Interview with K J Smith

I was born in Cambridge and still live there. My working life has be, mostly, in tech and lab work. I no longer work as I am disabled, but still play music as much a possible. Anything I do at www.alternatehistory.com, which is the only site of this kind I go on like this, my user name is tallthinkev. When I do publish it will be under my real name of K J Smith or John Strand, an old family name.

Question 1
How long have you been writing?

Just a couple of years and only when I first came across this site. This has been the first time I have ever written, and I use that term very lightly, any fiction. About 15 years ago I did have to write a tech manual, for the job I was then doing. It was by far the longest thing I had ever done up to that point.

Question 2
What is the first work of yours that you have published or intend to publish?

I have helped out quite a bit the Hairogs story WWIII May ’46. As for my own ‘work’ I am now editing the first part of my story which is called, at the moment, Dark Antiquity. An ISOT where Britain is transported back from 1066 to 43AD. This I hope to publish when I am happy with it, maybe in a few months. That I hope to publish on Amazon.

Question 3
Who were the earliest authors to be an inspiration for your writing?

When I went to school there was no such thing as dyslexia, therefore I was a bit ‘thick’ and had to do double English with one to one reading lessons. I was 13/14 when I read my first books which were the, The Chronicles of Narnia. Weather this had any effect on any writing I have done I don’t know, it was sometime ago now.

Question 4
Which other authors do you consider to be an inspiration and for what reason?

I think you have inspiration from everything you read, even if it’s going to be ‘I am not going to write like that.’ The ones I do like are those who have written for the Doctor Who range from Virgin and the BBC, before Nu-Who. People like Chris Boucher, Paul Leonard and Paul Cornell. Weather it is because I like the subject of the actual authors I’m not sure. I hope never to write in the style or subject matter of someone like Harry Harrison or Robert Conroy, at least I try to write about some thing I do know a little about, or do look something up I’m not sure about. They don’t!

Question 5
Are you inspired by any landscapes or buildings, or even towns and cities?

Very much so. With the WWIII story I have used a lot of Cambridge and parts not too far away. Also my family is in it as well as those from history. However I have written about them in a real way. I have used them in a way that they could have really done in the situation.

Question 6
Have you been surprised by a negative reaction to any of your work?

I don’t think I have had anything really bad said about what I have done. If have done anything that someone has not agreed with, there have always done it in a nice way. As in pointing things out more than pointing fingers.

Question 7
Other than authors (and friends and family) who are your heroes?

Hero’s? None really. I can say this person is good, or has done very well.

Question 8
Which was the first writing of yours that you are proud enough to say “I did this” about?

Maybe it could be the one I’m writing now, however it is not finished yet. Saying that I have done over 20,000 word which is something I never thought I would ever do.

Question 9
Do you find Alternate History a genre that is more difficult to write in than others, perhaps due to the focus on plausibility?

It the only thing I’ve written, apart from songs. Songs can come very easy to me sometimes.

Kevin, Thank You very much!

Interview with Fenwick

Writer Interview with Fenwick

Fenwick, who is not giving his name or image as he holds a general fear of something he calls The Machine, is a practicing Public Defender in California. He lives in the 8th most conservative city in the United States, which makes being a regular Democratic party volunteer a tad akward. After graduating with a BA in history he promptly went to Law School where he graduated magna cum laude. Currently he is seeking out his International Common Law Certificate in hopes of working for the US diplomatic corps.

He is not a published author, but has made numerous attempts at it. Most of his work is found on AH.com.

Question 1
How long have you been writing?

Since I was about thirteen.

Question 2
What is the earliest work of yours that you have published or intend to publish?

I had art friends who really had this drive to make comics. This was in that odd point when we had the internet but no one used the internet. Meaning this was all by hand. So you had 13 year old boys drawing impossibly, Rob Liefeld inspired narrow waisted big breasted women, and overly muscular men. Then you had me writing the story cause “Fen cannot draw for shit, yo.” And, yes he really did say “yo.” Mind you I was on the “project” for all of three weeks before they kicked me off. They wanted violent, super powerful, murdering space gods. I wanted this:

Only picture I drew for them. Simply 13 year olds get powers, and to me they had no skills at all. So it was buying Lucha Libre masks, and just whatever was at the thrift shop. I kept writing what I felt was realism and no one wanted that so away I went. They published something, but it was on the school printer for like one issue.

Question 3
Who were the earliest authors to be an inspiration for your writing?

I really liked Tom Wolf. First book I got into, like could not stop reading was “The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test.” It was his personal account of traveling the world with Ken Keesy (One flew over the cuckoos nest) and it was about drugs, but not really. Just these really honest conversations and events.

Question 4
Which other authors do you consider to be an inspiration and for what reason?

Terry Pratchett for his sense of humor, and also taking clearly impossible events but setting them in what can only be real life. A cop in a world with dwarves, elves, and trolls. Or a “hero” who is a honest coward.

Harry Turtledove for giving me scifi trash novels. Not as in bad but as in plentiful, cheap, and giving me what I want. My that sounds really bad out loudE

Warren Ellis. Comic book author but I view comics as any other medium. Yet when he writes about things that are not superheroes he is amazing. Ministry of Space is one to pick up, it is the British Empire conquering the stars thanks to a certain WWII black budget. Transmetropolitan an amazing technological society which has just as much crime, disease, poverty, and everything. Lastly is Planetary, which while having superheroes is really this amazing attempt to make all literature, cinema, and any idea of heroes and villains live in a unified world.

Question 5
Are you inspired by any landscapes or buildings, or even towns and cities?

Kansas City is one. I have been to China, Europe, and South America but as an America I say Kansas City Missouri. It is that awful mix of urban blight, urban sprawl, urban renewal, and urban decay in one central location. You can see these amazing Art Deco buildings right next to rusting out pre-WWI factories, and at the same time what looks like someone nailed 2014 technology to the side of the buildings. It is a really nice city mind you, but it is the ability to go from a wooden shack and fifteen minutes later be in the most ornate of buildings. Really it is how I like to view things in the world, a big huge mess of things somehow working out.

Another is Los Angeles. I live here, and I get to enjoy not the freeway and chain restaurants but the side streets and very clearly defined neighborhoods. It is kind of cool to walk down a street and suddenly everything is in Spanish, and then turn the corner and you are in Little Tokyo. Plus ever since the smog was cut down it is just bright and blue sky.

Question 6
Which was the first writing of yours that you are proud enough to say “I did this about?

For me it was this story in which it is the 1920s. An art critic and his boyfriend are at a party to see this new painter. These guys have to be in this room of communists, and booze hounds flaunting prohibition but have to hide being gay. Yet all of this is so they can see the amazing abstract artworks of Adolf Hitler. I really liked that story. Wrote it in like two hours.

Question 7
Have you been surprised by a negative reaction to any of your work?

In college I wrote this story for the campus literary magazine. It was a really simple story about a guy in a train station avoiding the police. The guy had a bomb, and it was the liberation front or something. Of course everywhere was swastika flags and such so obviously the guy was the hero. I got my little certificate, and my $20 but it was in the “filler pile.” So it was never needed. While that bummed me out, on my submission draft was this single message at the end which was like, “This was rather insulting.” To this day I have no idea what that meant. Was it the terrorism? Was the reader a Nazi? What? Tell me Mrs. T what was it?!

Question 8
Other than authors (and friends and family) who are your heroes?

I like, I guess you would call them crafty people? Thurgood Marshall, SCOTUS justice, ACLU lawyer, went to the Southern US in the 1950s to defend black men accused of rape or murder. He was a really smart guy, and surprisingly brave, but it was that “I trust the law” kind of bravely. I know in about twenty minutes I will be in my car and go “oh should have him!” But really the British Naval Intelligence of WWII, or the CIA, even some of the lesser known NATO intelligence operations in which a handful of guys clearly diverted thousands if not millions of men on some harebrained scheme.

Question 9
Do you find Alternate History a genre that is more difficult to write in than others, perhaps due to the focus on plausibility?

Not at all. What is plausible? I mean WWI was because a single guy died in his car which took a wrong turn after trying to visit people injured from an assassination attempt earlier that day? Go to a civil war museum sometimes, and you will see two bullets fused together titled, “US-Confederate musket balls.” In any film that is when the audience rolls their eyes and leaves. However it happened all the time. So when someone says it is not plausible something occurred all that means is that the half-baked reason why something occurs needs a few more minutes in the old mental oven.

Question 10
Do you write much non-narrative fiction, e.g. in the pseudo-historical fashion of articles and features from another world?

I play a game called Shared Worlds. The entire idea is to take a nation and write its history from a factual stand point. Some write stories, myself included, but mostly it is writing detailed events.

Question 11
Your ‘Fenwick Writing Challenges” inspired 2 of my short stories that I later turned into novellas. Do you know how inspirational you were? Do you know if any other works resulting from those were published?

In some ways yes, but it always surprises me how many have gone “hey Fenwick great idea there.” Really I get these ideas and I know I cannot write them how they are in my head, so I send them off to others. To my knowledge no one else really used my writing challenges and got them published. I know I have gotten nice rejection letters from all the stories I wrote for them.

Question 12
If you could go back in time to learn the truth about one historical mystery or disputed event what would it be?

I want to know who Jack the Ripper is. I cannot explain why that event is so interesting to me. I think it is the setting. All those smoke filled, foggy hazed nights and some fellow in a top hat arrives luring his victims away. It is like the perfect horror story for Victorian London, and yet the fact it really happened only to suddenly stop makes me really want to know who Jack was.

Interview with author Paul Leone

Grey Wolf’s Blog welcomes author Paul Leone for an Author Interview.

Paul Leone

Paul Leone grew up on a strange diet of Tolkien, Lewis, Lucas, Roddenberry, Stoker, monster movies and comic books. This genre passion has inexplicably fused with his entrance into the Catholic Church to give you the Vatican Vampire Hunters series. He currently resides in Western New York with a cat who is not at all interested in his overly large collection of bad movies.

Paul Leone is the author of the Vatican Vampire Hunters novels. His profile can be viewed: Paul Leone at Amazon; Vatican Vampire Hunters on Facebook; and Paul Leone at Goodreads. Purchase links for the books can be found at the end of the Interview.

Question 1 – How long have you been writing?

Professionally, for just a year or so, but I’ve been scribbling stories since I was in middle school. I think
the first one I ever wrote (or at least started) was a Quantum Leap fanfic.

Question 2 – What is the earliest work of yours that you have published or intend to publish?

Mysterious Albion, the first book in the Vatican Vampire Hunters series.

Question 3 – Who were the earliest authors to be an inspiration for your writing?

Inspirations specific to my urban fantasy are the late John Steakley and Bram Stoker, and M.R. James for his ghost stories.

Question 4 – Which other authors do you consider to be an inspiration and for what reason?

Without a doubt, J.R.R. Tolkien is at the top of the list. He practically invented the genre of high fantasy and found an inspiring way to infuse it with his religious beliefs. Arthur Conan Doyle, Agatha Christie, Arthur Machen, John Whitbourn – all excellent British authors in various genres, and Machen in particular (along with M.R. James) is helping me find the tone for my latest work, a novel about a Victorian occult detective.

Question 5 – Are you inspired by any landscapes or buildings, or even towns and cities?

London and Rome, and my home in Western New York. London is far and away the greatest city in the world, in my mind, and it was a joy to use it as the setting for Mysterious Albion.

Question 6 – Which was the first writing of yours that you are proud enough to say “I did this” about?

I think some of the stories I wrote in college would qualify for that, although I also think I’ve improved – somewhat! – since then, too.

Question 7 – Have you been surprised by a negative reaction to any of your work?

No. The harshest review anybody’s posted so far (one for Mysterious Albion) was still fairly kind even as it pointed out some shortcomings in my writing style that I’ve tried to work on since then.

Question 8 – Other than authors (and friends and family) who are your heroes?

Tolkien, St. Augustine, WW2 veterans (and veterans in general), the man who invented pizza.

Question 9 – Do you find Alternate History a genre that is more difficult to write in than others, perhaps due to the focus on plausibility?

I haven’t done much writing in the way of AH itself, but I think it’s a fine line – you want to keep things plausible, but you also want to make it entertaining. My favorite AH novel, Fatherland, is built on a fairly weak “Nazis win WW2″ scenario, but it’s still a classic of the genre.

Question 10 – How much historical, or existing vampire and demon law did you bring into your stories, and how much did you make up for the Vatican Vampire Hunter series?

As far as vampires go, I stuck with the classic Hollywood/modern idea of vampire weaknesses – sunlight, fire, holy water/symbols, etc. I don’t *think* anybody has used my particular take on the origin and nature of vampires before (which probably means 10 writers I’ve never encountered did it years ago). Regarding demons, they’re treated in a fairly Catholic manner. Most of the demonic names come from medieval and post-medieval demonology in the real world.

Question 11 – Did you find that writing the Vatican Vampire Hunters incorporated any elements of alternate history writing?

No, at least not any more than nearly every work of fiction is technically alternate history.

Question 12 – If you could go back in time to learn the truth about one historical mystery or disputed event what would it be?

I can only pick one? That’s tough, that’s really tough. What really crashed in Roswell in 1947, I guess.

Buy Links for Vatican Vampire Hunters

Mysterious Albion (Kindle): http://www.amazon.com/Mysterious-Vatican-Vampire-Hunters-ebook/dp/B00BRIENTS
Mysterious Albion (Amazon POD): http://www.amazon.com/Mysterious-Albion-Vatican-Vampire-Hunters/dp/1482739828
Mysterious Albion (Nook): http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/mysterious-albion-paul-leone/1115319453
The Book of Thoth (Kindle): http://www.amazon.com/Book-Thoth-Vatican-Vampire-Hunters-ebook/dp/B00G725FVO/
The Book of Thoth (Amazon POD): http://www.amazon.com/dp/149272839X

Grey Wolf’s Blog

RIP Mum, passed into glory 29th April 2014

I have brought my blog back online after taking it away for the duration. Apologies to anyone who was scheduled to have a feature in that period; my heart just wasn’t in it.

I will slowly rebuild the blog, but doubt I will have so many guest posts or features. This, tho, will mean that if you are featured your article will remain at the top of the page for a lot longer.

Thank You
Grey Wolf, author

Interview with Gia Volterra de Saulnier

Today on Grey Wolf’s Blog we bid a warm welcome to Gia Volterra de Saulnier, author of ‘Journey to Jazzland’ a children’s book promoting musical learning.

Gia Volterra de Saulnier author Journey to Jazzland by Gia Volterra de Saulnier

Born and raised in Fairhaven, Massachusetts and attended University of Lowell (now University of Massachusetts, Lowell). It was there that I learned to love jazz. I have been performing jazz and other kinds of music for over 20 years, throughout the New England area. I live in North Reading, Massachusetts with my husband Richard, and my son Charlie.

Amazon author profile page:
http://www.amazon.com/Gia-Volterra-de-Saulnier/e/B00EDJMS18/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0
Goodreads:
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18285700-journey-to-jazzland
http://www.facebook.com/journeytojazzland
http://twitter/giazzpet
http://www.giazzworld.blogspot.com
http://journeytojazzland.com

Interview with Gia Volterra de Saulnier

Question 1
How long have you been writing?

This is actually my first book, but I’ve been writing pretty much since High School.

Question 2
What is the earliest work of yours that you have published or intend to publish?

“Journey to Jazzland” is a picture book that just got published this last July of 2013

Question 3
Who were the earliest authors to be an inspiration for your writing?

I really liked Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (Sherlock Holmes), Shel Siverstein (“The Giving Tree”) and Maurice Sendack (“Where the Wild Things Are”)

Question 4
Which other authors do you consider to be an inspiration and for what reason?

I love J.K. Rowling’s story (who doesn’t love a rags to riches story) and also Claire Cook who wrote “Must Love Dogs” in her 40s and it got to National Best Seller and became a movie!

Question 5
Are you inspired by any landscapes or buildings, or even towns and cities?

I guess I was inspired by Boston and Cambridge (MA) landscape for this particular book, but I like any landscape really, everywhere is different.

Question 6
Which was the first book you published and why?

I actually wrote this book in 1999 for a class at Bunker Hill Community College “English Lit 102” where the project was to write and draw a picture book. I did all the original art work and all (crayons no less), and got an A on the project. I did try to get it published in 2000 and I got rejected. So the book sat on my shelf for over 12 years until my husband and his family pushed me to get it published. In 2012, I did some research on Facebook (of all things) and sent off an e mail to a fan page that did children’s picture books (Flying Turtle Publishing) http://www.flyingturtlepublishing.com and they said yes, they wanted to publish it.

Question 7
Have you been surprised by a negative reaction to any of your work?

So far, I’ve been getting rather positive reactions, but I know that this book might not be for everyone. I am hoping for positive reviews, but not everyone will give me that response. I just want kids to like my book, I think that’s the most important.

Question 8
Other than authors (and friends and family) who are your heroes?

I really love strong women but most of the heroes I know are unsung and in our Military that work really hard every day to make sure we live in a free country.

Question 9
If you could go back in time to learn the truth about one historical mystery or disputed event what would it be?

Oh man, I’d love to learn what really happened to Mozart! Why did he die so young? What about Marilyn Monroe? Loved her too – really, I love any good mystery.

Tagged and Answering

Thanks to Devorah Fox (http://devorahfox.com/index.php/2014/03/blog-tag/)

Thank You for the tag, here are my answers to the questions!

1. What are you currently working on?

I have just relaunched Ten Naval Battles so my major foci are on completing the launch of Farflame (Resistance), my newest collection of poetry, and compiling the alternate history ‘Tsar Michael The Great’

2. How does your work differ from others in the same genre?

Both Ten Naval Battles and Tsar Michael The Great are written in the alternate history genre but not as stories, but rather faux histories. They are like Hector Bywater’s great book ‘The Great Pacific War’ in this.

3. Why do you write what you do?

I like to change the past! And by changing the past to change the present! And then give me a canvas to paint a world on.

4. How does your writing process work?

I am a creature of Chaos. I might sit down with an idea and begin. I might have a scene, or a dream or something and try to make more of it. When I try to sit down and create a world I end up with a great world but no plot.

I will tag 3 authors.

///draft///

The Elemental Clans by Elaine Calloway

Crafting Stories of the Living, the Dead, and the Eerie In Between
Elaine Calloway grew up in New Orleans with a love of cemeteries, gothic architecture, and all things paranormal. She is currently writing The Elemental Clan Series, a good vs. evil set of tales involving Elementals and Fallen Angels.

For more information and to connect with Elaine online, visit her website at www.elainecalloway.com .

Follow Her!
Twitter – http://twitter.com/writerscanvas
Facebook – www.facebook.com/authorelainecalloway
Pinterest Page –http://pinterest.com/elainecalloway/
Goodreads – www.goodreads.com/user/show/13256243-elaine-calloway


EARTHBOUND – The Elemental Clans: Book 3

Some say history repeats itself, but for Terran, an Earth Elemental, history has returned and slapped him in the face. Along the Willamette River in Portland, Oregon, the Acobi Fallen Angels have decided to go underground–literally. They are resurrecting an old legend, shanghaiing innocent people into slavery. Underage girls are trapped and kept in holding cells, ready to be sold into the sex trade. Terran must stop the Acobi and keep the public away from the Shanghai tunnels, all while keeping his supernatural powers hidden.

Kelly Habersham, overachieving real estate developer, has finally convinced her father and brothers to give her the Portland condo project, which would require extensive construction near the tunnels. Determined to impress her father and make a name for herself in the family business, she is not about to let a Save-the-Earth guy get in her way.

Terran and Kelly must work together and come to a truce–or they may be the next shanghai victims.

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The Highs and Lows of Being an Indie Author

by Ingrid Hall

I have always known that I was meant to be a writer. It was the one thing that I dreamed of doing as a child, and it probably stems in part from the fact that I grew up in a household where my mother went out to work part time as a cleaner and my father who had several physical disabilities stayed home and wrote.

Ingrid Hall author The Tunnel Betwixt by Ingrid Hall

So, you could say that writing is in my genes. From the age of four or five I would watch in fascination as my father paced our tiny house, cursing and muttering to himself as he wrestled with the many ideas that were flitting through his head as well as the many injustices of the world. Before finally settling when I was about nine or ten on a biography about the crusading Victorian journalist, W.T Stead. Because we only had a two bedroomed house, and didn’t have the luxury of a dining room or indeed anywhere really where my father could set up a proper writing space then he would just sit himself down in the nearest comfortable seat and before long balls of scrunched up, discarded notepaper would be bouncing around the room.

Dad worked on that one manuscript for the best part of thirty years. Don’t get me wrong, he also immersed himself in numerous good causes and charities and was an ardent campaigner at grassroots level for the Labour Party, but his passion, his primary goal in life was to be a published author. His sudden death a couple of years ago at the age of sixty-nine put paid to that and made me realise that life really is unpredictable and gave me the focus that I needed to start pursuing my own writing dreams.

I was at that time, however, completely delusional as to the route I would need to take in order to secure a publishing deal. While I had heard of self- publishing, or vanity publishing as it was commonly known, It wasn’t an idea that I was willing to countenance as I was firmly entrenched in the belief that the only way to get published is to find yourself an agent and then leave the job of securing a contract to them. Indeed, while writing Granny Irene’s Guide to the Afterlife Revenge – I did have a lot of contact with one particular agent who it turns out was full of promises but whom it would seem was totally intent on leading me down the garden path. She wanted money for this and money for that, and against my better judgement and the advice of my husband and close friends I paid up. Only to be frustrated when she asked for more…and more!

Word to the wise: don’t EVER pay an agent upfront for their services, regardless of how convincing they seem, or tempting it is to get to the top of the pile. There are thousands of reputable agents out there who will work on a commission only basis with no upfront payments. Yes, it might be incredibly hard to get noticed by one of them, but if you are determined to go down the conventional publishing route then you need to be prepared to take the rejections on the chin and keep going. Your mantra being to submit… submit…submit.

It was during a downhearted heart to heart (over a bottle of wine or three) that Lenora suggested that I consider taking a look at Amazon/Create Space. She explained to me that self-publishing had really started to take off and that there was no harm in at least exploring my options.

I am SO glad that she did! Yes, undoubtedly there are numerous hassles when self- publishing and I will go into these a little further with you shortly but for me the complete freedom and control that publishing my own books gives me far outweighs the stress and the hard work that inevitably comes with being an indie author. I can publish my books globally in a heartbeat and as I am getting more savvy, more confident I am also enjoying discovering the numerous other publishing platforms that are available to indie authors.

So what are the main challenges that we face?

Well, number one for me has been BALANCING MY NEED TO WRITE WITH MY FAMILY’S NEED TO EAT.
This is a major problem for a lot of indie authors and is probably (other than an actual failure to write) the biggest threat to a fledgling author’s career. It is so hard to look your partner in the eye when they are working their balls off to keep a roof over your head and food in your children’s bellies and say “Look; I know I am not actually earning anything from my writing now, but trust me, I will be in a few years from now!” It is hard not to give into the pressure and temptation to start looking for a more conventional job. A proper job: one that actually pays a salary at the end of the month and enables you to buy nice clothes and cars and take foreign holidays each year. It is a problem that I have wrestled with over the past few years with various different outcomes. First I was rigid in my determination to stay true to my writing dreams. Then when my husband’s work dried up I had no choice but to take up a part time job in a call centre, and now, once again I am back to doing what I want to do, however, this time I have a backup plan in place, and I am building my Pay As You Go Manuscript Assessment Service alongside my writing. Ultimately everyone must do what is best for their own family, for their own individual circumstances, but I will say this. If you are determined to make it as a writer: if you want to make it a career rather than just a hobby, then somehow you will find a way to write.

The second biggest problem for me has been INVISIBILITY. I don’t know about anyone else, but I sure as hell had it in my head that once I published my first book then that would be it. People would be downloading it in droves, and physical copies would be flying off the printers. Oddly enough, it didn’t work out like that. With Granny Irene, I initially ran a free promotion on Amazon, and while yes, hundreds of people downloaded their free copy, I don’t think they actually took the time to read it. They downloaded the book PURELY because it was free. A crime I am guilty of doing myself, although, I do try now not to fall into that trap. I tend to only download books on free promotions that I am fairly certain that I will like, or there is a strong chance that I will one day get round to reading. Since then, I have tried just about every marketing trick in the book, and while yes, I do have a much stronger online presence these days and yes, I am selling books, I am not by any stretch of the imagination selling them in the quantities that I want, or perhaps should say need to. If anyone has any useful and genuine tips as to how to boost my sales then, I would love to hear from you!

I have touched briefly upon this, but the third big issue for me is MARKETING – OMG – There are so many options out there. Some of them free, most of them requiring a varying amount of financial investment. Just how is a new author meant to navigate the marketing maze? You just have to feel your way, and do what feels right. Start with the free stuff. The Facebook groups and pages etcetera but make sure you don’t fall into the trap of constantly spamming these pages. I don’t read the bulk of my notifications anymore because I know that nine times out of ten they are filled with authors promoting their books. Get a blog. (Check out my ghost blogging service www.ingridhall.com_) However leaving that blatant plug aside, you can set one up yourself relatively easily at either WordPress or Blogger. Blogging is the perfect way to start reaching your target audience. It is also a great way of connecting with other authors. You also need to be getting your book out to reviewers as reviews both good and bad are vital to sales. (Yes, even the bad ones because they often validate your book and pique people’s curiosity) I would much rather have ten three or four star reviews rather than ten five stars, because readers have become suspicious of glowing, perfect reviews. You don’t want people to think that all of your reviews have been written by family and friends. (Obviously some five star reviews are nice to have and one and two stars, well, not so nice, but so long as you learn from them, perfectly valid!) If you are looking to find reviewers then www.theindieview.com is a great place to start. Bear in mind though that you may send twenty requests and only be picked up by one reviewer. As a reviewer, I get swamped daily, and it is not always possible to review every book or even do it in a timely manner. (It frequently takes six months plus for my reviewing team to get to a particular book)

Being an indie author is tough. It is also incredibly fulfilling and satisfying and until I become the next J.K Rowling or E.L James and start selling millions of copies I will keep on learning and growing…and writing!

You can find me at www.ingridhall.com
http://lunaballantyne.wordpress.com
https://www.facebook.com/indieandproud
https://www.facebook.com/AuthorIngridHall

Author Interview with A T Weaver

We bid A T Weaver a warm welcome to Grey Wolf’s Blog.

A T Weaver author

I was raised in a time when gay people were supposed to be invisible and to me they were until I was in my twenties.
In 2003, at the age of 60, through a TV show called Boy Meets Boy, I ‘met’ over 3,000 gay men in a Yahoo group who educated me as to the inequalities suffered by the LGBT community. I visited one of the men in San Francisco who lived just up the street from the Castro. As he showed me around, we stopped in front of what was once Harvey Milk’s camera store. My question, “Who was Harvey Milk?” started my education into Gay history.
Before I left San Francisco, I mentioned my lifelong desire to write. Steve’s response was, “I’d like to read a book where the boy gets the boy and they ride off into the sunset together.” That’s when I thought about the story for Acceptance.
I have since written five more books and hope to have the sixth finished by the end of March.
In addition, I have a short story published in a free anthology of Christmas stories here:
https://www.lovelanebooks.co.uk/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=15&products_id=56

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Email:- alixtheweaver@yahoo.com
Twitter @alixtheweaver

A T Weaver – Interview with Grey Wolf

1. How long have you been writing?

Ten years

2. What is the earliest work of yours that you have published or intend to publish?

My first book was Acceptance: One Man’s Quest

3. Who were the earliest authors to be an inspiration for your writing?

Oh, my goodness. That’s a hard one. I’ve been reading for over fifty years. My favorite authors are Nora Roberts, Jude Deveraux, Phyllis Whitney, and, of course, the queen of mystery writers, Agatha Christie..

4. Which other authors do you consider to be an inspiration and for what reason?

Again, it would have to be Nora Roberts and Jude Deveraux. Their descriptions of people and places give me a feeling of being there. I’ve had people say I sometimes put too much description in my work and yet others don’t think there is enough. My reaction to those who say ‘too much’ is, “If you don’t like the descriptions, skim over them.” The same goes with sex scenes. If it’s too graphic, skip it.

5. Are you inspired by any landscapes or buildings, or even towns and cities?

Not really. I’m more inspired by people’s lives.

6. Which was the first book you published and why?

Acceptance: One Man’s Quest. I wanted to show gay couples are just like straight couples, they laugh, they cry, but most of all, they love. I also hoped people who read it would understand the two extreme differences in the way parents react when they learn they have a gay son. They have the option of accepting that child or not accepting him.

7. Have you been surprised by a negative reaction to any of your work?

Not really. I get some negativity from a lot of people about the genre in which I write – even my own children. But that’s to be expected given the attitude of many people regarding homosexuality.

Of course, like any writer, I like good reviews. But I also welcome negative reviews. If everyone always praises your work, there is no room to grow. I always say I don’t care if you like or hate my books, or if they make you laugh or cry. As long as they evoke a reaction, I’ve done what I set out to accomplish – I’ve moved you.

8. Other than authors (and friends and family) who are your heroes?

You don’t make this easy, do you? Given the genre in which I write, I’d have to say Harvey Milk, Matthew Shepherd, all of the gay men and women who have stood up for what they believe to be their rights. And in that same vein, Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks, and those who stood for their rights.

9. If you could go back in time to learn the truth about one historical mystery or disputed event what would it be?

Who killed the young princes? Was it Richard III or Henry?

A T Weaver, Thank You very much!