Every great story deserves a proper ending.  Have you ever raced through hundreds of pages of text only to be disappointed by a cheesy ending?  Even if the plot runs smoothly until the conclusion, an illogical or abrupt ending will frustrate a reader.   For some writers, concluding a story well is extremely challenging.

This is the song that doesn’t end.

Yes, it goes on and on my friend.

Some people started singing it not knowing what it was,

And they’ll continue singing it forever just because

This is the song that doesn’t end… - Lamb Chop’s Play-Along

Do you remember that song?  Do not start singing it; it is a trap.  The point is, eventually one does want one’s story to end.  What can you do?  Reminisce with me about things from my childhood, and I will share how to develop a great ending.

Follow Every Twist of the Road

Did you ever read a Choose Your Own Adventure  book?  In these novels, the author presents the readers with choices at critical junctures of the plot.  Based on your selection, you turn to a certain page to see what happens.   As a youth, I would always go back and pick another option if I did not like how my previous choice affected the story.  Why not apply the same principle to generate a list of possible endings?  Ask yourself what would happen if this or that occurred.  Pretend to be a reader; how does each ending make you feel about the book and its characters?  Aim to leave them with a positive feeling towards the entire experience of your book.  Additionally, you should endeavor to align the ending with the rest of the book.

Timing is Everything

When should one finish a novel?  Follow Blue’s Clues.  This half-hour show took into consideration the attention spans of its viewers by incorporating pauses.  Ask, who is my target audience?  Next, consider the plot.  Have the major conflicts been resolved?  Must anything else happen to make the plot progression logical?  Get the timing right, and readers will be satisfied.  Cut the story off too early, and readers will feel shortchanged.  Drag the story on too long, and they will lose interest.  Finding the right time is a balancing act.  More than any other time, you will need to exercise your instincts to pick the perfect moment.

Tie the Loose Ends

Lots of authors introduce subplots to make the story realistic.  Real life is full of simultaneous plot twists.  However, one must be cautious with this method.  Loose ends are the easiest way to land your novel in the reject pile when manuscript selection time begins.   If you involve a reader in too many subplots, they become confused and lose the thread of the story.     A reader may be particularly interested in a side gambit, so much so that they will feel let down if you do not resolve it before the novel’s end.  Scooby-Doo never did that; the viewers concentrated on one mystery per episode.

The Other Important Stuff

You came up with a killer ending.  Is your book ready to be evaluated by a publishing house?  No, because no book is complete without editing.   Even great grammarians make mistakes, particularly when they have been concentrating the majority of their mental energy on the ending.  Save time by using proofreading software to help you to identify problems.  Then, any developmental editor that you hire will be free to focus on story flow rather than comma splices.

Do you dream about your novel reaching the bestseller’s list?  Dream bigger!  By crafting an amazing ending, you will gain many eager fans.   Keep the reader in mind when you write the ending to your novel.  Make sure everything makes sense.  If you follow these intriguing allusions to the past, you will have a nice ending.  If not, sing with Lamb Chop.

By Nikolas Baron

 

Safe by Dawn Husted

Dawn’s Biography:

Dawn Husted resides in Texas with her husband, two toddlers, two dogs and a rescued cat named Kitty. She’s always around nature, including the crazy squirrels stealing food from birds in her backyard. Her passion for reading grew after she graduated college and started writing for fun. Her appetite produced many short-stories and books until finally, SAFE was born. The dystopian read is her first novel, but not her first time writing science-fiction. Her favorite books to read and write are all located in the young-adult section.

What makes this book different?

BOOK: SAFE by Dawn Husted

The basis for how the apocalypse happened is new and refreshing for readers that enjoy these types of books. It’s not a story re-done over and over. And it’s not too terribly long, or short, about 56000 words.

Why write the story?

For years now, I’ve loved most shows and books regarding post-apocalyptic fiction. My notion of writing something within that genre grew immensely over the past year. The concept of zombies is intriguing, but I wanted the story to focus on a different future where zombies never existed (though, the word is mentioned once in a short scene). Most of all, I wanted SAFE to be a story that teenagers would find interesting and relatable as if the situation Penny found herself in could happen to them.

It’s a young-adult novel, and I hope readers enjoy it!

 

SAFE can be found on Amazon & Barnes and Noble.

Dawn Husted

How can readers connect with Dawn?

I would love for readers to visit me at any of the addresses below.

 

Website: http://dawnhusted.weebly.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/TheDawnHusted

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DawnHusted

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6434441.Dawn_Husted

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/PennyEvansSAFE/

SAFE excerpt

Six

 

I finished my last drop of oatmeal and went back for more when the weather began changing. The humidity sucked away into the clouds above and the fog vanished. Tips of trees bent from wind gusting about; leaves and dirt tossed in circles like dozens of tiny cyclones.

My empty bowl was in my hands and I looked up in the sky. In the near distance, large, gray clouds were rolling in. Just then, the table holding the bowls fell over from the weight of the wind thrusting against it, utensils scattering across the ground and crashing against the dirt.

Lowers scrambled, picking up bowls and pots and moving the breakfast into a tiny, nearby house.

The storm was moving swiftly, ghastly clouds almost directly overhead.

I hope James is okay.

I helped pick up the fallen bowls, ran them inside the house, and sat them down next to the rearranged breakfast. People disappeared in and out, gathering more supplies. I squeezed by the door, slipping into the stormy weather. The area where everyone once gathered was now empty; most everyone went back into their own homes to wait out the weather. The only person still sitting on the ground next to the bodies was Sidnee—by her husband.

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Go Lightly Rider by Tony Masero

Texas 1870
Eight years hard time leaves the world a whole new place when Cairns gets out.
And it’s not just the world that’s changed; there are parts of Cairns that are missing as well. What happened to his estranged wife, Adele, for instance? It means a ride back into a life he would rather forget, one that resurrects all the bloody aspects of Cairns’ old past.
There are some powerful people waiting at the end of the road that don’t like Cairns poking into their business. People with big plans that he’s starting to upset with all his questions.
It is a dangerous undertaking that leads Cairns on a murderous trail prompting a recall to the gun he had hoped to leave behind. The unpleasant deal he uncovers leaves those he loves with no place to go and Cairns has only one recourse and that’s to make a stand.

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Today we are starting a new feature where I’ll be featuring a video centered around writing. I’m kicking this off by featuring Geek and Sundry vlogger, Nika Harper. In addition to being a vlogger, Nika Harper also has a book available from Amazon called Echoes of Old Souls.

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The Curse Girl by Kate Ellison

The Curse Girl by Kate Ellison

When her father tries to steal a magic cure for his sick wife from the beastly master of the mysterious mansion outside her home town, seventeen-year-old Bee is the one forced to go live with him. But Will isn’t anything like she expected. He’s the same age as she is, for one thing. He’s also really handsome, contrary to local legend.

Well, maybe the whole “beast” thing is meant to be metaphorical, because he’s a total jerk.

Between the house’s weird magic and Will’s snobby attitude, the situation is nearly unbearable, and Bee only wants to escape. But the house is sealed by magic and trapped in time, and the inhabitants can only leave if they break the curse.

The witch who cursed Will left him the solution in a riddle. Although Bee would rather eat dirt than be nice to Will, they’re going to have to learn to work together if they want to solve it and break the curse.

Because time is quickly running out.

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Jan Domagala - Indie Author

Jan Domagala - Indie Author

IndieReads: When did you start writing?

 

Jan Domagala: I started writing my first full length story around 1980/1, I’m not quite sure exactly. Up to that point I’d messed around with stories but never finished any of them. I used to either get bored with them or had another idea which I’d start. When I was at school I used to draw my own comics and I was really embarrassed about anyone finding out about them in case they laughed, or thought it was kids stuff you know? But look at that market now, it’s big business and it’s branched out into movies and graphic novels and tv.

IR: Are you self published or did you use an independent publisher?

JD: I’m self published, my first two books were done through Lulu.com but my latest, the first in a series is through Createspace.

IR: What genre do you write in the most?

JD: This is a difficult one for me because I tend to think my books, especially my new series, are action/adventure thrillers but they happen to be set in the mid twenty fifth century so there has to be that future element in them. So I suppose they’re sci fi action adventures. My first book was a spy action adventure, very much in the Jack Higgins vein, my second, which I’d planned as a trilogy, was my tribute to Star Trek. My latest is as I’ve described at the start of this question.

IR: What is it about that genre that attracts you?

JD: My new series like I said earlier is a sci fi action adventure and this came about because I’ve always been a fan of action films and sci fi so I decided to try and combine the two. My earlier attempt at writing an action story turned out to be in the Jack Higgins vein and my earlier attempts at writing a sci fi story all turned out to be either Star Wars, Babylon 5 or a tribute to Star Trek. It’s so difficult to come up with something that is truly original, something that doesn’t reference any of the three themes I’ve mentioned because they’ve become so ingrained in popular culture now that what used to be science fiction is now, or soon will be science fact. So I decided to try and combine my love of action adventures and throw in some sci fi and the result is Ronin, the first in my Col Sec series.

IR: How many books have you published?

JD: I’ve touched on this in earlier questions. Three in total so far, Rogue, A Dangerous Game, was my spy thriller and first, then came The Starcorp Chronicles, Book One, /
An Alliance is formed was my tribute to Star Trek and the first in a proposed trilogy which I will get back to, some day. Finally there’s Ronin, A Kurt Stryder Adventure, the first in my Col Sec series. I have the second instalment almost ready for publication, it’s going through the proof reading phase and should be ready in a few months and I’m hard at work on the third book.

IR: Which one should people start with?

JD: Ronin, most definitely. Although I have sequels planned for my earlier works, I would like to revisit them and see if I could improve on them before I get started on the sequels. Ronin is what I consider my best so far and if people like it they won’t have long to wait for the second in the series.

IR: What was the prime motivation in publishing your work through independent channels?

JD: I sent Rogue to a few publishers and agents and as the rejection slips were beginning to mount up I saw an article in a daily newspaper about how Lulu.com was revolutionising the publishing industry. Rather than waste time trying to get a book deal I thought it best to just get my work out there so the public could decide for themselves. I’d watched the publishing industry get inundated with celebrity books and supermarket chains only stock the top twenty or so best seller lists and the realisation that I was in a catch 22 situation dawned on me. To get a book deal you have to be a published writer but you couldn’t be published without getting a book deal. So after some research I decided to give it a go. I followed it up with The Starcorp Chronicles which I’d written around the same time. When I discovered Createspace with it’s resource of Amazon I decided to swop over to them.

IR: What were your early experiences like?

JD: Publishing with Lulu.com was difficult, not in the respect that the process was made so by them but rather because I had no idea what I was doing. I rushed Rogue through at first just to get it out in paperback, so it came out with a blank cover and no blurb or description. After a while a had a rethink and prepared a proper cover which my son put together for me and I got it out in hardback and I was quite pleased at how professional it looked..

IR: What did the process teach you?

'Ronin: A Kurt Stryder Adventure' by Jan Domagala

'Ronin: A Kurt Stryder Adventure' by Jan Domagala

JD: The process taught me a lot of respect for what publishing houses do to get a book ready for publication. I didn’t realise and I suppose it was naive of me, just how hard it is and what’s required to make the public aware of your work once the writer’s part is finished and the final full stop is added. Writing a book is relatively easy compared to selling it. It taught me to be as professional as I possibly could with every aspect of this entire process. It’s a learning process I had to go through and one that should not be taken for granted as it has taught me to continually strive to be better at what I do.

IR: Have you seen a change in the independent publishing community?

JD: If you mean by it’s growth then yes, most definitely. More and more writers are embracing the concept and a few have become extremely successful because of it.

IR: Do you read other independently published authors works?

JD: I tend to stick with my favourites in the main but occasionally I’ll try out an author whose work I’m interested in, whether they’re indie, I’m not sure, it all depends on what the work is.

IR: Where can people find your books and which source has been the must successful for you?

JD: Ronin is available in paperback and kindle editions from both the US and UK sites of Amazon and Createspace.
Rogue is available from Amazon.com and Lulu.com in hardback and The Starcorp Chronicles is available from Lulu.com in hardback.

IR: Do you have any advice for some one who would like to be an Indie author or publisher?

JD: I don’t consider myself qualified enough to give advice but if I was pushed I would have to say, know your market, do the research needed for your project and don’t be afraid of asking for help or advice. Above all be professional in everything you do, the reading public know what they like and are not stupid, so they deserve the best you can give them. If you do that and you get their interest they’ll stick around for the journey.

IR: Do you do your own cover art or do you have some one do it for you?

JD: Cover art is as important as what’s inside the book, it’s the first glimpse of your work and if it’s not right then anyone browsing will not stick around to see if the rest lives up to the first impression, and for that you need someone who understands your work and can give a good representation of it. I always use someone else for my covers. For Ronin I used an artist named Richard Hawksworth, keep an eye for him his work is amazing. For my second Col Sec book I’ve kept my options open and not decided yet who to use but there are at least two artists work I’ll be looking at.

IR: Do you have any new works coming out soon that you can tell us about?

JD: The second Col Sec book features a secondary character from Ronin as the lead. A terrorist organisation targets Col Sec and Earth in particular. The lead character is thrown into the action right from the start and discovers the threat to be more extensive than anyone could possibly imagine. He must fight to defend not only Earth but the safety of the Confederation against a threat so insidious that the attack could come from any quarter at any time.

IR: Is there anything you would like to share?

JD: As any writer my ultimate goal is to get a book deal and become known by the public for whom I hope to write. That may or may not happen, so until then I will continue to write and self publish in the hope that I will improve and grow as a writer and eventually reach the audience I know is out there just waiting for a good book.

More Info:

Jan Domagala (1955-ongoing);
Has always had a love of reading and from that grew his love of writing, he lists among his favourite authors; Jack Higgins, Matthew Reilly, James Rollins, Clive Cussler, David L Goleman, Jeremy Robinson, and Wilbur Smith.
Working full time in the ceramic printing industry of the Midlands he still finds time to write every day and one day hopes to be able to become a full time writer.
Recently he moved to the picturesque Derbyshire Dales where he lives with his girlfriend and their two cats.
His first book in a proposed series about Col Sec in the mid twenty fifth century entitled Ronin; A Kurt Stryder Adventure, is now available from Amazon.com in both paperback and Kindle editions.

 

Ronin: A Kurt Stryder Adventure by Jan Domagala

Ronin: A Kurt Stryder Adventure by Jan Domagala

In the mid 25th century Kurt Stryder is a subject of an experiment which could change how war is conducted. The result of the experiment forces him to ask a question of himself.
Having found the answer he is subjected to a battle between the elements of the cold war in which the galaxy has found itself, for control of him and what he knows.
In a race to save both himself and the woman he loves he has to face the ultimate dilemma the result of which could change the face of the galaxy and put millions of lives at risk.
With the adrenalin rush of a Matthew Reilly and the intrigue of a James Rollins, Jan Domagala hits the floor running with what’s destined to be an instant classic in Ronin the first in a series featuring Col Sec.

 

Indie Author - Carmen Anthony Fiore

Indie Author - Carmen Anthony Fiore

IndieReads: When did you start writing?

Carmen Anthony Fiore: May, 1962 When you do the math, that’s 49 years ago and I’m still enthused about being a writer. It defines who I am. It’s the oxygen I breathe. I wouldn’t want to be anything else in my life. For a majority of the years, I had to write part time while working at a full-time job to support my family. Now that I’m retired
from the earning-a-living rat race, I can devote myself full time to my real career: writing.

IR: Are you self published or did you use an independent publisher?

CAF: I’m both. I started out having others publish me, then I decided to take control of my publishing career and went the self-publishing route for a while–before the days of P.O.D. It was okay but I grew weary of the daily marketing/publicity/promotional grind. So, I decided to let others publish me again. Sometimes that gets irritating, too. I’m back to at least taking partial control of my publishing career. I’m bringing my previously published print fiction into the digital age through Amazon’s Direct Publishing Program. Up to now I’ve published three of my print novels (that are still in print) on the Kindle e-book reader.

IR: What genre do you write in the most?

CAF: I’m an eclected writer, and I’ve always been one. I started out writing mainstream fiction, long and short. When I branched out to genre writing, it was mystery/
suspense. But I still return to writing mainstream fiction on occasion. To get published in the commercial genre fields, it’s necessary to get an agent, if you want to be published by the New York publishers. So, I’m trying to get representation for my private-eye series and my amateur sleuth series. New York publishers won’t read direct
submissions from writers. I also branched out to educational publishing. (I was a school teacher for a while.) My first effort was published by Royal Fireworks Press (an indie publisher located in Unionville, NY) and it’s titled YOUNG HEROES OF THE CIVIL WAR. It’s an educational text aimed for the juvenile/young-adult market as well as the school/home-schooled market. (I’m am American history buff.) I also have a contract from Royal Fireworks Press for my educational text titled SUPPLEMENT TO
SHAKESPEARE. (Besides being a fan of the great Bard’s work, I’m also a student of his fantastic plays and poetry.) My supplemental text is aimed for the school and home-schooled kids as well on a middle and high-school level. I also write nonfiction. I’ve done three How-to/Self-help manuscripts, but I can’t get agents or publishers interested in them because my national platform isn’t strong/extensive enough. So, I’m thinking of maybe going the Kindle e-book route with them. I think that I write fiction and nonfiction in different genres to keep from getting bored. I could never work in the same genre forever. It would stifle my creativity and probably bore me to tears to keep repeating the same (generally) book in the same genre. I need challenges to keep me stimulated. I need the brain food, so to speak, and make myself reach beyond my comfort zone.

IR: What is it about that genre that attracts you?

CAF: I always did like the mainstream/literary genre, because of the challenge to write deep into character in order to tell the story. As for my interest in mystery/suspense, the challenge makes me think and write more from a plot-oriented perspective. You have to set up the clues and the red herrings. I like the private eye and the amateur sleuth in the mystery/suspense genre. I write what-if historical fiction for the sheer joy of research and playing God with history. It’s a real power trip. I wrote a manuscript involving Lincoln and the Civil War that I’m trying to get agency representation for. So far only nibbles. I write nonfiction how-to/self-help for the opportunity to rant on my favorite pet-peeve subjects of contention. I can pour all my knowledge and life experiences into those texts. It’s a good way to get pet peeves off my chest. The educational stuff I’ve written involves history: American and European. Shakespeare and the Elizabethan Era, satisfies my interest in history and fills my need to continue teaching. Believe me, once a teacher, always a teacher.

IR: How many books have you published?

CAF: So far I’ve published seven books: four adult novels, one juvenile novel, two works of nonficition, with one nonfiction in the works with Royal Fireworks Press. After 49 years of being in the writing trenches, “I’ve just begun to fight” to paraphrase John Paul Jones. And I intend to keep writing and publishing the long stuff as well as the short work: short stories, articles, essays, print and online. Note: I also write screenplays and I’ve sold five options, but the indie producers couldn’t raise the money to make the movies. That’s life in La-La Land. The studios get all the money they need.

IR: Which one should people start with?

CAF: Start with my early books that I’ve had published in print and that three are available on the Kindle e-book reader with two more to be available by the end of May or June of this year. I revised the print versions to fit the e-book format, editing them to read faster while improving the story lines and the characterizations wherever possible. I guess writers are never finished with their stories, are they? My novels THE BARRIER, LITTLE OSCAR and SEARCHING are all social commentary.
THE BARRIER is based on my experiences as a social worker. LITTLE OSCAR is erotic realism/social commentary and is based on the last case of incest and child abuse I worked on before I left to go into teaching. SEARCHING is racial and tells about the collisions between whites and blacks during the Civil Rights movement during the 50′s and 60′s and 70′s and also comes out of my experiences as a social worker and having grown up in an integrated neighborhood in Trenton, New Jersey. So that novel can also be considered social commentary. If you’re into suspense and foreign settings, then my novel VENDETTA MOUNTAIN is your cup of tea with its setting being southern Italy and it’s about an American of Italian descent who goes back to his homeland mountain village of his grandparents and walks into a long-lasting inter-family feud and becomes its target and its all downhill after that. If you’re a woman of ethnic background, then my co-written nonfiction work titled VOICES OF THE DAUGHTERS is for you. It’s interviews with women of Italian descent. If you like to read what other women say about their lives, it would be “red meat” for your particular reading tastes. If you’re into juvenile novels, my lost-in-the-woods adventure story titled THE SNAKESKIN is for you. If you’re into historical nonfiction about the Civil War, then my creative nonfiction work titled YOUNG HEROES OF THE CIVIL WAR is recommended. If Shakespeare fascinate you, read all about him and the Elizabethan Era in my forthcoming supplemental text titled SUPPLEMENT TO SHAKESPEARE. I can almost guarantee that it will make you an expert in Shakespeare and the Elizabethans and their theatrics in comparison to our present-day theatrics.

IR: What was the prime motivation in publishing your work through independent channels?

CAF: The gatekeepers (read: agents, editors, publishers) were exasperating to me year after year, telling me how much they liked my work and how they really enjoyed reading my manuscripts, but didn’t think they could publish them successfully. Read: they didn’t think my stuff was commercial enough to make money on. I always asked myself: How do they know that for a fact? Gut feelings? Luck plays a lot in getting published. You have to send the right manuscript at the right time to the right person (editor) in the right publishing house. That’s four “rights,” which is always a long shot to accomplish. Of course, these days in New York publishing, editors don’t usually out-rank the sales department and most decisions, if not all, are made by committee consensus. Either they all love the book and think they can make money with it or it doesn’t get published. New York publishers are not into niche publishing. It’s mass distribution or nothing with them. Keep that in mind when you evaluate your novel or nonfiction book to decided if you want to interest an agent to sell it to the big “boys” in New York.

IR: What were your early experiences like?

CAF: Frustrating with long dry spells between sales. After I sold my first short story for $100.00 dollars, I thought I was on my way to big-time success. How naive can you get? What a delusion I was suffering under. It took me years to make my next sale. But I’ve develop a tough, thick alligator-type hide; the rejections bounce off me with indifference these days and I just keep on submitting after doing my market research. Writers have to realize how subjective the publishing business is. You just have to keep trying to get all your “rights” into place. Quitters never win in publishing.

IR: What did the process teach you?

Getting What You Want from Difficult People by Carmen Anthony Fiore

Getting What You Want from Difficult People by Carmen Anthony Fiore

CAF: To never give up on myself and my ability to produce publishable fiction and nonfiction. Now that I’m no longer a neophyte, I know when I’ve produced something good. I’ve had novels and short stories and nonfiction (long & short) published after multi-rejections. But I never gave up on any of it. So, I say to all my fellow writers, never give up on yourself, or your work, because anytime one of us quits writing, it means the gatekeepers have won.

IR: Have you seen a change in the independent publishing community?

CAF: Yes, it’s even getting tougher to get indie publishers to accept your work these days; just as must as to get an agent and almost as difficult to get the big publishers in New York to even take a peek at your query or proposal. Some indie publishers are going the same route as the big guys in New York
by insisting on submission by agents only, and that’s a shame. Agents have an agenda–to make money to sustain their standards of living. So what they accept to represent they have to love the work and also think they can sell it. Commercial is the key and their credo that they work by and under. I wonder about their need to have to love the manuscript to pieces before they can represent it, or sell it. I have only one thing to say to that: REALLY?

IR: Do you read other independently published authors works?

CAF: Yes, on occasion, if recommended to me by other writers in my local writing groups, or by other writers in articles I read in writing magazines or on blogs and interviews in print or online or other sources. I always like to help out my fellow writers. We have to help one another as well as “stick” together in defense
against the adversarial gatekeepers.

IR: Any favorites you would like to plug?

CAF: Charlie and Natalie McKelvy are two Michigan indie writers who have been producing great fiction for many years. Check them out.

IR: Where are you most likely to purchase indie works?

CAF: Direct mail, Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble online and in their stores. Indie stores are getting hard to find.

IR: Where can people find your books and which source has been the must successful for you?

CAF: My website: www.carmenanthonyfiore.com for autographed copies of my print editions and on Amazon.com, print and the Kindle e-book reader store. Royal Fireworks Press, publisher of my creative nonfiction work on the Civil War titled YOUNG HEROES OF THE CIVIL WAR. They have a website: www.rfwp.com (Note: Royal Fireworks Press will publish my supplemental textbook SUPPLEMENT TO SHAKEASPEARE sometime this year. I also had a short story titled A TIME TO LIVE published in a trade paperback titled WHEN LAST ON THE MOUNTAIN published by Holy Cow! Press, and I’m told it is now available as an e-book.

IR: Do you have books in print? Where can we find them? What was that experience like?

CAF: All of the books I’ve mentioned are still in print and can be found at the sources I’ve mentioned. The experiences were mixed at readings, book festivals, bookstore signings, library and school visits and talks, presentations to reading clubs and other literary-type organizations. I enjoyed the personal talks to these groups and the feedback the most from people who love books and reading and appreciate what writers have to go through to produce books.

IR: Do you have any advice for some one who would like to be an Indie author or publisher?

CAF: P.O.D. offers the best route for full control of your marketing and allows you to buy in small numbers, allowing you to keep fewer books in your inventory at any one time. But self-publishing or small indie publishing requires extra effort to promote and sell your books against the overwhelming competition from the big publishers in New York who control bookstore distribution and are in cohoots with the big distributors who make it difficult for small publishers to exist if they try to deal with the big distributors. They can easily put you out of business, by over-ordering a title and then six months later returning all of the copies and demanding their money back. If you’re small, operate small and stay away from the “sharks” in the book-publishing business. Presentations to small reading groups where you can make “back-of-the-room” sales are the best for small publisher authors and self-publishers. Book signings in stores are chancy and usually not worth the effort and time. Readings are nice in stores if you can get them, but make sure you do plenty of pre-promo work to get people in the seats. But bookstores in general are the worst places to try to sell indie books, because the competition is too great. Presentations by you as the only writer talking about how you came to write the book is the best way to sell your book; no competition and a captive audience. Can’t beat that. Audiences love to hear about the back story. It sells books. Just remember to bring along somebody to handle the money and to make change. You’ll be too busy doing the schmoozing and the autographing.

IR: Do you do your own cover art or do you have some one do it for you?

CAF: My wife, Catherine, is an artist and she does my covers for me whenever I submit a book for acceptance into the Kindle store and for my screenplays when I submit them to AmazonStudios.com screenplay contests. Covers are important. Make sure they look good. They’re half the battle to get attention and to sell the book.

IR: Do you have any new works coming out soon that you can tell us about?

CAF: My educational textbook SUPPLEMENT TO SHAKESPEARE is supposed to be published this year as promised by the publisher, Royal Firewords Press. But we’ll see, right? I wrote it to be reader-friendly to the high school students and home-schoolers. I avoided the stuffy and boring textbook format. The text reads more informally,
on purpose. Shakespeare is tough enough for the kids and especially when they have teachers who don’t know how to teach the Bard’s work. I tell them in the text to let the kids see and hear a play before you have them read the play’s text. Even better still, have the kids play the parts of the plays’ more entertaining and important scenes in the classroom instead of having them read the plays on their own.

IR: Is there anything you would like to share?

CAF: I think all writer should try to work together to foster more reading and acceptance and love of books and other kinds of writing formats from print to digital. We need all the readers we can get and it’s our responsibility to produce the best work we can write. And I also suggest all writers, new or old or in-between, get yourselves a private editor whom you can work with. Okay, I admit I’m also an editor besides being a long-time writer, but I have my own private editor who critiques my stuff before I send it out. She’s an annoying nitpicker, and that’s what you want in an editor. As I state on my business card: “Everybody wants to be a writer”—-”But everybody needs an editor.” Anything to improve our work before we send it out to editors/publishers who will eventually send it out to our readers, and we never want to disappoint them. Remember readers hate typos and confused syntax. So, don’t be in a hurry to submit your work, especially if it’s not ready to be seen, because that’s the sure sign of an amateur. Be professional—-always.

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I thank God every day that my southern Italian grandparents had the temerity and smarts to emigrate to America back in the early years of the twentieth century. Only in America is there true freedom to be the best that you can be.
I’ve always been a writer. My teaching, social-working, civil service professional positions were just on-the-job training for my real goal: published author. My novel of social commentary, SEARCHING, about a man who stopped being black, Negro, or colored, is now getting a second life as an e-book on Kindle. I’m an amateur historian as well with a creative nonfiction book for young adults titled YOUNG HEROES OF THE CIVIL WAR. My novels: THE BARRIER and LITTLE OSCAR(more social commentary), which grew out of my social-worker experiences are now available as e-books on the Kindle reader. My juvenile novel, THE SNAKESKIN, a lost-in-the-woods adventure story, grew out of my summers spent in the New Jersey Pine Barrens, and it is now available for download on the Kindle. My novel VENDETTA MOUNTAIN, a story of suspense, came out of my southern-Italian ancestry listening to the fascinating stories about the “old country.” is now available on the Kindle. My latest addition to the Kindle reader is my novella titled WHERE’S THE PARTY, which is about teachers on the loose at a seaside convention and doing “naughty” things. My coauthored nonfiction book, VOICES OF THE DAUGHTERS, is my homage and tribute to all Italian and Italian-American super women who helped the Italian immigrants and their issue to become a positive contributing part of America, yours truly included, despite the stigma of the Mafia. And I’m still writing, because there’s plenty of creative gas left in the tank. Hey, I’m a writer; it defines who I am.

Vendetta Mountain by Carmen Anthony Fiore

Vendetta Mountain by Carmen Anthony Fiore

Vendetta Mountain is about Donato “Donny” Belardo’s pilgrimage to southern Italy. He’s a “professional” Italian-American, if there ever was one. The trip was to be his dream vacation. He and his Irish-American wife, Cathleen, did the grand tour of the usual tourist sights in northern and central Italy and the Naples area. They toured the unique, sometimes odorous canal streets of Venice, gawked in awe at the breathtaking art in Florence’s many squares and palatial museums, enjoyed the shimmering beauty of Capri, that jewel of the Gulf of Naples, and the scenic Neopolitan coastline all the way south to Sorrento and Amalfi. But for Donny, his scheduled week in isolated Montenuovo, the ancestral hill town of his forefathers, located deep in the mountains of sparsely populated Basilicata, one of the many poor regions of southern Italy, was the real reason he had made the long flight across the Atlantic Ocean and northern Europe with Cathleen. Once in Montenuovo, Donny tries to immerse himself in its quaint, special ambiance. He wants to absorb its every detail with all of his senses, his mind, his heart, while recording it on film for the relatives back home to see. But when it finally becomes apparent to him, although sooner to his wife, that in the half-empty hill town there are those who want him dead, the trip sours for him. Why someone would want to kill him, he doesn’t have a clue. Soon, survival takes priority over sightseeing, and only violence can end the nightmare for Donny and Cathleen, while testing their character and fortitude to the fullest.