Tag Archives: Indie

Indie Credible the Sean Hayden experience … and #giveaway

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Welcome to the Indie-Credible tour. This is a great event pairing indie authors up with book bloggers to share about the magic of indie. I’ve been paired with author Sean Hayden. We have a great interview, short story from a title prompt that I came up with ( don’t ask where the idea for it came from ) and an international giveaway. Tons of fun for the whole family :)

Soul

Ever have one of those bad ideas just pop into your head? You know the ones. They seem like a great idea at the time, but if you had stopped to think about it a moment…

I’m talking about those ideas where you just seize the moment and do what your heart tells you to. Then, after the dust settles and you get bandaged up, your parents say, “What the hell were you thinking?”

“But, Dad, I wasn’t!”

I had one of those moments.

I guess if you want to be technical, I had a whole chain of those moments leading up to the big bang moment. The problem was I didn’t have anyone standing around saying, “What the hell were you thinking?”

The moral of this story?

There are several.

First, stores don’t sell black candles for a reason. They’re bad news. If you happen to come across one in the mall that sells questionable items…walk away. Trust me on this one. Black candles are bad.

Second, always know what you want out of life. Coasting along, not caring about anything will get you into trouble. Maybe more than you can handle.

Lastly, if someone offers to grant you your fondest wish, wish for something you really, truly want. Wish for something that will make the world a better place or you a better person. Never ever wish to be a monster…

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Amazon

Please tell me about yourself -

Well…

I live in Florida and work as a Fiber-Optic Engineer for the local cable and phone company. That’s my day job. By night, I write books (mostly steampunk, paranormal romance, and urban fantasy) and also publish books for other authors. I am a divorced dad of two wonderful kids and am lucky enough to be engaged to the most wonderful person in the world. She unfortunately lives in Canada, so we give new meaning to the words long, distance, and relationship. She is also an author and the other half of Untold Press.

Please tell me something about you that is top secret and not known  to anyone -

One time, in band camp…

Just kidding. Okay. While I want to be a rich and famous author, my SECRET desire…is to be a rich and famous actor…

I’ve had this recurring fantasy of writing a book, adapting a screenplay, and then acting in the movie. As the lead. With a huge speaking part.

Favourite books and authors ? -

Hands down, Anne McCaffrey (The Dragonriders series) and Mercedes Lackey (Pretty much everything she’s ever written).

Favourite indie books and authors ? -

Well, I’m partial to Jen Wylie and her Broken Ones series… I loved her work so much I asked her to marry me ;)

But honestly there are too many to name. These days I very RARELY read anything that comes out from any of the large publishers. Just to name a few (and I won’t mention any of the ones that we published because that wouldn’t be fair, even though they are truly amazing) Thomas Amo, Rusty Fischer, Darke Conteur, Darcia Helle, Trisha Wolfe, Tiffany King, Hugh Howie, wow. I could go on and on and on.

Can you tell me about your books please? -

My books. I was afraid you were going to ask that… I am the least shy person in the world. Until you ask me about my books :”> <–blushy face.

My Demonkin Series (Origins and Deceptions) is about a girl who was born a vampire in a world where monsters are out in the open. She is a new breed of vampire (or so she thinks) and can only live off the blood of vampires, werewolves, elves, and magical humans. Regular humans just don’t provide any nourishment. She gets into trouble with the local vampires and is saved by the FBI…only to be recruited.

My Rise of the Fallen Series (My Soul to Keep) is about a young boy who promises his soul to the Fallen in exchange for his fondest wish… They take him up on his offer and in a last-ditch effort to save his soul he wishes to become one of the Fallen, a demon. He gets his wish and quickly learns that in the battle of good versus evil, not everything is what it seems and good and evil are just perceptions…

I have a ton of short stories out there, mostly steampunk (some written with my son) and humorous, sometimes frightening pieces.

Tell me about being an indie author please, highs and lows -

If I could go back and do it all over…

I would do it exactly the way I did. I looked for an agent and quickly became disenchanted. I absolutely adore being indie. The upsides are you get to tell the story you want to tell, the way you want to tell it. You don’t have to change anything to suit anyone else.

The downside is that it is a LOT of work with limited funding. Sure it would be great to do a country-wide book tour, pay editors thousands of dollars to edit your manuscript, have world-class cover designers, web designers, marketers, and a distributor to the largest bookstores…

but being indie means you’re independent. You learn to do everything yourself or you’ll never get anywhere. It becomes the driving force behind every book.

What have you learned about the indie publishing world ? -

That it is more of a family than a competition. When one of us succeeds and makes it big, there is no jealousy. You’re extremely HAPPY for that person. The hardest lesson to learn is that just like everything in life, there are things to be careful of. Some small publishers for example. If you go indie, do your research. Ask questions. Make friends. Be sociable. Help others and they will help you.

There is a lot of talk about the indie world, what would you as an indie author like people to know? -

That you are more likely to fall in love with a book written by an indie author than something you picked up at a bookstore with a Starbucks in it.

Sean Hayden books

Hive Mind
“Did you download OS-8 yet?”

I looked up over my greyish brown cubicle wall at Stevensen, who was holding his ePhone out like it was the greatest treasure in the world. “No. It just came out twenty minutes ago. I’ll do it tonight,” I replied and looked back at my monitor.

“You should do it now, on the company’s Wi-Fi. If you wait ’til tonight it will probably take forever. I remember when OS-7 came out. Took me almost three hours to download it once everybody got home from work. Razberry’s site almost crashed.”

“It’s okay. I don’t mind waiting. I don’t see what the big deal is. I mean, how much different can it be?”

“You haven’t heard about the upgrades?” Stevensen’s voice started at his normal nasally high-pitched whine. By the time he reached the end of his sentence, I was positive every canine in the tri-state area had buried their heads. I’m surprised the glass on my LCD didn’t shatter.

“No?”

“It. Has. A. Retinal. Scanner! Nobody can steal your phone anymore! Well…unless they gouge your eye out, but I doubt that will ever happen.”

I stared at him like the idiot he was. “How can a software upgrade come with a retinal scanner?”

“They planned the whole damn thing man! They built it into the ePhone’s camera! It took a while to get all the bugs out, but it finally works! Well, mine doesn’t, but I’m sure it will soon.”

“Neato. As I said, I’ll wait. No biggie.”

“No biggie? You’re a special kind of stupid, aintcha, Paul?”

“Excuse me?”

“It is amazing what this phone can do. The icons change color, there’s a flashlight on the home screen. You can control your music by flipping your thumb up…well, mine doesn’t work…but it should soon. This is the most amazing thing I’ve ever held in my hand. Except for Pauline in accounting!”

He chortled. I even think he got some spit on my desk. I curled my lip in disdain and tried to get back to work. Again. “No worries. I’ll do it tonight. I’m trying to finish this report for Davis.”

“I doubt he cares. He’s in his office playing with his phone. Everybody is.”

I laughed. Something struck me as odd. Normally the office had a din to it. People moving. Chairs rolling. People talking. The only noise in the entire office was coming from the moron above me. I pushed my chair back and raised my head over the cubicle wall. Sure enough, those closest to me that I could see, were hunched over and staring at their ePhones. Except for Douglas, but that old bastard had a flip-phone anyway. Probably only used it to call his mother. “Weird,” I muttered. I dropped back down to my seat and started punching keys again. Hoping that Stevensen would get the hint.

“Okay, Paul. Wait. You’re going to come in tomorrow and be the only one not using OS-8.”

“Well I guess I’ll have to sit at the unpopular table at lunch. With the goths and the nerds.”

He laughed and dropped back down below the wall separating us. I silently vowed to punch him in the face if I saw it again one more time in the hour remaining of work.

That hour was the longest of my life. I finished the report, despite seventeen interruptions from my cube-neighbor continually singing the praises of OS-8. I sent the report to Davis, remembered to actually attach it to the email, and hit send right as my ePhone merrily chirped that it was 5 O’Clock.

I left my cubicle and headed for the elevator. Usually it was a mass exodus, but all the other office-zombies were still in their cubicles playing with their phones. “Whatever,” I mumbled and hit the button for the first floor.

The commute home was the shortest in history. The roads were virtually deserted. Even the street I lived on was empty. Usually it was filled with families and kids. I sighed and went inside.

I lived alone. I had never married, nor had any kids. I was twenty-seven and had no immediate plans either. But after spending quality time with my neighbors, I could say one thing they couldn’t. I was happy.

My evening played out normally. I heated up a frozen dinner, watched the news, and then started randomly flipping channels.

“…ePhone…”

“Razberry…”

“OS-8…”

“…New Operating System…”

I couldn’t believe it. Not only had my workday revolved around the new release, but now every channel was talking about it, too. Even the evening news had sounded like one giant infomercial. I looked down at my phone and shook my head. “Might as well get this over with…”

I picked up the phone, flipped my finger until I found the settings icon and started the damn download.

Seven hours remaining…

“Well, damn. Asshat was right.”

I did the only sensible thing I could. I plugged my phone in to charge and went to sleep.

* * *

I could hear my phone alarm blaring from across the room. Sleepily, I stumbled from my bed and plucked my phone up from the desk, swiping the alarm off. Silence made me smile. Not as much as coffee would in five minutes, but I still smiled.

Download complete. Install?

I unlocked the phone and hit yes. The little swirly on the homescreen told me it was doing what it needed to do. I used the time to get ready for work.

By the time I tightened my tie, the phone started buzzing. “That was fast.”

I grabbed it and my keys and my coffee and headed out the door to my car. I heard the doors unlock as I jabbed the button on the key fob. Sliding in the driver’s seat, I glanced at the screen on my phone.

Update installed. View now?

Since the music in my car was synced to my phone, I had little choice. I was not driving fifteen miles to work without the Mighty Mighty Bosstones.

I hit the yes button.

Welcome, Paul to OS-8.

Please enter your pass code.

1123

The New OS-8 requires a retinal scan to be stored in your phone. This will replace your pass code. You must scan to continue.

Agree?

I agree

Please hold your ePhone three to five inches from your right eye.

I sighed and did what the damn thing said.

The flash of the camera came on and I head the phone click.

Image scanned. Initiating Sori.

Sori?

“Hello, Paul. I am Sori. Your personal assistant.”

“Um. Hello, Sori.”

“Please confirm retinal scan.”

I sighed and held my phone once more up to my eye.

There was another flash of light.

The world dropped away.

A million voices filled my head.

There was nothing but darkness.

Sori’s voice drowned out the other voices. “Welcome to Hive Mind 2.0, Paul,”

Author Sean Hayden

 

Born the son of a fire chief, Sean naturally developed a love of playing with fire. His family and friends quickly found other outlets for his destructive creativity. Writing is his latest endeavor.
Always a fan of the macabre, mythical, and magical, Sean found a love of urban fantasy and horror. After writing several novels in this genre, he found, fell in love with, and immersed himself in steampunk. He has always wanted to rewrite history and steampunk gave him that opportunity.
Sean currently lives in Florida as a fiber-optic engineer as well as an author. He was blessed with the two most amazing children he could ever hope for, has met the absolute love of his life, who coincidentally is his partner in everything. His hobbies include grand designs on world domination as well as a starring role in his own television sitcom.

Web Site / Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads / Amazon

Here it is, the goodies up for grabs. Grand prize of a signed copy of My Soul To Keep with original cover, keychain and mini book charm and three winners will receive an ebook copy of My Soul To Keep. All prizes open internationally.

Thanks to Sean for offering these up my readers, its much appreciated

Sean Hayden giveaway

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Indie Author Hop

Welcome to another giveaway hop. Thank you to I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and Krazy Book Lady for hosting

I will be giving away pretty much any indie book I’ve featured on my blog in ebook format of choice as long as it’s up to $6.00. You can also pick a book that hasn’t been on my blog as long as the author has and again is indie, is ebook and up to $6

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
You can select any Seventh Star Press book or author. Perhaps Annihilation of Foreverland, Garden of Apples ( still trying to get confirmation from the author it’s available as ebook ) any from Hydra publications, Shadow of Kings, Click,  All Her Father’s Guns, Tantric Zoo or other Rob Loughran book, Gods Eye, Charles Colyott, Dark Side of the Moon etc. etc.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Browse my blog check the reviews or author interviews if one of their books sound good to you and is $6 or under let me know in a comment.

Open internationally, please fill in the rafflecopter form then check out the others participating and thanks for supporting indie authors and publishers.

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Author Monique Morgan interview

Look at these amazing covers the author herself created them. When I discovered that I was all kinds of impressed and envious, I seriously have no skills. I’m pleased to have Monique Morgan on to tell us about herself and her new books Pursuer and Dreamer. Be sure to check out her guest post from yesterday.

Please tell us about yourself –

My name is Monique Morgan, and I am an indie author who writes YA books.

Who are your favorite authors and your favorite books? –

My favorite author of all time would have to be Anne Rice. I personally think that she “did” vampires better than anyone else ever has. There is just something about her writing that is so beautiful. Another favorite author is Anne McCaffrey. I have always been drawn to science fiction, and the magic of the impossible? I put a question mark there because, hey, we could be zooming around to different planets someday or growing telepathic abilities… you never know

What are you reading now? –

Right now I’m reading Hollowland by Amanda Hocking. I love Zombies, and believe it or not, I have never read a book by Amanda Hocking. I’ve read about her indie success, and I was curious about her writing.

Have you always been writing or is it more recent? –

I have been writing stories since I was a little girl, and I have started novels in the past but never got past the first couple of chapters. I honestly don’t think I was at the right place at that time in my life, and when it was right, it just was.

Tell me about The Alwahi series –

The Alwahi series will be minimum three novels, telling the story of three clans in an underground kingdom called the beneath. The first book in the series is Pursuer. I say minimum in the above statement because there are certain characters that may have their own story told as well… but I can’t say anything further right now;)

You created the amazing covers for Pursuer and Dreamer fantastic job, how important is an eye catching cover? –

Thank you for the compliment! I think that it is extremely important. When looking through e-books that’s the first thing that is seen. If the cover is enticing, it is more likely to draw the customer to click and find out more about it. As an indie author, I think it’s even more important. We want people to give our books a chance, and that first impression may be all you get.

What future works do we have to look forward to? –

I am currently working on Dreamer, the second book in the Alwahi Series. Dreamer should be out sometime in the fall. There will also be a third book, Alchemist. Also… I have another book in the works, that’s not part of the Alwahi Series, but for now it’s a secret.

Tell us about Pursuer –

The story of Pursuer begins with two sisters leaving on vacation. Their plane crashes into the ocean, but not into the world that they came from. They enter a new beautifully deadly realm, the kingdom of Alwahi. In order to find her sister Zanas travels to the underground world of the beneath, and becomes a pledge of the fierce clan of the Pursuers. However, there is no failure when pledging Pursuer, it’s succeed or die.

Heres a snippet:

Her breath came out in small, excited gasps, her teeth bared, blood dripping down her chin. She could hear the sound of her own growling, as her heart pounded in her chest. Her vision began to clear slightly and her team came into view, reminding her of another hunting party she had hunted with. Just like that party, she found all eyes staring at her, and recognized the familiar emotion…respect.
Zanas found herself face to face with him. She looked into his eyes searching for the other emotion she always saw in people once they had truly seen her for what she was, a predator. But she saw nothing but wild excitement reflected in his eyes.
There was no fear.

 

~Chapter 8: First Blood

Authors Website
Purchase on Amazon (US)
Purchase on Amazon (UK)

Monique Morgan Guest Post

First I would like to thank Jessica for having me here!:) Let me introduce myself. My name is Monique Morgan, I am an indie author who writes YA books.

Today I would like to talk to you about covers. I know that we have all heard the saying “Don’t judge a book by the cover”, but let’s be real, we all have at one time or another. When you’re an indie author this could be the difference between someone giving your book a chance… or not. I don’t claim to be the best cover designer; there are many others that are far better than I am. However, I have received quite a few positive comments my covers, and let me let you in on a secret… it wasn’t that hard.

I’m a researcher by heart, and the first thing that I did when I decided I wanted to create my own cover, was go to Amazon and look at covers and book reviews for my genre. You will be surprised how many times a review will include something along the lines of “I loved this cover!” What I came away with were these things.
Many of the “loved” covers had:
1. Unique angle. (sometimes this included just the body, or just the arms, half a face, etc)
2. Pop of color.
3. Interesting looking word appearance (author name, title etc)
4. Series covers had something in common.

After my research on the covers I knew what customers where enjoying, but how was I going to make one myself? I’m not a graphic artist. I don’t paint or draw. And that’s were Shutterstock came into the picture. This is a royalty free website, with millions of photos. What’s royalty free? It means when you purchase the image you also purchase the legal right to use it, in covers, advertisements, bookmarks, basically how you want, more details here) The price runs from $19 per image or my favorite 5 images for $49. I combed through their images until I found an image that I LOVED. The only problem was, it was the perfect cover for Dreamer, not Pursuer. But hey, I had a base (the same face without adornments), so technically I could add to it and make it a cover for Pursuer… but how?
More research…:) I needed some kind of software to play with photos. We all know the biggest software out there for photos, and it also comes with a BIG price. So I started comparing reviews for other brands that were far more affordable. I found Corel Paintshop Pro X4 on Amazon, for $49.99. And even better it came with 21 free downloads from Fotolia (another royalty free stock photo site).
This was the first time I had ever used any kind of software like this, so I read the nice little how-to book, and just fooled around with it. Once I got the hang of it, I found it very user friendly. I won’t go into too many details on how to use Corel Paintshop, but I will mention my favorite aspect, “clone”. What this does is copy one part of a picture to another, stroke for stroke. I like to think of it as one of those scratch-to-find-if-your-a-winner things, the more you “scratch”, so to speak, the more of the other picture comes out in the new picture. This is how I made the cover for Pursuer.
What about the title and author look, you ask? I did this with Corel too, using a nice feature called “illuminate”. I spent many hours on Pursuer, but honestly, it was more fun than anything else. Dreamer was far easier, because I didn’t have to make many changes, and I knew more of what I was doing.
So for around $100 I created 2 different covers, I’m working on a third, and I have quite a few images waiting in the wings. Technically it could be done with less, if you can find the images you like on fotolia. Shutterstock and fotolia do have duplicate images on their sites. But I found I liked shutterstock’s images better.
My favorite part was having control of what I wanted, and how it would look. I really didn’t have any background in this area, so honestly anybody could do the same, as long as you’re willing to put in the time and the effort. Here’s a look at my covers, hope you like them :)

To learn more about the author or the Alwahi Series visit monquemorgan.com