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ALISON BLAKE - Indie Author

Posted by [email protected] on April 18, 2013 at 12:50 PM Comments comments (0)

Having read some of Alison's works and enjoyed her style, I was pleased when I found an interview she gave. It is always interesting to have a behind the scenes look at the writer and the motivation that got them going. In Alison's case, it really was behind the scenes as she began as an actress and then graduated into a playwright.

You have only to read below to see how she arrived at writing as a living. All very interesting stuff!


Name: Alison Blake

Where Do You Live: Taos, NM

What Genre Are Your Books: I wish I could say I stick to one genre, I think my readers would prefer that. Let me see, I write romantic thrillers with some pretty spicy love scenes, I write sweet romances, I write fantasy-adventure with a teen heroine that isn’t exactly human, and I’ve written a very sexy paranormal comedy about a romance between two werewolves.

Book Title(s): Annika, A Romantic Thriller; Gray Eyed Glory; The Road To Cordia; I Own The World, A Werewolf’s Tale and I forgot to mention A Reason For Murder, it’s about a $2,000,000 art heist that goes very wrong.

Tell Us About Your Background: First I was an actress, I did some Off-Broadway and lots of Off-Off-Broadway plays.

I saw so many bad plays that when a theater held a contest for new plays I thought,I can do better than that. So I wrote a play. It didn’t win the contest but it got me into the Yale playwriting program, where I wrote a lot of plays. The great thing about Yale was I got to work with some of the most talented discovered and undiscovered actors in the world! They made my work look so good.

Anyway for about a decade I wrote plays, they were all produced somewhere. One was made into a TV play. It still shows up occasionally late at night on TV.

How Long Have You Been Actively Writing: I started writing as soon as I could pick up a crayon and haven’t stopped, although now I use a computer.

Indie Or Trade Published: I had one book published by Avalon and thought my fortune was made. Little did I realize that publishers do almost no publicity for most books. It sold a couple of thousand copies and that was that.

I recently got the rights back and published it as an ebook. I’ll soon come out with a paperback version. Even though it hasn’t sold all that well (I suck at publicity myself) I’ve still made more money with my indie version than I did with the trad publisher.

E-books Or Printed: Both and soon I’m going to have audio books also. This is a wonderful world/time for a writer and I want to do it all.

Is Writing A Fulltime Activity, And If Not What Is Your Regular Job: Writing is my fulltime job.

Who Are Some Of Your Favorite Authors: I have so many. James Lee Burke is fantastic. I think he’s one of two great writers today. I also like plain entertainment books like John Grisham’s work. I like Linda Howard and Karen Robard, Mary Balogh, many of Mary Jo Putney’s work. Sorry, I could just keep going.

But the writer who influenced me the most is the playwright, Arthur Miller. His plays were not just powerful but beautifully crafted. I remember he summed it up in one sentence. “All literature is about the birds coming home to roost.”

What Brought You To Indie Publishing: I became incredibly frustrated by the gatekeepers. When you see some of the stuff that is published by the trads, you just know most of the gatekeepers don’t really know what they’re doing. They’re just looking for the same thing that worked before, but I don’t think most of them knowwhy something worked before.

What Is Your Writing Schedule: Oh, I wish I had one.

What Are Your Writing Goals: I would like to put down on paper (or digitally) all the stories that are bouncing around in my head. The wonderful thing is, the more you write, the more ideas for new books you have.

How Do You Promote Your Books: Not very well.

I have a personal Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/alison.blake.359). I Tweet (@Alison__Blake) which is kind of fun, but I doubt it’s very effective. I think the most important thing is to get a lot of reviews. Very hard to do. I just contacted Bookrooster who guarantee you ten reviews from real readers. I just hope they’ll be good ones.

Where Do Or Would You Like To See Yourself In 5 Years: Alive.

And being able to pay most of my bills with my writing income. I would also love to have readers contact me and say, “When’s your next book coming out? Stop fooling around and write!”

What Do You See As The Future For Indie Authors: Unlimited for those who persevere, have something to say, have some talent and don’t know everything. This is a great time to be a writer. I think I said that before. It’s an exciting time.

What Advice Would You Give A New Indie Author: The same advice everyone gives, because it’s good advice; write, read, get an editor, have a great cover, don’t give up, and learn from your mistakes.

What Else Would You Like Our Readers To Know About You: I ran away from home when I was 14 and joined a small traveling circus (I really did). It was hard work and as different from my home as Mars is from Earth. That started me off on my travels. I seldom live in one place more than 4 or 5 years.

I love dogs and horses. All my broken bones have come from horses who wanted to go in one direction while I wanted to go in another.

What Is Your Blog Address: www.alisonblakewriter.com


Regency Espionage

Posted by [email protected] on May 22, 2012 at 6:00 PM Comments comments (0)

Imagine a quick trip from London to Paris. Today, two and a half hours will get you there. Just give a ring or send a text to let everyone know you arrived all right.

Now step back two hundred years to Regency times in Britain. Flying was still a drawing by da Vinci, trains were engines in their embryonic stages and the morse code wouldn’t exist until six years after George IV (Regent for his father George III) had died.

So how did spies manage? With the exception of carrier pigeons, not quickly and without guarantees.

James Bond? Would never have survived in Regency days without his gadgets.

‘The Insignificance of Being a Spy’ is a little peek at espionage in Regency times. Oh and by the way, James Bond didn’t invent seduction any more than he did espionage.

 

Independent Authors co-operate!

Posted by [email protected] on May 15, 2012 at 7:55 AM Comments comments (0)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

(Free-Press-Release.com) May 15, 2012 -- Who has not heard the expression ‘United we stand, divided we fall’? It has its roots in history as far back as Aesop’s fables and as far forward as musical albums or political speeches today. It is a concept that has withstood the proof of time.

Alexandre Dumas, père, was no stranger to the notion, either, as his most famous characters* were known for their cry ‘One for all and all for one!’.

 

Independent Authors co-operate! (To work together, act in conjunction with another person or thing, to an end or purpose, or in a work) suzybazaar ebooks acts as a platform for Independent AuthorsWelcome visit Our WebSite:

http://suzybazaar.webs.com/ It is with this idea in mind that ‘suzybazaar ebooks’ has begun to gather independent authors together with the view to making a solid stand. Even in the publishing world, it has rarely been the publisher who has promoted his writers. So, in an attempt to not waste worthy literature, some very different authors have agreed to appear with fellow-writers on a website.

You may go there with one type of literature in mind, only to be tempted by another.

Where this becomes tempting is when you realise that a good number of the novels/novellas are FREE for downloading! There are also 2 audio books available, ‘The Timely Gift’ & ‘Never Love Another’, to be listened to on-line or to be downloaded in an MP3 format for listening elsewhere. Both are FREE of charge for a limited time!

There is another saying that some of you may know. ‘One good turn deserves another…’

 

Why not put it into practice and reward the authors by telling others that you have read and liked them. It is a small price to pay for entertainment that has possibly given you a great deal of pleasure at no cost.

*The Three Musketeers

 

Pluming a Pig!

Posted by [email protected] on February 22, 2012 at 12:45 PM Comments comments (0)

Getting a review for a book is like pluming a pig! The poor animal would have to be tarred and feathered before anyone would put plume to paper!


What a waste it is to have so many delightful books available free of charge or at a very reasonable cost, when people aren’t aware of their existence! Publishers have never been known for their generous promotion of authors. Each author is told how he will be expected to promote his own works, which is a shame, if he is good. Time is wasted on the internet (or elsewhere) finding ‘key words’ that will bring him to the fore-front of all those other authors looking for similar key words, when it could be employed writing. Of course, there is always the solution of hiring someone to do the marketing for you. Great! Those people exist but at a cost. Most budding writers don’t have the means to pay.

I have often compared writers to any other type of artist you care to imagine. All are propelled by the same desire to create with the need to exhibit their creation. Painters need viewers, actors need an audience while writers need readers. If you are a reader, no matter your preference for literature, please take the time to let the author know if you liked what he wrote. It will encourage him and possibly help him to improve. And if his work is good, why not let others know? It won't cost you more than your time. You’ll also be doing him a tremendous favour as well as those readers who follow you.

You never know, you may be the first to write a review for a soon to be ‘best seller’! :)

 

FUR, a thing of the past?

Posted by [email protected] on February 18, 2012 at 2:55 PM Comments comments (0)

Today there is no point in wearing real fur because there are so many lovely synthetic substitutes. The simple arguments for buying synthetic?

1. You are not depriving an animal of its skin. Be honest. Would you wear a scalp? NO. Why wear a cadaver then?

2. Synthetics are affordable for the average person.

3. They provide warmth equal to any fur on the market.

4. They are more hygenic. Just think, you can put them in the washing or, if you prefer, dry cleaning machine!

The last point I would have to make is this: how many people would wear real fur if they had to go out and kill, skin and tan the animal themselves? The answer it simple, very few and probably not you...

French TV, mink farming & corridas!

Posted by [email protected] on February 15, 2012 at 1:35 PM Comments comments (0)

It has once again upset me that a popular French television (France 2) channel has allowed someone to approve of mink farming. Her words were more or less ‘that’s what minks are for, aren’t they?’ Later in the programme she stated, (which came as no surprise after her view on minks) that she enjoyed the corrida!

I am ashamed to say that the French Minister for Culture and Communication in France, Frédéric Mitterrand,  has proposed Corridas to be included as part of the French patrimony! Who among you would take a child to see the harassment and torture, before putting to death, of a bull?

Is there not enough misery already without creating more?

I will not mention how minks are put to death in such a way as to leave their fur intact. Suffice to say that the method is ignoble.

Please do not buy real fur of any kind. There are more than enough synthetic versions that are lovely as well as being warm. My mother’s orlon coat dating from 1956 is still agreeably soft and alluring! Unlike fur, it can be cleaned in a washing machine.

 No animal should endure torture and certainly not for the pleasure of someone who pays for it, whether it be as the coat on their back or the arena before their eyes...

 

The Hermetic World of a Writer

Posted by [email protected] on January 12, 2012 at 8:05 AM Comments comments (0)

I suppose it was my daughter’s patient face that finally let the penny drop. You have to be an author yourself to understand how involved and enthusiastic one can become with a story that’s in progress – or even finished!

For readers, it is only entertainment or an excuse to reflect on ideas put forth with no real substance. Written works aren’t tangible, mere ideas or images, but try telling that to the author who has been living and breathing with his people, carried along he knows not where, until the end! And then again, is there really an end?

I have had the great good fortune of being in contact with other authors. With the magic of the internet, I can discuss writing and the drift it’s taking with someone on the other side of the world in minutes, which leaves me wondering about writing a hundred or more years ago. How hermetic the literary world must have been before the internet! So many miles to travel to meet a fellow-writer or days to wait before letters arrived.

Charles Dickens died at 58 from what seems to me to be exhaustion from his physical efforts to meet other authors and to promote his works. He actually escaped death in a train crash from one such journey.

So today, it would seem that we are not so isolated in that hermetic literary experience. We have access to a whole world of fellow-writers who understand the emotion involved in each work, compensation for the readers who are only there for the final product – the entertainment…

 


So, what about 2011 ?

Posted by [email protected] on January 5, 2012 at 6:00 PM Comments comments (1)

Don't check out yet! I am not going to bore you with the books I published in 2011. For them you have only to browse this website. However, in passing I would like to say that my life as a published writer began in October 2011, thanks to Smashwords! Its existence has had a life-changing effect on me as an 'Indie' writer (Independent writer/publisher) that I could never have imagined. Smashwords has taken away my frustration and added a healthy dose of enthusiasm!
They say that every single person has a good book in them. Everyone now has the outlet for publishing. So, write and then edit well if you want to give it to an avarice but critical public!


Along the way, I would like to say that my new experience in the published world has also given me a wealth of contacts with other writers who have chosen the 'indie' path. As we all slowly advance with our works, it is a comfort to be able to share thoughts or problems with authors in a similar situation.


I had no idea what was waiting for me behind the author's door but the most important discovery I have made once over the threshold has been that the money one makes is not all that important if one is read and liked!

How detailed should it get?

Posted by [email protected] on December 7, 2011 at 4:15 AM Comments comments (0)

My mother is in her ninetieth year. She skips all the details wanting to get to the dialogue and the action. Perhaps she doesn't want to waste time or perhaps she is in fact, one of a majority?

So do writers need to do that extra research to try and add authenticity to their fiction or do they leave it all to their readers' imaginations?

On the other hand, there are also those who want more explicit details when it comes to the love scenes. How do we know if they are in the majority or not?

How detailed do you like it to get? Very real or fairytale?


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