My Freedom Flame

Motivating Writers Worldwide

Category: Books (page 1 of 6)

How to Choose Awesome Book Character Names

Book character names should be unique. They should be different from average, every day names, and they need to be distinct. In fact, there are a lot of guidelines I recommend that you follow when choosing your names.


My Big Mistake

When writing Swords of Destiny I felt each character and each name was perfect. However, only this morning did I realize a huge mistake I made during my editing.

I’ve been inadvertently using two characters with similar names. So similar that although they have distinct voices, characteristics, and interests, every time I used Character A’s name or Character B’s name, I had to double check.

Rule of thumb.

If the author has to double check the reader will most certainly have to double check. So, beyond just characters but if there’s anything you need to double check on, keep in mind the reader will do so ten times as often.

This goes beyond characters. It goes for flow, plot, character development, everything that’s encompassed into a full-length novel.

So, if you have two major characters, please don’t give them similar names. It’ll confuse your reader and they may end up putting your book down for another.


Guideline One

Choose unique names, and also names that fit your setting.

My book is fantasy based, so names like Lira and Taj are appropriate. But, if your book is based in, say Paris, French names would be more ideal.

In my Neo Skyehawk Series, the Tamurian Empire is identical to France, so I have used French names, or at least French surnames, as with my principal character, whose last name is LaSalle.

Wherever your book is set, research names that are unique to such a region and the authenticity of your work will shine.

Don’t set a book in the Roman Empire and give them Ottoman names, or don’t set a book in Italy and use English names. Predominately, of course.


A Word on Similar Names

As I stated, I used similar names for two major characters and ended up doubling back time and again.
Go out of your way to give your characters first names that are distinct enough to where you don’t confuse yourself or your reader.

Try not to give two major characters the same first initial, either, which is the mistake I also made. Not only were two names similar, but they also had the first initial.

You can see clearly why I had a tough time, myself.

It was something I caught before, but kept justifying it with each edit.

Yeah, don’t do that.

Change things if it’s going to benefit your reader, not to rush it to publish.

I’d rather wait and publish my work right before rushing to publish a sub-par quality product. And two similar character names will render your work to be a sub-par product.


Get Clever!

I love how J.K. Rowling’s characters meant or symbolized something in her work. You can just do some research on each character’s name and there’s a reason behind them.

It’s kind of cool.

I did some of this with not only my character names but locations as well.

My principle character, Cain’s, last name is Riscattare, which means redeemer. Also, I love irony and Cain is also named after the biblical character Cain, who is one of the first antagonists in the Book of Genesis.

Despite Cain being the main protagonist in Northern Knights, he has an arrogant, shoot-first, ask questions later kind of personality, mirroring Cain with the biblical Cain.

General Syndari, the principle antagonist, takes a translated word of sinner, which I believe is of the Swedish language.

So, principle character Cain is the redeemer, antagonist General Syndari, is the sinner.

Also, I used names of the two rival Complexes, Santos and Leistung, as Saints versus Power.

And finally, with the Columbias as well. Columbia, for my non-American audience, was the original personification of the United States. You can also see this with Washington D.C. which stands for District of Columbia.

Columbia was also personified in Manifest Destiny, when the pioneers migrated West, much to the misfortune of my Lakota ancestors (I’m 1/16th Lakota).

But I went beyond this. My principle character’s best friend is named Lira, after the former Italian currency.

Micah is based on one of my cousins, who boasts a similar middle name. Jed is based on my own brother.

Savannah is based on a girl I met a few times in passing who was a tremendous athlete, who was also named after a certain city in America.

Doing this not only gives characters connections with the author, but the potential readers have a cool behind-the-scenes look on how you came up with names in favor just using name generators or random names.


Get Brainstorming

You all know I love utilizing a tiny exercise after a lot of these posts, and this one here is no different. Get to work on brainstorming your ideas. What kind of unique names can you come up with?

Think long and hard about your names, make them distinct, don’t make them too similar, and make sure they mean something.

Oh, and don’t do what I did and try to justify using similar names that just won’t mesh. Trust me, it will annoy the reader.

Now it’s your turn.

Get to work and come up with the greatest names out there.


Books for Writers Book Series Review

Joanna Penn’s Seven Must-Reads for Indie Authors

Wouldn’t it be great if we could all just quit our day jobs and make money exclusively from our writing?

That’s the dream, right?

Well, let me be the first to tell you this dream is possible to attain and though I’m not there yet, I’m further along the road than I was when I first started just a few short months ago.

If there’s one way I achieved getting to where I am right now, it’s having the wisdom to sit and listen to what those before me have accomplished and are now taking the road back to tell the rest of us what is out there in the unknown.

Those who’ve walked the path are now returning to show us what they’ve discovered and now they’re sharing their learning experiences with us to help us on our own journey into the same unknown.

For us indie authors, it means learning from other indie authors who’ve walked this path and can tell us with conviction it can and will be one to success, which is why I’m writing this product review today, one that has helped me tremendously over the past few months.


Joanna Penn’s Books for Writers Series

Today, I want to talk about Joanna Penn’s Books for Writers Book Series and why it’s something every single indie-author should read, myself included if they want to reach the pinnacle of working as a full-time author.

You might already be familiar with Joanna Penn as I write about her often, but she’s an indie author out of the UK, who before worked in the corporate world. She took her first stab at writing a book back in 2008 but the results weren’t what she expected.

Just a few years later, she started her career as an indie author and the rest is history. She’s never looked back and rightfully so, being the author of the popular Arkane Series plus the Books for Writers Series, which I’ll describe in detail.

The Books for Writers Series consists of seven books, all of which have garnered four or more stars over an astounding 800 reviews, so this, guys, is a legitimate product.

For more information, click the link below to see the reviews for yourself.


 <<Click Here to Learn More About Joanna Penn’s Books for Writers Series >>


Why Books for Writers?

I came across The Creative Penn earlier this year in hopes of finding tips and strategies to help my own rookie year as an indie author.

I looked over the content at The Creative Penn and found compelling information I could start using tomorrow, or as soon as my first book, Northern Knights, hit the Amazon shelves.

There, I stumbled upon the Books for Writers Series, where I’ve picked up useful information from each of the seven books and have incorporated much of it into my own fledgling indie-author business.

For that, I’ve become quite a believer in the Books for Writers Series as something each new and even experienced indie author should at least pick up and skim through to enhance their own indie author business.

As mentioned earlier, the Books for Writers Series contains seven books, all of which help the reader tackle a particular obstacle.

Our seven books are:

  1. Successful Self-Publishing: How to self-publish and market your book in ebook and print
  2. How to Market a Book, Third Edition
  3. How to Make a Living With Your Writing: Books, Blogging, and More
  4. The Successful Author Mindset: A Handbook for Surviving the Writers Journey
  5. Business for Authors: How to be an Author Entrepreneur
  6. Public Speaking for Authors, Creatives, and Other Introverts
  7. Co-Writing A Book: Collaboration and Co-Creation for Writers

For more information, click the link below where you can be funneled directly into the Amazon Store or continue reading for a brief description of each book.


 <<Click Here to Learn More About Joanna Penn’s Books for Writers Series >>

A Sneak Peek into the Series

Okay, so if you want to look a little deeper into this, below is a brief overview of each work and how it will help you with your budding career as an indie-author.

Successful Self-Publishing

This book will show you everything that you need to know before publishing your first book, what makes self-publishing attractive to authors, how to format, comparing exclusivity versus open publishing, and more. Also, the work gives the author some insight on how to market both fiction and nonfiction pieces.

How to Market a Book, Third Edition

This book will dive more into the marketing side of things. This book is divided into five parts:

  1. Marketing principles, which cover myths, discoverability, and polarities of marketing.
  2. Book fundamentals, how to optimize books for online sales, categories, keywords, box sets, and series writing.
  3. Short-term marketing a book without a built platform.
  4. Long-term marketing a book or a book series with a built platform.
  5. Book launch plan, and how a book launch is different for indie-authors.

How to Make a Living with Your Writing

As the title suggests, this book covers all you need to know about making a living with your words. This book is divided into two parts:

  1. How to make money directly from your books via intellectual property rights and publishing options.
  2. How to make money online in other ways, like speaking, coaching, and affiliate marketing.

Successful Author Mindset

This book shows you how to overcome self-doubt, fear, and any obstacle that might stand in your way. This book is broken into three parts:

  1. Mindset aspects of creativity and writing
  2. Mindset aspects after publication
  3. Tips for success on the author’s journey

This work offers an antidote for authors coping with any kind of stress on their journey as an indie-author. It’s in my opinion the best book in the series because it helps the author overcome obstacles that are sometimes fatal to their career as an indie author.

Business for Authors: How to be an Author Entrepreneur 

This book dives into the entrepreneurial side of things in an indie-author business and is divided into nine parts:

  1. From author to entrepreneur
  2. Products and services
  3. Employees, suppliers, contractors
  4. Customers (the lifeblood of your author business!)
  5. Sales and distribution
  6. Marketing
  7. Financials
  8. Strategy and planning
  9. Next Steps

So, if you’re looking to make the leap into running your own show, this book is the one I highly recommend you and I both read and take notes on.

Public Speaking for Authors, Creatives, and Other Introverts

This might be the one for me as I can be an extreme introvert!

Broken into four awesome parts, this book covers:

  1. Practicalities of speaking
  2. Psychological aspects of speaking
  3. The business side of speaking
  4. Interviews with successful speakers

Any author wanting to dive headfirst into speaking engagements should take a hard look at this one and again, I’m included in this!

Co-Writing A Book

What is it like when two awesome minds come together to write one book or book series? This book has it all for writers thinking of collaborating to create a brilliant piece of work.


 << Click Here to Learn More About Joanna Penn’s Books for Writers Series >>


How to Promote Your Book for Free

Ways to Promote Your Book Without Spending a Dime

Okay, so you’re on a limited budget and you wish to promote your book for free since at the moment, it’s the only real way.


While paid promotion will do wonders and reach potentially hundreds of thousands, free promotion can also go a long way.


What’s best is, there are thousands of ways to do this but we’ll cover a few in the list I have outlined below and some of these methods may reach a lot of readers.


My top ways of promoting books for free are as follows:

1. Contact book bloggers

2. Have a blog related to the themes and plot of your book

3. Embedding links via Amazon

4. KDP Select

5. Driving blog traffic

6. Free book promotion websites.

7. Comment on other blogs with a link back to your blog (which will link to your book)


Contact Book Bloggers

While this is tough to pitch, book bloggers who are enamored by your book’s description, cover, and first impression would be happy to blog about your book to their online followers. Some of these people have thousands.


Again, it’s just like pitching to a traditional publisher. You may or may not get a response, and of the responses you get, be prepared for more declines than accepts.


However, also keep in mind it only takes one ‘yes’ that can give your book a boost it needs. I’ve only had a few ‘yes’ answers thus far, but as a rookie indie-author, it’s expected when you’re a relative unknown.


With time and as you become both an authority and household name, the tide will turn in your favor. But, you have to first let people know what you do.


Many of these book bloggers will review your work on Goodreads, Amazon, and wherever else they have accounts.


Word of caution though. Don’t pay for others to review your work. Often, many reviewers are affiliated with Amazon and can make a small dime by pasting a link to Amazon which Amazon will pay them a commission for. It’s how reviewers make their money.



Have a Blog

Have a blog and write about your themes and plots.


What kind of messages does your book send to readers?


Write about these. I did this for a while on My Freedom Flame before rebranding it strictly to a writer’s based blog while looking to start a new one to talk about themes. Again, keep your blogs in separate niches.


As I’ve stated in past blogs, utilize keywords to drive readers who are like-minded to your blog.
This is a tried and true effect.


While it might take some time, with perseverance and added content, your traffic will grow.


I learned this with my NFL apparel blog that I started earlier this month and it’s already seen modest traffic.
So, go ahead and start that new blog right now.



Embedding Links Via Amazon

While you should also work on your Author Central account, you can link your book or books to Amazon.
Head to your book’s page on Amazon where you’ll find the share buttons to your book that you can promote to social media followers.


While this is effective in its own right, it’s ten times more effective (if not more) to embed the book’s buy link into your website, as I’ve done.


Click where it says embed where you’ll be instructed to copy and paste some code into your site’s custom html, and you’re set.


The more traffic you drive to your blog, the more eyes will be on your book cover.


It’s a win-win scenario.



Enroll in KDP Select

While it’s no lie KDP Select is a double-edged sword, it will allow you to promote books for free on Amazon.
Each book gets five free promotion days or a Kindle Countdown.


For new authors, I recommend the free promotion days to get more pairs of eyes in front of your book or books. I did this with Northern Knights and saw decent returns. I’m enrolling a second time and using paid promotion to get even better returns.


The only downside is you’ll have to remove your books from other sites and grant Amazon exclusivity. The upside is it will favor and promote your book, especially if you enroll two books in a series simultaneously. This will likely lead to even more downloads for both books.


While I place Northern Knights back into KDP Select, I’ll also be able to place Swords of Destiny in once my new cycle begins. Not just that, you’ll also get some reviews. For Amazon to start favoring your book, you’ll want at least fifty. Don’t worry, this is possible.


Driving Blog Traffic

As I’ve stated in the past, blog traffic is your number one best way to promote books for free.


Study relevant keywords to your niche by logging onto Google and using the dropdown. This will give you a good idea of what people are searching for. While nothing beats a good keyword tool, this is great to do if you’re on a budget.


Over time, you’ll become an expert in your niche and a trusted source. Blog traffic will generate and more eyes will be in front of your works.



Free Book Promotion Websites

Follow the external link I’ll provide at the end of this article which will funnel you to a site called Readers in the Know. It’s a good source to find both free and paid book promotion. While many free sites offer a guaranteed paid promotion, it doesn’t hurt to see if your book makes the promo cut.


I did this with Northern Knights and found as long as your cover and description look professional, you should have no problem getting approved for free promotion. If not, there are hundreds of sites looking to promote your work. Just do a little research on them before you promote to make sure they’re legit.


Readers in the Know is great at separating real sites from those looking to “sell” you promotion.


Comment on Other Blogs

Finally, comment on other blogs. You can always leave a link back to your own blog and if you comment on blogs with high traffic, you’ll find others will not only reply and engage with you; you’ll be able to potentially find a new audience, which works in your favor.


By continuing to comment on the same blogs, you’ll soon become a familiar face and may even be able to get a chance to guest blog, which is another way to promote your work for free. Once you’re familiar on a site, contact the blog owner and see if you can offer your two cents.


It’s even better if the blog owner has been engaging with you for some time. In rare instances, they may even ask you to blog.


Always, always, always say yes if asked!


Link to Readers in the Know:

Fighting Treason

Fighting Treason: An Allegory to Coordinated Coups and Imperial Lust

Hi, guys, I wanted to let all of you know my new novelette Fighting Treason is out on Prolific Works. You can claim your copy for free at the link provided below this article!

Also, you have the option of signing up for my email list where you’ll get access to all my hot, new full-length novel releases and exclusive access to more of my free works exclusive for my email list.


What is Fighting Treason?

Fighting Treason is a young adult epic fantasy. It’s inspired by my Libertarian views, consisting of anti-imperialism, anti-authoritarianism, anti-militarism, anti-police, anti-statism, pro-liberty, pro-nationalism, and small government.

However, Fighting Treason is much more than that.

It’s a story. There’s action, adventure, magic, and even paranormal activity in the work.

A story featuring two best friends from different backgrounds, from the highest and lowest of castes, again finding themselves in a state of misfortune.

But there’s more.

It’s a story featuring the main character showing the ability to bring themselves down to any level of society, despite their position in the upper caste.

Read on for the description.


What’s Fighting Treason About?

Fighting Treason is the story of two friends who find themselves in exile after getting framed for an assassination.

Knowing who’s really behind the assassination, the duo forms a small force, returning to the Kingdom to rid their land of incoming imperialists.


What About Themes?

Fighting Treason carries a hardcore anti-imperialist theme.

Once again, the rugged republic is challenged by an overbearing empire who acts as the police force of the world.

This empire is willing to do anything to overthrow patriotic leaders to usher in the imperial-backed hand puppets, similar to what the CIA does today as can be seen in the cases of Ukraine and Syria.

A secondary theme is the series overview, consisting of the series’ lowest characters playing an integral role in the story.

In fact, the main character, Seneca LaSalle, is one such character.

Despite her current place in society in the book, the girl has a dark, horrifying history which is seen in Fighting Treason’s predecessor, Fighting Tyranny, which can also be found for free on Prolific Works.

As mentioned, Seneca displays the ability to bring herself to different levels and it’s seen early as she bids goodbye to her commoner friends, treats her maid not only with respect but as a friend while finding her best friend, Prince Neo, rather annoying.

Seneca knows what it’s like to grow up in an oppressed state, as she’d done in her home country of Tamuria.

Now living in Ddraigoch (named after the Red Dragon, Y Ddraig Goch), Seneca’s living situation is now greater than ninety-nine percent of the population, but she’s constantly haunted by her dark history.

She’s the classic example of a girl who’s seen the bottom, and now she’s ready to see the top.


Neo Skyehawk

The Series’ namesake, Neo Skyehawk is the Crown Prince, Heir to the Ddraigoch Throne. Neo’s never been thrilled with his high-ranking position.

The founder of the sport shotball, Neo’s life’s ambition is to grow and spread his sport throughout the known world.

But like all Crown Princes, Neo has responsibility.

He’s forced to make appearances everywhere, lauded by the masses for no apparent reason, according to him.

Neo loves dressing like and blending in with commoners, wishing he was one of them, but noting once that his commoner friends long to be in his position, as Prince.

Despite Neo’s insistence on living the common man’s life, he’s always finding himself in terrible trouble and on the run with Seneca.

In Fighting Treason, Neo faces his toughest challenge yet when he’s exiled from his own nation.



We all have themes in our works. We have a message bleeding through the pages that hold true us.

Our themes are why we write and continue to release both short-length, as the Neo Skyehawk Series is, and full-length, as my Lord of Columbia Series has become.

So, go ahead, make the claim to the work and sign up for my email list for even more updates on how my works are coming, and on the continuity of spreading the message of liberty.

I’d like to thank all of my readers for coming across My Freedom Flame, please come back soon.



Influences Behind Fighting Tyranny and Fighting Treason

Fighting Imperialism, Defending National Sovereignty, Upholding Liberty

The action-packed plots in Fighting Tyranny and Fighting Treason (plus my third free magnet book inside the front covers which can also be found on my site) shouldn’t deviate from the true themes of the works.

The perma-free novelette-novella series is an allegory of US Foreign Policy, despite the British Isles’ inspired flags I use as national identities for the three republics (Ddraigoch, Northland, and Southland, parodies of Wales, Scotland, and England) as seen on the featured image above.

When read carefully, one nation, among the others, Tamuria, a parody of France with a modified UK flag (I know, it makes zero sense!) attempts to bully free republics into the following and note similarities between this tyrannical version of France (no offense to my French audience! Love France.) and today’s United States foreign policy.


Tamurian and US Foreign Policy

Tamuria engages in the following:

1. They garner interests in other regions, be it minerals or any valuable natural resource, where multi-national corporations, or for the sake of my series, traders and explorers, negotiate with foreign leaders.



How do they intervene?



Well, such corporations or Kings, in this case, will bribe political leaders into bending policy to fit their wishes. This creates a pipeline from the home nation to the targeted nation.

2. If negotiations break down or if the foreign leaders fail to cooperate, a wave of economic-crippling sanctions unfold.


This might involve in threatening nations that trade with the targeted nation, cutting the targeted nation off from much-needed affluence. It may be in the form of a blockade to deter trade, or even threatening economic sanctions to force the other nations to comply in cutting the targeted nation off.


My audience in the Middle East may be able to relate.

3. If sanctions didn’t do their job, next comes a special council, in the United States the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), will write a policy to lobby before Congress, or in my series’ case, Parliament.


A new foreign policy is implemented, which may be more restrictive sanctions than before, effectively cutting the nation off.

4. When this occurs, the goal is for an uprising to occur, as we see in Syria and Iran today.



A way to motivate foreign intervention among the home nation’s masses, in today’s modern world, is to obviously show video clips of mass protests on the news, write about such protests in the local paper and on national news sites.



With international coverage, the world is watching.



In my series, since it takes place in a medieval atmosphere, a special network of special travelers enable news to spread fast.

5. And finally, with public support for war to “liberate and spread freedom and democracy” as the number one agenda, as we’ve seen with Iraq, Libya, and Syria, military intervention occurs.



The public is told such intervention will take no longer than a few weeks before they scale it back to a few months, then a few years, and finally, seventeen years later, the US Military is still intervening in Afghanistan, fifteen years later, still in Iraq.

Perpetual war, as in Orwellian society, where we’re constantly told everything’s under control and our side is winning, yet leaders find reason after reason to remain intervening in foreign affairs.

For Syria, it was a pipeline, for Afghanistan, poppy-seed fields, for Iraq, strategic military bases to surround Iran. Ditto for Pakistan.


It’s Not About Freedom

If it were about freedom, the US and UK never would’ve overthrown Mohamed Mossadegh in 1953 and replaced him with a Western-backed Shah.

This led to the 1979 Iranian Revolution which left American citizens hostage for 444 days at the US Embassy.

It’s not about freedom.

It’s why the Project for a New American Century was written by neoconservatives who later served in the Bush administration.

Men like John Bolton, who’s currently Donald Trump’s national security advisor.

Dick Cheney, who worked as the US Secretary of Defense under George H.W. Bush and served as Vice President to George W. Bush. Cheney also sits on the board of advisors for Genie Energy along with Lord Jacob Rothschild, ex-CIA Director James Woolsey, media mogul Rupert Murdoch (who has close ties to the CFR).

It just so happens Genie Energy has contractual rights to dig for oil in Syria’s Golan Heights, which are illegally under Israeli military occupation.



Iraq, Iran, Syria, and potentially Venezuela for oil. Afghanistan for opium and minerals. Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq for strategic military bases.


PNAC Signers

Other members of PNAC who held high-ranking offices in the Bush administration include Elliott Abrams, member of Bush’s national security council.

Jed Bush, younger brother to George Bush, former governor of Florida, and presidential candidate.

Paula Dobriansky, Vice President of the Washington Office of the CFR, Undersecretary for Bush administration’s State for Global Affairs.

Francis Fukuyama, who was appointed to Bush’s Council on Bioethics in 2002.

Roosier, Bellatrix LeStrange, Severus Snape, are we sensing a connection, my Harry Potterheads?

Frank Gaffney, founder, and president of the Center for Security Policy.

Fred C. Ikle, scholar at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Donald Kagan, member of the CFR.

Zalmay Khalilzad, Bush administration’s special envoy to Afghanistan and Iraqi opposition.

I Lewis Scooter Libby, chief of staff for Vice President Dick Cheney.

Norman Podhoretz, senior fellow at the Hudson Institute.

Dan Quayle, former Vice President under George H. W. Bush.

Peter Rodman, who served in the State Department and National Security council under Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, and Assistant Secretary of Defense under George W. Bush.

Henry S. Rowen, who served as chairman of the National Intelligence Council and Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs under Ronald Regan and George H. W. Bush.

Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defense in the Bush Administration.

Vin Weber, lobbyists for firms such as Lockheed Martin, US weapons manufacturer now raking in billions in weapons sales to Saudi Arabia to use against Yemeni civilians.
Paul Wolfowitz, Undersecretary of Defense for George W. Bush.


Theme: Defending the Republic

Fighting Tyranny and Fighting Treason focuses on the Kingdom of Ddraigoch, whereas the Tamurian Empire, under the guise of peaceful trade, wishes to intervene. Initially, and it’s told in the story, so I won’t give away too much, there’s a strategic alliance between the two nations.

However, the initial surface problem, which the reader discovers in my magnet book attached to Fighting Tyranny, erupts, causing friction between the two nations.

In Fighting Tyranny, this friction further develops, the consequences of which come to a climax in Fighting Treason.

The books show the dangers of current US foreign policy, animosity toward the US as a result of such destructive policy, and how civil liberties continue to erode both at home and abroad.

Also, the above names in PNAC also play a role in both this series, and my full-length Lord of Columbia Series, again to display the dangers of US foreign policy.

Thanks for reading.




Big Brother Is Watching You: Is America Becoming Orwell’s Nightmare?


64 Years Later, CIA Finally Releases Details of Iranian Coup

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