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Indie Author Spotlight

  • July 2019. Harvey Havel, Pakistani-American novelist living in New Jersey. Published 16 books, all on Smashwords. Here’s a long interview I had with Havel and my book review of one of his novels.
  • Dec 2019 Ken Kuhlken who writes genre-bending mysteries or thrillers that (according to his website) offer a vivid and panoramic vision of California as it transforms from a frontier to the most influential place on earth.
  • March 2020 Zdravka Evtimova is a Bulgarian story writer (website & wiki page)
  • December 2020 Frank Prem is an Australian poet (website)
  • Feb 2021 Chris Wen Chao Li (author website) is a Taiwanese-born and Oxford-educated translator who wrote the iconoclastic and irreverent translation of Analects by Confucius. (Read my book review).
  • March 2021

To read more information about each author, check out the Robert’s Roundup column for the month in question.

About this “Award”

So many indie authors deserve a second look that picking just one seems redundant and arbitrary. On the other hand, it’s good to spotlight one — and perhaps provide extra coverage of that author’s books over time.

Keep in mind that my monthly roundup column tends to be superficial; often I have not read even one book by the author in question. Nonetheless, based on superficial impressions, reading a chapter or two and price discounting, this author seems incredibly interesting to me that particular month. Maybe I haven’t read much by this author, but when I make my decision, I am eager to read works by this author — and think that you should be eager too!

You can’t nominate yourself or a favorite author for this (it’s purely my pick), but let me tell you about some criteria which go into making my decision:

  • I have a slight preference for authors on Smashwords. Also, slight background for authors in Texas.
  • I have a strong preference for authors whose books are low-priced.
  • If you look at my book review guidelines, you will see that I like general/literary fiction, not series or well-defined genres.
  • Having a blog or website or audio/video helps too.
  • The more overlooked your books are, the better!

I find dozens of new authors a month; who can say which books actually will bowl me over until I actually read them? I will try to keep readers of this blog posted about whether my opinion has changed over time.