Sunday, July 31, 2011

The Same Six Questions - Paul Dayton

Hello everyone! Today's indie author is Paul Dayton. Take it away, Paul!

Thanks, Andy! Born in Portugal and emigrated to Canada as a baby, now retired (48) in Central America with my wife. Had enough of paying taxes and decided to jump out of the "you must retire a millionaire to be happy" poopoo. Since then, we've spent nearly all our time volunteering with native communities and locals, trecking through swamps, the backhills and mountainbiking deep into the bush to reach and help these communities. As a hobby, I write books and play guitar.

Now, for The Same Six Questions

1. Have you published a book yet?

Actually, I’ve published five books and contributed to an anthology. Never thought I’d actually write anything until, out of pure boredom, I started We’ve Seen the Enemy at work during lunch hours. This little hobby turned into 6 years of hard work. Have you ever tried editing 210,000 words? I’ve edited it over 50 times...

We’ve Seen the Enemy is a space opera and something I completely loved doing. I’m a science nut and love getting the details right, and the multiple threads all neatly and, ahem, rather smartly converged to a rather surprising double ending.

The Eye of the Idol (murder mystery/treasure hunt), Pandora’s Sister (the stand alone sequel), Retire at 45 (conglomeration of real stories), and And You Thought Your Family Was Dysfunctional! (humor) are some of my other works.

2. When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

About the time my boss threatened to send the mafia to kill me. True story. In short, I hurt myself at work, instantly changing from the shop hero to Satan’s brother. At this point I decided I hated my job and I should retire. It took me a few years to do that, but I eventually did, at 45. I wrote Enemy first, then Retire at 45 next.

3. What was your first lengthy piece of fiction (say, >1000 words)? What was it about? When did you write it? Do you still have it?

I did a couple of shorts, the first one about a small group of post-apocalyptic survivors barely able to conquer religious infighting, which threatened to destroy them. This eventually became part of We’ve Seen the Enemy. My second was a supernatural short of an unusual alien that decided to take out revenge. I was particularly pleased with this one, and even got some royalty payments!

4. When was your first indication, "I can do this (write)"?

When We’ve Seen the Enemy was accepted by a picky publisher! I was happy to have my very first book released in this way.

5. If you could meet one of your characters in real life, which would it be?

In Enemy, a seemingly indestructible and very likeable person called Keenan drove a suicide missile into enemy territory, obliterating their homeworld. He was cool, collected, and seemed to make the impossible happen. And, he survived. I wanted a real person – not some action hero, and I wanted to present him as someone with real human frailties and strengths, someone men could admire and women could love. Usually, you get one or the other, but not both. Fortunately, some readers have told me I reached my objective.

6. It's a dark and stormy're alone in the house...there's a knock at the open it, look out, and proceed to scream like a little girl/boy (they kinda scream the same anyway). What's on the doorstep?

A clown. Gawd, I hate clowns. They give me the creeps. Of course, Stephen King's book It didn’t help. Never did use that in any of my books. Probably give me nightmares. I could take anything else. _________________________________________

Thanks so much for taking the time to stop by, Paul! For more of Paul and samples of all of his work, be sure to check out his web site.

On Thursday, please stop by to meet my next guest, author Jeanne Tomlin.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Same Six Questions - Lisa Scott

Today, please give a warm welcome to author Lisa Scott!

Hello Andy! I'm a former TV news anchor who now works as a voice actor. I live in upstate NY with my hubby and kids, dog, cat, and koi fish. I love gardening, hate running, and tolerate the clutter on my kitchen counter that never goes away. I giggle to myself as I write my sweet, funny romances, and that always feels a bit embarrassing. At least I've got one fan: me.

Thanks for that, Lisa! Now, it’s time for...The Same Six Questions. Take it away!

1. Have you published a book yet?

I'm a bit of a newbie, having just joined the indie game in May. I've released a romantic novella, Spouse Hunting, and a collection of romantic short stories, Flirts! 5 Romantic Short Stories. Fun, flirty, sweet and sassy—always with the perfect happy ending. Each story is 8,000 to 11,000 words in length, 53,000 words total. Stories include: The Hot Girl's Friend, Wrong Place, Right Guy, Not You, Desperately Seeking Cupid, and Never Been Dumped. I also have an agent, and we're out on submission with a middle grade novel.

2. When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

Probably in middle school. I used to write these funny short stories about a character named Norton who always got into sticky situations, followed up by a goofy moral. My English teacher let me read them to the class, and I loved knowing the kids enjoyed my stories (or perhaps they just enjoyed postponing the English lesson for a few moments).

3. What was your first lengthy piece of fiction (say, >1000words)? What was it about? When did you write it? Do you still have it?

We had to write a personal humor essay in high school. I wrote about a doomed vacation with my family—think National Lampoon. I do still have it, and chuckle at my obscene overuse of adjectives and adverbs. But I had a lot of fun writing it.

4. When was your first indication, "I can do this(write)"?

In college. I was an English/Communication dual major. I loved my creative writing class so much, I asked professor/author Mick Cochrane if I could do a creative writing independent study class with him. That really helped my skills and confidence.

5. If you could meet one of your characters in real life, which would it be?

Sure, make me pick a favorite child! Probably Jane from my short story, The Hot Girl's Friend, because she's got a wicked sense of humor.

6. It's a dark and stormy're alone in the house...there's a knock at the open it, look out, and proceed to scream like a little girl. What's on the doorstep?

My hairdo from the 80's. My mom told me it was big, but I just didn't believe her!


Fantastic, Lisa! Thanks so much for stopping by and good luck with getting that book deal!

For more of Lisa’s work, be sure to follow her on Twitter @ReadLisaScott and Facebook. All of Lisa’s work is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords.

Be sure to stop by on Monday for our next installment of The Same Six Questions with author Paul Dayton!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

eBook Launch Postmortem

Having just completed a full week of having Multiples of Six available online, let me give you some more epublishing tips.

1. Read, read, and re-read your book before you post it. If you've read it X times, read it one more time. One day will no make or break anyone. I know it's an exciting thing, but errors are turn-offs to readers who are used to well-polished traditional books.

2. If you're expecting friends and family to propel your sales, you'd better have a lot of both. Instead, try and find your true audience. That's not to say that friends and family aren't, but you need to seek out readers of your genre. Writers tend to cling to one another like popularity might wear off or trickle down. And, though it's good to have other writers/authors to bounce ideas off of, they also have an agenda of their own (sell their book).

3. If you can handle the monotony of formatting your work for Smashwords, it'll pay off for when you upload to B&N and Amazon. It took a long time to go through and do all of the necessary style changes to get it through Smashwords' Meat Grinder, but the product I was left with made it all the easier to upload to the BIG 2. If you find that you are unable to get it done on your own, there are people out there who will do it for you...for a small fee. Oh, and don't leave this till the last minute. It can be time-consuming no matter how easy you find it and the last thing you want delaying your publication is a formatting error.

4. Make sure your cover looks good at every size, large or small. I've noticed the font on my cover gets a little pixelated at the smaller sizes. But, there are two very important things I can do when it's that small: (1) read the title and (2) read my name. You wouldn't believe how many ebooks I've seen where you can't distinguish either when the cover is 1" x 2". The reason the phrase "Don't judge a book by its cover" exists is because that's exactly what we do...even if we shouldn't! Rest assured, there are readers out there doing just that when they see yours.

5. Don't cry when the sales don't start flooding your Amazon stats. Realize this: your book has no expiration date. There is no point at which it will "sell out." You've got time on your side. If you haven't marketed your release, make a plan to do post-launch marketing. It doesn't have to cost you anything. There are plenty of web sites and blogs out there (this one included) that will post your content for free. Now, whether or not it generates sales is another story. Just remember that you get out what you put in. If your work is good quality, it will eventually gain traction on its own merit.

6. The writing doesn't end when you click "upload." If you're writing a series, it's time to get cracking on the next book! A week in and I've already had several people ask when the sequel to Multiples will be out (tentatively titled Divisible by Six). Folks don't like to wait years for their favorite authors to publish their next book. And, as ebook authors, we have the ability to provide a much more rapid response. I'm hoping to have my sequel out in time for Christmas, but a lot has to happen in order for that to happen.

Good luck with your own book. I'll definitely keep you up to date with how Multiples is doing.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Happy Birthday to My First Book! Multiples of Six Release Day!

Start spreading the news!

There is something both inherently exciting and frightening about letting your story go out into the world. As a writer, it's the ultimate moment of exposure. Until now, I've limited the readership to my debut novel to a trusted few. But, the time has come to let go of its hand and see if it can walk on its own.

I am very proud to announce that my suspense/thriller, Multiples of Six, is now available through most ebook retailers. It's been a long time coming, as the initial idea for this story began in 2004. Phew!

It's just over 70,000 words and I've had a lot of great feedback on it so far. I hope you'll give it a chance and let me know what you think if you do.

For Nook owners, the book can be found at Barnes & Noble.

For Kindle owners, you can click on the link below:

For all other formats (Sony, Apple, Kobo, PDF, etc), please check out

Next week, I'll have a new post regarding the final steps to publishing. In the meantime, I'll have a new edition of my indie author interview feature, The Same Six Questions every Monday and Thursday. Make sure to stop by and check it out. You never know, you might find a new author to read (besides me, of course)! ;-)

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Same Six Questions - S. Arthur Martin

Hi, and welcome back to “The Same Six Questions”! Today, we have author S. Arthur Martin. 

Before we begin with the tough stuff, Arthur, can you tell us a little about yourself?
Sure, Andy! Well, I'm from the Pacific Northwest. I've lived in this area all my life and I'm currently attending college to learn stenography. When I'm not in class or writing or reading books, I enjoy film and gaming, and I dabble in sketching and digital painting. Growing up, I was sure that I wanted to be a graphic artist and even attended the Art Institute at Seattle to learn animation, art and design. I have a pretty good grasp on the arts, but I've realized that I enjoy them much more as a hobby rather than a way to make my way in the world.

Ok, now for the “tough” questions!

1. Have you published a book yet?
Yes! I published my first novel, Hollenguard, just recently on July 1. It is the story of an odyssey across a world that is being consumed by an unnatural and all-consuming storm that is constantly nipping at the heroes' heels. While it does take place in a colorful, epic fantasy world, I'm truly proud of the story because of the strong characters and relationships and the themes of hope, friendship
and love that are in counterpoint to the growing darkness and hopelessness of the storm.

I was inspired to write it by the lifelong love I have had for all things fantasy. I grew up reading everything I could get my hands on. I've found I love world-building in novels and in junior high a series that really stuck with me was the Death Gate Cycle by Weis and Hickman (Dragon Wing [The Death Gate Cycle, Book 1]). Those books have some of the most imaginative world-building I have ever read. Nowadays, the fantasy I read is notably grittier and far more dramatic than that, but the whimsy of the novels that influenced me as a young adult still find their way into my stories, and I think they're all the better for it.

2. When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

Is it silly to say I've always known? Have you ever read a book and thought about how you would have written it? Not to get pretentious, of course, but I would find my mind drifting along the lines of, "Wow, but wouldn't it have been really interesting if..." when I read fantasy.

The narrative in books and role playing video games has always fascinated me. I eat it all up. You can't get me to shut up if you mention a narrative that I enjoy without literally interrupting me to get your turn. Characters, relationships, drama, I can't get enough of it. Don't mention the game "Mass Effect" or the book "Survivor" without expecting a twenty minute dissertation from me as to why they are so unbelievably awesome.

Having the opportunity to express that love has always been a passion of mine, and usually my outlet was through tabletop gaming. After a while, as you grow up and your friends grow apart from you, the opportunities for that outlet get fewer and farther between. Finally, the only real medium left for me to tell a story was to sit myself down in front of a blank word document and start writing.

3. What was your first lengthy piece of fiction? What was it about? When did you write it? Do you still have it?

I wrote a story in Junior High for extra credit in an English class that I was failing because I wouldn't pay attention to the assignments. I think my teacher took a bit of pity on me and gave me the opportunity, and I ate it up. I made sure it was turned in inside of a nice project folder, neatly typed, justified, and with my perfectly awful illustrations all over it.

She gave me a good grade on it while simultaneously criticizing it endlessly in red ink comments all over the pages. I still have it, but I can't force myself to read how bad it is. You can literally see what books I was reading and what games I was playing at the time, as the references are everywhere. Despite all that however, I can very vividly remember the joy I had in writing it and the elated nervousness I felt as I waited for her to read it and give me her opinion.

4. When was your first indication, "I can do this (write)?"

That is a very good question. As I said, I've always wanted to write, but I've had the standard excuses every time I got the notion that I'd start.

In 2009 my friend, who happens to be a very talented singer/songwriter, told me about NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). It was halfway through November so I had another excuse not to participate, but throughout that year the thought that I'd like to participate next time it rolls around kept nagging at me. It was that year that I also gave up my customer service job and went to school to learn skills for a career that didn't involve a telephone and minimum wage.

I was ready when NaNoWriMo came around again. Throughout the month I pushed myself despite heavy classes and working at the school. I used all my free time to pound out a story. Rather than have an excuse not to start, I made sure I had excuses for everything else in my life for that one month. "I'm sorry, I can't hang out tonight, I have to work on NaNoWriMo".

At the end of the month I finally had a rough outline of the fantasy story I'd always wanted to write. It was one of the most gratifying feelings I've ever felt. The hard part was over, I thought to myself. But after seven months of wall-to-wall revision and editing, maybe that wasn't the case after all.

5. If you could meet one of your characters in real life, who would it be?

Definitely Nijal. He quickly grew into a character that I could relate to in the same way as I related to my father, who passed away a few years ago. While Kamil is the everyman character in my story that the readers can really imprint on and experience the world through, Nijal was the emotional cornerstone that kept the story grounded for me. I always loved coming back to him and writing him, imagining how my father would have acted as the story unfolded. There are emotional moments in my story, and being an emotional guy I tend to get wrapped up in the same feelings as my characters. With Nijal, I felt the most empathy. I think, ultimately, he's the kind of man I'd like to be when I'm looking back on my life.

6. It's a dark and stormy night... you're alone in the house... there's a knock at the door... you open it, look out, and proceed to scream like a little boy. What's on the doorstep?

Honestly, the first thing that popped into my head was a Halloween basket filled with Reese's Peanut Butter Cups and me screaming in unabashed, childish delight. Seriously, I can't get enough of that stuff. I have frequently offered my services as an artist, orator, etc. and only ever charged folks a nice, four-pack of Reese's. I swear, if I'm ever famous enough where people would want to queue up to talk to me and get a book signed, those folks who come with a peanut butter cup for me are getting preferential treatment.


Thanks so much for stopping by, Arthur! Was not expecting Reese's on the doorstep!

Be sure to check out S. Arthur Martin’s book and his website,

Don’t forget to come back on Monday, when we’ll hear from author Anne Holly!

Monday, July 18, 2011

The Same Six Questions - Ty Johnston

Hi, and welcome to the inaugural edition of “The Same Six Questions”! Today, we have author Ty Johnston.

Before we begin with the “official” questions, Ty, can you tell us a little about yourself?

Thanks, Andy! Born in Kentucky, I now spend my time traveling with my wife. Much of our time, of late, has been spent in the South of the U.S. I was a newspaper editor for 20 years, but upon losing my job like so many others of the last few years, I have been fortunate enough to turn my hobby of writing fiction into my profession. My main interests are writing and reading, though I am also somewhat of a connoisseur of fine beers. I love to study history, philosophy, religion and literary theory. Renaissance fairs are a favorite pursuit of mine. When not involved with all that, I like walking my beagle or spending time with our two house rabbits.

Thanks! Now, the hard part. Here’s The Same Six Questions

1.            Have you published a book yet?

Not in print, but in e-book formats I have self-published seven novels, six short story collections, one non-fiction book and two screenplays. I also have short stories available in various venues throughout the Web and in print. As of yet, none of my longer works are in print, but hopefully that will change soon; I have worked with two different print publishers over the last couple of years, but for reasons mainly having to do with the economy and changes in the publishing industry, we’ve not been able to bring out my novels in print. That being said, I am excited with some recent behind-the-scenes action and hopefully I’ll be able to announce something in the next month or so.

I write mainly epic fantasy and horror, with my “City of Rogues” novel probably being my best known work. The story in that novel involves my Kron Darkbow character who returns to his home city after being away for 15 years, seeking vengeance for the deaths of loved ones. Unfortunately for him, he quickly discovers that revenge can be complicated, especially when innocent people become involved.

2.            When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
I have always wanted to be a writer. I cannot remember a time, even when very young when I did not have some aspirations to be a professional fiction writer. Even when I was five and six years old, I would spend days upon days writing and drawing my own comic books. My drawing and painting talents, however, have floundered with time and lack of practice, so nowadays I mostly stick to writing. I wrote my first novel in fifth grade, what today would be considered fan fiction about the James Bond character, though back in themid-70’s I don’t believe too many people had heard of fan fiction, at least not outside of hardcore genre and convention fans.

I eventually became a newspaper journalist because I thought it would pay the bills while I worked on my fiction, but it turned out to be the other way around. Journalism kept me too busy to work on my fiction at a consistent level, and it was only after I left the business that I began to find any success with my novels and short stories.
3.            What was your first lengthy piece of fiction? What was it about? When did you write it?   Do you still have it?

Well, I mentioned that James Bond novel I wrote in fifth grade, but that was probably only about 20,000 words, to be honest. The first long piece of fiction I ever tried my hand at was a horror novel called “The Storm” I started when I was 19 years old. I wrote about 70,000 words, but then I got into college and have never gotten back to it. I hope to someday, but it has yet to be high on my priority list because I realize I would probably have to start from scratch and don’t really look forward to that. Yes, I still have my copy of that novel stuffed away in a file. It was about a small town in Kentucky where an ominous other-worldly figure tries to kidnap a child for its own ends, but the child is a telekinetic and has friends and neighbors who help combat this horror. Of course, it’s more complicated than that, but I don’t want to give too much away in case I ever get this thing written. I still think it has a workable plot and interesting characters.

4.            When was your first indication, "I can do this (write)"?

I’ve always felt like I could write. I’ve always known I had to work on my craft, and there are still mistakes I make today, but I know I can write. I have no delusions about being a great writer, however. I am a decent writer, one who can entertain enough people to make a living doing this. I think journalism helped some in this regard because I was always writing in that business, even when I was an editor, and you have to write quickly and on deadline and you have to write decently, at the least.
5.            If you could meet one of your characters in real life, which would it be?

I’ve seen similar questions put to other authors before, but I’m not sure I’d want to meet any of them. My nicer characters tend to have bad things happen to them, and I wouldn’t want to be around that. On the other hand, my rougher characters probably wouldn’t like me or tolerate me for long and I’d end up with a dagger stuck in my back. If I had to meet any of my characters, I would probably pick Walt from my literary novel, More Than Kin, but again, bad things happen to Walt, who is a pretty nice guy.
6.            It's a dark and stormy're alone in the house...there's a knock at the open it, look out, and proceed to scream like a little girl/boy (they kinda scream the same anyway). What's on the doorstep?

Probably a big, twisted demonic beastie that looks like something from the John Carpenter movie “The Thing.” I’d try to slam the door shut and grab something as a weapon, but I think it would all be over within a matter of seconds. I’d hope I’d have time to scream for the wife to run or something. And don’t give me looks. You asked, alright? And I write horror, so you know it would have to be something nasty out there.


Thanks so much for stopping by Ty! For more of Ty’s work, or to find him online, check out the following links:

Don’t forget to come back on Thursday (7/21), when we’ll hear from author Stephen Martin!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

New Feature! The Same Six Questions

Hi Everyone! I'm very excited to announce that I'll be having a regular feature on my blog called, The Same Six Questions. This feature will include brief interviews with independent authors/writers discussing their work. I hope you'll take the time to check it out!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Release Date!

Hi! Sorry for the lack of posts! Things have been rather hectic. New job, busy weekends...I know...excuses, excuses. But, while I've been slacking off, my beta readers/editors have been hard at work. Therefore, I'm very excited to announce that I have an official release date for Multiples of Six! Friday, July 22nd! Mark it on your calendar! Or, just like my Facebook page and I'm sure I'll bombard you with promotional reminders. :)

Sunday, July 3, 2011

How to NOT Use Social Media

1. When using Twitter, do NOT be vague in your bio. You only get a few words to let people know who you are. Writer? Say so. Don’t be cute. If I can’t tell why you’re on Twitter, I won’t follow you back.

2. Do NOT spam me with repeated messages on Facebook. I haven’t seen it often, but recently someone who shall remain nameless has “shared” their post…six consecutive times, creating a wall of identical posts that I have to scroll through. This is spamming. Don’t do it. It makes me want to unfriend you.

3. As a writer, I understand the purpose of Twitter. You’re there to sell your book(s). I get it. I’m right there with you. However, there is a limit. Do NOT send out more than one message a day about the same book. I realize you’re trying to cover various audience reading times and reach as many potential readers as possible, but this is spamming too. Not cool.

4. Do NOT be a snob. If someone follows you on Twitter, or your author page on Facebook, or your blog, etc, and they’re into the same stuff, follow them back! It’s one thing to be picky, but don’t be rude. Pay attention to your followers. That’s your community. They’re the ones you’re trying to reach. Share the love! Of course, if they then engage in any of the first three items, feel free to drop them like the freeloading second cousins they are.

5. Do NOT rain on anyone’s parade. We all have dreams. For some of us, pursuing that dream is what keeps us going. For some, happiness hinges on chasing that dream. Social media puts us in touch with many whose pursuits will never be more than a dream. I, for one, do not want to be responsible for shattering any dreams. Be gentle.

6. Do NOT direct message (DM) me on Twitter more than once about the book you wrote, the blog you’re writing, or something else you’re selling. I saw it the first time. I’ve got your info. If I want to seek out your book/blog/stuff, I know where to find it.

Social Media is a great tool. Use it properly and you’ll see great results. Abuse it and you might just alienate your potential audience.
Got any of your own “Do NOTs” for social media? Please share!