Over the last few years I’ve got to know several authors who have chosen to publish their stories themselves. I thought I would share with you who they are, and why I unreservedly read their work. So, in no particular order:
I came across Cassels through SFFS, the blog ring that I began four years ago. She was “just another member of the crew” until one day she approached me, asking if I could edit her novel. It was the first novel I edited, and her first publication. Both of us can now see how green we were back then, but even so, if a reader of Sovran’s Pawn and the sequel, Hero’s End, doesn’t fall in love with Blade Devon, then there is something seriously wrong with the wiring of said reader. And by the way, Hero’s End… is a book that leaves me stuck in book-hangover. It bowled me over when I “edited” it – by which I mean that it was so well-written that there was relatively little editing to do. Cassels and I have since become very good friends, and I can’t wait for the final instalment of the series.
Rachel Leigh Smith
I met Rachel through the SFR Brigade. Relatively randomly, she sent me a draft of a book she’d written. My Name is A’yen. To my shame, it took me well over 8 months before I cracked it open. I read the first few pages, and she had me hooked. Fortunately, I contacted her there and then. She told me to stop reading, as she had a final draft she wanted me to proofread! I have now proofread her first three novels, and I can tell you, this is one author worth following. Her books will captivate you, wring your heart out, then put it back together again. And don’t forget that book-hangover. I finished book three last night and have yet to come back into the real world.
Nicholas Sansbury Smith
I read Nick’s first book for review. While the concept of the story was excellent, the execution left much to be desired. A short while later, Nick self-published his second novel, ORBS. Now let me tell you something. This is one author who learned his lessons! This second novel was such a contrast to the first that I’ve lapped up every piece of Nick’s work since. He’s one of the best action thriller (post-apocalyptic, horror) writers out there I’ve picked up. And even as the ORBS series has been picked up by a publisher, he is still self-publishing. And there’s little/no difference in quality between the new self-published series and the ORBS series.
Patrick appeared on the SFFS blog ring at about the same time as J.C. Cassels. At some point, he approached me to edit his third novel, Alone in the Crowd. The book turned out well, and he brought Alone in the Universe to me. Another author who is learning as he goes along. Many of the issues that had been present in Alone in the Crowd were simply not there in Universe. I admire an author who is willing to learn – and who has an impressive imagination!
A friend mentioned on Facebook that a friend of his had written a book and was anyone willing to read and review it. I picked up Sorrel in Scarlet and was hooked. It’s not often I do this, but I offered to edit the next book in the series. Peter took me up on my offer, and we worked together on the last two books of the series. What captivated me about these books, and Peter’s work in general, is the unique settings (and associated action). Peter’s imagination goes to interesting places, and it’s a challenge to figure out where it’s going next. And his characters always have a lovely sense of humour.
Jay’s work is among the few that I buy as soon as it’s published (with the odd rare exception), and I’ve read everything she’s got out there. She was good to start with, but her writing is now approaching brilliance. Her last few publications totally bowled me over. I’ve had to edit this post as I initially thought she had only one self-published work, but she since corrected me that she had five. The quality was such that I didn’t notice the difference between her indie works and her self-pubbed works; a very high standard!!