Dear Writer-Friends,

I've been self-publishing since 2011, and I've shared the knowledge I've gained in two books: the Indie Author Survival Guide, Second Edition, and For Love or Money. I'm not an indie rockstar or a breakout success: I'm one of thousands of solidly midlist indie authors making a living with their works. These books are my way of helping my fellow authors discover the freedom of indie publishing. Write on, writer-friends!

S.K. Quinn, Independent Author of Science Fiction

CLICK HERE TO GET YOUR QUICK START GUIDE TO SELF-PUBLISHING and to be notified when the 3rd Edition of the Indie Author Survival Guide releases!

Monday, December 3, 2012

How to Survive Ancient Spells & Crazy Kings by Laura Pauling

Friend and fellow Indelible Laura Pauling has a new Middle Grade novel out! She's stopped by to tell us about her new book and how to write eccentric characters!

When Bianca and Melvin brave the jungle to rescue their grandfather, they stumble upon the ancient Maya city of Etza, where the people haven’t aged in 2,000 years. They must learn to work together as they face loincloth-wearing skeletons from the underworld, a backstabbing princess, and an ancient prophecy that says in three days the city will be destroyed.

No problem. They’ll find Zeb and zip right out of there. The fact that a crazy king wants to serve Bianca up to the gods as an appetizer is just a minor technicality. But this ancient evil dude has finally met his match.

Writing the eccentric character.

Thanks Sue, for letting me take over your blog today!

I love writing and reading eccentric secondary characters. Not only do they throw in a bit of comedic relief, but I can sneak in my wacky sense of humor. Here’s an introduction to Bianca’s Aunt June.

An excerpt from Survival Tip 4:

When the jungle looks like it could wrap you up like a taco and eat you for dinner—it could be a bad sign.
A series of loud grunts echoed from the jungle. Mom wrapped her arms around Melvin and me. The grunts turned into long, deep roars.

“Neil, we are not staying in your sister’s homemade shelter,” Mom insisted.

“Great grasshoppers, Verla. Toughen up.”

Aunt June faced the jungle. She took a deep breath, puffed out her chest, and answered back with a roar. Her body shook and sweat streamed down the sides of her face. She stopped, her cheeks pink from the exertion, and then puffed out her words.

“Howler monkeys. It’s what you can’t hear that you should be afraid of. You know? Those silent predators.”

Melvin whispered in my ear, “No, it’s my mom you should be afraid of.”
Click here for the list of blog tour stops! Enter to win these prize packages!

Prize Package One (signed paperbacks)

Prize Package Two (signed paperbacks)

Prize Package Three

Refresh the page if you can't see the Rafflecopter form!


  1. Oh ha ha ha ha ha! What fun. This is so awesome. No MG story is great without some wonderful humor.

  2. Yay for Laura! I LOVE having fun with secondary characters, so I completely feel ya. And this book looks too awesome. Best of luck with it~ :o) <3

  3. Hahaha! LOVE the excerpt. This is why your stories are ALIVE!


  4. Thank you for the giveaway. I'd like to see the Northern Lights.

  5. Sounds awesome. Can't wait to read this.

  6. Woo-hoo, Woo-hoo! Congrats, this looks like a lot of fun. Good luck with everything.

  7. Thanks everyone! :) And thanks Susan!

  8. I have a feeling that I am an eccentric character, so I'll just channel that.

  9. Sounds good, think my nephew would like the book :). As for the question, one place I would love to visit is Greece.

  10. I'm enjoying Laura's book right now. So fun! Congrats on your newest book, Laura!


Erudite comments from thoughtful readers