BookRix Author Sells 4000+ eBooks: An Interview with Tajell Robin Black

BookRix Bestselling Author!

Three weeks ago, we shared the interview with author Elvira Zeißler (click HERE to read the interview), the first BookRix author to sell over 5000 eBooks. Today, we’re sharing the next runner up – German Fantasy writer, Tajell Robin Black (user jadefaye), author of the Dark Fantasy series – Shadow Jewel (Schattenjuwel). Tajell has sold over 4000 eBooks and the numbers are sure to keep going up and up, especially because the next part of the series is currently in the making.

Her first book, Shadow Jewel: The Heart of Elowia, published in February 2012, has sold 3340 copies so far and the numbers are still rising! The second book in the series, Shadow Jewel II: The Heart of Elowia Weeps , published in December 2012, sold 803 copies in the first 3 months! Aside from the series, her book, The Darkness in His Heart, published in August 2012, has sold 135 copies.

Here is the humorous and informative interview by the BookRix German Team conducted with Tajell back in May, 2012, translated just for you (by RebeckDawn):

Success is relative. For me it’s been a great success just to have Shadow Jewel published. And if my books are successful, I owe everything to my readers, the Bookrix Team, and the love from the entire community.

Hello JadeFaye,

Thank your letting the community ask these questions!

1. How long have you been writing – can you remember the first book you ever wrote?
I will always remember my first time. When I was 9 years old, everything started when I wrote a short story about a stocky firefighter who was unable to save a child and his guilt causes him to break down. My teacher covered the story in red felt-tip pen markings and wrote underneath: Too long. Off Topic! And then I didn’t even get a smiley sticker like all the other kids did. That was a very dramatic moment for me.
But my first real book, if one may call it that, I wrote when I was only 14. At the time I was addicted to the vampire books by Anne Rice, and so I wrote a book about a gay vampire. The novel was totally crammed with eroticism – things like that just happen when girls in puberty write books. Now, even calling it a “novel” is absolutely embarrassing.

2. Is Shadow Jewel your first novel?
Shadow Jewel is my first published novel. Guaranteed porn free (laughing).

3. How did you come up with the idea about the stones/jewels?
I saw a film about the so-called “blood diamonds”. They are diamonds that are mined illegally, and when they’re sold it finances wars and warlords. So I actually got the idea for the jewels from a real (and very sad) story.

4. Are any of the characters modeled after “real” people?
No, I hope not, and if so, I wouldn’t admit it :) . But I did use my best friend’s name in the book – as a small tribute to our friendship.
In the second part, however, there are characters named after my fellow writers Jennifer Hunter and Andreas Fischer. Let’s see how they both do on Elowia.
It’s fun to name characters after people I know because if they do something I don’t like in real life, I can quickly rewrite their roles, and suddenly they’re nasty, ugly trolls. Hahaha – I have the power!

5. If you could actually go to Elowia and be any character from your book, who would you be– or do you see yourself mirrored to some extent in the main character, Lilith?
Oh, my God. I would definitely be Lilith. Ne is a hysterical b****. My heart really relates to the warrior, Baia, but if I could be any character, I would like to be the prince of demons.

6. How many books will there be in the Shadow Jewel series?
There are probably only two parts: Shadow Jewel II: The Heart of Elowia Weeps and Shadow Jewel: The Heart of Elowia.

*Since she answered these interview questions, she has published the second book in the series and is now working on part three – Shadow Jewel: The Heart of Elowia Awakens.

7. Did you expect this much success? How do you explain it?
Success is relative. For me it’s been a great success just to have Shadow Jewel published. And if my books are successful, I owe everything to my readers, the Bookrix Team, and the love from the entire community.

8. Shadow Jewel has such a beautiful cover – who designed the cover for you?
The cover art is a painting I made. Actually, I was really not in the mood to make myself a cover that night, and wasn’t feeling very creative, but suddenly there it was.
Since I’m often asked: It’s not Lilith, but Alrruna who is on the cover. (To see the cover, click HERE)

9. Tajell Robin Black is a pen name – where does the charming name Tajell come from?
Yes, it’s a pen name, at least partially. It also includes my real name. Tajell, by the way, comes from an absolutely unromantic place – a fantasy name generator. I only used the generator for my name and not for the names in my book. All the names have some kind of real meaning, like Alrruna. The Alruna are those who know the secret of the fairies / elves. Another example is Persuar, which is a variation of the Latin verb “persuadere” which means “to persuade or convince”. And Persuars gem can indeed be quite convincing.

10. You are very active on the internet, especially in regards to the promotions for Shadow Jewel – There’s a Facebook page, audio samples on Youtube, and you have even distributed reading samples on public transit. Do you have tips for other BX authors regarding such self-initiated marketing action?
Tips? Well, it all comes with time; lots and lots of time and patience. For an audio book, that’s only about 15 minutes long, I need about an hour to make it. I made that sample on Youtube with only one single purpose: Torment the audience with my voice until they buy the book rather than continue listening to me.

11. How did you find out about BookRix?
That was totally random. I had already signed up a few months earlier and then I saw the 2012 Ad, the one that said you could also publish your BookRix book as an e-book. I had absolutely no idea about things like ISBN, converting ePubs, etc., but BookRix helped with everything. That’s how I finally decided on BookRix.

12. Will you publish other titles with BookRix?
I think so, because until now everything has gone really well. Why would I want to change that?

13. How satisfied are you with BookRix?
Well, I can’t complain about the speed of publication and distribution. Three days after my book was published, it was available in all the major online stores. Moreover, Bookrix supported me with their Facebook / Twitter services.

14. Is there a specific book on BookRix that impressed you? If so, which one and why?
Wow, that would be unfair if I named just one here right now. There really are many wonderful books here. Many books I’ve read are by very young and talented writers and I was really impressed by them. I think we’ll be hearing from a lot of them in the near future!

15. Are you working on anything else aside from the Shadow Jewel series?
Yes, I’m still working on my urban fantasy book The Darkness in His Heart, about Kelpie, a water demon, who feeds on the souls of the people he drowns.

*Since this interview was first published, she has released The Darkness in His Heart and it’s available in all the eBooks stores.)

16. Do you write better during the day or at night?
I am a total night person, but because I have a job, I’m often found writing on my lunch break.
(Dear Boss, if you read this, I distance myself from my previous statement. Of course I spend my lunch break working hard!)

17. Is there a ritual you performing before writing – something that helps inspire you?
I listen to sad music. If I’m too happy, I can’t write because then I’ll want to be doing other things, like sitting outside in the sun and eating ice cream.

18. What do you hope to get from your writing?

19. What inspires you?
The music groups Janus and ASP, and of course anime. There’s no other genre quite like anime – it creates such clear illustrations of the conflicts and pitfalls of humanity. I’m not talking about the ones shown here in Germany, but of the ones that run only in Japan and have real depth. Unfortunately, German anime is miles behind.

20. Do you only read fantasy or other genres as well?
I read fantasy almost exclusively. Other genres just do not interest me. I need the magical, unrealistic feeling that opens up the imagination.
Besides fantasy I read, only as a contrast, “non-fiction” books, such as Eating Animals (you can only read this if you’re really, really brave, because this book is really cruel and intense) or The Anatomy of Human Destructiveness (it’s a great book despite its pseudo-intellectual title).

21. Are there other books or authors that have inspired you?
The author, Anne Rice, inspired me before she started writing Christian novels. And my big role model when I was young was Rafik Shami. To this day I can still remember his book The Honest Liar.

22. You’re currently busy working on the second part of Shadow Jewel that will be released in autumn 2012. Do you still have time for your own reading, or are you focusing only on your writing?
Currently, I’m not reading very much because when I do read, I end up focusing on the writing style instead of the storyline. Reading then becomes more like a writing lesson, with me saying “Ah cool, so that’s how (author) writes adventure scenes”. After 20 minutes of reading, although I haven’t been following the plot, at least I’ll have 20 full pages of text examples for good writing to learn from.
Because I want to keep my own style, I have thrown all my favorite literature out of the bedroom.

23. What would be a perfect day, in your opinion?
Dream, dream and dream again…

24. Do you have another passion aside from writing?
Just in case anyone hasn’t already picked up on this, I’ll mention it again: Anime. And then of course, I have my drawing, and my little dog, Akimo, who has accompanied me faithfully through the last 6 years of my life.

25. Finally: Do you have anything important that you want to say to your readers?
Tajell loves you :) . Sorry folks, unfortunately I don’t have anything of real instructive value to share with you.
Except, of course: Thank you, Thank you, Thank you to all my readers who support me so much! You’re the best!

Thank you for taking the time to answer these questions for your fans!

Stay tuned for more interviews with BookRix Bestselling Authors!

“Evol” Blog Tour Giveaway Winners!

And the winner is…

We finally received the winning names for the Evol blog tour big BookRix Giveaway! BookRix and Jess Wygle would really like to thank everyone who followed the tour, bought the book, and made this tour such a success! A special thanks to all the bloggers and Reading Addiction Blog Tours.

WINNERS (you will receive an email from Jess Wygle):

$100 Amazon Gift Card – Kathryn Romeo

BookRix Sampler – Tammy Mowrer

2 eBooks by Jess Wygle – Christine Dawson

Evol T-Shirt – Alex VanDeusen

Congratulations and happy reading!

Our next tour will be starting on April 8th and will be promoting The Crystal Palace Chronicles by Noemi Betancourt. Part One: Heroes and Hearts will be available in the eBook stores next week and Part Two will be released at the end of the tour! There will be lost of great reviews, interviews, guest posts, and of course, GIVEAWAYS! So come back and check out the tour schedule in April!

Heroes and Hearts by Noemi Betancourt
A Romance/Fantasy Adventure

Isabel Kendra is no stranger to a life of struggle. When her father disappeared years ago she and her mother had to fend for themselves. Even now as a chef experiencing burn out on the job, she does what is necessary to pay her bills while dodging her mother’s attempts to find her a man. She is more than capable of taking care of herself and neither wants or needs some man to do it for her.

When Isabel comes home one day to find her house turned upside down she discovers her life is about to follow suit in this tale of swords and sorcery, love and prejudice. Prince Alaric is dashing, handsome and brave, everything a prince should be. He is also no stranger to the female form, yet when he meets the bold and vivacious Isabel, rather than be put off by her lack of docility he finds himself drawn to her allure in a way that he simply cannot understand.

Together the two must thwart the evil forces that threaten their lives and their worlds, while struggling against their own blistering attraction for each other. Can Isabel balance her aversion to the prince’s habit of coming to her rescue with the realization that sometimes it is all right to accept help from a man? And can Alaric handle himself around a damsel who gets herself out of her own distress and learn to be simply the man who loves her?

A Kevin Review: Inside the monsters of “Evol”

Evol by Jess Wygle just finished its month long book blog tour (thanks to Reading Addiction Blog Tours).  Before we announce the winner of the BookRix Giveaway ($100 Amazon gift card, an Evol t-shirt and a BookRix Sampler pack of eBooks), there is one last thing that we need to do: A Kevin Review.

Evol is completely entertaining, a very well written, exciting, interesting story and I recommend it to everyone.

I thought I knew more or less what to expect from Ms. Wygle having read and reviewed Keep It Safe which I enjoyed very much. I was unprepared for what I encountered in Evol though. Apples and oranges. First, Keep It Safe is very short comparatively and while it’s kind of the same voice, this is clearly another level and another trip altogether. Seems while I was off busy with other stuff JW was off “wood-shedding” i.e. honing her craft. One has to wonder if she’s been signing papers down at the cross-roads (kidding). Chills and thrills are just the least of it! Holy…Okay, Uh…Evol is completely entertaining, a very well written, exciting, interesting story and I recommend it to everyone. It is also however, a very disturbing story upon which I will comment in a minute.

Story: Precocious young woman of 24, living the life she loves, acting, singing, practicing almost to the point of excess, diligently gathering and perfecting the tools of artistic interpretation like a hunter in sober, thoughtful consideration. (Completely different than Parker from Keep It Safe.) Working hard and keeping up with the required good living to sustain it; the love and company of family and friends, good food and drink. Working in a small theater in West London. Awaiting next week’s debut of a musical in which she’ll mark the fulfillment of one of her career objectives, the portrayal and her interpretation of Christine Daae in The Phantom Of The Opera musical. A role she’d been waiting years for, scored. In love and engaged to be married. It’s a good time to be Venna, the world is her oyster.

With Luke, her fiance, who was recently promoted from sous chef to head chef at a restaurant, busy with the selection and training of his replacement, he drives her to her parents’ house to say good-bye and to have some alone chill time at the house while they go off to her father’s retirement (from the US Marines) dinner with the President and his family in the USA…(One can only wonder what kind of infamy Dad is actually retiring from?) One of the underlined items on mom’s packing list was to pull out the guilt-tripping and brow-beating stops to get Venna on-board to forego her Phantom opening and go along with them. Fat chance. Nope. Dad supports her choice on it too. She’s definitely Daddy’s Girl, but there’s such a nice, sweet mother-daughter relationship there…and the birds were singing…this happens.

One thing especially noteworthy (for me anyway) is how Venna didn’t cave-in or surrender her principles for a second and in the end even sought refuge in the knowledge that as painful as it was to endure, that it would most certainly end, eventually.

The dialogue about whether she should get pregnant before or after the wedding and Luke’s “thoughts” about it is just hilarious. Ah yes!, “Instincts win out” Hahaha! (Our species will survive despite this kind of eloquent blunders, I say. Barring some other catastrophe like…accidental self-annihilation by the military…) Then Venna’s well considered retort; “You make a valid and awfully convincing point. But we need to wait. It’s only a few more months. I promise.” Hah! An “old school” upbringing. There’s no lack of this stuff in her writing now and it really takes you right there. A good tight, colorful yarn, full blown. The banter, like that with mom over her priorities regarding the trip, the typical homey stuff and the attention to the accouterments of “home”, comfort and things we always notice but don’t always have time to bring up in the moment; the waft of flavors on the air upon walking right in through the unlocked front door of the house that “..was and would always be her home”, the music Dad’s listening to while writing out whatever secret military report he’s typing, dating him (his age) and shining up his ex-pat buttons (or medals). Jim Croce?! 70s.

There are so many items and characters I enjoyed in the book I’d like to make mention of but let’s face it, it’s not a short book so I’ll move on to the aforementioned thread.

Now. She’s been in the same theater regularly for 12 years, and met Merrick when she started. Ironically, hers was the dissenting voice among the people there concerning the strange behavior of the seemingly autistic, unofficial stage manager/set-builder/handyman who creeps out most people including her fiancé and her best friend. Merrick. Not a small or weak looking “chap” and easy on the eyes apparently, yet, he was still an easy target for cheap jabs (envy?) with his non-existent social skills and what seemed like a fear of looking people in the eyes. Still, Venna always felt that somewhere deep in there was a someone unworthy of such disdain and ridicule. Well, there’s always at least half a point in intuition.

In the time it took for Merrick to finally bring his plan to life and fulfill his…intentions that morning, we find Venna’s perceptions are drugged away in a blend being first lost and then found. The perceptions of the experience where she finds herself omitted.

We find consciousness safely on the other side of harms way after Venna’s been found. Once again we’re spared the details of what really happened before the fast-forward and held, captive, as the truth and girth of the insanity and the madness trickles in kernels of cautious recollection and conclusions…to summations. I loved it! After first feeling I’d been taken advantage of and forced to wait (not unlike Luke) ;D ..or when I’d felt l’d achieved a something like a complete idea of what had happened, I remembered wondering how one could possibly lay out all of that in “a session” anyway. It’s probably a very human tendency to want to somehow disassociate from such a nightmare too, however impossible it might be and Venna’s reluctance to discuss what really happened; what he’d most certainly done to her, with anyone as well. Of course, how easily can one explain how another human could be responsible for such terror. For one unfamiliar with the atrocities of war, it’s a lot of info to process.

One thing especially noteworthy (for me anyway) is how Venna didn’t cave-in or surrender her principles for a second and in the end even sought refuge in the knowledge that as painful as it was to endure, that it would most certainly end, eventually. Kind of a superhero of a character frankly, enduring such torture with the kind of resolve usually reserved for righteous, underdog patriots spitting victory, knowing they won’t live to regret refusing the opportunity to traitorously cave-in to their captors. Inspiring awe, admiration and respect from every normal person privy to an inkling of it. Especially in Lane.

Because I’m an American I know I’m predisposed (via societal conditioning) to receiving admonishments of the necessity to fear and mistrust and to expect ruin should I fail to heed xenophobic warnings of foreign entities promising unprovoked and senseless violence upon everything I hold dear and how such fiends should be (as they often are) isolated and “put-down” like the mad, rabid dogs they are. What other experience can perfect a mind-set capable of creating this kind of psychological terror as a means of reasoning and negotiation than the dehumanization necessary for war? That in the quest to understand the hows and whys of her ordeal, Venna has come to see through to the “other side”, where the madness makes a certain kind of sense; that he merely wants what poor, “…depraved on account of he’s deprived…” lunatics like Merrick see glimpses of but never participate in. The training received. Their history. You are what you eat.

The loving imprisonment and violence meted out for her own good, which is implicitly “the greater good” with sweet words of endearment, the promises of the end of the pain….amazing stuff. It is almost too believable.

The visceral accumulation of the facts of torture and the effects left behind have in Evol become an intellectual accumulation and along with Venna we see a widening glimpse of a side of humanity we keep telling ourselves in an ‘out of sight, out of mind’ way, doesn’t or just barely exist. They’re rendered to the “necessary evils” category and kept out of polite conversation. Y’know even the idea that the barbarism of “military actions” could be somehow necessary. I mean, she presents the answer for the “whys”. For her, in the moment it’s simple. The training.

That this individual represented by the character has been corrupted as a human by his “line of work”, been trained not only to cause pain, kill and maim but being trained to willfully cause such fear…I know of it because I’ve read about it. I know it’s real and it’s this fact which I find distrubing. Okay, I don’t read books as an excuse to write essays to answer such questions for me or anyone else BUT, I had a nerve struck. In a world where we’re explained how this kind of brutality is necessary and yet we’re answered by a sweet, gentle character in a novel and told that inside that monster there is a hunger for the warmth of touch, for the closeness of intimacy and love that is being confused by the power and permission to commit acts which take it all away.

There are many other reasons to read this wonderfully entertaining and very touching book and I sincerely hope that people read and see what a vision springs from Ms. Jess Wygle, The Vigilante. Just kidding again! It’s scary to think she’ll be ever better the next time. (Shudders!) Don’t miss this one!

- Kevin

Check out other books by Jess Wygle by visiting her BookRix Profile Page! To see the BookRix review of Evol, click HERE. For more reviews, check out the Evol Tour Schedule.

Buy Links:
Barnes & Noble

BookRix Bestselling Author: An Interview with Elvira Zeißler

BookRix Bestseller!

BookRix author sells 5000 eBooks!!!

So far, there haven’t been any big “Success Stories” with BookRix members on the English side of the site. However, things will not always be like this, as BookRix popularity grows with each day. We want to introduce you to Elvira Zeißler (pronounced Zeissler), a German BookRix Bestseller! Elvira (user elviraz) writes in a wide range of genres, from Fantasy and Romance to Children’s Books and Poetry.

Her first book, Fairy Child I (Fantasy), published in June 2012, has sold 2869 copies so far and the numbers are still rising! Her next book, The Bonding of Souls (Romance), published in October 2012, has sold 665 copies so far. And her most recent book, Fairy Child II (Fantasy), published in November 2012, has sold 1466 copies! We’re hoping that she’s going to take the plunge and start publishing her books in English too! So keep your eyes open!

Here is the interview by the BookRix German Team conducted with Elvira back in November, 2012, translated just for you (by RebeckDawn):

The many futile attempts to have my novel noticed by a well-known publisher or even an agent, were really starting to wear me down. It was a dark time and I was starting to doubt myself and my stories. But then I came to Bookrix…

Dear Elvira,

Thank you for this interview and for answering our questions. Many users have sent us questions that we’re sure will make you happy. We have picked out the best questions and don’t want to wait another moment for your answers. Let’s get to it!

1. Why did you choose to publish at BookRix?
At BookRix, I don’t feel like a lone warrior who fights in vain against the “Windmills of Publishing”. :)
Actually, Bookrix was the one who gave me the idea. Late last year, when you announced your publishing service, I first thought seriously about eBooks. Since I wasn’t even reading eBooks at that time, the idea of publishing eBooks was previously non-existent.

2. What was the first book you wrote?
Apart from short stories and poems, it was my novel, Dark Fire, which I had started when I was 17 and finally completed at 24. During the process, I didn’t even really believe that I would ever make it to the end. And yet, I kept pulling the manuscript out of the drawer to work on it.

3. How long did it take you to finish Fairy Child? (Original language title “Feenkind”)
Part One and Two of Fairy Child took me two years of intensive work. Every day after work I’d go to my PC again and write for at least an hour. The story wasn’t simply flowing out of me. Before I fell asleep at night, I couldn’t imagine what I was going to write the next day.

4. The question that all your fans are probably asking: When will the sequel to Fairy Child be released?
The eBook is almost completed, and a beautiful new cover was just added (thanks to Cassyk). Here at Bookrix, the book should be available in November, and therefore it will be in all the shops by early December at the latest.

***This interview is from November 2012. Since then, her second book has been published.

5. Where did you get the idea for The Bonding of Souls? (Original language title “Seelenband”)
The Bonding of Souls was totally “interleaved”. I had a hangover from the fantasy novel that I was writing, and suddenly I had a strong desire to get involved with a romance novel. So I wrote The Bonding of Souls.
* Laughs * No, it wasn’t quite that simple, of course. I’m always very structured when thinking about my characters.
With Valerie, it was important to me that the female readers could identify with her. And in John, it was important that he wasn’t a vampire, werewolf or angel. :o Also, you might have noticed that my romance novels are about what I’m interested in (in the fictional realm, fortunately not in the real world), like mysterious men with a certain dark side. When I brought all of that together, The Bonding of Souls emerged.

6. Some fans of The Bonding of Souls (especially the women) are wondering: Is John inspired by a real person?
The answer is both yes and no! I am happily married and my husband and John definitely share many of the positive attributes. However, he is nothing more than a role model for John or any of my other male characters; just as I am neither Valerie nor Julie Dhalia. My characters are always completely fictitious, even though they may share some properties with real people.

7. Can you explain the success of your novels?
I’m not sure, but I’d like to know so I can repeat it in the future. :) No, seriously, I’m very adamant about keeping my stories and the actions of the characters believable and realistic for the readers. This is especially true with feelings (above all – love)and it is important to me to let them grow and reveal them slowly to convey authenticity. What I do not like are big words, where you, the reader will end up feeling nothing. I always try to incorporate unexpected twists and turns as well, which sometimes end successfully and sometimes fail.

8. Your stories have such a variety of different subjects, so how do you know when it is going to be worthwhile to actually pursue a new idea?
I must admit that I (unfortunately) am not a gushing fountain of ideas, like many other authors who must often decide which idea they are now pursuing further. Before I start a novel, I consider first, which genre I want to write in. Then I think about what is commonly known about this topic/genre and try to find a gap, that is, something that has not already been written about extensively. If I then, at some point in my search, happen upon something that creates a kind of inner excitement and my imagination begins to develop a story, I know I have found something worthwhile. I’ll then take a few days to try it out and see if I can actually get together enough “story” to make a rewarding story-line with it.

9. In your books fate often plays a role – Is there a special reason for this, or is it your destiny to write about fate?
* Laughs * A good question. I haven’t really thought much about it. But if I had to choose, I would say that I have a tendency to trust reason. There are many forces that can influence our lives, but in the end our freewill decides which path our lives, and therefore our destinies, will take. In that sense I don’t believe in a fixed or predetermined fate, but I find the subject itself rather fascinating.

10. Is there a piece of text, a protagonist, or an idea that you’re particularly proud of?
All my novels have a lot of heart and soul, and of that, I’m really proud. I regard Fairy Child as my masterpiece. However, if I have to pick just one thing, it’s probably the Dark Fairy, Eliza, from Fairy Child, and the transformation that her character experiences in the Part Two. When I started to write the story, which was not really even planned, the character of Eliza just developed a life of its own, which surprised even me. :)

11. Can we expect another book series from you in the near future?
Yes. I’m writing another fantasy novel with the working title, Dragon Tooth and I hope I have it ready early in the New Year. It’s about a boy from our world who lands by accident in a fantasy world and tries to get back. This is not a new topic, but I hope that I gave him, in one way or another, some interesting and new situations. My two short stories, The Oath of the Dragon and The Song of The Ice Desert are small prequels for Dragon Tooth.
The first chapter is already on BX, but because the cover isn’t uploaded yet, the book has not yet received a lot of clicks. ;)

12. Do you do your own marketing and if so, how?
I still have a lot to learn about this area because I’m not really an active participant in social media. I guess I’m too old fashioned. :) The only things I’m doing at the moment are audiobooks of my novels. I have been adding them one at a time onto Youtube.

13. The next question is really overdone, but it’s also one of the most interesting: Why exactly do you write?
First, I just wanted to try and see if I could do it. But now, it has become an inner need. It just doesn’t feel right not to have a story to think about in all my quiet moments. I cannot imagine life without writing anymore.

14. And who are you writing for?
For me, for my family (which consists of my biggest fans), and now also for my readers. It’s an indescribable feeling when someone expresses positivity about the work that you invested so many, often doubt-filled, years of your life to.

15. Do you have an author role model?
Not really, no. There are always books or sites from which I learn something while reading and think, “Ah, so that’s how that works”. My only novel that was inspired by other books and authors is Dark Fire. I started it after I read Phantom by Susan Kay and Dangerous Liaisons.

16. Do you find it more difficult to start or to end a book?
The beginning is definitely more difficult for me. In my mind, I have to have at least the rough draft of the story completed before I start to write it at all. Also, at the beginning I put a lot more pressure on myself and have higher expectations. The reader has to be convinced that the book is worthwhile in the first few pages. That’s also why I like to start with a prologue that makes you curious, without giving too much away.
Writing the end can sometimes be really tricky, but mostly it arises as the story unfolds.

17. Are there any BookRix members who have helped you with your books?
Unfortunately, since I have a serious lack of time at the moment, I barely get to be present in the groups at all anymore. Right now, I’m basically non-existent in the community.

18. Who designed your beautiful cover?
Cassyk, A.K.A. Casandra Krammer. Because I am an amateur cover art designer, I am infinitely grateful for her skills. :)

19. What was the biggest setback to you, in relation to the tests each author must suffer, and how did you overcome this crisis?
The many futile attempts to have my novel noticed by a well-known publisher or even an agent, were really starting to wear me down. It was a dark time and I was starting to doubt myself and my stories. But then I came to Bookrix…

20. How important is contact with your fans?
I find the direct contact with my readers to be really great. Of course, all positive feedback goes down real easy and makes me happy. And I always think a lot about any overly critical comments and try to implement the feedback into my future writing.

21. Have you ever struggled with writer’s block? How did you overcome it?
I decided not to force myself to write. When I have no desire to do it, but would rather read a book or just lazily watching TV, that’s okay. As I have been writing for almost half my life, I know that there are dry patches and that the writer’s block always goes away. That’s one of the advantages of being an indie author – not having a publisher breathing down my neck! :)

22. Do you follow a strict schedule for when you write or do you only write when you really feel like it?
As I said, I no longer feel forced to write. It’s better if I “grab some” free time when I can. I notice more and more that my head starts to work immediately after I’ve had some leisure time. When I had a few days off and my daughter was still in kindergarten, I was writing almost all the time.

23. When do you write best?
Whenever I have some time.

24. If you could have one wish, what would you wish for?
You mean, other than that my daughter starts sleeping in her own bed at last? :) I would wish that my novels sell so well that I didn’t have to work full time anymore and could then have more time for my family and my writing.

25. Do you have any tips to share with other authors?
Don’t let yourselves be discouraged by rejections, writer’s block and criticism. I’m sure if you really want something, you’ll find a way. Even if this path leads you away from your original plan of shelves filled with print books and suddenly your eBooks are all over the internet and media. :)

Thank you for this wonderfully sympathetic interview! We wish you continued success as an indie author, and we are looking forward to more work from your pen.

Stay tuned for more interviews with BookRix Bestselling Authors!

Coming Soon: BookRix Renovations

Our team leader, Vivian Tan, has some news to share with you:
Intellectu-Owl is getting creative!

In the near future, BookRix is going to be renovated.

You’ve probably noticed some of the changes that have already been made, or have read about them in the Less is More discussion thread in the New to BookRix group, however; we want to take this time to tell you more about some of the new features that BookRix will be offering.

The book viewer and editor have been our greatest hurtle to overcome. Many users will surely agree when we say our previous editor was a little behind the times. Demands and requirements have changed a lot over the years and we’re finally going to be ahead of the game.

The new editor will now focus primarily on the creation of an ePub that is compatible with all the devices out there. And, although it won’t look so much like a classic book, the BookRix viewer will be faster, more efficient, and accessible on all your devices.

Basically, this means that you can adapt the book view on the screen of any device you want to use, or you can change the view point based on the size of the window. If you prefer larger screens and re-size your window, you don’t have to worry because the size of the book page will be automatically adjusted (even in regards to font size, less/more text, hyphenation, justification, etc.). So as you can see, the classic look of a print book is no longer relevant in our new book view, just as it’s not relevant in any other current ePub formatting.

For our users, especially those who have learned to love the old book editor and viewer, not all of the changes will come about without creating some pain. Playing with the page backgrounds and font colors is no longer relevant and the two-page book will be a thing of the past. Now you’re asking, “Why are you making these changes when there are so many beautiful examples of books that use those design options?”

The main reason for these changes is that our books have been rejected from certain eBook shops, or haven’t been accessible for certain reading devices – and that’s just not okay with us. With the increasing importance of e-book sales for our authors, it was evident that BookRix books converted into common ePub formats were often visually and technically unable to keep up with the eBooks from large publishing companies. Here are some of the main reasons why BookRix users have been kept from the shops: Lack of space between paragraphs, no indentation of the first line of a paragraph, and ugly text formatting. And that’s just naming a few. Sure, the classic book viewer might have been fine on your computer, but we want it to be so with all the different devices out there. We also want it to work as an ePub.

If you’re worried about images, you will be relieved to know that you can continue to integrate them into your books.

We are certain that there is going to be one or the other weeping eye, but we are also confident that the new book view is going to make you a lot happier than our old one has.


Be Active On BookRix

In the first tip from our series “Publishing Tips & Tricks” we told you that the best marketing is when you’re active. But you have probably wondered what you can do to be active. That’s why we want to show you the options on BookRix for getting more attention as an author.

Build up a network, invite your friends and colleagues to read your book on BookRix and kindly ask them to share it. Use our groups to look for contacts who share the same interest as you. Find fans of the topics or genres you’re talking about in your book and connect with them. These contacts are not only important as they might be your potential readers, but they can also forward you important information such as events that could provide a promotional platform for you.

Post a link to your book in the corresponding grouns and recommend it to users who might be interested. Take part in contests on BookRix because then the community will not only pay more attention to you as an author, but also to your books.

Don’t wait for others to help you. Become prominent as an author by being thoughtful, helpful and by providing good reviews. Such behavior will cause other readers will be interested in you. In addition, they will see what you are doing and find your books. An author who has received a valuable review is more likely to return the favor. And having as many book reviews as possible is important, as they are a point of reference on your Book Info Page. Having various reviews implies its popularity and will entice others to read your work. The more reviews (good and constructive), the better chance your book has of being read by others.

Consider other authors as colleagues or partners. It doesn’t help you seeing them as your competitors because you can learn a lot from other writers. An author who spoils a relationship with a fellow writer has the disadvantage. Authors are often involved in the same networks, so it’s best to keep things professional. By maintaining a good standing with other authors, you significantly increase your reach across various social platforms.

Keep in mind that the BookRix team is always out there reading and reviewing books, even though you may not be aware of it. If you want to be features on he site, your book cannot be rated as 18+. So please take that into consideration, as 18+ should be reserved for exceptionally violent or sexually explicit content. We want to promote your book, so please be careful not to put up unnecessary barriers. Keep in mind that there isn’t a large difference between 16+ and 18+.


The BookRix team

Today, BookRix recommends The Redemption of Marvin Fuster by one of our favorite authors, Patrick Sean Lee. Or as we know him in our BookRix community, Felixthecat. We hope you enjoy this as much as we did!

“String theory. Ahh! I have a love of music, myself. Had I not gotten involved in politics, I believe I might have taken up the violin seriously, or perhaps the cello. Have you ever been to the symphony, Mr. Fuster?” The governor beamed; a chord deep inside him began to resonate, and a soft breeze rustled across his face and into his heart, as though nature itself was beginning to conspire against him in order to obliterate his initial assessment of Marvin’s stature in his world. This man of the streets had a love for music, and that raised him immeasurably in the eyes of Richard Harris. Perhaps he would allow him to stay for an hour or two so that they could discuss Tchaikovsky and Massenet.

“No, I believe you are referring to a different type of string, sir. Though I do not pretend to know a great deal about the subject yet, the string this book refers to is a quantum matter, altogether on a different plane than music…though I do like certain types of Bluegrass, and folk music,” Marvin corrected him.


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