Spotlight on Marlin Williams – Interview with Author of ‘The Attic Piranhas’

He’s the author of some greatly reviewed mysteries. He says he writes for his readers’ enjoyment, and it’s clear that he’s doing it pretty well so far.

With his wife as a supporter and editor, Marlin Williams has a winner team.

So, let’s learn more about him!

Please, tell us a little about yourself.

My name is Marlin Williams. I’ve lived in Southeast Texas all of my life except for a brief time in Austin. I loved the artistic community and creative mind-set of that city. I’m currently living in a small country town and the slow pace allows for ample writing time. I began my writing career as a freelance writer for online publications about health and fitness. In 2011, I expanded to writing fiction short stories for Hubpages and decided to enter the Hubpages Patron of the Arts Contest. My short story, The Agency, won the overall Grand Prize. One aspect of winning the contest was to have Smashwords format and publish the short story for ebook distribution on their site. They not only published The Agency, but they agreed to format and publish my novel, The Attic Piranhas. My writing career has now become my primary focus. At this time, I have gone exclusively with Amazon and have self published the novel and two short stories.

How long have you been writing?

I’ve been writing fiction for most of my life. I had almost given up on getting my writing out there until self publishing opened up a whole new avenue.

Do you remember the first story you wrote?

Yes, I was six years old. The title was, John and the Haunted Well. I folded a piece of notebook paper in half, drew a well and a spooky looking tree on the outside of the paper and wrote the story on the inside.

Can you tell us two eccentricities about yourselves?

I kept thinking about that and all I could come up with is that I’m so normal that I’m boring.

What was the best thing you’ve ever heard (or read) from a reader?

The consistent feedback I receive is that the stories hook them and they can’t put the book down until it’s finished. That makes me feel like I’ve done my job as a writer and put something out there that readers enjoy.

Do you have a good Indie author to recommend?

There are so many great Indie authors out there that take their craft seriously and produce some really great works. I’m just now getting to know who they are. One author I enjoyed reading recently is K D George. His novel, Q-A Thriller, was well written and suspenseful.

Who inspired and/or supported you to become a writer?

In my early years, it was my mother. She encouraged me to write and even bought my first typewriter and a book on how to write novels for Christmas when I was in Junior High. My biggest supporter now is my wife. She not only encourages me, she plays a big part in the writing process by editing my work. She actually takes my writing and turns it into something great. She will never allow any writing to be just okay. It has to be great. If any of you have experienced what a great editor can do then you know what I’m talking about. Editing is where the work starts.

Do you have a WIP (Working in progress)? If so, can you tell us a little about it?

I’m currently working on another novel titled, New Flesh On Old Bones, a thriller suspense and a short story called, Life Form, a science fiction short story.

What is your favorite of your books? Why?

My favorite is actually my short story, The Agency. I love old Hollywood and am a fan of Alfred Hitchcock. I used both for my inspiration for this tale.

What is your favorite of your characters? Why?

My favorite character is Max Fagan from my novel, The Attic Piranhas. Max is a guy that is really down on his luck. He is selfish, self centered and depending on things outside himself for change. His off-the-wall journey was fun to create.

Do you like to interact online? What’s your favorite social media?

I like Twitter the best because I’m meeting so many wonderful authors there that are working hard to make their dreams come true. They are all an inspiration to me.

How do you feel about marketing your books?

I found it hard to concentrate on writing and do the marketing. It takes a lot of time and effort to bring a book to the top where the readers can find it. I would honestly love to hand that part of to some one that knows what they’re doing in that field.

Please, give us all your links – where can your readers find you and your books?

You can find me on Amazon http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B0081S2PS8

Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions, Marlin!

And readers, don’t go anywhere! Stay tuned for next interview.

  • If you’re an author and want to be in my spotlight, contact me!

Spotlight on Amanda Green – Interview with Author of ‘My Alien Self: My Journey Back to Me’

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Spotlight on Alex Hunter – Interview with Author of the Game Over series

There’s some mystery here today, with my guest. As you may see, we don’t have a bio picture, and all I can say is that this person is really sweet and creative. We met on Twitter, and cheered each other to finish our books.

I’m truly happy to present you today to Alex Hunter, and the Game Over series.

So, let’s learn more about Alex!

Please, tell us a little about yourself.

My name is Alex Hunter. I have always lived in Wales, in the UK and I have always wanted to be a writer.
This is the first time I have finished a book from the first word to THE END.
And it is the best feeling ever – except for maybe holding my finished book in my hands.
I tried to get an agent for a couple of months and had a few come back with a ‘no’ – some don’t even bother with that!
But I found it to be quite a miserable and frustrating process that seems to take forever. I remember being so excited every time I got an email or phone call in case it was an agent getting in touch with a yes. It never was though.
In the meantime I’d stopped writing while I waiting for my ship to come in!
But in March of this year, 2012, I just decided to do it myself! With a little bit of help. I found a local editor and asked a friend who’s a graphic designer to do my covers and my illustrations. And then I got to work!

How long have you been writing?

I have been writing since I was about eight. I have probably started more than a hundred books, but never finished any. I was full of good ideas but not so good on the execution.

Do you remember the first story you wrote?

I remember watching Byker Grove (A UK kid’s programme set in Newcastle about a youth club) and writing my own version. Not very well.

Can you tell us two eccentricities about yourselves?

I bite my own toenails.
And I can turn my eyelids inside out.

What was the best thing you’ve ever heard (or read) from a reader?

I wrote GAME OVER to help get my son, who is 8, to enjoy reading. When he read it and said it was brilliant that made my day

Do you have a good Indie author to recommend?

I write more than I read at the moment, trying to spend every moment writing, so my reading has taken a back seat – which is sad because I love to read.

Who inspired and/or supported you to become a writer?

I have always wanted to write because I have always enjoyed reading. I will read any writer and any genre.
My whole family supports and believes in me, which is great.

Do you have a WIP (Working in progress)? If so, can you tell us a little about it?

At the moment I am only working on GAME OVER (because I do tend to get distracted easily!). This set of four books is called The Knight’s Castle. The next four will be The Pirate’s Island and then the next will be something about aliens.
Book One is available now, Book Two is ready to go to print, Book Three is about to go to the editors – my awesome editor Chrissie Collier – and Book Four is more than half written.

What is your favorite of your books? Why?

My favourite is the first of this series, because it’s the first time I’ve seen a book through from start to finish, through editing and illustrating – thanks to my amazing illustrator and cover artist Jen Rew – to a finished book I can hold in my hand.

What is your favorite of your characters? Why?

I have two – Sam and Corey because they are named after my sons!

Do you like to interact online? What’s your favorite social media?

I’m getting better at it!
Twitter is my favourite. It annoys me that my responses can only be so long, but the help that I have received – like this interview, for example – are priceless. If I ask about reviewers or formatting or marketing someone on there has the answer.

How do you feel about marketing your books?

This is a funny one.
When I dreamed of being a writer I always assumed I would have a traditional publisher and wouldn’t have to think about this, but I am finding that I quite enjoy the challenge of getting my book out there.
At the moment twitter and face book are my friends!
But I have also been invited to speak in schools and plan to ask if I can do the same in libraries.
I have made bumper stickers and posters to place in children’s play centres. I’m trying to think where parents go so that I can attack them with some form of advertising.
It’s the hardest bit of self publishing – and I’m sure others would agree.

Please, give us all your links – where can your readers find you and your books?

Okay so my website is www.gameoverbooks.com and all the info needed is on there!

On Amazon: http://amzn.to/T7CZ7v

Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions, Alex!

(May I say I’m really impressed and a little disturbed by your eccentricities? O.O)

And readers, don’t go anywhere! Stay tuned for next interview.

  • If you’re an author and want to be in my spotlight, contact me!

Query or self-publish? Make an informed decision.

Maybe you’re debating on it now, imaging what route is the best for you… Well, to make an informed decision, you should read a lot about the subject– and there are loads to read about it, believe me. So I decided to compile here some great articles I’ve been reading on the matter to make this process a little easier.

http://www.beccahamiltonbooks.com/2012/08/24/why-going-indie-isnt-career-suicide-authors-writers-amwriting-indie-books/

http://jeanoram.com/blog/2012/04/24/query-self-published-book/

http://www.fictionfactor.com/guests/self-publishing.html

http://www.writersrelief.com/blog/2012/03/query-letter-self-published-book/

http://bookbanter.wordpress.com/2011/12/22/guest-post-4-query-or-self-publish-by-michael-j-sullivan/

http://www.thecreativepenn.com/2011/06/07/stick-with-legacy-publishing/

http://www.lindsayburoker.com/e-publishing/best-way-to-a-traditional-publishing-deal-query-agents-or-self-publish/

http://www.forbes.com/sites/davidvinjamuri/2012/08/15/publishing-is-broken-were-drowning-in-indie-books-and-thats-a-good-thing/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bernard-starr/the-new-vanity-publishing_b_1821945.html

http://www.contracostatimes.com/top-stories/ci_21313128/self-publishing-or-vanity-press-answer-may-surprise

http://warriorwriters.wordpress.com/2012/07/23/the-five-mistakes-killing-self-published-authors/

http://phantomimic.weebly.com/2/post/2012/08/you-want-to-be-a-traditionally-published-author-then-self-publish.html

http://thewritersadvice.com/2012/08/24/just-publish-it-already/

http://www.thebookdesigner.com/the-indie-publishing-life/

Edit- new links:

http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/finance/2012/0821/1224322562925.html#.UDMpFDIb8qU.twitter

http://chicklitcentraltheblog.blogspot.com.br/2012/08/guest-post-lazy-i-dont-think-so.html#.UC2NxUsgxGM.twitter

http://jadevarden.blogspot.com.br/2012/09/why-self-publish.html

Please, feel free to add other relevant links on the comments section. And tell us your decision: are you going to query or self-publish your next (or first) book?

Well, I wish us all the best of luck, whatever decision we make!

The best creative writing course – reading!

Every writer is also a reader. We love books, we need to read to be happy.

I’m one of those compulsive readers that can’t stand not having a book to read at the moment. I’m also a proud kindle owner, and believe ebooks are the most amazing thing ever invented.

Of course when you’re a writer, you read in a different, more critical way. You read to be inspired by other authors, and, sometimes, to find motivation to keep writing. It happened to me more than once; I’m reading just for pleasure (or think I am) and start taking notes as if in a class, because the sentences are so brilliant, the characters so well constructed, the story so beautifully told that I think: “Boy, that’s what I want:  to write something that good!”

Reading is the best creative writing course for me. I’ve learned so much from reading great authors! Sometimes you learn what not to do, but that’s not the point! 🙂

Of course, since I love dark, twisted and damaged characters, I read books where they live. I try to always write a review, and, if there’s a way, write to the author just to let them now how much I enjoyed their work. I think this is the least I can do to say “thank you” for their time and effort. Everybody should do that.

I had received amazing responses. Authors are kind people who love to hear from readers. Try it!

These are some of the best books I’ve had the pleasure of reading so far. Some are Indies, some are not. I don’t care how a book is published, I just want the story to be great.

In these books, the weather and locations are characters, as important to the plots as the people on the pages.  They describe a tense, dark, almost suffocating world, where the characters are consumed by their ordeals.

Ruth Rendell is a master. Her stand-alones are must-read

This was the first book in this genre that I read, when I was only thirteen – it hooked me for life!

Absolutely amazing. This story has some of the best metaphors I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading. The plot is superb too

Certainly one of the best books I’ve ever read. Almost impossible to describe without spoiling your reading.

Oh my, what a debut! This author is someone to follow. What a gift with words; so perfectly constructed characters. Plus, the author is a really nice person.

This is the American edition of Rupture (UK). Great book about bullying.

Simon Lelic has a compelling way of telling stories.

An excellent debut. I’ll be looking forward for the next book from this author

Sorrel Pitts develops a magnificent tense atmosphere to tell this story.

This is a haunting tale that will stay in your mind for days after finishing the story.

This book is very slow-paced, but it’s a great journey

This is a great coming-of-age story. It’s very dark and extremely sad in some points, with poetical touches all over the text.

I deeply care about not-that-enjoyable characters. You know, the problematic ones, those that proclaimed themselves as bad people, like Libby Day does. And she is so twisted, you end up loving her.

After reading this book you are sure going to watch your back more often and be more careful, especially if you’re a woman.

If the only thing you have are other people’s words as your memories, how can you be sure what’s true?

The author has a beautiful style. His prose is natural, with an excellent pace that keeps you wanting to read more and more.