Maria Savva's Blog - Posts Tagged "joel-blaine-kirkpatrick"

I was very fortunate to meet a wonderful fellow author recently on BestsellerBound
Joel Blaine Kirkpatrick is the author of Caraliza,Breathing into Stone,Harmony's Passing,and Shared (all currently on special promotion at Smashwords for $0.99 each!

Joel is a wonderfully giving author who does much to help promote fellow indie writers. He is also hilarious. Please take a moment to read my latest interview on his blog...

The Tale is the Thing

Caraliza by Joel Blaine Kirkpatrick Breathing into Stone by Joel Blaine Kirkpatrick Harmony's Passing by Joel Blaine Kirkpatrick Shared by Joel Blaine Kirkpatrick Joel Blaine Kirkpatrick
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Published on November 24, 2010 06:46 • 363 views • Tags: author-interview, blog, humour, joel-blaine-kirkpatrick, maria-savva, the-tale-is-the-thing
I just wanted to remind you all that the Campaign date for the 'BestsellerBound Cutting Edge Campaign' is drawing nearer.

Please let all your friends know about it.

For further information about the campaign, please visit BestsellerBound

Click on the badge below to visit the Facebook page.

BestsellerBound: 'The Cutting Edge' Campaign

Promote Your Page Too

We are asking you to download The Cutting Edgeby Darcia Helle on 20th December 2010 from and

Darcia has agreed to reduce the price of the book to $0.99/£0.72 on the day of the download. All proceeds from downloads on the day will go to Darcia's local church which runs a food bank to feed the homeless and poor.

I hope you will join us and support indie authors.

Stacy Juba, one of my fellow resident authors on BestsellerBound, will be taking part in a radio interview on 14th December 2010, talking about the campaign on Indie Book Collective
This will be followed by an interview on 21st December 2010 with author Joel Blaine Kirkpatrick, one of our most active members on BestsellerBound. Joel will be talking about the campaign and discussing how successful it was. Please tune in.
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Published on December 08, 2010 07:19 • 337 views • Tags: bestsellerbound, cutting-edge-campaign, darcia-helle, indie, joel-blaine-kirkpatrick, maria-savva, stacy-juba, the-cutting-edge
I've just finished reading Breathing into Stoneby Joel Blaine Kirkpatrick

There is a story behind why I read this book, so I thought I would share it.

First a bit of background: I was lucky enough to meet the author through BestsellerBound where I'm a resident author/moderator. Joel joined the website shortly after we launched and soon became one of the most active members. In fact he's probably more active there than the resident authors! He's currently putting together a free ebook containing excerpts from books by members of BestsellerBound. More news about that when I have it.

Back to Joel's book. When Joel read my review of Ben Okri's The Famished Road he challenged me to read his own book 'Breathing into Stone' as it is a long one. In my review of The Famished Road I complained that Okri had used too many words. Joel wanted to know whether I thought there were too many words in 'Breathing into Stone'. He kindly sent me a copy of the book. I must admit I was daunted when I looked at the book and saw how thick it was (and the writing is very small). However, when I started reading the book, I was hooked and fell in love with the characters immediately.

Here's my review:Breathing Into Stone - review

So my answer to Joel is: there are not too many words in 'Breathing into Stone'. I'd recommend it to everyone. One of my favourite reads of 2010.

Breathing into Stone by Joel Blaine Kirkpatrick
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Published on January 04, 2011 06:46 • 295 views • Tags: breathing-into-stone, joel-blaine-kirkpatrick, recommended, review
As many of you already know, I am a resident author on BestsellerBound, a website dedicated to promoting independent authors.

One of our most active members, author Joel Blaine Kirkpatrick has put together three anthologies of excerpts from BestsellerBound authors' books. The anthologies include short stories and chapters from books. I am sure that anyone looking for a new book to read will find something in at least one of the anthologies. We have authors of romance, historical fiction, political fiction, thrillers, mysteries, crime fiction... you name it, it's in there!

The first volume contains the full version of my short story 'Forever Blue' from my collection Pieces of a Rainbow

The anthologies have been produced as a promotional tool for our members who are all independent authors and have to do all their own marketing. If you find the anthologies interesting, I hope you will share them with your friends and tweet about them, add links to your Facebook sites, blog about them, etc., etc. This would be very helpful and much appreciated by the authors involved.

You can read the three anthologies by following the links below:

Volume one

Volume Two

Volume Three

Make sure you also check out the websites and blogs of all the participating authors, as some of them are (or will soon be) offering downloads of the pdf files from their websites. I am in the process of arranging for the pdf files to be available as downloads from my website. I'll blog about that when it happens.

We are also trying to find a website where we can publish the anthologies as free ebooks. Watch this space for news on that.

Please take a moment to check out the anthologies. I hope you'll find lots of new authors to read.
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As many of you already know, I'm a resident author/moderator on

Author Darcia Helle has put together an ezine containing all the latest news and views from the members of BestsellerBound.

It's a very interesting read.

Included in this month's issue is an article written by author Jason McIntyre all about Cutting The Fat, the online novel that I co-wrote with him.

You'll also find all the news about the BestsellerBound Anthologies in a piece written by author Joel Blaine Kirkpatrick

Plus: read all about Stacy Juba's new book 'Sink or Swim',a murder mystery, based on a reality show.

There's also a section where you can find information about 5 recommended ebooks each priced at under $5!

Click the link to download your free copy: BestsellerBound ezine

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Cutting The Fat, the novella that I co-wrote with author Jason McIntyre is now available to purchase at Amazon!

The book, which was originally an impromptu online novella, written online at BestsellerBound, is about Nestor Maronski, a book reviewer who writes scathing reviews of self-published books. 'Cutting The Fat' is a sometimes gruesome, sometimes humourous, compelling thriller about a plot to kill Nestor Maronski.

The character, Nestor Maronski, can be found on Twitter: Nestor Maronski -- Twitter and also on Facebook: Nestor Maronski -- Facebook

Some of the members of also featured spoof interviews with some of the characters from 'Cutting The Fat' on their blogs. You can read those here:

Joel Blaine Kirkpatrick: The Tale's The Thing

The Secret Writer

Jaleta CleggThe Far Edge of Normal

Darcia Helle A Word Please

Susan Helene Gottfried West of Mars

The ebook of Cutting The Fat also features some bonus material:

An Excerpt from Thalo Blue a novel by Jason McIntyre
The short story 'Only Time Can divide Us' from my latest short story collection, Fusion.

Jason and I are due to be interviewed about the book on author Darcia Helle's blog and she will be giving away an exclusive 'Nestor Maronski Must Die' t-shirt and some pdf copies of the book. More news on that soon.

Here's a link to Amazon, where you can purchase the book on kindle for just $0.99/£0.71

Amazon UK

< a href=" US

Cutting The Fat by Maria Savva
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In the past couple of years I have read some fabulous books by authors you may not have heard of.

There are lots of good books out there, and before I joined Goodreads, I really only read books by well known authors, or books I could find in my local bookshops.

Many of you may still do that. Maybe you only buy the bestsellers or you only buy books you can find in bricks and mortar shops. I think most people are probably like that.

I just wanted to open up a window for you, and introduce you to some fabulous writers who are not bestsellers, their books are not easy to find in your local shops, but their books are some of the best I have ever read.

Here are a few recommendations.

I hope you will pick at least one from this list to try. Then, if you like it, I hope you'll come back and read another.
And most of all, I hope you'll tell all your friends about them.

Books are written because there is a story to tell, that story deserves to be read.

I've fallen in love with these books, and I hope you will too:

Breathing into Stone Breathing into Stone by Joel Blaine Kirkpatrick

Eighteenth century priest, Father Furio Novia, hates his employer, the Archbishop of Modena; almost as much as he hates Italian master sculptor, Antonio Lisi. When Novia discovers that Lisi uses his beautiful daughter's likeness in nearly every figure he carves, the priest realizes he can make accusations to the Archbishop that the sculptor has an incestuous knowledge of his daughter, Anoria. Novia begins to haunt their lives, and every family in their village of Resceto, not because he believes they have sinned, but because he desires Anoria for himself.For two years their lives twined around one another's, destined to clash in Rome; Novia, committing murder to stay free of the church; Anoria, nearly killing him to escape his lust.(some adult oriented content)

The Day the Flowers Died The Day The Flowers Died by Ami Blackwelder

A Passion set in the time of prejudice. A novel about love and loss. The completed final edition. 1930 Munich. Two Lovers. Different Worlds. A Crumbling Country Book Taste Review: Ami Blackwelder paints her words in this gently narrated historical romance set in Munich, Germany early 1930. The scenes recreate pre-war Germany...

Pixels of Young Mueller Pixels of Young Mueller by Jerry Schwartz

Klaus Mueller dreams of leaving tiny Southland someday to be a rock star. When he chooses stardom over college, however, he learns that his real education is only beginning. He endures a series of god-awful jobs while his music is repeatedly rejected, and he wonders how he will ever achieve success. After moving to the city, where he finds a career and becomes a father, he is torn between the great happiness he has found and the success he still craves. Klaus must reconcile his dreams with reality or spend the rest of his life lamenting what might have been.Pixels of Young Mueller is the story of an artist's growth to maturity and of his revolt against his family's Christian values. The tale of Klaus Mueller, as told in this modern coming-of-age novel, provides new perspectives on classic themes when Klaus confronts the forces that threaten his existence. Readers can listen to Klaus' music online at (edited by author)

Musical Chairs Musical Chairs by Jen Knox

Musical Chairs explores one family's history of mental health diagnoses and searches to define the cusp between a '90s working-class childhood and the trouble of adapting to a comfortable life in the suburbs. In order to understand her restlessness, Jennifer reflects on years of strip-dancing, alcoholism, and estrangement. Inspired by the least likely source, the family she left behind, Jennifer struggles towards reconciliation. This story is about identity, class, family ties, and the elusive nature of mental illness.

Horse Latitudes Horse Latitudes by Quentin R. Bufogle

Time is running out for Chester Sprockett. How is an unemployed, aspiring novelist supposed to survive when the thirty grand borrowed off his dead father's credit cards is almost gone, and the only work he can find is hawking toys and cheesy novelty items door-to-door . . . on commission yet?

And talk about woman trouble: There's Pandora, the beautiful magician's assistant who dumped him for an investment banker and the dream of becoming a performance artist; Beth, his true love, the girl he let slip through his fingers at the beach (maybe it was all that baby oil) and the mysterious blond nymph who hurls empty beer bottles at him from a black Z28 Camaro.

If it wasn't for the occasional visit from the ghost of his father, Chester would almost certainly be losing his grip on reality, and never navigate his way out of the . . . Horse Latitudes.

Caviar Dreams Caviar Dreams by Judy Nichols

Your best friend's in love with a lying, scum-bag thief. How do you tell her? Because what she doesn't know could kill her. This is photographer Lisa Watson's dilemma. Lisa has always relied on her plain, overweight friend Debbie to cheer her up when she's down on her luck (which is most of the time). When Debbie falls hard for a handsome stranger named Derek. Lisa is skeptical, believing Prince Charming is more interested in Debbie's money than her kind nature. Derek may be a small-time hustler, but he has big-time plans. He intends to blackmail his wealthy lover, Robert Helton, a conservative industrialist desperate to hide his secret gay life. However, Derek's plan takes a fatal turn when Debbie is found dead in her apartment.

Harmony Bay: An adventurous slice of waterfront life where mystery surrounds history... Harmony Bay by Tom Gahan

Harmony Bay uncovers the rich historical past of a small town through the eyes of newcomers...Detailed description laced with historical references gives the reader a feel for life in a bayside town

Enemies and Playmates Enemies and Playmates by Darcia Helle

When the abused decide to fight back, the abuser's world might just shatter. Lauren Covington's family maintains a grand facade that belies the life they live behind closed doors. Alex Covington, Lauren's father, keeps a tight rein on his family through dominance, abuse, and obsessive control. Consequently, Lauren doesn't believe she could ever trust a man, much less fall in love with one.

When Lauren meets Jesse Ryder, her carefully constructed protective wall shatters. She falls hopelessly and completely in love. It's only fitting that Jesse is a private detective who had once worked for her father, had defied him, and was now the subject of Alex Covington's wrath.

Amidst devastating loss, betrayal, and her father's destructive pursuit of Jesse, Lauren finds the trust and love she had always longed for.

Digger's Bones Digger's Bones by Paul Mansfield Keefe

Archaeologist Angie Cooper's colleague and friend, Tarek "Digger" Rashid, is murdered in front of her. But not before giving her cryptic photographic clues to a hidden tomb and the two thousand year old bones within. Angie must battle a ruthless hitman, hired by a U.S. senator with presidential aspirations, and a sociopathic religious zealot while overcoming severe acrophobia. Caught in a web of lies, deceit, and betrayal, she works to unravel the secret of Digger's bones. Bones that affect the lives of all they touch.

Digger’s Bones is an action packed thriller that takes you from the churches and burial tombs of ancient Jerusalem to the harrowing cliffs of Bandelier National Monument and the glacier capped Zugspitze in Germany. Angie Cooper, her career in shambles, finds herself on the run from mercenaries, the Holy See, the FBI, and Interpol while trying to solve one of archaeology’s great mysteries. Yet some things are better left in the past.

Twenty-Five Years Ago Today Twenty-Five Years Ago Today by Stacy Juba

Kris Langley has always been obsessed with murder. She blames herself for the violent death of her cousin when they were kids and has let guilt invade every corner of her existence. Now an editorial assistant and obit writer for a Massachusetts newspaper, Kris stumbles across an unsolved murder while compiling "25 Years Ago Today" items from the microfilm. She grows fascinated with the case of a young cocktail waitress who was bludgeoned to death and dumped in the woods. Determined to solve the case and atone for the death of her cousin, Kris immerses herself in the mystery of what happened to Diana Ferguson, a talented artist who expressed herself through haunting paintings of Greek mythology. Not only does Kris face resistance from her family and her managing editor, she also clashes with Diana's suspicious nephew, Eric Soares - until neither she nor Eric can deny the chemistry flaring between them. Kris soon learns that old news never leaves the morgue and that yesterday's headline is tomorrow's danger, for finding out the truth about that night twenty-five years ago may shatter Kris's present, costing her love, her career, and ultimately, her life.

My Schizophrenic Life: The Road to Recovery from Mental Illness My Schizophrenic Life by Sandra Yuen MacKay

Vancouver artist Sandra Yuen MacKay has an abnormality of the brain - a disease called schizophrenia. As she says, "my life is schizophrenic because I have schizophrenia. It will always be there". Much of her life has been a struggle to cope with the symptoms of her disease and the side effects of the medications required to keep those symptoms in check.

Early in her life, Sandra started to exhibit the typical symptoms of this disease which came as a surprise to her unsuspecting family. Her book chronicles her struggles, hospitalizations, encounters with professionals, return to school, eventual marriage, and success as an artist, writer and advocate.

Fade Fade by Darren Smith

"Perhaps the best way to describe just how much this book caught my imagination is to reveal that even almost a year after reading it, there are still scenes that I remember vividly, quotations that I can recall and to confess that I will never think of doughnuts with sprinkles in the same way again."

"Brilliantly written love story captures your thoughts and emotions throughout the whole reading and long after it. The lucid and detailed narration provides multi layered complexity of each character's personality, startling revelations, creative turns of the plot."

"Dramatic and touching, the author does a brilliant job of capturing the reader's attention and reeling them into the depths of his story telling."

What Remains What Remains, by Rosemary Poole Carter

WHAT REMAINS is set on a rundown plantation shortly after the Civil War. In the shadow of live oaks and Spanish moss, Isabelle Ross, who has lost her fiancé to the war, joins forces with journalist Paul Delahoussaye to untangle a web of secrets, lies, and murder.

Road Markers Road Markers by Jason C McIntyre

Dean is a forty-something sales rep for a company that ropes small, mostly blue-collar firms into long term cellphone plans. Heading home from a bad meeting, he begins to see evidence that he can will things to happen just by thinking about them. But will this tantalizing realization lead him to cross the line for good?

* * *

Most of these writers have written more books, and I'm looking forward to reading more of their work.

Give them a try.

Remember, if you like a book, remember to review it, either here on Goodreads, or on Amazon and other bookseller websites. Authors are always grateful for honest reviews. It doesn't have to be anything detailed, just a couple of lines to say why you liked it would be wonderful.

Happy reading!

Road Markers by Jason McIntyre What Remains by Rosemary Poole-Carter
Fade by Darren Smith My Schizophrenic Life The Road to Recovery from Mental Illness by Sandra Yuen MacKay Pixels of Young Mueller by Jerry Schwartz Breathing into Stone by Joel Blaine Kirkpatrick The Day the Flowers Died by Ami Blackwelder Musical Chairs by Jen Knox Digger's Bones by Paul Mansfield Keefe Horse Latitudes by Quentin R. Bufogle Twenty-Five Years Ago Today by Stacy Juba Enemies and Playmates by Darcia Helle Harmony Bay An adventurous slice of waterfront life where mystery surrounds history... by Tom Gahan Caviar Dreams by Judy Nichols
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Last week was a great one for writers and readers, with World Book Day, and now it's Read an Ebook Week! From 6th March - 12th March 2011

Here are a few reading suggestions from me:

Firstly, my own Amazon kindle books :) 'Cutting The Fat', 'Pieces of a Rainbow', and 'Love and Loyalty' are currently only $0.99/£0.70!! My novels are just $2.99/£2.20. I would love it if you'd try one of my books this week!

Remember, you don't have to own an ereader to read kindle books. have free apps for iphone, ipad, pc, mac, blackberry and android, so you can read the books wherever or how ever you like!

Pieces of a Rainbow by Maria Savva Love and Loyalty (and Other Tales) by Maria Savva Cutting The Fat by Maria Savva Second Chances by Maria Savva A Time To Tell by Maria Savva

Here are a few more suggestions, either books I've read and loved, or books I'm looking forward to reading, by some of my favourite authors!

The First Kill by Darcia Helle The Cutting Edge by Darcia Helle Enemies and Playmates by Darcia Helle Hit List by Darcia Helle Caraliza by Joel Blaine Kirkpatrick Breathing into Stone by Joel Blaine Kirkpatrick
On The Gathering Storm by Jason McIntyre Thalo Blue by Jason McIntyre Road Markers by Jason McIntyre The Night Walk Men by Jason McIntyre Digger's Bones by Paul Mansfield Keefe Musical Chairs  by Jen Knox To Begin Again by Jen Knox
Trevor's Song by Susan Helene Gottfried
Twenty-Five Years Ago Today by Stacy Juba Sink or Swim by Stacy Juba Horse Latitudes by Quentin R. Bufogle Pixels of Young Mueller by Jerry Schwartz The Day the Flowers Died by Ami Blackwelder CROOKED MOON by Lisette Brodey

Many authors are reducing the price of their books for Read an Ebook Week, so keep an eye out for free ebooks and discount codes.

A great website to check out for free/discounted ebooks is

I hope all of you will read an ebook this week!! :)
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Today, I would like to introduce you to one of my favourite people. He's not only a gifted writer, but he is a marvellous person. I met Joel on the BestsellerBound forum, not long after it launched last summer. He immediately caught my attention because he is a bit of a practical joker, and full of fun. To put it simply, I love Joel. I am sure you will all fall in love with him, too.
I have read his novel, Breathing into Stone, and it is one of my favourite books. Joel has generously agreed to give away 2 print copies of this epic novel to readers of my blog. It's an international competition. All you have to do to enter is leave a comment below. Winners will be picked randomly on 5th May 2011.

Joel is the author of four novels, all of which have received fabulous reviews.

Joel is a great supporter of indie authors. On his blog, The Tales The Thing he features authors and books that he has found interesting. His interviews are always fun to read, and I'd highly recommend you to stop by his blog when you get an opportunity.

Last year, Joel single handedly put together a 3 volume sample anthology showcasing 62 authors. This anthology is available as a free download. It includes short stories and excerpts from novels, in various genres. Here's a link to the promotional trailer, for more information:
BestsellerBound Anthology Trailer

Here are Joel's answers to my interview questions:

Is there a particular author, or book, that inspired you to start writing?

Nearly every book I’ve read has inspired me; I just love stories. I really prefer hundred year old narratives, because they were not manipulated as things are today. I’ve admitted to being in love with Gary Jennings’ tales. I hope someday to form a novel as he did.

Do you have any tips for someone who is considering self-publishing their own book?

By all means get it done! There are few feelings as grand as reaching those last few pages. Self-publishing, to me, is the only thing the modern age has gotten right in literature. For someone who feels intimidated by the process – don’t isolate yourself and continue to feel alone; ask for help. Indie authors are a community – a very generous community.

You have published 4 novels in under 2 years, if we are to believe the rumours. That is quite a feat. Can you describe your writing process, and is it true that it took you only 36 days to write one of your books?

True, and still shocking to me. What I’ve only recently admitted, is that I took a year sabbatical from my career and spent the whole time writing. It was easy to write for 14 hours a day. I exploded, so-to-speak. Not knowing I could market on the web, three novels were in my hands before things slowed down. Then I began to poke around the internet and learn what self-publishing was all about. (I believed for months that traditional publishing was my only avenue. I got over that nonsense quickly.) And, yes, Breathing into Stone was completed at just under 200K words in five weeks. Someday I shall be ripped to shreds for that. It will be called a hopeless mess.

My process is very simple. Ideas get swished around in my mind, until they feel good. The best ones are typed a bit. About twenty good story-starts have been filed away. The first chapter is always done in a flash, so I know where I’m going, and those set the tone of the book. Then I unleash my brain to sort everything out. Nothing is typed until I’ve worked it out beforehand. I already have the first chapter of my fifth novel complete, it’s just waiting for me to get going.

From looking at the synopses of your four books, they seem quite unique in themes and genres. Which one was the hardest to write and why?

I don’t have a genre yet. In a few years that will arrive. It’s too much fun experimenting to worry about nailing that down just yet. Harmony's Passing caused me the most work, because the science is so familiar it had to be correct. I researched as the story formed, working out sky positions, and instruments, and a bit of biology. My desk was cluttered with star-charts the whole time. The other three books were just odd ideas that I loved exploring. My upcoming book will cost me a lot of research, because every element of it is taken from actual history – history that I will scramble apart completely.

Which one of your books was the most fun to write, and why?

Harmony was ‘fun’ because I’m a geek. But it was such a delight being with the characters in the others. I am quite in love with Caraliza (from Caraliza), and with Anoria (from Breathing into Stone). My wife thinks that is so stupid. To me, Shared is a bit darker, much more personal. Some elements of that book were difficult to write.

If someone was new to your work, which one of your books would you recommend they read first, and why?

Caraliza, would have to be my choice. It is my shortest novel, that’s a plus already. It is also the purest entertainment, asking only that the reader allow the ghosts to speak to them. Harmony requires some patience for the flood of scientific detail; Breathing into Stone is just a barge – you know that – a short vacation is needed to read that thing. Shared? That book wants into your mind, and into your heart. It wasn’t written to entertain. Shared is a spiritual expedition.

I own all your books, but have only as yet had time to read one of them. Breathing into Stone, is a literary masterpiece in my opinion. I am eager to read your other books after reading that one. Can you tell us what your inspiration was for Breathing into Stone, which is a historical drama, set in Italy, revolving around the life of a master sculptor and his beautiful daughter.

Anoria came to me in a sudden burst of warmth. I had been wondering if I could write from a woman’s perspective, and make her believable. It seemed natural to make her challenge a man’s world, because I knew something about that. I adore that period of time, the 1700’s. The earth was much bigger then. I put Anoria in her father’s marble workshop just hours after imagining her. From that setting, I could indulge my love of that period’s art, and play it all against the Church. Also, I looked around to see if there were any women like her in that period, working with stone. There were so few turned up in my research, I knew Anoria would stand out as very unique. There is nothing unique in my antagonist, Novia. He’s as generic as they come – Furio might really just be cliché, but I like him. He did his job.

The setting is real, Resceto is a charming, tiny little village – right where I claim it is. It gave me some isolation, which enhanced the characters, and it afforded me the chance to fill the novel with the setting. It would have been boring, and half as long if I put them in a little house in Massa. When you stand in Resceto on that single street, it seems you are swallowed by the mountains. But climb just an hour above the village, and you begin to see the stunning landscape, the sea to the west, the mountains rushing away north and south. Suddenly you are in a wide world, and it is a perfect mirror for Anoria’s personal journey; from isolation to the grandeur and fame of the marble culture.

When I read Breathing into Stone, I thought that somewhere in your work background, or at least for a serious hobby, you were involved with carving marble! The description of the way the marble was carved was so intricate, that sometimes I could almost see each tiny detail being carved by the hand of Antonio Lisi or Anoria. But I read in a recent interview that you have no experience in this whatsoever, and didn’t undertake much research either. I find that amazing. Did any of your novels require much research, or do you find that you are always able to write convincing prose without researching your subject matter?

Beginning Breathing into Stone, I could already name more than a dozen of Michelangelo’s most famous marbles. I wrote as an admirer, it’s been a lifetime devotion, and I let that drive the text. If you can’t fill the narrative with love, you’d better be ready with something else, like facts. Harmony could not have been written without a second computer screen open to Google. My next novel will be oppressive work, I actually dread some of that research.

Your ebooks were recently pirated and up for sale on by an unknown seller. Did you ever find out how that happened, or manage to gain any insight into how other authors could possibly protect themselves from having the same happen to them?

Yes, that was resolved in just under two weeks. We had a stupid pirate. I found her on Facebook. She’s been banned by the websites that she used. 52 books were in her storefront on I’ve had correspondence with nearly all those authors. Any one of them could file international complaints against the pirate. I have certainly done that.

As to protection from book theft: there is none at the retail websites. There are no systems to identify false books, only the author can do that. Also, nothing will be done by any retailer, other than remove the content and ban the pirate from the site. So, don’t believe the legal scarewords in the user agreements on those sites. Retailers could not care less if a work is stolen or legit. Retailers care about profit and nothing else. (Sheesh – isn’t that already sooo obvious?) Authors must be aware of themselves on the internet; you should do regular vanity searches. Know where your books should be. Know how your books appear at all times on the web. It is a lot of work, but it helped me uncover a thief.

You have gained a reputation as a man who likes to help other indie authors succeed. I understand you have a blog dedicated to seeking out and promoting authors who in your opinion should be read by the masses. You also masterminded the BestsellerBound Sample Anthology, where over 60 authors (including myself) were able to showcase a chapter from one of their books, or a short story in an anthology which is available free for anyone to read on various websites. What is your motivation behind such efforts?

Fun :)

What is your opinion of the current state of indie publishing as compared to traditional publishing, and do you have any predictions as to how the publishing industry will change in the coming years?

My opinion is tiresome. I’m really a whiner. No one in traditional publishing had time to look at me, so I complain about them. They shout their refrain ‘.. it is good, because we say it is good,’ but it is not the exclusive reality they think they own. It is no longer true. Oddly, my opinion is also shared by about 4 million people on earth....

Traditional publishing (modern publishing) has been strangling literature for my entire lifetime. Makes no difference they have published an increasing number of books every year since the advent of the printing press. In my lifetime they have applied ‘marketing’ which didn’t improve a single damned book. I cannot predict what traditional publishing is about to endure, but I’m thrilled they must change. If part of the industry dies... I don’t care. Writers are no longer suffering with false constraints.

The ants in the industry, who should be screaming in panic, are literary agents. They have no purpose in self-publishing. Even editors can enjoy some trust from Indie authors, but the agency driven paradigm is dying. It has already drowned in good submissions, and proven itself useless.

Who are your favourite authors and what is it about their writing that you like?

That’s a long list, Dear. I’ve already named Gary Jennings. He can make me close my eyes, and close the book, with a single sentence. His words are stunning. I enjoy classics, and have read most of the standards – Edgar Allan PoeHerman MelvilleJules VerneOrson WellesCharlotte BrontëJane Austen. If you want to be seriously challenged on every subject possible, in a single narrative, find and read Bulwer-Lytton. But, I also love quirky things. Christopher Moore is also a favorite of mine because he seems to be writing as though he cannot believe his books are being published. THAT must be such fun.

Indie authors thrill me, and I’m a kid in the candy shop again. Just look at the authors featured on my blog, and discover cutting edge talent.

Is there a book you own that you’ve read more than once?

I’ve re-read every classic that I own. But I’ve gone back to J R Tolkien and Lewis Carroll more than any others. Half a dozen times for Tolkien’s Ring fantasy. I have an original 1898, first edition printing of a rare book by a dentist, Dr. Henry Allen Tupper. Around the World With Eyes Wide Open: The Wonders of the World Pictured by the Pen and Pencil 1898 is a travelogue, written at the moment the world began to shrink, and modern transportation made the globe a vacation ground. I’ve read that several times.

What was the last book you read? Yours - The Dream (soon to be published). Before that, two of mine, because I was hunting errors in my own text. Before that....several other Indie authors. I did finish reading Tolkien’s ‘Hobbit’ aloud my son Colin, just a month ago. He loved it.

Are you reading a book at the moment?

At the moment I’m reading first chapters of submitted works for the JournalStone Publishing Horror contest. That has been an enlightening exercise, because I’m not reading to be entertained, but to judge. Jurists have been asked to read with very particular guidelines, and then score the work for the next step in the competition. It has made me think very differently of the way stories are created. I have ten elements that must be considered with each submission. I’m having great fun with it.

What do you think of ebooks?

eBooks have made reading fun again. We’ve invented a cool way to tote our books. I love them, for their ability to show text to the masses. I hate them for their inability to make a page look as the author intended. I’m good at sneaking things into the format that I demand, like fonts which normally refuse to appear. I don’t just submit, I experiment and then hammer on the file before upload. One retailer finally gave up on me, because I couldn’t get what I wanted in the final ebook’s appearance. They got tired of refusing my submission.

How important are reviews for you as a writer?

Don’t tell me you are reading my book. I’ll drive you nuts to hurry you and get the review. Can’t grow without it, can I?

How do you go about choosing a cover for your books?

Um...I may be bad at it? Caraliza is a professional bit of work by Serendipity Graphic Design in Holland. I paid for that. I love that image, but also saw the other couple hundred taken. That photoshoot, in The Hague, was magic. The model, Maret Reutelingsperger, captured my character perfectly. At least for me.

Shared also has a stunning cover, and that was a lucky find on a photo website. I really only care the cover give some impression of the book, and perhaps only the mood of it. I really couldn’t care a whit that my name be on the cover.

What are you working on now?

Something which is so secret that I won’t say more than this: it is an alternative history. We all know the story, up to the point I take it over. It will only be available in hardbound print; no ebooks. And the synopsis is a single sentence of five words. It might be ready sometime in 2012.

Where can people buy your books?

Smashwords for the best price and selection of formats

Lulu for prints

I’m beginning to use Createspace for prints too. Only Shared is available there now.

Apart from your blog, where people can read more about your work?

Hehe Google my full name. I have a huge footprint.

Is there anything you’d like to say to your readers?

Read Indie Authors! Hug your kids a lot. Don’t get dressed in the dark; people will stare at you.

Thank you, Joel, for being such a splendid guest :)

Remember, you can win a print copy of Breathing into Stone just by leaving a comment on this blog post :) Good luck!
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That got your attention, didn't it? Well, I haven't won the Man Booker Prize for fiction... yet ;)

I have been awarded the "The Irresistibly Sweet Blog" Award, by my fellow author and blogger, the awesomely talented Jason McIntyre

Thank you, Jason, that's very "sweet" of you :)

The rules for accepting the award are as follows:

1) Thank and link to the person that nominated you.
2) Share 7 random facts about yourself.
3) Pass the award to 15 of your blogging buddies.
4) Notify the recipients.

Here's where you can find Jason's blog
I would highly recommend it as a very entertaining place to visit on the world wide web.

7 Random facts about me...

1. I am no good at writing lists of facts about me
2. I'm currently putting the final edits on my soon to be released novel, 'The Dream'
3. I like heavy metal music
4. I once acted as a defence lawyer for a celebrity's brother when I was a criminal solicitor, and met the said celebrity's mother (sorry, can't disclose who it was... client confidentiality)
5. Babies always seem to like me for some reason
6. I can knit
7. I can't swim

Here (in no particular order) are 15 more wonderful blogs I would recommend:

Darcia Helle -- A Word Please

Joel Blaine Kirkpatrick -- The Tale is The Thing

Lisette Brodey -- Molly Hacker

Neil Schiller

The Secret Writer

Julie Elizabeth Powell

Quentin R. Bufogle

Ann Mauren

Catherine Rose

Stacy Juba

Jen Knox

Paul Mansfield Keefe

Marty Beaudet -- By A Thread

Susan Helene Gottfried -- West Of Mars

Notes from an Alien
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