This INDIEpendence day, the Indelibles would like to celebrate indie authors (self-published and small-press) as a whole by holding up examples of outstanding indie works. The 25 Indelible authors all believe that amazing works of fiction can be found in indie novels. By highlighting and bringing greater awareness to quality indie books, people find great books to read, indie authors get support, and we continue to change hearts and minds about the gems that can be found among self-published and small-press novels.
I discovered my featured author, Dalya Moon, when I downloaded her book Charlie Woodchuck is a Minor Niner (now simply called Charlie) from Amazon this spring. As soon as I read the sample, I was impressed. Dalya is one of those indie authors who sets a great example with her well-written and carefully edited books. The voice is excellent, the characters quirky and charming. Charlie is every bit as good as the traditionally published novels I’ve read.
Charlie is about a high school freshman who causes a stir when she signs up for wood shop (something girls are not allowed to do) and is admitted to the class because of her boy’s name. Though Charlie bucks the trend at her school, she doesn’t come by the role of rebel easily. She struggles in her shop class and questions her decision. As she works her way through the year, developing the reputation of a student activist, she’s also preoccupied with unraveling a family secret about her birth.
One of the things I liked about the book is that it’s set in the ’80s. Dalya paints a great picture of the decade, highlighting both the music and the culture, and at several points I found myself feeling nostalgic or groaning over the references. If you want a fun, thoughtful read that steps outside the realm of the paranormal romance that dominates the YA shelves these days, give Charlie a try.
Dalya was pursuing a traditional path with her second book, Practice Cake, when she decided to self-publish her “trial run” book Charlie on a whim. She had plenty of entrepreneurial skills from her consulting business, including experience with graphic design, HTML code, marketing, and creating spreadsheets. Once she learned the ropes with Charlie, she began to wonder whether she’d be better off handling the publication of Practice Cake herself. She pulled it from consideration with a literary agent, put it up on Amazon, and since then has published four other books. One thing I admire about Dalya (other than her obvious writing skill) is that she’s so professional about every aspect of her publishing. Indie authors like herself will be the people who one day cut through the stigma and stereotypes of self-publishing.
Here are some facts about Dalya from her website:
Dalya Moon, author and writer, lives on the west coast with her husband and two cats.
She’s a proud auntie to three energetic nephews and one darling niece.
When she’s not writing, Dalya dabbles in art: painting (acrylics and watercolor), pottery (wheel and hand-building), paper cut-outs, and gluing things to other things.
Some random facts about Dalya:
- Looks really good in hats.
- Was obsessed with drawing the Easter Bunny as a child.
- First job was washing dishes at a truck stop.
Dalya answers the three questions everyone asks writers:
How do you write?
I used to write longhand, but I’ve switched to the computer, for speed. To deal with distractions, I use the Pomodoro Technique, which means I’ll set a timer for 25 or 50 minutes at a time and turn off instant messaging.
When do you write?
I write all day long. I’m a night owl, so my day doesn’t start early. On a first draft, I have a target number of words I want to write every day. I’m very stubborn, so setting a specific goal works great for me.
Most days I’m excited, other days it’s hard work. When I come upon a scene where something upsetting happens, I feel sick in my stomach for the character.
Where do your ideas come from?
I buy them from a mail-order place.
All my stories start with just one small piece, be it a title, an emotion, a setting, or a what-if type of question.
My idea for Charlie came from wishing I’d done something memorable during my first year in high school, which is pretty abstract. Woodworking popped into my head, so I ran with it.
To check out all the other INDIEpendence Day authors, visit the Indelibles blog and see the linky at the bottom of the INDIEpendence Day post. (Sorry, but WordPress is not cooperating with me about posting the code here directly.)