Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Meet Tina Russo Radcliffe & Her 6 Qualities of an Indie Author

It is my pleasure to bring you Tina Radcliffe, a friend and awesome fellow author.
Traditionally published by Harlequin, Tina is also joining the Indie ranks with her latest book, The Rosetti Curse.
Please join me in welcoming Tina.
FLASH: Leave a comment for a chance to win a Kindle copy of The Rosetti Curse

The 6 Qualities of an Indie Author

This year marks my journey into indie publishing.  

I’m a rules person. Former Army and a long time medical professional, I function well with a rule book surgically implanted in my brain.  

But indie publishing isn’t about rules. It is about is change, growth and discovery. That can
be pretty scary to a rules person.

The Tony Robbins quote couldn’t be truer. “If you do what you've always done, you'll get what you've always gotten."

Indie publishing isn’t about following a roadmap. It’s about being an entrepreneur and creating your own roadmap and being brave enough to accept detours as the path to endless possibilities. It might even be an opportunity to rewrite the journey, and maybe the entire map.

I believe it takes a unique individual to embrace this philosophy. I’ve been following countless indie authors on blogs and in non-fiction books and I’ve discovered that they all share the same qualities.

Qualities of indie authors:

1. They focus on the writing- The writing comes first.  Period. They produce good books not good talk.

2. They are forward thinkers- Forward thinkers see beyond today and strategize for tomorrow. 

3. Envelope pushers- “To extend the current limits of performance. To innovate, or go beyond commonly accepted boundaries.” (Phrase finder)

4. Indefatigable-Tireless in the pursuit of their goals and visions.

5. Entrepreneurial spirit-“…people that challenge the norm, have original opinions that move a discussion forward, and act with tenacity and determination.” (Harvard Business Review)

6. Self-motivated-The ability to motivate themselves to move toward self-actualization. (Or in layman’s terms, a butt-kicking gene.) 

Any qualities I missed?

The indie authors I’ve met, followed in social media and read about have all of the above, plus, the courage of their convictions. Courage to realize that if the journey you are on today isn’t working for you, then for goodness-sake, make a U-turn or get off at the next exit!

So where does that leave me, the rule follower? Well, I’m learning to allow that courage, buried deep inside of me by the status quo of my own rules, to come out and play.  And that’s an amazing thing.
“Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.” –Steve Jobs
Tina Russo Radcliffe writes inspirational romance for Harlequin Love Inspired and writes sweet romantic comedy as an indie author under her other persona, Tina Russo. Do stop by her new Tina Russo website and look around, sign up for her newsletter to enter in a drawing for a 25$ Amazon gift card each month, beginning November 1. You can also “Like” her on Facebook at 

The Rosetti Curse 
"The Sopranos Meets Fried Green Tomatoes. Loved this book!"
- Sharon Sala, author of Going Once--Mira Books--October 2013

A Romantic Comedy of Italian Proportions...

She may look good in black, but Tessa Rosetti is not testing the family curse again. Three generations of women buried the men they love and confirmed Tessa’s belief in the Rosetti Curse.

Los Angeles cop, Thomas Riley, arrives back home in Silver Ridge, Colorado, to settle his grandmother’s estate, but while he's there he stumbles into trouble in the night. If his suspicions are correct, someone's cooking up more than biscotti at the local cookie factory.

Together, Riley and Tessa renew their old bond and battle a curse that leads them on a journey of destiny to the love of a lifetime.


  1. Oh, WOW! I loved this post!

    I was re-reading Blink: the Power of thinking Without Thinking. He talks a lot about how intuition is actually accumulated knowledge that we can't verbalize and we do ourselves an injustice by NOT TRUSTING our intuition.

    Blocking out the obnoxious opinions of others is imperative if we're going to trust our intuition, which is really just accumulated knowledge. I'm learning, and re-learning, to trust that knowledge, even when I can't explain it to someone else.

    So much to think about in this post!

  2. Virginia, I agree. I am a "fighter within", I plant mental guards to ward off negative people/thoughts/images.

    And it helps! I would much rather be surrounded by the "I can's" than the "How can you's????"

    Live Life on Purpose.

    Trust in God with your whole heart, your whole soul.

    Work, and then work some more. At my son's graduation from business school with his MBA last June, the keynote speaker didn't do the P.C. thing by fluffing the grads. He repeatedly told them that to get our country back on track, we needed to work hard. Trust God. Work hard. And trust God.

    I was delighted because it's true.

    Don't put me in the drawing, peeps, read Rosetti, LOVED IT! and I think the blessing of indie publishing is that it allows those round-peg-in-square-hole stories that people love... but publishers see risk/dollar signs. That fun delightful story still makes me smile... and crave cannolis.

    Publishing our "slightly different" works as independent books? That puts the risk on us and I'm okay with that! Less guilt potential and it's fun to run my own little cottage industry!

    #totallypsyched!!! :)

  3. I'd love to be included in the giveaway. So glad for all the great reads from Indie Authors & now I can add one more! Blessings!

  4. Wonderful post, Tina! I love the quotes, especially Steve Jobs. I identify with your struggle. I'm a former teacher and a rule follower too. I need to trust my intuition, especially when I'm writing. I tend to get hung up on story structure and lose my way.

    Don't put me in the giveaway. I have The Rosetti Curse on my Kindle. Can't wait to dive in!

  5. Tina, what a push-pull concept for authors everywhere. We've been told for so long to read the guidelines, see what the publisher wants, write to the market...with indie books, WE are the publisher and WE can write to our own guidelines. Being traditionally published through Harlequin, I will always be thankful for the confidence they show in me, but there are stories roaming in my mind that just don't fit their guidelines.

    When Donald Maass's book, Writing the Breakout Novel was first published back in 2001, it took the novel industry by storm, but did it really make a difference? Few traditional publishers dipped their toes in the waters of "different thinking" manuscripts they came across in their slush piles, no matter how intrigued they were by the concept. In Seekerville yesterday, Melanie Dickerson mentioned how strong an influence the Marketing Dept exerted in the selection of mss for publication. If they didn't think they could sell it, the pub board probably didn't buy it.

    They don't take the unnecessary chances because like Ruthy stated, they put the money behind it.

    Soooo, that leaves us, the indie authors, to take the world by storm.

    I LOVED the Rossetti Curse! The story is funny and the characters absolutely delightful. This is a prime example of what indie publishing offers. New voices; new outlooks.

    Way to go, Tina!!!

  6. I've just finished The Rosetti Curse and it's hilarious. Such a fun ride you took me on, Tina. I would follow you on a twenty book Italian adventure. I hope you're writing fast!

  7. Great post, Tina! I was just saying yesterday to my daughter (talking about homework in school) that I'm such a rule follower. Maybe I need to let my inner rule-breaker out. :)

    I've been reading Rosetti Curse and loving it!

  8. You were RE reading Blink? Sheesh. I haven't even made it through once. Well done.

  9. #addictedtohastags

  10. Thank you, Renee!!!

  11. Thanks, Mary. I do actually have two more Italian books. Is the world ready for them is the question.

  12. Thanks, Missy.

    Yeah, you know you are a rule follower when you work somewhere that does a study on the next pen the company will use.

    And you don't think that's a little too much??? Sheesh.

    Time to break out.

  13. Thanks, Janet.

    We should have a Rule Breaking Night Out.

  14. It's good to know how to follow the rules, Audra. Traditional publishers are still around because they know what the reader wants..and on another level, it's so much fun to write without rules.

    Now the real test will be not having that net of my traditional publishing to catch me.

    Authors who don't are my heroes.

  15. Very timely advice. I have my first manuscript out with a traditional publisher at the moment, even though my list of pros is very much leaning towards indie publishing. Now it's a question of finding out if I have what it takes to be an indie author.

  16. Good Morning,
    I was up literally burning the midnight oil, so I'm late, but hope you all still have room for a bite of fresh scone and of course, the endless cup of coffee.

    Tina, I'm so happy you're here today!

    Indie publishing is freeing in many ways. Scary in many more, but frankly I wouldn't do it any other way.

    Breaking rules is interesting as I think one has to know the rules first to break them, eh?

    This blog has the tag, My Story ~ My Way for a reason :)

    I'm all for a Rule Breaking Night Out.


  17. I had insomnia last night, myself. As I wasn't sleeping I though of another quality. Indie authors are very sharing. Much like Seekerville...and we're different as well.

    No worrying about will helping you hurt me. Transparency abounds.

  18. Tina,
    I think that's very true. I remember long ago when pubbed authors were so secretive about everything. (Not all of them, but most:))

    Sharing whatever info I have is important to me, thus the blog.

    I think it's very freeing.


  19. Well said, Tina! I'll revisit this post if/when I ever decide I'm ready to take the indie plunge.

  20. OMG, Tina! Absolutely I'm thankful for traditional publishers. How else do you know what readers want to read?

    I'm just saying it's nice to have an avenue to market the stories that don't fit into the "yearly budget" trad. houses schedule. It's nice to be able to sweep the dust bunnies out from under the beds, LOL!

  21. Hi Tina:

    Don’t worry for lack of rules. All the rules are still there except now they are marketing rules. Learn how to make a book highly marketable and then write it. Instead of the ‘book of your heart’ write the book ‘of enough people’s hearts’ to make a best seller. Don’t write a book you hope marketing may be able to sell for you; write the book marketing has always been wanting to be given to market.

    Also, rules are not laws of nature. Tony Robbins’ rule did not apply to lottery winners. Steven Job’s rule does not apply to reinventing the wheel. Sometimes by the time something gets to be a rule, it is nearing the end of its usefulness.

    In a way it’s not about being the best Indie writer. It’s about being a writer that can best utilize the unique advantages Indie publishing offers that Traditional publishing cannot. I think Ruth’s “Romance Realism” type book is a subgenre that the Indie method was made for. It’s like trying to find and then exploit the subgenre that is the biggest it could be and yet still be too little for Traditional publishers to service profitably.

    This does not have to be a zero sum game. A book that a Traditional publisher would lose money publishing might make a lot of money for the author as an Indie book. It is not that the Traditional publisher was wrong or stupid. It is just that the Traditional publisher works under a different set of profit rules.

    I think the number one rule of the Indie writer is:

    Write a book that tons of people can’t wait to buy and once they read it can’t wait to buy your next book.

    Write the book so that every book you write sells all your other books. Sell one of your books and have that sale cause a chain reaction into the explosive sale of all your books. Pantser your copy but plan your career.

    I have “The Rosetti Curse”. Both it and “The Stone of Heaven” are on my Kindle looking up at me wondering if I still love them. What was that song, “For all the girls I’ve known”? Honest, I am doing my best. : )

  22. You know what they say, you fail only if you don't try.

    Go. Try.


  23. Congratulations, Tina! I'm looking forward to reading this, and wish you much success with indie publishing. Exciting times!

  24. Awe, thanks, Suzie!!! Having fun, that's for sure.

  25. Great post, Tina. Sorry I'm late to the party. Is forgetting what day it is par for the course?

  26. Rogenna!!! My partner in crime. My book cover designer!!!!