Discovering Talent – Guest Post by Jaq D. Hawkins…

Many decades ago, I was living in Los Angeles and got involved in the management side of the music industry. One of the things I enjoyed doing was travelling around the area, auditioning bands. I learned something important from doing this. There is a lot of amazing talent out there that no one will ever hear.

There are various reasons for this. One band I remember had a lot of potential, but told me they wouldn’t do a gig for less than three-hundred dollars. You can do that if you want to play weddings and bar mitzvahs, but for a band to ‘make it’ they have to play the clubs and the clubs pay a percentage of the door.

There was another band I took a personal interest in because I firmly believed they could be to the 1980s what the Beatles were to the 1960s. The lads were cute and three of the four were talented songwriters as well as good musicians and singers. They had songs that I still hear in my head.

I was warned by a more experienced colleague that they would break up. Most bands did. Sure enough, a rift split the band in half and while the pair of members on one side could have formed a fantastic band, they never found a good drummer and an amazing future dissipated into the aethyr.

I thought about this recently after looking for and finding a good book to read. Among the genres I enjoy is Horror and I was in the mood for a monster story. I found something close enough, though it was more Dystopian/SciFi with mad scientists creating monsters than the monster in the woods scenario I had in mind. When I went to check the price, I found I already had it lurking in my Kindle cloud, no doubt acquired as a freebie.

When I started reading, I found it difficult to stop. I finished the book in two days and went to see what else the author had released. I found a series that tied into the book I had just finished. The first book was free, so it was a no brainer to download it. Again, I started reading and found it difficult to stop!

Like unknown bands, a wealth of talent exists in the realm of unknown authors. However unlike the music industry, books have staying power and can be discovered long after they’re first published.

One thing that gives me real joy is finding an author whose style and voice can captivate me from the start of a story. This is what I look for as a reader among the indies. True that many exist with amateurish voices or undeveloped style, or even (gasp!) in dire need of editing, but sometimes you can find a professionally presented book with an author voice that flows naturally and captures you inside the story world.

There are certain authors whom I can rely on to write an engaging story. Some you might have heard of include Mary Stewart, Maggie Stiefvater, Joanne Harris, James Clavell and Raymond E. Feist.

A few lesser known authors (mostly indie) whose work I feel is as good as these best selling authors include S.D. Sykes, Guy Donovan, Shanna Lauffey, Graeme Reynolds and now L.S. O’Dea, whose book, Rise of the River Man, is the monster story I found that had been lurking on my Kindle cloud since April, 2016.

I wonder how many other treasures are hiding in the back of my Kindle, possibly acquired as freebies when that was a popular marketing method?

Let’s have a shout out. What indie authors have you discovered who belong in the best seller class of authors? Any genre. Let share our discoveries of the best unknown authors

Jaq D Hawkins

Books available at:

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9 thoughts on “Discovering Talent – Guest Post by Jaq D. Hawkins…

  1. Being a little staid in my tastes I rarely read “Indie” authors despite being one myself these days. On the odd times I have, I found both undiscovered talent and people that should not be writing. In the undiscovered talent bundle; Robert Anderson, a Scottish Horror writer of short stories and a couple of Novels. June Rutherford who writes Historical fantasy novels. Margaret Skea who writes historical Fiction and Maeve O’Connell who creates a wonderful mix of all genres. I will not mention the bad writers here. Lol- though I may be one of them.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Unfortunately true that some, shall we say, undeveloped writers also publish indie, but that’s why Kindle samples are a godsend.

      If you like Historical Fiction I strongly recommend Charlton Daines, and for Horror Austin Crawley and Graeme Reynolds.

      A lot of excellent writers just don’t bother with the traditional process anymore, because they don’t have to.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. What a nice idea, Jaq. One indie book that I particularly enjoyed — it was so different from what i had been reading — was Claire Doyle’s The Budapest Artist’s Club.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Oooh! Never heard of any of those but now I’ll go sample their work! I like all those genres.

    Kindle samples are wonderful. They allow me to try recommendations like this and decide for myself if our tastes are alike. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Well here are a few: ac flory (science fiction), D. Wallace Peach (fantasy), Lorinda J. Taylor (science fiction), Kevin Brennan (literary). All 5-star authors! There are many others out there. We may be living in the golden age of indie authors.

    Liked by 2 people


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