Today I'm helping Angela R. Watts celebrate the release of the first book in her new series. This is especially fun because I got to meet Angela at Realm Makers just last month. Yay! First, here's a bit about the book and then a guest post from Angela herself.
WHEN THE NATION DIVIDES, THE INFIDELS MUST RISE.
The United States has fallen. Three years after the 2024 presidential election and the declaration of martial law, the nation is at war against itself. Gangs battle, civilians struggle for survival, and officials of the United Nations thrive. West Johnston, heir to the most powerful ganglord in the country, refuses to continue the family legacy. But, in order to defeat his father, he must become him: bloodthirsty and willing to do whatever it takes for control.
West gains control by helping fellow gangsters, Nate and Simon, when they form an alliance with one of the last remaining townships in America. After years of surviving and winter fast approaching, Springtown is in desperate need of supplies from the two teenagers. When the town leader’s daughter, Rene’, is kidnapped by an unknown rival, Nate and Simon risk their reputations to save her and the town they now love. But without help from West, their rescue mission will fail.
Told in multiple bold, abrasive narratives, THE DIVIDED NATION steps into a future where brotherhood bonds must be stronger than iron to survive a broken world, and faith without courage is dust in the wind.
What For? | The Question Every Author Asks
Angela R. Watts
Writers are usually lonesome, strange creatures. We make coffee or tea and let it go cold as our fingers fly across our keyboard. We talk to ourselves while cleaning as plot twists work their way through our minds. We watch people in the grocery store like they’re specimen waiting to be understood. We spend hours on writing and cry over worlds that the naked eye cannot see. What is all this for? Hours of work, lots of tears, countless sleepless nights… for a book that can fit in someone’s hands. It might not even make us money. We might not get any support or any readers. So, allow me to answer the question: “What for?”
It took me about 7 months to finish my dystopian novel, The Divided Nation. This was my first time writing a book with heavy Christian content for the general market. Not all of my close friends or readers supported this new novel because of the PG13 content. And it grew difficult, at times, to find encouragement. I’m not really the kind of person who needs a lot of support, honestly, but there were moments when I realized I was losing things… And I didn’t like it.
I had to focus on the “what for”. Am I writing to please every reader or am I writing for God? It’s ironic that I learned so much about loving people while writing the darkest novel I’ve written to date. But honestly, I was enjoying the novel but dreading the *socializing* aspect. Why? I’ve had rough times helping authors, reading things I wouldn’t usually read or didn’t even enjoy, just to help fellow Indies. And I found that not many people are willing to do that kind of thing in return. I wasn’t building up my author platform. I was wearing myself out. What for?
There is a balance to this writing journey, y’all. We cannot please everyone. But we can love every single person without pushing ourselves to the limit all the time. We can fully trust God that He knows exactly who needs our novel, and He will bring them to it, if we are faithful. We don’t have to chase readers down. And that is “what for”! I adore writing and allow myself to love others, even if they don’t always return that love. How do we keep the balance of being ourselves and loving other authors?
Be inspired by your fellow Indie authors. Publishing is not a competitive race. You don’t have to be the best Indie author to matter. So be inspired! Does your favorite Indie author have a stack of self-published novels? Finish your own novel. Decide in your heart that you want to have a pile of your own books out in the world one day! If you choose to be encouraged and inspired, instead of jealous or envious, by other authors, you will enjoy yourself more.
Be encouraging to your fellow Indie authors. Comments on social media take seconds, y’all. No matter how *popular* your favorite Indie author might seem, literally everyone appreciates a comment, so don’t be shy. Don’t think they won’t hear you. Be encouraging to the *big* Indies and the *newbies*, no matter where you are on that scale. We’re all human who want to hear “You got this, I believe in you.”
Be supportive. Supportive friends are rare. There, I’ve said it. But that’s OK. God is the most supportive friend we’ve got, so don’t stress. Just try to be the most supportive friend you can be while staying focused on your own goals. Maybe this is as simple as brainstorming with fellow Indies in a chat group. Maybe it is sticking with them through the gritty times. It is a hard balance, but Indies need each other in the long haul.
Be wise. Seasons change, friends leave, support systems dwindle. It may be sad, though it is just life. I’m not here to advise on how to make more friends. I am here to remind you that people are out there. If you’ve lost support, if you’ve watched your audience lose interest, keep going. Don’t panic or say “I won’t make it!” because every author struggles. Struggling doesn’t make you an author, but pushing through them makes you a stronger human.
Find joy. Some days, we won’t meet our writing goals. Some days, we will have an author friend drop out last minute on something important. Some days, we’ll have to help family instead of edit. Whatever the *mishap*, find joy. Don’t let things drag you down for long. Authors are still human. We still want support, love, and peace. We make sacrifices for writing, editing, and cover design. If we don’t choose joy, we will probably lose our minds. So remember, God has a reason for everything in our life and writing journey. What we see as a setback? He can use to build us up.
All of this to now say… what for? The Divided Nation taught me many things, but the lessons it taught me about friendship aren’t ones I’ll forget easily. I am so thankful for a supportive and growing Indie community. I want to encourage every writer that they have their own journey. We’re all human. We all struggle. But God made us to love each other and being lonely authors doesn’t quite shake that, ha! If you want to go far, stay true to your story and be a genuine person. God will help you every step of the way.
Angela R. Watts
About the Author
US shipping only. If an international winner is drawn, they will receive an ebook only.
1st place: hardback copy of The Divided Nation. A custom mug with a quote from the book, bookmark, and an exclusive snippet from The Infidel Books.
2nd place: paperback copy of The Divided Nation, bookmark.
3rd place: ebook copy of The Divided Nation.
Blog Tour Schedule
Author Interview @ Taking Up My Cross
Book Spotlight @ Unicorn Quester
August 13th (RELEASE DAY)
Guest Post @ Crazy Little Thing Called Life
Author Interview @ Coffee, Classics, and Craziness
Author and Character Interview @ HauntingGhostTown
Character Interview @ Imperial Scribis
Character and Author Interview @ FaithLaneAuthor
Book Spotlight @ The Writer’s Song
Guest Post @ Jaye L. Knight
Book Review @ Kaitlyn Krispense, Author
Book Review @ We’ve Got Pockets
Book Review @ Bella Putt: Writer. Reader. Follower of Christ.
Author Interview @ Gabriella Slade
Book Spotlight @ Stories by Firefly
Book Review @ Scribes and Archers
Author Interview and Guest Post @ Tangled Up In Writing
Guest Post @ Read Write Breathe
Book Review @ Reveries
Book Review @ Just Writing
Author Interview @ Allison’s Well
Book Review @ Books, Life, and Christ