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Who Am I? 

For the indie author, this is a frequent and persistent question, especially at first. There isn’t a publisher to tell us, “you fit here and this is where we’re marketing you.” So we have to figure it out on or own, and it isn’t always easy. We end up going through this existential crisis of a sort; what did I just write, and where does it belong? Where do I belong as an author? Sometimes we get too caught up in worrying about where readers think we belong, and we get dragged down all sorts of dead end paths trying to market to every potential reader, in every dark corner of the universe. It can be exhausting, deplete our limited resources, and still get us nowhere.

And it’s no wonder we’re confused—some genres, like fantasy, are so huge it’s easy to get lost. When you search for fantasy books on Amazon, you get 739,684 returns! Who could possibly search through all of that for a new book to read? It’s completely overwhelming. Renee’s March 4th article talked about how the fantasy genre has now been split up into many different sub-genres, presenting both benefits and challenges for everyone. For the writer, it can make that existential question where do I belong even harder to answer, particularly if our work fits equally well into more than a couple of categories. But it can also help us finally settle in someplace—find a cozy corner to call home, where we can quietly build up a loyal fan base and gradually expand from there. It sure beats drifting around the book marketing universe like a hobo, holding out our collection cups to anyone who passes by, hoping for some reader to take pity on the poor indie author.

And that’s pretty much what we do as new, inexperienced authors. We chase after every new marketing gimmick, trying to imitate the top sellers without having any understanding of the huge amount of plodding groundwork it took to get them there. We try to copy the mechanics of their journey in the hopes it will take us along the exact same road, instead of going through that painful existential process of figuring out who we are, and forging our own path. We read all the author self-help books written by people who claim if you just follow steps A-Z you’ll become just as successful as they are. But no two authors are alike, and no two journeys are either. They might offer good advice, but we need to take it with the understanding that it will most likely work differently for us, and that’s OK. Eventually we all grow tired of chasing the wind and come to realize our biggest successes have come about when we’ve just been our truest selves.

It took me a few years, but I think I’m finally settling into my small corner of the indie book world. It’s actually pretty comfortable—not particularly flashy or high profile, but it suits me. Readers are finding me, and my book sales are slowly but steadily growing. When I first published in 2011, I couldn’t imagine the place I’m at right now. Humble as it is, it seemed so far out of reach. Since then I’ve had plenty of dreams to keep me working hard, and those dreams grow every day. I hope that in another 5 years, I’ll be able to look back and say, “I couldn’t imagine this place I’m in right now—and I’m so glad I’m here. What’s next?”



 
Fun Facts
In medieval towns and cities, citizens could be called on to form a night watch under the enforcement of a beadle or constable.

If a call went out to chase down a criminal, every resident of the town had to help or risk getting fined.

But if the fugitive being chased got to a church first, he could claim sanctuary for 40 days. Someone would have to stand watch outside the church day and night to make sure he didn't escape. Towns could be fined for criminals who got away.


Criminals had good incentive to escape though, as punishments could be very harsh. A thief caught in possession of stolen goods was hanged. 
Give Up the Ghost!

Ditched and betrayed, high school outcast Cass doesn't trust anyone except the spirits who haunt the halls. Using the secrets her ghostly friends dig up, she's determined to expose all the backstabbing between her fellow students.

Then the popular student council V.P. asks Cass for help, and she's surprised to discover he's not so bad—and he's in more trouble than anyone else suspects. Is it time to give the living another chance? 

Get this supernatural YA with a Mean Girls twist for free!

 

Good Writing isn't All About Grammar!

To keep your writing interesting, sentences should vary in length and rhythm. Change up your word choices and eliminate redundancies. If you feel like you’re using certain words and phrases too much, you probably are. Do a quick search in your word processing software to find out.

Don’t be afraid to expand your vocabulary, and remember that the thesaurus gives words of similar meaning.  Not every word it gives you will be interchangeable. If you are not sure about the nuances behind a word’s meaning, look it up in the dictionary before you use it.
Get inspired by Fantasy Art Wednesday, where fun fantasy artwork is combined with a writing prompt to get your creative juices flowing!

The sun has risen upon a cool, quiet morning. Ancient trees arch overhead, their roots bulging out of the ground as if the earth isn’t  enough to contain them. Their branches have almost finished shedding for the season, leaving behind a wet, papery blanket that clings to your feet as you shuffle along the path.

The smell of damp soil and decaying leaves tickles your nose, forcing your still-sleepy senses to awaken. Through the mist, your destination gradually comes into focus, and with it your mind does as well. The sight of the twisted iron gate brings on a rush of emotion. At least you’re not alone–someone else ahead of you on the path is making the journey with you. What awaits you on the other side?

"Automne" by PE Travers

Click the image below to grab some free books. There are lots to chose from!
Learn More About the Weekly Fantasy Fix Authors!
Joshua Robertson is a dark fantasy author who enjoys challenging the concept of good and evil.

His bestselling novel, Melkorka, is one of three books currently available in the Thrice Nine Legends saga. 

Click to learn more about Joshua...
Allison D. Reid is a Christian Fantasy author with a fondness for Medieval history.  Her first published series, the Wind Rider Chronicles, embraces traditional fantasy elements but is also infused with deeper spiritual themes. The first book, Journey to Aviad, is now free in ebook format everywhere.

Listen to a live interview with Allison!
Renee Scattergood writes Dark fantasy and is currently publishing a serial called, Shadow Stalker. She is also working on the first novel in her series, A God's Deception. The first novel in the series is due out late 2016 or early 2017.

Read more about Renee.
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