during a convention we both attended. All the “talking shop” between talking to our customers got us thinking. We should explore the “behind the scenes” of what it means to be an author, in an open and honest format. Something casual and fun. And so Spilling Ink began. Our mission was just that, “Go behind the book to meet the authors and professionals in the publishing industry.” We didn’t want it to be just an interview show, we really wanted to get a conversation going. Learn the trials and tribulations that each author went through to get their book published. And over the last three years, even though hosts have rotated in and out, I think we’ve accomplished that goal. It’s my favorite hour of the week. I love running the show because each time we bring a new guest on, it’s like making a new friend.

Is doing a popular show difficult to manage with you also being a novelist?

In the beginning the show was much more labor-intensive, we heavily edited shows to make them as perfect as we possibly could. That took a lot of time and often pushed back our release schedule as me and my co-hosts had so many other things we were working on. Well, if you’ve ever heard the saying, “perfect is the enemy of done,” you know what I’m about to say…. After a while we thought about our goal “going behind the book… meeting the authors…,” and realized that we were overdoing it.  Once we switched to a live platform the show became much more manageable. And really, if we are trying to present the real people behind the book, it should be as natural and unedited as possible. With that format we were able to have a regular schedule and that lead us to being able to book more authors. We partner with many publicists to help us fill the seats, and the regularity of our broadcast make it better for our audience and hosts as well. That left us all with more time to work on our other projects, like… writing!

Where do you find your inspiration?

Inspiration comes from life. Everything has the opportunity to be inspiring. Sometimes my kids being kids provides inspiration for characters making mistakes and learning lessons from them. The old adage, “write what you know” applies to more than just the skills you have, it goes into everything you see and do. And if you’re looking for it, you can find the inspiration you need.

Anything you can share about a top-secret project you may have going?

Right now I’m working on Agents of ASSET, book 5. I love living, or rather, escaping to that world. A place where magic exists and the Anonymous Supernatural Security and Elimination Taskforce are working hard to make sure that humans are safe. I know we authors are not supposed to say this, but I always feel like my favorite book is the one I am currently writing. Shhhhh, don’t tell my other books.

There are a few people I come across and I wonder how are they doing so much, what is their life daily look like, and you are one of those few. So, how are you doing everything? Coffee? Doppelganger?

Oh what I wouldn’t give to have a doppelganger. I don’t know the meaning of the word balance, so I’m always overbooking myself with things to do. Between being mom, especially now during quarantine where I’m also moonlighting as the kids’ home-school teacher, and writing, and author coaching, and Spilling Ink… I’ve pretty much forgotten what sleep is like. But every day is an adventure, right? I’ll sleep when I’m dead. Ha!

With all the above, some may not know that you also provide author services that including coaching, when did you begin coach other authors? What are a few of the issues you see being common among authors you’re helping with?

Part of being an indie author is involving yourself with other indies. Self-publishing, though it might imply DIY is rarely a solo thing. Writing may be, but to truly attempt to master the publishing part takes working with the right people, or being guided by the right people. When I started writing and publishing, I had so many wonderful people in the indie community give advice and point me in the right direction, so when I began to figure it out, I wanted to do the same. Over time, the things I could help with grew into various services I could offer. Manuscript critiquing, Developmental editing, Book formatting, walking people through the minefield of publishing with KDP, Ingram, and other platforms. There are so many ways in which authors need a little extra help and there were so many vanity publishing services overcharging authors for the same things I could offer. So I decided to try and strike a balance. Nothing I do is a packaged service. Clients can hire me for only what they need help with. I keep my rates low enough to be affordable for authors and allow me to pay my bills, because I gotta keep the lights on to read those manuscripts.

As for common issues, I really can’t say. Every author needs something different and their stories are as unique as they are.

When you’re not doing web-TV, writing, and helping others what are you doing for you? Any hobbies? 

Writing is my escape. I love diving into the fantasy world with my characters. And when I haven’t been able to write for a while. I get a bit cranky. We all need our escapes, am I right?

It’s so important for creatives to self-care so they don’t burn-out. Do you have any self-care tips?

Sleep. It’s kind of important. Don’t skip sleep. I need to take my own advice. But seriously. Self-care is crucial. You have to take time to replenish. Everyone has their special thing. Do that for yourself, whatever it is, at least once a week. If you don’t take care of you, it will show in your work.

What’s one thing you can share about yourself? Something the masses may not know.

Oh I don’t know if there is anything hidden about me. I am an open book. Maybe that’s the secret. I do suffer from RBF. But aside from that, I’m super friendly and love to meet other authors. That is why Spilling Ink was started, after all!

Come find me online. KatieSalidas.com is my home away from home on the internet and has all the links you need to find me on Social Media, my books, Spilling Ink, and my Author Coaching and Publishing services.

Check her out more here:

First Comics News https://www.firstcomicsnews.com/
Spilling Ink https://www.youtube.com/c/spillinginkshow
Web: http://www.katiesalidas.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/QuixoticKatie
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ksalidas






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Throughout my life various people told me I should be a writer, but I was also drawn to art and that was the direction my life took for many years. I married a music teacher and decided to become a teacher myself, and the logical choice was art. I taught that for several years. I finally gave it up, but I didn’t give up my love for art. Now I have my own home-based business called L’Artista bella. I consider myself a portrait artist, but I’ve been branching out more, trying to teach myself new techniques, to grow as an artist.

I never lost my interest in writing, though. It was just put on the back burner for a while because life happened. To say I thought I always had a book in me sounds cliché, but that’s how I finally became a writer. I’ve always had an interest in the paranormal and many books I enjoy reading are paranormal, so I began writing in that genre. I’ve always had vivid dreams and I like
to analyze them. I had one that was so strange I couldn’t get it off my mind so I wrote it down. It finally led me to the idea for my first novel, “Keys Of Childish Scrawl.” The book wasn’t born, though, for several years.

I finally decided to sit down one day a few years ago and start writing that book I’d thought about for so long. It ended up taking a totally different direction than what I first envisioned, but I believe it turned out the way it was meant to be. I also included many of my own life experiences in it. For instance, one day while driving home from work in the hills, I got caught in a freak snow storm. I didn’t have experience driving in those weather conditions, so to say I was nervous is an understatement. While in a deserted area, I came upon a snow owl perched on a fence post, and it was watching me as though it was waiting for me. We made eye contact as I drove by and the scene was surreal. It looked like a ghost in the snow. That white owl was included in my book as an important part of the story. When I began writing my book, I didn’t think about having it published. I just wanted to show myself that I could write one. As it developed, I began to think seriously about having it published, and by the time I finished, I was determined to do that.

Publishing can be a long drawn out process, and sometimes people go through many publishers before their work is accepted. Some people are never published unless they self- publish, and even that never happens for some. I feel my experience isn’t typical and I feel very blessed. On the spur of the moment one day my husband, David, suggested we go to a comic-con in Paragould, AR. Neither of us had ever been to one so we were curious. I had also just gotten a rejection letter from the 2nd publishing company I submitted to. The 1st one didn’t even acknowledge me.

When we walked into the comic con, the first table we saw was Burning Willow Press Publishing Co., and we stopped and talked for several minutes. I was impressed with the owners and publishers, Edd and Kindra Sowder, and they encouraged me to submit my book, and they accepted it. I believe it was meant to be, and as the saying goes 3 rd time was the charm. “Keys Of Childish Scrawl,” was released March 2, and can be found on Amazon.

While waiting for my first book to be published I didn’t stop writing. I’ve written short stories for BWP anthologies that were also accepted. Those stories are “The Light In The Window,” “Highway 93,” and “Grandpa’s Glasses.” I’ve written a spin-off of my novel that continues the lives of two of the characters, and I’m working on a third book now with the same characters. Their story develops, and you get to learn more about the meaning of the white owl. I’ve also gotten story ideas from some of my paintings.

  • On writing, the greatest lesson I’ve learned from it is that I still have a lot more to learn. As I said about developing techniques in art, there’s always room for growth as a writer. I’m branching out with my writing and experimenting with different genres to help me grow.
  • Constructive criticism should always be welcomed too, because it’s a new perspective on your story or your writing style. Revision is extremely important.
  • Your first draft is just getting the story down, but there should be many drafts before you decide you are finished and submit anything. Every time I go over something I’ve written, I always rewrite part of it, add something new, or delete something I decide doesn’t work or is completely unnecessary. It just makes the story better.

I’ve wondered how long I’ll write. Well, who knows? But as long as I have story ideas, I’ll be writing. That could be a while because I keep coming up with new stories, many of which stem from my own life experiences.

Check Cindy Johnson’s Links

www.facebook.com/cindyjohnsonauthor

www.goodreads.com/user/show/69812811-cindy-johnson

/twitter.com/CindyJo…/status/1069584124824956928…

www.facebook.com/LArtista-bella-1390856007846946/

amazon.com/author/cindyj

Some links contained in the above interview may no longer work properly. Images may have been lost over the years as well for some interviews and older content.

This is an older interview being re-posted.


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Continuing my want to write more and not just here at the site, I’ve been invited to contribute at Go Indie Now. Some may be familiar with this website because I’ve appeared there before. This time I’m sharing my own personal struggle with self-care and how the road to writing can be hard, but you’re not alone. If you’d like to read my article follow the link below.

The Long Hard Road of Self & Writing


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Bachman: Being a publisher is a very important part of the industry, whether traditional or independent, when did you know that this was what you wanted to do?

Bonson: A tough question to start with – I hope these get easier! It’s a long story – but I looked in the past at a music publishing business and record company, etc. So there had always been a side to me that was interested in promoting unknown works.

It wasn’t until I tried to get my first book, ‘One Hit Wonders,’ published that I realised how difficult the process can be. I then looked at it with my engineering/continuous improvement background and thought that there must be a better way forward. I don’t want to give away too many of our secrets, but we operate a nice middle ground between self-publishing and a full publisher – yet utilise a lot of forward thing printing and publishing technologies.

Bachman: What has been your most favoured moment as being a publisher?

Bonson: Reading reviews from people with no connection to the company or the authors – and seeing how they enjoy our work.

Bachman: What have been some lessons you’ve learned along the way?

Bonson: Large chain bookshops aren’t interested in small, independent publishers or unknown authors – so it’s always about trying to do something innovative to draw the readers in, and there are some plans we have for the 12 months that will be quite different to what is out there currently.

Bachman: Is there anything that you’d do different if you were given the chance?

Set aside some additional funds for advertising. It’s one area I really underestimated, but so far we’re doing very well on social media and word of mouth – but it’s a part of the business I know we could do better.

Bachman: As a publisher, it must be difficult to juggle things, how do you keep so motivated and organized?

Bonson: It’s very difficult, especially as I still roles within the motor industry to juggle around and family, hobbies, etc. The motivation is seeing the look on an new authors face when they see their book in print for the first time – it’s a fantastic sight and an amazing feeling to know that you’ve been part of that moment.

Bachman: I read your biography on www.stanhopebooks.com; your publishing company’s website that you’re a fan of not only the arts but cars as well is there a specific type of car that’s your favourite more than any other?

Bonson: Too many nice cars that’s the issue. From a racing car perspective, I’d have to say the 1967 Lotus-Ford 49 Formula One car. Elegant design, amazing engineering and with an evocative green and yellow colour scheme.

Bonson: Road cars – too many to list, but let’s include the DeLorean DMC-12, Ford Mustang BOSS, any Jaguar

Bachman: I also discovered you’re not only a publisher, but also a writer, is there any works of yours you’d like to tell us about as a writer?

Bonson: My writing so far has been non-fictional – focused on my love of motor racing history and pulling together facts, figures, stories that weren’t available in one source anywhere else.

I’ve written plays in the past and am now working on a short story, to be included in a book we’re publishing later this year for a charity, so it will be interesting to see what people think of my fiction work. There are other fictional books I have planned, but there’s a lot of work that needs to go into them from a research perspective first.

Bachman: Where do you find inspiration for your stories?

Bonson: For the short story coming up, the inspiration was very simple, as I put myself into the role of the main character (I used to be an actor, before becoming involved in engineering). For the other stories I’m working on, it’s difficult to give the inspiration as it would say too much about what they are, but when they come out it will self-explanatory where the inspiration has come from.

Bachman: Is there anything you’d like readers to know about you and your company?

Bonson: We are very small, very independent and always looking to find new outlets, new readers and new authors. We cover hardback, paperback, e-book and audio book formats, alongside a diverse range of subjects.

Bachman: Finally, is there anything you’d like to take the time to promote?

Bonson: Everything that we are about! Most importantly our website – www.stanhopebooks.com and our Facebook page – facebook.com/stanhopebooks. Can I also thank you for the opportunity to publicise our company and out authors.

Bachman: You’re more than welcome! Thank you for allowing me some of your time.

Links:

http://www.stanhopebooks.com

https://www.facebook.com/StanhopeBooks

Some links contained in the above interview may no longer work properly. Images may have been lost over the years as well for some interviews and older content.

This is an older interview being re-posted.


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Bachman: Tell us a bit about yourself, your work, what genre(s) you write in, and something you’d like to share about yourself that maybe isn’t well know.

Tann: My name is Bryan Tann. I’m a young kid in a near old fart’s body. I am the author of the Dark Lands universe and the John Baker Chronicles series. I am an author in the CHBB Publishing family. I don’t really have a “genre” that I write in. I enjoy a little bit of everything so I try to incorporate a little bit of everything in my writing. I am huge into collecting movies and tend to yell at the TV at characters that annoy me. Like Dudley Dursley. Selfish, spoiled little prick!

Bachman: Is being a writer a gift or a curse? It is a little bit of both, to be honest. I love being able to find the words to express myself.

Tann: I love the story ideas that I can come up with, but when the muse isn’t there and I NEED to write and can’t it is emotionally painful.

Bachman: What’s your writing process look like? What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

Tann: My writing process isn’t really all that special. I tend to research as I go along because my writing process is very chaotic. I get an idea and I start writing. When I come up to something that I do not know about, then I look it up. I find a few different sources and if they come together, there you go. My muse comes and goes so sporadically that I never want to lose it when it comes.

Bachman: If you were deserted on an island, which three people would you want to have with you? Why? Criteria: One fictional character from your book.

Tann: I’m honestly not sure. Most of my characters are aspects of me, so they live in my brain anyway. If I was forced to pick one, it would probably be Enya Blake. Who wouldn’t want to be stranded on an island with a beautiful woman?

Bachman: One fictional character from any other book.

Tann: From any book? Hmmm that is a tough one. Maybe Hermione Granger. If I can’t have Enya there, why not have a crafty, genius level witch on my side?

Bachman: One famous person that is not a family member or friend.

Tann: Hmm famous person that isn’t a family member or friend…wow. That’s hard. I would say Ronda Rousey. If someone tried to beat me up, she would have my back.

Bachman: What about the genre(s) you write in attracted you to them?

Tann: I love vampires. Period. Vampires, Werewolves, Witches, Wizards, any of that. I love them. The power, the frightening world, I love it all.

Bachman: What’s your latest release about?

Tann: So the first book in the Dark Lands universe, The Enforcer is a story of a bad ass vampire Enforcer named Bryce Kreed. He has had his job as the judge, jury, and executioner of the vampire world, but the power went to his head and he began to enjoy killing too much. After having a…an epiphany…he realizes that he needs to change. So he wants forgiveness, but forgiveness for a vampire isn’t easy. Fast forward a century and he’s stuck in a rut, until Enya Blake, a Mistress Vampire three thousand miles away, needs his help. He first decides to help her just to piss off his “boss” in his hometown until he falls in love with her and decides her safety is his top priority.

Bachman: Do consider yourself to be a successful writer? If so, why? If not, what would make you successful?

Tann: I don’t know really. I mean, how does one define success? Am I doing better than I was when I first started writing ten years ago? Absolutely. I had to learn A LOT of the ups and downs of this business. I needed to meet good people in this business. I have done more in the last year than I did in the nine years previous. So in that regard I’m doing a lot better. Let’s see if it translates into my sales in March HAHAHAHAHA

Bachman: A brilliant idea hits you, what do you do first?

Tann: I try to find a piece of scrap paper and I start writing the idea out.

What one thing would you give up to become a better writer? Hahahaha working a day job! But seriously, I would probably get rid of gaming systems. Get me a Blu-Ray player and I don’t really need anything else.

Bachman: Do you believe in writer’s block?

Tann: Oh God yes. It hits me all the time.

Bachman: Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?

Tann: I have only had a few since my first release of The Enforcer and its sequel, The Hunted, didn’t really do that well. I didn’t really get any negative critiques because it was people that knew me that reviewed.

Bachman: How did publishing your first book change your process of writing? How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?

Tann: Which time? HAHAHA. Honestly I just needed to become a stronger writer. I needed to write in a way that was easier for the reader. I needed to grow and I think I am a much better writer than I was even a year ago.

Bachman: Does a big ego help or hurt writers?

Tann: I think it hurts. When you’re a blatant jerk, you rub people the wrong way. Although you need to have a good balance of being a good person but setting boundaries and expressing confidence. When I think ‘big ego’ I think massive asshole.

What is the most unethical practice in the publishing industry? I hate the people that ‘troll’ writers and negatively review them. Or steal their work and try to pass it off as their own. If you can’t create your own shit then don’t. If you steal someone else’s, you should have some serious consequences come your way. Like launched into the sun.

Bachman: Does your family support your career as a writer?

Tann: I am a firm believer that blood makes you related, loyalty makes you family. Those that I am related to that are family are supportive as best they can be. Those that are just related, I could care less what they think. Those that are straight family, they do what they can. Honestly, though, I’ve never had anyone make a fuss over things that I do. You know? In some instances, I think that, as a kid, so long as I stayed out of trouble with the law they were satisfied.

Bachman: How do you balance making demands on the reader with taking care of the reader?

Tann: I don’t know yet. I haven’t really been in that situation. I just want to give the reader something great to read and get into. I want their emotions to be hit in all directions. If they hate me for what I did, I hope that they were so into it that I took it into a direction they weren’t emotionally ready for, so they’re like “DAMN YOU!” sort of how people were toward JK Rowling when she killed Dobby and Fred Weasley. It’s because we fell in love with those characters and then BAM! GONE! I want to have that same kind of reaction.

Check out more from Bryan here:

Some links contained in the above interview may no longer work properly. Images may have been lost over the years as well for some interviews and older content.

This is an older piece of content being re-posted.


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I was lucky to get a few of Richard Pruitt’s time. He’s the mastermind behind the website The Buzzkill Magazine. If you’ve dug deep into the website you will see, for some time, I wrote for this magazine and it spawned the series here on the website called The Veil, formerly known as WTF Cryptos when it lived on Richard’s website.

So, what does a former writer of a magazine ask their former boss who doubles as a comedian? I had several questions and he actually answered them! Below is just that interaction.


For those that don’t know you or what you do in the publishing industry, please take a few moments to explain.

A loaded question right out of the gate. My name is Richard Pruitt and I am the president of Random Evolved Media LLC. Under our umbrella, we publish books, create podcasts, and create content for our online publication TBK Magazine.    

How do you do all that you do?

Coffee with a side of more coffee. I always feel the days are not long enough. 

From an informational and interesting website to most recently the publishing side of the business, how has the transition been for you?

Adding book publishing to our list of things just seemed perfect. Almost like Peanut Butter and Chocolate. Yes, there are days I want to rip out every hair on my head. At the same time, having the honor of getting to help authors go after their dreams is worth it. Getting to walk through each step of the process with each author is something I never knew I wanted to do with life until I did it.

One glance at your work and one could easily think you’re overworked, what would you have to say to someone wondering how you do it all?

I have always heard the old adage,“Find a job you enjoy doing, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” Somedays are bad and frustration rears its three heads. If anyone did not know, frustration looks a lot like King Ghidorah from the Godzilla franchise. By the end of the day, if we made one person smile or think or cry or scared, it’s worth everything.

What’s the first thing you plan on doing when the pandemic is over?

I have thought about this extensively. And when the time comes, I will be taking a trip to my favorite place on the planet, Medieval Times. I wish I was kidding but I walk through the castle doors and I automatically just have a smile on my face. Plus, you can drink beer out of a horn.

With your fingers in so many pots, what’s one thing you haven’t done yet that you’re planning on doing?

Sketch Comedy or creating our own independent movie.

How did you start your career? When did you get the idea and how did you begin your website that has now branched out so greatly?

In high school, I joined the International Thespian Society. During one of our state conventions, I discovered improv. And I jumped on stage when they asked for volunteers, I think I was on that stage for a solid 15 minutes. That is the moment that I decided I wanted to do something to entertain people. I did improv for a little bit, I transitioned to stand up comedy and radio DJ.

The start of TBK Magazine is bittersweet. In 2009, my mom had a stroke. She had to be rushed to the ER and her doctor sat down with me. Someone needed to take care of her. I gave up everything because that is my mother. During that time, I wanted to do something creatively but nothing crossed my mind. YouTube is still in its infancy stages at the time. So, I decided to just write silly stuff. Numbers started out small. I remember being so excited the first time I hit 100 reader for a month. In 2015, we covered a comic convention. And my mind was blown. I remember getting that email and just busting out in tears. I never thought anything like that would happen. It’s still surreal and humbling to me to this day.

Do you ever Google yourself?

Occasionally. I like to do so in private….browsers.

Is there anything you are always on the lookout for? New staffers? New submissions for the publishing company?

We are always looking for new staff members for TBK Magazine. If you have an idea, we would love to hear it. And the same with books. At first, we considered just publishing certain genres, but it just does not fit our company. There is a reason I love the motto “We are Random Evolved.” You can look towards any direction and hopefully find something. Over the next few years, we have books that fall under romance, humor, horror, science fiction, religion being released. As far as submissions, we are open to all genres. Of course, we have to read those submissions.

Also, we are working on our first anthology. The anthology will be coming out stories from members of the LGBTQ+ community. All proceeds from this book will be donated to The Glo Center in Springfield Mo. The center gives LGBTQ+ youth of SW Missouri and the Ozarks a place to be themselves.

Our book submission link can be found at https://randomevolvedmedia.com

Our magazine staff addition page can be found https://tbkmagazine.com/join-staff/ which apparently also has the Uncle Sam I Want You Poster except Uncle Sam is replaced by Pinkie Pie from My Little Pony.

 What are your plans for the next five years? Expansion?

I love this question. As a company the main thing is growth. Comic Books and Graphic Novels is something that is being talked about for later down the road. Hard Back Covers for each release. The Podcast Network is growing, next logical progression is adding video with the episodes. One of the reasons I am losing weight. No one wants to see Great Value Josh Gad.


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My name is Katie, and I’ve been an author my entire adult life. I published my first novel in 2006 with a large mainstream publisher. In 2009 my second came out with another. Five more followed, and everything seemed set.

But by 2015, everything had changed. eBooks had been a thing for some time, and book sales were down across the board – even for bestsellers. The big publishing companies had chosen to invest heavily in the eBook market, a move which did not pay off as well as they likely hoped it would, as many readers decided the format did not suit them and for some “electronic books” appeared to have been nothing but a passing fad. On top of that Amazon had cornered the eBook market and few other platforms survived for long. By now hemorrhaging money, the “Big Five” stopped renewing contracts with many of their mid-level authors and many editors and other publishing professionals lost their jobs.

I was one of the many people to lose out. In 2015 both of my publishers told me they weren’t going to publish the next installment in the series I had begun in 2009. I was effectively out on the street with a half-published series, fans asking when the next book would be out and an agent shrugging helplessly as every other mainstream possibility turned us down on the grounds that they did not want to pick up a series halfway through (or in one case, went into receivership before they’d even read the manuscript).

I had no idea what to do, so I turned to my friends. Their advice – go indie.

There has long been something of a class system in the publishing world, which to my regret I must confess I once ascribed to myself. “Real” authors got their books out through big shiny corporate publishing companies and that’s it. Self-publishing was for untalented losers who couldn’t take no for an answer. Indie publishing was for cults and conspiracy theorists. Certainly, when I became an indie author several people I had thought were friends suddenly began acting as if I didn’t exist, or began making passive-aggressive remarks about my “failed” career.

But the landscape has changed and is still changing. If those stereotypes were ever so they no longer are. I entered the independent publishing world hopelessly naïve and unsure of what I was getting into, and as it is in any business I learned a few painful lessons along the way. What I found was a world where many others are still finding their feet, but were, for the most part, everything was less impersonal, and there was far more creative freedom. The companies I’ve begun working with are not owned by faceless bean counters, but by other artists, for artists. There’s less money invested, of course, but in some ways, that’s a good thing. Too much money on the line makes any company overly conservative and averse to taking risks, which is why so much mainstream fiction tends to be rather samey – blockbuster movies even more so. Diversity is encouraged and there is far less preferential treatment shown toward white male authors, which was an issue I had to deal with many times as a mainstream author. The experience is more collaborative, and as the author, you feel less like a supplicant and more like a partner.

Some people are now declaring that independent publishing is the way of the future, and perhaps it is. Time, as always, will tell.  I for one am optimistic.

Check out KJ Taylor:

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Fantasy. The word used to make me cringe. For most of my life I avoided the genre as much as I could. I had these preconceived notions that fantasy was boring, long, and intimidating with a complex magic and society system that would go so far over my head that it may as well have been the moon. It wasn’t until my ex-boyfriend pushed me into joining a Dungeons and Dragons session that I started to change my mind.

Now that session was awful. I hated almost every minute of it. The rules were insane to try and follow. The character limitations sucked. The story was just as boring as I had thought it would be from the start. But my aunt pushed me to give the game another try. To create my own world free of everything that aggravated me the first time and make it something worth looking forward to. I became the dungeon master and I broke most of the rules, obliterated most of the limitations, and went purely by what was the most entertaining to watch unfold.

My players were encouraged to do crazy, outlandish things that should be impossible to do. This campaign went on for two years, and it was most fun I had playing a table top game. We didn’t take the books seriously, we made everything up as we went, and it was beautiful.So, when the opportunity arose to write within the fantasy genre, I decided to give it a shot.

I was going to craft my story with different elements from my D&D campaigns and make it more comical then intense. It was a blast, and within three weeks the bones for Becoming A Hero were laid out. The story follows a man who sells pots and pans for a living with his pet donkey. He falls into a lost kingdom which is cursed by an evil king to hold everyone within the land hostage to his will. My hero has the chance to run away but decides to fight for what was right- not what was easy instead.

I hope, through my work, others find out what I did. Fantasy can be everything, or nothing short, long, easy, complicated, stereotypes and their counterpart. Break free from any preconceived notions and let this amazing genre take you to a beautiful new world.

Fantasy is what you want it to be, so make it fun.

Check out C.R. Garmen on Facebook

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Bachman: What’s your favorite book you’ve written so far and why?

Bond: Honestly, it would be my Harvest Saga series. I love the world in that book. It’s dystopian and so much fun to write because it’s one of my favorite genres to read. And it’s more complex than it seems.

Bachman: What keeps you inspired?

Bond: I seem to have caught the writing bug and it won’t let me rest! I’m always thinking of new plots and characters. But I’d have to say that my family, friends and fans keep me going. It would be pretty disheartening not to have support. But when someone drops a note on my timeline or in a message that says they read and loved my book and they ask when the next is coming out….that’s the best feeling. It keeps me going.

Bachman: What inspired your latest story?

Bond: Crazy Love is set in a time where a second US Civil War has broken out. It’s not a story about the war itself, but rather of one widow’s attempt at survival and of her grief. But more than that, it’s a story about second chances. We all need those.

It was inspired by my home state of WV and the fact that we all feel depression and grief at times. But we can’t let it overwhelm us or take us down. We fight.

Bachman: Anything you can share about this story?

Bond: Excerpt: “Some days I wonder if I’m not better off dead,” I vowed, clenching my teeth tight. The muscles in my arms burned like wildfire and sweat beaded and dripped off my face. I gave the enormous iron monster another shove for good measure. It wouldn’t budge. Stubborn thing.

Backing away, I gave it the stink eye as I caught my breath and let my body rest for a minute. My loud and overly dramatic groan filled the moth-ball scented air around me. Damn it. I’d have to ask Joey for help. And, if there was one thing I hated, it was bothering Joey. He already did so much to help me out since…

I turned and looked at Andrew. He wore a tight white t-shirt and a shit-eating grin, reclining in the plush upholstered fire-engine red chair that had been Mrs. Maddox’s favorite. It was God-awful—gaudy and matched absolutely nothing in the house, but hey, when you live to be ninety-something, you earn the right to a ridiculous chair, and just about anything else you want to wear, have or do.

Pushing my fingers into my curly brown hair, sweat coated my skin. I growled at him. It was all his fault. “This is all your fault.”

That arrogant smirk fell off his face quick. “None of this is my fault,” he protested, sitting forward with elbows on his knees. The full lips of his mouth dropped open.

Bullshit. “It totally is and you know it.”

He huffed and then ran the fingers of both hands through his now-hanging head. “Are we going to go through this again?”

“No. Not this morning. We have to hurry. Now, disappear while I go run and get Joey.”

I looked back at the cast iron beast and sighed. When I looked back toward Andrew, he was gone. He followed direction better as a ghost than he ever did when he was alive.

I would have to suck it up, put my big-girl panties on as Andrew had always said and ask for help. Trudging to Joey’s house in the dark was gonna suck. The winter had been harsh and hadn’t quite let go of the land or the weather yet. Technically, it was spring. I guess the seasons aren’t dependent on those little calendar squares after all. Effing calendar.

I guided myself to Joey’s with the flashlight’s tiny sphere of light. Thank God for the battery stockpile. The path beneath my feet was still worn but in the summer would be covered with briars and weeds. Though we would use it, it wouldn’t be as often. We would both have more than enough work to do on our own plots of land.

Joey lived over the hill from me. His farm was situated behind Andrew’s
…er, mine, and was nearly the same size and shape.

Andrew’s folks passed last year. Andrew and I were married and since he was their only child, the farm was technically and legally mine now. Although there were no courts to validate my claim on the land and property. I’d just have to treat it like mine and defend it the same.

Twelve-hundred acres of rolling hills, hay and timber. If it wasn’t for Joey, I wouldn’t have survived this long. He was a country boy—a cocky one, but he was efficient and a hell of a lot more knowledgeable than me. And that was what made me cringe as I walked up the wooden steps and onto his front porch. He was a boy, at least in my eyes he was. I considered him a little brother at this point. Unfortunately, sometimes Joey didn’t feel the same way. He was always talking about repopulating the U.S. with me. Cringe. Guys were always horny and it wasn’t like there was a surplus of anything now, let alone women.

I knocked on the door. After a few minutes with no signs of life, I knocked again, louder and for longer.

Finally, I heard him. He opened the door with one green eye opened, the other clenched tight. “Did you finally come to your senses, Shelby? Decide you want some of this?”

I rolled my eyes at him. I knew it was coming.

“Don’t flatter yourself, Romeo. I need your muscles.”

“My man muscle?” he said in a sleep-thickened voice. Joey smirked, finally opening his protesting eye and wagging his sleep-mussed eyebrows. The blonde hair on the left side of his head was matted down against his skull and the rest was sticking straight up like he’d stuck his finger in a light socket.

“Joey, get dressed and get your hind end out here. Old Lady Maddox died.”

That was all it took. Word that someone had kicked the bucket and people began circling like vultures to take what they needed from the belongings left behind. I was the first vulture who had found her. So far, no one else knew she’d died in her sleep and I planned to get that stove out of her house come hell or high water.

The Cases had prepared for every apocalyptic scenario known to man except for one: that they would pass on leaving everything to me. I was an apocalypse unto myself. They would have known how to fix the things I didn’t have a clue about.

Survival skills: one.

Shelby: zero.

Bachman: I’ve seen you participate in several events; anymore we can look forward to seeing you participate in?

Bond: I have an online event planned in March with some of my author friends. It’s called March Into Reading and here is the link: Facebook Event

Here are author events I plan to attend in 2015:
Roanoke Author Invasion, April
UtopYA Con, June
Books & Bourbon, August
Pumpkin Festival, October
Great Lakes Book Bash, October
Rebels & Readers, November

Bachman: What’s your favorite part? Writing or marketing?

Bond: Writing, I’m not the best at marketing and it takes so much time.

Bachman: For fans, is there anything you’d like to announce or surprise them with?

Bond: Well, sure!

*Dark Bishop (serial series I’m writing with my bestie, Rachael Brownell) will release in April. One book per day from April 29-May 3, 2015)

*Reclaim should be available in May. I don’t have a set release date yet, but it’s coming!

*I’m getting ready to write a contemporary serial that is related to SIN…. J

*Planning to write a new paranormal and dystopian later in the year.

Bachman: Is there a book you just can’t put down right now?

Bond: I just finished Mia Sheridan’s Kyland. It is amazing. I might re-read that one. Her books are fantastic and Kyland did not disappoint. That’s a paperback I plan to buy now.

Bachman: What are some of your favorite writers and books?

Bond: Mia Sheridan (Kyland, Archer’s Voice)
Elle Casey (Rebel Series)
Amy Bartol (Premonition Series)
Jo Michaels (I, Zombie)
Diana Gabaldon (Outlander)
Lila Felix (Anything she writes)

And last but never least, my bestie, Rachael Brownell. I love her Holding On series, Secrets & Lies and Monroe from Take a Gamble is my book boyfriend. Hands off, Ladies!

Purchase Links:
Crazy Love – Amazon

Find her on the net:
Amazon Profile
Website
Facebook
Twitter
Goodreads
Tumblr
Pinterest

Some links contained in the above interview may no longer work properly. Images may have been lost over the years as well for some interviews and older content.

This is an older interview being re-posted.


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Some time ago I interviews many individuals in the publishing business; from authors to publishers. Originally titled 15 for 15, they’re finding a new home under The Word, here on the site. These interviews and guest bloggers will be found under Brief Words. Why Brief Words? Most in the business are very busy and for a brief moment of their day they give or gave me some of their time, sharing themselves with the world right here on my website (often giving exclusives).

Right now some of these posts are listed under The Word, but these selected guest appearances will be migrating to their new location. These wonderful contributors have giving over their time to share their stories and thoughts.

With that, allow me to introduce Brief Words. I hope you enjoy the content to come. If you are apart of the industry and would like to take part, please contact me via email: writerbachman@gmail.com

Interesting Reads and Related Content