This week has been busy, and I have been terribly unmotivated. Sadly, I never got around to writing a blog post. So today I decided to do something different. Here is a list of new indie authors, all published their first book this year 2021.
Please take a look at them, share them maybe, buy them, read them, review them. Whether you are a new author yourself or someone who has been published for decades. You must remember what it was like to start out. How a helping hand would have been nice. How happy each and every sale brought you, and likely still does.
Let us help these new authors feel that!
As I began organizing the words that found their way onto these pages, I saw two pictures: Incarcerations and Emancipations.
Incarcerations are the things that break us. The hurts that have gone unhealed. Raw moments in our lives where we cannot figure out what the next right thing could be.
But there are always Emancipations. The things that change you and put all of those broken pieces back together and create something even more beautiful.
Fight for those prisonbreaks. The tiny liberations that remind you who you were and who you are and who you want to be. The ones that feel like grace.
Don't be your own warden.
"Relatable but fascinating... I can't wait to discover more with Norah in the next book." (Amazon review)
"The ending is fantastic and left me immediately wanting more." (Goodreads review)
Norah is a university student struggling to pay the bills and get through her classes--let alone find time for dates--when the skies light up with explosions from above.
Or is she?
'Another BOOM, and behind her, she saw the street light up in putrescent purples and blues. "What was that?" she shrieked.
Casey didn't even slow down.'
Casey is the cute guy in her Calculus class who can't seem to tell an integral from a differential--until he takes her hand and pulls her away from the explosions.
Or is he?
'To him, the surprise wasn't so much that the rebels would launch such an attack on a defenceless city--they were traitors, after all. It was that they didn't launch more.'
Loren is one of those traitors, condescending and handsome, unabashedly on the wrong side of whatever war she's found herself mired in.
Or is he?
After the passing of his mother, then sixteen year old Greyson Ty Thomas, aka Tack, was forced to live with his uncle in Ocean Falls, a sleepy, coastal Texas town. While Uncle Jake worked long hours at the local chemical plant, Greyson spent his time training, with dreams of leaving it all behind once he was drafted into the National Football League. Until he met her.
Presley Rae Manning, the apple of her father’s eye, grew up without her mother. She’d walked out when Pres was a small child and never looked back. Eventually, the small home she shared with her father was filled with music, as she discovered her love of dance. The small town sweetheart was destined to shine. Until she met him.
HARDPRESSED is a scorching, fast paced, second chance romance that pushes the envelope, heightens the senses and redefines the meaning of family.
S. Alessandro Martinez
Rei would do anything for those she loves.
As her best friend, Abby, struggles to cope with the sudden loss of her husband, Rei and her closest girlfriends take her to a beautiful lakeside house nestled in the forests of the Pacific Northwest, hoping that a weekend of support from long-time friends will help Abby along her road of emotional recovery.
But as the young women get settled, Rei begins to notice there’s something wrong with the place. Could this peaceful, idyllic location be hiding an ancient evil below the waters of the lake? Or are the problems wholly within Abby herself, who seems to be losing her grip on reality? When unexplainable, nightmarish things occur, Rei realizes this weekend getaway may turn into their last outing.
The Fredrickson’s seem like your typical, run of the mill family. Fitz, a business executive, spends most of his days working long hours at the office, to provide for his family. Margaret, better known as Margie, spends her days taking care of the house, and the two children they have. Sally, their oldest, is your average teenager, glued to her cell phone, and full of sass. Tommy, the youngest of the group. Plays far too many video games on his laptop and spends the rest of his time lost in his imagination. For years nothing has changed, their interwoven daily routines a near constant schedule of both great and horrible times. Yet this summer is different, Fitz shares the news that he is taking them on a vacation. News that shocks the family. The Fredrickson’s venture deep into the Colorado mountains to a secluded lake resort. Everything seems perfect as the family settles into their cabin for a much needed and long overdue vacation. As other groups fill in the remaining cabins located around the lake days before the fourth of July celebrations. Fitz’s true plans come together as he watches the couple enter cabin five. Unaware that Fitz’s vacation, has just begun.
Eighteen year old Yuki Sakura is a kindhearted young man who works a steady job, has a loving family, and likes to help people. However, what's most important to him is the promise he made to his ailing little sister Hikari.
Hospitalized indefinitely, Yuki's eight year old sister Hikari is his whole world, the one he cherishes most. An innocent prisoner of her crippling condition, she asks a simple request of her big brother one day after spotting something beautiful outside her window:
"I really want to ride that Ferris Wheel."
After only a few days, Hikari holds Yuki to those words, and over time he realizes how important they really are...
Follow Yuki Sakura as he goes about his daily life, embraces new experiences, and learns what it truly means to keep a promise...
Simone Leigh Martin
I had to die, to find a reason to live.
I knew pain. It had ruined every good thing in my life, until I couldn’t bear to live another day. Things had to be better on the other side… or so I thought.
Waking up in a dumping ground for unrepentant murderers was a new kind of low. I wasn’t meant to be there, but my only way out was to prove myself through torturous trials.
Except I was too busy fighting to survive, because in Limbo, there were worse things than being dead. Like blood kisses, winged monsters and psychotic bunkmates with eternal grudges…
But who would have thought I had the power to drag warrior-angels out of the sky?
Zadkiel, the Dominion of Mercy, swore he’d do whatever it took to get me out of Limbo. Only I’m not sure I want to leave the green-eyed angel behind.
But when your afterlife is built on secrets and lies, what you want doesn’t really matter. And following your heart might just bring a warrior-angel to his knees.
Pass the bottle and I’ll tell you a story of whiskey and wheelguns; of when mighty Buffalo Soldiers patrolled the desert on iron steeds, and of cannibal lizard men deep in the Louisiana bayou; of Navajo skin-walkers and the Mexican undead; of the forgotten tomb of an ancient Mayan god and the Man with Bronze Teeth. A story of the lawman Zarahemla Two Crows and the young widow who together stormed the gates of Hell to rescue her son. A story, my friend, of when the west was weird.
Good World is fictitious tale of good overtaking evil once and for all. This story is unique because it ventures to explain where we came from, why we are here and where we are going.
The storyline takes readers on a suspenseful journey from past to present and gives a bird’s eye view of the future when evil is gone. And the characters, good and bad, are very dynamic. They give the reader more than just an average adventure. The journey is filled with drama, mystery, humor, friendship, romance as well as history, science, religion and magic.
This story presents many view points, the most important being – there is no balance of good and evil – there is only the balance of moving forward.
The next most important point is – Love does make the world go round.
The scene is set by a light-hearted prologue describing of a dog named Walter. He is adopted by a couple who at the onset of the story have employment problems. The couple learns that their dog is responsible for their dilemma and is a caretaker that came back into life to spur them to help him with an inevitable vocation – to save humanity in order to save all life - everywhere.
The story continues with three chapters of meditation that give inklings to the past. And then the story moves full steam ahead as magic is awakened in the characters to endure a do or die mission.
The characters are also assisted by worldly personalities to help undo what evil has accomplished. Each character in this story interacts on a human level, providing readers with down-to-earth situations that stream into paradoxical outcomes.
Delving into the unknown, the author offers a logical view of the body and soul union, reincarnation, past and future lives and promotes a sense that there is no end in sight. This story honors all walks of life, all religions and connects them all together.
And this story will be the launching point for future novels that will take the reader into a mind-bending future that will be combated by those who wish to stop human advancement.
All life presented in this story is connected with a precise explanation that will give birth to other storylines – somewhat like most science fiction shows. But very unlike those popular sci-fi shows – there are no space ships. There is only magic, love and many well concocted magical inventions and theories.
Readers will walk away from this story filled with a new sense of hope regardless of that fact that it is fiction. After the roller coaster ride, readers will not only rehearse in their minds the potential of what the author is trying to convey, but they will want to know of the adventures that are yet to come.
Between re-animated corpses, sword-wielding cops and daemon-infested guns, retired detective Gideon Brown is about to have the worst week of his life. It may just turn out to be the last week of his life.
After a traumatic encounter claims the lives of people under his protection, retired detective Gideon Brown wants nothing more than to curl up inside a whiskey bottle for the rest of his life. But a violent murder outside his apartment sends him out the front door and into the harsh, unforgiving light of Crash City.
Before he knows it, Gideon is on the run in a city left in ruins by the death and fall of a deity known as the Last God, hunted by a shadowy figure with the power to bring the dead back to life in the most horrific of ways.
Along the way he finds a pair of unlikely allies in a rookie soldier of the militaristic Seraph and a reclusive wych. Together the three must solve the mystery behind the corpse of the Last God that still lies in a devastated quarter of the city known as the Battery. All the while dodging murderous street gangs, unholy terrors, and a violent city police force.
Gideon learns the stakes extend far beyond the environs of Crash City.
And all he wanted was some breakfast.
The Last God is the debut novel from author Norris Black and the first in the Crash City Saga series.
Welcome back on this fine Sunday morning. Yes, I decided we would do this outside in the botanical gardens this week. Look at all the beautiful plant life. If you stop and block everything else out, you can almost hear them—they speak to me—and do as I say—erm sorry, long night. I think I might have been drugged. And don't ask about this tight green skin suit—cause I don't know—all I remember was being with Marc LeGrand and something about going to the museum to look at some Egyptian artifacts…
Anyway, we are getting off course. You don't care about my weird night and why all the plants seem to follow me. You are here for whatever weird random information I am going to spew out today.
And that is Stereotypes.
Yup, even in the author's world, you can't escape them and their negative bullshit. I suspect a good handful of you will agree with what I am about to say, and then there will be a handful that don't. That's fine; we are all entitled to our own opinions. But keep this in mind, stereotypes aren't opinions; they're hurtful slander against their chosen targets. Don't be like that, be better.
Now, this week I was going to write a blog post about the sure-fire way to sell 100 books every single day with these three easy, simple tricks. But that seems boring and less important than this. So let's talk about this instead, and I'll get back to that selling thing in a few months, maybe…
So, we've all seen those "Men writing women" posts,
They are funny; I laugh often, but not because it's a man writing something clearly foolish about a woman. I laugh because it is just bad writing from an author. Being able to write good women or men in stories has absolutely nothing to do with what gender you are and is all about what talent as a writer you possess. I have read just as many books by women who suck at depicting other women.
To say men can't write women well is, 1- simply wrong and, 2- a stereotype and harmful to authors and, 3- very, very ignorant.
Now I get it; it can be a bit fun to poke some fun at each other with the "battle of the sexes" kind of thing. Men can't write women, women can't write men and all that jazz, but really it has nothing to do with our genders.
This one generally comes about because it is believed that the romance genre is heavily overrun by female authors. It is true, there are more female authors in this genre now, but it wasn't always so, AND a lot of these female authors like Jessica Blair, who is widely known, are actually Bill Spence using a female pen name.
There are hundreds of top name-selling romance authors who are men using female pen names to sell their books. They do so, not to hide themselves, but because this stereotype that they can't write good romance exists.
How many of you remember Harlequin Romance novels? Those old school cheesy covered books likely your mom, aunt, or grandma was reading?
You'd be surprised to know near 30% of these were written by men using pen names.
Trust me when I say this, men can write women. Authors with a lack of talent are where the fingers need to be pointed, not genres here.
Now, this is a sore spot a bit for me because this is a stereotype I get nailed with sometimes since I do, in fact, write erotica from time to time. And once again, it is believed to be a primarily female-dominated genre. (which again is only kind of true.)
"Men can't write good erotica!"
This one drives me mad. Once again, it has nothing, and I mean NOTHING, to do with gender and all about talent. Just as many women write horrible erotica as men *cough cough…50 Shades of Grey…cough cough* (insert quotes)
It all comes down to talent. Some people can write good erotica; some cannot. It also comes down to who your target audience is. Are you going for more romance/emotional erotica? Or just the straight dirty fucking erotica? Or maybe a full-on paranormal ride with erotica elements? There are readers for all of them (and more)
The thing I love most about this one is that several of the top indie erotica authors are men using female pen names. (for the same reason as the romance authors) I know this for a fact because I have been talking to many of them for years about this very problem. They have all told me to switch my erotica to a female pen name, and I would sell 100 times more of them than I do. But I refuse to do so. Because I refuse to let, a stereotype force me to hide who I am just so I can convince people to read some of my work.
Let's flip it now the other way.
Another HUGE one I see all the time is that women can't write good fantasy, sci-fi, or horror.
This comes about because, once again, the fantasy/sci-fi/horror genres are male-heavy and always have been. Then the crap of "females can't visualize these genres as well as men, because men are more action, world-building dominate."
Read that again and tell me your eyes didn't just roll into the back of your head.
I mean, if that were true, we wouldn't have Anne Rice, Melanie Rawn, Kathrine Addison, Marion Zimmer Bradley, Robin Hobb, Diana Wynne Jones, and SOOOOO many others.
Women can just as well write compelling and action-packed fantasy/sci-fi as any man can if said author has the talent. And believe me, there are many male fantasy/sci-fi authors who can't do it very well. Which as we all know, that clearly means their genitals didn't give them the magical power to be able to write one genre better than another gender.
And it goes without saying; there is a decent portion of female fantasy/sci-fi authors hiding behind male pen names to help sell their books here too. Pat Murphy, James Tiptree, Robin Hobb, Magus Flyte, to name a few. All female authors in the fantasy world with male names.
Now a lot of these stereotypes come about and are enforced by the readership of these genres. Yes, it is true there is a larger readership of women who read romance and erotica. And yes, there is a larger population of men who read fantasy/sci-fi. It is true; there is no denying that.
But I wonder how much of that would be true today if we weren't affected by the stereotypes around us growing up? How many more women would read/write fantasy/sci-fi if most of their lives weren't depicted as damsels in distress? Or playing a romantic lead instead of the hero? They need to be beautiful and caring and not wear plate mail and carry around a bloodied axe with a cape made from the scalps of their enemies!
Or that men don't always have to be the hero, or tough, rough, violent, and needing a woman to complete them.
Things are changing in these areas, slowly but surely. But until we come to understand that these stereotypes are not only foolish and 100% wrong, they are very harmful and discrediting to authors everywhere.
United we stand. Divided, we fall.
So maybe this week, if you want to help make a small difference, promote someone you know and respect who falls into these stereotypes. Support your male erotica/romance authors, post your favorite female fantasy/sci-fi authors.
Want to take it a step further? Go and explore new ones!
Well, sadly, this is all the time I have for this today. I need to meet up with my friend Harley and discuss a bat problem…
Indie author of the week
For over a decade Lily Green has terrorized the United States. Like a monster, she seemed to be everywhere and yet nowhere. Until one day, when her killing spree suddenly stopped. Where could she be? That is the question everyone wanted to know the answer to for the past year. There were allegations made by the beloved reporter Shannon Scott that Tom Childress had the answers, but even Tom found himself on the same side of that question.Where is Lily Green?Inspired by the desire to help Lily, and many like her, Tom opened up Eden's Mind; a special research center designed to cure the mentally unwell without the use of pharmaceuticals. He and his partner Zachary Gilbert believes the overuse of manmade chemical enhancements will eventually taint human genetics and that not every dark and twisted soul is a victim to a mental imbalance. Some people just need help to see the light and both of them are more than ready to show just how far they are willing to go to make the world a better place.
Come in and sit down; papa James is about to drop some serious truth. No games, no gimmicks today, just truths. Please be careful of the ramp; I just had it installed; yes, I have a wheelchair now and am bald, no it's not cancer. But check out these sweet X rims I got!
Okay, so I have noticed a lot of talk in the writing community about authors/writers stressing out and feeling like they aren't good enough or throwing a term around that I detest, "Impostor Author or Imposter Syndrome." (Notice the change in the word—both are correct, by the way.)
We all stress out; we all wonder if we should be wasting our time writing a book, scripts, stories, articles, etc. It is part of the game. A horrible, horrible part of the process. It's okay; it's natural and normal. It also helps keep us humble. But "Imposter Author" is a ridiculous term and should never be used, ever!
Okay, there is one time it can be used. Have you not written a book but claim you have? That is the only time.
Here's the thing. If you wrote a book, or have short stories published in a book, guess what? I got good news. You are an Author. There is no maybe about it. The definition of author is: "A writer of a book, article or report."
Further diving into the definition: "An author is the creator or originator of any written work such as a book or play and is also considered a writer. More broadly defined, an author is, "the person who originated or gave existence to anything," and whose authorship determines responsibility for what was created."
So break down. It doesn't matter if you published said work yourself, or small press, or even hit the big times. You are an author.
Now there are several opinions on what defines an author over a writer. I, too, have opinions on this, but that doesn't make them right and certainly doesn't mean they are the only way to think about it.
In my mind, an author is someone who is published. Someone who had created something and is published. Be that a book, newspaper, magazine, or website. Here's the catch, paid. If you are paid or make money off of your published writing, no matter what amount, in my mind, that makes you a god damn author.
A writer to me is someone who is writing in hopes of becoming an author. Or someone who writes blogs, articles, or stories that they post for free. Now that doesn't make you less of an "author" of said content, but the definition for me is if you are or have made money for it.
Calm down; I said at the beginning that was my take on the two terms. I think no less of either. Writing is amazing, and I support it no matter how you wanna do it.
Now, I get a lot of people have this "Imposter Syndrome" about being an author due to not feeling like they are good enough. That normally comes after a bad review or several. Or someone says something to you that is negative towards your writing or your writing ambitions. In short, fuck them.
If you have the passion inside of you to write, then write.
I am not saying you will ever make it big; hell, 65% of indies and small press authors struggle to sell a hundred books a year (many big ones don't fare a lot better.) But you never know unless you do it, right? Well, you sit there stewing with self-doubt. You may very well have the next big thing inside of you. You won't know unless you write it.
It's not easy; I'll not lie to you and say that it is. Writing a book, more so the first one, is hard. It taxes the mind, body, and soul sometimes to levels that you'd be surprised could happen from something as casual as writing, but it can happen. But let me tell you, the feeling of accomplishment is phenomenal when you finish and sit back and look at it and know you did that. You created that. And when you hold that first paperback in your hand with your name on it—breath-taking.
I fully 100% understand the level of disappointment and heart-crushing, though, when you put a book out there, and it seems to fall flat. It hurts. At first, you tell yourself, "it's okay, people are busy, it is this time of year or that, it'll pick up," or, "people are reading other books right now, mines on their list, they'll get to it."
Months go by, and still, you see no sales or very few. No reviews to validate your hard work and effort. It sucks, and even the toughest of us feel the cut when this happens.
I have no magic remedy to this (yet); I wish I did. I wish I could tell you, if you do this and that with a side order of this other weird thing, you will sell (arbitrary number here)
It is hard to sell books, damn hard sometimes. It takes work, sometimes more work than even writing the damn thing did. It takes time and effort, and commitment. Worst off, what works for some doesn't always work for others. Some people get lucky; they know people that can help in big ways. Other people have strong marketing game on social media. Others have a solid budget for running ads. There are a million variables to it.
What you need to do is find out what YOU have. What tricks do you possess for this? Who do you know that might be able to help? What local resources are within your grasp? Newspapers? Radio? Farmers markets? Local art shows? All of these things can add up and push you in the right direction.
There are plenty of online resources that you can use and find on your very own. Social media, there are dozens of outlets to explore and make work for you. Facebook, Twitter, Tic Toc, Instagram, Linkedin, etc. Find them, see what others are doing and what seems to work, then put your own personal twist on it and put it out there.
There are bloggers, book clubs, vloggers, and a dozen other entities out there that you can track down thousands of people doing these things and see if they would be interested in having you on their site, do an interview, etc.
These are all things you can do, and if you want to get your book out there and see those sales, then it is a must. More so if you don't have a budget for running ads.
Another stress I have been seeing is feeling like you don't compare to other authors. I get this a lot. I tweet a lot about my process and word counts and all that jazz. It's not meant to make anyone feel bad; it's to show what I am doing and inspire others. Though I do understand how sometimes it can feel when someone posts, "I wrote 4000 words today!" and you're sitting there thinking, "shit, I haven't written 4000 words all month."
Don't let that get to you. Some days I can write 5000 words; other times, I'll struggle to write 500 words in a week. It's all a wash at the end of the day. The book will get written when it gets written, don't force it.
You'll also see authors who can put up 2 or 3 sometimes more books a year and think, why can't I do that? Why have I been working on this book for a year, two, three, or even longer?
It's not a race. We all have different things in life that affect how we write or how much we can write. I myself normally put out 2 or 3 books a year. I have been doing this for 14 years. I have a solid system in place. Yes, I work full time, I am a father and husband and help run a household, but I make time to write, and thankfully I am set up in a way that I can do so often enough.
My first book took me three years to write. So do not fret.
One of the things that come into play is the length of these books. You see authors dropping four books a year; sometimes, those books are only 20 to 50k each. That makes a big difference from 80k or 150k book you might be working on.
Regardless, it is not a race. We can't look at each other as competition. You can't think, "I am not a real writer/author cause I can't do what these other people do."
Let that stuff go and work on YOUR story.
If you want to be an author, then be an author. No, you may never be a huge success. You may never hit the best sellers list; hell, you may not even sell a hundred books. But if being an author is something you want to be able to put on your trophy mantle, then do it. Worry about the after parts once it's done.
Once you've written a book, no one can take that away from you.
Sorry, I know; things got a little emotional there. But I hope this helps and inspires you to keep going and that some of that stress and worry can slide off your shoulders now.
Alas, our time is at an end, and I have to go check on my mutants—erm students.
Indie author of the week
The peaceful standoff of two world super powers is shattered when a Russian bomber collides with an American fighter over the coast of Alaska. With NORAD now on full alert the memories of the bad old days of the Cold War with the Soviet Union are resurrected and the new world order is threatened. In a plot fueled by blackmail, money and treachery, The covert actions of the CIA threatens an open war with the Russians and Edwin Kiger, the President of the United States is forced to contemplate a decision not faced in a generation. Tensions have reached a breaking point. Is anyone's finger on the nuclear button?
If you are a fan of the early works of Tom Clancy, this book takes you back to the days when the nightly news headlines were blanketed with stories of the Cold War. Don't miss this modern day Cold War thriller.