Authors

"When it comes to authors,we may hide ourselves from others but within our pages, our true souls emerge." - Nicole Hill
"I want a Vampite of my very own. Until I find him, I'll just keep writing him into existence." -Nicole Hill
" I write like people talk. It may not be perfect but it's damn entertaining." - Nicole Hill

Monday, July 27, 2015

#IndieSpotlight of Rachel Cotterill Author of Watersmeet



Name: 

Rachel Cotterill


2. The Title of Your Work or Group: 
I have two series, currently. Rebellion and Revolution are the first two books in a trilogy of fantasy adventure stories, featuring a young woman who trains to become an assassin. My most recent work, Watersmeet, is the first Twelve Baronies novel, a series of stand-alone, optimistic, romantic stories set in a fantasy world on the edge of its own industrial revolution and enlightenment period.


3. Where are you from?
England, is the short answer. I was born in Luton (just outside London), but I grew up in Lancashire and consider myself more of a northerner. And now I live in the Cotswolds, which is incredibly pretty and green, with a landscape that feeds my imagination every day.


4. In what genre do you write?
I've dabbled in all sorts, but the ideas that really stick tend to be fantasy and sci-fi, often with a side of mystery or romance.


5.In your own words, what is your book about? If you were not the author and trying to explain this awesome book you just read to a friend, what would you say about it? 
Watersmeet is fantasy for readers who are feeling a bit worn down by the current fashion for grimdark realism. You can pick it up and know that you're going to get a happy ending, with characters who are doing their best, even if sometimes their best efforts leave something to be desired. It's the kind of thing I love to read when I'm feeling a bit down, pure escapism.


6. What is your writing style? Do you follow all guides and rules? Synopsis, outline etc. or do you just sit down at the computer and type to see what happens. 
I'm extremely haphazard. I usually have a number of projects on the go -- starting things is easy, it's finishing that's hard. And I write from the middle, whatever scenes come into my head with the most force are the ones that get written first. It makes editing hell, and continuity errors abound for the first couple of passes, but it's the only way my mind seems to work.


7. Have you ever written anything and thought; " The world has got to see this!" ? 
Ha! I'm more the opposite. I write something, and I love it while I'm working on it, but then I just want to hide it in a drawer. Even handing things over to my husband or editor is nerve wracking, I don't enjoy the waiting, but it's important to see what someone else makes of my words. You only learn through feedback, but the most useful feedback is always the critical kind, so you have to develop a thick skin to handle it.


8. Do you have an editor and Cover Designer or do you do this yourself?
I started off with neither, and now I have both. I wouldn't go back to DIY!


9. Who is your favorite author. Not just someone that you read allot. I wanna know whose book you read that made you suddenly know that if you didn't do this for the rest of your life then you would never be happy. 
Wow, just one? That's really tough, but I think I'd have to go with Frank Herbert and the Dune series. I grew up on those books and I just wanted to live between the pages. All I've ever wanted as a writer was to create something half as compelling.


10. Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Finishing! Because I write disjoined scenes, there's a lengthy phase of tying everything together, and then gradually working through the whole manuscript time and time again to draw everything more tightly together and make a coherent and consistent whole. It takes ages, which is okay, but knowing when to stop is a challenge.


11. Do you write your characters or do they write themselves through you? 
I write them, but I'm kind of a method actor. I back my characters into difficult situations and then I try to place myself in their shoes, with their skills and experiences, to understand what's got to happen next.


12. Do you ever write yourself into the characters? 
I think that's inevitable, really. I can only see the world through the lens of "being Rachel" -- no matter what other worlds and characters I imagine, I'm imagining it from the position of being myself. There are always going to be elements of me in there.


13. Is writing your full time job or are you "Keeping your day job"? So to speak.
I'm always going to keep some kind of day job -- or jobs, really, in my case. I'm a research scientist, and I also do recipe development on the side. Living the rest of my life gives me fuel for writing: I think I'd go mad if it were just me and the blank page, every day.


14. If you could go back in time and meet one famous person or legend in history, who would it be? 
I'd really like to talk to Hedy Lamarr -- there aren't many women who've so conspicuously succeeded in both artistic and technical careers. She's obviously much more famous for her film work, but I bet she'd be at least as proud of her scientific achievements and I'd love to discuss that with her.


15. There are millions of new books released every year. What in your mind makes yours stand out from all those millions in your genre? 
Fantasy is obviously a hugely popular genre, but the intersection of fantasy and romance is something that appears far more often in contemporary settings (urban fantasy or paranormal romance) rather than secondary world, high fantasy environments. I think being an academic also gives me a slightly different approach to some authors, in that I like my characters to apply some basic scientific method to their understanding of magic.


16. In the world of Indie, marketing is very difficult, especially if you don't have the funds to pay for it. Have you found a great free way to market your work that you think other Indies will benefit from? 
It's true, marketing is really hard, especially if (like me) you hate singing your own praises. For me, the best way is to focus on getting my books read, rather than on making sales per se. I give a lot of books away. For as long as I have a day job, I don't need the money, so I can afford to play the long game. Even on a really tight budget, you can give away ebooks at no cost, and every fan you generate through a freebie will tell their friends, potentially leading to more sales in future. In my experience gifting books to people directly is more effective than just having them free to download from Amazon (though I do both); they're more likely to get read rather than just languishing on someone's extensive TBR.

Links to find and follow her work:


Monday, July 20, 2015

#IndieSpotlight of Lynne Murray Author of Gravitas: Valkyrie in the Forbidden Zone.

1. Name: 

Lynne Murray

2. The Title of Your Work or Group: 
Gravitas: Valkyrie in the Forbidden Zone

3. Where are you from? Does not have to be the name of the place exactly. You can say Hick-ville Florida, for example if you are more comfortable with that. 
I grew up traveling a lot due to a father's work for the military and then in aerospace. We lived in Southern California, Texas and Alaska. I moved to San Francisco to go to college and have never left since.

4. In what genre do you write?
All my books feature humorous elements. I'm concentrating on science fiction and fantasy now Gravitas: Valkyrie in the Forbidden Zone is about aliens stranded on earth. But I've also written vampire fantasy (the Falstaff Vampire Files), romantic comedy (Bride of the Living Dead) and four books in the Josephine Fuller murder mystery series about a sleuth of size who doesn't apologize. 

5.In your own words, what is your book about? If you were not the author and trying to explain this awesome book you just read to a friend, what would you say about it? 
Gravitas is about a woman from Planet Valkyrie who is carrying an overdose of an aphrodisiac when she gets stranded on earth, which has been declared a Forbidden Zone.

6. What is your writing style? Do you follow all guides and rules? Synopsis, outline etc. or do you just sit down at the computer and type to see what happens. 
Following rules is hard for me. I naturally rebel at instructions, so I've learned that I have to follow my own quirks in order to finish a story. Whenever I try outlining or using planning software, I end up writing scenes in the margins and throwing the outline out to go back to the manuscript.

For me writing a novel is like making a bunch of puzzle pieces and putting them together different ways to see which ones make a better picture. 

The only way I can do it is to keep coming back to just picking up my manuscript every day and pulling the story along like a spider weaving a web. Oddly enough, my brain seems to be thinking ahead without my noticing, because when I get near the end the action starts clicking like a row of dominoes dropping! 

As you might imagine I do a lot of editing and re-writing, but that's the only way that works for me. 

7. Have you ever written anything and thought; "The world has got to see this!" 
I feel that way about Gravitas, because the ideas in it have percolated around my brain for a long, long time, and I finally found a story about a planet where the sex roles are completely reversed (women are expected to have as many husbands as they can support) and the major export was an aphrodisiac. I imagined a woman from that culture stranded on Earth with no easy exit. 

8. Do you have an editor and Cover Designer or do you do this yourself? 
I was fortunate enough to have editorially skilled friends to read Gravitas and suggest changes that vastly improved it.

I fell in love with a pre-made cover from David at GoOnWrite.com who has amazing covers at a price I could afford.

9. Who is your favorite author. Not just someone that you read allot. I wanna know whose book you read that made you suddenly know that if you didn't do this for the rest of your life then you would never be happy. 
I can't remember not wanting to write books, even before I could read. But Jo March was such a role model in Louisa May Alcott's Little Women, Little Men ad Jo's Boys that I just knew it was what I was meant to do.

10. Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Fight scenes and love scenes are pretty scary. I just do the best I can and hope to get better as I do more.

11. Do you write your characters or do they write themselves through you?
I'm constantly finding out new things about my characters. I try not to stand in their way when they reveal themselves. 

12. Do you ever write yourself into the characters? 
I try to imagine what my characters are going through in physical actions, sensory impressions, and words. They do and say things I never could, but they don't have my limits. So I live through them in a way. 

13. Is writing your full time job or are you "Keeping your day job"? So to speak.
So far I've had to find other methods of supporting myself than writing. Sometimes I've made enough money to put back into the writing (e.g., buy a new computer, etc.). But stopping has never been an option. It's kind of an obsession and I live in hope that it will pay off more as I go along.

14. If you could go back in time and meet one famous person or legend in history, who would it be? 
I've practiced Nichiren Shoshu Buddhism since 1968, so I would want to meet the founder of our sect Nichiren (1222-1282). I'd have to bring along someone who speaks classical Japanese to communicate, and it might take me some years (a few lifetimes?) to process the encounter.

15. There are millions of new books released every year. What in your mind makes yours stand out from all those millions in your genre? 
Gravitas provides drama, laughs and an explanation for UFO sightings that hasn't been aired before. Fun is a word many reviewers have used including Frannie Zellman who said, More fun than eating chocolate while sipping wine."


16. In the world of Indie, marketing is very difficult, especially if you don't have the funds to pay for it. Have you found a great free way to market your work that you think other Indies will benefit from? 
I'm still experimenting and looking for resources. Every day I look for new places to share my books or find reviewers. I've met some great authors at the Facebook and Twitter #Awethors and #IndieBooksBeSeen groups and pooling our ideas has been helpful and encouraging. 

Now give me your links so we can get people to your book sites! 



Twitter: @lynnemurray







Purchase from Amazon:

Monday, July 13, 2015

#IndieSpotlight of Adam Dickson Author of The Butterfly Collector

1. Name: 

Adam Dickson

2. The Title of Your Work or Group: 
The Butterfly Collector

3. Where are you from? Does not have to be the name of the place exactly. You can say Hick-ville Florida, for example if you are more comfortable with that. 
South Coast, England

4. In what genre do you write?
Contemporary fiction, screenwriting, non-fiction 

5.In your own words, what is your book about? If you were not the author and trying to explain this awesome book you just read to a friend, what would you say about it? 
The darker side of adult relationships explored from the male angle. ‘Chick-lit turned on its head.’

6. What is your writing style? Do you follow all guides and rules? Synopsis, outline etc. or do you just sit down at the computer and type to see what happens. 
I write my novels longhand in notebooks, then put them away for up to a year while I work on something else. Then, after reading them back and writing a summary, I write them up on the computer. The rewrite process continues, draft after draft, until I’m satisfied (well – sort of satisfied!) They then go to an editor and proofreader for further improvement. 

7. Have you ever written anything and thought; " The world has got to see this!" ?Yes – everything! But I’m particularly excited about a screenplay I’m working on based on a real life murder case from 1946.

8. Do you have an editor and Cover Designer or do you do this yourself? 
Yes, as I said, I do have an editor. All kinds of errors are made during the writing of a novel, which the writer never sees himself. Good editing is a valuable part of the process and helps to make the finished work stronger.

My son, Alex, designed the covers for both my novels. His cover for The Butterfly Collector won an award from Joel Friedlander’s online resource, The Book Designer.

9. Who is your favorite author. Not just someone that you read allot. I wanna know whose book you read that made you suddenly know that if you didn't do this for the rest of your life then you would never be happy. 
I read A Clockwork Orange as a teenager, and was captivated by the strange language and the psychotic narrator. Books like, The Outsider by Albert Camus, and Junky by William S Burroughs were also extremely influential (I suppose this says something about my taste in literature!) I always knew that I wanted to write from an early age. 

One of my favourite novelists is Graham Greene. For me, he is the master of economy, never a word wasted. The opening of his novel, A Burnt-Out Case is a superb example of both precision and imagery.

10. Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Getting started! I’ve spoken to many writers who have a similar dread. There is something incredibly daunting about a novel – especially in the early stages. But generally it’s the thought of a blank page that makes it worse. Once you sit down and write the first few sentences, that awful fear usually vanishes. Coffee and digestive biscuits do the rest! 

11. Do you write your characters or do they write themselves through you? 
A bit of both. I usually start with a vague outline during the first draft, then build on that as I go, adding flesh to the bones with each draft. For The Butterfly Collector I had a clear image of Peter and Natalie meeting for the first time, and the sense of seductive antagonism that developed between them. 

12. Do you ever write yourself into the characters? 
Not purposely! But we may share certain traits, thoughts, and beliefs etc. I think it would be very difficult for a novelist to remove himself from the text entirely. But certainly, the characters take on a life and form of their own. That’s one of the fascinating aspects of the job. You get to be the resident psychoanalyst to all these weird and wonderful people! 

13. Is writing your full time job or are you "Keeping your day job"? So to speak.
Writing is the only job I have. But … I am also the Director of a film company – West Cliff Productions Limited. We are currently in the development stage, looking for investors to bring the screenplay I’ve written about a real-life murder to the big screen. 

14. If you could go back in time and meet one famous person or legend in history, who would it be? 
Julius Caesar. I find the whole subject of Roman history fascinating, and him in particular.

15. There are millions of new books released every year. What in your mind makes yours stand out from all those millions in your genre? 
To quote the novelist John Banville, ‘My books are better than everyone else’s, but rarely good enough for me!’ Although my novels are controversial in the subjects they deal with, I have been commended on my ability to write about emotions from both the male and female perspective. 

16. In the world of Indie, marketing is very difficult, especially if you don't have the funds to pay for it. Have you found a great free way to market your work that you think other Indies will benefit from? 
I would have to say that I’m a late convert to social media, and use Twitter and Facebook regularly to raise my professional profile. Having said that, I would question the use of Twitter just to plug books exclusively. Having a Facebook Author Page is great for posting content: this can then be linked to blogs/websites etc. I also use business cards with the covers of my books on one side and contact details on the other. There must be a few thousand of these floating around in the atmosphere already!

The best advice I could give any aspiring writer is simply to keep writing. You only have so much time, so use it wisely. Remember – books don’t write themselves.

Links to Follow Adam's work:




Purchase The Butterfly Collector:


Monday, July 6, 2015

#Spotlight on @OrderofTheDimen Irene Helenowski and her Order of The Dimensions Trilogy


Order of The Dimensions
When Jane Kremowski first began her graduate studies in physics at

Madison State University in Wisconsin, little did she know where her

work would take her. Now, she is embroiled in a multitude of
dimensions all leading to different outcomes. She and her colleagues
therefore must act wisely in order to take and keep away the Order of
Dimension from falling into the wrong hands for the sake of her loved
ones.

Watch The Trailer:



Revised Orders
Book 2 


Anton Zelov has come back and is set to avenge those who stood in his

way. A race against time ensues to keep Jane's family away from their
clutches. But is victory in store for those who must take down the
Order or has their battle just begun?

Watch The Trailer:




Final Orders
Book 3
The final Orders are in place and all seems lost to the Federation.

Yet a glimmer of hope remains in the hands of an unlikely heroine.

What will she choose to pursue and would her choice save the final
dimensions?


Watch The Trailer:

Follow Irene and her work on Twitter: