You probably know the back story to this if you’ve read me for any length of time: February 2011, I received a Kindle as a gift, and within two months, I discovered my first Indie Author: John Locke. I wrote Locke after reading two or three of his books to tell him how much I enjoyed them, and was pleasantly surprised when he actually returned the email, not with some form letter that’s automatically sent when you email the person in question, but with an actual real email. I had a Twitter account at the time, but hadn’t really done anything other than follow a few random friends, movie stars who’s work I truly enjoy, and a few musicians. I began following Locke not too long after I emailed him, and thus, my life would change forever.
It was either Russell Blake or Barry Crowther that followed me not too long after. After seeing that they (and by they, I mean either Russell or Barry) were authors, I checked out their book on amazon.com. It looked interesting, so I bought it, and about half an hour later, I was glued to my kindle. I then checked out which ever one I hadn’t checked out before on amazon.com, and oh wow, interesting book description, I think I’ll try their book as well! And again, glued to my kindle. After reviewing both their books, I formed friendships with both writers.
And so on and so forth. I’d be followed by, or I’d follow, an Indie Author, read their work, LOVE the incredible work that they had out on e-book or on their blogs and websites, write a review, let the author in question know how much I enjoyed their work, and the next thing you know? We’ve exchanged emails, I’ve asked them to look at my work and give me their opinion, and the best part of it, is I made some very excellent friendships.
The people on the list below are all friends, yes. But before they were friends? They were Authors I looked up to and admired due to their amazing, honest, and truly talented work. Now that I myself have jumped into the Indie Author arena, its a blessing to have them pushing me as well as pulling for me, and in a few cases, helping me with my work, whether as a beta reader, an editor (or two), or a whip cracker (or three… ouch!).
John Locke: The initial author that gave me a glimpse at how excellent Indie Authors truly are, Locke’s work has broken records repeatedly. I myself find his writing excellent, and BONUS: its comical and down right dirty sometimes. A girl enjoys a damn good read, and if you’re a girl like me? Sometimes you need a bit of comical filth to get your mind off diapers, laundry, and your own writing that’s still sitting there, staring at you on the screen saying, “write me already!” You can check out his books here and you can read his blog here
Russell Blake: Come on, you knew his name was going to be on this list. Russell Blake not only is hysterically funny with his tweets, his blog is excellent, not only dealing with writing, but with real issues that make you think, and it does not matter if he’s writing a parody, a heart-wrenching and heart-breaking memoir, or one of his 14 novels, he is one hell of an excellent writer. That’s right: 14 novels, which were put out in the space of 12 months. Can your favorite Indie Author do that? You can check out Blake’s books here and view his website here.
Melissa Craig: I knew of Melissa when I first interviewed her in March of 2012 on the TweepNation podcast, but I didn’t know her. After the podcast, I adored her. And after reading her book, Plentiful Package, I learned that even though I’m totally strait? Melissa knows how to get anyone going, guy or girl. I’ve had the good fortune to be a guest on her podcast twice, and each time, I laughed so hard my stomach muscles were sore. Her next book is due out within the next few weeks (Melissa, please correct me if I’m wrong on that one!), and I am dying to read it. Check out Melissa’s blog here and her amazon.com author’s page here
Claude Bouchard: Claude is the champion at final lines that make me say, “Whoa… holy shit! Sooooo did not see that one coming!” And with over 250,000 followers on twitter, the fact that Claude takes the time to read my work occasionally and give kind feedback, as well as taking the time to banter back and forth with me? It would give any reader a huge ego boost. Out of his seven books, I’ve enjoyed all seven, and am anxiously awaiting his next novel. Claude is also very grateful for his fans, which is obvious in his “The CeeBee Crew” club (I myself have been a very proud member since August 8, 2011), a page on his website solely dedicated to his readers that are the most supportive. He is also the reason why I can take five minutes and breathe occasionally, due to his excellent rendition of U2′s Desire, a you tube video that is very much loved by my 3.5 and 2 year old daughter and son. Check out his excellent work here and his excellent website here.
Justin Bog: One of the great loves, and great friends, of my life, I absolutely fell in love with Justin’s incredible writing last fall. Despite my incredible capacity for very filthy language, Justin is one of my greatest supporters, and I in return love his work and have no problem shouting from the roof tops how excellent he is. His first compilation, Sandcastle and Other Stories came out earlier this year, and I was one of the lucky few to get an early copy to read and review. If Sandcastle is any indication of what’s to come? You’re going to want to watch and read Justin from now on. Get his book here and read his blog here.
Jason McIntyre: Another writer very guilty of keeping me up way too late at night with his excellent talent for description and pulling the reader into the world he creates using only his words, Jason McIntyre is another favorite of mine. I have yet to be disappointed with anything he has published, and I enjoy his work so thoroughly, I’ve read it more than once. My two favorite McIntyre novels? Thalo Blue and The Gathering Storm. McIntyre is so talented, you can actually feel and smell the grass he writes about in his novels. You can get his books here and you can check out his website here.
Dionne Lister: My better half on both Facebook and our podcast TweepNation with Amber and Dionne, Dionne and I became friends after bantering back and forth on another author’s thread on Twitter last November. The first person to ever give me a review, she is also one of my dearest friends, and one of my favorite people, even though she’s rude enough to live a 22 hour plane trip away. She has scared me silly with her short fiction work, and I was thrilled when her first novel, Shadows of the Realm finally went live in April of this year. You can get her book here and you can get scared silly yourself here.
Scott Morgan: Another great friend and another huge supporter of me and my work, I read Scott’s Short Stack while waiting on doctors after a health issue kept my dad in the hospital over Christmas 2011. If you don’t read short stories, you’re missing out. With nothing but five-star reviews in the Amazon Kindle Store, Morgan is an Author worth his weight in gold. An editor, proof-reader, writer, and teacher, Scott is a man of many talents, as well as using his vast knowledge of the writing and publishing field to teach people via his website’s videos, his webinars and his workshops. I recently was lucky enough to attend a workshop he gave in the DFW area, and I can tell you, if you have a chance to see him speak? Go, you’ll definitely learn something. If you don’t get a chance to see him speak, head on over to his website, you’ll learn something. You can get Scott’s books here and you can see his website (along with webinar sign up and videos) here.
Barry Crowther: The man responsible for introducing me to David Peace and 1974 (as well as the subsequent novels), Barry is also the man who gave me the kick in the ass that helped me realize my dream of becoming a published author. After asking him to read some of my work, Barry told me to get the rest of it together, email it to him, and he’d help me format the book that would later on become “The Color of Dawn”. He may say it was all me? But he’s wrong; without his help, those poems would still be sitting in my computer, not being read. You can check out Barry’s own excellent work here as well as his website here.
and last but not least, my gorgeous twitter wife:
Charity Parkerson: Charity, Charity, ohhhhh Charity! A kick-ass author, Charity has won so many awards, it would take a blog post of it’s own to get them all listed. Suffice it to say, she is so incredible in her work that she keeps me up at night, and when I recommend her erotica novels and short stories to friends, I always tell them to make sure they pick up a pack of cigarettes as well, because they’re going to need a smoke post-read. As well as being an exceptional author, my Twitter Wife and a dear friend, Charity is also the head of her own publishing company, Punk & Sissy Publications. You can pick up Charity’s smokin’ novels and short stories here and you can check out her website here.
Wait, why are you still here reading me? I just listed 10 Indie Authors that kick-ass and are exceptional… Click Click Click!!! You’re missing out!
lots of love,