JM Sullivan says she’s been writing forever, but didn’t get serious about it until recently. She began writing Alice: The Wanderland Chronicles on January 1, 2016 and published it a mere sixteen months later. Not being serious, however, never stopped her from writing stories down and making up fantastic tales. Follow me on Twitter this month to hear some the tales she came up with!
Win a copy of her book Alice: The Wanderland Chronicles by leaving a comment about how you found this post! (Contest will close Aug 30, see full rules here.)
Welcome to the Manic Writer!
This is the August edition of my Indie Author Spotlight. You are part of a network of readers and authors who love Indie/small press Authors. Each month I spotlight a new indie/small press author. You get to ‘meet’ my featured author, and learn how they came to be an author, how they approach their craft and many other exciting facts. You’ll also be eligible for a sweepstakes in which I’ll give away one or more of their books so you can sample their work! What could be more exciting than that?
Do you want to win a copy of Alice: The Wanderland Chronicles? Leave a comment on this post and tell me something you found interesting about JM Sullivan. (This opportunity will end on August 31 and the winner will be notified by email by September 5. Full rules here.)
Last month I spotlighted Madeline Dyer author of the Untamed series, and master of dystopian fiction. The sweepstakes is over but you can still check out her interview and pick up a copy of book 1 in her series, Untamed (Untamed Series Book 1), for $3.99. Or check back here later this month when I review book 3 in the series, Divided and enter to win an eBook of your choice from her series!
Do you have an Indie/Small Press author you love? Would you like to know more about them? Drop me a note in the comments and let me know. If they accept my invitation I’ll feature them in my Author Spotlight! Want to help them even more? Be sure you’ve left an amazing review for every indie author book you’ve loved! Buy a copy of their book for a friend! Drop them a note on their Facebook author page or Tweet them and thank them for their hard work. Reviews and referrals sell more books and a little love and appreciation go a long way for a hardworking indie author.
JM Sullivan is a mom, a science teacher and an author. She grew up in Arizona but currently lives in the UAE. She has terrible stage fright, though it doesn’t show on social media at all and she loves scary movies. She says coffee is 99% of her ability to function and that she’s a hopeless old school video game nerd. So if you love Mario, Crash Bandicoot, or MS Pacman you should find her on social media and hit her up!
Sullivan admits that she writes by the seat of her pants, partly by personality and partly by lifestyle. She will outline a story, give herself a basic framework and then hit the ground running. The framework will tell her where to start, where she’ll end up and the major plot points, from there she lets her imagination run wild, letting fresh ideas join the story as they come to her. Her busy schedule doesn’t allow her a regular writing time, but in between her full time job as a science teacher and being a mom of two beautiful children she takes what she can get and makes the best of it.
She says there just aren’t enough hours in the day and lists time management as her biggest stressor. She would like someone to invent a potion or send her an artifact that will help her steal extra hours. If you’ve read Wanderland then you know that’s probably not the greatest idea. If you haven’t, then you should. For now she’ll settle for good strong coffee to sneak words in the early morning and late at night.
One thing she finds very helpful and inspiring is the NaNoWriMo event. She participated in 2016 for the first time to work on her next novel. It was a lot of work, as those of us who have done a Nano event can attest, but she loved the sense of accomplishment when she ht her goal and won. She was unable to participate in the CampNaNo events this year, but she’s eagerly awaiting the 2017 main event. Watch her social media for her progress and snippets of her work!
Sullivan published Alice: The Wanderland Chronicles with Pen Name Publishing. She chose a small press because it was the perfect blend of traditional and indie publishing for her. Pen Name Publishing provides help with the logistical (she says terrifying) side of publishing while offering her the freedom to provide input on the more creative aspects of being an author such as covers, marketing, and promos.
When she dreamed up Alice she knew she wanted to get it out the world and she didn’t want to spend ages waiting on agents, editors and publishers. Pen Name Publishers offered her that opportunity. She’s planning to stay Small Press unless the PERFECT opportunity lands on her doorstep.
She says her favorite part of being a small press author is building her audience, something that scared the daylights out of her at first. Once she got started building her platform though, she found herself meeting people and making connections easily and says it’s now one of her favorite things about being an author.
The responsibility to get our books out to the masses rests on the strength of an Indie/Small Press author’s platform. Networking is how she recommends helping your favorite indie/small press authors. You can strengthen their platform by sharing how much you loved their work with your friends and requesting their book(s) at your library. Finding and building an audience is an enormous task for the indie/small press author and every little bit we offer as fans helps immensely.
Jm Sullivan’s advice to new and aspiring writers is to knwo your priorities and do nothing else. If you want to write —write. Don’t feel guilty for being willing to handle the other tasks over to someone else you’ve hired.
She also wisely recommends finding your tribe and making a home in the author world where you fit in.
Alice: The Wanderland Chronicles is JM Sullivan’s debut novel. It’s a YA dark fantasy retelling of Lewis Carrol’s Alice in Wonderland with an undead spin. If you love retellings, Alice and dystopian novels with zombies in them then you should pencil it in at the top of your TBR pile. When you’ve read it, and loved it, then tell your friends so they can love it too!
You can read my review of Alice but don’t take my word on JM’s book. Here are links to two independent reviews on GoodReads where you will find many, many more.
Ariana says she’s always loves a good retelling, even more when it has a dark and gritty twist.
MisterBabamook says that though Alice came to him when he was wildly jaded due to a reading slump it caught his attention and renewed his hope and helped to reignite his love of reading.
Don’t forget you can win a copy of her book Alice: The Wanderland Chronicles by leaving a comment about how you found this post! (Contest will close Aug 30, see full rules here.)
JM Sullivan would like to thank Dionne Abouelela for doing the majority of the work on Alice, including the cover and marketing. Without Dionne’s hard work Alice wouldn’t be the amazing book it is. You can find her on Twitter and follow her to find out more.
Thanks for coming by The Manic Writer!
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Want to see what’s on my TBR pile? Check me out at Goodreads! Want to know what I do with my days? Follow me on Twitter or Facebook and drop me a note. On Twitter I’m active in the #5amwritersclub, #authorconfessions and other Twitter hashtag games.