Authors in Indie Blu(e) Anthologies: Jennifer Juniper Montero

We met some fantastic authors/artists/writers through Indie Blu(e)’s anthology: But You Don’t Look Sick: The Real Life Adventures of Fibro Bitches, Lupus Warriors, and other Super Heroes Battling Invisible Illness. This was a hard anthology to work on. People suffering from invisible illness are incredibly strong but also tired of suffering. The journey to get this anthology to press was longer than expected but we feel it was one of our strongest collections yet. Sometimes truth just has that depth we can all relate to.

Indie Blu(e) was delighted to accept a poem from Jennifer Juniper Montero, she was new to the Indie Blu(e) team and fit right in. Her work is clever and haunting. She writes well in poetry and prose. For our anthology we accepted a long prose-piece called The Fish Doctor, which shared Jennifer’s experience with Crohn’s Disease and the mine-field of navigating doctors and their lack of empathy toward suffering. It was a shocking, visceral piece of writing that strikes anyone who reads it, right in the gut:

“His tie was a fish.  The coffee cup on his desk was a fish–tail flipped up, forming a handle.  I’m guessing the man liked to fish on his days off from cutting into people.  

“You’re not a candidate for surgery.”  He slams the door shut on my file, clasps his hands on top of it–satisfied that all he needs to know about my insides is inside.  

I smile back. I was tired of being polite, complying with every test and prescription–only to end up sick again.  I drank the “milkshakes”– no one who actually had to choke down that thick barium clay would ever call them that.”

(The Fish Doctor).

I recall finding it hard to read the submissions because of the level of suffering those brave souls who submitted had gone through. That is EXACTLY why Indie Blu(e) was so passionate about publishing a chronic illness anthology, to give those erased voices a platform. Even when some writing is hard to read, that doesn’t take away it’s value, it just makes you think hard and not take anything for granted. Jennifer Juniper Montero is a natural writer with an insight into feelings that is fluid and connects easily with the reader.

“I kind of like not knowing

free to enjoy the evolving

I’ve come to trust the unfolding

Letting it show me.”

(untitled poem)

Not surprising then, Jennifer won first place for her poem First Love at the Writer’s Workshop in the Florida Keys.  Her writing has been published in Decimos: We Say and The Chamber Chowder (Key West’s business newsletter) among others.

Jennifer loves to travel and has an innate curiosity that leads her on adventure and into intrigue.  Living on the road, she splits her time between here, there, and everywhere and writes about whatever happens along the way— a connection that inspires her or a pregnant cat that’s decided she’s to be her Lamaze coach.  

Jennifer is an award-winning poet, published in Indie Blu(e)’s anthology But You Don’t Look Sick: Real Life Adventures of Fibro Bitches, Lupus Warriors, and other SuperHeroes Battling Invisible Illness which can be purchased HERE.

Jennifer retorts the age-old advice “Don’t bite off more than you can chew” with “I like to take big bites and then chew really fast!”

We hope you will get to know more of this talented authoresses work. She’s on WordPress folks! The writers and artists featured in Indie Blu(e) anthologies are talented people we’re lucky to work with and we hope to showcase those talents in the coming months. Watch this space.

Jennifer’s Social media links:

Blog: Solo Chick Traveler

Facebook: Jennifer Juniper Montero

Instagram: solo.chick.traveler

Twitter: Jennifer Junipet

“Live the full life of the mind, exhilarated by new ideas, intoxicated by the romance of the unusual”  ~Hemingway

Want to be featured on Indie Blu(e)’s blog? If you have had work published in one of our anthologies, drop us a line and let us promote your work here!

Do you really have to work at being an author?

Back in the good-ole-days, which really weren’t; authors had to work hard! Imagine typing out a manuscript by hand, only to have to type out several versions with each edit? Physically having copies made, then mailing around the world, for an answer that may never come.

With the advent of technology you’d think it became easier, and yes it has, but it’s also become more of a system and the author is now as much a writer as a marketer (of themselves).

Many writers loathe the idea of self-promotion. Even if they are confident about their work they don’t want to be the ones out there singing their own praises. They’d rather someone else did all the promotion. However, the idea there was ever a time free of self-promotion is a little fanciful.

Authors are their own brand. Sure, if you publish with Penguin and you get into every book store, assuming people go to book stores still … you will get a lot of exposure without lifting a finger. It will also help if your huge publisher designs a drop-dead-gorgeous cover, promotes the heck out of you online and offline and so on.

But for the average author?

The average author doesn’t support herself/himself by their work alone. The average author has 3 jobs and runs between writing and promoting (trying to sell what they write) as well as doing other jobs (most commonly, teaching or a related field like editing). The average author couldn’t pay their rent/cat food bill on what they ‘earn’ from their writing alone. Ways to achieve this include teaching writing in one form or another, editing, workshopping, or doing something unrelated to ‘top up’ what they earn from writing.

Before you feel dispirited by the reality of this – consider that they are STILL writing and STILL an author and STILL passionate about (creating) their work. So in many ways this ideal we carry around of being an author and nothing else, is what hurts us. We need to be flexible to make it truly work for us. This has been true of authors long before any of us were born and will be true for the majority of authors in the future. To believe we’ll be the next J. K. Rowlings and write a book and become rich from having lived in poverty, is a lovely fairytale and not applicable to the 99.9 percent of people trying to write for a living. So let go of the dream and create a real one for yourself instead.

One of the realities of being an author in 2022 and beyond is; you need to sell to justify what you do. Is this harsh or just reality? Who writes into a paper bag? We want to be read. We want to sell. Even if we say we don’t (we do). So how do we maintain our integrity and ideals of creative freedom whilst being realistic about selling and publishing and all the loathed aspects of the writing world?

Get a publisher who is on your side and will help you promote your work rather than just passively publish it – or vanity-press publish it, with no investment in YOU.

Remember that if you loved music because of a cover of an album, the same applies to books, and don’t just slap together a cover from bits and pieces. Really give it thought – better still – ask your creative friends to help or if you can afford it, commission a designer for your book cover.

Get an editor who will give you the skinny on your slip-ups and make your product the best it can be – which in turn will impress publishers no end because publishers LOVE polished manuscripts.

Find people who love to read your genre and persuade them to advance reader review your book so you can improve on what you’ve written with real-world-feedback.

If you cannot find a publicist or agent, don’t despair. One benefit of 2022 and beyond is many authors nowadays don’t have an agent, which means less agency-fees. Whilst it’s true the biggest publishers still won’t touch you without an agent, if you struggle to find one don’t let that stop you. Small and medium sized publishers often accept unsolicited non-agent manuscripts, providing they are polished. It can be beneficial to you to work directly with such a publisher and big publishers often re-publish successful indie level books.

Get out there and get your work known. Use the power of social media and technology, ensure you have an online presence including a website. How can you expect anyone to take a chance on you if you don’t exist online? It’s pretty easy to create a Facebook page, and other social media presence so that people interested in your work can find you. It helps you and it helps market you to publishers.

Consider your genre: Market yourself according to your genre (the subject you write about) so others who like this genre can find you. When submitting to publishers, consider letting them know what you intend to do to market your own work, it makes you sound invested and a partnership in your own process, which is more attractive to publishers.

Yes you really have to work at being an author as well as writing. Anyone who says being an author/writer is ‘easy’ obviously hasn’t spent years grafting their work, getting multiple rejections and having to market themselves when they feel like they have no confidence to do so, but that’s exactly what has to be done. Despite this (or … in-spite of this!) Authors get published all the time and even if you have to do more than ‘just be an author’ to earn your keep, you’ll still be able to do what you love (write) and that counts for a lot when we consider what people often have to do for a living. Even if you do have to work at FedEx or a Dog-Groomers on weekends and babysit evenings, to keep the dream, you have a dream and that’s worth everything.

Brought to you by the invested folk at Indie Blu(e) Publishing, who believe in our authors and love you hard working talented folk. We stand by you and intend to do all we can to make your dream a reality. Send us your polished fiction manuscripts in 2022. See our submission guidelines at

Authors in Indie Blu(e) Anthologies: Emily Rose Cole

The incredible Emily Rose Cole stunned the Indie Blu(e) authors with her submissions to our anthology But You Don’t Look Sick (for sale HERE). Emily’s writing is just so superlative, it’s almost impossibly good. We absolutely loved her work, she was a stand-out from the very first read and consequently Indie Blu(e) nominated Emily’s writing for a Pushcart award based on the quality of her work in our collection. We really want to promote her work because she’s a brilliant talent and an inspiring writer (and singer!). A little bit of an enigma, she’s the genius hiding in the forest, we want to tease her out a bit and share her writing with you:

Is it any wonder Emily Rose Cole grew up in a family folk band with music in her veins? This could explain why her poetry is just so magnificent. Emily is a poet, singer, folklore enthusiast, and disability studies scholar. We’re hopeful she carries on writing and publishing, because the subjects she picks are dear to our heart and her rending of them, quite stunning.

Her chapbook of persona poems in the voices of mythological and historical women, Love & a Loaded Gunwas released from Minerva Rising Press in 2017. Check out more about this collection via Emily’s website:

Her poetry has received awards from Jabberwock ReviewRuminate MagazinePhiladelphia StoriesThe Orison Anthology and the Academy of American Poets ,and has been featured in projects like American Life in Poetry, Best New Poets 2018, and The Familiar Wild: On Dogs and Poetry. It’s not just Indie Blu(e) who thinks Emily is outstanding, she’s got a huge list of published works, here are some you can read online:

Emily holds an MFA from Southern Illinois University Carbondale and is pursuing a PhD in poetry with an emphasis in Disability Studies at the University of Cincinnati. She loves accessibility, folk music, weird fairytales, stories about friendship, foxes, and, especially, her tiny black cat, Bashir.  You can hear her reading some of her poetry here.

Emily’s Social media connections are:

Twitter: @EmilyColeWrites

Facebook: Emily Rose Cole

Insta: DSNineLives (mostly my cat) 

The online literary journal Rogue Agent and our anthology But You Don’t Look Sick (buy a copy of this ground-breaking anthology on invisible illness by a myriad of talented poets and artists HERE) published this stunning work of Emily’s on MS and disability/visibility:


Always the same, return & return, like riptide,
like nightmare. No—like the witch’s warning:
what you cast will return to you three times three,
a reminder that magic begets magic begets
consequences—breakfast’s black mug of coffee
reincarnates itself as a bladder spasm, an afternoon
of self-selected house arrest. Last night’s extra hour
awake resurfaces as the glimmer of molasses in the brain’s
gas tank. Dead engine. Each relapse makes of me an object  

at rest. It’s so easy to imagine this as punishment—cause
& effect. Present action equals future damage. Little wonder
that the adjective & verb forms of degenerate are spelled
the same way: I am degenerate, so I degenerate. Goddess,

in place of such unuseful language, grant me a new word
for disrepair. Bar from my lips all apologies. Blessed be.

Emily Rose Cole – one of the discovered talents we were fortunate to encounter when we put out a call for our invisible illness anthology But You Don’t Look Sick. It’s our hope we work with her again, and we are glad to share her talent with our readers because we think this poetess is going places. There is nothing more rewarding than meeting gifted writers and sharing them with others. If you love poetry, you’re in for a real treat with Emily’s uncanny talent as a writer.

Want to be featured on Indie Blu(e)’s blog? If you have had work published in one of our anthologies, drop us a line and let us promote your work here!

Got snow? Get books!

One expected boon to inclement weather is the rarified opportunity to sit in front of a roaring fire in your favorite jammies and tuck up with a good book and a hot drink.

What makes a good book? A memorable book? It’ll vary because our tastes vary but among the most popular ‘must haves’ are: Compelling plot and solid ending. People often feel let down by endings and no wonder why, think of how many great books had weak endings! What makes a book we’d hold onto and save, or gift to someone we really wanted to read it passionately? That’s the crux of the love of literature.

Let Indie Blu(e) recommend some reading material that might be exactly what you’re looking for from our fledgling fiction catalog:

Kindra M. Austin’s neo-noir novella, The Killing Holiday, is filled with sex, cigarettes, and whiskey, leaving the reader wanting more. Austin’s dark, disquieting ability to provoke unease, is the exact right tempo for an addictive noir novella. You’ll be looking over your shoulder for weeks afterward… think you know psychological thrillers? Think again. Indie Blu(e) are super proud of our Senior Editor’s neo-noir novella and think you’ll love it every bit as much as we have.

“The Killing Holiday digs beneath the human psyche and begs the question, what will you do for love? Or better yet, what are you willing to do for revenge? The dark and honest truth comes out in Austin’s characters, who become more animalistic and primal as the story progresses. The reader is forced to confront their own despicable and basest aspect of humanity: we are all killers. Killers of the spirit, of the heart and of course, the body” —Rhiannon Marie, author of SHIFT

The Killing Holiday will have you hooked, unable to put it down until the whole story unravels itself. Like an epic poet of old, Austin plunges in media res straight to the heart of the tale. . . The Killing Holiday is a must-read masterfully told tale by a novelist with the soul of a poet, who leaves us wondering how much of herself was left in the ink on the page.” —John Leys, author of Whispers of a One-Eyed Raven

The Killing Holiday is available for purchase at Amazon, Barnes & NobleBookshop.orgIndieBoundWaterstonesBook Depository, and from other major online retailers.

Eric Syrdal’s Pantheon is the novel told in free-verse that you never knew you needed to read. Epic in scope but always deeply rooted in its humanity, it defies genres and expectations. Eric Syrdal’s Pantheon is the novel told in free-verse that you never knew you needed to read. Epic in scope but always deeply rooted in its humanity, it defies genres and expectations.“Pantheon is a thrilling philosophical journey exploring the depth and meaning for one passing through a metaphorical world of inner demons and dragons, goddesses of the soul, of warrior and poet. A journey that crosses boundaries of time, space, and perception. I am captured by the intimate revelations of this intuitive and sympathetic protagonist battling the dark ages of his subconscious moving instinctively forward into innerscape, relying upon and exalting the virtue goddesses that guide and deliver him from barbarity and trial by ordeal both physical and spiritually as he transports from one state of being to another, from one point of time to another.” -Holly Rene Hunter

“Syrdal, a self-proclaimed romantic and sci-fi and fantasy enthusiast, does not disappoint: He deftly weaves a tale of adventure, his protagonists crossing paths with virtuous Goddesses, who coax them toward their destinies.

As I read the first section, I worried that Pantheon was a little too heavy on the usual themes of fantasy and fairy tale: Warhorses champing at the bit, armored fighters, swords at the ready, the proverbial dragon looming over the embattled heroic Poet. Despite this, I continued on and was glad I did, for Syrdal quickly demonstrates that his story stands apart from, and above, the typical. With Courage and the Queen of Hearts at his side, and Hope, Grace, Mercy, Karma, and Fate in the shadows, the Poet must make a pivotal decision. His choice at that critical moment is masterfully mirrored in the subsequent sections of the book, and I marveled time and again at the way Syrdal coherently connected his multiple story lines, the seams necessarily apparent but still flawless.

Pantheon finishes as epically as it began. All along, the Queen of Hearts and her sisters have artfully molded their heroes’ journeys, bringing them back to central truths about life and love. Should you read this book (and you should!), I trust that the imagery of that final section will be long lasting in your mind, along with a sense of awe at Syrdal’s beautifully written verse and sense of literary craftsmanship.” -Mariah Voutilainen, (re)imagining the mundane

Pantheon is available for purchase at Amazon, Barnes & NobleBookshop.orgIndieBoundChapters/IndigoWaterstonesBook Depository, and from other major online retailers.

Indie Blu(e) Publishing began as a humble poetry publishers and since then have taken on several prose authors with a view to expanding our particular brand of fiction. If you think you have a novella or short novel that fits Indie Blu(e)’s dimensions, consider sending it our way. Indie Blu(e) loves the off-the-chart, highly original, unique and strange. We are passionate about reading and literature, wanting to publish those books we love and believe in to expand our dimensions and your mind.

Suffering brings strength

Indie Blu(e) has published a number of ‘difficult’ subjects, including our We Will Not Be Silenced (anthology) on sexual-assault/rape, #metoo, Through The Looking Glass (anthology) on mental illness, and But, You Don’t Look Sick (anthology) on invisible physical illnesses.

We’ve been asked – why go there?

In may ways the crux of our existence as a publisher is based on suffering and the strength that has been borne out of that suffering. As odd as that may sound it’s how suffering usually works. People who go through hard times, are often true survivors and their voices, their art and passions, their very life energies, are forever changed.

We don’t believe subjects traditionally shied away from, should be buried and ignored. We believe in transparency, and the healing power of speaking your truth. By being open about suffering, we are all in it together, instead of judging one another, or segregating our experiences. Promoting awareness promotes change. Our titles encourage this raw experience and indepth examination of issues others may ignore, because we see strength in suffering and survival.

Indie Blu(e) literally began because Editor-in-Chief Christine Ray, became physically unwell and realized she could no longer keep up her demanding career. It was a terrible blow given Ray’s passion for her careers and her devotion to what she loved. Not only was her identity wrapped up in this but she didn’t know how she would be without it.

At the same time Kindra Austin had been contending with her own severe illness and the loss of loved ones in her immediate family. When many would have given up and faded away, these two creative souls came together and formed a publishing company. Their intention was always to be the voice for the unheard, the overlooked. The talents that were passed by, or too fragile to struggle through the publishing process. They wanted to address the taboo, neglected subjects and shine a light in the darkness.

Candice Daquin joined them almost from the onset, having worked with them and appreciated their devotion to their craft. Between the three of them and later on including the unstoppable talents of Victoria Manzi, they began publishing relevant, hard hitting, unapologetic books of talented, suffering, strong and beautiful writers and artists.

“Our goals were never about profit. We wanted to be the kind of publisher we’d have sought out if we hadn’t started a publishing company” Said Kindra Austin in an interview on the genesis behind IB. “We are all affected by illness, we know how it can ravage you mentally and physically and that’s why we put so much love into this company and the books we produce. We want to ensure those often marginalized raw voices are heard.”

Christine Ray is an active campaigner for the reform of how invisible illness is viewed by society. She also stands up for the changing of laws for sexual assault awareness. Candice Daquin worked for years in Rape Crisis Centers as a Psychotherapist and always felt not enough was being said or done to harness change. “If we can change one closed mind or give one person hope with the breadth and vision of our writers, then it was worth it,” said Daquin.

Indie Blu(e) literally was carved out of a desire to help bring neglected voices to life. We believe passionately that through suffering comes a creative strength that is unstoppable. We are actively involved in trying to effect change with every title we publish. We stand behind our authors and artists as believers of truth, justice and equality.

If you are a talented writer and are hiding your work under a bushel and want to team with a publisher who gets you, cares about you and will do their best for you, considering submitting to Indie Blu(e).

We are looking for marginalized, minority voices that need a supportive home for their best work. We are seeking authors of fiction to round out our 2022 collection and encourage you to send your best work to us when we open for submissions later this month. Know someone who is a superb writer? Let them know about us.