My Recent Interview at

About a week ago, it was my good fortune to be introduced to a website that is simply in love with books and authors – especially, Indie Books and Authors. During my interactions with I was afforded the opportunity for an interview. You can read more Author’s Interviews on their website and a host of other things like: Free Kindle Books and Bargain Books, Book Blogs and Reviews. There are lots of good things to see there. Just click on their icon badge below. Here’s my interview:

What inspires you to write?
What inspires me to write is generally my desire for connecting with people- not just in a passive measure, but by a more integral method. I like to relate to folks on a deeper level in concerning this mad dash that we all find ourselves in. I mean seriously- ‘life is nuts.’ …and it’s grand, and it’s sad, and it’s happy, and it’s … all those things. So I try to put some sort of commonality into all the wonderful absurdity; because we’re all in it together.

Tell us about your writing process.
It’s a rhythm as much as a process. I have to feel it naturally as well as know it categorically. I write from my gut and then refine as I go. Then I refine some more, and some more, but I try to leave a little of the initial ‘rawness’ intact within the story… to feed the soul, as well as the mind.

For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
Not really. But I do sort of ‘channel’ my characters at times. Sometimes I will catch myself staring into space and then speaking as if I was the character that I am doing dialog for. In their voice, and everything! I know- crazy, right? Then I have to look around and make sure that no one has heard me. Or I’ll look outside my window and make sure that there’s not a van with rubberized walls pulling up in the driveway.

What advice would you give other writers?
Don’t write like anyone else. I don’t care what that hack of a college professor told you about writing. You should write like ‘You.’ Don’t try to be Stephen King or Mia Angelo or… anyone else. You be you. Then it’s real- then it’s pure.

How did you decide how to publish your books?
I prayed about it. …’nough said.

What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I think we’re entering a sort of golden age with eBooks and with on demand publishing, too. I know that they’ve both been around for a while but I think that self-publishing for the masses is ‘ripening’ or ‘coming of age,’ if you will. At first, there was (and maybe even continues to be) a sort ‘frenzy’ on the part of both writers and readers. Suddenly, it became possible for just anyone to publish a book and place it online, and for whatever price they decided. That has its good points, and its bad points. To some extent, it takes control away from the big money-grubbing publishing houses – or ‘gate-keepers’ – and allows for unique and new voices to enter the scene. However, just because someone is able to do a thing, does not necessarily mean that he or she should be doing it, regardless of how low the price is. But I think this is where the idea of an Indie Author renaissance comes into play. As the movement continues to mature, the market will naturally adjust itself. As the novelty continues to wear off, I think that readers will become more willing to pay a few dollars for quality and begin to ignore all the perpetually free or ridiculously cheap stuff that is out there. The ‘cream’ of Independent Publishers will rise to the top and we won’t have to succumb to being force-fed by traditional publishing. All and all, I think the future of book publishing looks very bright.

What genres do you write?
Christian Fiction, General Fiction

What formats are your books in?
Both eBook and Print

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An Excerpt from my new novel, A Chain of Flames

With everything seemingly accounted for, Eli placed his attention back on the woman and her boy. They were huddled now, facing each other, but still their eyes were closed. They continued on in muted utterances but something about them had changed. There was no longer a pleading tone in what they were saying. They seemed, instead, to have reached some sort of an understanding. The woman was smiling, though tears still lay on her cheeks, and the boy was not speaking so much as before. He seemed to be affirming the things being said by his mother. Occasionally he would smile and then nod his head in agreement, strangely at peace.

Eli wondered at them, listening, when suddenly he felt very small in their presence. It was something that he had just heard. It made him realize that they were not praying for themselves. They were not asking for deliverance from the evil man. But rather, they were asking deliverance ‘for’ … the evil man. They were praying for him.

Once again Eli’s heart fluttered and he had to quickly deride his self, to believe that none of this could possibly matter. In the morning, when the woman and her son were beginning their new day, with their praying done and their memories of his visit fading, he would still be who he was, with only the voice of his demon to abide with him. There was no hope for him here, and so no more sense in lingering.

From A Chain of Flames, by Tony Cleaver

You can preview the first two chapters by clicking on the links below.

Go to "A Chain of Flames" page

A Chain of Flames(Kindle Edition)
4.9 out of 5 stars (7)

The Proofs Have Arrived!

When a novel is in the pre-publication stage, the printer will often send a ‘proof’ copy to the author and/or publisher.

My proofs arrived the other day and I was pretty pleased. Publication is in just a few more days, after one final text edit.

proof  (pruːf)
6. printing  a trial impression made from composed type, or a print-out (from a laser printer, etc) for thecorrection of errors

A Chain of Flames Proof Back Cover

Front Cover

Front Cover

A Chain of Flames Proof Spine

My New Book – A Chain of Flames, Launching Soon.

I had some success, soon after my first novel was finished in obtaining a high-profile (genre specific) Literary Agent. We met at a writer’s conference in Dallas, where she asked me to send her the customary ‘sample chapters’ and ‘synopsis.’ I was elated (though I tried at the time not to show it). I felt really blessed to have been so fortunate on my ‘first time out.’  But without going into much detail (perhaps in a later post), suffice it to say that after waiting anxiously for a month or two, I finally gave in and committed what all the books about writing and being published will tell you is the ‘fatal taboo.’ You guessed it– I telephoned to ask, “So hey, what’s the deal?”

Long-story-short: This agent’s personal assistant did me the good turn of confiding in me that her boss had never even opened my packet (even though she should have – could have – by then) … and I would almost swear that I could hear within the sound of that woman’s voice that she was actually glancing over at my long pondered, carefully built, and lovingly sent-forth – BUT STILL SEALED – manuscript proposal package – even as we were speaking.

That was several years ago, and as you may know by your own experiences, discouragement can be a cold sword, not only thrust in- but twisted; for a wound that can be really deep.

But honestly, I do not think that that Agent ever intended to gouge me so. In fact, I doubt that she was even aware that she had neglected, or mistreated, or wronged me in any way whatsoever.  Such – sadly – is the apathetic beast that has become the Book Publishing Industry in American. But how fortunate we are in that: ‘time – changes – things.’

An old venue has stepped up onto the horizon, where new light can shine upon it. It’s like watching on television as a revolution becomes a democracy, or like reading the article about how that weird kid who hung out in his mom’s garage … actually ‘built’ something- that ended up changing our world.

I’m talking about the fairly recent, and highly evolving, phenomenon of ‘Direct Publishing.’

So in throwing off the tyranny of those ‘one-percenter-like’ corporate elitists (who most of which are probably, themselves, merely slaves to the same system), I say that I think that I am going to skip the step of sending off sample chapters and a synopsis, to some subjugated ‘gatekeeper,’ who may or may not bother to actually give consideration to what I’ve spent my heart in crafting.

No- instead, I think that I’m going to launch solo this time. But I don’t expect that I’ll actually be flying alone- I think that in taking it straight to the people; what that means is, that I am going to have all of …’YOU’… right there along side of me . . . wingtip to wingtip.

So please watch for my novel, A Chain of Flames, to be appearing soon on Amazon. Follow this blog and I’ll give you a heads-up when things really get rolling. In the meantime, I’ll post some behind-the-scenes snippets, or maybe some novel excerpts, or whatever else you might be interested in seeing. Just let me know.

God bless and Thanks for stopping by . . . Clearing for takeoff! . . . All Systems Go.

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