Friday, October 28, 2016

Scott Nicholson: Author of 30+ Books, 1 Million Downloads (And Counting!)

Scott Nicholson is living the dream. The 53 year-old has joined a league of select few people who are able to call writing a full-time job. Between his 30-something self-published novels (which span thriller, horror and fiction genres), he boasts over 1 million downloads. 

Nicholson's Bestselling Solom Series
So yeah, he's doing pretty darn good. As saturated as I am in the world of publishing, I didn't know about Scott's work until a couple of months ago. Kindle Direct Publishing released a newsletter showcasing his success, and I knew I had to talk to this amazing guy!  

From where I stand, it's obvious that Scott understands both the difference and the delicate balance between writing a book and marketing a book to readers. He must do both things, and do them very well, in order to achieve the success that he does. It's no small task, and as proven by his many published books, he's got the formula down to a science.

Scott generously gave up some of his time to answer some interview questions I had for him, so that I could share his authorial insight with Writing Belle readers this week. Enjoy the interview, and go pick up his books TODAY!

Interview with Scott Nicholson 

You say on your website that you have been rejected 800 times by publishers - that's insane. Yet you're so successful on your own. What's the moral of the story here? 
I am not sure there is one, except don’t give up. That was from a different time. I’ve been doing this for 20 years now, and back then you piled them up. If I were starting today, I am sure it would be different.

I've heard a lot about your Solom Series - tell us about that. 
My novel The Farm was published in 2006 and it was pretty long, so when I got the rights back I expanded it into a trilogy to build on the mythology. A mother and her rebellious daughter move to the remote Appalachian Mountains where a supernatural legend comes to life. I love ghost stories and folklore so it was a great fit for me and lots of fun.

How long does it take you to come up with a first draft?
As long as a year and as short as a month. So it depends on what else is going on in my life or what the deadline is. Six to nine months is good.

How do choose your cover art - how do you decide what you're going to be writing next? In other words, how do you keep all of your projects organized?
With a series I try to get all the covers done ahead of time so I have a feel for the entire project. I used to do my own covers but now have a couple of reliable people I trust, and I am always looking for new artists. It depends on the project, really. 

I've published 14 novels at this point, so I definitely understand what goes into writing and releasing a book - how do you approach handling manuscript creation, editing and release deadlines? 
My editor and proofreaders work while I am working on the book, a section at a time. It’s a pretty efficient process. Deadlines are no problem because I used to work in radio and newspapers, so the big challenge is not to procrastinate too much. I usually panic and crank it out near the deadline!

What authors do you get inspiration from? 
I’ve been inspired all my life, from Dr. Seuss to Kurt Vonnegut to Shirley Jackson to Ira Levin to Stephen King. I’ve always read broadly, which is why I have a wide range of genre interests.

You were a journalist before you published novels. How do you think your background in journalism influenced you as a novelist? 
You learn to just sit down and do it. In journalism, “writer’s block” is called “unemployment”! Plus you get to meet people and cover subjects you’d normally never find, so it helps broaden your horizons.

What projects are you currently working on? What are you releasing next?
The fifth book in my Next post-apocalyptic series is just coming out. I also have a horror thriller called The Gorge waiting to come out, it’s an older book whose rights have reverted to me. After this I think I will do a dark science fiction series in the Philip K. Dick mold.

Where can readers connect with you and stay up to date on your work online?
I have several free books out for people who want to give me a try: The Shock, Bone and Cinder, and Afterburn. You can check out my books or sign up for my newsletter at

Any advice for aspiring writers hoping for a successful authorial career?
Really, just stick with it no matter what. All the writers I know who stuck with it have achieved some level of success. Thanks for having me, Summer!

About Scott Nicholson (taken from his official website) 
Author Scott Nicholson has written 20 thrillers, 60 short stories, four comics series, and six screenplays. He lives in the Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina, where he tends an organic garden, successfully eludes stalkers, and indulges in the vain whimsy of believing his thoughts are important. 
Visit Scott Online: 

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Adventure Time (And Love Machines) Comic Writer Josh Trujillo!

There are two things I love about what I do: One, I love sharing my work with the public. And two, I love meeting fellow authors, writers and creative minds. As a part of my ongoing Zappcon feature, I am continuing to showcase writers/illustrators/authors from the event in the Central Valley. 

Our next guest is Josh Trujillo, a writer, editor and comic book creator from the Los Angeles area. He's worked with big time comics like DC, Dark Horse and Boom! Studios. He's currently writing Adventure Time comics for Cartoon Network, as well as his own comics, entitled Love Machines. 

I encourage you to check out Josh's work and support what he does! He's a really cool cat with a super creative mind, and anybody like that deserves all the success he gets! 

Interview with Josh Trujillo 

Thanks for visiting with Writing Belle today, Josh! Let's rewind a little and start at the beginning: where are you from, and how did you get into writing for comics? 

I have always lived in Southern California, and I have always had a passion for comics. In the past I interned at a couple of different publishers, and that was extremely helpful in learning how the whole process worked. About three or four years ago I started self-publishing my own work, and have been enjoying it ever since.

Currently, how many comics have you written/published? 

Quite a few! Currently I'm the writer of the "Adventure Time" original graphic novel series from Boom! Studios and Cartoon Network. So far two have been released "Four Castles" and "President Bubblegum," with the third "Brain Robbers" due in 2017!

I have also recently self-published a collection of my "Love Machines" series, and the first issue of an ongoing Revolutionary War romance "Declaration," with artist Levi Hastings. Last year I put together the fantasy gaming anthology "Death Saves: Fallen Heroes of the Kitchen Table"  with dozens of creators, and thankfully it was a bit hit on Kickstarter.

Tell us about your Adventure Time comics! 

They're crazy. I was already a big fan of the show, so it was exciting to get the opportunity to write these characters. Each of them are very different. "Four Castles" is inspired by my gaming background. Finn and Jake have to go to the various castles of Ooo to recover some magical items -- It's a very Dungeons & Dragons type of set-up. 
"President Bubblegum" is maybe more
satirical, but also it has the most action. "Brain Robbers" is a straight-up western starring two of the show's best characters, Tree Trunks and Lumpy Space Princess.

You've worked with Dark Horse Comics, DC Comics, Boom! Studios and more. What has that been like and how did it all come about? 

It's a different story for each one. For DC Comics, I am one of over a hundred contributor to their upcoming book "Love is Love' benefitting victims of the Orlando shooting. I was asked to be a part of that because of my involvement with groups like Prism Comics, a non-profit benefitting LGBTQ comic creators.

A lot of these projects came about because I publish a steady stream of work, I go to a lot of conventions to meet fans and editors, and I make sure people can find me online.

What is Love Machines about, and how has it been received by readers? 

"Love Machines" is what I call a "technological romance." It tells different stories about our love affair with technology, how we interact with machines in intimate ways, and our emotional connection to objects. A lot of the stories are set in the past, but speak to our own insecurities and doubts about the role of new technology in our lives.

Romance comics are a bit of a tough sell, but people have taken to the concept. I feel like the stories spark a lot of discussion and that's something I'm most proud of. That said, I'm extremely proud of the work everyone has put into the series. Each of the artists brought a lot to their individual stories.

Do you often attend comic conventions? What are some of your favorite comics that inspire you? 

I do attend quite a few conventions. It's a great way to make new fans, and find inspiration. My favorite of the year is Emerald City Comic Con. Seattle is maybe my favorite city outside of Los Angeles and I think they do a good job of balancing mainstream comics with the emerging independent scene.

What projects are you currently working on? Anything new coming up for you? 

Quite a few. These days I am preparing the follow-up to my "Death Saves" anthology "Advanced Death Saves". This volume will be at least twice the size of the original, which should make for some late nights for me. The next "Adventure Time" book "Brain Robbers" is out in February, and I have a few other surprises coming up this year.

Where can readers connect with you online or stay up to date about your work? 

The best way to keep up with my comics work is to follow me on twitter @LostHisKeysMan. Or just bookmark my website

Any words of advice for aspiring writers? 

Make comics. Be patient. Be grateful to your artists.

Thank you so much for visiting with us! It was a pleasure! 

Thank you!

About Josh 
Josh Trujillo is a writer, editor, and comic book creator based in Los Angeles, California. He is currently writing the ADVENTURE TIME graphic novel series for Cartoon Network and Boom! Studios, as well as the technological romance series LOVE MACHINES. In addition, Trujillo is editor of the gaming anthology DEATH SAVES: FALLEN HEROES OF THE KITCHEN TABLE.
Beginning in 2014, LOVE MACHINES is an ongoing series dealing with how romance and relationships are affected by technology. This year marks the release of LOVE MACHINES Volume 1, collecting the first six issues in a color hardcover format. In 2015, Josh Trujillo created, edited and published DEATH SAVES: FALLEN HEROES OF THE KITCHEN TABLE, which features the work of over 40 international creators. Successfully funded through Kickstarter, it is currently available in comic book shops everywhere.
You can remain updated on his work by following Josh on Twitter @LostHisKeysMan or visiting him at
Cover Information: 
Death Saves cover by Jared Morgan
Love Machines Issue 6 cover by JB Wolfe
Adventure Time: President Bubblegum cover by Scott Maynard

Friday, October 21, 2016

BRAVO: BLOOD ROAD Release Day! (And Kindle Fire Giveaway!)

Title: Bravo: Blood Road 
Author: Summer Lane 
Series: Bravo Saga #2 
Release Date: Now Available! 
Buy Links: 


Bravo and his beloved handler, Lieutenant Nathan Ingalls, are together again amidst the ashes of an apocalyptic California. Together, they are using their skills to help a rebel militia group seek out survivors in the desolation of Death Valley. 

But when the Death Brigade - a vicious anarchist group arisen from the dust of a fallen society – rolls into town, tragedy strikes. Someone is taken. Neither Nathan nor Bravo will allow that. The hunt is on – Bravo will not fail in his task to protect his friends. 

The Black Market. 

Rescuing the people you love sometimes comes with a price. When Bravo and his friend, India, are taken to Blood Road, they are forced to fight for their lives in a terrifying and vicious society of gambling, deceit and violent entertainment. 
Alone and afraid, Bravo is forced to fight for his life every day in an arena while cruel spectators make bets on the odds of his victory. His only allies in this dark place could perish as suddenly as he could. 
The bonds of friendship are tested, and the agonizing teeth of loss sink their fangs deep. 
Life or death. Fight or flight. Bravo must choose. 
One mission, completed. 
One duty, fulfilled. 
And now, the Blood Road will wreak its vengeance. 

This is the conclusion to Bravo the bomb dog’s thrilling and poignant tale of love, loss and ultimate sacrifice, a #1 bestselling phenomenon.

Thank you all SO MUCH for supporting and loving Bravo! This is a big release for me, as it is the conclusion of Bravo's personal backstory and the end of the Bravo Saga, which has been a supreme passion project of mine. I'm so grateful for your love and support, and I hope this conclusion is as fun for you to read as it was for me to create!

Enter the giveaway below the poster! 

Enter the giveaway by using the Rafflecopter form below! 

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Zappcon Author Vincent M. Wales: One Nation Under God (Dystopia)

Zappcon is a Central California event. Check it out!
In Fresno, there's a pretty cool convention called Zappcon. I went for the first time last year with my brother, and I got to scope out a lot of fun cosplayers - but most importantly, I found every author in the convention and interviewed them! I love meeting new writers, and this year, I returned to Zappcon to find some more. 

This time, I met a few new friendly faces, and you'll be meeting all of them over the course of the next several weeks here at Writing Belle. 

Our first guest is Vincent M. Wales, author of a dystopian novel called One Nation Under God, as well as trilogy of books called The Many Deaths of Dynamistress. He was also part of a writing exercise book entitled, Write Now! with series editor Laurie Lamson. 

Vincent took some time to visit with us here today at Writing Belle. I hope you check out his books and his website after this interview - it's always great to give indie authors support! 

Interview with Vincent M. Wales 

Welcome to Writing Belle! Introduce yourself to my readers! 

Hello. My name is Vincent M. Wales and I’m a novelist.

Yeah, that sounds like the introduction to an AA meeting, but writing is like an addiction to me. I don’t think I could stop if I wanted to.

Fortunately, I don’t want to.

How/When did you get into writing? 

I think I’ve been writing my entire life. As a young kid, I remember writing weird little snippets of things. This morphed into poetry later and some truly terrible science fiction(ish) short stories when I was a teen. I eventually moved on to novels and never looked back.

When did you publish your first novel? 

Wish You Were Here was published in August of 2001. Not the best time to be marketing everything, as people just weren’t buying stuff right after 9/11.

What is One Nation Under God about? Where did the inspiration for that story come from? 

One Nation Under God is a dystopian future novel in which America has become a Christian theocracy. The president is very right-wing and his primary advisor is a charismatic TV evangelist. The story revolves mainly around the young daughter of the president, who ages from 11 to 20 over the course of the story. During this time, she questions all the things teenagers typically do, up to and including her own father’s policies. So it’s a coming-of-age story set against a theocracy backdrop.

As for how the idea came… In the late ‘90s, I was living in Utah for a few years. It was, to be honest, a bit of a surreal experience. The state truly is the closest thing to a theocracy our country has, with the LDS church being involved with pretty much everything. As a long-time defender of the First Amendment, I believe in total separation of church and state, so this was an unnerving experience for me.

The book was inspired by life in Utah and it fell into my head almost completely formed, including the idea of telling the story in a sort of modern epistolary style, using only email exchanges, websites, diary entries, and so on.

The book was published in 2004 and, in the dozen years since then, I’ve received many emails from people about the book. Most of them point out just how timely the book still is and some ask how I “predicted” certain things that “came true” after the publication. The answer to that is that it wasn’t prescience. I’ve just always paid attention to the activities of the “religious right” and what they’re trying to accomplish, so it wasn’t hard to figure which items might succeed.

Briefly, tell us about your other publications. 

Wish You Were Here is the story of a teenage boy from Earth who finds himself transported to a world with magic and monsters. He has no idea how he got there or how to get home. While he’s trying to figure those things out, he’s growing up and dealing with adult matters, but in a world still mostly alien to him. A coming-of-age story in a fantasy world.

The Many Deaths of Dynamistress is a trilogy of books (in hardcover!) that are collectively the memoir of a superhero. Because it is a memoir, the story is less about the activities of a superhero than it is about everything else in her life, colored by her life in tights. It is a reflective story of a deeply flawed woman who pursues this career for purely selfish reasons. You might say it is a coming-of-age story about a woman in her thirties, rather than a teenager. (Sense a theme to my work?)

On average, how long does it take you to write the first draft of a novel? 

That’s not the easiest question to answer, because I don’t really write in traditional “drafts.” I edit as I go along, so it might take me three or four years to finish the “first draft” of the story, but it’s a very polished draft. And the revisions that follow are much less involved than they otherwise would be if I’d zipped through the story just to get it down on paper… er… pixels.

I see that you were included in "Now Write!", a writing exercise book. How did that come about? 

Utterly unexpectedly, to be honest. The series’ editor, Laurie Lamson, was familiar with me somehow and knew that I wrote speculative fiction. She emailed me and asked if I’d be willing to contribute. It’s a good book (Now Write! Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror), though somehow I got labeled a “young adult” author, which I don’t consider myself to be.

Do you travel to a lot of conventions in the vein of Zappcon? 

Not compared to a lot of folks. I have artist acquaintances who travel all over the country doing such conventions. I’m doing nine, this year, which is more than I’ve done in the past. They’re great fun. I love seeing the elaborate costumes and meeting new people.

Any new or upcoming projects? 

I’m currently about halfway through Renaissance, the final book in the Dynamistress trilogy. Once that’s finished, I’ll work on a sequel to Wish You Were Here. But I’m not quite done with Dyna. My goal is to do adaptations of the trilogy into graphic novels, and even to do single-issue books featuring her teammates.

How can readers connect with you online/pick up your books? 

The best way would be via my website, There are links to where my books can be purchased (and free chapters of each), as well as to all my social media presences, and a subscription box to my monthly newsletter. And while you’re at it, check out She has an extensive web presence and lots of fun stuff on her site.

About the Author 
Vincent M. Wales was raised in the small town of Brockway, Pennsylvania, where he frequently complained about the weather. Since then, he has worn many hats, including writing instructor, suicide prevention crisis counselor, essayist, Big Brother, freethought activist, wannabe rock star, and award-winning novelist.

His books fall under the umbrella of "speculative fiction," including fantasy, dystopian, and most recently, science fiction superhero novels.

He spends most of his writing time in coffee shops, since his cats fail to grasp the entire concept of “writing time.”

He currently lives in Sacramento, California, where he frequently complains about the weather.