Back in July, I posted an interview with fellow indie author Jay Lemming.  Jay has a terrific ongoing project simply called “Survey: Indie Writers of Literary Fiction.” In his survey, he asks fellow lit fiction authors about one of their novels, and in particular, what great theme they treat in the novel. He also asks how they decided to treat the theme.

As part of the process of submitting the questionnaire, the author can then choose to be interviewed for Jay’s online author roundup. Who wouldn’t want that kind of publicity? And of course, Jay’s interview allows the author to expand on the above mentioned topic while answering questions like Did your perspective on the theme change as you wrote the story? and Did you find yourself less in control of your narrative than you expected? Interesting stuff indeed. (You can find Jay’s interview with me about my novel Jana here.)

This might all sound like arcane shop talk for authors, but nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, this type of author roundup is a great way to get authors to not only read each other’s work, but also to cross-promote each other. And it’s reader-friendly, too: after all, what better way to get to know something about a book you might want to read than an interview with the author about that particular book?

Best of all, the survey process gets the reader/author thinking about literary fiction the way we did back in our university days: themes like The Individual vs. Society, and The Nature of Reality, which, let’s face it, we don’t often go around thinking about.

Thanks to Jay’s work, I’ve got a whole new list of current authors to read, including Dan Holloway, Rohan Quine, and Rosaline Riley, just to name a few. After emailing back and forth with Jay about our books, and seeing his posts about his own novel, Billy Maddox Takes His Shot, I decided to buy a copy and give it a read. It’s great stuff, and well worth picking up.

These types of cross-promotional efforts are not just worthwhile marketing ventures for indie writers. They also represent a great way to find a new favorite author!

humor

When Your Sense of Humor Is One Part Vonnegut, Two Parts Hunter S. Thompson

Sometimes you have to really switch things up. Even shake them up. Such is the case with artists of all types, and I’m the kind of novelist who needs to shake things up from book to book. I've never written a series, and I don't think I could unless my life depended...
disturbances

New “Writer Problems” Series, Topic #9: Distractions, Disruptions & Disturbances

This week's blog post has three sections: distractions, disruptions and disturbances, as if they were three unique items—which, of course, they can be. There’s a common “writer” meme that reads, “Being a good writer is 3% talent, 97% not being distracted by the...
morning

5 Things to Do Before You Begin Your Writing Day

What should you do before you start your writing day? I've read plenty of advice on topics like this over the years, and I have to say upfront: I don't think there's a right way or a wrong way. You have to do what works for you. However, I've also tried to do things...
next book

Talking About My Next Book: More On Whizzers

Talking or writing about your new book is always unnerving for an author. Well, for this author, anyway. I can't really speak for anyone else.Back in November, fellow author Jay Lemming conducted an author interview with me for about 45 minutes. We spoke about a...
Whizzers

Authors’ Pandemic Sales and The Dubious Metric of “Necessities” Vs. “Luxuries”

​Considering everything going in the world, the past week was a pretty good one for me. Almost a year after its initial publication, my novel Whizzers—which had flatlined in the Kindle store—suddenly spiked to #179,500. When one of your babies jumps that much, it gets...
Whizzers

The Glories of Language: Making Stuff Up and Other Fun Things I Do

“Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.” - Pablo Picasso   One thing I was never especially afraid of was breaking the rules. What I was afraid of was getting caught. When I was young, I got into a tiny bit of trouble, but not much....
reaper

COVID-19: The Reaper that Keeps on Reaping

Last week I wrote about the trials and tribulations of my immediate family. I’d love to brag about how much better things are this week, but…eh…not so much. While we were contending with my mother going from a hospital to a skilled nursing facility, we had some more...
recovery

Recovery 202? Long-Term Sobriety Is Possible

So, the plan for today was to write a post about recovery. Unfortunately, I’m in a different kind of recovery mode today—recovering from a sinus infection. What that means for you, the reader, is I’m going to keep this short. Really short. I took my last drink 30...
new author

Top 3 Suggestions for New Authors

Today is one of those days where I can't possibly get everything done that I was planning to get done. With a doctor's appointment coming up in an hour, I'm even more pressed for time to deliver my regular Monday blog post. So here's a little spin on what's typically...
newsletter

Got Those Old Indie Author Newsletter Blues

It’s Monday again, and that means it’s time for my weekly blog post. Today I’m going to talk a bit about newsletters—more specifically, the kind of newsletter an indie author like myself sends to his readers. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the concept, an...