Celebrating “Indie” Excellence

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Today will be my final blog introducing some of the wonderful “indie” authors I’ve come across over the past year. There are many, many more exceptional authors that I could have included in these three blogs, but space constraints just don’t make that possible.

All my reviews can be accessed here: Book Reviews and I would certainly encourage you to check them out.

Okay, on with the show:


1/ K. French:

Keely French, a British author debuted with her first novel, Muse, in 2014 and has just followed up with the sequel to Muse, in June of this year; Desire.

I made the “mistake” of reading the second book Desire first, but was so taken with the story, the characters and the concept, that I decided I needed to read Muse as well.

French’s genre I  guess, is “chick lit”, although I’m not sure if that is even an official genre. Although it may not normally be my usual choice of reading style, I was very glad to discover this new talent.

Reading the two books in reverse order certainly made no difference to my enjoyment of this series. I found her characters interesting and easy to identify with. Her writing style is smooth and flowing. Both of her books to date are the type of novel you start in the morning, and finish that afternoon. You simply just don’t want to put them down.

Reading Muse after Desire was an enjoyable experience in that characters I had already identified with and enjoyed were like old friends to me as I explored how they arrived at where they did. It was a wonderful experience and I have put this author at the top of the “to watch” list.

I look forward to more literary gems from this extremely talented “indie” author.

Picture2/ C.N Lesley:
C.N. Lesley is actually the pen-name of an extremely talented and wonderful author Elizabeth Hull, who writes in the fantasy/paranormal genre. Like French, I have already read two of Lesley’s books; Sword of Shadows and Darkspire Reaches.

In Darkspire Reaches and Sword of Shadows, Lesley was able to transport you to wonderful, new worlds populated by a variety of fantastic creatures; some almost human and some not so much, but all fascinating.

In Sword of Shadows she recreated an old, much loved tale of King Arthur in a new, fantastically and vividly sculpted setting. We saw Arthur as we’ve never seen him before and it worked! It takes real skill, imagination and more than a touch of bravery to take a classic and turn it into your own. Lesley succeeded.

Darkspire Reaches was just another example of this writer’s ability to create something fantastic and wonderfully different and yet still retain so many of those human characteristics that allow us, as readers, to truly identify with her characters.

I am truly inspired by this author and her vision. I look forward to many more tales of strange creatures and warped worlds in the future. Lesley is an extremely talented “indie” author who has already made her mark and will hopefully continue to do so.


3/ T E Hodden:

So far I’ve only read one of Tom Hodden’s books; What Once Went Wrong, but I can absolutely assure you I will be reading more.

A quick glance at his Author page on Amazon will assure you that Hodden is a prolific author, with many titles to choose from.

What Once Went Wrong, was a fairly short story (220 pages on Kindle) but it was an absolute gem and without doubt one of the best books I’ve read this year. It takes a lot to make this hard-bitten, old, man tear up, but Hodden made that so in this wonderful piece of writing.

The premise of the story was simple enough: A young man is told he has six months left to live. What doe he do with that time? What would you do? Hodden’s idea for his character’s final six months was unusual and inspired. I totally fell in love with the characters and with Hodden’s writing style.

If like me, you like to find an author that you like and who has a large collection of stories to choose from – this can sometimes be difficult with “indie” authors who are just starting out in the literary world. With Hodden you know you have a lot of choice and can spend some time cherry-picking his work. I’m ultra impressed with this man’s talent and writing ability.


4/ Bodhi Alvarez: 

I’ve included as my final choice for this list, a new writer Bodhi Alvarez. Alvarez is a Californian who likes to cock a snoot at society and its expectations. As far as I’m aware his one only literary effort to date is a book with the captivating (if rather weird) title, of Masturbating With Strangers.

This book was one of the first “indie” authored books I actually read and although I greatly enjoyed the story, which was gritty, hard-hitting and very, very, compelling, I was disturbed by the poor quality of the editing. There were many mistakes, misplaced and mis-spelled words. I thought, wow, if this is what “indie” books are like, I’m not so sure I can read too many of them.

To Alvarez’s credit, when I raised this issue with him and suggested it would hurt his credibility as a serious writer in this literary miasma, unless he corrected it, he did exactly what any good author should do. He removed the book, had it re-edited and put it back on sale. Well done that man!

The editing aside, Masturbating With Strangers truly is a gripping and compelling story of disillusionment and the search for “the American Dream”. It’s written in a punchy, hard-hitting style and trust me Alvarez thinks swear words are commas, so if you have an aversion to foul language – stay away.

I sincerely hope he will follow up this excellent work with more gems.


So there we have it; my list of twelve of the very best “indie” writers I’ve come across in my journey through “indie” literature this year.

The list is far from complete and there are many, many more wonderful authors out there just waiting for you to discover them. This is an incredibly crowded and difficult market place to be a successful author in – even more so for us “indie” authors, but for readers it is an absolute bonanza.

You have never had so much choice – and that my friends is a very good thing.

We all want to succeed – we all want to write that best-seller – we all want to be famous, but at the end of the day, most of all – WE ALL WANT TO WRITE! The new technology and marketplaces available today allow us to do just that and you, the readers, are the winners.

For me, just to be counted as a peer amongst these wonderfully, talented and genuinely generous people is a real joy and incredibly humbling.

HUG AN “INDIE” AUTHOR TODAY! Buy their book, read their book, review their book.

Till next week! Have a wonderful, happy, peace-filled day!

Check out my website too if you have some time: Grant Leishman – Author
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