Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Writer Wednesday - Indie Author Spotlight

Starting today, my Writer Wednesday entries will have a different focus. I want to let other indie authors talk about their experiences in this "brave new world," as some have called it.
Today I am proud to introduce Pamela Kay Noble Brown.

I met Pamela Twitter several months ago and we have since become faithful tweethearts (loyal followers that retweet each other's posts.) Her writing journey is very similar to my own in that her venture into the publishing world also began as a result of a job layoff, But I'll let her tell you about that.

Thank you so much, Chicki for having me as a guest on your blog.

Like many other authors, my road to indie publishing came by way of what I thought at the time was a horrendous detour on the highway of life.  I have always been an avid reader from the time I was a small child.  My parents started my love of words and stories by buying me toys that were fun, but always had an educational bent.  I also remember them reading to me constantly.  And I don’t think a summer went by, up until the time I was 16 or 17, when they didn’t have me enrolled in the reading program at the local library.  I was always so proud to get the gold star on a certificate at the end of those summers, signifying that I’d read the required number of books.

My love affair with books came to an abrupt halt in college with its required reading lists.  There was just something about being forced to read certain books that turned me off immediately, not to mention the book reports and exams on those books.  As an adult, I look back on those days and know it was not the quality of the books but rather youthful rebellion on my part that fueled my aversion to those volumes.  Much to my surprise, from time to time I’ve come across books I avoided like the plague in school (“The Great Gatsby” for one) and have thoroughly enjoyed reading them on my on terms, in my own time frame.

Now back to my self-publishing journey.  In addition to being a voracious reader, I have always loved telling stories.  Even though I have written short stories and poems for years, I never explored getting an agent or trying to get my books published the traditional route.  I wasn’t afraid, but as odd as it may sound, it just never occurred to me to try traditional publishing.  I’d see all of these books in the bookstores and libraries and that whole world just seemed shrouded in mystery to me.  It seems funny now, but somehow I equated them with some of the stories you hear of actors getting discovered sitting in Schwab’s Drugstore and someone approaching them and saying they could make them a star.  I figured that someone happened to read the stories of any given author and begged them to publish with their company.  Having since read the biographies of many authors, I now realize the huge effort that many of them put in to making their success stories happen, i.e. queries, agents, and receiving numerous rejection letters before that big break came along.

My horrendous detour referenced earlier came in the form of being laid off my job last year.  Although I’d purchased books and other things from Amazon, I didn’t know self-publishing existed.  My friend, author Sharon Oliver, introduced me to the concept of being an indie author.  Pointing out that sometimes life’s detours can actually be roadways to an unexplored destination, she encouraged me to use the forced downtime to consider publishing some of my work.  I was astonished and pleased to learn that writers have an avenue to put their works out there and let the readers decide if they like them.

I published my first book Revelations in February 2011, the second book Handcuffs and a Pyramid of Satin in July 2011, and am currently editing my third book.  What has my journey been like?  Well, one surprise was that every self-publishing story isn’t a carbon copy of Amanda Hocking’s monetary success.  One author said self-publishing is a not a sprint, but a marathon, and I have come to agree. Another thing I definitely was not expecting was the amount of time that would have to be devoted to marketing/promoting my books.  In my naivety, I assumed that as an author I would devote all of my time to writing.  But I quickly learned that even the most prolific author in the world will have their books rot on the virtual shelves unless they get the word out.  People can’t read a book that they don’t know even exists. 

Being an author is also an opportunity for constant growth.  Almost daily I learn something new about formatting, promoting, and different software packages.  As I learn, I’m still struggling to find that somewhat elusive balance wherein my day job, family life, writing, and marketing all work together to be mutually beneficial.  Wish me luck. LOL!

I must note that with writing being such a competitive field, I was amazed at the giving nature of the self-published authors I’ve come to know.  Instead of scoffing at newbies, they readily take time out of their busy schedules to answer questions.  Indie authors are one of the most welcoming communities I’ve ever had the pleasure to be a part of.  There is a prevalent and abiding “pay it forward” spirit.  I can’t count the number of times a more seasoned author has stepped up to kindly point the way and saved me hours of frustration and anguish.

I’ll close by saying that I wouldn’t trade the self-publishing experience for anything. I enjoy writing stories that make people think, but most of all, stories that make the reader feel something and care for my characters. I encourage anyone who has a story to tell to take the plunge, because you never know whose life your story was meant to touch, motivate, or entertain.

Revelations (Christian Fiction/Family Drama/Inspirational)

Melanie has finally met the man of her dreams, but life is never easy for one who has suffered a lifetime of horrific loss. She was compelled to return to her hometown, sure that enough years had passed since the tragedy. But why does she keep having those same horrible nightmares? Was domestic abuse a curse that was passed on from one generation to the next with no escape?

And her boyfriend's mother Mrs. Harriet Cornelius seems to be a sweet person, but there's something about her that Melanie just can't put her finger on. A shameful family secret may just keep Melanie from becoming too deeply involved, yet she longs for the kind of life and love others have. Will she find a way to overcome her fears, or will she simply walk away?

Handcuffs and a Pyramid of Satin   (Christian Fiction/Suspense Thriller/Romance)

Everybody knows Kelly has a wonderful marriage.  So why is she so restless?  Determined to get that elusive spark back in her life, Kelly takes off to her birthplace of Frankfurt, Germany, for the adventure of a lifetime.  There she is befriended by the ever so charming David, who immediately appoints himself as her translator and tour guide.  Kelly is so totally in love with her husband, but finds herself wishing he were more like her new friend David.  But it isn't long before Kelly realizes that life is not always greener on the other side of the fence.  In fact, it can be downright deadly!

*Pamela Kay Noble Brown’s books are available on Kindle, Nook, and Smashwords.  You can follow her on Twitter, Facebook, and her Blog.


Natasha Blackthorne said...

Thank you for sharing your author's journey, I enjoyed reading it and learning more about you. I agree, I didn't read much fiction in college either. Too much required reading.

Pamelaknb said...

Thank you Natasha. It's really a fascinating journey we have embarked upon. And reading is so much more fun when we can choose what we read. The world of self-publishing has given us a whole lot more choices. :)