Today I am welcoming Darren Arthurs into the Indie Spotlight, over to you, Darren:
I live in the South West of England and writing is something that crept up on me, I had no idea I would have the patience or the depth of story to be able to write actual novels. I’m generally not that patient.
I describe myself as a hobbyist writer, I enjoy writing and I need an output for the ideas that I have that grow and grow until they are written down, but I’m not one of those people striving for a publishing deal, in fact it’s pretty rare that I submit work to editors or publishers. I think I’ve done it three times.
I squeeze writing into a busy life of working full time, having a family and everything that entails. I also listen to and review music, mostly from small labels but occasionally a band or artist will pop up that I have either reviewed before or I have heard of. So I write every day.
I’m quite low key on social media, I visit Twitter far too often and I find myself reading things more than posting stuff but I can be found here:
Hi Darren, welcome to my blog.
What made you decide to publish your books independently? What was your path to publication?
I was amazed how easy it was to self-publish, when I first started to write, I initially thought nobody would get to read anything I had written, but then I found there are thousands of self-published books out there.
I told some friends that I had written a book (Broken Umbrellas) and they asked, “where can I get a copy?” so it seemed the logical route to put it onto Amazon via KDP. I gave some friends early copies of the book, and they gave feedback on spelling mistakes, grammar issues and what have you, and then once I was happy, I designed a cover and loaded it onto KDP.
Printed paperbacks came a little later, I had to do research into doing that, but I think I sell more paperbacks than downloads.
I try to keep everything as cheap as possible, I would love it if people took a chance on one of my books based on it’s price and loved it. It is more important to me that people read my books rather than I end up sitting on a pile of money.
What made you decide to write in your specific genre rather than other genres? Have you ever written in other genres?
Broken Umbrellas is a story that I struggle to describe to people, it’s essentially a story about a young boy wanting to escape a terrible homelife and one day deciding to leave. It’s funny, heart-wrenching and hopeful, but it’s not a genre I have stayed in. My first two novels are centred around the story rather than a specific genre and I like the freedom that self-publishing gives, I can flit from horror to romance and then sci-fi with no real worries of offending a fan base. So far my genres are domestic fiction, weird fiction, crime/comedy and, my latest release was a fantasy book in the style of Lord of The Rings. So I make use of that freedom.
Do you only read the genre that you write?
No. I think I would grow bored of reading just one genre, my preferred genre is probably crime but I like to pick up a book without much knowledge of the story and give it a go. I also like to dip into the catalogue of classics, things like Les Miserable, Of Mice and Men, To Kill a Mockingbird, so my choice of genre is often decided by mood. I also read other indie writers when a story piques my interest.
What are you currently reading? Watching on TV? Is there a type of music you listen to for inspiration?
My current book of choice is a Tess Gerritsen called Girl Missing (apparently it was originally published as Peggy Sue Got Murdered), my aunt put me onto Gerritsen, the novels are gory and very medically detailed – she was a doctor before becoming an author – and it’s right up my street.
I don’t watch much TV, I’m a sucker for documentaries, particularly ones on art or jazz music, but I’m a fan of The Good Doctor, we’re making our way through the third series and we’re hooked.
I tend to write in silence, I may listen to some Blue Note era jazz because I can let it play in the background and I prefer instrumental over vocal jazz so words don’t distract me.
Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
In my experience of being around creative people, there seems to be those who have great ideas but lack the skills to produce them, and those who can do the polishing but lack the great ideas. I think if you have the great idea, you will find someone to help make it shiny and brilliant (editors of course) so keep chipping away at the ideas and write, write, write because writing is like anything, the more you do, the better you get.
Oh, and read lots. It’s fuel.
What are you working on right now and what can we look forward to seeing from you next?
Right now I’m working on a short novella, it’s darker than anything I have ever written and will be gruesome and, hopefully, will blur the lines between good and bad. The title is a gob-stopping ‘Flat-Pack Construction and the Art of Body Disposal’, I like this title, it’s quirky and strange. A little like the story.
I write my fair share of short stories, they rarely get sent off for submission because they are often too long for a traditional short story, and too short for a novella so I’m toying with the idea of some kind of anthology of everything I’ve written that doesn’t fit nicely into a specific box.
I like the idea of a prequel to my fantasy story, The Ceramic Dolls, I gave characters a back story that I would like to explore more.
And my crime/comedy double, DeLuca, needs a third book, so that is definitely in the pipeline.
I like the title Flat-Pack Construction and the Art of Body Disposal as well! It is definitely intriguing. I wish you every success with your books and future projects! Thank you for visiting me on my blog today, Darren!
Meet Toby. Toby is a seven-year-old boy living in foster care and at his ‘forever home’ with a loving mother and father. He spends his time exploring his home and garden, watching his favourite television show and learning about the great outdoors. When life at home changes with the introduction of his mum’s new boyfriend, Dean, Toby knows he needs to find a safe place to live. Armed with a map and compass, a four-wheeled wagon and accompanied by his toy rabbit Harold, he prepares to make a journey of his own where he will sleep under the stars, find food and put his survival knowledge to the test.
Broken Umbrellas is a funny, moving and uplifting story of one child’s decision to make his life a little better.
One Thirty Seven
A bicycle crash has left coffee shop owner Miles with a new perspective on life. He’s struggling to find the motivation to run his coffee shop, he’s separated himself from his friends and family, and he spends his time talking to a ginger cat called Meredith. He knows he needs to return to his normal life but something seems to be stopping him, could it be a side effect from the brain injury he suffered? Could it be the feeling that he never lived up to his father’s expectations? Could it be his obsession with his older sister’s love life? Or, is it, that for some reason, the cat he speaks to talks back?
He finds himself on the upward curve, slowly putting his life back together, when he’s woken at the same time every night by a marching band of small people walking past his window…
One Thirty-Seven is an unforgettable, intriguing story which will make you laugh, make you scratch your head and make you wonder what is true and what is not.
Breanna DeLuca is a wise-cracking, streetwise woman whose mundane life of delivering groceries and dreaming of becoming an international DJ is interrupted when she’s asked to find her old childhood friend who mysteriously disappeared a few months before.
What should be an easy payday turns out to be something more complicated than she had ever imagined where she will find herself mixing with drug lords, European criminals, gym owners, car salesmen and a dangerous gangster with his own reason for finding the missing woman…
DeLuca is a character you’ll immediately love and find yourself rooting for in this funny story of lost friendships and family connections.
DeLuca Finds A Man
Breanna DeLuca is back!
Just when Breanna thought she was about to return to her quiet existence, she finds herself in possession of something that some of Europe’s most powerful criminals are after – and they don’t care who gets in the way…
Why are people turning up dead?
Who is the dangerous hitman on Breanna’s tail?
Why is Sukier doing community service?
Will Pavek ever cheer up?
And how come Breanna’s mum is on a dating website?
Welcome back to the world of Breanna DeLuca.
The Ceramic Dolls
The King is dying and there are many eyes watching the throne.
Chief among these is the young prince, Sever, the king’s own brother, the evil Lord Hesk and those from the holy order of The Hall who wish to unite the clans and follow one religion.
But none can claim the crown until they have in their possession two ancient Ceramic Dolls.
So begins a race across the kingdom where the dangers are many and the promise of power will tempt even the most loyal.
The Ceramic Dolls is a tale of fantasy. A story of power, corruption, politics and action.
Who is next on Indie Spotlight?
L.A. Wasielewski is a gamer, nerd, baseball fan (even though the Brewers make it very difficult sometimes), and mom. When she’s not writing, she’s blasting feral ghouls and super mutants in the wastelands, baking and cooking, and generally being a smart-ass. She’s very proud of the fact that she has survived several years with two drum kits in the house—and still has most of her hearing intact.