Wednesday, June 24, 2015

My Guest: Judith Lucci

Paying us a return visit this week is a gracious lady who brings medical mayhem and bloody violence to her superb New Orlean's based novels. But she's here to tell you about the world as an Indie writer. Ladies and Gentlemen...

Judith Lucci

Thru the Eyes of an Indie

The Good, the Bad and the Awful!

Good Morning Everyone and many thanks to Eric for inviting me to his blog. I want to tell you about the release of my newest book, 'Toxic New Year: The Day that Wouldn’t End'. Toxic is the fourth book in the Alex Destephano medical thriller series but first, I want to tell you a little about my evolution as an Indie author.  I must preface this by saying I was an academic writer first and the scribe of textbooks, research studies, federal grants,
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theoretical articles and anything and everything in between needed to become a tenured professor in a major University. Nevertheless, I can assure you that any prestige you receive in your discipline (mine is nursing, medicine and healthcare) and no matter how coveted your work is, that prestige in academia disappears in the popular press.

First of all, I’m Indie by choice. I started off in the summer of 2012, as a trad-based writer with a contract from a small press and an actual dollar advance. I was thrilled, and dutiful as I am, I changed my story even though I didn’t want to, killed off a character I wanted to live, and altered plot lines as I was told. The final clincher came in the restrictive language in my final contract. Since I’m an out-of-the-box, free-spirited kind of girl, this didn’t sit well with me so I bailed, returned the advance, and joined the Indie Revolution, kinda of like when I joined the hippy movement in the 1970s – with the same energy, commitment and gusto.

The Best of Indie

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There are great things about being Indie and I’m lovin’ it. I have an amazing support group and some pretty decent success as a writer. I figure I’m earning about a dime an hour now, so it’s not all bad.

Best of all I’ve met fantastic indie authors, made great friends and have a new bunch of favorite authors. I love the autonomy being Indie allows and I answer only to myself and my readers.  I make my own decisions, set my own timeline and chart my own path. My work schedule is mine and mine alone and I like having the creative control of everything I do. In a summary, being Indie Rocks!

The Bad…or Hard

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The hard part of Indie authorship being a one man show. Indies must write, blog, edit, publicize, tweet, post, market, respond to fans, present talks, turn cart wheels, smile nicely and watch their language. In essence, do everything it takes to sell write and sell a book, often without knowing how. Technology is hard for me but I’ve learned a lot, and while I did graduate work in marketing, I can assure you social network marketing wasn’t what I studied. Keeping up with social networks is a full time job so I’ve managed to select three I think give me the greatest exposure. I have most of my marketing advertisement developed through Fiverr and have a couple of folks I work with over and over. Fiverr is a pretty good deal all in all and it saves me time and money. Another albatross in Indie writing is editing (both concept and copy) and I have learned the hard way that I cannot edit what I write. I think it was Poe who said, “Write Drunk, Edit Sober” but that doesn’t work for me at all. Now, I have a small street team and a paid editor to assist me with this arduous but important task. My books go past the eyes of at least three other folks before they’re released. My street team also beta-reads my books and tells me where the problems are. And…believe me they’ll tell me. So, part of being Indie is keeping up and learning all you can to keep your books fresh, professional and out front and center. It’s hard, but it’s fun and there’re lots of great indie authors out there to help.
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The Awful!

There’s not a lot that’s awful about being Indie but there are a couple of things that are the bane of my existence and those of my Indie colleagues. They are trolls, or people who are just plain mean and set out to hurt, destroy or demean the work of Indie and self-pubbed writers. I don’t really understand the mean spirits of these people but I do know for a fact they exist.  My final curse is reviewers who drop a book one or two stars for a couple of misspelled words. I just want to rip out their carotid arteries and say, “OK, Jackass, let me see you write a 100,000 document without an error” but of course I don’t.  I just grab a glass of wine and calm my raging spirit and try harder.

OK, there you have it!  Being Indie is awesome. Now about my new release.

Many of you probably know a bit about Alex Destephano medical thriller series but here’s a quick overview from my website.

Alex Destephano is hospital lawyer living in New Orleans who struggles, like all of us, to find her way.  Life is tough. She’s been hurt in love, deserted in life and left bruised and vulnerable. All Alex wants is the simple life and a man that truly loves her. It won’t happen. Violence in her life, terror in her home and near-death experiences have panicked her. Will she make it?  And, if so, at what cost?

'ToxicNew Year' is the fourth in the series and opens on New Year’s Day at the Annual Bloody Mary Brunch hosted by Alex’s grandparents’ Congressman & Mrs. Adam Patrick Lee of Virginia. Terror prowls in every corner of the country estate and danger lurks behind each corner. The setting continues to New Orleans and later in France where fear, and panic are the order of the day.

Enjoy and let me hear from you!

Judith is a registered nurse and native Virginian who grew up in Richmond.  She holds graduate and doctoral degrees from Virginia Commonwealth University and the University of Virginia.  She has been a practicing clinical nurse for over 25 years and is currently a professor of Nursing at James Madison University and the author of numerous academic and health-related articles and documents. In addition to her academic writing she is the author of the Alexandra Destephano novels, a group of medical thrillers set in New Orleans and Virginia.  When not teaching or writing, Judith is an avid silk painter and multi-media artist.  She owns  Artisan Galleries, an art gallery with locations in Harrisonburg and Massanutten.  She lives in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia with her family and six dogs.

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Once again thank you, Judith, for sharing your experience of being an Indie author with us. My very best wishes for the new book whcih I'm sure will be as gripping as the rest of the series.

Eric @

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