Indie Spotlight is a feature in which I will be showcasing a different independently published author each week. If you are an independent author and would like to be featured, please contact me here.
Dom Watson exists in the deep green of Suffolk, England. When he isn’t writing about space-age detectives and hyper intelligent Neanderthals and pipe smoking babies he can be found at the nearest tavern enjoying ale. Or maybe, talking to magical tramps on the roadside. He is trying to give up caffeine but the brain won’t allow it. The brain is the boss and it needs the caffeine to bring out all the wonderful ideas that will change the world. Dom is just in it for the crack. Vents about mental health because no one else will. Will donate his body for medical research for ten minutes peace. Don’t sleep in the nude. The night is hungry.
A R Clinton writes epic, grimdark science fantasy (with an emphasis on the fantasy!). The first novel of her epic fantasy series, Song of Sundering, is available now, along with the prequel short story. She currently lives in Denver, Colorado with her husband, daughter, two puppies, and cat. Besides writing, she plays video games, powerlifts, enjoys the occasional Magic the Gathering game, and is currently binge watching through Netflix comedy specials.
John Gerard Fagan is a writer from Scotland and the author of the memoir Fish Town – a book about leaving everything behind for a new life in rural Japan. He writes in Scots, Scottish Gaelic, and English. For more information see Johngerardfagan.com and follow him on Twitter @JohnGerardFagan
After reading The Riftwar Saga by Raymond E. Feist and The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan as a teen, Nathan Hall just KNEW he had to be a writer. He started immediately on his first novel, which was terrible. Sometime later, he started on his next novel, which was less awful, and in late 2017 he started on what would eventually become An Altar on the Village Green, book one in The Chained God.
Taught to read at the age of three, words have been central to Marian Thorpe’s life for as long as she can remember. A novelist, poet, and essayist, Marian has several degrees, none of which are related to writing. After two careers as a research scientist and an educator, she retired from salaried work and returned to writing things that weren’t research papers or reports.
Sverrir Sigurdsson grew up in Iceland and graduated as an architect from Finland in 1966. He pursued an international career that took him to the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, and the U.S. His assignments focused on school construction and improving education in developing countries. He has worked for private companies as well as UNESCO and the World Bank. He is now retired and lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and coauthor, Veronica Li.
Remco van Straten and Angeline B. Adams have written about the arts, culture and folklore for a variety of publications, and their short stories have appeared in several anthologies, most recently Air and Nothingness Press’s The Wild Hunt. Their work is steeped in a shared love for folklore and history, and draws on elements of Angeline’s Northern Irish childhood and the northern Dutch coast where Remco grew up. Their first collection, The Red Man and Others, has now appeared in print.
Dawne Archer is lucky to be alive, having survived blood clots in her leg and lung, aged 26.
She vowed to live life to the full, and has indulged her curious nature in travel, as well as interviewing interesting people on the radio. Often roles are reversed, and she becomes the interviewee in her quest to raise awareness of thrombosis.
Trekking the Sahara Desert may have been a step too far in her fundraising for Thrombosis UK, but it was just the start.
Dawne tried her hand at writing, and her first book ‘Trekker Girl Morocco Bound’ is the result.
Liesbet Collaert’s articles and photos have been published internationally. Born in Belgium, she has been a nomad since 2003 and calls herself a world citizen. Liesbet loves travel, embraces diversity, and adores animals. She currently lives “on the road” in the Americas with her husband and rescue dog. Follow her current adventures at www.roamingabout.com.
Dede Montgomery is a 6th generation Oregonian with a deep connection to the land, and curiosity about life in early Oregon and the stories, good and bad, that lay there. During the day (except when she escapes to scribble new writing ideas), Dede is a certified industrial hygienist and works at Oregon Health & Science University in worker safety, health and well-being research and education. Dede lives with her husband in West Linn, Oregon where she is active with the West Linn Historical Society, and never tires of exploring the banks and ripples of the Willamette River and other natural areas.
Born and raised in Massachusetts, Peter Hartog has spent the second half of his life in the Deep South. Despite being an unapologetic damn Yankee, that hasn’t stopped him from appreciating mild winters, Southern hospitality, or SEC football.
Peter has been an insurance professional for too many decades, which means before smart phones and the internet. Yeah, he’s THAT old, but he still enjoys all manner of science fiction and fantasy media, MMOs, reading, playing tennis, cooking, musicals, cheering his beloved New England pro sports teams, and the occasional good cry. He’s been playing tabletop RPGs since the golden age of The Keep on the Borderlands (which he still owns and has been kept in pristine condition).
Jeffrey Speight’s love of fantasy goes back to an early childhood viewing of the cartoon version of The Hobbit, when he first met an unsuspecting halfling that would change Middle Earth forever. Finding his own adventuring party in middle school, Jeff became an avid Dungeons & Dragons player and found a passion for worldbuilding and character creation. While he went on to a successful career as an investor, stories grew in his mind until he could no longer keep them inside. So began his passion for writing. Today, he lives in Connecticut with his wife, three boys (his current adventuring party), three dogs, and a bearded dragon. He has a firmly held belief that elves are cool, but half-orcs are cooler. While he once preferred rangers, he nearly always plays a paladin at the gaming table.
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.
Darren Arthurs lives in the South West of England and writing is something that crept up on him, he had no idea he would have the patience or the depth of story to be able to write actual novels. He’s generally not that patient.
He squeezes writing into a busy life of working full time, having a family and everything that entails. He also listens to and reviews music, mostly from small labels but occasionally a band or artist will pop up that he has either reviewed before or has heard of.
Jamie Jackson likes to think she sprang into being fully grown, with books in both hands.
Alas, this is not how her life began.
It involved a very long, winding trail of school where she never paid attention to her teachers and probably should have. Somehow, she managed to graduate college with degrees in both English and Theater. She then fell into jobs that had absolutely nothing to do with either of those (other than the brief period of time where she got to work in wardrobe on traveling Broadway shows).
She got married, had kids and took a ten year hiatus from writing anything at all. But she never stopped reading.
And then, one day, she made a New Year’s resolution to sit down and actually finish a project.
It was fanfiction. But from there, she then went on to write a book, and that turned into an eight book series. Which she intends to publish in its entirety.
Since reading The Lord of the Rings at an early age, and later, the works of his favourite author, David Gemmell, Anthony Lavisher has been inspired to write his own stories.
When he is not forging tales and filling blank pages, Anthony spends his time working in his local library, reading, gaming and enjoying adventures of his own.
Anthony lives in Wales with his wife, Amy, and their cat, Mertle.
When not searching the backs of wardrobes for Narnia, the bottom of the garden for fairies or exploring yet another Castle, Estelle Grace Tudor can be found with her nose in a book or a pen in her hand.
Having previously worked at Cardiff Castle, she now writes full time while looking after her four children.
She lives on the beautiful South Wales coast in the UK with her husband, children and crazy dog.
Simon Michael Prior insists on inflicting all aspects of life on himself so that his readers can enjoy learning about his latest trip/experience/disaster/emotional breakdown (insert phrase of your choice).
During his extended adolescence, now over forty years long, he has lived on two boats and sunk one of them; sold houses, street signs, Indian food and paper bags for a living; visited almost fifty countries and lived in three; qualified as a scuba diving instructor; nearly killed himself learning to wakeboard; trained as a search and rescue skipper with the Coast Guard, and built his own house without the benefit of an instruction manual.
Gabrielle Gagne-Cyr, author of The Theurgy of the Gods series, is a French Canadian who studied Digital Video Production and Psychology at Concordia University in Montreal.
After working a few years as a counsellor at a youth centre, she somehow decided that writing on the sidelines would be as good a career (though her dream job would be sky pirate—a nice one obviously).
Brittany M. Willows is a bisexual/asexual author and digital artist living in rural Ontario, Canada. Inspired initially by video games and the stories they told, she began building her own fictional universes and has no plans of stopping any time soon. When she’s not writing about post-apocalyptic lands, wild magic, or people gallivanting through the stars, she can be found hunched over a tablet drawing the very same things.
Raina Nightingale has been writing high fantasy since she could read enough words to write stories with the words she could read. She loves dragons and magic and beautiful worlds, complete with mountains, storms, stars, forests, and volcanoes! She also loves compelling and realistic characters. DragonBirth is her first novel in her High Fantasy setting of Areaer.
Linda Rainier is a kooky introverted New Englander with a fervent love of history and literature. I fell in love with storytelling at a very young age and am always looking to connect with others who love to read. Wife to an incredible man and momma of two fur-babies and amateur photographer.
Sandra Kopp is an Idaho farm girl and voracious reader with a big imagination who decided to
become a serious writer in 2003. Her fascination with period homes led her to serve as a volunteer docent at the Pittock Mansion in Portland, OR and to help spearhead the restoration of the James A. Moore House in Pasco, WA after a 2001 fire left it heavily damaged and in danger of demolition. Ironically, this fire and the spirits rumored to haunt the house inspired her book, THE WINDWILDER HAUNTING.
Alex S. Bradshaw grew up in Kent in the UK and spent much of his childhood hiding (sometimes under tables) and reading a book.
He has always been a fan of epic stories (as well as dinosaurs and cake) so it came as no surprise to anyone that he went on to study Classics and Ancient History at university.
Now Alex works in publishing and has turned his hand to making epic stories of his own.
Dorian Hart is the author of the Heroes of Spira epic fantasy series. The fifth and final book in the series will likely be out in 2022.
Dorian graduated from Wesleyan University with a degree in creative writing. This led to a 20-year career as a video game designer, where he contributed to many award-winning titles including Thief, System Shock, System Shock 2, and BioShock.
James Allinson is a husband and father of two.
Initially a wannabe children’s author, James soon became sick of non-swearing heroes and the crushing restraints of morality and, driven by the maverick lack of focus that has dominated his entire life, stopped writing books for kids and instead started writing childish stuff for his own amusement. Fortuitously (for the world of literature although not necessarily his bank account), this resulted in the accidental birth of a hilarious – albeit apparently, unmarketable – comedic fantasy series about a poncho-wearing, vegan dragon named George.
Travel writer Jules Brown was born in Takoradi in Ghana, West Africa, and grew up in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire. He took his first solo trip around Europe when he was 17, and has been traveling and writing professionally for over 35 years, starting with a pioneering guidebook to Scandinavia. He continued to write guidebooks for Rough Guides for many years, and if you’ve ever been to Sweden, Norway, Spain, Portugal, Italy, the UK, USA, Hong Kong or New Zealand with a Rough Guide, he may have helped you out along the way. Unless that restaurant you went to had closed down; in that case, it wasn’t him.
Simon Van der Velde has worked variously as a barman, labourer, teacher, caterer and lawyer, as well as travelling throughout Europe and South America collecting characters and insights for his award-winning stories. Since completing a creative writing M.A. (with distinction) in 2010, Simon’s work has won and been shortlisted for numerous awards, establishing him as one of the UK’s foremost short-story writers.
Jonathan Nevair is a science fiction writer and, as Dr. Jonathan Wallis, an art historian and Professor of Art History at Moore College of Art & Design, Philadelphia. After two decades of academic teaching and publishing, he finally got up the nerve to write fiction. Jonathan grew up on Long Island, NY but now resides in southeast Pennsylvania with his wife and rambunctious mountain feist, Cricket.
Lyra Wolf is a Swiss-American author of fantasy and mythic fiction. Raised in Indiana, home to a billion corn mazes, she now lives in Central Florida, home to a billion mosquitoes. She enjoys drinking espresso, wandering through old city streets, and being tragically drawn to 18th century rogues.
When Lyra isn’t fulfilling the wishes of her overly demanding Chihuahua, you can find her writing about other worlds and the complicated people who live there.
Lyra has earned a B.A. in History and M.A. in English.
K.R.R. (Kyle Robert Redundant) Lockhaven used to love writing as a kid. Starting at about ten years old, he wrote about anything from dragons to sentient jellybeans. Somewhere along the line, he lost that love. But now as a firefighter, husband, and father of two sons, he found it again.
Sarah E. Glenn, a Jane-of-all-trades, loves mystery and horror stories, especially with a sidecar of humor. She is co-author of the Three Snowbirds novels, a cozy mystery series set in 1920s Florida, and also oversees the Strangely Funny anthology, an annual collection of comedic horror tales.
Evan Witmer is the sole writer and webmaster for oddfiction.com where he posts free short stories. At the end of each year he takes down the last ten stories he wrote and self-publishes them online; containing the ten stories within a surreal framing device.
He has a Masters of Bioengineering and does tech transfer for the University of Buffalo. Tall and quirky, he collects beer labels in his free time. He relates more to the works of MC Ride and Tarantino than to most modern authors. He’s trying to lose forty pounds.
Bjørn Larssen is a Norse heathen made in Poland, but mostly located in a Dutch suburb, except for his heart which he lost in Iceland. Born in 1977, he self-published his first graphic novel at the age of seven in a limited edition of one, following this achievement several decades later with his first book containing multiple sentences and winning awards he didn’t design himself.
Ailish Sinclair trained as a dancer and taught dance for many years, before working in schools to help children with special needs. A short stint as a housekeeper in a castle fired her already keen interest in untold stories of the past and she sat down to research and write.
She now lives beside a loch with her husband and two children where she still dances and writes and eats rather a lot of chocolate.
Susana Imaginário lives in Ireland with her husband and their extremely spoiled dog.
Her hobbies include reading, playing board games, hanging upside down, daydreaming around ancient ruins, talking to trees and being tired.
Her debut novel, Wyrd Gods, combines mythological fantasy with science fiction and psychology in a strange way.
Tom Williams used to write books for business. Now he writes historical novels and books about vampires that are generally described as fiction but which are often more realistic than the business books. The stories have given him an excuse to travel to Argentina, Egypt and Borneo and call it research.
Brenda Guiton is well travelled and has led a colourful life, providing her with a rich source of material for her writing. Her characters are drawn from the many interesting people she has met over the years. Her novels are in the suspense genre – her latest, Beneath the Poison Tree is set within her home town of Doncaster. Suspicion a cold-case mystery set in the nearby Yorkshire Dales.
Lisette Brodey was born and raised in the Philadelphia area. She spent ten years in New York City, and now resides in Los Angeles. In addition to her nine novels and one short story collection, two more of Lisette’s short stories are published in an anthology.
Dan Fitzgerald is a fantasy author living in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Washington, DC with his wife, twin boys, and two cats. When he is not writing, he might be gardening, taking photographs of nature, doing yoga, cooking, or listening to French music.
E.G. Radcliff is a part-time pooka and native of the Unseelie Court. She collects acorns, glass beads, and pretty rocks, and the crows outside her house know her as She Who Has Bread. Her fantasy novels are crafted in the dead of night after offering sacrifices of almonds and red wine to the writing-block deities.
Starwing is an author living in Finland, who was born and raised in Canada. Her debut novel, “Dreaming Your Dream” is dystopian science-fiction and is the first book in the “Machine Dreaming” series.
In addition to writing, Starwing also manages an indie record label and is a team member of the industrial rock band, The Fair Attempts. “Dreaming Your Dream” has a companion album called, “Dream Engine” by The Fair Attempts.
Independent author and Professional Artist, Alyson Sheldrake joined me this week and showcased some of her amazing paintings along with her books about life on the Algarve in Portugal.
Darby Harn stepped into the Indie Spotlight this week. His latest book Ever the Hero is a Sci-Fi superhero story with a female protagonist.
To round out the end of January I spoke with Dylan J. Morgan, author of horror, sci-fi and dystopian fiction.
Our first male author stepped into the Indie Spotlight on the 21st January: John F. Leonard, independent author of Horror stories that just might keep you awake at night.
The first Indie Spotlight of 2021 featured Gemma Lawrence, who writes historical fiction and occasionally dystopian fiction as G. Lawrence.
Annie Whitehead rounded off 2020 by entering the Indie Spotlight to talk about her experiences as an independently published author.
Valerie Poore joined me on Indie Spotlight to talk about all things indie publishing.
Terry Tyler joined me in the Indie Spotlight on 17th December to talk about life as an independent author.
It was the turn of Judith Arnopp to enter the Indie Spotlight and tell us about some of her historical fiction books.
In my first Indie Spotlight feature I welcomed Carol Hedges to the blog to ask her about life as an independent author and showcase some of her most recent books.