Sunday, July 31, 2011

Indie Author Steven R. Drennon Collection

Presenting Steven R. Drennon and his collected works.


Rise of the Raven” chronicles the efforts of the Mage of NorAmen as he struggles to free his master from the demon-haunted plains of the nether dimension where he has been exiled for over fourteen hundred years. Striving to prevent him are the five wizards of the Khand. The keepers of the sacred Watchstone, they have sworn to uphold the integrity of the barrier that separates the two worlds. In the midst of all this, a young boy becomes a man and discovers a great power that he never knew he possessed, but only time will tell if it will be enough to save his friends.

My latest fantasy novel, “Three for Avadar”, has now been published! I have finished up the final edits and it is now available on Amazon and Smashwords!
Below is the blurb from the new book:
A princess trying to find her way back home, while finding herself along the way.
A sorceress trying to retrieve a sacred crystal, secreted away by her father before he was murdered.
A warrior seeking to avenge the death of his family, sidelined by two very different, yet very attractive women.
Three separate travelers drawn together by chance, all destined for one place . . . Avadar!


Steven's poetry works are listed below.  Each collection comes from different stages in his life. 


It has been a honor getting to know Steven and his wonderful books of poetry.  These are books that can be read over and over again and discover something new each time.  Thank you for sharing.

This is part one of a series of interviews for my blog tour through Indie Writers Unite.  Look for the Support Indie Authors logo for further submissions.  Please support these authors, check out their blogs and purchase their books.  They are the best of the best.  /Sue Owen.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Indie Author Jeremy Bates presents!

The Pros and Cons of Traditional Publishers

Most authors would love to be published by a big New York or London publishing house, become a best-selling sensation, and have their book in bookstores and libraries all around the world. Doesn’t sound too bad, does it? So are there really any cons to traditional publishers?

First, a quick rundown of how traditional publishers work. You, the author, finish your manuscript, write a query letter, and send it off (sometimes with a synopsis and sample chapters) to an agent. If the agent likes it, he or she will send it off to an editor he has relations with (hopefully he’s not mailing it off blindly!) You wait. And wait some more. Wait long enough until you’re sure the editor has rejected it or fed it to his dog. But if you’re lucky—and talented, of course—the editor will pass it on to some of the other editors he works with. If all concerned are interested, the publishing house will buy the rights from you and pay an advance on future royalties (anywhere from $1000 to $10,000 for first-time authors). The house puts up the money to design and package the book, prints as many copies as it thinks will sell, markets the book, and finally distributes the finished product to the public. There are several advantages to taking this path to publication:
  • The prestige of being backed by Simon & Schuster, St. Martins, etc.
  • These guys are professionals at editing, printing, and distributing books.
  • Their books are more easily accepted by retailers, libraries, and other outlets.
  • Some marketing costs may be covered.
Again, sounds pretty good. But like most things in life, there is a flip side. Here are some cons in no particular order:
  • You need an agent to avoid the slush pile!

  • Lack of control over the process and the finished product. For instance, you might hate the cover but have no say to change it.
  • The rights of the book are held by the publisher, which can include digital, audio, etc.
  • If you don’t sell many books, you might be quickly forgotten and have a difficult time getting a second book signed, as publishers move on to the next big thing very quickly.
  • Royalties are only 6-12% of net sales.
  • And time. It takes 18-24 months (or longer) for a publisher to bring a book to market from contract to books in hand (I’m talking about fiction; non-fiction is often topical and can be rushed to press).
In conclusion, I write this article not because I’m advocating skipping the traditional route and becoming self-pubbed. But only to show that nothing is perfect, and that there are advantages and disadvantages to all forms of publishing.

Good luck with whatever avenue you take!

Thank you so much Jeremy for sharing this insight.  Catch Jeremy at his own blog at


This is part one of a series of interviews for my blog tour through Indie Writers Unite.  Look for the Support Indie Authors logo for further submissions.  Please support these authors, check out their blogs and purchase their books.  They are the best of the best.  /Sue Owen.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

How I got there

My book series, Chasing History is centered on the myths and legends of King Arthur and his round table.  It encompasses the legends of Excalibur, Guinevere and Lancelot and their romance and the great wizard Merlin and his role played during those times.  

The first book in the series, Wizard of Time, centers on Excalibur and the legend of the Lady of the Lake.  I first become enamored of this era with all the romance surrounding Arthur, Guinevere and Lancelot as well as Mordred, Morgan Le Fay and all the fables and tales that came from them.  As I tried to do some serious research into King Arthur specifically I was finding so many conflicting stories.  Many famous historians from that time period include Arthur Pendragon in their listings of Kings.  However, even to this day, I’m told that King Arthur and specifically Camelot didn’t exist. 

This allowed my imagination to run wild.  The stories of Excalibur too were varied.  Did Arthur Pendragon pull the sword from the stone to claim the kingship or did the Lady of the Lake give it to him, blessing it and his kingship or did both happen? 

I turned to Wikipedia, it being the utmost expert in history (tongue in cheek).  Keep in mind I didn’t want to prove one way or another for sure if Arthur, et al existed, I was looking for rumors so my research is a bit biased.  If you are interested in follow up on this era, here are a few names to consider.  Geoffrey of Monmouth’s c. 1136 Historia Regum Britanniae (The History of the Kings of Britain) states that Arthur pulled the sword from the stone, loses it and the Lady gives it back, blessing it. Gildas-de-Rhuys polemic De Excidio Britanniae (On the Ruin of Britain) from the 6th century doesn’t even mention King Arthur or his reign. 

In Merlin’s case, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court by Mark Twain states Merlin had no power but another famous poem (Merlin) by Robert de Boron labels Merlin a ‘shapeshifter.’  Mystery also surrounds Guinevere; did she or didn’t she marry Mordred?  The Vulgate Cycle from the early 13th century says no but Geoffrey of Monmouth’s Historia (mentioned above) says she did.  Both are reputed sources for history of that era. 

See why I was so fascinated?  Who says I can’t be right, too!

first published by Greg James on his blog G.R. Yeates 7/18/11

Monday, July 18, 2011

Untitled by Jackie Chanel

Originally Posted 7/17/11 by Paper Mustang

NOTE:  Every once in a while I'll be asked to do a special review for one or other of my Facebook/Blog communities.  I'm never disappointed in the book and this one was no exception.  On behalf of Indie Book Collective, I proudly present a special review of "Untitled by Jackie Chanel."
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Just like any industry, the world of music has its mysterious inside.  Only those that work in the music industry are privileged to know the ins and outs, ups and downs that accompany a music career.  The author takes the reader on a wild ride inside a musician’s rise to fame.  Like a roller coaster, the ride takes sharp turns and abrupt falls but Aiden keeps moving forward.  This story is one that is told over and over again so it would seem familiar.  However, Ms. Chanel has taken a completely different angle and made it a unique story again. 

Throughout this story I found myself alternatively hating and loving Aiden.  He makes some really stupid decisions and screws up his life hideously but you can’t help but root for him or slap him, I’m not sure which.  The author has done a wonderful job creating real-life characters for us to support.  As his friends weave in and out of his world, Aiden rearranges his relationships and completely changes himself so many times I almost lost track. 

I hated that one key ingredient Aiden needed to make better choices was missing in his life and when you read this book you will know what I mean.  There simply isn’t a replacement for this ingredient and I don’t think Aiden ever got over that.

In the end, I found this story very charming, fun to read and it gave me an insight into the music industry I didn’t know I needed.  This isn’t just another rise to fame story, it’s a life changing event that just happens to be focused in the music industry.  A definite must read. 

Review by Sue Owen

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Sue Owen interview by Jack Wallen

This interview went so well that I thought I would share it with you.  I've changed the name of the book and used my new cover but the original interview was done by Jack Wallen and published on his blog site Get Jack'd.  Be sure to follow Jack.  He's done some amazing stuff!

Get Jack’d is proud to publish it’s first indie author interview. The first honor belongs to Sue Owen, author of Wizard of Time and creator of Paper Mustang.

1. Describe your book, Wizard of Time, in one sentence.
Wizard of Time brings awareness that our actions, however minuscule, affect others and the world around us.
2. Describe your book, Wizard of Time, with one word.
3. What inspired Wizard of Time?
A dream.  I get most of my ideas from dreams.  When I was playing WoW (World of Warcraft, its a popular MMO game) I kept picturing my co-players in scenes from different eras.  Then I started having dreams about them in different eras.  Then I decided I wanted to do a quest book where someone had to go find something.  It just kinda morphed out of that.  I’ve always loved the Arthurian eras and when I was researching intending to head a completely different direction I found out that the history surrounding this era is so contradictory that why not pretend that someone is messing with time.  Was there an Arthur or wasn’t there?  Did he get the sword from the lake or the rock?  Who was Merlin exactly?  What is the truth behind Guenevere and Mordred or Lancelot?  I thought it might be fun to invent my own meaning to these events that could, or maybe didn’t happen.  Chasing History-The Sword’s Journey is book 1 of a 3 book series.
4. What makes Wizard of Time unique?
Wizard of Time is intended to get people to start thinking about what contributions they are making to their world.  If they do something now, how is that going to affect their future?  Tossing away a piece of garbage now very well may not affect tomorrow but what if it does?  What if that crucial piece of paper caused ripples through time and sometime in our way distant future it caused someone’s death?  Or birth?  I think it combines the science fiction of time travel (or is it?)  with the reality of history shaping events.
5. If you could be one character from your book, which one would you be and why?
I’m Meri.  Back to the MMO game, WoW … I always played a Mage which is a powerful spell caster but complete woose as far as hand-to-hand combat.  So when I created Meri she had the power of the Mage but also the ability to kick-batooty in hand-to-hand.
6. Why self-publish? What’s the story behind the journey to this route?
Two reasons, really.  One, I’m all about not giving my money away and two, I want a unique product that’s mine, not an agents.  I had always thought that traditional publishers and agents ‘marketed’ your books for you so you just sat back and reaped the rewards.  Not so anymore.  Now you not only pay an agent to rip apart your book causing you many many hours of rewrites to the point that the book isn’t even recognizable but you then pay the publisher to print your book while you still have to market it yourself!  Why bother?  I believe the agents are trying to make your book at marketable as possible but in doing that they are taking the uniqueness out of the product.  I don’t want someone to tell me that the animals in my book are useless…they add character and I love them.  I don’t want someone to say that Merlin would never be that way…it works for me and what I want to do.  So I went the Indie route and have created Paper Mustang to support and encourage Indie writers as much as possible.  Soon we will be adding other services at reduced rates specifically for Indie writers.
7. What do you love most about writing?
The ability to express myself and mold reality.  In every scene I create, every world I write I get to decide if the leaves are green or purple.  If I don’t want to stick to someone’s perception of reality, I don’t have to.  If you look at my other books coming out there are subtle changes from reality that fit my world view rather than the common beliefs.
8. What do you love least about writing?
The sitting in my chair hour after hour.  My desk chair is hard!  I need a laptop!!
9. You review books. What is your favorite genre of book to review and are you open for submissions?
I used to think that I had a favorite.  I love science fiction of any type which is why this first series is in that genre.  But I also love general fiction.  I used to think I loathed biographies but I have read some darn fine bios recently and am gaining an appreciation for them.  So not so much anymore.  I think my favorite is the one that I’m reading now, whichever that one is.
Paper Mustant is always open for submissions by Indie authors.  We have a form on our blog site to sign up.  I just need a .pdf or Nook version (Smashwords coupon is fine too) of your book, a .jpg of your cover and a link to your author’s web site.  I’m about 6 weeks out now on reviews but catching up fast!
A couple more things about reviewing that I’d like to say.  When I review a book, I do not skim it.  I read it.  I’ve found over the years that reviewers read more of the other reviews then they do the work they are supposedly giving an opinion on. Sloppy and unfair to readers and writers alike.  I never read reviews on the books I take on.  The opinions in my reviews are based on my experience reading the work, not someone else’d ideas.  Second, Indie writers have begun to gain a reputation for poor use of language, bad sentence structure, etc.  If this continues, the inroads that Indie writers have made to become the #1 way readers read will die out.  We have a unique opportunity with the popularity of e-readers to be as successful as physical books for readers.  However, if we don’t produce a quality product we won’t have that chance. Indie writers please read your work before you publish!
10. I’ve used prologues before. I’ve been told to never use prologues. I like prologues. What is your take on, you guessed it, prologues?
I’ve been told to not use prologues too.  But I kinda tend to do my own thing.  I don’t have any plans to use on in the future but that’s not to say I won’t.  If it fits with what I need to write, then I will.  I think they have a very necessary role and if used properly, they are an awesome writing tool.

Purchase Wizard of Time from Amazon.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Out With Old, In With New

After getting some great advice from a lot of friends, I decided to rework the cover of my book, The Sword's Journey.  Since I wasn't so lucky the first time I decided to hire someone that specializes in covers and found an amazing woman named Donna Casey (   I'm sure my name brings on head pains for her because we went back and forth with so many changes.  But the results are amazing.

During the process of re-analyzing the book and lack of sales, I also came to the conclusion the title was boring.  So I've rename it "Wizard of Time" which fits in so much better with the story being told. 

I'm going to continue to call the series Chasing History although I might refer to it as the "Time" series depending on how the second book comes together.

I feel like I need fanfare, bright lights and sparkles flying through the air, but at long last here, on my blog is revealed my new book cover and title.  Ladies and Gentlemen may I present Wizard of Time: