Indie Revolution Day Six - C.J. Duggan

by 12:30 AM 2 comments

For one whole week, I will be talking to Indie Author's about what it is like to be an Indie Author and their books!

For the today on the tour, we have Author C.J. Duggan!

Thanks for joining us today C.J!

What is it like to be an Indie Author?

It’s very liberating. I don’t think there has ever been a more exciting time to be a writer. Much like Indie Bands or Indie Film makers, Indie Writers are the new addition thanks to the advancement in technology. What is possible today has changed greatly over a mere few years. The control you have on your work is an amazing thing, there are not many aspects in life that you can have complete creative control over what you do and that is one of the positive things about being Indie. Is it hard work? Absolutely, but if you enjoy what you do and you’re producing work that has the opportunity to be viewed globally, then there really is no better pay off.

Can you tell us any pro’s/con’s about being an Indie?

Being an Indie, there can be an expectation that our work won’t be as good as traditionally published Authors, and there are great debates about Indie verses Traditional. I never worry about the comparisons I think there are far more positives with the emergence of Indie Authors. You get a variety of books, you have an opportunity to approach them more readily, and book prices are beyond reasonable, what’s not to love?

Can you tell us about an important experience in your Indie journey? 

It’s the people you get to meet. Other Indie writers for sure, but the readers out there that take a moment out of their time to send you a message to tell you how much they enjoyed what they read, it makes it all worth while. Writing for me was initially something I did just for me. The fact it has now expanded into something bigger is more than I could have believed or hoped for. When I received my first fan mail it was the most humbling, amazing experience. Those little snippets is what you must remember on the days that are not so great, and like life in writing there are those days too. It’s not all sunglasses and autographs.

Do you have any advice to any aspiring authors, about being an Indie?

Don’t be afraid, the day I decided to take my writing to the next level, to take my work seriously was a life changing decision. It didn’t mean I wasn’t fraught with self doubt and fear, and it is a good thing to hang on to some semblance of that fear, it makes you know you’re human.

Read, read, read. 
I can not stress that enough, it ‘s a form of invalid research for genres, tense style. What gets you hooked into a book? What makes your heart race? The more you read the better writer you will become.

Write what you know. 
Don’t write for the market write what comes natural to you. Don’t pigeon hole yourself exclusively to a particular genre you are a writer go with your heart.

But don’t be overwhelmed by it. There is a lot of great advice out there and great forums to be apart of to learn more about your craft from those who have gone through what you are about to embark on. Ensure your working with quality cover designers and editing services, at the end of all the hard work, if you publish something less than perfect it will come back to  haunt you. Like I said there is a spotlight on Indie Authors to make mistakes, you need to prove them wrong, you never get a second chance to make a first impression.

Set yourself goals and stick to them as best you can, procrastination is the writers arch nemeses, it really is.

Own what you do, be proud of your ability and don’t be afraid. Have the humility to accept you are not perfect and that you will learn something new every day, this is a GREAT thing!

Describe The Boys of Summer in 3 words!

Swoony, romantic, fun!

Where did your inspiration for The Boys of Summer come from?

We live for those days when you can shut down your laptop or put the lid on your pen and feel so utterly sated about all you have achieved.

I tried to cast my mind back to when I first thought of this idea? When it HIT me, I could hardly believe it.

I have had this story in my head since I was 11 years old!

Is this why it is so familiar to me? I kid you not I have had the premise for this story and even have brainstorming notes written in my child like hand.

After this realisation I went searching through all the boxes in my spare room, housing all my childhood memories. And low and behold I found it. 18 years later the scrapbook that housed my idea.
A group of friends spending a summer together in a lakeside town in Australia. Of course the plot was not much more comprehensive than that. But the theme, feel, and setting are exactly the same as my 11 year old mind had planned. I don't know if this is bizarre or extremely special. Is this why my characters are giving me such a hard time? Is this why I feel I know them so well?
I smiled so broad it hurt my face, I threatened to tear up as my hands traced my 11year old writing. I had drawn drawings of characters, a crude landscape of a lake scene I had pictured, plotted character names and intricate relationship out lines. And the absolute clincher, a list of 'happening' places. I know this is the same story I envision now as I have loosely based it on an actual town called Eildon, or as it's more commonly known Lake Eildon.

The younger version of me never dreamt of thinking 18 years into the future. That my simple Lakeside story about a boy meets girl and the group of friends that had to make their own fun in a small town. Never would I have believed that I would eventually develop it into a YA Romance.

I think I owed that little girl C.J to carry through the idea to the next level. It also humbles me to know that I was brainstorming about characters and places for as long as I could remember and I am so thankful I hoarded all my scrapbooks from school.

I had completely forgotten about this scrapbook until plotting my YA and
 was overcome with that funny feeling “I had done this before?” Even this very day the realisation that an idea has subconsciously carried through me over the years is utterly amazing. For that reason The Boys of Summer will always be very special to me.

How long did it take you to write The Boys of Summer?

The Boys of Summer has proud roots formed in last Novembers NaNo month. National Novel Writing Month is a global activity where anyone can join in in the attempt to write 50k in one month. I thought it would be a bit of fun, and initially planned to tackle a edgier world gone wrong drama, but then The Boys of Summer seeped into my subconscious and completely took me over. I had such a clear concise direction the characters had me going. I wrote in my blog, the fear of not being able to ever replicate the joy of writing like I had writing the BOS. I managed to smash the quota with 77k for the month, and It took me  5 months to complete the first rough draft, and it was very rough! Since then in the past few months it has been edited, re written, completely run through the ringer and it is still being polished. It has taken over a year in the mechanics to build this story, but it is a story that has been waiting to be written for a very, very, long time. It all just clicked in to place I am really fortunate that I had such a great time creating this story.

What would your dream movie cast be for The Boys of Summer?

The Boys of Summer characters are so unique in my mind it’s hard to match them with celebrities (which is what I usually like to do) So I had to have a bit of a think on this one. Plus it’s an Aussie story so picking Australian based actors is really hard, so let’s just go with fantasy.
A young Matt Bomer would make a dreamy Toby. And Channing Tatum would be the perfect Sean Murphy (I defy anyone not to swoon over them) And I have a particular fondness for Adam Brody who would make a great Adam. That would make for some serious swoony, romantic, fun!

Future Books in the works?

This Life is my Adult Paranormal Romance due for release 2013.
Someone Like You is my next YA Romance that I am currently working on (Date TBA)
I am also involved in an exciting offer I can’t say too much about at this moment but I am planning to announce soon on my blog…Ooooh cryptic I know.

Random Questions!


I live in a 100 year old Victorian house, which we have pain stakingly renovated over the past 10 years. I am always finding new projects to tackle I always seem to have an endless array of sample pots and House and Garden magazines not to mention seriously addicted to Reno shows. When I’m not writing, reading, renovating I love to travel. I will be embarking on a month long American trip in August and I can’t wait! Of course it will also be used as research for a future book I plan to write, yep! No rest for the wicked.

Special writing habits?

When I am in the zone I lock myself away in my office (especially when editing) I have a glass lolly jar to my left that I fill with maltese’s, snakes, cool mints, peanut MM’s. I get myself an ice cold Pepsi Max and put my foot heater on, low background music through iTunes and settle into a sugar induced writing session. It’s the only way!

Favourite book? (Apart from your own of course!)

Wow, O.K…hmm?
A book by Beverly Hughesdon called Song of Songs. It’s centered around a young Nurse in World War II and it is a book that has you so emotionally invested in the characters. I remember my Mum reading it when I was little, read it until it fell apart basically. She tried to get me to read it when I was in my teens, but I was to busy being a typical teen. I don’t know what made me pick it up this time around? Curiosity when I visited Mum one day and saw it on her bookshelf. I absolutely devoured it and ended up ringing my Mum up and saying to her, “why didn’t you make me read this book? It’s amazing!” She just laughed “I did try C.J”
I probably wouldn’t have appreciated it like I do now. It’s out of print, so I researched and hunted for copies on line. I bought Mum and myself a second hand copy, both in excellent condition. I know I will probably read it until it falls apart too, always a sign of an amazing book.

Thank you to C.J Duggan for stopping by and having a chat with us!

You can find more about C.J at her website here!

Claire Blennerhassett

Reader, Blogger

Twenty-something | book-blogger | tea-drinker | procrastinator | wannabe-writer | student


  1. Thanks so much for having me Claire! Great fun. :)

  2. I really enjoyed the interview. I will have to check out The Boys of Summer for sure. Thank you for sharing. :)

    Jenea @ Books Live Forever


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