I love Indie Authors. They are such a supportive community, and it is support that helps us to survive the frustrations and too often testing life of a writer. They work hard not only at their craft but at all the things that publishing involves. Sometimes those things are harder than putting pen to paper.
Despite this there is never hesitation if you need help and frequently their social media will make you smile when you want to cry. This month I am excited to be spotlighting Bekah Berge, an author whose warmth and sincerity shines through her books. And her generosity extends beyond the world of writing and writers but more about that in a later post. For now, let me hand straight over to Bekah for an insight into her writing journey and a little on her decision to self-publish.
Spotlight on Bekah Berge
I’m Bekah Berge and I write Young Adult and New Adult Fantasy. I’ve published four books and have two anthologies and another standalone novel on the way. Throughout my high school years, I became a voracious reader. I spent most of my lunches in the library and considered local bookstores to be a second home. Books were an escape from my rather messy life. Divorced parents, strained relationships with my siblings, not really fitting in at school, etc. But inside books, I found myself able to disconnect from normal teenage life. That love of fantasy books followed me into my 20s when I decided to write down the stories in my head. Though my first book was an absolute disaster, I quickly became hooked to the craft of writing a story.
After high school, I moved from Colorado to Los Angeles and fell in love with the City of Angels. Being surrounded by a variety of different cultures and languages, I found my view of the world expanding. I loved the diversity. I loved meeting new people and learning about their cultures, as well as eating foods I’d never even heard of before. These things began swirling and clicking together in my mind, helping me create new worlds inside my head that would one day find themselves on the page.
The first three books I wrote were unfocused. The universes were a mess, the characters fell flat, and the plot was predictable. By the time I got to writing my fourth and fifth book, I had created the Nine Kingdoms, which would go on to be the realm for Needlework and the Shadow Series. In five years, I wrote five books. Then, I took a break. It would be another three years before I wrote a new story. In that time, I accepted a job at a luxury lifestyle magazine and became a Staff Writer. Though I wasn’t writing fiction, I would grow tremendously as a writer within those three years. I learned how to find the “why” of a story and was mentored by truly incredible editors. To this day, I’m so grateful for my time spent in publishing.
I’m often inspired by music and poetry, but my own experiences in the world have greatly shaped the characters in my books. I tend to pull from my life and people I’ve encountered when I create a character. I like to give each of them specific details to help me figure out their personalities and quirks. It’s fun! I’d say apart from building the universes themselves, I really enjoy the process of making characters as real as possible.
By my late twenties, I decided to leave LA and go to Europe by myself for a few months. I explored and ate my way through several countries before settling down in Ireland for seven weeks. It was magical. A whimsical exploration. By the time I came back to Colorado, it only took me about a month before I was back at my laptop writing a new story. This one would be a cautionary tale filled with morally gray characters, a tricky villain, and a game of life-and-death. That story became, Sedendum.
Now, as someone who had worked in publishing and been in the thick of things, I knew that I had no desire to go the traditional publishing route. I had seen enough of “the boys club” and had no intention of anyone telling me what I could and could not write. So, I decided I would go full steam ahead into self-publishing. I found an editor, had my good friend Maria create my covers, as well as help me with formatting. My first published book, The Whisperings in the Shadows, came out in August 2019. The second book in the series, The Knife in the Shadows, came out in February 2020. With Sedendum hitting shelves in August 2020 and Needlework in June 2021.
There have been many obstacles with self-publishing, along with figuring out how to market and use Amazon Ads. I don’t have everything figured out just yet, but I’m so grateful to be a part of the indie author community. The talent in the indie world is mind-blowing and the stories are fresh and original. It’s become a passion of mine to try and help promote other indie books and spread the word about these new releases.
Ways to connect with me:
Amazon: Bekah Berge Author Page
From my TBR (to be read) pile
The Beautiful Mother – Katherine Scholes
I love reading Indie authors, but I also read traditionally published books. To me books are books and should be chosen for themselves, for their appeal. I have a huge pile of reading at present and they are a combination. This is one of the many on my tbr list and is a beautiful read. Vivid descriptions allow Tanzania to come alive for the reader. The differing ideologies woven throughout the novel are clever insights into how much better our lives would be if we took more time to understand and respect each other. I love the way Essie comes to live the full meaning of beautiful mother, reminding us weaknesses can become strengths.
Until next month,
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