Indie Community, ENOUGH!

Well well, it’s been about 7 seconds since the last outrage in the IC. This is getting old. Very fast.

What amazes me about the IC is despite its ability to bring out some truly, wonderfully selfless and kind people, it always manages to turn in on itself like a pack of hyenas. One person makes a negative, almost abusive comment about an author, a book, a PA or whatever and it’s a free for all. Truth, decency, common sense, professionalism all out the door as the mob scramble over each other to attack the next target.

In this past week ALONE, a book was pulled off Amazon for featuring the topic of rape. The notion it was romanticized, which outraged enough people (based on a FB post) to have that book become boycotted by the IC. Here’s the thing. Before it got boycotted, it became a best seller. The mob went after it with 1 star reviews but BOUGHT it so they could leave their venom (warranted or not, I don’t know. I’ve never read the book).

There have been accusations of shady dealings from authors, PAs and people are yet again, only too ready to grab their torches just waiting for the green light to rampage. As per the title, ENOUGH.

We as Indies have taken great strides over the last few years to be considered a worthy, viable alternative to mainstream publishing. We have done so well. And this shit drags us ALL back to the dark ages. Why we still struggle to compete with the big guys. We are seen as amatuer before people even open our work up.

IC…authors, bloggers, PAs, pimpers, street teams, ALL of you. Please listen. STOP THIS SHIT NOW while we still can. You are absolutely entitled to have your say. Your opinion matters, absolutely. If you see something you don’t like, at least attempt to solve it in house or as quietly/professionally as possible. Splashing it over social media is the best way to achieve…

  1. Nothing
  2. The total opposite of what you expect.                                                                                    Stand up for yourself and others if you need to, but please just think before you post. “Can this be done a better way? What am I wanting to gain out of this?”

Please Respect Your PA

Recently, there have been a few well written articles and posts about PAs and the DOs and DON’Ts of their job. Some of them the greatest PAs this industry will ever see. I loved them. 
But I wanted to make my own after hearing, and in some cases, seeing, some shocking behavior from authors. 
So here we go. 
1) PAs are NOT your slaves. 
Sometimes I truly think an author forgets that their PA is a person. They have lives. Friends, family, special events. Yes it is understood they make you a priority, however, as wonderful as your readers tell you that you are, your PA deserves time off. 
2) They are doing this, for YOU. For FREE
9/10 PAs are not paid in the Indie Community. They accept swag or signed books as a thank you. The reason they help an author, is generally because they like you, your work and they believe in you. The fact that in this or any industry there are people like that is mind boggling. They give up their free time that could be spent with family, just to help you. Search for review opportunities, organise your street team, make promos for you and more. 
3) TREAT THEM WITH RESPECT 
The fact I even have to make this point infuriates me. I have heard and seen absolutely sickening cases of online abuse because an author didn’t like something the PA did. It wasnt done to their standard or whatever. Authors can be some of the biggest keyboard warriors in the world. People are going to make mistakes. It happens. People will have differing opinions. 
Must it turn into an author bitch fit? That teaser the PA made isn’t exactly the font you envisioned. Your PA said that they would cover a takeover for you and ran late. What if their child was sick? Their loved one in an accident? 
Let me say this. If the mistakes keep happening, it’s good to assume that the partnership isn’t working and best to go your seperate ways. The PA obviously isn’t good at their role, or just doesn’t do the best they can. As an author lucky enough to have a PA, you should absolutely have the expectation of professionalism where possible. Helping you is their job, yes. A great working relationship is built on trust, communication and the understanding that you are ONE of their priorities. But only in the book world. 
4) Let them do their job
In short, LISTEN to them. They do not have all the answers. No one does. And ultimately all choices should be ticked off by you. But what’s the point of having a PA if you demand them to be a robot? Every day. Same thing. Do this. Do that. INTERACT! Ask questions, advice. Is this a good idea? Can we try this? Work it out together. Trial and error. Take risks. 

To my PA Lisa, I say again, a heartfelt thank you. To all the other authors that truly appreciated theirs, keep that shit up. Help each other to get better and learn. 
To those authors out there who walk around with your heads up your asses, thinking that just because a few fans (maybe many) think your scratchings are praise worthy doesn’t give you the right to treat someone like garbage. You are someone that writes things. Nothing more nothing less. 
Grow up or fuck off

A Good Question

(FRAUD: a person or thing intended to deceive others, typically by unjustifiably claiming or being credited with accomplishments or qualities:) – ACTUAL definition.

Firstly I would like to thank the messages of support I have receiHow Far Would You Goved after my post “How far would you go?” Went out yesterday. I was grateful but wasn’t sure why they were necessary until I discovered the below.

“* I would like to add that after posting another blog post called “How far would you go?” Was published, also supporting the previous article mentioned. My question to you is, if you need to pull apart the mystery to justify someone’s success, how far will you go?”

This was taken from an article titled “It Isnt Shit Talk Thursday, but I needed to talk”. 90% of the article was in response to the same article I was inspired by, so I’ll shift that to the side. I honestly had no intent to use this format to engage in a running battle, and still don’t. But I have been called. I will answer.

Let me get this out of the way, right now. To those authors that have taken offense to my post and what was inside it, I have absolutely no personal problem with you. You seem to have with me, as I have been blocked by one or two. Even though I named no one, some took it upon themselves to take it that I meant them. You know who you are, and now? So do I. A great saying is “Only fake people get mad when you post real shit”. I have absolutely no issue with indie authors using various means to get ahead. Good on them. Honesty is a grey area when it comes to pen names etc. I get that. One of these days I might write erotica, and if that does happen I might write under a pen name. This to not confuse my readers as to what they will be getting. Nothing more, nothing less.

I have actually read a book by one of these authors and found it absolutely horrendous. The sex scenes were cringe worthy. The characters were cardboard cut outs. Dialogue completely overdone with efforts made to emphasize masculine power. Yet this was all done with minimal thought or skill. However, this was my opinion. I will not name the book, the author and I will not review it. I simply wanted to see for myself if my theory was correct. It was.

In answer to the question above, this far. This is how far I go. I have used the machine of social media to express an opinion. A shocking new age turn, no? I do not feel the need to pull apart the mystery to justify someone’s success. There is no mystery. It is plain to see. I lie has been told and believed. That lie is now growing like a bulbous, infected cancer. Infecting those that are still trying to move away from the stench. Let me say that if creating a fake persona and writing terrible books that still sold like hot cakes was their only crime, I wouldn’t be writing this.

I have authors on social media I am proud to say are friends of mine that have been damaged by these other ‘frauds’. Do I mean financially? Yes and no. These authors do not write in the same genre, so the frauds are not taking fans away from them. What I mean is by getting blocked and harassed, reported and punished for doing what they love to do. Write and talk to people. Some have never even interacted with said frauds yet are being cast down by fake accounts. Meaning they cannot post, do a takeover, interact with their fans JUST because they dared post a teaser at the same time as the frauds. This hurts their careers and punishes those fans that want to know them. The REAL them. Not what they wish they were. Why should the frauds care? They shouldn’t. They are getting paid right? It just means they’ve brought the articles over the last few days upon themselves. They wont stop. More are coming. More and more indie authors are taking notice and more will as the days go on. The more of a name for yourself you make, the more authors you cast down, the bigger the response will be. Please think very carefully if you wish to continue this ridiculous “poor me” show. The majority of their readers will stand by them. When the truth is known about you, can you say the same? How you get your readers is how you keep them. know for a fact that my readers will stand behind me because I trust them enough to be honest. They know who I am, what I write and what I stand for. They either like it or they don’t. Thankfully the majority love it.

My philosophy in this industry is “help yourself don’t hurt the other guy”. It seems the frauds do not share this opinion. We need to stand together as authors to help each other. NOT to bring everyone else down just so you can rise. The frauds do not have to reveal who they are. The observant already know, it’s not hard. What I implore them to do, is direct their fake accounts to promote themselves not harass other authors. But as they saying goes, you can lead a horse to water…

To finish, I’d like to tell you a story.

A pheasant was standing in a field chatting with a bull.

“I would love to be able to get to the top of yonder tree,”  sighed the pheasant, “but I haven’t got the energy.”

Well, why don’t you nibble on some of my droppings?” replied the bull. “They’re packed with nutrients.”

The pheasant pecked at a lump of dung and found that it actually gave him enough strength to reach the first branch of the tree. The next day, after eating some more dung, he reached the second branch. And so on. Finally, after a fourth night, there he was proudly perched at the top of the tree. This was when he was spotted by a farmer who dashed into the farmhouse, emerged with a shotgun, and shot the pheasant right out of the tree. 

Moral of the story: Bullshit might get you to the top, but it won’t keep you there.

How Far Would You Go?

I’ve seen a few blog posts/opinions about this particular subject, so I thought I’d throw my two cents worth in. As an Indie author, I’m proud to say that today it is far easier to embrace ones dream of writing a novel.

In the last ten or so years the Indie Community has come on in leaps and bounds, providing the millions upon millions of readers in the world with at least an alternative set of stories and ideas than what they are used to with traditional authors. We are not bound by any publishers rules, we are free to write what we want for the most part. No one tells us what we should put down and this is both a great thing and a crippling thing. The readers we want to reach do not know what they will get with us. Again, this carries pros and cons.

Recently though it has come to my attention of something that truly infuriates me. The one thing we have strived for so long in those ten years is respect. That we deserve a place among the readers as viable options. That we are who we are. What you see is what you get. Sure, there are pen names used, that’s expected and understood. But where things start to get ugly, and downright dirty is the act of lying to readers. Deliberately hiding behind social media, tricking gullible readers that an author is something they aren’t. This includes using pictures of models as your author profile picture, giving the readers an idea that this is an accurate representation of you. If you are a balding, middle aged man yet have an image of a sculpted male sufer with rippling abs, you might as well be a woman and pretend you’re a man or a set of brothers. The end result is the same.

You are mocking the indie community. And its readers. You clearly have no faith in your writing ability, so leave it to cheap tactics to draw attention to yourself. The questions will come, like ‘when will you go live’, ‘when will we get some pictures’, ‘when will you do a signing’. These are all things Indie authors do because we want to be taken seriously. We put everything we have into what we do, all we ask is that the readers give us a chance. If you don’t like what we write, at least you gave it a shot.

If the only reason you picked up our books is because you believed our profile pic (the  one with the G-string and big titties) we all better hope the writing is worth the money paid. History tells us that anyone promoting themselves with a particular aspect like, keeping up the mystery of what they look like by deflection, having to have fake accounts be made to support them are not interested in writing or entertaining. They want attention and money. They are what is wrong with the Indie Community and they need to be weeded out.

From one reader to another, I beg of you. If the author/s you’re interested in are deflecting your questions, they are not selling you a story. They are selling you a lie. They do not care about you, whether you follow them or not. They want your compliments, and will laugh at you when they are not online that you are buying into their bullshit with your hard earned. You could be a running joke that only their friends are in on. Please choose your authors carefully. We are out there, and would love to meet you. Go live and say hello. Take selfies with you. Simply say thanks in person if we can. You mean the world to us. Please, find us. If you simply ask a question and get a flippy answer, you have the right to think there is something shifty. If so, turn your back. We are trying our best to find them all and expose them, because they hurt every one of us.

Release List

Due to a few of the same questions, this is currently the “working” release list I have. Will be updated if anything changes. Thank you all for your support thus far

1. Night Walker 2014 (Undeadly Secrets #1) *published
2. Day Dreamer 2016 (Undeadly Secrets #2) *on track
3. The Last Draco Knight 2017 (The Last Draco Knight Series #1) * manuscript complete, needs comprehensive edit.
4. Shadow Chaser 2018 (Undeadly Secrets #3) *currently plotting
5. Pack Master 2019 (Undeadly Secrets #4) *currently plotting

Day Dreamer demo

Nicole pulled another soaking sheet off Nicholas’ now bare torso, her hands shaking in unison with the spasms of his body.
“What’s happening to you?” she asked despondently, cooling his forehead with a wet towel. The night was not overly cold but very stormy outside, with dark clouds hovering. His body was giving off extraordinary heat, so much that Nicole felt as if she were sitting in front of a heater.
“You…” Nicholas croaked, trying to find the words or the strength to speak them, Nicole wasn’t sure. She quietly shook her head and softly shushed him. She continued to cool his head and face, but Nicholas was determined, breathing, “You are so beautiful.”
Nicole paused in her motion of squeezing the towel into the bowl beside her, filled with iced water. “It’s a good thing we are just friends, otherwise I might believe you. But you’re obviously delirious”
“I’m dying” he replied, blinking heavily.
“No you’re not,” she said, laughing again, trying to make light out of the situation that was scaring her more and more.
“I need to tell you…before…”
“Shut up! I don’t want to hear it. You’re not dying! I don’t care what you think this is, I won’t let you!” she retorted, resuming her work with the towel, lip beginning to tremble.
“I’m sorry…don’t mean to be a…” Nicholas paused as he looked at her, trying to smile. “Drama queen”
“So you should. You’re a pain in my arse” she replied sharply, tenderly running the cloth over his chest and stomach, gliding over his sculpted muscles. How she had never noticed them before was beyond her.
His body began to twitch again, his system appearing to shut down. “I feel like I am on fire…”
Nicole could no longer joke, stammering slightly as she moaned, “What can I do?”
It took several seconds, but Nicholas became still. He turned to her, breathing heavily and obviously in pain. “Kiss me,” he whispered, a hint of a grin on his otherwise strained face.
Nicole could not help but smile as she shook her head. “You’re my friend. It would be…weird”
”You’ve done it before”
“That was a thank you. This is…very different”
Nicholas turned his head towards her. “You really don’t want to kiss me?” he asked softly, his eyes probing.
“I…” Nicole said, not sure what this sickness was doing to Nicholas, but found his newly discovered bravado quite surprising. “You’re not well”
Nicholas merely blinked before coughing heavily. He turned to her again, this time extending his arm out. “Hold my hand?”
She had no idea if he had seen through her response. She denied his request for a kiss and lied to him, but as she enclosed his trembling hand in both of hers for the first time, she felt what she was afraid of, worse still, she sensed Nicholas feel it too. She didn’t want to let go.
“What if I tell you a story?” Nicole asked.
“Does it have ponies?”
“No”
“Then I don’t wanna hear it”
Nicole rose and sat beside him on the bed. She placed his hand with one of hers on her lap and ran the fingers of her other hand through his damp hair. “It’s about wolves”
Nicholas looked at her. “You don’t believe what’s happening to me”
“It doesn’t matter” Nicole countered. “You do. You believe you are turning into something, that you are losing a battle. That something is fighting to come out. But you’re not alone.”
Nicholas gazed down at their interlocked hands, “I know.”
Nicole smiled. “That’s not only what I meant. Shall I begin? Very well. The story is called ‘The Wolves Within’. An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. “A fight is going on inside all of us,” he said to the boy. “It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, rage and ego.” He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith.”
Nicole had Nicholas’ complete attention. He was very interested in the story but had been moving his head slowly closer to hers. Nicole had noticed and kept still as she had spoken, but started to turn her head towards him, trying to ignore her rushing heartbeat. Those lips of his always looked good, but in the dull light of her room and with his body glistening, they were beginning to look irresistible.
“So…how can you tell which wins?” Nicholas asked, inches away from her and closing, refusing to be denied what he wanted.
“That’s the point of the story,” she whispered, letting his burning face come closer. “The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf wins?” The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”
Just then, the storm clouds covering the moon shifted. A ray of moonlight hit the two of them, causing Nicholas to rock back in an agonising grimace. Nicole screamed.
His teeth flared, his back arched and he bellowed from the base of his spine the only word Nicole could understand from his roars of pain.
“Run!”
Nicholas rolled off the bed and crashed to the floor, crawling naked towards the door, trying to put as much, if any, distance between Nicole and himself. Nicole, who rushed to his side and stopped him, found him unconscious. She wrapped her arms around him, mumbling, kissing his forehead. “I’m not going to leave you.”
Nicholas went limp in her arms, suddenly at peace. Nicole bolted to her phone and dialled 000. She turned towards the window.
The storm clouds had covered the moon again. Nicole, unsure of what to think or do, merely wept.