Gears, Gadgets and Steampunk: A Discussion with Indie Author Rie Sheridan Rose

steampunk, interview, rie sheridan rose, gears, gadgets, marvelous, mechanical, man

This week the Indie Beginning Podcast brings our listeners an interview with indie author Rie Sheridan Rose about her story The Marvelous Mechanical Man and writing in the steampunk genre. If you missed the introduction that Benjamin Franke narrated or want a refresher before the discussion head back to episode 37. If you enjoy the steampunk genre or are interested in learning more about the indie / self-publishing process, these discussion episodes are for you. Let us know what other topics you are interested in by leaving a comment or sending us an e-mail.

About Rie Sheridan Rose:

Rie Sheridan Rose multitasks. Her short stories appear in numerous anthologies, including Nightmare Stalkers and Dream Walkers Vols. 1 and 2, and Killing It Softly Vol. 1 and 2. She has authored ten novels, six poetry chapbooks, and lyrics for dozens of songs. She and her husband have five cats, two of whom appear in The Conn-Mann Chronicles Steampunk series, two of whom impersonate Lenny and George from Of Mice and Men in size and attitude, and the elusive Miss Firefly. More info on She tweets as @RieSheridanRose.

In this Episode:

1. The host’s first impression of this week’s featured beginning.
2. A review of reviews left for the Marvelous Mechanical Man. Don’t forget to review the show!
3. Our interview with Rie Sheridan Rose:
– What inspired you to write a novel in the steampunk setting? What is your favorite aspect of the steampunk genre?
– How did you go about researching for the Marvelous Mechanical Man? Did anything come about that ‘shocked’ you; an I never knew that moment?
– Marvelous Mechanical Man takes place in the 1800s. What is the most difficult part about reinventing a historical period that is so well known? Or is it not as well-known as we think.
– The dime-novel’s fast pace – writing style and storyline – seem to be a perfect complement for a steampunk tale. Was this your experience or was there a push and pull from the genres?
– If you could send a message through one of Professor Conn’s creations back to your early writing self what would that message say?
4. Final Thoughts

The Marvelous Mechanical Man is available on Amazon. Learn more about this story and the sequels at – book five has just been released. Remember to leave a review for these stories as well as all of the stories you read. Reviews are such an important way to support an author and they only cost but a few moments of time. In fact, Reviews help podcasters as well. As a self-funded podcast there really isn’t money left over for advertising. Your reviews, word of mouth, and love of books is what keeps Indie Beginning running. If you’ve enjoyed this show please leave a 5-star review on apple podcasts, stitcher, or your preferred podcast platform.
All reviews in this episode were taken from Amazon. Music found in this episode was written and performed by Jahzzar and titled Look Inside. If you are an indie author and would like to hear you story featured on the indie beginning podcast go to for more info.

Marie Kammerer Franke’s 7 Rules When Writing

I am part of numerous Social media writer’s groups. One of my favorite topics to read are other author’s writing habits. I thought it would be something to share my 7 rules when writing, what I need or don’t want in order to successfully complete a story.

Keyboard, coffee, headphones, notepad

1. I DO NOT READ (While I am Writing)
I am a daydreamer, meaning that when I read I find myself daydreaming about after the happily ever after of the story I just finished. I fantasize about what comes next for the characters when I set a book down for the night. I am always worried that I will be influenced by another author when I am in the middle of a project. So no, I do not read anything (not even a chocolate chip cookie recipe) while writing. Same theory for television; I will not turn on West World or GoT. Sorry HBO – you’re going to sit idle until I get this out of my head.
That may not make sense seeing as how Indie Beginning is dedicated to reading the works of indie authors – but this is ok for me. We only receive the first 30-50 pages of a book, and when I’m reading it on air I focus solely on pronunciation and tone of voice. Most times; it’s a blind read – I have no comprehension of the piece, and barely retain any part of a page read. But I always do go back when I’m between projects and give each author’s submitted piece my undivided imagination.

I have to write in a completely still house. If there is a noise, a child “trying to be quiet”, a cat shuffling across hardwoods, or the fridge humming in the background I can’t do it. No way, no how. Which you will find makes #5 on my list an oxymoron to what I just said, but I’ll explain…

I have a dedicated play list; it has been the same for about 6 years now. And I am so used to the notes that no matter how loud they flow through the head phones, I can easily put them into the background. It’s a modge podge collection of sounds from musicians such as Muse to Carl Orff. And it is insurance. A policy that no life noise makes it into my ears making me wonder what is going on in the outside world.

My office is almost pitch black and until recently I worked off a desk top computer – I miss this computer; really REALLY miss this computer – with its outdated Microsoft and keys where the letters were worn off – not feeling the laptop that replaced it at all. The later the hour the better the juices flow, the darker the room the easier it is for me to write “pant less”- meaning without an outline or a distinct direction. Just words flowing from my fingertips to the screen as sentences.
When writing ACN I wouldn’t even ‘go to work’ until the kids were snoring away in the rooms above my office. I wouldn’t have a stopping point – I would write until my husband got up in the morning and reminded me I did have a day job to go to – I should probably go to bed for an hour or two before tackling the 9 to 5.
I did this very routine for just under a year and the outcome was a first draft of all 1,400 pages of the series.

Coffee, coffee, coffee, coffee – 9 a.m. or 9 p.m. COFFEE!! With cream, a little sugar, and cinnamon. Please and thank you. Luckily for me I have someone in my life who is a coffee enabler, so my pot is never deprived.

While in the middle of a project, my brain never shuts off. Constantly I am writing things down, a sentence, a reference, an idea for the next project. My office is COVERED in post-its, or receipts that hold a single word scribbled across it, napkins with a blurred thought jotted on them. It has become a habit of mine to force myself to get out of bed and write down last minute thoughts – because we all have revelations in the seconds before sleep. Can I tell you where I’ll use it? Nope, no clue, most of them probably won’t even get used. But if I ever get stuck they’re there.

The first draft is out there, on the screen, filled with little red lines and incomplete thoughts. This is when I stop. I step away from the computer and go back to life; reading, playing, catching up with family and friends. I won’t talk about my writing – I am not an author for a couple months. That way I reset with a fresh pair of eyes two or three months later, ready to start round two!

Every author has their style, their must haves, do and do nots. Those happen to be mine. What are the things you need? What is the perfect scenario for you to create in?



Author Interview Recap – Subgenres, Outlining, World-building, Editing, and Trigger / Content Warnings


Ben and Marie recap Author Interviews

Every so often the lord of calendars brings us a bonus Monday which allows us to bring you a bonus episode. We thought it would be nice to do a recap our Author interviews. Music found in this episode comes from our friend Alto Key. Alto Key is a British indie folk artist, created by singer-songwriter Keian Barton. Barton composes each song at home in Bath, and works with musicians around the world to put the pieces of the puzzle together. Each song found in this episode comes from the Animals EP and can be found on Spotify.

Stick around after the episode and we’ll play my favorite song by this band in full. We have found our featured authors to be encouraging as well as full of unique and useful knowledge.
M. Pepper Langlinais, author of Brynnde: A Regency Romance, on Subgenres.
Scott Stevens, author of On Ice, on Outlining.
Paul Grover, author of Ark of Souls on World-building.
Marie Kammerer Franke, author of A Charming Nightmare on Editing.
Carmilla Voiez, author of Broken Mirror and other Morbid Tales on Trigger Warnings.

Goldilocks and The Three World-builders – Paul Grover Author Interview

Goldilocks and The Three World-Builders – An Author Interview with Paul Grover

Many people believe that authors place too much focus on world building while others think that they leave too much to the imagination. Is there a ‘Just Right’ amount of world-building? What types of stories need more intricate design. How long can an author keep an average reader’s attention and what happens if they lose it? This week Ben and Marie discuss these writing topics as well as learn what featured author of Ark of Souls Paul Grover thinks about articles like ‘Against World-Building’ by Lincoln Michel in an effort to help with your indie author creative writing projects.

Ark of Souls is available for purchase on Amazon. Hurry up and grab your copy before the sequel is released. We’d would like to thank our niece Madison for letting everyone know that she had arrived and you the listener for understanding. I think it added a little something… and if you the listener would like to join in on these conversations as well send Indie Beginning an audio review of each week’s featured story. Simply record your thoughts into your phone recorder and send it along to or write a review on our website. Become part of our featured author’s stories by helping them learn and grow! Music found in this week’s episode was written and performed by Swelling and comes from the album Projector Music for Visual Media. Please take a moment to rate and review our show on your favorite podcast platform, reviews are such an important part of the growth of any project. If you are an author and would like to hear your work on a future episode go to I am your host Benjamin Franke asking everyone to read more books, be the best possible you, and to simply enjoy this wonderful life. Thanks for listening!
Against World-Building
Independent Article

Subgenres, You can never write too Many… Or Can You?


Episode 15, Subgenres and Author Interview

Marie and Ben discuss reviews left for last week’s Regency Romance featured beginning Brynnde by M. Pepper Langlinais as well as the author advice topic: Subgenres, You can never write too Many… Or Can You? The hosts discuss their views on the topic, theorize about J.K. Rowling switching genres and speak to the author of Brynnde about her own adventures in genre hopping. M. Pepper Langlinais gives her advice for other self-published and independently published authors concerning this topic and more. We all have stories to tell; stories to write, so write them. Write for yourself, your audience is out there and they will follow.


Find the full articles from this episode by clicking their links:
From the author interview:  Maggie Mackeever
Rachelle Gardner
Kimberley Grabas

Our friends at Burial Grounds Coffee Company have made this episode possible – they keep your hosts awake! Check out their coffee subscription service! Whether your favorite flavor is I’m not Perky, Mad Man, or you’re like us and love a bunch of them use their coffee subscription service to have those beans delivered on your schedule and for less! Remember to subscribe to the show on  ApplePodcasts, GooglePlay or your favorite podcast platform and leave a review, you could even help us out by rating us while you’re there; we sure would appreciate it. Music found in this episode was written and performed by Dee Yan-Key and is titled Struggle and Love.

Become part of the program. Your reviews not only let authors know how you have reacted to their work, but also helps them grow as an artist. Also, you just may find yourself on next week’s episode. Leave a review of this tale or send us an audio file to Psst – (Whispering) An Audio review almost guarantees you a spot on next week’s episode along with a special gift. (whispering softer) but don’t tell anyone.
Submit your story. Are you an Indie Author? Let us introduce your story to the world. Click here for more details.
As always – Read more books, be the best possible you, and thanks for listening.

The 4 must have people in your writing career:


I’ve learned so much between the release of A Charming Nightmare and the upcoming release of Sister’s Lament.  The number one thing I learned is that ACN was done completely wrong.  I rushed it, gave myself a budget of zero, and I sought help from people who loved me.  This caused ACN to suffer; spelling, grammar, flow, and overall sales wise.

I’m going to tell you about the 4 people you need in your writing life.  I’ll explain why your BFF is NOT one of those people and why you should/shouldn’t pay those people.


#1 person in your writing life is your editor.  Forever and ever, amen your editor.

Ask an editor how they feel about the friends and family editing plan and they will cringe at the thought of a writer using a friend or family member to do their job, because you can’t afford a professional.  No matter how good your freebie editor is, it’ll show. Reason #1 not to take up mom’s or your college roommate’s offer to edit – they love you, they are some of your biggest supporters, they know what you meant and might skip over some vitals, they never ever want to hurt your feelings, and they are not professionals in the publishing industry (even the English teacher on your friends list IS NOT a professional in this industry).

With Sister’s Lament I made the financial sacrifice and hired a professional.  Instead of telling me ‘I knew what you meant’ she asked me to defend my wording.  If I couldn’t, she put a strike through it.  If she didn’t know what I meant with certain phrasing, she re-purposed the words into something that a total stranger could grasp.  She had the industry knowledge for page set up, experience for content suggestions, she knew the regulations and laws when it came to pop culture references, is an expert at character development, and had all the necessary tools to send me pages filled with red corrections.



#2 EVERYONE judges a book by its cover

I’m not saying to spend the money on your cover, cover art can be costly.  However, there are a ton of indie artists looking to get their name on a piece! Shop around, look at their style, or what else they have done to find a like mind in imaging.  For all of my covers I ignored my own ‘don’t use friends’ rule and gave free reign over cover art to my best friend.  I tried to stay out of her vision; keeping my input to a sentence “I want them all to be focused on hands.”  Off she went…not to say she didn’t ask for further instruction-more?  Less? Font? Here’s why I broke the no friends rule: my cover artist is an amazing artist-I adore her work, she’s also a very detailed graphic artist,  a small business owner, and she completely knows me, my style, and what I’m trying to say with a cover.  She treated our situation as if we weren’t each other’s favorite people, approaching each cover as a business deal.  She would tell me yes or no, and in the end I can’t argue with the outcome.  She managed to capture an entire story line in ONE beautiful image.


Most of all SHE’S the visual artist.  You (more likely than not) ARE NOT.  Put your masterpiece in the hands of an actual artist-an indie or a paid professional-instead of frustrating yourself over stock photos that don’t quiet say what you want. Remember your cover is a FIRST impression of you and your novel, and everyone judges a cover.


#3 Grandma is not a BETA reader-your work will go on her fridge door no matter how it reads

For those of you who don’t know what a BETA reader is; they are the person you send an ARC (advanced reading copy) to whether it be in file form or printed proof. You can send them a chapter or an entire piece.  They will be your first readers, the first impression of the entire piece.  And their job is to say “I don’t get it”, “I love this!”, and “I hate that.”  They are not proof readers-those you pay for, BETA readers are the voice of your audience.

I didn’t use a BETA for ACN and it shows, some things were confusing for readers.  I missed the mark on certain points scientifically, or in solution.  If I had a BETA reader, they would have been able to tell me “Can you expand on this?”   And yes, your editor will do this for you, and they will do this very well for you-but two sets of eyes are always better than one right?  Especially if that second set of eyes is typically FREE and doesn’t have to watch out for the use of there, their, and they’re while reading.

For Sister’s Lament I sent a file to an acquaintance of mine.  Someone who loves books, and more specifically loves sci-fi.  He went through my polished piece pointing out things I didn’t carry over from book one that a reader may need.   He also made valid scientific points that I will address in ACN this summer when editing it for re-release.  My BETA reader didn’t overlook anything.  If a character needed developing he noted it.  BETA’s are there for that sole purpose, to find holes.  Why have a beautifully displayed piece, with immaculate grammar and punctuation, and yet have the plot as holey as a strainer, filled with characters you can’t see as real people?


#4 Proof Readers are your friend

After everything is said and done and you are holding a hard copy of your masterpiece DON’T be so quick to click the ‘Go Live’ button.  Instead turn to your proofreader and hand it all over to them.  A proofreader goes through a book’s proof with a skilled meticulous eye inspecting every inch cover to cover.  They are your final safe guard in making sure your work is market ready. If any there, their, their or misteak found its way passed your very talented editor and BETA reader, this is the person who will catch it.  If you forget a word in your copyright page, this is who will tell you.  If your paragraph cuts are off, they’ll tell you.  Think of your proofreader as the person holding the flour sifter looking for that one left over lump.


Those are the people you need in your life as a writer.  Each one is just as important to the success of your book as the other.  I will never skimp on them again, it does not help you to go without one or the other.

If you are interested in using my editor (Carmilla Voiez) you can find her guidelines and rates at:

For proofreading services you can contact Benjamin Franke at

Cover artist??? Get your own I’m not sharing!! But Goodreads has a pretty good list to start your quest!

There are also artist communities online. I recommend joining one or ten and finding work that speaks to you and your story. Become part of that community. Rate and review their work, join in discussions, and soon a professional relationship will develop. is just one of those communities.