Posts Tagged ‘indie author’

Only A Glow

Thursday, March 28th, 2013

Today, I have Nichelle Rae in the studio, to talk about her book “Only A Glow.”

Let’s dive right in!

Q. Tell us a little bit about your book.

“Only A Glow” starts the journey of Azrel, Rabryn, and Ortheldo across their land in hopes to save it from another age of the evil Shadow God’s rule. Azrel’s journey however, isn’t just across the land she lives in, but it’s a journey of healing and self-discovery that she needs to take. It’s a journey of accepting who she is and to do something great with it.

The end of the book isn’t just about whether she wins or loses the battle to save her world (though that’s still a huge part), but also to see if she can overcome her own self-hatred and become everything she was born to be, or if she will fail and destroy herself, and the world with her. It’s also interesting to see how she overcomes some obstacles and how she often fails at overcoming others.

Q. What excites you most about your book’s topic? Why did you choose it?

It’s a strange thing really. I didn’t pick the Fantasy genre; it sort of picked me. I think what I love the most about the fantasy genre is that anything can happen. With other genres you often have to stick to the rules of reality. But with fantasy, things happen that don’t happen in real life.

Q. How long did the book take you from start to finish?

The entire 7 book series took me 2 years to write from when I was 19 until I was 21 years old. Believe it or not, I actually wrote it freehand in 27 five-subject notebooks, filled to the brim.

Q. Did you seek the support of a writer’s group or class?

I did not. When I started writing this series I wasn’t considering a novelist as a career option. I just wrote because it was fun and I was bored. I would love to join local writing classes if there were any, but so far I haven’t found one. I’m dying to do writing workshops and the like because there is always room for improvement in a novelist’s career. I just haven’t found anything in my area.

Q. What surprised you the most about the book writing process?

Nothing really surprised me about the book writing process but I did have a few surprises happen along the way as I wrote. I’ll answer what kind of surprise in the next question because the craziest thing that happened while writing the series was also my favorite thing to happen.

Q. Did you have any favorite experiences when writing your book?

There was one instance where I wanted my story to go somewhere, but even as I was writing out what I wanted to happen, there was the nagging feeling of having something else happen that I had absolutely no intention of making happen. I actually got mad at one of my characters once because it felt like he was prodding me to make this other thing happen that I didn’t want to happen. When I finally did give in to the nagging (after writing almost a whole chapter), I realized later in the book the reason for that nagging. What ended up happening had to happen for the sake of the plot later on down the line. What was weird about it was that I hadn’t even planned the end of the book yet. I didn’t know that this plot twist was going to happen down the line that absolutely depended on my giving into the nagging voice of my character. I wasn’t so mad at him after that.

Q. What tips would you offer to anyone writing fiction for the first time?

Have fun with it. Don’t make it a job. Don’t expect success right off the bat. I wouldn’t even recommend writing to try and become successful. Write because you enjoy writing and can’t ever imagine not writing.

Q. How did you come up with your title?

Each of my book titles is a description of the place Azrel is in her journey. Because Azrel wields white fire magic, the titles are centered on fire. The state of the fire in the title is a statement of where Azrel is in her journey (Book #1, Only a Glow. Book #2, The Blaze Ignites. Book #3, Steady Burn. Book #4, Doused. Book #5, Embers Under the Ash. Book #6, Commanding the Fire. Book #7, Fire of the World). Only a Glow refers to the fact that my main character Azrel is just beginning her journey, but she hasn’t made any significant personal or war triumphs yet, so she’s Only A Glow of the Fire of the World warrior she was born to be.

Q. What books have influenced you the most?

All of the authors I have read could be considered influential to me. They have shown me what I like and what I don’t like in stories. I see what works and what doesn’t and see what gets annoying and what gets exciting. If I like a book I read it translates into my own writing. If I don’t like a book I read, I know what I don’t want in my writing. I think all authors impact each other more than they really realize. Some of my favorite writers include, J.R.R Tolkien, Terry Goodkind, Brandon Sanderson, Rick Riordan, Brandon Mull, R. A. Salvatore, Stephanie Meyer, Iris Johansen, and Mercedes Lackey.

Q. What projects are you currently working on?

I’m currently working on getting book #3 in The White Warrior series titled “Steady Burn” done for a tentative July 2013 release. After that I still have four more books on the way out in this series.

Q. What can we look forward to in your next book?

There is a lot of action and a lot of personal victories won for Azrel in “Steady Burn,” as well as some interesting secrets revealed. It’s my favorite book in the series! Azrel just kicks tail in this one!


Well, that’s all the time we have. Thanks for coming in!


Nichelle Rae was born and raised in Massachusetts. Her love for writing began when she was 14 years old and she wrote short stories about meeting her favorite music group at that age. She received so much praise and complements on her writing ability that it quickly became a passion of hers. Throughout the years she has gotten much praise from peers, professors, and professional author’s she’s had a chance to work with about her writing and her ability to put emotions into text.

The White Warrior Series is her debut fantasy series she’s publishing as an independent author which will consist of seven books total. Nichelle already has begun three more fantasy series that she hopes to publish in the future after The White Warrior Series.


Link To Book on Amazon






Twitter: @Nichelle_Writes


Goodreads: Nichelle Rae



Arshad Ahsanuddin


The Long Good-bye

Sunday, July 22nd, 2012

Today, as part of the Indie Writers Unite! bimonthly blog tour, I have author C. M. Barrett in the house, to discuss the relationship between a writer and well-loved characters, and how nothing lasts forever.


Summer Splash Blog Hop

Sunday, July 8th, 2012

Shameless Plug:  The Summer Splash Blog Hop is just around the corner, from July 23-31.


Sales Figures

Sunday, April 1st, 2012

In case anyone is interested, March was my best month yet.  Thank you to everyone who took a chance on Sunset, and found it appealing enough to check out the other books in the series.


The Dockland Murders

Friday, March 9th, 2012

Today, as part of the Indie Writers Unite! Blog Tour, I have indie author Alan Place in the house, to talk about his new book, Pat Canella – The Dockland Murders.

Pat Canella Book Cover (more…)

Starlight now available!

Monday, February 20th, 2012

Starlight (Pact Arcanum #4) is now available in ebook format from,, and


Starlight Launch Update

Sunday, February 19th, 2012

Starlight (Pact Arcanum #4) is mere hours away from publication.


Predatory Ethics

Friday, February 3rd, 2012

As an aside, please check out this blog post by Heidi Cullinan, author and president of Rainbow Romance Writers, the LGBT chapter of Romance Writers of America:  She’s fighting the good fight, and deserves your support.

Now, on to more pleasant business.  Today, as part of the Indie Writers Unite! blog tour, I have author Athanasios in the studio to say a few words about his Predatory Ethics series of books, beginning with Mad Gods, a story about the Antichrist and a quest to change destiny.


A Milestone

Sunday, January 22nd, 2012

Today, including all titles and platforms, I sold my 500th book, not counting free downloads. This comes just under a year since the first ebook edition went live, in February 2011. I call that a modest success, with an average of about 40 books sold per month, and I hope to build on it in 2012, with the publication of Starlight.

Thank you to everyone who offered me encouragement, from family and friends, to editors, beta readers, and reviewers. I appreciate your support.



Arshad Ahsanuddin


Blue Bells of Scotland

Thursday, January 12th, 2012

As part of the IWU blog tour, I have author Laura Vosika in the studio, author of the Blue Bells Chronicles.

Laura is also working on several other novels and a non-fiction book on raising a large family. Past publishing credits include an essay in Glamour magazine. Laura grew up in the military, visiting castles in England, pig fests in Germany, and the historic sites of America’s east coast. She earned a bachelor’s degree in music, and master’s degree in education, and worked for many years as a freelance musician, private music instructor, and school band director. She currently lives in Minnesota with her nine children, and assorted menagerie.

Let’s see what she has to say:


Q. Tell us a little bit about your book.

Blue Bells of Scotland is the story of two men, polar opposites but for their looks and love of music, who trade places in time. Shawn, a celebrated musician and philandering, gambling, drinking, self-centered scoundrel, finds himself caught in medieval Scotland with the fate of a nation on his shoulders, while Niall, a devout Highland warrior, must navigate the roiled waters of Shawn’s life–amorous fans, angry mistresses, pregnant girlfriend, and a conductor ready to fire him (an ominous notion to medieval ears!)–trying to get back to save his people.

Q. What excites you most about your book’s topic? Why did you choose it?

That’s a hard question to answer, because I can’t narrow it down to just one thing. I have loved researching the time of Robert the Bruce, and learning about the remarkable people of the time–the Bruce himself; James Douglas, or the Good Sir James as he was known by the Scots; Angus Og, Lord of the Isles; Isabel MacDuff who defied her husband and the king of England to crown Bruce king; Elizabeth Bruce, Robert’s queen and so many more.

I also love the aspect of time travel, but I think what interests me about time travel is the question of who we would really be in different circumstances, a different world, among different societal expectations and beliefs; the question of what happens when an individual is thrown out of their element and their whole world turned upside down.

So, I suppose if I had to narrow it down to one thing, it’s really the character exploration of how and why people make the decisions they do, become who they are, how they grow–or devolve–and change over time.

Q. How long did the book take you from start to finish?

Ignoring the many months I let it sit, before I really got serious about finishing it, maybe two years.

Q. Did you seek the support of a writer’s group or class?

Yes. I was lucky enough to be teaching music lessons at a community center which was also home at the time to the Night Writers. Each week, I’d walk out of my studio and see the notice, on the wall directly opposite my room, for their meetings. I called once in 2005 and never heard back. In 2006, I finished teaching at exactly the same time their meeting started, so I just walked down the hall and introduced myself. It’s been a match made in heaven. They’re a great group of people who know how to encourage, pick out the good parts, and also help move a piece of writing to a higher level.

Q. What surprised you the most about the book writing process?

As I wrote a book years ago, I think nothing new really surprised me this time around, but I think it’s always a little disconcerting how deeply our minds get sucked into the world we’re writing about. In The Minstrel Boy, someone talks about the disconcerting feeling, when he spends a great deal of time researching the past, of realizing these people are long gone. I suspect it’s similar for all writers, that we sometimes feel a little disoriented shifting into our ‘real’ lives, as as if we have literally just stepped out of the world we spent the morning writing.

Q. Did you have any favorite experiences when writing your book?

Without a doubt, traveling to Scotland for on the ground research was the best part of writing. I loved every part of that trip, from my unplanned stop at Linlithgow Castle and my discovery of the tiny ruin of Finlairig, hidden away in a copse, to exploring castles Urquhart and Tioram about which I’d read so much, and climbing hills myself in medieval-style leather boots.

I really enjoyed meeting people there–Judith at Eden Court Theatre, who gave me a full tour of the place where Shawn’s orchestra plays, Joe at the Bannockburn Heritage Centre, who showed me some of the highlights of the museum and took me around the battlefield, telling me all about what it’s like on the day of the annual re-enactment, and Wendy (I hope I’m remembering her name correctly) at the Loch Ness Backpackers where I stayed.

I loved trying haggis, walking around Inverness, and seeing Highland cattle. It’s an incredible experience for a suburban American to hear over and over that ‘there are no no-trespass laws in Scotland,’ and to be told we can go anywhere we like, as long as we shut the gates behind us and don’t let the sheep and cattle out. It’s a little intimidating, for someone who’s whole close-up experience with big animals is a Golden Retriever, to walk into a field with those big, shaggy cattle with their large horns, but I found they were more scared of me than I was of them. That experience also made its way into future books.

Q. What do you hope your readers will gain from reading your book?

I hope they’ll take whatever they like from it. If they want just a fun time travel and adventure story, it’s that. If they like history, I hope they’ll take an appreciation of the times of Robert the Bruce and the amazing Battle of Bannockburn from it. It’s also a story of change and redemption, for those who like that aspect.

Q. What projects are you currently working on?

I’m in the very final stages of putting out The Minstrel Boy, Book Two of the Blue Bells Chronicles. All that’s left is formatting and waiting for the new cover, as the title was changed from The Blue Bells Trilogy to The Blue Bells Chronicles.

When The Minstrel Boy hits the stores, so to speak, I’ll be editing the next three books. After that, I have another novel set in a Scottish castle, with dual storylines in both medieval and modern Scotland; however, this one doesn’t involve time travel, but rather an old mystery that needs to be laid to rest. I have a completely different novel, written years ago, set in Boston in the 1990’s, more contemporary-style fiction, which needs to be published, and I have two non-fiction books in progress, one on the history behind the world of the Blue Bells Chronicles, and one on raising a large family.

Q. Is writing your sole career? If not, what else do you do?

I was a freelance musician on trombone for many years, and later switched to harp. I still occasionally perform on harp if I’m asked, but rarely. In addition to writing, I currently teach music lessons on harp, piano, guitar, and wind instruments.

Q. What tips would you offer to anyone writing fiction for the first time?

Research, re-write, capture all the senses, use realistic dialogue, re-write, join a writers’ critique circle either in real life or online, and did I mention–re-write.

Q. Did you do any research for your books, or did you write from experience?

Both. I have very little actual experience with time travel or medieval Scotland. But the world of music in the Blue Bells Chronicles is largely my own personal experience from years of playing in orchestras

Q. How did you come up with your title?

Blue Bells of Scotland is taken from the title of a theme and variations, written by Arthur Pryor, to show off what a trombone is capable of–much more than people thought at the time he wrote it. His piece is, in turn, based on an old Scottish folk tune. Not only is Shawn Kleiner, one of the two main characters of Blue Bells of Scotland, a trombonist known for playing this piece at the end of his concerts, but the story also incorporates the ideas of streaming banners and noble deeds as per the lyrics of the song, and the idea that we as people can rise to the occasion and be so much more than what people think we’re capable of.

Q. What can we look forward to in your next book?

It’s rather hard to say without giving away the ending of Blue Bells of Scotland, but The Minstrel Boy we’ll see Amy become a much more major character, and we’ll see a minor character from Blue Bells come to the forefront. We’ll see much more of the thieving MacDougalls, including Duncan, the son. Both the modern and medieval storylines will take us to MacDougall’s dungeons, gallows are built, and whether they are used or not will ride on the timid shoulders of a terrified scullery maid.

That’s all the time we have.  Thanks for coming in!

For more information on this author, check out the following links:


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Arshad Ahsanuddin