Summer Shorts II – The Indie Collaboration – Spotlight

I’m not involved with this one but here’s the spotlight for the latest Indie Collaboration.

In this second helping of summer fun, The Indie Collaboration comes up with yet another unique collection of original stories from the authors we have come to know so well. Now in our third year, The Indie Collaboration comes up with yet more exciting, enthralling and funny stories. Ideal for relaxing in the summer sun, just don’t get carried away and stay out too long.

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/642911

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Look  out for more Indie Collab books later in the year

 

 

Kiss and Tales 2 – From the Indie Collaboration

I’m not directly involved with this free anthology from the Indie Collaboration, but I have agreed to promote it.

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Kiss and Tales 2: A Romantic Collection by The Indie Collaboration. Book 8! Available in Print & Kindle on Amazon, Free on Smashwords.
Kiss_and_Tales_2__A__Cover_for_Kindle

Stories and poetry in this collection by Kristina M Jacobs (Author), Chris Raven (Author), Alan Hardy (Author), Greatest Poet Alive (Author),Kottyn Campbell (Author), Margene Wiese-Baier (Author), Margaret Wiese (Author), Madhu Kalyan Mattaparthi (Author), Ailene Openiano Giray(Author).

Cool trivia about BOOK 8 Kiss and Tales 2: A Romantic Collection from The Indie Collaboration:

#1 – Book 8 featured 5 poems from Margaret Wiese who passed away in 1985, donated to us by one of her daughters. They were not published during her lifetime. She lived before the days of computers and Createspace so those were scanned in from original typewritten pages! They were written in the 1950s and 1960s and timeless as if they’d been written just yesterday.

#2 – Madhu Kalyan Mattaparthi & Ailene Openiano Giray are in love. Their love poetry was submitted as a surprise for Valentine’s day for Ailene. That makes Ailene an honorary member of The Indie Collaboration. Very sweet & romantic!

#3 – Kristina Jacobs story “Cedar Falls” was the beginning of a first attempt to write a romance – written longhand in a notebook circa 2011 – and never touched again! It found new life as a short story in Kiss and Tales 2

#4 – The book was originally intended to be titled Kiss and Tales 2: Another Romantic Collection…but since I didn’t catch the cover title difference until today, Kiss and Tales 2: A Romantic Collection it is!!

#5 – This is the first collection where we’ve included Indie art – with two paintings by artist, writer, poet & pastor Margene Wiese-Baier. She submitted a painting of two eagles to go with her poem, “Marriage” and a painting of purple flowers to go with her poem, “Would You Just Let Me Love You”

#6 – G.P. A. Greatest Poet Alive contributed poetry & his alter ego James Gordon gave us his story of middle school love, “Maria.”

#7 – Kristina Jacobs poem “Windows to the Soul” is an acrostic poem.

#8 – One of the things we love about The Indie Collaboration is that our authors live all over the world! In book 8 we’ve got authors in the US, UK & India, but each book is different depending on who in The Indie Collaboration decides to contribute!

Smashwords link:

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/518353

 

Darker Places – Horror and Dark Fantasy Anthology – Author Interview Dani J Caile

Today I welcome one of my fellow authors involved with the Indie Collaboration Halloween anthology – Darker Places. 

Name: Dani J Caile

Please tell us about your work with the Indie Collaboration. I became a member of the Indie Collaboration some time ago, but it kind of passed me by. I wanted to write stories for these anthologies but I was so busy elsewhere that it never seemed to happen. Until now. I caught a Facebook post by Donny and I thought instantly that “Hey, it’s time to tell that story.” I will surely be more involved as the months go on. The IC can only be a good thing for all of us, including writers and readers.

Where did the idea for these stories come from? This is the first one I’ve written for the IC and as with all my stories, it came from my experience. Without some reality, a story isn’t real. Everything I write, from novels all the way down to a zhong, has a reality. This particular story in Darker Places is very close to the truth.

Do you have short stories in other anthologies? Only outside IC at the moment but I hope to be in more. There’s a Steampunk anthology “Circuits & Steam” by Three Fates Press which sells well at US fairs and conferences but has yet to be set up on Amazon, and 2 future anthologies with the same publisher to come, one anthology about strange passengers on a desert bus and another in honour of 50s/60s horror movies.

I’m also a longtime member of the Iron Writer Challenge (www.theironwriter.com), a Flash fiction writing ‘competition’ which is excellent for tuning your writing skills. I have stories in their first anthology, “Ironology”, the first year of Iron Writer Winners. That will come out in a few weeks, hopefully, and almost 10% of the book are my stories. I also write up everything and anything in the Iron Writer, both the weekly challenges and any other extras and have created 3 six-month anthologies so far on Smashwords for free, ‘Dani’s Shorts3’ being the latest.

Please tell us about your other works. I’m waiting for some cover art for my latest novel, “How to build a castle in 7 easy steps”, also from Three Fates Press, though they say 2015 is the foreseeable release date. I do, however, have a self-published back catalogue which is on Amazon. There are almost 1000 copies of “Manna-X” out there…somewhere…

Sort these into order of importance: Great characters; great world-building; solid plot; technically perfect. Can you explain why you chose this order? (Yes I know they all are important…)

Solid plot – you need a framework to hang your ideas.

Great characters – these speak to your reader, communicate what you want to say.

Great world-building – your characters and plot need a believeable place to live.

Technically perfect – when everything else is done, get it right.

What three pieces of advice would you give to new writers?

1. Write what you want to write. If you’re writing to a set genre/agenda given to you, try and keep it ‘you’. No one wants yet another clone.

2. Improve. Never sit there and think you can write. Write better.

3. Have fun. Make friends, make contacts, have a laugh, but above all, write.

Most authors like to read, what have you recently finished reading? Did you enjoy it? I’m an ex-pat in Hungary and I’m a little out of the mainstream. I read “God is not Great” by Christopher Hitchens the other week and I’ll be reading it again and again for the rest of my life. It’s such a good book. I also read a few ebooks from some Indie authors I know and I’m reading Laurie Lee’s “As I walked out one Midsummer Morning” at the moment. I’m a sucker for a smooth classic. Enjoying every page.

What are your opinions about authors commenting on reviews? How important are reviews, in your opinion? Reviews are bread and butter to an author, especially an Indie author. Without them, there’s no opinion as to the quality of your work. Some have to be taken with a pinch of salt, those written by friends and good-wishers, and that’s why I always read the bad reviews. Among those you’ll find the truth.

Do you think Indie authors get a bad press? Why do you think this might be?I’ve been reading ebooks from Indie authors since 2011, I’m probably getting close to 500 or so now. Unfortunately, with most of them I didn’t even reach the second chapter, I couldn’t. The quality was atrocious. Once in a while I’ll find an Indie author who can write and sometimes I come across one who can also write something ‘different’. My readers say I’m in that last group, but those who aren’t in either of those two I’ve just mentioned destroy the image of the Indie market and bring down any chance a quality Indie author has of breaking into the limelight. Usually they’re the ones with the loudest voices, too.

Who are your influences? Too many to name. Readers say I’m a cross between Terry Pratchett and Douglas Adams, which can’t be a bad thing, though I have a more classic background, for example I love Aldous Huxley’s work. Hemingway is also a hero of mine, as is Shakespeare, Donne, Beckett, Chekhov, Milligan…the list is endless, as I said. I am influenced by everything I sense and experience.

What can we expect from you in the near future? Well, “How to build a castle in 7 easy steps” is coming soon, that’s going to be big. I’m also keeping up with the Iron Writer Challenge, perhaps even get to the Annual Final again this year, and I hope to write some stories for other IC anthologies. The thing for a writer is to write, but your stuff needs to get out there and be read…thanks for the interview!

DAniSShorts3full2Manna-X FRONT

 

Book links, website/blog and author links:

Blog: http://danijcaile.blogspot.hu/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/jedlica

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

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Dani-J-Caile/e/B00CDX0HSM

Smashwords (free books): https://www.smashwords.com/books/byseries/2766

Other posts about the Indie Collaboration:

https://libraryoferana.wordpress.com/2014/06/16/indie-collaborations-presents-summer-shorts/

https://libraryoferana.wordpress.com/2014/06/16/indie-collaborations-presents-summer-shorts/

https://libraryoferana.wordpress.com/2013/10/29/indie-collaboration-presents

https://libraryoferana.wordpress.com/2013/10/30/indie-collaboration-author-interview-1-halloween-alan-hardy/

https://libraryoferana.wordpress.com/2013/10/30/indie-collaboration-author-interview-2-halloween-peter-john/

https://libraryoferana.wordpress.com/2013/11/01/indie-collaboration-author-interview-3-chris-raven/

Tales from Darker Places – Horror and Dark Fantasy Anthology – Indie Collaboration

 

darkerplacesFRONT

I am delighted to announce the publication of Tales from Darker Places – the second horror and dark fantasy anthology by the Indie Collaboration.

The book is a mix of work from authors familiar and new and will be, as are all the Indie Collaboration works, free. At least when Amazon catches up!  The mission of the Indie Collaboration is to share the work of up and coming authors in bite sized chunks, gaining recognition for the authors and sharing a taste of their work with readers.

Usually my work is fantasy, but for this anthology I have included a story about Jack the Ripper, the infamous Victorian serial killer. It is half based on fact – the death of the victim, the time and the situation are real but the killer’s identity is conjecture.  It was not easy to write, nor is it easy to read. The Autumn of Terror was a truly terrifying time for the citizens of London in 1888, especially the poor.  There is also a poem which is a companion piece to the story.   Both are dark. So Many Nights, So Many Sins is vampire tale of darkness and defiance.

The entire volume is not for the faint of heart or the squeamish but the tales and poems are varied and there is something to suit lovers of the dark and deadly.

Authors included in this volume:

Donny Swords:

Dark Places

The Cleansing Bar

Sandra

A Chance Meeting?

Chris Raven

The Worm’s Head Manuscript 

The Sham

A.L Butcher

Jack is My Name

A Blade in the Night

So Many Nights, So Many Sins

Moonlight

Alan Hardy

Double

Adam Bigden

Where?

Dani J Caile

A Day in the Life of a Zombie

Payback

 

Amazon Link http://www.amazon.com/Indie-Collaboration-Presents-Chilling-Anthology-ebook/dp/B00ODS3HQY

Paperback link http://www.amazon.co.uk/Tales-Darker-Places-Collaboration-Presents/dp/150272913X

Curl up with this shivery Halloween anthology.

 

darkerplacescover

 

Author Interview Number Sixty-Two – A.L Butcher – Fantasy/Fantasy Romance/Erotica

Welcome to A.L Butcher, also writing as Alexandra. OK so this is a bit self-serving as it is my blog but perhaps it is time my readers get to know me a bit better.

Where are you from and where do you live now? I grew up in the South East of the UK, in a small town and I now live in Bristol, which is in the South West. I moved as I studied Politics and Sociology at university in Bristol and as I now work there never left.

Please tell us a little about your writing – for example genre, title, etc. I write fantasy and fantasy romance with a hint of erotica. To date I have two novels – The Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles – Book I and The Shining Citadel, which is book II of the series. I am working on book III. I also have Tales of Erana: Myths and Legends, which features five fantasy tales in the form of mythic tales set in the same world, this is also available in audio.

I have poetry in a number of anthologies and some to come out in the next few weeks. I also have short stories in a number of other publications. The poetry doesn’t often get an airing, if I am honest but it is good that people enjoy it.

Research can be important in world-building, how much do you need to do for your books? Do you enjoy this aspect of creating a novel and what are your favourite resources? I like research, but it is easy to get lost in it all and half the time I’ll go off and look up something not strictly relevant. Although fantasy allows for quite a lot of creative scope I do think there are some aspects which really need to be researched, such as weapon and armour usage, terrain, food, herbalism and defence. For The Shining Citadel I researched swamp and mountain terrain, flora and fauna, whether salamander is edible, medieval weapon use and herbs used in healing. For my current book I researched mythic creatures, herbs, horsemanship and fishing.

I think accuracy is important, as is consistency. I hate reading a book where something is simply implausible, or plain wrong.  If a writer changes something for his or her world, fair enough but they need to justify how that thing now works and stick to it.

Resources are predominately the internet, Culpeper’s Complete Herbal, another herblore book, various books on medieval warfare and weaponry which we have in the house and the Mythic Scribes website, which often has good advice. I read a lot of history and have a background in Classical Studies so all off that helps. It is also great to research story-telling itself. Homer and the Greek classics, Roman mythology, Nordic tales, and sometimes further afield. People have been telling stories as long as humans have been sitting around a fire, sometimes to explain and sometimes to amuse.  Creativity is goes hand in hand with humanity; humans need stories, the ability to escape and to understand the world and often this curiosity leads to more – to science and the sharing of knowledge.

Sort these into order of importance: Great characters; great world-building; solid plot; technically perfect. Can you explain why you chose this order? (Yes I know they all are important…) Great characters, great world-building, solid plot, technically perfect. I hate books with weak characters and world building. If I don’t care about the characters I am reading about I don’t give a stuff what they do. I’ve read several books where the plot was a bit weak but the characters were fun enough that it didn’t matter. Typos and poorly written books are not just in the indie market – I read a book by a well-known crime author with 5 typos in the first few pages and she was traditionally published. I am not saying that is right, but I am saying it happens a lot and not just to indies despite what many people think. I’m fairly forgiving so a few misplaced commas or a stray typo will not make me stop reading but terrible characters or a distinct lack of world building will. That said ideally a book should be the best it can be. I have also read plenty of books with errors – did the errors reduce the reading experience? Yes if they were too bad.

I also appreciate within the indie market that many authors work within a very small budget and although not ideal I’d rather have a cracking story with one or two issues than a technically perfect book with no soul. There are a few of those around.  That said I have seen indie books which are so bad as to be unreadable.

In what formats are your books available? (E-books, print, large print audio) Are you intending to expand these and if not, what is the reason?

The Light Beyond the Storm – Book I is available as an e-book on all the major online retailers and in print on Amazon, Createspace and Barnes and Noble, it is also available in large print. Hopefully next year I may pursue it as an audio.

The Shining Citadel is available in all the above except large print (as it is too big and I’ll have to split it in half) and audio.

Tales of Erana: Myths and Legends is available as an e-book and audio.

Do you think indie/self-published authors are viewed differently to traditionally published authors? Why do you think this might be? Yes, certainly. I think there is quite a lot of prejudice against indie authors. Why? Because some indie books are badly written, badly formatted and badly edited. Unfortunately once stung by a book like this many readers will assume all indie/SPA books are like this, which isn’t the case. Trad pubbed books are not necessarily well written, but are generally edited and formatted correctly.  Some readers seem to think that a writer self-publishes because he or she has been rejected by a ‘real’ publisher. Whilst this is certainly the case for some, and I am not saying their books are substandard they are just not what the publisher wants at that time, it is not the case for all. Many authors like the freedom self-publishing brings, including a better royalty rate (generally) and fewer deadlines. It also depends what an author wants from his or her book. Is it a case that he or she wants to publish for a smaller audience, or isn’t so bothered about sales figures? In this case self-publishing might work quite well. Hopefully as the great Indie and self-published books are recognised the division will diminish.

Do you read work by self-published authors? Of course, I’d be a hypocrite if I didn’t. I buy a lot of books and these days more than 50% of my purchases are self-published. Some are good, some aren’t – the same as trad pubbed.

What are your opinions about authors commenting on reviews? How important are reviews? Don’t. Generally authors commenting on reviews, particularly negative ones is bad and will lead to far worse. Reviews are a reader’s opinion – nothing more and there will always be someone who doesn’t like the book, for whatever reason. Look on Amazon at the reviews and I’ll bet most books have a mix. Yes the review might not say what the author wishes it said but reviews are for readers and people review in many different ways and for different reasons.  This is particularly the case on Good Reads, there are a lot of reviewers there and many are extremely active. An ‘author behaving badly’ will only get him or herself in more hot water by bitching. Remember on the internet once something is said it can be very difficult to take it back, and it is likely to end up on someone’s blog, Facebook or wherever.  Unless the review is personally spiteful or racist etc. I’d say let it go, if it is personally abusive then report it to the correct moderators.  Most readers will pick and choose which reviews they take into account and an obvious hate-review will be just that – obvious but the flip side is those same readers are likely to notice an author getting upset/angry in the comments.

How important are reviews? I wish I knew. Personally not that important as I tend to make the choice to buy a book on other factors but good reviews certainly can’t hurt and I know there are several book promotion sites that won’t even consider a book with less than 50 reviews. Because reviews are so varied and posted for so many reasons I am not convinced they are vital. Many disagree.

What are your reviews on authors reviewing other authors? I have no problem with it, if the review is genuine. Most authors are also avid readers and so why shouldn’t they. Yes sometimes there is a ‘If you scratch my back I’ll scratch yours’ type of attitude, which I am not keen on. When I review I’ll try and be honest. I don’t often find books I don’t like but it does happen. I’ll try and find something positive – good characterisation, a touch of humour but I will say what I don’t like, including if it is badly written.  I tend not to be bitchy, as I am not that sort of person but I do think saying a book is wonderful when I don’t think it is won’t help anyone – not the author and not other readers.  I can separate being an author and being a reader.

What experiences can a book provide that a movie or video game cannot? So I am a bit of a nerd, I do enjoy playing PC games, especially fantasy based ones such as Dragon Age and Skyrim but I do tend to think even the immersive ones are fairly linear.  I like to imagine the world, the characters and such like in a book and I live the vivid descriptions which often don’t appear in a game. A book is truly immersive. I watch a lot of films, but again the people and the settings are laid out for the viewer and less imagination is involved.

What three pieces of advice would you give to new writers?

Keep writing.

Be realistic – you are unlikely to be a best seller overnight.

Read the FAQ/TOS and the small print. Please!

What are your best marketing/networking tips? What are your worst? Hmmm. Best – I suppose author interviews, both giving and receiving. It helps to build a network and authors generally are a helpful and reciprocal lot – readers like to know about an author. Also I use Facebook a lot, but it helps to check out what the promotional rules are for particular groups and don’t just spam your book, interact, hang out, post other stuff.

Worst –Twitter but that is probably because I don’t know the best way to utilise it. Personally it seems like a constant stream with no conversation or interaction and I, personally, have never bought a book via Twitter, although I have clicked on article links. I do know quite a few people who have a lot of success on Twitter – how I have no clue.

Most authors like to read, what have you recently finished reading? Did you enjoy it?

The Tripods trilogy. I loved these books when I was younger and so this is a great journey back to my younger days.  Before that I read a medieval romance called Creating Memories by Lisa Shea. I have read her work before and enjoyed it. Her heroine was a feisty lass and the love story built slowly with many twists.

I am currently reading a book about Lunacy and Mad-Doctors in Victorian Britain.

Can you name your favourite traditionally published author? And your favourite indie/self-published author? Too many to name, but picking a few – traditionally published – Gaston Leroux, Alexandre Dumas, the Brontes, Bram Stoker, Janet Morris, Tolkien, Agatha Christie, Ellis Peters, Colin Wilson, Terry Pratchett, HG Wells, Jules Verne. Indie/SPA – Walter Rhein, Lisa Shea, Diana Wicker, Janet Morris, JD Hallowell, Ross Harrison, Thaddeus White, Leeland Artra.

What are your views on authors offering free books?   I actually did a blog post on the Mythic Scribes blog last year about this – leading a debate for authors and readers who were for and against this.  My own view – it can work but needs to be handled carefully. Many readers download books BECAUSE they are free and don’t read them. It is not a guaranteed way to get reviews or more readers but it might work for some. As a reader I have read an author’s free book and then bought a follow up. Some readers assume that a free book will be rubbish – or why would it be free? I think it depends what an author expects from a freebie campaign – do they simply want to get their name out there and hope that a few people will take the chance and read the book, then tell their friends? I think exposure is the main reason for offering freebies.  I download free books and I do read them but not as many as I used to.  Smashwords has a useful tool – an author can offer a voucher to discount a book – which is handy for review copy or giveaway prizes. In my view that works better than a generally free book as it is easier to target.

The Great Free Book Debate: The Readers

The Great Free Book Debate: The Authors

Do you have a favourite movie? I have many, I watch a lot of films. Let me see – in no particular order: Dead Poets Society, Star Wars IV-VI, Schindler’s List, Lord of the Rings Trilogy, Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserables, Alien et al, Monty Python films, Silent Running, Dune (miniseries), Pale Rider, High Plains Drifter, Jane Eyre, Guardians of the Galaxy, Batman Begins, Dark Knight Rises, Star Dust, Bram Stoker’s Dracula….

Can you name your worst job? Do you think you learned anything from the position that you now use in your writing? I worked in a kitchen in my student days. I hated it.  The money was diabolical, the hours sucked and some of the other staff were just plain nasty.  I don’t think I learned anything from that job except to respect people in menial jobs – they get a raw deal.

Can you give us a silly fact about yourself? I’m Caulrophobic. I hate puppets too.

Book links, website/blog and author links:

Please see the side bar for links – but here are the main ones:

 

Light Beyond the Storm Amazon http://tinyurl.com/oxttl4y

Shining Citadel Amazon http://tinyurl.com/nek3zs2

Nine Heroes http://tinyurl.com/qzgre7x

Tales of Erana: Myths and Legends

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00JCHQWJK

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00JCHQWJK

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/tales-erana-myths-legends/id867836913?mt=11

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/tales-of-erana-alexandra-butcher/1119319325?ean=2940045846837

http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/tales-of-erana-myths-and-legends

Audiobook. http://www.audible.com/pd/Sci-Fi-Fantasy/Tales-of-Erana-Audiobook/B00LB8WH0G/

http://www.amazon.com/Tales-Erana-Myths-Legends/dp/B00LCEUJ5E

http://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Sci-Fi-Fantasy/Tales-of-Erana-Audiobook/B00LB8Q4JG/

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Tales-Erana-Myths-Legends-Unabridged/dp/B00LBCTSA4

 

Newest Release – Spectacular Tales http://www.amazon.co.uk/Spectacular-Tales-Collection-Collaboration-Presents-ebook/dp/B00N3SPH5O/

Indie Collaborations Presents… Summer Shorts

Well here we go again…. another great anthology from the Indie Collaboration, a group of authors who met on Facebook and have decided to produce several anthologies of short stories for your reading pleasure, for free where possible. Mixed genre there should be something for everyone. The latest offering is Summer Shorts, with a mix of fantasy, poetry, dark fiction, horror, sci-fi and general literature.

In this I have a poem about the glorious, and often rainy British Summer Time, and a funny fairy-tale type story – the Kitchen Imps.

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/448685

The book will also be available on Amazon and the Smashwords associate stores shortly.

To date we have:

Tales from Dark Places: A Halloween Collection

Yuletide Tales: A Christmas Collection

Kiss and Tales: A Romantic Collection

Snips, Snails and Puppy Dog Tales: A Children’s Collection

Summer Shorts.

This year will also (hopefully) see a sci-fi/fantasy collection and a second horror themed one.

Please check these out and support Indies!

 

 

Kiss and Tales: A Little Free Romance—Just in Time for Valentine’s Day

February 12, 2014—The Indie Collaboration has released the third entry into its unique anthology series. This anthology, Kiss and Tales: A Romantic Collection, is a collection of free original tales brought to you by a group of independent authors who call themselves, The Indie Collaboration.

Contributing author, Alan Hardy says, “This time, we present a chocolate box selection of love stories. Some are romantic, some funny, some sad and some mysterious. Whatever the style, there will be a story in here that will melt even the most hardened of hearts.”

Kiss and Tales can be downloaded for free at Smashwords and is available for purchase on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iTunes, Kobo, Pothi and at other retailers.

The founding member, UK-based author Peter John says, “The Indie Collaboration grew out of a group of like-minded independent authors. Together, we decided to show the world how great works of fiction can be created without the involvement of any large publishing companies. Creating a direct channel between ourselves and our readers is of the utmost importance to us. Each author has freely donated their time and work and are committed to the Indie Collaboration’s cause of offering the best of indie authors in bite size pieces for free.”

The first two entries in the collection are Tales from Dark Places: The Halloween Collection and Yuletide Tales: A Festive Collective. The list of contributors for each collection changes depending on each individual contributor’s interests and area of writing specialty.

Contributing author Kristina Blasen says, “The Indie Collaboration is made up of a wonderful group of independent writers. Reading anthologies is a great way to tap into a wealth of mostly undiscovered, yet very talented writers. We are truly a diverse group of writers and we have members from all over the world. It shows in the unique stories and collections that we are able to create. You’re not going to find this mix of quality, originality and multi-cultural flair reading works put out by the large publishing houses.”

The next installment to be released by The Indie Collaboration is already in the works and will be out just in time for Easter on April 18, 2014. It’s called Snips, Snails and Puppy Dog Tales and is a collection of original children’s stories.

You can learn more about The Indie Collaboration, the group of contributing authors and their mission online at: http://theindiecollaboration.webs.com/. Kiss and Tales: A Romantic Collection can be downloaded for free on Smashwords at: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/407614 or bought on Amazon on http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00IDNIOOK

 

Here’s a great little video about the collection. http://animoto.com/play/qArGfawrUHVxnZosbdXkMg

Indie Collaboration Author Interview – 3 Chris Raven

Indie Collaboration Author Interviews

Welcome to Chris Raven

Please tell us a little about yourself. I’m a 47 year old single father who has been rediscovering writing as a creative outlet.

Please tell us about the story you are offering for the Indie Collaboration anthology? I am not sure where my story came from. It started with an idea of an outwardly normal and happy couple whose neighbours all know that they row terribly behind closed doors. I then had try and work out what was really going on. I don’t want to say too much as I don’t want to give away the ending.

Is this your normal genre? Tell us a little about your other works. I’m just starting out really, in that I am writing fiction with the intention of publishing now, as opposed to just writing bits and pieces for my own entertainment. I suspect my ‘genre’ is a mishmash of fantasy, horror, and comedy, but its early days yet and I am experimenting and keeping an open mind. I have a number of other short stories lined up to follow this one, as I am working on a series linked by a small number of localities. I have also been working on some stage plays, which are turning out to be quite quirky.

Do you find shorter stories more difficult to write than a novel/novella? I have really enjoyed the short story format, especially working within a word limit, which I have found really useful in focusing me to structure my stories very tightly.

Research can be important in world-building, how much do you need to do for your books? Do you enjoy this aspect of creating a novel and what are your favourite resources? I have found research quite helpful actually, surprisingly so. Initially it was daunting and I thought it would get in the way of creativity. However, once I started and had some idea of the ‘world’ in which I wanted to set my stories, I found it inspired ideas.

In what formats are your other books available? (E-books, print, large print audio) Are you intending to expand these?  Watch this space!!!

Do you self-edit? If so why is that the case? Do you believe a book suffers without being professionally edited? A professional edit has got to be good, but it is expensive. One of the main benefits being a part of the Indie Collaboration I have found is the mutual proof-reading, commenting, suggesting and reviewing that we do for each other.

How important is a high quality cover to you? I love a good cover, e-book or paper; I can’t help but judge a book by its cover.

Do you listen to music or watch TV whilst you write? I start with music playing, but when I realise I don’t know how long ago the CD ended, I know I’ve had a good session at the keyboard.

What experiences can a book provide that a movie or video game cannot? Reading is a shared creative experience.

What advice would you give new writers? As a new writer myself, I would say stick with it and just write, it doesn’t matter what, how good or bad, or how much, the important thing is to start. Also (and I don’t know how true this is for others, but it worked for me) if you get really struck, start something else and come back to the first thing later with fresh eyes. But don’t forget, you do need to finish at least some of the things you start at some point.

What are your best marketing/networking tips? Get as many marketing tips from people as you can.

Most authors also like to read, what books do you enjoy? Big fan of George R. R. Martin at the moment, I just wish he would write a bit faster. I would be lying if I said my short story writing wasn’t inspired to some degree by Ray Bradbury. I’m a big Conan Doyle, HP Lovecraft, Wyndham and Asimov fan.

Can you give us a silly fact about yourself? I secretly sing when no one else is around.

Book links, website/blog and author links:

http://chrisravenblog.wordpress.com/

 

 

Indie Collaboration Author Interview 1 – HALLOWEEN- Alan Hardy

Some of you may have seen the post titled “Indie Collaboration Presents.”

This is a collection of short stories by some of the most talented indie authors around. Tales from Dark Places is the first of these offerings, hopefully to  be followed by a few more. To celebrate its release I have interviewed some of the authors…

https://libraryoferana.wordpress.com/2013/10/29/indie-collaboration-presents/

Welcome to Alan Hardy

Please tell us a little about yourself. I’m a director of an English language school for foreign students. Married, with one daughter. Poetry pamphlets: Wasted Leaves, 1996; I Went With Her, 2007. I’ve had poems published in such magazines as  Orbis, Iota, The Interpreter’s House, Poetry Nottingham, Poetry Salzburg Review, Poetry Cornwall, and others. I have now written five novels. I would describe them as surreal novels exploring the nature of relationships, romantic and sexual, and Britain’s class-system, with liberal use of comedy and satire,  creating original and riveting settings full of humour, romance, sex and adventure.

Please tell us about the story you are offering for the Indie Collaboration anthology? It’s the tale of a guy who realises he’s being pursued/held back by a mysterious figure/shape/presence. He’s physically held back in the sense that his coat gets caught up somewhere, or he trips up on a table-leg, etc. He becomes convinced that this means he’s being prevented from progressing further into life i.e. that he’s going to die. He decides to tempt fate by daring the Grim Reaper to do his worst…and He does…

Is this your normal genre? Tell us a little about your other works. Not really, generally my writing is satirical/humorous/a bit outrageous.

Do you find shorter stories more difficult to write than a novel/novella? No, not really. I’m also a poet, so am used to chiselling away at shorter pieces, paring down the words to create conciseness and shape at the same time.

Research can be important in world-building, how much do you need to do for your books? Do you enjoy this aspect of creating a novel and what are your favourite resources? I don’t do that much research, as my work tends to be a bit surreal, so the authenticity can be a bit eccentric, if you get my point.

In what formats are your other books available? E-book.

Do you self-edit? If so why is that the case? Do you believe a book suffers without being professionally edited? It needs to be done properly, and that needs another person to cast an objective eye over things.

How important is a high quality cover to you? That’s important. We judge people initially by their faces, and books by their covers (initially)

What are your opinions about authors commenting on reviews? Do you mean commenting, for example, on the bad reviews they might have received? They shouldn’t comment at all really, whether on favourable or unfavourable reviews. I used to review poetry quite a lot once, and didn’t expect the originators of the pieces under review to get too hot under the collar about what I said…although I never wanted to hurt anybody.

Do you listen to music or watch TV whilst you write? No.

What experiences can a book provide that a movie or video game cannot? All of them give full rein to the imagination, but books don’t have to be as precise as the others in drawing the framework/background that holds that fantasy. So, a book can be much more wide-sweeping in what it conjures up in terms of setting/atmosphere/etc.

What advice would you give new writers? Don’t give up, and be prepared always to re-write.

What are your best marketing/networking tips? Bond with other writers, even if you’re not the tree-hugging type. They are experiencing the same things as you, and you’ll learn a lot from them.

Most authors also like to read, what books do you enjoy? History books. Always been into that.

Can you give us a silly fact about yourself? I’ve been a teacher all my life, and yet am, socially, not at all gregarious, in fact something of an anti-social old git.

Book links, website/blog and author links:http://www.amazon.co.uk/Gabriella-ebook/dp/B009H7SCMA/ref=sr_1_6?s=books

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6549307.Alan_Hardy

Indie Collaboration Author Interview 2 – HALLOWEEN – Peter John

Some of you may have seen the post titled “Indie Collaboration Presents.”

This is a collection of short stories by some of the most talented indie authors around. Tales from Dark Places is the first of these offerings, hopefully to  be followed by a few more. To celebrate its release I have interviewed some of the authors…

https://libraryoferana.wordpress.com/2013/10/29/indie-collaboration-presents/

Welcome to Peter John

Please tell us a little about yourself. I was born in Bromley Kent, England in 1973. I gained an interest in creative writing at the age of 14 and was published during the 1990s in several poetry anthologies. I have been happily married to Jo since 1996 and I am currently living in Sidcup Kent, not so far from the tree.

Please tell us about the story you are offering for the Indie Collaboration anthology? It’s a short physiological chiller about an unseen evil.

Is this your normal genre? Tell us a little about your other works. It’s not exactly my normal genre. I have been mainly writing comedy. My book ‘Dead Medium’ is a paranormal comedy.

Do you find shorter stories more difficult to write than a novel/novella? The shorter works take less time generally yet fitting everything into a restricted number of works can be rather tricky at times.

Research can be important in world-building, how much do you need to do for your books? Do you enjoy this aspect of creating a novel and what are your favourite resources? For Dead Medium I drew mostly from experience but I did score the internet clarification on some issues that arose.

In what formats are your other books available? (E-books, print, large print audio) Are you intending to expand these? (If applicable) Dead Medium is available on Kindle and paperback. I have no plans as yet to expand on these but I would love to produce an audio book sometime in the future.

Do you self-edit? If so why is that the case? Do you believe a book suffers without being professionally edited? I do self edit, however, I believe that nobody should edit their work solely by themselves. I have yet to meet anyone who can successfully locate all and every error in their own work no matter how deeply they delve into it. Professional edits can be costly and not always comprehensively thorough. I would always advise authors to get their work proof read by as many people as possible prior to publishing.

How important is a high quality cover to you? It is the shop window of your book and a poor cover can make readers baulk before even turning the first page so yes a well thought out and good quality cover is very important. We at The Indie Collaboration are very lucky to have Book Birdy Designs (http://bookbirdydesigns.wordpress.com) producing our anthology covers.

What are your opinions about authors commenting on reviews? I don’t think it is advisable to comment on the reviews of your own book. Everyone is entitled to their opinion and, no matter how good your book is, not everybody in the world will like it.

Do you listen to music or watch TV whilst you write? No, silence is oh so golden.

What experiences can a book provide that a movie or video game cannot? When you read a book your own imagination mixes in with the authors words to make it a completely unique and personal experience.

What advice would you give new writers? Never give up, never surrender.

What are your best marketing/networking tips? Get your work out there and in as many places as possible. Most readers won’t buy a book until they have first seen it mentioned in several different places.

Most authors also like to read, what books do you enjoy? Science fiction and fantasy. It was Piers Anthony’s Xanth series that turned my opinion of reading from being a school-time chore into a pleasure to behold.

Can you give us a silly fact about yourself? Ask me a question and if I don’t know the answer I generally respond by saying “Cheesy beans”.

Book links, website/blog and author links:

http://thetrumpdiary.wordpress.com/

http://deadmediumpeterjohn.webs.com/

Other book links:

http://www.amazon.com/Wrapped-Brown-Paper-Other-ebook/dp/B00D8E91Q4

http://www.amazon.com/Dead-Medium-Peter-John/dp/1481879103

https://libraryoferana.wordpress.com/2013/10/30/indie-collaboration-interview-1-halloween-andy-hardy/