How Do We Build and Maintain a Thriving Indie Author Community?

It is easy for an Indie author to become discouraged by the challenges that come from various sources. It’s a tough gig sometimes, especially for someone who is new to the world of self-publishing. 

So how do we develop and maintain a thriving and motivated Indie author community that we all want to be part of? 

These are the key behaviours we need to adopt and make regular habits: 

  • Encourage each otherRead each other’s work
  • Give honest, constructive feedbackHelp each other achieve excellence 
  • Share each other’s work and social media posts 
  • Be professional about every phase of the writing, editing, publishing and marketing process.
  • Be free and liberal with sharing insights, experience and knowledge that will help those who are new to our community.

How do I know these things work? 

The more time you spend in the community, the clearer the divide between those who do them and those who don’t.

Those Indies who already do these things consistently demonstrate that they are are the most engaged, motivated and productive authors. They are positive and proactive. 

Most significantly, they express joy in doing these things. You can’t fake or manufacture that. 

Those who don’t support others are more likely to express jealousy and resentment in response to the success of others. They are more likely to be critical and competitive. 

And those who adopt the “success at any cost” will be far more likely to turn to less ethical avenues of advancement. It is from this small, murky pool that those willing to cheat the system will emerge. 

All in all, that doesn’t seem like much of a choice to me. I want my books to sell because they are good, not because I am pretending to be something I am not. 

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Women in Horror: Kris Weeks

Meet Kris Weeks, author of horror of the hot and steamy kind!

Intrigued? Read on!

Kris’ interview comes to this blog courtesy of Unusual Fiction.

Unusual Fiction

Another dark February day dawns and we continue our daily dose of hellish horror with author of dark fiction, Kris Weeks.

Kris Weeks has been writing since she was young with many of her stories published in Hustler Magazine. As well as writing together with her husband, horror writer TJ Weeks, she has published quite a few standalone horrors. She loves writing about crazy women who have the urge to kill yet live normal lives.

Question 1.

Which horror genre do you write in ?

Erotic Horror

Question 2.

Why do you write horror? Tell us about your horror journey?

I started writing erotica as a teenager and had numerous stories published in Hustler magazine. I quit writing for a long time until I met my husband. Once he realized I liked to write as he does, we began to write together and I began writing my own style of…

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Women In Horror: Joanne Van Leerdam

Women in Horror Month: Featured Author: Joanne Van Leerdam

Joanne is an Australian writer of horror, poetry, and occasionally fantasy stories. Her tag line is ‘Poetry with soul. Horror with none.”

She lives near Warrnambool in regional Victoria, Australia, with her husband and two furbabies.  She spends four days a week teaching senior high school  English, History and Drama/Production. She is an active member and performer in Camperdown Theatre Company. Her hobbies include reading, music, travel and photography. 

Joanne loves travelling, and has visited many places in Australia as well as holidaying in New Zealand, Fiji, the USA and Canada at different times. Other than Australia, eastern Canada is her favourite place in the world, and she’s proud to have been adopted as an ‘honorary Canadian’. 

Joanne is the author of  thought-provoking and profound poetry, horror and short stories. She has won a number of awards for her books ‘New Horizons’, ‘Nova’ and ‘The Silver Feather’.

Joanne writes horror with a strong element of poetic justice, especially those stories that focus on Friday, a magical black cat with a devilishly strong sense of right and wrong. 
Other stories explore various types of horror – fright, the unexplained, fear of the unknown, and the macabre. 

The Silver Feather

A graveyard.
A talisman.
A confrontation with evil personified.

When Phil loses the girl he loves, life as he knows it comes to a screeching halt. Little does  he realise that there is so much more yet to be lost. 

A haunting, macabre tale that will please all lovers of horror and dark fiction.

Reader Review: ” A delightful tale that begins in the prosaic world of unrequited high school romance, only to suddenly veer into a shadowed realm of loss, violence and evil. Van Leerdam’s writing is crisp and insightful, her protagonist achingly real, and I guarantee you will devour this dark confection in a single sitting. Highly recommended.” on Amazon

Lac du Mort and Other Stories

From the macabre to the deeply disturbing, Lac Du Mort and Other Stories delivers eight chilling tales that will please lovers of horror and dark fiction.  

These macabre tales that will make you look over your shoulder at moments you never expected to.

Reader Review: “Well written, fresh horror grabbing at the reader from a the first story. A few tales stab at the mind, some tear away at blood and bone. We get one visit to hell. I am a fan.” on Amazon

Curious Things

Stories about a magical black cat, superstition and strange events. 
Friday is a black cat with a lucky habit of being present when curious things take place.He’s highly intelligent, fiercely loyal and devilishly handsome.

Curious Things delivers thirteen stories of people encountering justice for their wrongdoings, all as Friday watches on. Is he responsible? Or is it just lucky coincidence that he is present when these strange events take place?

If you’ve ever wished for karma to move a little faster, indulged in uncharitable thoughts about certain annoying people, or suspected that having a black cat cross your path was not quite as unlucky as people seem to think, this book is for you.

Reader Review: “Vengeance may be sweet—but, meting out justice vigilante-style just isn’t practical. Then along comes Friday, a black cat whose intelligence and curiosity gets the better of those who deserve their just desserts. Obvious or implied, Friday shows up where the wrath of Biblical justice is called for. And, it’s so gratifying to watch the gruesome details unfold!” on Amazon

You can find and follow Joanne Van Leerdam on
FACEBOOK | TWITTER | INSTAGRAM | PINTERESTGOODREADS | BOOKBUB | AMAZONWEBSITE



Women in Horror: Suzi Albracht

Women in Horror Month: Featured Author: Suzi Albracht

In Suzi’s own words:

I always feel a little naked when asked to talk about myself. So let me put something on first. Ahhhh, that’s better. So they call me The Queen of Scream. If you’ve read any of my work, you know it is a well-earned moniker.

I live near Annapolis, Maryland in a town called Bowie with my boyfriend, Tim. That places me halfway between Washington, D.C. and Baltimore, MD. 

My Supernatural Horror Crime Thriller books in The Devil’s Due Collection take place in these metro areas so anyone who lives here will recognize some of the locations. I also have a Paranormal Romance/Ghost series – An OBX Haunting – that takes place in the Outer Banks of North Carolina.

I’ve had many interesting things happen to me along my life’s path. The first President Bush gave me a shoulder/back rub when I was visiting the compound in Maine one hot August. I went to church with Princess Diana and Prince Charles. I’ve been to Las Vegas to play competitive pool in the APA World Championship.

I won’t share all of my adventures. Where would the mystery be if I expose all?

I would consider myself to be a fair and giving person who loves hard. I am nice, but if you do me wrong, I will never forget. I may forgive, just to get past it, but you will never get close to me again. I am loyal to a fault. I’m into shoes and purses, they have their own room here.And now I am naked again. 

Suzi writes Supernatural Horror Crime Thrillers. Her novels are psychologically scary. She utilizes everyday characters who find themselves tangled up in horrible situations that seem inescapable. She likes her characters to have intense personal relationships that complicate their situations.

Death Most Wicked

Mikael was six years old when he learned his father was a murderer.His mother, Sofia, knew there was more to it. Her husband wasn’t just a murderer, no, he was fiendish. She tried to shield Mikael from his father’s savage deeds. But when she discovered her husband, Dimitry Ivanovitch, had demonic plans for their son, she made a decision that would prove deadly if she were caught. In the dead of night, she snatched her son from his bed and fled to the safety of America. There, no longer living in fear, Mikael grew up and became a decorated homicide detective. Sofia, however, kept constant watch for signs that her husband had located them.

One hot August day, Mikael is assigned a string of kidnapping/murders of young girls. Soon another body turns up, and then another. With no suspects and no clues, the pressure proves too great for Mikael’s partner who commits suicide. Just when Mikael thinks things cannot get any worse, his father tracks him down. And now Ivanovitch is deeply involved with the Devil. He attempts to lure Mikael into his cult by dangling the name of the murderer in front of him. But the name comes with a steep price tag. Can Mikael escape his father’s clutches again? Or will he choose a fate worse than death to save the next little girl?

If you like sagas such as The Godfather and Goodfellas because of their heart-pounding action, and any of Stephen King’s books for thrilling terror, this book will have you turning pages all night long. Don’t miss out on Death Most Wicked.

The Devil’s Lieutenant

A night at the local bar proves deadly for three friends when they fail to notice the rotting stink of evil coming from the far corner of the room.

Brothers Jake and Bobby Holyfield along with Max Wilson catch the eye of Dimitry Ivanovitch, the Devil’s right-hand man who is seeking victims for his Satanic cult. With one phone call, he discovers that Max is chronically unemployed and desperate for money. And that Bobby has an insatiable fiancé who is cheating on him, however Jake has no weaknesses or secrets. Ivanovitch sets out to take the souls of all three but realizes Jake’s will be harder to steal.

Meanwhile, Jake is promoted to homicide detective. His first case is a perplexing one that appears unsolvable. Around the same time, Jake hears that Max is suddenly flush with unexplained money. Jake fears that Max has taken a dark turn. And then Jake gets unexpected help from an angel and another detective who contacts him with intel that is crucial to not only his case but to the survival of humanity. However, now Jake’s worse fears are confirmed. Will Ivanovitch succeed in stealing Max and Bobby’s souls? Will he turn a good cop bad? Or will Jake rise up and save everyone?

The Devil’s Lieutenant reads like a mish-mash of the best scenes from the Godfather saga and the Exorcist. It is not your mama’s lullaby. Pick it up, and you will be reading far into the night. The Devil’s Lieutenant is Book 2 in the Devil’s Due Collection.

Scorn Kills

Today, I woke up in another man’s coffin, under some poor soul’s limp body. It is so dark in here, but God help me, I think I know whose body it is.

This can’t be happening. Not now. I mean come on, I may be a short, balding guy with a thick waistline, but I’ve also got pockets full of money. Sure, most of it is family money, my wife’s family but it’s in my pockets. This is the time of my life, for crap’s sake. Can this really be happening? I swear when I was dragged up to the coffin, I saw my dead father-in-law in the corner of the room, his fingers crusted with dirt and dried roses from digging himself out of his grave. And he was clutching that damned contract he made me sign in my own blood.

Maybe fear is causing me to hallucinate but I think that monster, Royce, cut off my thumb before slamming the lid shut. I must be bleeding but I can’t lift my arm to check. Oh my God, the furnace just fired up. It’s rocking my coffin. My head was spinning from the drugs, but I know my formerly loving wife helped shove my body into this cramped chariot to hell. Surely, she’s just punishing me for my indiscretion with the lovely Karina. She’s going to come back and let me out with a reprimand, right? Wait a minute… is that crackling I hear? My toes are burning.

If you enjoy Twilight Zone-like books, you will enjoy Scorn Kills. And if snarky characters, ironic circumstances, and horror are your thing, this book will keep you enthralled, page after page. One reviewer has even asked, “how can a book so funny be so frightening?” This is a “can’t resist reading it” book.

You can find and follow Suzi Albracht on
FACEBOOK | TWITTER | INSTAGRAM


Women in Horror: Lucretia Stanhope

Women in Horror Month Featured Author: Lucretia Stanhope

Lucretia Stanhope is the award-winning author of The Elemental Witch Trials series, featuring witches and vampires in an eternal struggle for power. She also writes horror, and paranormal romance. 

Lucretia writes the full range of horror from comedy (Rather Be Fishing) to extreme (God’s Teeth) and have even dipped into erotic horror (Beating Hearts). Her fantasy series, The Elemental Witch Trials and more so the Paranormal Peacekeepers have horror elements. She finds that she just can’t seem to leave that aspect out of her writing entirely. Especially hearts, ripping them out, chewing on them… you know, romantic stuff. 

Rather Be Fishing

No matter what the options are, Mike, a rough-tongued, reclusive southerner, with little patience for people, would rather be fishing. Every time he puts his hand on his rod, the phone rings with a new job to exterminate a monster.

‘Rather Be Fishing’ follows Mike on nine such delays as he battles a range of challenging creatures. His clients find themselves plagued by everything from well-known foes like vampires and werewolves, to more rare nuisances, like moss men and chupacabra. Adding to his headaches are the not-so-supernatural clients he needs to deal with in order to get a free day on the lake. 

Feral

Why are werewolves going missing? When a frustrated alpha requests the aid of the Paranormal Peacekeepers, a new partnership is formed. Alice and Amarok are assigned to get in and get answers before the pack problems bleed into the lives of the townspeople. 

Prisoner or ambassador? As a hybrid, Alice is still struggling with what her place is at the Paranormal Peacekeepers when she is assigned her first mission and given her permanent partner. Before she can find out who is responsible for the missing werewolves, she has to commit to the job and ignore the voice in her head telling her use the mission as a chance to escape. 

Loyal ambassador and former member of the para-military. Amarok is still broken from the death of his partner when he is assigned to work with new recruit, Alice. While he will vet her, and make sure she is safely returned to the Paranormal Peacekeepers, the bond of partnership means something to him that blurs the lines of following orders. 

The mission takes them to emotional places they never imagined and tests the limits of their supernatural abilities. To solve the mystery of where the werewolves have gone they will need to redefine themselves and come together as a team. 

Necrozmancy

What if Dorothy was a necromancer and the land of Oz wasn’t so wonderful? This is dark comedy re-imagining of a beloved classic. It is a horror short, with violence and foul language.

Lucretia can be found and followed on FACEBOOK | TWITTER | AMAZON | GOODREADS

WordyNerdBird’s note:
I have read NecrOzmancy, both books in the Paranormal Detectives series, and am currently up to book 9 in the Elemental Witch Trials series. I really enjoy Stanhope’s original and compelling stories and the great writing with which they are delivered.

Women In Horror: Lily Lamb aka A. Drew

Women in Horror Month Featured Author: Lily Lamb aka A. Drew

Today’s featured author is Lily Lamb, who also writes as A. Drew.

Lily is a Turkish-Australian multi-genre Indie author. She works as a nurse by day where she feeds her soul by caring for others. At night she tends to her imaginative alter-ego by writing tales involving love, passion, mystery, and horror.

Lily’s stories like “The Awakening” oozes hope and empathy for the future of humanity. Carefully crafted with raw realism surrounding family trauma and dynamics whilst incorporating the draw of supernatural events, giving rise to a unique horror. The story is sensitively sprinkled with elements of horror, tempered with the tenderness and longing of a youth’s search for his own identity. Like all great stories, there is a twist in it, concealed from the reader until the very end. An engaging read, touching upon social issues in a modern world.

The Dowling House (Dark Terror Series 1)  

Since 1954, the Dowling House remained unoccupied until George and Melissa purchased it, hoping to renovate it for a profit. Their dream for a new lucrative business encounters a few challenges, but they can be easily overcome….or can they? Join George and Melissa on their amazing journey into the supernatural, but be warned, it is very engaging and you might not get out alive.  

The Awakening: Prequel to Dowling House (Dark Terror Book 2)  

A near-fatal incident stirs an awakening of an adolescent’s ability to connect with entities from the deep and dark hidden world, that which is beyond our natural awareness. A world of lost souls, both good and bad, all trying to reach out to the boy now that they are aware of his surreal capability. 
Coming to terms with his psychic ability that he neither asked for nor knew how to wield, he is unwittingly drawn into solving a grisly mystery from beyond the grave. This will become the greatest test of his faith in himself. 
Will he survive?  #Supernatural #Thiriller #Horror 

Born Into Chaos

 Many centuries ago, he was born into a chaotic world and was shunned by Gods and Mortals. Shunned by the gods and the humans because of his lineage. He lived in isolation and filled with shame. As his resentment grew he no longer cared for anyone but lived by his own rules.

One night, a feeling of wonderment reached every cell of his being. He didn’t understand his elation, until he sensed the gentle beat which beckoned him…giving him the will to wake up from a deep sleep. He sensed it was his last chance at redemption. It would lead to a deceptive fight for his sanity and future. Living has never been more deadly and costly… or fulfilling.

Born Into Chaos is a dark fantasy story, sprinkled with horror.

Lily can be found and followed online via
FACEBOOK | TWITTER | AMAZON BOOKBUB |

WordyNerdBird’s note:
I’ve read all of Lily’s books, and thoroughly enjoyed them. Her story lines are original, her characters are relatable and realistic, and each of the books provides a great horror/dark read. They come highly recommended!

Five Reasons Why I Write.

An author shares five reasons why she writes.

This challenge for writers is circulating on Instagram.  Because it is a very positive thing,  I decided to share mine here, too.

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Five Reasons Why I Write:

1. Compulsion: the words flow and I can’t stop them.

2. Satisfaction: there is immense joy in creating and crafting something meaningful.

3. Encouragement: I write about things that everyone experiences- grief, anger, pain, happiness, challenges, victories — in a way that shows others they are not alone.

4. Self-preservation: delivering justice fictionally carries fewer penalties than actually hurting people.

5. Sanity: It’s the most effective therapy I have ever had.

Bonus Reason: 6. It’s the only way I can explain my browser history.

I’d love to see you follow me and join in this fun challenge on Instagram.

You’re more than welcome to tag me in your post so I am sure to see it.

Also, I hope you feel free to comment and share the reasons why you write.