authors

20 Unknown Authors You Should Know About

Here are some unknown authors you should know about, including me, from a post that originally appeared in Medium, by Rutankhamen.

There are a lot of authors out there, and it’s understandably hard to pick which one to engage with, so I’ve decided to help you out.

This list features authors across many genres, from different countries and with as varied personal stories as they come.

All have agreed to answer a set of questions just for you so, without further ado, lets read their answers. Enjoy!

Joseph Mark Brewer

Joseph Mark Brewer
He’s a writer from Hamilton, Ohio, who’s been working in the news business for over 35 years. He started writing in elementary school, and believes that everyone has a story to tell. His inspiration? The stories themselves.
Joseph has an exclusive prequel novella to his series, and it’s available to all newsletter subscribers. Get it here.
He’s always written fiction and plans to do so in the future, even after he leaves the news business. He has 12 novels in all for the Shig Sato series, and is preparing a new series featuring an ex-Navy SEAL bounty hunter who returns to his hometown to discover trouble is following him no matter where he goes. We can’t wait!

When asked if he had anything juicy to tell readers, he said no, sadly.

His motto: Never explain, never complain. Just write a story about it.
I love it and might borrow it from time to time, as motivation wanes and waxes.

Interesting interaction with a reader: He says he loves reading reviews, as they often point out things he has never considered before. He also takes thoughtful critique seriously, which is a nice thing to do as an author.

Favourite book out of everything he’s written: The Gangster’s Son, book 1 in the Shig Sato series.

His message to the readers: If you like international settings and gritty crime, discover the world of Shig Sato.

You can find him here:
http://www.josephmarkbrewer.com
Facebook @josephmarkbrewer
Twitter Joseph Mark Brewer

Lyn Alexander (photo from her Amazon page)

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Twisted Tales: Meet the Authors – an interview with Geoff Nelder

To paraphrase Forrest Gump (and his momma): “twisted is as twisted does”- so grab your free copy of Twisted Tales, a Readers’ Choice selection of short fiction from Readers’ Circle of Avenue Park. Literary lies, epic yarns – it’s an eclectic collection of stories by authors from around the globe.

In today’s Meet the Authors series I’m delighted to welcome to the blog Geoff Nelder. He was a Geography and Maths teacher who gained his MSc and Fellowship of the Royal Meteorological Society partly for research in weather satellites.

ChaosofMokii (1)     Just recently, Geoff Nelder, wrote an experimental fiction, THE CHAOS OF MOKII, as a short story. In this tale there is a city, Mokii, which only exists in the group consciousness of its inhabitants. Olga sits in a train but her mind is busy bluffing past a figment bouncer and into the glorious gothic yet brilliantly lit city where there’s fun but also trouble. Geoff submitted the short story – it’s only a half hour read – to Solstice Publishing, who loved it so much they published it as an ebook. It was a surreal experience for Geoff to be asked for cover art decisions, acknowledgements and blurb pages for a short story!
It’s out already for only 99 pence or dollar equivalent at http://mybook.to/ChaosOM
 

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In the research of Prime Meridian he stayed a Chingford hotel directly on the Prime Meridian and he spent a day walking that 0 degrees longitude from the northern to southern boundaries of London.

Your story ‘Prime Meridian’ appears in the Readers’ Circle of Avenue Park’s recent anthology Twisted Tales. What made you decide on that story?

Prime Meridian is my favourite story. It is part autobiographical in that the protagonist is a teacher, who is nothing special but has extraordinary things happen to him. In this case a grape-sized micrometeorite hits his house at the same time every day. He has to find out what’s happening before his home is a pile of rubble. For my research I stayed in a hotel in North London right on the prime meridian (the zero line of longitude) and hiked all the way to the southern edge of London all along that line. Readers who don’t embrace science fiction have delighted in discovering that it’s kind of SciFi and yet isn’t. Humour, character-driven threads and novel ideas are woven in. Great fun.

Did you find writing a short story easier or harder to write than what you’ve written in the past?

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Geoff Nelder

Writing is bloody hard work. I belong to Shorts Anonymous and have to confess I’m addicted to writing them, and have been for more decades than everyone else remembers. Novels? Dead easy. I’ve written eight, had six published, some with awards. Over 80 shorts published – each one costing me sweat and swearing. Some won awards and a few still earn me pennies. Novels give you time to develop characters, plot threads, false leads, be languid and live inside the beast. With shorts you have no damn time in, say, 2k to 10k words and yet the reader doesn’t want to feel hurried. Shorts are different animals to novels. I’m so excited, wound up, needy with my love/hate relationship with shorts I co-wrote a book on how to win short story competitions. How bad is that? Take me away!

Who has been an important influence on your journey as a writer?

Not my wife. She couldn’t give a flying fig unless I sneak her into one, but I value life too much. My car-crash journey as a writer has been steered by nutters such as Tibor Fischer with his crazy, marvellous novel, The Thought Gang. His mind for that story conjured the following: Fact 1 Bank robbers get away with it; Fact 2 Bank robbers are dumb; Idea gather a gang of unemployed philosophers to rob banks in France. Brilliant. He inspired my humorous thriller, Escaping Reality.

For shorts, I stumbled into that brilliant writing of A.L.Kennedy, e.g ., her Now That You’re Back. The skill of ALK’s writing is such that I hadn’t noticed until three-quarters through that collection that she hadn’t used any dialogue tags at all. Phrases I wish I’d written: ‘I have temporarily forgotten how to inhale’; ‘Something impatient about the sky.’

Allan Guthrie helped me tighten my writing so much it hurt. He’s the inventor of the article ‘Hunting down the pleonasm,’ agent, editor, writer of hard-nosed crime. Such a gent (get it?) that he suggested I slip my promo bookmarks into his Two-Way Split novel at his Edinburgh book signing.

What’s your next project?

Works in Progress include Xaghra’s Revenge—a historical fantasy based on the true event in 1551 when everyone on the island of Gozo were abducted by pirates. The ill and old were thrown overboard, the rest sold into slavery. Those souls are crying out for revenge. Yes?

Scoot is a series of illustrated stories for infants. He, his dog and friends, crash into surreal adventures inspired by my own grandkids. Something they can take into school to show off their author granddad rather than my scurrilous books for grownups.

I also write non-fiction. Articles for cycling magazines based on my longer journeys and odd ones such as one I’m dong now—cycling along the top of Offa’s Dyke.

Please share a little more of your writing background.

Dad illustrated a science fiction magazine and as a joke talked mum into having kids. I inherited his SOH and both their affection for science fiction. I wrote comedy sketches for my school players and was an editor and contributor to Sheffield university rag mag, sold for charity. I still see my awful gags around the web today for which I apologise.

A science fiction was my first novel, written (badly) while I was a teacher. Michael Crichton read it at Bloomsbury and it was praised then fell at the final committee fence. Gutted, I didn’t write another thing for hours. Later, I worked for the small publisher, BeWrite Books and became an editor at Adventure Books of Seattle. I still make more dosh editing other people’s stories than from my own but hey ho, it’s all creative writing.

Where can readers reach you?

Heck, I don’t want them to reach me. Have you any idea how often I’ve had to move house to get away from fans? Me neither. However, if they insist:

How to Win Short Story Competitions by Geoff Nelder & Dave Haslett Kindle http://hyperurl.co/283u9s

Geoff’s UK Amazon author page http://www.amazon.co.uk/Geoff-Nelder/e/B002BMB2XY

And for US readers http://www.amazon.com/Geoff-Nelder/e/B002BMB2XY

Geoff facebooks at http://www.facebook.com/AriaTrilogy and tweets at @geoffnelder

http://nelderaria.wikia.com/wiki/NelderAria_Wiki

Geoff’s website http://geoffnelder.com

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Stay tuned for more Meet the Author interviews. If you like what you read in Twisted Tales you’re invited to leave a review on Amazon. Thanks!

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cropped-cropped-fbcoverthisishow.jpgJoseph Mark Brewer writes the Shig Sato mysteries. Mix up some Holmes, Poirot, and Japan Noir and you have a new series set in the heart of Tokyo. Click for your copy of The Gangster’s SonThe Thief’s Mistake , or Traitors & Lies – and to read how it all began, download my prequel novella Tokyo Summer at josephmarkbrewer.com

Twisted Tales: Meet the Authors – an interview with Lubna Sengul

To paraphrase Forrest Gump (and his momma): “twisted is as twisted does”- so grab your ebook copy of Twisted Tales (or a print copy by clicking here), a Readers’ Choice selection of short fiction from Readers’ Circle of Avenue Park. Literary lies, epic yarns – it’s an eclectic collection of stories by authors from around the globe.

Twisted Tales 15LitLiesEpicYarnsFINAL

In today’s Meet the Authors series I’m delighted to welcome to the blog Lyubna Sengul

Julian: Rise Of The Prophecy appears in the Readers Circle of Avenue Park’s recent anthology Twisted Tales.  What made you decide on that story? 
Julian is actually the beginning of the sequel to my first novel The Danfians Prophecy.   The first three chapters of Julian can actually be read on their own, without reading the first book and the way it is left hanging adds mystery to it.  It can be read and enjoyed as a standalone short story.
Did you find writing a short story easier or harder to write than what you’ve written in the past?
Lubna

Lubna Sengul

I find writing any project, short, novels and play’s just as demanding as each other.  The creative energy is the same as I need for longer writing projects.   It is easier to edit a short story, less to look through.

Who has been an important influence on your journey as a writer?
My husband, Birtan, he encouraged me to do it and supported in my quest to become an author.
What’s your next project?
To complete Julian and to attempt to write another play and a sequel to another short story of mine, The Chronicles Of Natasha Khan.
Where can readers reach you?
Twitter: @Lubsen

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Stay tuned for more Meet the Author interviews. If you like what you read in Twisted Tales you’re invited to leave a review on Amazon. Thanks!

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Joseph Mark Brewer writes the Shig Sato mysteries. Mix up some Kurt Wallander and Japan Noir and you have a new series set in the heart of Tokyo. Click for your copy of The Gangster’s Son and The Thief’s Mistake – and sign up for my monthly newsletter at josephmarkbrewer.com

Twisted Tales: Meet the Authors – An interview with Jean Gill

To paraphrase Forrest Gump (and his mom): “twisted is as twisted does”- so grab your free copy of Twisted Tales, a Readers’ Choice selection of short fiction from Readers’ Circle of Avenue Park. Literary lies, epic yarns – it’s a collection of eclectic stories by authors from around the globe. Twisted Tales 15LitLiesEpicYarnsFINAL

In today’s Meet the Authors series I’m delighted to welcome to the blog Jean Gill, author of The 13th Sign in Twisted Tales, for a chat about her story and her writing life.  Jean is a Welsh writer and photographer living in the south of France with a big white dog, a scruffy black dog, a Nikon D750 and a man. Her claim to fame is that she was the first woman to be secondary Head Teacher in Carmarthenshire. She has published 18 books, and is mother or stepmother to five children, so life is hectic.

Your story ‘The 13th Sign’ appears in the Readers Circle of Avenue Park’s recent anthology Twisted Tales. What made you decide on that story?

I think ‘Twisted Tales’ will appeal to adventurous readers who want to be surprised and entertained so I submitted a story that I hope does both. Will a naïve but gutsy youngster complete his coming-of-age ritual and be given his rightful place in a parallel universe? When the youngster is the constellation Ophiuchus, and the twelve established zodiac signs are stacking the magical odds against him, nothing can be taken for granted.

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Jean Gill

I’ve always loved the idea that, astronomically speaking, there should be a thirteenth zodiac sign but astrologers didn’t like the number thirteen – or any change at all. My zodiac sign is in fact Ophiuchus the Serpent-bearer and 13 is of course my lucky number. My books are now published by my own Indie imprint ‘The 13th Sign.’

Comic fantasy gives endless opportunities to poke fun at the world we live in and the personalities of the various Zodiac Signs might remind you of people you know. My ambition with this story is to follow in the steps of the master, Terry Pratchett. As he said, ‘writing is the most fun you can have by yourself.’

Did you find writing a short story easier or harder to write than what you’ve written in the past?

I’ve written and published many short stories, and was even a double prize-winner one year with London Inc’ International Writing Competition. My collection ‘One Sixth of a Gill’, free to those who subscribe to my Newsletter http://eepurl.com/AGvy5 contains poetry and shorts ‘to fit everyone’ and I enjoy the freedom of experimenting. I was first published as a poet and I like breaking rules in my work.

I was once part of a performance group of three writers in Wales, The West of Whitland Poets, and my friend, a short story author, was asked, ‘Do you think you’ll ever manage to write a novel?’ The idea that start with short stories and you write novels when you grow up as a writer is daft. What I’m after is the perfect marriage between content and form; I have hundreds of ideas and some have to be poems; some short stories; some novels; and I’ve written plays too.

Who has been an important influence on your journey as a writer?

I’ve been published every which-way, traditional and self-published, and have learned from many writers and editors over the years. Influences have been bad as well as good and I have my share of horror stories which put me off writing – but I always carried on and I’m so glad I did. You never forget your first acceptance from a publisher. Mine was when Outposts Poetry Journal published my poem Note from Guinevere to Lancelot. As poetry publishers get thousands of submissions each week, this was a big deal. My first editor and publisher (Johnathon Clifford of The National Poetry Foundation) was exceptional; he was one of those rare editors who can put their finger on what is wrong in a line of poetry and suggest an improvement. He encouraged me but was also fierce in rejection so I learned the three important lessons for any writer, from him: my work is good, it needs to be edited and improved, and rejections happen – get over it.

What’s your next project?

I’m researching Book IV of my 12th century Troubadours Quartet, historical fiction that tells the adventures of my fictional couple, Dragonetz and Estela, in the context of real events and characters in 1150 -1154. I’m feeling the pressure now because Book 1 won the Global Ebook for best Historical fiction and Book 3 is shortlisted for the Wishing Shelf Awards – the last book has to be good!

Book1, Song at Dawn is free http://smarturl.it/dawnsong so you can visit 12th century Provence and see whether you enjoy ‘Game of Thrones with real history.

Please share a little more of your background as a writer.

My writing had to run alongside my career in education, and my family, until 2003 and I’ve now published 18 books, including three translations (from the French). I write in many different genres, from modern family sagas, and historical novels to dog stories, poetry and a cookbook.

I never found a traditional publisher who loved all my work and it is both time-consuming and depressing to start submitting work afresh each new book so self-publishing suits me down to the ground. I do use a professional editor and cover-designer.

Where can readers reach you?

I love hearing from readers and anyone who reviews one of my books can send me a dog photo, with brief description, to go in my Readers’ Dogs Hall of Fame . http://jeangill.com/dogs/

Contact jean.gill@wanadoo.fr

Sign up for Jean’s Newsletter http://eepurl.com/AGvy5blogger1 banner

IPPY Award for Best Author Website www.jeangill.com

Blog www.jeangill.blogspot.com

Twitter  https://twitter.com/writerjeangill

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/writerjeangill

The Troubadours Page https://www.facebook.com/jeangilltroubadours

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4619468.Jean_Gill

Youtube book trailers https://www.youtube.com/user/beteljean

 

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Stay tuned for more Meet the Author interviews. If you like what you read in Twisted Tales you’re invited to leave a review on Amazon. Thanks!

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Joseph Mark Brewer writes the Shig Sato mysteries. Mix up some Kurt Wallander and Japan Noir and you have a new series set in the heart of Tokyo. Click for your copy of The Gangster’s Son and The Thief’s Mistake – and sign up for my monthly newsletter at josephmarkbrewer.com

When It Comes to Writing, Just Do It

I have a friend who talks about writing, even goes through the motion of writing scenes, story arcs, dialogue, but he never really writes a word.

A word of fiction, that is. He’s written academic papers and feature stories for newspapers, and all manner of scenes, notes and such, but this notion of starting something just keeps buzzing around him like a fly in summer.

In a post called Rewrite the Story of Who You Are at the Writer’s Living blog, Monica Carter Tagore has a great advice on getting the words going.

Monica says, basically, the problem is in your head. “Look yourself in the mirror and say, ‘I am a writer.'”

I wish I could get him to do this. He comes up with every excuse possible to avoid getting started. I wish I could get my friend to follow this advice: “Just promise yourself you’ll sit down and write for ten minutes or promise yourself you’ll write two pages. And that’s it.” I’ve known him for 30 years. We talk on the phone every week. He has read everything I’ve given him to read in the past five years. But he can’t seem to get going on his own work.

I think he just does not have it in him. I encourage him as much as I can. And I know he has not one great stories to tell, but two. He’s told them to me a thousands times, in bars, in living rooms, during car drives.

But write something down, page after page, day after day? Nope. I hate to say it, but long experience with this man tells me he’s going to be talking about this until the end of his days. And never a word written down found anywhere.

And this, I confess, inspires me to keep working on my stories every day. I, too, spent a lot of time talking about my writing but with little to show for it. That was some time ago. Now I have work on the verge of being publishable, and my journey through the writing life just might reach the land of publication sometime this year.

Because all I do was what Monica says to do: sit down and write for ten minutes or twenty or thirty, and write  two or four or six pages. Not in a journal. Not research notes. Not scenes or character sketches. I write the story.

And I think that’s all it comes down to: Just do it.

How do you get it done?

How Music Can Make You a Better Writer

How can music make you a better writer? Before I began writing and editing for a living, I was a music student studying voice and composition. In no way was I a musician, and after a year I dropped the scholarship. But later, when I began learning how to write, the theory and composition classes I took helped me understand that story structure is a lot like musical structure. Melody, harmony, rhythm — it all can be applied to writing.

Think about a favorite piece of music. A short story is like a track off a CD. A novel is like a symphony or concerto, and its chapters the movements. Like all good stories, music has central characters (the theme), multilayered conflict (melody, harmony, point, counterpoint); changes in mood (loud passages, quiet moments, instrumental solos),  and enough peaks and valleys to take the listener on an entertaining ride. One of the reasons why Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony and it’s glorious finale “Ode to Joy” is so popular is that the piece has just about everything a good novel has: a strong central theme, dramatic flourishes, appealing solos, changes in mood, and a strong finish. If you go back and begin reading your chapters, can you hear the music? Can you think of it as a song?

What if you don’t know a symphony from a telephone book? Tell the story in terms of pop music. All the same elements are there. A pop or country song’s standard format is  verse, bridge, chorus. The theme of the story and the story itself is in the verses; the chorus repeats the theme, and the bridge — often the best part — can provide all types of opportunities for twist or a surprise ending.  Boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl back (or never sees her again): it’s the stuff of literature — and the Billboard Top 100.

If all your usual tricks don’t seem to be sparking your imagination, trying thinking of your  story as a song.  Maybe the music will help you add another dimension to your writing.

Here’s someone who is doing it right

ImageToday I met Judy Christie. Well, not in person. Through the Writer’s Digest online posting I get. The article is called “The No. 1 Tip of Successful Writers.” I have no idea how much Judy is like me: I’m not a woman, I’m not married, I don’t live in Louisiana, and I don’t have a bunch of books published. But she talks about the same thing I share with writers whenever I can: Just write.

Judy says, “But I have noticed bestselling authors had something in common. Despite differences in genre, style, voice, settings or character, they developed a writing habit.

“After years of procrastination and fear, that lesson helped me write my first novel and five since.

“When I flounder as a writer, it’s because I’m inconsistent with my daily writing discipline. When I produce my best stories, I rely on that basic lesson from the masters – words on the page.

“I’m almost embarrassed to admit that on my most rewarding and productive writing days, I use a kitchen timer, set for an hour at a time. I track how many hours I actually write — as opposed to time spent Tweeting, Facebooking or wandering around my friends’ blogs.

“You’d think at age fifty-five I wouldn’t need such a trick, but, after all, it took me fifty years to write a novel.”

That’s what caught my attention. I’ve had stories swirl around in my head for years, wrote many of them, even sent out submissions during my 40s, but NEVER TOOK IT SERIOUSLY. My favorite line is “Life gets in the way.”

Well, of course it does. OK, full-time moms with tots and husbands and cooking and cleaning, you can stop laughing. Everyone makes excuses. And they’re all bad. Thing is, when I turned 50, I had the same epiphany. I have to start taking my writing seriously. How did I do that?

Write every day.

I don’t use a kitchen timer  and count my words (although that’s a heckuva good idea), but I write. Every day. And I have short story collections and novels to show for it.

But the difference between Judy and me is I haven’t been published. Because I haven’t submitted anything. Not since 2002.

That was 10 years ago. Writing doesn’t do anyone any good if it’s not published. And I am America’s Most Wanted in using every excuse in the book for not submitting stories for publication.

Weird, huh?

OK, now you know.

As we speak I’m getting feedback on a query letter for a detective novel I’ve written that I hope will see the light of day sometime soon. (Some of the chapters are posted on this blog, as are some other stories. Feel free to read and comment!)

But I’m approaching 55 myself, and I don’t have near the success Judy does.

She’s my inspiration.

And I hope she inspires you, too.

Here’s a link to Judy’s article.

http://tinyurl.com/9xzn7ok

Do you write every day? What are your secrets or tricks?