Showing posts with label Author Interviews & Events. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Author Interviews & Events. Show all posts

Thursday, February 13, 2014

From The Indie Side

About nine months ago I began quite the journey to alter the direction of my writing career, when I hopped over to the indie publishing path. It felt like I'd jumped from one train track to another. And the decision happened overnight, after I interviewed the well-known author Hugh Howey. It’s an interesting story, how a sequence of chance meetings led me to Hugh, but I’m not talking about that today.
Today, I would like to share with you a project that was put together over a period of six months with David Gatewood (my talented editor and, also, Hugh Howey’s and quite a few bestsellers' editor) and another indie author Brian Spangler.
From The Indie Side is an anthology of supernatural, science fiction, and horror stories written by twelve indie authors including Hugh Howey, as a project to show the quality of work produced by indies and to offer readers a sampler of works so they may discover new writers.
Aren’t we all a tad tired of Stephen King, Dean Koontz, and James (multiple personality) Patterson?  Wouldn’t it be wonderful to find new, fresh authors writing in genres that they love, weaving amazing stories unfettered by a publisher demanding they write the same story as they did in their last book because that supposedly is what the fans want?

Some of these authors are, in fact, New York Times and USA Today bestsellers like Hugh Howey, Theresa Weir, Kate Danley and Ernie Lindsey. Others are Amazon bestsellers in their genre or as in Ernie Lindsey’s case with Sara’s Game have reached #2 overall on Amazon. Many are playing with the new worlds available to indie authors, like Kindle Worlds and Kindles Serials. Some, like talented Jason Gurley are developing businesses on the side from writing, creating covers for other authors that are works of art.
Kate Danley is playing with new ways of marketing in bundling her books with other Indie authors and enjoying incredible sales which you wouldn't believe if I told you. Most of the sales because she writes a wicked tale. She also has a bestselling Kindle Serial happening. 
And there’s bestselling Australian psychological suspense author Sara Foster who has never written in the science fiction genre but had the courage to try and she came up with a very human take on what could be the end of the world. She surprised me and will surprise you.
Mel Hearse delivered her first ever fiction story for the anthology. She’s an in-demand Australian freelance writer. You’ve probably read her stuff and not realized. But she wants some of the indie action, too, and you will not believe this is her first story. It’s that good. She’s madly now writing the book of the short story.
Anne Frasier has been around in the business for a few decades, and she has dozens of books and stories in her catalogue. She’s a hybrid. Sounds like a plant, doesn’t it? But just means she is traditionally published but also has self-published without a publisher.
BrianSpangler, Peter Cawdron, Michael Bunker, Jason Gurley are the new “cool” gang of authors writing in the science fiction genre. They are moving and shaking this genre and indie publishing writing so prolifically that their readers can’t keep up. And their ideas are different. I don’t doubt that in the years to come these will be the Robert Heinlen’s, the Isaac Asimov’s, the Ray Bradbury’s of this generation of writers. When you write as much as they do, you get very good, very fast.
And of course, there is Hugh Howey, the guy who turned publishing on its head, and continues to do so, with his Wool trilogy selling millions and his new book Sand selling like its gold.
And we've included one British author, so the home country didn't feel left out. Kev Heritage is a copy editor who decided to become an indie and whose debut book Blue Into The Rip is probably one of the best YA books you will read. He does everything himself: website, copy-editing, covers, marketing, and even makes his own tea. He’s a cool cat, too.
So where do I fit in? Little ‘ol me among this lot. Well when you want to hang with the big guys either you are a big guy or you come up with the idea. And that’s me—the enthusiastic Aussie ideas girl.
This book was just a suggestion by my husband, that I get a few authors together to create something a little different. But my husband should know by now, give me a crazy challenge and I'm all over it. Of course I never imagined the quality of authors with whom I would eventually unite. Somehow we authors found each other, and From the Indie Side came into existence on the 1st February 2014.
Today after seven days of travelling across the world, From The Indie Side landed at my house. In true indie style I videoed the unboxing. Apparently all the the trendy authors do this. So who am I to argue?
Below the video are the synopses of the included stories. Don’t they sound intriguing? And at the price we’ve set for the anthology, you can really buy two and gift one to a friend. Or read the anthology and click through and buy a book or two more from the authors. Each author has written a note inside to you, the wonderful reader, talking about their story, their feelings on writing, or whatever they thought you might like to know, plus links to where you can find out more about them. Indie authors are thoughtful like that.
So watch the silly video.  I didn’t have a chance to put on my makeup or do my hair (in fact it hasn’t had a wash for a few days). I just wanted to rip open that box straight away and hold this beautiful little creation in my hand that was borne from a silly impossible idea.
Drop me a line after you’ve read it and let me know what you think. Good, bad or ugly, I am happy to field all questions and comments. But most of all I would love you to support this endeavor by spreading the word if you enjoy it and leaving a review at Amazon or wherever you purchased it.
And if you would like to stay up-to-date with what’s happening in my indie world and my indie friends sign up for my wonderful reader’s club or "like" me on Facebook. Now I am off to read this wonderful, incredible book that I can hold in my hand with stories that wouldn’t have existed if not for an idea. 
But isn’t that how all great things start… with a simple idea? Maybe you have a simple idea. And there's something inside you telling you to follow that thought, because that is all you really need to do to create magic. Believe in you, and believe in your ideas and dreams. This could be you in six months, one year, five years, who knows. Come back and tell me what happened, because you dared. I love a good story, long or short...


  • AMAZON                                Amazon eBook and Paper
  • SMASHWORDS:                  Smashwords eBook
  • KOBO:                                    Kobo eBook
  • NOOK:                                    Nook eBook
  • APPLE:                                   Apple eBook



The Winter Lands (Jason Gurley) [United States]
Jason Gurley is the author of the Kindle Worlds bestselling novel Greatfall. He also created the cover art for From the Indie Side.
Jonathan Froestt lives alone in a retirement home. His family is gone. His friends are all dead. For over sixty years, he has been writing a novel, the pages collecting in his apartment in stacks. Nobody has ever read it. Until today.

Going Gray  (Brian Spangler) [United States]
Brian Spangler is a Amazon Top 100 author and writes supernatural and dystopian books. 
When their community is engulfed by a deadly, caustic fog, sixteen-year-old Emily and her family decide to escape to the one building they can think of that might be able to withstand the fog’s corrosive force: the shopping mall. But a trip to the mall has never been so desperate, or so terrifying.

Queen Joanna  (Kate Danley) [United States]
Kate Danley is a USA Today bestselling author and her Maggie for Hire series has been optioned for film and television.  Her book The Woodcutter won the Garcia Award for Best Fiction Book of the Year.
Thrust into a loveless marriage of state, Queen Joanna soon discovers her new palace is home to many dark secrets. And when a face in the mirror confronts her with a dire warning, she realizes her life is at risk. Has she awakened a curse—or been struck by madness? “Queen Joanna” presents a haunting twist on the legend of Bloody Mary.

Mouth Breathers (Hugh Howey) [United States]
Hugh Howey is the author of the New York Times and USA Today bestselling WOOL series.
Moving to a new town, starting off at a new school, meeting new kids... it's never easy. And it only gets harder when the new town and the new school and the new kids are on a different planet. But sometimes, something happens that makes it worth all the trouble.

The Man With Two Legs (Ernie Lindsey) [United States]
Ernie Lindsey is a USA Today bestselling author. His book Sara’s Game was a #2 Kindle Best Seller on Amazon
Many winters ago, the man with two legs managed to escape the oppressive maiming rituals of Tritan’s government. Now he stands on a hillside overlooking the city, a bomb in his rucksack, determined to bring about two impossible results: his mother’s rescue and freedom for his people.

Cipher  (Sara Foster) [Australia]
Sara Foster is a freelance editor and an Australian best-selling psychological suspense writer.
When Beatrice leaves her family behind to visit her father, she never imagines she might not see them again. But then a bomb goes off close to home, and Beatrice must rely on a stranger’s help to find out what’s happened—and whether or not her husband and children have survived.

Made of Stars (Anne Frasier) [United States]
Anne Frasier (a.k.a. Theresa Weir) is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of twenty-five books and numerous short stories.
A genius vampire named Sinclair creates an alternate world where vampires can experience a traditional human life of love, marriage, and children. Sixteen-year-old Gabriel is Sinclair’s beta tester and volunteers to fall in love with a coffee-shop girl. But when the pain of love becomes overwhelming, Gabriel questions his decision. “It’s too real,” he tells Sinclair. “You made it too real.”

Gyre-Witchery (Kev Heritage) [United Kingdom]
Kev Heritage is a popular U.K. author of fast-paced adventure fantasy and science fiction.
All Tam wanted was to be loved. Was that so hard? Made outcast because of her green eyes—the sign of witchery—Tamina, a well-meaning simpleton, is shunned by a superstitious people who blame her for the ills that have overtaken their small island. It was not her fault that she put on weight while the others starved, or that wild animals slunk at her side, or that men and women both desired and despised her. But change was coming, brought upon the back of a terrifying squall…

The War Veteran (Susan May) [Australia]
Susan May is an international award-winning short story author who also writes books.
For seventy years, World War II veteran Jack Baker has endured vivid flashbacks to that horrific June day
on Omaha Beach. But tonight, the flashback will be terrifyingly different. Tonight it becomes real. Tonight, Jack’s seventy-year-old secret will come back to claim him.

The Greater Good (Mel Hearse) [Australia]
Mel Hearse is a successful freelance writer whose work has appeared in Australian local, national and international well known titles like Cosmopolitan.
When Lanie wakes up in a hospital bed with no idea how she got there, she tries desperately to work out why she was on the old loop road that’s been all but abandoned by the locals. Thinking there must be an obvious answer, Lanie leaves no stone unturned in her quest for an explanation. But when all is revealed, she is left with only one question—and no good answers.

REDOUBT (Michael Bunker) [United States]
Michael Bunker is author of the acclaimed WICK series, The Silo ArchipelagoThe Last Pilgrims, and Pennsylvania, and the non-fiction bestseller Surviving Off Off-Grid.
Phillip is a militia commander who has planned for a decade to defend the pacifist Vallenses of Central Texas with his army if ever the world tips over and goes to hell. He never thought he’d be on a skiing trip to New Mexico when the end comes.

The Man Who Remembered Today (Peter Cawdron) [Australia]
Peter Cawdron is an acclaimed science fiction author from Australia
Kareem wakes with a headache. A bloody bandage wrapped around his head tells him this isn’t just another day in the Big Apple. The problem is, he can’t remember what happened to him. He can’t recall anything from yesterday. The only memories he has are from events that are about to unfold today, and today is no ordinary day. 

Friday, October 11, 2013

Upcoming author events in Perth and Melbourne

Tina Arena 19th October

Tina Arena Book signing
Saturday 19th October 2013
Centre court appearance and signing
Dymocks Garden City

Ricky Ponting  Wednesday 30th October

West Australian Leadership Matters
Ricky Ponting - coinciding with the release of his autobiography Ponting: At the Close of Play
Wednesday, October 30
Crown Perth, Grand Ballroom
Breakfast: 7am (for 7.30am) to 9am
Online Bookings: Click here
Tickets: $98 (inc GST), $133 including book, $980 corporate tables (10)
Information: Email or phone 08 9482 3820

Book signing
Dymocks Garden City
Wednesday 30 October 2013
3.30 pm

Ricky Ponting  Thursday 31st  October
Breakfast with Ricky Ponting
8.00AM  $10.00
 Mt. Lawley-Inglewood Cricket Club, Hamer Park, 2nd Avenue, Mt. Lawley
tickets available from: Beaufort Street Books - 567 Beaufort St  Mt. Lawley PH 08 61427996
Mt Lawley-Inglewood Cricket Club – 2nd Avenue, Mt. Lawley
Email Enquiries: or

Book Signing
Dymocks Carousel
3.30 pm
Thursday 31st October

An evening with Ricky Ponting 
Aquinas College Hall
Thursday 31st October 2013
Commencing at 7.00pm
Gold Coin Donation
Book sales & signing available on the night
RSVP: Aquinas Events Co-ordinator on 9450 0600
email: or Dymocks Garden City 9364 7687

George R R Martin - MCG Luncheon, Victoria, Richmond, Thursday 14 November, 2013
Winter is coming ....And so is George R. R. Martin.
Thursday 14 November, 2013
12:00 PM
Olympic Room - MCG Brunton Ave, Richmond
Tickets: $45 – [Plus $2.12 booking fee]
Bookings Essential
No seat allocation
Talk with book signing*
[*maximum of two books. No dedications]

(For booking queries or if unable to pay with Paypal, please email Dymocks Camberwell on or call: 03 9882 0032)

Wednesday, August 21, 2013


Exciting news!
Meet Michael Robotham

        The fabulous thriller writer Michael Robotham is visiting Perth.   I looooove Michael Robotham!   I will be there standing in line for the signing.  Wild serial killers couldn't keep me away.
          Why don’t you get your book club down to Scarborough Library and meet him.  It's FREE!

 When:            Tuesday 10 September
Time:              10.30am - 11.30am
Where:           Scarborough Library

Bookings essential please phone 9205 7420

          Michael Robotham's 2012 novel, “Say You're Sorry” was named by Stephen King in his top 3 reads of 2012.  And I wholeheartedly agree. It's a brilliant book and his upcoming novel, “Watching You” is fantastic as well. I will be reviewing it shortly.  And he is here in September giving a talk at Scarborough Beach library for FREE. Wow!

A morning of Suspense with Michael Robotham

         Come and meet internationally renowned crime author Michael Robotham at Scarborough Library.
         “Say You’re Sorry” was selected as one of the ‘Get Reading - 50 books you can’t put down’ for 2012. Formerly a journalist for major newspapers and magazines in Australia, Britain and America, he has won international crime awards and two Ned Kelly awards for Best Crime Novel.
        This will be an opportunity to get an up close and personal with Michael and purchase his latest novel. There will also be time for a book signing.
        Read an interview of mine with Michael late last year.  He is a fascinating man.  Delving into Dark Minds
Visit Michael’s website:


          Another great writer, Stuart MacBride, is coming to Perth.  Do try get out and see him speak.  He’s travelled all the way from Scotland to meet his readers.

An evening of Suspense with Stuart MacBride 

When:            Monday 9 September 2013 
Time:              6.30 – 7.30pm 
Where:           Osborne Library 

Bookings essential please phone 9205 7900

          Close to the Bone is a new crime thriller from the number 1 best-selling author of Shatter the Bones and Birthdays for the Dead. For McRae things are finally getting better... until the first body is found chained to a stake. 

          He’s already dealing with warring gangs; missing persons; brutal attacks on immigrants; and also feeling the heat from his superiors and the local crime boss. But when another body turns up, he begins to wonder if those little knots of bones he’d been finding are more important than they look... 
         Stuart MacBride’s Logan McRae series has already sold over 1.1 million copies. Shatter the Bones reached no 1 on the Sunday Times Bestseller list.
Visit Stuart’s website:

Monday, April 15, 2013



If he was lucky, Hugh Howey thought his 2011 self-published science-fiction novella ‘Wool’ would sell five hundred copies.  Instead, he has sold five hundred thousand, scored a seven-figure publishing deal, and had Twentieth Century Fox snap up the film rights with the iconic Ridley Scott possibly to direct. 
He thought he was just writing the sort of tale he wished already existed and he would then return to his other novels.  But the enthusiastic demand from Amazon reviewers caused him to hurry back to his dystopian subterranean world to continue the story.   Less than six months later he had released four more novelettes of varying lengths, the 550-page ‘Wool Omnibus’, which has since spent considerable time in the Amazon top 100 and was a #1 Bestseller in Science Fiction, and  Winner of Kindle Book Review's ‘Best Indie Book of 2012’ Award.
A modest Howey, who is passionate about the options available to authors through self-publishing, wants to make it very clear that this success story is about his choice to self-publish from the beginning. “It wasn't a matter of dealing with rejection and finally resorting to this. It was a choice from the get-go.” 
“The first thing an industry insider will think when they hear ‘self-publishing’ is that an author gave up on the query route. I don’t query my books. I haven’t since my first novel was published by a small press and I decided to publish the rest of my books on my own.”
Howey claims it took “crazy” and “lots of guts” as opposed to “clever” to create the deal that “everyone in the industry was saying would never happen—ever.”  His “brilliant” agent Kristin Nelson walked away from six-figure offers, and then seven-figure offers, to eventually strike  a deal with Simon and Schuster to distribute ‘Wool’ to book retailers across the US and Canada. The deal, though, gave Howey full rights to continue distributing ‘Wool’ online in these territories himself.  Normally, an author signs over all their territory distribution rights, which includes the increasingly lucrative e-book sales.
Adds Howey, “We stuck to our convictions and we were doing well enough with foreign rights and film sales to not worry about what we were leaving on the table. To us, the goal was to get a different conversation going. And Simon and Schuster deserve all the credit for stepping up to the plate.”
The deal has de-stigmatised the self-publishing door for other new and established authors to follow suit in taking control of their careers and their intellectual property.  “Many authors are now seeing the benefit of earning money now rather than waiting years for a dream that may never materialize,” says Howey.  “The route we take no longer signals the quality. It makes for an interesting time to be a writer.”
Howey suggest that self-publishing may actually be a smart career move. “Many authors are now skipping the years-long submission cycle and placing their stories directly in the hands of readers (and at incredible prices). Instead of manuscripts sitting around, they are collecting sales and building a fan base. Even a handful of sales are more than none. And time is spent writing the next work rather than shopping around the last one.”
Much has been written about the poor quality of self-published books and whilst self-publishing is a great opportunity, the sheer volume of releases makes it difficult for readers to find gems that aren’t peppered with errors and novice mistakes.  There is an expectation that a major commercial publisher will provide a superior read.
Howey comments on this assertion, “I see typos in the first printing of major releases all the time. If you ask a reader if they’d rather have a book with two typos in it for $12.99 or one with ten typos for $2.99, I think they’ll go with the latter.”
“All authors need to put out their best work possible, and Indies (independent authors) are no exception. But I do think they deserve a little more of a pass, just as an Indie rock band might release an album with some pops and static. It reminds you that you’re discovering something, not being handed something.”
Instead of asking ‘How’s the writing?’ of an Indie book, Howey suggests the question should be: ‘How’s the story?’ “Readers care less about writing and more about gripping tales with unforgettable characters. The publishing industry is largely run by English majors who think we should care about pristine prose. They don’t understand the success of ‘Twilight’, Dan Brown, and E.L. James. They wish everyone was reading and discussing literary works. This is why they often miss out on books with wild potential.”
“If you have to lean one way, it shouldn’t be towards the writing. And I say that, as someone who cherishes fine prose and agonizes over every one of my sentences. But only after I’ve crafted what I hope is an addictive story.”
‘Wool’ is indeed one of those addictive stories. Set in a not-too-distant future, the story takes readers into the world of a Silo, home to thousands of descendants of the survivors of a sixty-year-prior cataclysmic disaster.  Nobody remembers what happened but outside the Silo, the world is in ruin with air too toxic to breathe.

Those living inside are bound by strict rules.  One being you must never express the desire to go outside. Doing this, will automatically see you sent outside in a specially made suit to participate in what is known as a ‘Cleaning’.  Unwise unfortunates as well as convicted criminals are sent to clean the one wall-screen allowing the inhabitants a view on the desolate world.  Within minutes their suits break down and they are asphyxiated.
The Silo is tiered with two hundred levels and maintains a systemised society of engineering, I.T., administration, food production and Government, all on different levels.  ‘Wool’ begins the story with the Sheriff who has lost his wife to a ‘Cleaning’.  But readers then move through the volumes to view the Silo habitat through the eyes of various characters including Juliette, an engineer who begins to question the values and rules of the system. Then the fun really begins.
It is a grim, claustrophobic vision of the future and Howey admits he cannot be sure of the story’s origins but he shares that silos were always a part of his life. “My father was a farmer and had two large grain silos behind his barn that we played in and on top of.”
“I also grew up in the Cold War Era and another type of silo was the missile variety. We practiced nuclear drills in grade school. People built bunkers. I took it as an axiom that people would one day live underground while a wasteland raged overhead.”
The limited view of the outside world via the wall-screen is a central component of the story.  “It came from my wariness of 24-hour news,” says Howey, “and what I fear a constant barrage of bad news does for our perception of the world. What if it really isn’t so bad out there? What if we’re bold enough to go see the world for ourselves?”
In his own way, Howey has widened the perception of the self-publishing world, that outside the landscape of traditional publishing there is a richer world than initially imagined.  He believes publishing opportunities are broadened with the two working together such as the publisher initiated idea with the Wool U.K. edition.  The book contains the first chapter of the already e-published follow on series, ‘First Shift Legacy’, and concludes the free chapter urging readers to immediately purchase the already-available e-book, even though the print copy is yet to be released.
“What’s great about this,’’ adds Hugh, “is that a major publisher embraced e-book availability before the print book was available! I’ve always thought this should be the case. It helps make for a stronger print debut. For proof, Wool hit #8 on the ‘Sunday Times Bestseller’ list in the U.K. upon release, almost unheard of for a debuting author. The only reason that was possible was because of the existing fan base and word-of-mouth generated by the e-book sales. I think publishers are doing the opposite of what’s good for their customers, their authors, and themselves, when they hold the e-book back in an attempt to protect hardback sales.”
Whilst many authors complain of the deadlines imposed by their publishing contracts, Howey says, “I was the one who dictated the release schedule and told Random House (his U.K., Australian publisher) when I would have each book available. I have yet to sign a contract where someone demanded or expected a book from me at a particular time. The pressure to release multiple books swiftly has come from indie authors. We are making a great living off our work and enjoying the rapport with our readers. We just want that to continue.” 
With his publishing success, Howey’s only complaint is that his wife misses him whilst he is whisked away from his South Florida home on long book tours through Europe, the U.K. and currently the U.S.  The benefits though have outweighed the negatives, with the author now able to enjoy more free time at home after success saw him resign his day job as a bookshop employee. Even with the extra work load of his new found celebrity he still maintains his daily 2000 word-a-day count. “But it has meant some long days.” 
And if he were ever banished into a deserted silo with time on his hands, the busy author says he would read Shakespeare’s and Edgar Alan Poe’s complete works, and ‘Ulysses’, not because he thinks the latter is any good but he figures, “it’s the only way I’d ever read it. It took being stranded on an island to finally read ‘War and Peace’. No joke. I Loved it.”
So many authors quote their indebtedness to their agents or publishers for their success but Hugh Howey, as one of the poster-children of the new social media and self-publishing phenomena, is adamant who is the major inspiration and support for him. It’s his readers. In ‘Wool’s’ Amazon Book description he writes, “Thanks go out to those reviewers who clamored for more. Without you, none of this would exist.”
It may be, in the not-too-distant future that many successful self-published authors will leave a similar inscription in their Amazon sales pitch, but with one added line, “If not for Hugh Howey and his crazy courage, none of these stories would exist.”

Read my review of the sensational WOOL:  Click here

(Seriously you need to if you are a writer)

Hugh Howey is the author of Wool, a bestselling novel that has appeared in the top 5 of science fiction on Amazon. He is also the author of the award-winning Molly Fyde Saga. He lives in Boone, N.C. with his wife Amber and their dog Bella.

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