To start of this piece I wanted to fill you in on some of the books that I purchased today. As many of you know I love to read anything. I love to write pretty much anything, and I love to mix up my genres. I don’t think that you should ever be restricted to one genre of book, or one style of writing. There are so many new and old writers out there that I think you should try, and I'm always one for practising what I preach. That being said, here’s my list.
Today I purchased:
Walking Disaster- Jamie McGuire
Dead Witch Walking – Kim Harrison
The Legend of Buddy Hero – Adam Oster
Every one of these books sits in a different category, with a totally different style of writing, and I can’t wait to read them all. I've read most of Adams book when it was on authonomy and it was brilliant then, so I can only imagine what he has done to it since then.
It makes me go back to what I wrote on my guest post on Greyhart Press last week, over never restricting yourself to one genre of book, and giving others a chance. Traditional and non-traditional. If you don’t, how the hell will you ever find anything new to like?
Anyway, I'm rambling so over to Adam…
Six Reasons To Choose An Independent Author
As such, I've decided to give you all a few wonderful reasons to choose to read something written by an independent author, instead of one that's backed by the giant mega-corporation publishers. First, don't get me wrong, there's some fantastic books you will find put out by publishers like Harper-Collins, Random Penguin (or whatever they're calling themselves nowadays) and Hyperion. Fantastic books like The Hunger Games, The Harry Potter series, or whatever epic series you're into definitely deserve some credit. They deserve your money . . . and the movie deal. . . and the comic book deal. . . and the cook book deal. . . and the action figures. . . and. . . Okay, you get the point. But, it's a strong point to be made. These books infiltrate our popular culture. And, more importantly, these authors get paid.
Independent authors, meaning, those folks outside of the mainstream who either choose to publish themselves or go with a smaller publisher, don't.
So, here's some reasons why you should choose to spend some of your book money on the little guys the next time you're perusing the online book stores (seeing as many of these aren't available at places like Barnes and Noble or Books-A-Million, or whatever you folks have over there in the old country).
1. Earn Instant Hipster Cred
I don't know where the people on the other side of the pond sit in this current hipster trend, but here in the states, hipsters are everywhere. What do hipsters like to be able to do more than anything? Say this line, "Oh you like (insert artist name here)? I was totally into them before they became all mainstream and sold out." That's right. By choosing an independent author, you can drop a whole ton of names that no one has ever heard before and appear instantly trendy. Your friends will respond with some lie about how they have heard about the no-name author you list off and that they just hadn't gotten around to reading anything by them yet. And you become cool.
2. Support Art.
You may not be aware of this, but whether they are traditionally published, or going the route less travelled authors (as with many artists) don't make much money. The main difference between where you spend your money is that by buying a traditionally published book, you're usually just giving your money to a publisher (unless the author in question has already earned enough money to cover the advance they were given). When you buy independent, that money goes directly to the author, minus whatever fees imposed by distributors and whomever else is in the middle. You're supporting the artist and therefore ensuring that they will be more willing to produce even more new and cool stuff for your enjoyment.
3. Find An Author You Can Actually Talk To
Although mainstream authors are being forced to move the way of twitter and facebook and look like they are interacting with their audience, you'll find that more often or not, they have actually hired someone to be their online presence for them. When you're dealing with an independent author, you can rest assured that it is them behind the keyboard, hearing your thoughts about what worked and didn't work in their latest novel, and actually being interested in whatever theories you may have about who their main character may be sleeping with. You may find yourself playing an integral part in the creative process . . . and that's pretty damned cool.
4. Have Actual Input On What Stories Get Continued
Have you noticed how many books (and movies and whatever else) are now series? Everything seems to come in trilogies nowadays. Hell, Peter Jackson even decided to make The Hobbit into a trilogy of movies. . . Granted, Tolkien did have the habit of over-writing, so perhaps it's best that not everything got crammed into one 5 hour Peter Jackson epic (now with 30% more dinosaurs). Since you have an ability to have a direct conversation with your favourite independent authors, you can tell them which of their characters you would like to see more of. . . instead of having 15 books about sparkly vampires come out before the author decides they're ready to move on to gem-stone encrusted Frankenstein monsters. Authors are pretty self-conscious to begin with, if you tell them you'd like to see more Frankenstein, they'll listen.
5. Become The #1 Fan Of Something.
The phrase #1 fan is quite simply the most over-used and inaccurate phrase of all time. If you support an independent author, you could, quite possibly, be their actual #1 fan (or only fan. . . ) Just think of the resume building opportunities when you create the fan club and design all the buttons. It's pretty awesome.
6. Have A Cause
I have to admit that I only recently began reading books from independent authors. But one of my favourite things about finding these folks and befriending them is being their support system. I love being there and being able to tell my friends and family about this great new author I found. I love being on the front lines for these people and quite honestly being able to say that I want them to succeed. And when they do succeed, I feel that I've won something as well. It's a fantastic feeling.
Sure, some of these may appear to be rather silly, but that's part of the fun of supporting independent authors in general. You can get out of the stuffy-professional interactions where you receive form responses to your fan mail and get a response from an author who is literally jumping for joy with every e-mail they get (mostly because they hope it's someone offering them tons of money to make their book into a television series). These folks are truly interested in what the audience wants. Sure, they will be more free to express themselves artistically than those who have a board of editors deciding what book readers will like, sure they will be pouring their heart and soul into every word because they do it as an act of love, instead of a job, sure they will be honestly grateful with every sale of their book. That's the life of an artist. You rarely get to see that with the traditionally published folks, but you can always see it with the independents.
Thanks again to Claire for giving me the space to fill. I hope to be back again some day,
Other Contacts/Social Media Sites:
I’m barely social, but you can find me on authonomy at
Or, if you’d really like, I’m also on facebook at
Link to Amazon pages and or any other place that The Legend Of Buddy Hero can be purchased:
The US version is here: http://tinyurl.com/BuddyHeroUS
The UK version here: http://tinyurl.com/BuddyHeroUK
Where did you grow up?
I lived in Columbia, South Carolina until I was 13 and then moved to the much colder climate of Eau Claire, WI, which is where I still reside, and await the coming of Spring. . . seriously, it’s gotta get here soon, right?
When did you start writing?
I’ve been writing off and on for as long as I can remember.
When I was eight I decided I was going to write a full length novel, but got very disappointed when I finished it in two hand-written pages. . . Since then I’ve written many different things, between stuff for the stage, songs, films, and, of course, a couple of books.
What made you start writing?
I think it all came down to the fact that I just loved reading so much. As a kid, I would read anything I could get my hands on, no matter how horrible it was. I was such a voracious reader, that I couldn't stop myself. I remember in the third grade the school held a competition for who could read the most books during a set period of time.
My cousin and I were the only ones who did any reading, and she came to me and suggested we limit ourselves to 30 books, so we could both win. . . I couldn't stop at 30. Needless to say, we didn't talk for a number of years after that.
Is it something that you have always wanted to do?
Definitely. I love to tell stories.There’s just something about the creative process that is fantastic. In fact, I became something of a pathological liar in my younger years just because I really enjoyed coming up with fake details. I mean, these were just really dumb things, like how I had visited places that didn't exist.
What is your favourite genre to read, and do you have any favourite books or authors you would like to recommend?
I’ve always found myself drawn to science fiction. Something about the worlds that can be opened up due to the lack of limitations that science fiction has appeals to me. I mean, anything can fall under that heading, whether it’s a period piece that just so happens to have aliens, a futuristic piece about how robots have replaced our mothers, or a romance novel between a man and a piece of software.
When I was more of a faithful reader, I loved Michael Crichton. I really appreciated the amount of detail he would put into his stories, based on actual science. I mean, his later works actually included bibliographies to show how much truth it was based on. The actual stories themselves could get rather silly, but there was this hint of truth behind the words that made them that much more exciting.
For more contemporary literature, I've found myself opening up more. Some of my favourite (why did that auto-correct to have a U? silly English) authors today are ones no one has heard of. . . yet. I'm still working my way through Limerence, but it’s a story that seems so similar, but yet so far removed from anything I've seen on the market today. Another one of my favourites is a newly released book by independent author Ken Mooney, called Godhead. It has hints of items from books like Percy Jackson or Neil Gaiman’s American Gods, but gives it the flair that only a kid of the 90’s could do. There’s so much good stuff coming out right now I have a hard time limiting my praise. .. but I've already over-written this answer, so I’ll stop.
What about to write?
Both of my completed books (as well as my in progress novel) fall under the science fiction category, but that’s only a superficial label. I love to write about interesting characters. Although THE LEGEND OF BUDDY HERO may appear to be about one dude’s experience in becoming a super-hero, it’s really about the ensemble cast. There’s a whole team of superheroes, each with their own quirks that I think sets the story apart from most other similar books out there. My favourite character in the novel is named Zero who is quite obviously a rip-off of something you’d see in the old Adam West Batman. . . or The Tick.
It’s the same thing with my second novel (yet to be released) The Agora Files. I actually started with a very simple idea, which was very little more than, what if we had a story about a young Han Solo-type character was running from being captured. It’s a much more elaborate tale than that in its execution, but it really came down to the character development.
Do you write full time? If not, what do you do?
I wish. . . I work an office job, doing office things. I honestly have nothing of interest to write about it.
Do you ever base your characters on anyone that you know, or are they solely from your imagination?
My characters are generally an amalgamation of things, between pop culture icons, people I know, and pieces of myself. Buddy Hero is based on a version of myself from a few years back when I found myself sitting on a barstool way too often, but he’s also based on super-hero icons such as Superman and Spiderman, people who see an injustice and feel obligated to correct it.
About your book
Tell us about your latest book. The story/plot.
I’d be delighted. THE LEGEND OF BUDDY HERO is, quite simply, the story of a man who’s washed up. He used to be something, but now, all he has is those memories. Then he finds out those memories aren't even real. . . here’s the back cover detail:
Buddy Jackson is the world's greatest superhero. He just doesn't know it.
He's unemployed, a drunk, and has a tendency to go weeks without showering; yet Buddy Jackson may be the only person capable of saving the world from total destruction.
Once convinced to leave the comfort of his bar stool, Buddy battles tentacled bug-monsters, finds himself on the run from shadowy government officials, and teams up with a super-powered Mafia This adventure leads him to a final confrontation with his past self's arch nemesis, the evil minister who goes by the name of Dominion. He is hell-bent on destroying Buddy and the world which loved him. The last time this superhero and super-villain crossed paths, the entire course of history was forever changed.
Buddy is now left with two options, live up to the legend he supposedly created and once again don the bright-green spandex, or allow the damnation of all mankind.
What gave you the idea?
I have been working on this story for over a decade. It started initially as this film noir attempt at telling a super-hero story. The idea really just came from being put in a situation where I was asked to tell a super-hero story . . . and then I wanted to build on that world. The reality is much different from the initial idea, but there’s still pieces of it in there. And, I have plans to include many of the original story lines in the books to come.
What genre is it?
Science-Fiction, purely because of the fact that it has superheroes in it. I like to think of it as something of a coming-of-age/adventure novel. . . for 30 year old.
Who is your favourite character?
Zero Hamilton, hands down. The way he looks at the world is constantly amazing, even to me. I love writing his dialogue. He sees things in black and white, but there’s still some magic in the world for him.
A very close second is Alexa Rose. She’s a young speedster that, on the surface, has it all together, but we quickly see how much is broken underneath. I’m really excited to explore her character further in the future of the series.
Jeff Flores. I really hate even writing for this character. If he hadn't become such an integral part to the momentum of the series, I would have axed him long ago. . . but, I have needs for him, so he’s around.
What are your hopes for it?
Obviously I’d love to make enough money off of it to write full-time, but my real hopes for it are just that someone out there enjoys it enough to give me a real reason to keep writing.
I love telling these stories, so they’ll keep coming, but I’d hope someone digs it.
What’s the next project that you’re working on?
I've got two in the immediate pipeline. The Agora Files, a book about a dude who runs, is in the revision phase, hoping to be released in the next few months (like august). And I'm well under way on the sequel to THE LEGEND OF BUDDY HERO, currently titled THE RISE OF THE FAT MOGUL.
What’s the best piece of advice that you have been given in regards to your writing?
It was stated as part of the idea that a writer should write because they need to write, not because they hope for fame or money. It really helped shift my perspective from writing for someone else (such as publishers or agents) to just writing the story I wanted to tell. Before I was told this, I was willing to do anything to my book to get it out there. I even made THE LEGEND OF BUDDY HERO into a young adult novel for a short period of time. . . big mistake.
Thanks so much for giving me the time and space on your site. This is my first book-related interview. . . I enjoyed it much more than I thought I would.