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Indie authors! Take those rose-tinted glasses off! by @ElkeFeuer




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Elke Feuer

When a publisher said they wanted to publish my book back in 2012, I thought I’d landed in writers’ heaven. I road euphoria waves for months, but my starry-eyed dreams about my publishing experience became tarnished. 
As a young aspiring writer, I had visions of an amazing editor and publicist who’d love and coach me, being sent on tour by my publishing company, and lines of fans at the bookstores who’d camped out hours before just to have me sign their books. Unrealistic? Perhaps, but it was my dream and I’d clung to it for years.

My aspirations changed the moment I got an email from my publisher saying I was the best person to market my book, along with the eBook Guerilla Marketing. Wait? What? I had to send out my own review requests, take myself on tour, and find my own readers? Suddenly the percentage they were taking didn’t seem in my favor.
My traditional publishing experience made me realize (1) the industry wasn’t what I thought and (2) I had a lot to learn about the art of publishing.
I entered the self-publishing world without my rose covered glasses and discovered hard truths about the industry, the people in it, and myself. I love the control self-publishing gives me, but it wreaks havoc on my life in ways I didn’t expect or anticipate.

I’m going into my third year of publishing and with all its challenges, joys, disappointments, and craziness, I wouldn’t change it. My experiences with traditional and self-publishing strengthened me and my love for writing. The journey showed me I didn’t have to wait until I retired to pursue a writing career and even with all the ups and downs, authors have more options today than twenty years ago that work in our favor.

If you’re just starting your journey, I have one main advice. DON’T GIVE UP! This industry will chew you up and spit you out, but if you love to write you’ll make it through. 

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Amazon | Goodreads

 Introducing Deadly Race

 Race car driver
Remy Borden likes fast things: bikes, cars, and men. 
Her plans to become
the first woman from the Cayman Islands to race internationally gets
sidetracked when she’s injured and pulled from the final race because of
a fiery confrontation with another driver.
Amazon | BarnsNoble | Smashwords

Life goes from bad
to worse when the racetrack owner is killed and she’s suspect number one
because his death puts her back in the race. But racing again proves
difficult when Dr. Jackson Wilson insists she stop racing until she
heals, making her wonder if his ‘doctor’s orders’ don’t have ulterior
motives-the racetrack owner was his friend.
She and Jackson
search for the truth behind the murder when accidents start happening at
the racetrack, and an adoring fan gets too close. Soon the simmering
attraction between her and Jackson boils over, forcing her to admit
Jackson makes her think of a life beyond racing.
Elke was born and raised on Grand Cayman and lives there with her husband and two kids who keep her on her toes.

She’s a cof­fee­holic, check­list fanatic, and future space explorer. She has a sarcastic/quirky sense of humor and loves meet­ing new people. When not writing, she’s helping other writers in Cayman through her organization CayWriters.

The author of For the Love of Jazz and Deadly Bloodlines, book one in her Deadly Series. She stumbled into writing romantic suspense because of her fascination with serial killers, but writes other genres because characters keep telling her their stories and she’s a sucker for a crazy story.

What people say about Elke:

“Elke knows how to create a page turner and will leave you begging for more”.
“Elke is an up and coming author to watch”.

Click for an excerpts of Deadly Races:

“I didn’t really have a relationship with her. She was someone I wanted, but she didn’t know how I felt until an hour ago.” Would she decide to kick him out of her apartment for either leading her on or being a complete ass?

She gripped the couch tightly and it collapsed beneath her hands. Her eyes narrowed to slits and her mouth twisted in anger. Here comes her emotional eruption. He braced himself.

“You put me through all of that for nothing?” She said it with so much control he wondered where she got it.

“It wasn’t nothing to me,” he reasoned.

“Wasn’t nothing? Do you know how many times I felt guilty because you had a girlfriend, or know how many nights I lay awake imagining I’d go to hell for the dirty thoughts I had about you in this apartment, inside and outside your car, even the examination table in your office?” She paced before him.

Jackson was speechless, and turned on, as he thought about everything she’d just mentioned. He remembered the night she kissed him in the car and wondered what would’ve happened if they hadn’t been interrupted, or if they’d been in a secluded area instead of outside her apartment.

“Hey!” she shouted, pulling him from his erotic thoughts of her spread out over the roof of his car.

“Stop that! You don’t get to have a fantasy in the middle of my rant. Got it?” Her index finger pointed at him.

He wanted to smile, but knew she’d probably knock his lights out if he did. “Please continue,” he said as politely and seriously as he could.

“Why couldn’t you be honest with me?” She ran a hand through her hair.

Honest about that? She couldn’t be serious? “Honest about wanting someone I hadn’t even told how I felt? I hardly knew you, Remy, and you wanted me to share something I’d kept secret for nearly two years?”

“Two years?” Her voice echoed in disbelief.

It sounded ridiculous to hear it out loud.

She must’ve thought so, too, because she laughed. It started as a light chuckle, but then escalated to full, out loud, boisterous laughter until it was so extreme she fell to the floor behind the couch.

He walked over to where she lay. “It’s not that funny,” he insisted.

She looked up at him with tears in her eyes and laughed harder.

“I’m glad you’re enjoying this at my expense.” He extended a hand to help her up, but she waved it away as another fit of laughter overtook her. “You might not believe this, but I’m incredibly shy.”

She roared louder and gestured with her hand for him to stop talking.

He couldn’t blame her for laughing. He’d been anything but shy around her. She had a knack for bringing out emotions in him that were less than passive, with her audaciousness and that unfiltered mouth of hers.

Cynthia E Hurst discusses Americanisms in this…

Boring Author Interview Revisited

Cynthia E Hurst

What’s so great about your crap book? (Don’t want the boring details, a couple of lines is suffice!)
‘Zukie’s Burglar’ was born out of a conversation with a mystery writer who outsells me by several thousand to one. I remarked that one of her characters reminded me of my tactless, snoopy aunt, and she said ‘go for it,’ so I did. I had been wanting to start a new series, and this is it.

Who is this mysterious author, I wonder?

What qualifications do you have for writing in your genre? Many authors use their qualifications to show off their so-called talents i.e. crime writers are often coppers (police, for the non-Brits present) and the book becomes boringly technical. How have you managed to keep your knowledge low key? Or haven’t you bothered?
No qualifications whatsoever, except having had a tactless, snoopy Italian-American aunt. I try to keep the police involvement to a minimum.

My first series, the R&P Labs Mysteries, is set in a small research
laboratory, which might seem an odd choice, but both my parents were
scientists and worked in a similar lab. Instead of having a babysitter, I
was parked in a corner with a pile of empty petri dishes and pipettes
to play with. Although the scientific gene totally passed me by, many of
the staff’s projects in the books are ones the lab actually did.

If I were to read your book would I have to scroll through lots of acknowledgements saying how wonderful your book is before I got to the meat of a story?

If your book is set outside England would I understand your jargon? I mean, fanny means lady front parts NOT backside, car hood is a car bonnet–everyone knows that, right? Are British Englishisms/Americanisms/Australianisms etc important in your book? It’s all about identity, isn’t it?
I had a nice review of another book in which a British reader praised me for not using too many Americanisms. I have spent half my life in the U.S. and half in the U.K., so believe me, I’m aware of this and have an American beta reader who tells me things like ‘your character has to be exhausted, not shattered’ and ‘it’s trash, not rubbish.’ (I don’t think she meant the book, but who knows). My books are all set in Seattle, the most beautiful city in the world, even with the traffic.

My books are quintessentially English but I’m beginning to rethink the wiseness (is that a word?) of that decision and employ an American proofer alongside my British one.

If you were me (you know, perfect) and knew nothing about a person and you were told to interview them, what’s the one question you would ask? (answer it).
I can really identify with this one, having been sent numerous times as a reporter to interview people I knew nothing about and had no time to research. The best question is ‘What are you working on at the moment?’ The answer is, ‘The third book in the Zukie series.’
Give me the first, middle and end line
in your book.

  1. The way Zukie saw it, if the shrimp had been fresher, she never would
    have been in the kitchen in the middle of the night, and the murder never would
    have been solved.
  2. Zukie stood there, a vision in her pink flowered nightgown and fluffy slippers,
    the lamp still clutched in one hand and the cord trailing behind her. Her hair
    stuck out at alarming angles and her eyes were flashing.
  3. “I’m Zukie Merlino, I live next door. Welcome to the neighborhood.”
Well, that was short and sweet! I didn’t have any time insult to you!

Lions, witches, vampires, oh my, boring author interview alert

Boring Author Interviews Revisited 

Michael Andrews



What’s so great about your crap book?(Don’t want the boring details, a couple of lines is suffice!)
My latest book is so great because I use some of the old vampire myths, twist in some new ones and get shot of the lovey dovey crap from Twilight.  My  vampires don’t sparkle in the sun, they flame!
But I have been told by a reader that she is already in love with the  main character, who is a vamp.

What do you really think about erotica?
It’s hot, horny and fun. I use the genre as a release of writer’s block.
Really? That’s interesting because I like to read blood and guts horror in between writing my romcoms. I like to think it moves the mind from one place to another and restores concentration.

Is it the low of the lows for writers?
Absolutely not.  Some of the best  literature in history has been erotica.  Lady Chatterley’s Lover for instance.  However, there is a lot of dross out there, Fifty Shades for a starter,  but hey, that has made the author a crap load of money so who says crap doesn’t  sell?

If you didn’t have your book professionally edited: What made you think you’re
so perfect that you didn’t need to pay a professional?
Because I trust in my abilities as a  writer, and that of the proofers that I used who did it for the love of
reading, and to help me out.  Why pay  hundreds of pounds when you get it for the price of your book and a bottle of  wine?
You’re brave. I wouldn’t dare release a book without my editor’s permission!Yawn, so basically you’re the same as all the rest of the authors on Amazon and
you’re the Next Best Thing. I don’t think so. Come on, tell me why should I
spend time reading YOUR book over more well-received authors?

Everyone can play it safe and read  books by well known authors and then brag to their friends, “oh yeah, I read  War and Peace etc etc”.  Why not take a  risk and go for a book from an up and coming author, who’s gaining a reputation  y getting 4 and 5 star reviews.  Just think about being the first one in your group to say, “I read his book BEFORE  everyone else jumped on the bandwagon!”
Now there’s an excellent thought. Listen up, peeps!Is there an author who inspires (perspires) you?

Ever since Magician first came out, I  have followed Raymond E Feist.  I love the depth of characters and worlds that he creates.

Do you think you write better than them?
That is for other people to say, not me.  All I can do is write to the best of my own ability.

Is your aim to out-sell them?
That would be the ultimate dream, bearing in mind how successful he is.  My own ambition at the moment is to sell enough that I can give up the day job to write full time.  After that?  Yes, I would like to outsell him. Why not?

Why not indeed, and I’m sure you will one day, my friend.
In the writing world, have you ever regretted anything i.e written your own review (or written a bad review on a competitor’s novel), argued on-line, copied someone else’s idea?
I try to avoid getting into arguments online, especially in the KDP forums, but sometimes I just have to stop biting my tongue and join in.  I know that I can be very sarcastic and hard line in my opinions so I guess that some of the posts have been a little close to the bone.
I think those who are afraid of being themselves online and have the ‘yes sir/no sir’ attitude have narrow writing skills. But then there are those who shout off for the sake of it, and refuse to listen to others–they also have narrow writing skills. Lots of narrow people online! 

What qualifications do you have for writing in your genre?

I don’t have any qualifications for child physiology or for raising the dead. Can you do courses for that? Raising the dead I mean?  I was bullied at school, which plays a part in my first novel and my poetry collection so does that count?  
No, you need to complete the Raising the Dead exam on line at http://www.raisingthedeadwritersdegree-onlinecourse…

Many authors use their qualifications to show off their so-called talents i.e. crime writers are often coppers (police, for the non-Brits present) and the book becomes boringly technical. How have you managed to keep your knowledge low key? Or haven’t you bothered?
I just let it all flow.  I try to make my characters and storylines emotional and believable so I keep all the technical crap out of the way.  There are parts where I need to explain things, such as how a character got his abilities, but I try to keep it light and part of a flowing conversation.

If I were to read your book would I have to scroll through lots of acknowledgements saying how wonderful your book is before I got to the meat of a story?

I don’t believe in putting the review in my book.  I let my story do the talking for me.  That’s how much I believe in my stories.

What part of the world do you come from? 
Birmingham, England
Woo-woo! A fellow Midlander. 

What do you think of your government? 

They could be better, but they could be a hell of a lot worse.  They have done some decent things recently, such as introducing the same sex marriage act which I didn’t believe a conservative government would do, but would I vote for them?  Probably not.

If your book is set outside England would I understand your jargon? I mean, fanny means lady front parts NOT backside, car hood is a car bonnet–everyone knows that, right? Are British Englishisms/Americanisms/Australianisms etc important in your book? It’s all about identity, isn’t it?

Although my books are set in England, occasionally I find myself putting in some Americanisms, that I know I can get away with in England.  For instance, I use an elevator rather than a lift, and I’m not sure if a concessions stand is Americanised or English?
Never heard of it, so it must be American. Dont think we have those kind of bars/stands here, do we? Maybe in in Brum or London, but not in my little town.Why that shitty title? Did you run out of ideas?

It plays out the final scene of the book. When I was thinking about my next project after finishing my first book, I had an idea for a series of books.  I have actually sat down and written out all eight titles and brief plot lines, as well as a series long plot.  This was just the first idea that came to my mind and I liked it so much, I stuck with it.
If you were me (you know, perfect) and knew nothing about a person and you were told to interview them, what’s the one question you would ask? (answer it).

If there was a movie made about your life, who would play you and why?  I’d probably say Matthew Horne as he isn’t a mile away from me in terms of looks and build, has a quirky sense of humour and is also able to play the role of someone who’s been bullied and has battled through.

How long did it take you to complete your book (from idea to publication)? If it took under a year to write: It didn’t take you long to write so does that mean it is poorly researched, edited and written on a whim?

It took me around nine months to write from idea to release.  I would say for a fictional novel around the 45000 word mark, this is more than enough time to properly research it.  I aim to write around 1000 words in a sitting, so I actually took far too long to write it.  My next book has a target release date of just five months.


Do you have any bad habits, or stupid rituals you HAVE to do in order to write?

I absolutely have to turn on my computer!! Other than that, I have to make sure that I don’t have anything interesting on the telly and make sure I am logged off all forums and websites,
otherwise I find myself getting distracted. For example, I’m doing this interview while my main character has someone pinned up against a wall by their throat.

I’m glad I can assist in this light distraction. Yikes!

Authors are usually labelled as ‘dreamers’ and ‘loners’. Have you been labelled as such?
A dreamer on occasions, but that is more when I am talking about how many books I am going to sell!!
And what implications do you think that has on a writer?
I think it’s fine.  If we are called a loner, it’s true as we have to secret ourselves away to write, and most people don’t want to know what we are writing about until it’s finished.


What do you think of social media:
Somewhere to interact with other writers.

Does ‘being a writer’ make you feel  like an outsider with normal, everyday people such as your family and friends?
Not really as most of my friends either have their own businesses or are computer programmers and the like.  So we all bore each other with our tales of woe.
Describe your perfect death (in case I have to kill you)?
Being dropped into a giant vat of beer, with no means of getting out.  I’d hate to drown but at least I’d be drunk by the time it happened!
Nice one.

Give me the first, middle and end line in your book.

  1. Lots of people say that when you die, or are about to, your whole life flashes
    before your eyes.
  2. “No vampire House currently rules in Britain, so it could be that they are trying
    to establish a base here?” Bill queried.
  3. With tears streaming down my cheeks, I whispered the name of the one vampire who I wished never to see again.  “Chlothar!”

Thanks for taking the time to answer my stoopid questions, Michael.

MOA Forum, indie authors and writing.

Might be foolish, might be worthwhile. Won’t know until it’s been given a go. Some are saying it’ll flop and we’ll ruin our repetition, others are keen to participate.

What the hell am I on about?

Well, Steve Roach has approached authors on the aforementioned MOA forum (Meet Our Authors) on Amazon UK with an idea to collaborate on a book. 

The thought is that authors will submit a short story each (approx. 1,000-10,000) until we have a good-sized book. No profit will be made (it’ll all go into the production of the book) and copyright will remain the story’s creator.

It will be a great advert for the indie market as a whole–or not.

There are good writers, but we all know there are bad (delusional) writers, as well. So only the good need apply (you will be vetted). If we succeed, you never know, there may be another book the following year with another selection of writers.

Check out the MOA forum and see if you want to join us. But whatever you do, please support us. It’s an advert to ALL indies, after all.

I’ve dropped out. I stuck up my hand to help sort through the entries, and because I wanted EVERYONE to take part I, rightly or wrongly, offered to be the editor and I got carried away. Apparently, I destroyed ‘voices’ and hurt the feelings of authors. What can I say, I’m a tough editor and I hate sloppiness. ‘Voice’ or not, there is no excuse for over-wordiness, poor grammar, bad spelling or lack-lustre content. 

Still, good luck, Steve, and to the rest of the authors my best wishes also.

Btw, my rates for editing . . . no, I’m joking. Never again! 

John Hudspith comes fully recommended though. Happy editing!

Kindle Direct Publishing and Indie Publishing and what they mean for New Authors. Plus a giveaway!

Kristi Loucks is offering A Life Interrupted to one lucky reader who comments. I will draw a name and Kristi will offer that person a digital book in ANY format. 
Kristi Loucks

Whether a writer is new to the world of publishing or a seasoned veteran, the opportunities offered by independent publishing and Amazon’s KDP Select is opening doors that have never been accessible before. 

Just a few short years ago, unpublished authors were likely to have their work collect dust in the middle of a pile of manuscripts, unread.  Today, writers have the opportunity to get their work into the right hands, those of their readers without waiting.  We are able to share our work on all of the same platforms as traditionally published authors and thus, allowing indie authors to compete with the best of the best.

This is great, right?  Of course it is, but for every step forward there is inevitably a step to the side, too.  These new publishing avenues are great in that they make being a published author possible for many a talented writer who may never have found a voice through a traditional publisher, but they are also negative in the respect that they leave some key ingredients out of the formula.  Most notably editing, cover design and formatting.

These things are pretty basic, but they are not always something that writers can, or should do themselves.  Often neglected because of cost, purposely swept aside with the thought that they can be addressed later.  While it is easy to see how some may rationalize that once they have a few sales they can invest in these services, it can often be too late.  In most cases, a writer will only get that one opportunity to make that crucial first impression after all.
Kristi Loucks is part of the VBT

As an indie author myself, I know that we fight an uphill battle against what is at times perceived as lower quality work.  That perception is changing, but it is on all of us to make sure that continues.  There are an outrageous number of phenomenal authors who have gone the indie route; authors who we may never have read were it not for independent publishing and KDP Select.  

In addition to making the process attainable to many more aspiring writers, there is also a whole new opportunity to market yourself and your books with Kindle’s free sales, but that too has caused a stir for many publishers and writers wondering if it has the potential to hurt the sales of other books. 

While I don’t have any data to prove one way or another, I personally don’t think it truly hurts anyone.  KDP’s free sales are powerful marketing tools for new authors who may have been buried in the mass of kindle offerings, but I doubt that a reader would pass over a book by their favorite author for a freebie.  At the end of the day, free or not, I believe the reader will buy a book that interests them based on the storyline and not the price (provided that the book in question is priced appropriately).

As with most things in life, there will always be more than one way to achieve our goals.  The choice that is right varies from one individual to the next, and how each person takes advantage of these opportunities is often what matters most.

The truth is that it has never been easy to make money as an author, while the independent publishing movement has made it easier to get published, it will not guarantee you an audience.  You are still going to have to work long and hard to establish yourself among the sea of talented writers from both the indie and traditional publishing worlds, but as my grandfather once told me, “No goal that is worth achieving is ever free, or easy.”

 Kristi Loucks is offering A Life Interrupted to one lucky reader who comments. I will draw a name and Kristi will offer that person a digital book in ANY format. 

A Life Interrupted
BelaForte spent his life protecting the people he loves and the place he calls
home working for a government appointed task force called The Greater
Wilmington First Response Team or GWRT. A group comprised of his friend and
half brother, Dylan Spencer. His father’s old partner with the Wilmington PD,
Alex Kelley and his cousin Jules Devereaux. Rounding out the team was Shay
McElroy, a profiler who also happened to be the love of 
his life.

seemed perfect in his life, he had love, friends and family surrounding him and
his team was on the verge of putting an end to the reign of a known trafficker
who dealt in drugs and women. But in one moment, the man Jared had spent years
trying to put away interrupted that life.

Dolenov is that man. He deals in drugs and dolls, a family business you might
say. He had been able to stay under the radar in the sleepy port of North
Carolina that he called home these days. But when the Governor put together a
task force to disrupt his business, he took on a new target. Jared BelaForte.

two years of torture and pain, Jared believed he would die in Dolenov’s “care”.
But just when all hope is lost, an opportunity to escape presents itself. Two
years to the day, Dylan got the phone call. Jared was in the local ER, and he
was alive. Jared also learns that there was one other person that was left
behind when he went missing, his little girl Sera, now just 17 months old. She was
the glue that held Shay together when all seemed lost to her.

he pick up the pieces before the man responsible returns to finish the job he

About the author – Kristi Loucks

Author Kristi Loucks

Kristi Loucks is a Pastry Chef and Cake Designer with a degree from Le Cordon Bleu Chicago.  Her writing and storytelling has always been a way to manage the day to day stresses of working in the world of restaurants and food service.  

Kristi started writing in High School and has continued to share her work with friends over the years.  While she never planned to pursue writing professionally, a supportive friend armed with a copy of her debut novel, A Life Interrupted happened to share it with the right person. 

Since her debut was released in September of 2012, she has also released a novella, Delivery of Fate and is currently working on a new full length novel called The Rose Red Reaper, the first in a new series based in her home town of Chicago, IL.

Ms. Loucks currently resides in a suburb of Chicago and runs a bakery in a North Shore Suburb.
Now for something to whet your appetite!
A short excerpt – A Life Interrupted
months. It had been exactly two years since Shay had last seen Jared BelaForte,
the man that she loved. Some days, it felt like an eternity. And in others, she
would wake up and smell his scent surrounding her like he had been at her side
moments before. The only thing she could count on from day to day was that she
missed him.

had been so many things she had wanted to tell him. Things she no longer
believed she would ever get to say. He wasn’t coming back.

had spent the last twenty-four months reassuring herself that there was hope.
But, today she woke up with the sinking notion that he would never again look
at her with his cerulean eyes. She would never hear him laugh or admire his
beautiful smile and he would never get to meet his daughter, Sera.

she woke up this morning, she cried. She cried the tears she had been keeping
to herself for the last two years. She cried tears for all the things he had
already missed. And she cried tears for all the things she knew her daughter
would never have.

would never know her daddy. His half brother, Dylan had stepped into the role
of Daddy to Sera. Though he adored her as if she had been his own, they both
knew that her little girls’ daddy could not be replaced.

spite of the hardship, Dylans’ little girl Ellie had become like a big sister.
She spent afternoons on the beach with Sera, Shay and Dylan as they splashed in
the surf and Sera loved watching Ellie bury her daddy in the sand. Her little
girl was the glue that held her mom together. She was the only reason Shay had
not crumbled and they all knew it.

felt his presence everywhere she went. Some days, she even thought she saw him
on a busy street corner, down the beach or even outside her window when she
looked down at his truck that she drove to work.

heart ached every time she felt it idle, but at the same time she found it
impossible to let go of any of the possessions that she knew he loved,
especially his truck. Even if he wasn’t coming back.

How do you write?

Author Andrea Digiglio tells us her writing process. 
What’s yours? 

Have you tried Dragon Naturally Speaking

I am thrilled to guest post today! I thought I would talk a little about the way I write and how I worked out Finding Alice.

I use a program called Dragon Naturally Speaking. The idea of speaking to my computer and it actually understanding me was difficult to grasp let alone to consider using!

I love to write long hand, the feeling of lead crushing on a page or the ink leaking from the pen with a flick of your wrist. If my hands would let me I would sit and write for days on end without sleep. 

My process is simple; I do what feels right when I write. I start with long hand almost always. I sit somewhere comfortable maybe a coffee house and write until I can’t write any more. Once my story has begun and truly has somewhere to go I usually turn to my computer. I type much faster then I write and I am more likely to get more done before my hands and wrists begin to protest.

This is the messiest part of my writing. I usually create a timeline of the book with the things I would like to happen and the order for which I would like them to. In my Finding Alice folder there is hundreds of post it notes, stray papers, receipts covered with ideas all over them, timelines and old versions.

When do I use this
software you ask?  Well sometimes while
I’m writing the first draft. I throw the headset and microphone on lean back in
my chair, close my eyes and just tell my computer a story. I find that the more
I use it the less errors occur. I also had it learn all of my previous
documents so it learned my writing style. (Yes it can do that.)

 My favorite
time to use the Dragon software is during revisions. I always print my first
draft. I love my computer but machines are fickle and I am not losing my entire
manuscript on a malfunction so I print for safety and sanity. During revisions
I sit comfy and read my most recent and edited version to the computer in a
completely new document. This way I can read it in my head and out loud and
change it easily by telling the software to, “delete last line” or “scratch
that.” To me this cuts down on my revision time. I’m more likely to make big
necessary changes right off the bat this way.
That is a peek into how
I wrote Finding Alice. Thank you!

Andrea DiGiglio-Author
Finding Alice (Alice Clark Series, #1)
Andrea was born and
raised in Michigan, she still resided there with her son. Andrea has always
been a writer at heart. Over the last decade she has written, starred and
directed in many screenplays. She recently in the last few years decided to
venture in writing novels. She hasn’t looked back since, giving

it her full attention. She is very excited to share
the wonderful words she creates, with the world.

Book Title – Finding Alice
Genre – YA Paranormal Crossover
Formats – Ebook and Print
Publisher – CreateSpace
Release Date – February 19

Alice is cursed with
an intense version of empathy; she runs from a wasted life to start a new one
somewhere no one will know her, Hell, Michigan. Alice works at a
hole-in-the-wall bar in the middle of nowhere mostly keeping to herself to
avoid the overwhelming emotions of those around her. Alice allows her best
friend to convince her into taking a few college classes without realizing it
would drastically change her life forever. From her first day of class she was
hooked on him; his scent, his eyes, the way he talked to her inside her head.

Throughout her struggles she learns about true
love, true pain and the truth of her own heritage. Alice must quickly find out
who she is because after all everyone else is out to find her. With Angels and
Bounty Hunter’s in constant pursuit she finds protection within a group of
Fallen Angels. These Fallen Angels vow to do anything to protect her; for it is
their belief she will save their kind and all of mankind.

Click below for excerpts:

I moved from
town to town for a short while, working random jobs just to pay for my next
move, until I found a place that felt like home. It was a really odd feeling
for me, never having felt that before, but this place just drew me in like a
magnet. This, for most people, would seem like lunacy. No sane person chooses
I found a hole-in-the-wall bar just outside of Hell, Michigan, and
convinced the owner to hire me. By “convince,” I mean I played him in a game of
pool for it. He was actually pretty good—must come from owning your own bar—but
I hustled him. I’ve been working there for over a year now. I spend most of my
day reading or drawing, and sometimes I work extra shifts just to pass the
 This is where I met Camille.
She was absolutely stunning to look at. She had brown hair with highlights that
looked golden and her skin was pale but flawless. Her legs looked longer than
they were due to her overly short shorts and the tower of heels she wore. She
definitely didn’t belong in a bar like this but just the same, she loved it
here. She went to a community college and came here to get away. She says she
works better with a few drinks in her. Somehow she convinced me that I should
go back to school, that I was too antisocial and needed to get out of this town
every once in a while to mingle with real people, or something like that. I
used to just laugh at her, but I began deeply considering it.
We became friends, almost like sisters after this really bad bar
fight a few months back. An overly large biker came and challenged one of our
regular drunks to a game of pool. I’m assuming it was for a decent chunk of
change, because when he lost to Jake, he almost killed him. There I was minding
my own business at the bar when this giant ass of man pulled out a pistol.
Camille flew out of her seat, attempting to run toward the door, but this guy
shifted his aim at her, stopping her dead in her tracks. Jake just stood there
blank, refusing to give in to him, pushing Camille behind him protectively. I
heard the click as the biker readied his gun. Next thing I knew, I was standing
next to him with his gun in my hand, pressed against his cheek.
 “How about you get your fat
ass out of my bar?” I barely recognized my cold voice leaving my lips.
Everyone stood in shock, but it was Camille’s face I noticed. I
watched her eyes busily recalculating the last few seconds. I felt all the
other patrons watch in terror. He spit on the floor, threw his hands up and
left. Jake let out a sigh of relief and hugged me, flashing one of those “Way
to make me feel like a pussy” grins. I pushed away from the hug quickly and
noticed Camille leaning toward a single black feather on the ground. I snatched
it up and stuffed it into my pocket. I watched for her reaction but she didn’t
even notice.
 The most amazing thing was
Camille never asked me how I got there so quickly, how I grabbed the gun
without anyone seeing me actually do it. That is why we are such good friends.
Well, that and she is so rational, I don’t have to deal with her emotions
overloading my mind. I couldn’t explain it to her even if I wanted to. I
couldn’t even explain it to myself.
The air smelled
like fruit. I rubbed my eyes, attempting to see. I looked at the sky; it
bounced with shades of purple, red, and dark gray. It was gorgeous and I was
obviously dreaming. I walked through this large, empty field, feeling the
warmth of the day on my skin slowly evaporate. I could hear what sounded like
voices coming from the dark woods in front of me on the other side of this
amber field. It’s a dream. It’s safe to
check it out.
I walked toward the blackness and trees, glancing back at the
field behind me that was well-lit from the sun setting. I stood on the edge of
the woods line, debating my entrance and my sanity at that particular moment.
“It’s not real,” I said to reassure myself. I entered the woods, cautiously at
first. The voices grew loud enough that I could almost make out what they were
saying, but there were so many, the words were tangling together. My head began
to ache and I turned to run back, but I couldn’t figure out which way was back
any longer. I picked up the pace until the voices were roaring in my head. I
started into a full-on sprint, running through the darkness and barely able to
see a foot in front of me, trusting myself not to run straight into a tree.
“Alice,” a voice called. I stopped dead in my tracks. “Alice.”
That one voice was calming and felt safe. I found the direction the
voice was coming from and ran straight toward it. I felt the warmth on the back
of my neck. It was not the same as before. This felt haunting. Concentrating, I
singled in on one voice in particular. “Keep going,” he said. I was moving so
steadfastly, I felt as if I was floating through the air. My feet came to a
dead halt when the smell of sand and freshwater climbed up my nose. I made it. I looked out to the water and
saw the most beautiful thing I had ever seen in my entire life. I stared in
amazement as the moon beamed off of his toned torso, so elegant. In one
glorious flex, these incredible charcoal wings escaped his back. I gasped in
complete silence but he didn’t even notice me. They extended at least five feet
in each direction. Each feather twitched as if they were filled with
“Cole? You’re so beautiful,” I heard myself say. He turned to me,
his eyes piercing almost into my soul. I closed my eyes and breathed in his
scent deeply.
I opened my eyes and focused in on the ceiling through the darkness.
Part of me was relieved it was a dream. The other part of me was yearning for
it to have been real. I rubbed my head in frustration and reached out in a full
body stretch. My arms flopped to my sides; I dragged them back up to my pillow
and felt the softest touch against my skin. My eyes fully adjusted to the
darkness and searched the space around me. My entire bed was now covered in
gray-toned feathers.
“Holy shit.” I
twirled my hands through them and fell back asleep.
I knew I was home when
I walked up my driveway without a memory of the drive itself. I walked in,
locking the door and shoving the table in front of it. I stumbled up the
stairs, first aid kit under my arm, while juggling three bottles of vodka in my
bashed up hands.
I turned the shower on and climbed in with the vodka. I slowly started peeling
off my blood-soaked clothes, flinching, wishing I was numb. I poured a little
vodka on my body wounds and down my face in between chugging some to deaden the
pain. I opened the second bottle, doing more drinking than cleaning. I looked
down at myself and found bruises starting to form on almost every inch of my
body. Head to toe, my skin was covered with blacks and purples, reminding me of
my box of feathers. Tears filled my eyes and for the first time in my entire
life, they were my own. I sat curled up on the floor of my shower, wishing the
salt I was tasting was from the scent of ocean that radiated from Cole. I
drowned it out with more vodka.
    I spent the next day in bed, coddling
my last bottle of vodka. Camille called several times to see if I was working.
Her last text message read, Are you okay? Max called me and said some anonymous
caller called the cops and said they saw two guys break into the bar and then
kick the crap out of each other in the parking lot. Max is freaking out. Call
me. I’m worried. I ignored them all. Max called a few times as well. I texted
him back with, See you Thursday. He replied with an Okay and left it at that.
Around four am, I dragged myself out of bed. I walked to my front door to find
it still covered with furniture, as if an intruder couldn’t get past it. I
clutched the most recent bottle of vodka I had become so attached to and
finally set it down. I struggled to push the furniture to the side and opened
the door. I love the smell of four am. I walked cautiously to my car to pull
out my art supplies. I attempted to ignore the giant dent while painfully
dragging my supplies in the house. Just to be safe, I returned the furniture to
its spot in front of the door, snatching the vodka before taking off for the
spare room.
    I dumped everything onto the floor
and dug through it for my iPod. I plugged it into my stereo system and cranked
it up, loud enough to feel the vibrations rush through me. I reached down,
almost collapsing in agony, to grab my charcoal. There were no canvases left in
the house so I shoved my extra couch away from the wall and started rubbing the
charcoal onto the wall. Music, vodka, and art were not a cure, but they soothed
the soul.

The Death of Grammar (and the English language) in e-readers.

As language evolves and Kindle makes it all too easy to publish I can see a time where spelling is simplified. The long-standing “joke” of spelling changing to how it’s pronounced is now the norm in texing, but that’s because of lack of space and the tiny keyboard.

But is it time the English word is simplified like American spellings? Color for colour (why the “u”?), Yogurt for yoghurt (who pronounces the “Y”?) and grey. I mean, can you HEAR the “E”? So why not use the American spelling GRAY?

Makes sense, doesn’t it?


The English language dates so far back there aren’t any records of the first words (ugg?), and anyway English has been so reconstructed from the UK’s neighbouring countries that our common language is a mixture of French, Latin and others. It’s beautifully old, so to hear it change and American English creep in is a shame.

American English is beautiful in its own right, but that’s where it has to stay. I don’t want to eat chocolate colored yogurt – I want to eat chocolate coloured yoghurt. I want to pull my hair out in frustration trying to figure out the differences between practise and practice, and not give in and use the one with the two curly kuz, as my little boy calls them. 

But this article isn’t only about the fast-evolving English language, it’s about the lack of grammar in ebooks. Typos happen and even editors miss them (some traditionally published books prove this!), but we owe it to ourselves to make our books as error-free as possible. This means investing in not one, but two or more, proof-readers and editors. 

Edit your book yourself, and ONLY when you think it’s perfect offer it to one or more beta readers. Put your wounded pride on the back burner (no space for pride in this job!) and take on board their suggestions. Re-edit your book. Read aloud your book; dust off your old cassette deck and use that even. Go through it line by line and then, and only then, seek out a professional. 

Children are like sponges when it comes to knowledge and are highly influenced, and so as a parent I want to feel I am helping them learn by giving them books to read. Image my horror when my eight year old insisted that the word existence is spelt existance all because he saw it in a book! 

It is with reluctance that I allow my children to read ebooks now unless I vet them first and that’s a shame. But if I’m lacking faith in ebooks, an Indie writer, you can be certain there are others who regard them like people regard *reality TV!

If a traditionally published book has a typos it is classed as an editing or printing error, if Indies have one it’s ALWAYS the author’s fault. People LOOK for errors. Making our books low-priced is NO excuse for being cheap.

It’s time we got serious.

Here are some howlers:

And websites that help: 
100 Most Often Mispelled Misspelled Words in English
Commonly Misspelled English Words

*Reality TV – has its place, but for low-intelligent people who wouldn’t spot quality TV if they fell over it. 
Ouch! But that’s where ebooks are heading unless WE do something about it.