Adrianna Tetnowski Discusses her Novel The Dark Maiden

Why did you decide to become an indie author?

I decided to become an indie author purely for the fact that I didn’t want to wait around for someone to approve of my stories, I want them out there for people to read and hopefully enjoy. I feel like I have so much more freedom with both writing and publishing. I don’t have to wait around for someone else to give me a thumbs up – to know that they think my work is ready. My reason for writing is to share stories and I am lucky enough to be able to do that as often as I want.

What is one piece of advice you would give to aspiring novelists?

The best piece of advice I could give an aspiring author is to just do it. If someone tells you that you can’t be successful at writing, use that as motivation to try even harder. Care enough about your work and your characters, the worlds you build and the words that you write to think about it everyday, to want to wake up and hit that word count you have set up for yourself. Your stories can only be told by you, so don’t keep them locked away.

For the full interview, click here

Adrianna J. Tetnowski

 

Adrianna J. Tetnowski was born in Poland but, now lives in Lancashire. The Dark Maiden is the first novel in her The Tales of Iradas series, which she had started writing at fourteen years old. She is currently studying a BA in English Language at Edge Hill University. When Adrianna isn’t writing, she enjoys watching far too many films and TV series like Shadowhunters, Salem and Marco Polo; or catching up on a never ending TBR book list – all whilst drinking way too much coffee/tea than she should be.

Indie Picture Book Author and Illustrator Lauren Pierre Shares her Experience in the Industry

What are the challenges of writing a picture book that people may not be aware of?

It’s harder than it looks! A lot of people have the awful misconception that writing for children is easier and even “less sophisticated” than writing for adults, especially in the case of picture books. That’s a boldface lie. Children need positive, upstanding literature to guide them through the journey that is growing up, and the writers who try to make that journey a little smoother (myself included) really are taking on a difficult, but rewarding task. Squeezing a meaningful message into 800-1000 words, in a way that is accessible by children is NOT as easy as it may sound.

What is the biggest challenge you have ever faced as an illustrator?

DEADLINES. Even though I’ve mainly worked for myself, goal-setting is something I’ve struggled with. The “trick” I’ve found helpful is to plan ahead; draw thumbnails so you know how the illustrations are going to look. Capitalize on you’re most productive moments during the day, and pace yourself; avoid getting burned-out and remember to rest!

For the full interview, click here

 

tip and lulu

 

Lauren Isabelle Pierre is a children’s writer, digital illustrator, and animation enthusiast residing in South Florida. She is the author of two books, and is expecting to release two more in the coming months.

How to Market an Independent Novel

       Everyone knows the drill. An author sells their manuscript to a publisher who then takes care of marketing and publicizing the book. The publisher supposedly designs and pays for the cover art, blurbs, and all the other little things that go into the creation of a professional novel (although many traditionally published authors are taking on more of the burden of marketing as the publishing industry evolves).

Recently, however, the publishing industry has gotten more and more difficult to break into. Some authors reject the idea of traditional publishing altogether in an attempt to have full creative and fiscal control over their novels. This path is certainly challenging, from finding and paying designers for your cover to getting your book out there and taken seriously.

The new section of my blog Indie Author Central is dedicated to collecting both reviews of independently published books, as well as interviews from indie authors for their advice on how to break into the market.

My first author interview in this section is with award winning indie writer Wendy Hinman. She is the author of two non-fiction adventure novels, Tightwads on the Loose and Sea Trials.

            tightwads on the loose

Tightwads on the Loose is a lighthearted travel adventure book about the 7-year, 34,000-mile voyage she took with her husband aboard a small violently rocking sailboat where she alternated between feats worthy of Wonder Woman or Suzy Homemaker. It’s full of humor and armchair thrills. Tightwads on the Loose was selected for the literature program for Western Washington University, won the Journey Award for best true life adventure story and was selected as a top travel book for women.

 

sea trials

 

Sea Trials is the story of a family’s quest to finish sailing around the world despite being shipwrecked. It’s a timeless true story of resilience and determination as they also face wild weather, threats from pirates, gun boats, mines and thieves, a broken rig, scurvy and starvation in a journey that tests them to their limits.

 

 

Here are some of the questions asked:

What aspect of working with an independent press did you love?

I love having control over the look and feel of the book. I love being able to buy my books at cost and knowing that when I do an event, books will be there (because I handle that myself). I love knowing that I can implement any marketing idea without stepping on anyone’s toes. I love having a direct relationship with readers. I love knowing how much more I am earning than I would if a publisher were taking most of the profits. I love being able to do presentations and sell books afterwards and keeping the entire margin between the cost of the book printing and my retail price.

 

How did you market your book?

The most effective way to market my book came from targeting my primary readers – sailors and adventurers and reaching them through publications they read (articles and press releases), events they attend (boat shows, club meetings). On a secondary basis, I did presentations for other groups that need speakers on a regular basis. That allows me to sell books afterward at the back of the room. It also gives me free publicity and marketing which can lead to online sales before and after the event, plus excuses to post on social media (announcing events) and to send newsletter updates to that large mailing list I developed while we were out sailing.

 

 

You can read the full interview here.

Fluffy Pink Evil

Do you remember the scene in Monty Python and the Holy Grail where the knights decide to enter the cave because all they see is a cute fluffy bunny guarding the entrance? Then, so gruesome it’s comical, most of the knights get their throats torn out while everyone screams and runs in horror?

Image result for monty python rabbit

Yeah. I love that scene.

The Young Adult novel Hearts and Body Parts by Ira Bloom reminds me of this little guy. Much like the story itself, the cover without the jacket on is pink on the outside, and jet black on the inside. I don’t think that’s a coincidence.

Let me give you an example. Here is a quote from Chapter 10:

“It’s me first day. Dead brill, your outfit.”
He was English. Katy had never thought about it before, but an English boy was definitely what she’d been waiting for her whole life. “You too,” she replied.

Now, here is a quote from Chapter 52:

He steeled his mighty body and heaved, and [spoiler]’s remains slid out in a wash of visceral fluids and black ichor, a jumble of body parts and splintered bones. Many parts were still recognizable, like a petrified heart, a mangled foot still in a shoe, a bifurcated skull, and a piece of forearm with a Rolex wristwatch still ticking away.

So yes. This book goes full Rabbit of Caerbannog on us. I love it.

Having bought this book and finished it in a day, I must solidly recommend it to anyone who enjoys a little fun, but who wont run screaming when the Japanese, corpse eating demon cat comes into play.

You can read the full review of Hearts and Other Body Parts here.

The Story of a New ARC and a Spider

Yesterday, I received a brand new spankin’ ARC called Yesterday, by Filicia Yap. Giddy over the prospect of taking a picture, I threw the book on my bed.. when the fastest spider I have ever seen slithered its way out of the book and dashed under my blankets. Great. Now I had to go fishing in my bed for some random spider that may or may not have the capability to kill me.

After overturning some blankets, I finally saw the thing. Having no paper in sight and not wanting the eight legged bastard crawling all over my body in the middle of the night, I scooped my hands around the spider to try and pick it up. After dashing around trying to avoid my hands, the thing finally gave in and crawled up my finger. However, because it was the fastest spider known to man, within half a second it was dashing up my arm to burrow into my shirt. Suffice it to say, that was pretty much the last straw with this thing, and I violently shook my arm to try and fling it off. I’m about 90 percent sure that the spider is no longer crawling along my flesh, although I can still feel its prickly little legs all over my arm and shoulder. So now the arachnid is loose in my room somewhere and I’ve decided not to worry about it. What happens happens. If it happens to crawl over my exposed face at four in the morning, then I’ll deal with that when the time comes.

Anyway… back to the ARC. Felicia Yap’s Yesterday is an adult novel about a world in which people can only remember one or two days back. This novel is a murder mystery, solved from the unique viewpoints of investigators, and perpetrators, who only have the capability to store memory for a day or two at a time. The premise is fascinating, and I hope the book lives up to its potential!

Here’s the lovely cover:

Yesterday arc pic.jpg

I will post a review about Yesterday on the book’s launch date; August 1st

My First Ever Blog Post

plague year.jpgSo here it begins; my very first book review blog. Well, that’s not completely true. I used to read and review ARC’s for my local independent bookstore several years ago. However, life gets busy, time goes on, and, eventually, you find yourself cramped in a crowded dorm room at ten o’clock at night with nothing to read but a badly written 17th century novel about the London Plague and your Cellular and Molecular Biology textbook, neither of which is really a viable option. This, my friends, is what we call literary rock bottom.

Then a miracle happened. A writer friend of my mothers sent her his book. And I read it. And I loved it. Then, as I was about to post a review online…I had an epiphany.

Dude, I addressed myself, You could do this professionally. You would get to read and review books ALL THE TIME. If you get lucky, people might actually send you books and CARE about your literary opinions!

Wait…hold up, Pessimist Me interjected. Don’t good blogs cost money, and time? What about writing talent? Surely this is not a good idea.

Yep, I’m doing it! Spazzy, Impulsive Me cried, and bought a domain name.

Thus, Who Needs Sleep was born.