The scary side of technology, a young girl crash lands on Earth, and the crowdfunding of books

Timothy Pike, editor-in-chief

A Letter from the Editor

Dear Books & Buzz Magazine readers,

A free book is always a great place to start, isn’t it?

When a young girl with dangerous powers arrives from a faraway galaxy and crash lands on Earth, some start wondering: Was she sent to help Earth or destroy it? This is the thrilling premise of Liane Mahugh’s science fiction novel Elemental, and you can read it for free on ChapterBuzz during the entire week of July 3rd. Liane is excited to share it with you for a limited time.

And speaking of excellent novels …

If you’re a writer looking to crank out your next (or very first) novel, you still have a couple of days to jump into the 365-Day Indie Author Challenge, our year-long novel-writing program, before doors slam shut for registration. Come join a group of dedicated writers who are going hard after one goal: publishing a novel by this time next year!

So what’s inside this month’s issue?

On the cover you’ll find Charles Breakfield and Roxanne Burkey, known together as Breakfield and Burkey. These award-winning authors are able to brilliantly leverage their expertise in the field of technology—and specifically, the pitfalls of technology—to create gripping narratives. “Weaving these tech threats around our wide range of character personalities amplifies the suspense between the covers,” Charles explains. In our interview, you’ll learn which flower best describes the layers of their stories, how they came up with the cast of characters in their latest series, and what made them decide to ditch the technical manuals they’d been working on and start dreaming up the techno-thriller novels that have been keeping us all on the edges of our seats.

Next, editor and award-winning author Ashley Earley stresses the importance of working with an editor when writing a novel. “Not only does professional editing benefit the story,” she says, “but it can also bring more positive reviews, which can encourage sales.” Better sales are just the beginning, though, as Ashley explains. Beyond the obvious correcting of typos and grammar errors, an editor can also help improve your writing style, ensure your story is targeting the correct audience, and increase your chances of connecting with readers.

Then, award-winning author Anna J. Stewart wades into a debate that’s been raging for as long as people have been writing: should stories be meticulously plotted in advance, totally improvised, or something in between? For her, the answer is clear. “Not having a solid, locked-in plot gives me enormous freedom in how the story decides to write itself,” she says. “Not plotting, here I come!” But there’s another benefit to Anna’s impromptu writing process: it often leads to flashes of inspiration at the most unexpected times.

Finally, Chris Denmead, author and radio host, has discovered the key to self-publishing graphic novels and other art-based projects. “When it comes to comics,” he says, “I recommend crowdfunding.” And it’s not just for small-time creators—even some of the biggest names out there run crowdfunding campaigns to great success. Chris also shares tips for a successful book release, including why it’s so helpful to put a team together when it’s time to launch the finished product.

I hope you can set aside a few hours during this busy time of year to sink your teeth into Liane Mahugh’s Elemental, and enjoy this month’s issue of Books & Buzz Magazine.

Happy reading,

Timothy Pike
Editor-in-chief, Books & Buzz Magazine

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