Giving Back…#atozchallenge


Maybe I’m biased but I see authors at being one of the best at giving back to their own communities (and any community that needs it, really). The best example of this in action are Patric Rothfuss’ Worldbuilders As if I really needed another reason to love Rothfuss, he has really used his position to give back (raising over 2 million dollars for Heifer international since 2008). It’s really not unusual for authors to donate to charity or to work toward literacy goals but in this case, it’s really great because he has thrown himself into it as much as he has his writing. It’s not a back burner project for him, it’s something he’s really passionate about and that he spends a lot of time organizing and working for. It’s almost like “giving back” has been a vision for him even before he “struck gold” with The Name of the Wind.

This made me think: what is my “giving back” vision? Community service, I think, is the heart of society and it has been the heart of my life. When I was a teenager, I spent more time cleaning up highways and doing fund raisers with my school’s Key Club than I did at parties. I love helping those when I can. Now, I try to “give back” in the writer community in small ways. That’s why I started the Indie Spotlight. I wanted to give my fellow authors as much exposure as I can and help them spread the word about their work. Still, I want to do more…I want to do something big, like Rothfuss.

I have no idea what that is right now. I feel like I’m making a checklist as I grow and learn as an author. I know that I want to give back to Nanowrimo when I can because it was such a big part of me breaking out of my author’s shell. I want to do a collection of stories with a few fellow authors for charity, like the Blog Hop I sponsored a while back. I have, in my mind, a shortlist of charities I will help when I get to the point that I can really do some good for them.

Maybe this is why authors are more charitable than other professionals…we spend the beginnings of our careers writing blank checks for those who lift us up and when we make something out of it, we get a chance to pay those debts back. It makes me proud to be a part of the community when I see authors lifting each other up, offering advice, hosting each other on blog tours, and promoting each other’s books. It makes me even more proud when I see authors reaching beyond the writing community and helping out those who are sick, or impoverished…when I see authors taking a stand and doing something good in the world. It makes me feel like I’m part of something that is real and good…it makes me feel like I’m home.

Goodreads Community and Review Copies…


I’ve been meaning to make a “links” page for this blog for a week, now. Somehow, the train in my head wont really allow me the cognitive thought to get it done. So, for now, I’m going to settle for giving a shout out to one of the links that I know I will be featuring on the page.

I love communities which bring readers and authors together. I love it because it gives readers a chance to discover new and exciting titles while getting the author’s work into the hands of people who matter most. So far, the best community I’ve found for this is the goodreads group: Making Connections. Actually, it’s two groups (see compliment group: Making Connections: YA Edition).

At first glance, it seems to be a virtual book swap. Authors can opt into giving away x amount of free ebooks in exchange for review and readers can meander through the different genres, pick a new title which best suits them, contact the author and provide feedback. That, in and of itself, is a very valuable exchange. For the new author, it’s a chance to receive feedback on the book and for the reader, it’s a way to uncover the best and the brightest books on the fringe.

The group also functions as a book club. Every month, nominations are taken and a handful of books are chosen. Then, a poll is sent out and one book is chosen for collective reading and discussion. All in all, it’s a really great group and the only place I’ve felt propelled to offer review copies of my debut novel, Darkness Within. If you want a review copy of my book, or want to discover a myriad of other gems (from any genre imaginable), or want to post your own book for review, check out the group (Links in the reading above or direct link to my book below).

If you’re reading this and saying to yourself: “I would like a review copy of Darkness Within but I don’t want to join the group.”, just jet me an email at and I may just fulfill your request.

If you’re reading this and saying to yourself: “I would really like my book reviewed but I don’t want to join the group.”; again, send me an email at I’m now accepting reviews for interesting novels on my blog.

Free Review Copy of My Book:—darkness-within-by-a-c-willis