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The Joys of Being an Indie Author

Proud Author Shows Off Her Book in Library


The Joys of Being an Indie Author

What is meant by the popular term, indie author? The term refers to an author who publishes independently rather than going with a traditional publishing house. An indie author is someone who self-publishes or publishes with the aid of an independent publishing company. IngramSpark and CreateSpace are two of several such companies.

I went with CreateSpace based on the success of two of my trusted author friends who had pleasant publishing experiences with them. I, too, enjoyed working with CreateSpace, a subsidiary of Amazon. Once my manuscript had undergone numerous revisions and edits by a professional editor, I felt it was ready to publish. I submitted it without having to be accepted by an agent or a publisher. CreateSpace offers several options to fit the publishing needs of different authors. You can either set up the pages, including margins, page numbers, headings, etc. yourself, or use CreateSpace publishing services at an additional cost to help you create a professional look and layout. The site does offer templates for those with the patience and skill to do it themselves. .I chose to have them format the book interior design and connect me with and Print on Demand. They also formatted my book for Kindle. Once I made the decision to pay them a nominal fee for formatting, they provided me with a team and a phone number to use whenever I need assistance. Everyone on my team is extremely courteous, professional, and helpful.

Because my book was based on specific artwork by Angelo Divino, he worked with Laura Moyer at The Book Cover Machine and me to create an awesome cover. CreateSpace would have worked with me on a cover, but I chose to go with my own design. Opting for a professionally designed cover is highly recommended in order to create the best possible first impression of your book. Many people are attracted to the cover of my book, Theep and Thorpe: Adventures in Space, due to the colorful and unusual images of the space beings, Theep and Thorpe.

I was able to choose my own prices and in about six weeks, my book was available for purchase online. A few weeks later, the Kindle version was ready and is now sold alongside the paperback version on The percentage for royalties is also higher than it would be with a traditional publisher. If I had chosen to seek a traditional publisher or agent, it might have taken months or years before my book was available to the public.

Nowadays, whether you are an independently published author or not, you are required to have an author platform and followers who might buy your book. While writing my book, I became active on social media via Facebook, Goodreads, LinkedIn, Author Central on CreateSpace, and numerous online groups for writers. I even started my own Facebook group called Writers. ( These groups provide links to author blogs and informative articles about writing, publishing, and marketing.

I am also a member of author organizations such as Publishers and Writers of San Diego and Orange County, Southern California Writers Association, and Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA). The first two are local groups that provide monthly meetings with speakers of excellent quality for the latest tips on being a successful author, indie or traditional. At one of these meetings, I met a rep from IBPA and decided to join in order to have my book presented to 5,000 school libraries. This was done on September 29, and I am awaiting the results to see which school libraries are interested in placing my book.

Indie Author Day

Speaking of libraries, I received a pleasant surprise when I learned about Indie Author Day, held on October 8 of this year. Libraries nationwide hosted unique events featuring indie writing and publishing. I applied and was accepted to participate locally at the Anaheim Central Public Library in Orange County, California. Twenty-five authors were invited to participate in a book fair to sell and sign their books. To be eligible, authors were required to live in Orange County with titles that were self or small press published within the past five years (2011-2016). We donated one copy of each book to be promoted at the Indie Author Day Fair and added to the library’s collection. What a thrill to have Theep and Thorpe: Adventures in Space available for check-out at a local library! In addition, it is on display with twenty-four other local indie authors.

At this event, I was given a packet of goodies, which included information about with an opportunity to pursue placing my e-book in public libraries in my state of residence. I am in process of submitting to them. More about this to be revealed as it happen. Meanwhile, I look for more opportunities to offer my book to young readers and adults who are young at heart. As the exciting adventures of an indie author continue, I will keep you posted.

My BIG Announcement

Custom Book Cover Lillian 2 Official Ebook(1)Theep and Thorpe: Adventures in Space

I am so happy to announce the release of my book, Theep and Thorpe: Adventures in Space, March 25, 2016. It is available now at the Createspace eStore and It’s a paperback book for young readers and for those who are young at heart. The kindle version will be available soon.

The Story Behind the Story

The concept of Theep and Thorpe began many years ago when my artist friend, Angelo Divino, created images of two space beings and asked if I wanted to write about them. Of course, I said yes! Their names came to me first as I pondered the idea of how space beings might communicate. I decided they would know one another by their sound frequencies rather than names. Each sound frequency would be as distinguishable as a human’s voice or fingerprints. Since we can’t pronounce these frequencies, the names Theep and Thorpe are used as a close facsimile.

It was many years later after retiring from full time teaching that I began to focus on writing about these characters in a novel. Thanks to Marjorie Miles’s “Writing with Your Dream Muse” class, the voices of Theep and Thorpe came to me loud and clear. Marjorie leads a guided meditation to invite the mind to relax and be receptive to one’s “muse.” We are encouraged to open our eyes and write whatever comes to us following this very relaxed state. Here is what I wrote:

“Where have you been for so long? Great to have you back where you belong. We’ve missed you, Lillian. Now, within the twinkling of an eye, everything shifts . . .back to where we were before, yet at the point of new beginnings. “

I knew Theep and Thorpe were speaking to me. I had tried to write their story before, but nothing seemed to flow. Now, with the support and encouragement of a writers’ group, the time was right to write my science fiction novel.


Jonathon is a fourteen year old protagonist of the story who ends up in a reform school in outer space in the year 2160. He and other inmates are required to grow their own food. While trying to figure out what farming in the future would be like, I got an email from my friend, Lucy Martin. Her husband, Jerry, had purchased a Freight Farm. I had no clue what that was, but my research and the information they sent me led me to writing about hydroponic farming as part of my book. Thank you, Lucy and Jerry!

More Research

When I needed to write a courtroom scene, I consulted my friend Kathy Bouchard, a retired paralegal. She accompanied me on a field trip to a courthouse where we witnessed ongoing trials. I took copious notes and included those findings in writing the ending of the book. I also watched a lot of TV shows like “Law and Order” and “The Good Wife.”

Additional research was needed to know what kind of weapons might be used in the future. I came up with the term, “flip-phaser,” the type of gun used on Star Trek. It’s a laser gun with a nozzle to flip for different settings such as stun or Kill! Early in the story, Jonathon gets into trouble when he’s caught in possession of a flip-phaser. Later in the book, rail guns are used in a spaceship battle. Rail guns are projectile weapons that can reach vast distances to shoot through walls of naval ships and spacecraft.

Book Promotion

I plan to do an online book launch at the Theep and Thorpe Facebook page soon. I will be announcing the date of the launch in another email and on my FB timeline. A trivia game will be played for fun and the chance to win a free copy of the book. HINT: most of the answers to the questions can be found on Facebook at

Special Request

If you read and like the book, kindly write a favorable review to post on Amazon and Goodreads.

Click here to purchase: :

Which Writers’ Archetype Are You?


Pattern Interrupt

“Where your comfort zone ends, your authentic, abundant life begins.” Panache Desai

Do you ever feel that you’re in a rut? Are you experiencing writer’s block? Do you compare yourself to other writers and fail to write at all?

I was recently engaged in an online class called Creative Un-Bootcamp for Writers by Jacob Nordby, author of The Divine Arsonist. One of the recommended books for the course is The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. Both authors recommend morning pages for stream of consciousness writing from the soul level and artist’s dates.

What is an artist date? Anything that interrupts one’s daily pattern to honor the artistic senses is an artist’s date. It can be anything from a nature walk to a visit to a museum to a weekend retreat for spiritual renewal. The key is to listen to your intuition and follow it.

I also consider taking classes that resonate with my artistic goals a pattern interrupt. Assignments and connections with like-minded participants in the class take me out of the ordinary daily routine and demand stretching to the outer limits of expression.

A huge pattern interrupt for me in Un-bootcamp was the exploration of writers’ archetypes. I learned that there are four different archetypes, and although I resonant with all of them, one is more dominant than the others.

Writers’ Archetypes

  1. Story Teller: Comes from the heart with atmospheric details, dialog, and story arc. The story evolves sequentially with a beginning, middle and end. Lessons about life and relationships are taught through stories. The story teller is also called the Shaman. The Shaman sits by the campfire to tell stories that teach to a tribe, usually one main message.
  2. Professor: Comes from the mind and is linear and detail oriented. The professor makes outlines, analyzes data and teaches “how to” with concrete, factual material. When the professor combines teachings with a story to illustrate the given facts, the teaching becomes more effective and reaches a greater audience.
  3. Herald: Comes from the mind or heart to tell somewhat random events in short articles such as news stories, videos, and blogs. Passion for a particular issue or current event combines mental concepts with heart felt communication. Many bloggers write about emotional issues dealing with relationships, death, illness, bullying, etc.
  4. Poet/Troubadour: Comes from the heart to present abstract, holistic, centralized and romanticized ideas and feelings. The poet communicates through feelings, themes and symbols. One “understands” the message without being able to say why.

Which one of these is most dominant to you? Which one feels right for you as a writer? If you aren’t a writer, perhaps one of these archetypes would work for you now that you know what they are.

I have written nonfiction workbooks on cooperative learning for children (the Professor) Co-authored a musical, and I am currently writing a science fiction novel for young adults (Story Teller) I often write poetry, mostly as a creative outlet to post on Facebook, and I write blog articles about writing.

Which of these is my dominant archetype? After contemplating each one, to my surprise, I found I resonate most strongly to Poet/Troubadour. This is because I am an emotional, touchy-feely type person. So, I am a Poet/Troubadour and a Storyteller.  As a blogger, I am the Herald, and I’ve always been a Professor/teacher. I find it best to try to find balance between the mind and the heart rather than coming strictly from one or the other.

What good does it do to know about the archetypes? Instead of comparing yourself to others, be content to realize you are uniquely talented in your own realm without needing to be like anyone else. For me, knowing my archetype encourages me to write more poetry while continuing to write my novel.

Writers’ Style: Plotter or Pantser?

It is also important for me to realize that although many successful authors are Plotters with story boards and a plot all mapped out before beginning to write, it is OK to be a Pantser and fly by the seat of my pants. I am writing a story with a vague idea of setting and characters and the plot developes as I write….Key words: As I write, not before writing. Some people call this channeling or automatic writing. I call it my style of writing. When not writing, I am thinking about the story, but I don’t know what is going to happen next in the story until I write it.

Here are some quotes from famous authors to further illustrate my point:

Don’t try to figure out what other people want to hear from you; figure out what you have to say. It’s the one and only thing you have to offer.
– Barbara Kingsolver

A word is dead
When it is said,
Some say.
I say it just begins
to live that day.
– Emily Dickinson

Writing a novel is like driving a car at night. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.
– E. L. Doctorow



One Lovely Blog Award Nominee

By Lillian Nader

October 10, 2014

Thanks to my friend and writing buddy, Dr. Heather Rivera, I have been nominated for the One Lovely Blog Award. Heather is the author of nonfiction, Healing the Present from the Past, and fiction, Quiet Water, and Maiden Flight. I’ve read and loved them all, and I am pleasantly surprised to be among those nominated for this award.

One Lovely Blog Award Rules:

  1. I need to thank the person who nominated me. check!
  2. Share 7 things about myself that you still may not know. check!
  3. Nominate up to 15 bloggers. check!
  4. Notify the nominees that I have done so. check!
  5. Put the logo of the award on my blog site. check!

Seven things about me you may not know:

  1. I am from Marshall, Texas, the home of Bill Moyers and the Great Debaters of Wiley College.
  2. My first year of teaching was the first year of integration in Marshall; I was a ninth grade speech and English teacher.
  3. I moved to California in 1981, where I met and collaborated on the musical comedy, Pandora, with Larry Marino.
  4. I have entered Pandora in the Fullerton College 26th Annual Festival of Playwrights, and I am waiting until December to find out if selected.
  5. Although I have worked with my dreams most of my life, I attended my first dream work group this week, “The Sacred Dreams” meet-up group.
  6. I have been lifelong friends with twins named Narcy and Narcissa.
  7. I will be reading excerpts from my novel in progress, Theep and Thorpe, at the Writers and Book Festival at SMHAS in Irvine, CA November 1, 2014.

It is my pleasure to nominate:

Carole Marshall: Author of Reading to Jane, a novel, and Maximum Fitness Minimum Risk, a guide available in e-book or hard copy. I met Carole in the New Best Fiction Author contest. Her site is at

Shawn Allen: Shawn’s lovely poetry is shown here. I met Shawn in online courses for writers.

Mary Dusing: She describes her blog as “…a mixture of poems, rants, prose and pretty much wherever my head’s at.” I met Mary in the Un-Bootcamp for Writers course by Jacob Nordby.

Robb Geweniger: Mostly writing about writing with an emphasis on children’s books. I met Robb in Un-bootcamp as well.

Susan Arthur:  Mostly musings about everyday life mixed with my love of photography. Susan was also in Un-bootcamp, and we stay in touch online.

Marilyn Rice: A British author who writes as one of the characters in her novels and she calls herself Lady M. She writes about her appearances at book fairs and other ramblings in the neighborhood and beyond.

Michele Truhlik: For all you dog lovers: A blog about life and dogs.

And three more from Un-Bookcamp:

Jasmine Iwaszkiewicz: Find out the Naked truth about Jasmine I. Explore her raw and honest musings on life.


Holly Hamilton: Presents a spiritual approach to contemplative action from within.

Renata Somogyi Butera: Her subtitle is “Living, loving, and learning to laugh along the way.” She gives a spiritual message in her daily focus.

Happy blog reading to all.


How I Became a Playwright by Lillian Nader


Pandora, A Musical Comedy

All readers are welcome here. I write about writing and my journey as a writer.

It all started when I moved to California after an enlightening psychic reading. Once in California, I took a script writing class. While copying my notes in the waiting room at the South Bay Free Clinic in Torrance, I noticed someone watching me. With as much flair as I could muster, I wrote Script Writing at the top of the page. Larry Marino was the gentleman sitting next to me, watching as I wrote.

“Oh, you’re a writer,” he said, extending his hand. “Welcome to the realm of the impoverished!”

“You’re a writer too,” I said. We shook hands.

This was the beginning of what became the collaboration of our musical comedy, Pandora.

Larry had some songs and the idea of writing a musical about Pandora, but he wanted someone else to write the book. I researched myths about Pandora, learning that she was created by the gods to be the wife of Epimetheus, the brother of Prometheus. I decided to include the story of Prometheus, the titan who stole fire from the gods and gave it to man. Larry accommodated by writing appropriate songs. In fact, Larry was a joy to work with because whenever I came to a point that needed a song, Larry would write one.

He wrote the lyrics and could sing the songs, but Larry didn’t know how to write music. Gene Casey, a friend from my home town, was hired to write the musical score for the songs tape recorded by Larry. We obtained copyright for Pandora with the Library of Congress in 1991.

Although Larry has made the transition called death, I am determined to see Pandora alive and well on the theater stage!


About the author: Lillian Nader, M.Ed. is currently writing a YA science fiction novel entitled Theep and Thorpe. She is the published author of educational workbooks and the librettist of the musical, Pandora. Lillian is a retired teacher who does part time tutoring and freelance copy editing at reasonable rates. She can be reached at