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Welcome new Authors

Moral Fortitude is proud to introduce Laura Warby and Daniel Benham.

Both writers focus on self publishing their ebooks on Amazon and Smashwords.

Laura has been self publishing since 2010 and has a large collection of stories to her name.

Daniel has been writing stories since the first time he held a pen. Also a keen artist, Daniel enjoys creating artwork for his stories.

Read more about Laura and Daniel and the book they currently have for sale.

Laura Warby

Danial Benham.


Interview – Louise Lyons

Moral Fortitude is proud to interview Louise Lyons, author of Conflicted.

Welcome Louise, and thank you for taking the time to answer our questions.

When did you first start writing LGBT books?

I only made more serious efforts to write them in the last three years, although I’ve written them for my own entertainment since my late teens.

What inspired you to write LGBT fiction?

A school friend showed me a gay romance movie called My Beautiful Laundrette, starring Daniel Day Lewis, when I was 15 or 16. I watched it over and over, and then got the idea to write my own M/M romance stories, featuring my favorite rock stars. Years later I discovered FanFiction, and after reading and eventually writing M/M fictions, there was no turning back for me.

Where do your ideas come from?  

Sometimes from my own experiences, or from little things such as a person I see doing something in real life or on TV, or a scrap of conversation I hear, or the lyrics in a song. I’ve always had quite a fertile imagination, so the unlikeliest things can spark the idea for a story.

How much research do you do for your stories?

Quite a bit, but it depends on the theme of the story. For instance, Conflicted is centered around drag racing and exhibiting cars. This is a great love of mine, and I’ve been to many drag racing events, and also exhibit my own car in an owners’ club at various events, so I didn’t need to do a great deal of research for that. I study maps and read about places at length if I’m intending to set a story in a particular place that I haven’t been to.

Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer to see where an idea takes you?

I usually come up with a basic idea, such as the drag racing scene, with Conflicted. I think of what I want my main characters to be like, create their personalities and backgrounds, and make notes on a few important events to include in the story. Then I just start writing, and quite often, the story will run away with me and the characters will tell me where they want it go.

Do you have a special time of day to write or how do you structure your day?

My best time to write is when I first get up, between 5 & 7am. As I have a full time job at the moment, this is the only time I can write on week days. Evenings don’t work for me, because I need to unwind after a busy day at the office. Weekends, I will usually start around the same time, but keep going until about 9am.

How long on average does it take you to write a book?

The last one I completed, took around 2 months. If only I could ditch the day job, I’m quite certain I could write one in a month.

Do you proofread/edit all your own work or do you get someone to assist?

I proofread myself. I find that reading the story out loud is a good way of picking up those annoying little errors that are so easy to miss – and the not so little errors too!

Do you think the cover plays an important part in the buying process?

I think it can do, in as much as, I’ve been encouraged to buy books myself, in a genre that wouldn’t normally interest me, on the strength of an intriguing cover.

How do you choose the right cover for your book?

There are particular styles that I like, and within that, I try to imagine what would look good and what would attract me if I was the reader.

What are your thoughts on good/bad reviews?

The good ones make me feel on top of the world, and often surprise me. I still find it difficult to believe that complete strangers around the world, read something I wrote and liked it enough to say so. The bad ones – yes, they hurt, but I give myself a talking to, and remind myself that everyone has different things that they like and don’t like. There are bound to be people who don’t like my work and I shouldn’t let myself take it to heart. If they give constructive criticism, then I’ll take it on board for the future.

Do you have a strategy for finding reviewers?

Well, I’m very new at this, with Conflicted being my first published novel, so no, not yet. I’m trying to learn as much as I can from the process, so that the next time (and hopefully there will be a next time) I will do it better.

Do you use social media and how has this worked best for you?

I use Twitter and Facebook, and I find that both are great for finding fellow authors and readers, and interacting with them. Hopefully some of these will translate into buyers of my book!

Do you have a favorite author / book?

Gosh, this is a tough one. There are so many! One of my favourite authors is Garrett Leigh. Her books, Slide and Rare, were amazing, and had me in floods of tears. I love books that can really move me emotionally. Another fairly new release that I’ve read recently, is No Sacrifice by Grace R. Duncan. I got through quite a few Kleenex with that one too, so it’s definitely up there with my favorites.

What is your next project and what should we expect?

I’m working on a variety of short stories for anthologies at the moment, and I’m waiting for a “yay or nay” on a manuscript I submitted, that has a supernatural element to it (vampires and a witch). My next completely new novel, which is just in the planning stages, is about a young man who has suffered, and escaped from, a situation involving domestic abuse. The story starts after he has left his abusive life behind, but the scars remain, and he eventually questions his behavior when he discovers he hasn’t really moved on and is still, essentially, a victim.

Where do you see yourself five years from now?

I would love to be a full time author, without the need for a day job. If I could achieve that in five years, it would be a dream come true.

How can readers discover more about you –

Blog   :   Facebook   :   Twitter : 

Conflicted cover

Purchase   :    Ebook    :     Paperback 


Thank you Louise for taking the time to appear on Moral Fortitude. We wish you success with your new book Conflicted.


Interview – Laura Warby

Moral Fortitude is proud to interview Laura Warby, author of The Discover Yourself Set (Oscar, Aaron and Philip, Playing the Game and Bind Love), and full-length novel, Cats and Dogs.

Welcome Laura, and thank you for taking the time to answer our questions.

When did you first start writing LGBT books?

When I was about fifteen. I was on a geography field-trip, and mentioned to one of my friends that I was a writer, and suffering from massive writer’s block at the time. She suggested I try a genre I’d never written in before to get the creative juices flowing. After a bit of research, I stumbled across the LGBT genre, and have never looked back. Since, I’ve been unable to write straight stories!

What inspired you to write LGBT fiction?

The support from my family and fans inspires me to continue to write.

In the first instance, though, I was just writing for me. I stumbled across Wattpad by chance, and decided to post my stories and see if any of them were worth anything in the eyes of other people; and here I am four years later, still going strong!

Where do your ideas come from?

Not a clue. Sometimes I’ll be inspired by a character in a film or book, and will write a similar character with a brand new plot, but most of my ideas just pop into my head in the form of a snippet of a scene, or a very basic character outline, which I have to pad out into a full-length story.

How much research do you do for your stories?

Depends. My new book on Wattpad, the Porn Star, is pretty much just writing itself, with very little research. My crime series, The White Bridge Crime Series, on the other hand, will at some point be fully re-written, fleshed out and improved, and for that I’ll do a lot of research into proper criminal and police investigative procedure.

Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer to see where an idea takes you?

I usually have a vague idea of where the story’s going, and who will end up with whom, but mostly I just let the story go wherever it wasn’t too. I find that keeps things interesting, for me and for my fans!

Do you have a special time of day to write or how do you structure your day?

I write much more efficiently at night. I’m house-sitting for someone at the moment, so I’ve got plenty of time to write. Yesterday, I spent about four hours writing in the afternoon, and managed about two pages on Microsoft Word. Not brilliant. After a quick shift at work, though, I came back home and wrote some more, and in an hour managed to do almost ten pages. My creativity definitely flows better at night, it seems.

How long on average does it take you to write a book?

That depends. Some, such as the short stories in The Discover Yourself Set, just write themselves. Others, like Moonmount Castle and Gabriel, took forever, because I had that many ideas in my head that I wanted to put down on paper, I actually had to spend time planning the plot a little, otherwise the story would end up making no sense at all!

I would say my average is about two/three months to finish a story that’s about one hundred and fifty Microsoft Word pages.

Do you proofread/edit all your own work or do you get someone to assist?

I do it all myself. I start on the computer, with a finished work, and read through the story over several days.

Then I send the document to my Kindle, and read it on there. I find it much easier to spot plot errors or grammatical issues on that screen than the computer monitor.

Do you think the cover plays an important part in the buying process?

Definitely. Covers is one area where I fall down, though. I’m awful with cover design.

I’ve got an arrangement with a photographer on DeviantArt; I use her photographs, with minor tweaks such as cropping or re-colouring, and in return put her name in the front of each of my published books.

How do you choose the right cover for your book?

To be honest, I just use the image that catches my eye when I’m flicked through the portfolio I use. I also try to make sure that the image also reflects the story to some extent. For example, my current Wattpad story, the Porn Star, doesn’t have the cover that’ll be used if I publish it one day. I’ve yet to make it. However, I know I’ll use an image that has a single man, tree or flower, to try and reflect how lonely the main character is at the start of the book.

What are your thoughts on good/bad reviews?

Good reviews; Always great, always flattering!

Bad reviews; Meh. Depends on the individual review. If the review is negative, but constructive, that I’m fine with that, because I’m at least able to improve. But a review that’s negative just for the sake of being negative is really annoying.

For example, one of the first reviews I got for Oscar after it was published from an American reader who slated it for being a ‘creepy assault story’ featuring an underage guy.

Now, in the description, it is mentioned that there are non-consensual elements in the start of the book. I also mention in my biography on Amazon that I’m in the UK, where legally you can have sex at the age of sixteen (From the lady’s comments, I believe this is different in the USA; possibly eighteen?)

So, basically, she has ignored all of the information I’ve provided, and given me a negative review.

As you can possibly tell, this has really annoyed me.

However, a bad review I had after publishing Cats and Dogs was very constructive, and has helped me to work on my tenses, and I now double-check all of my stories very thoroughly for plot-holes before I publish them, as a result. So that bad review was, for me, actually a good review, because it was helpful.

Cats and Dogs   Oscar

Do you have a strategy for finding reviewers?

Not really, no. Generally, I just accept reviews as they come along.

Although, I have, since publishing on Smashwords, created coupons for each of my published works. I’m more than happy to send people free copies of my works in return for an honest review, as long as they do actually post the reviews!

See my Wattpad profile page for more details, if you’re interested.

Do you use social media and how has this worked best for you?

Nope. I’ve never used Facebook, Twitter, etc. I dislike the whole idea of Facebook, and will never create an account while I have a say in the matter.

Twitter I don’t know much about, but I’ve not really got any interest in social media.

I’m not an entirely social person, so I like being able to have some quiet-time to myself, so that I can write in peace.

What would you say are the main advantages/disadvantages of self-publishing?

Advantages: It can be completely free! I’ve proof-read my own works, don’t pay for the cover images I use, and formatted all of my works myself, so any money I make from sales is pure profit. It is also very rewarding to see your book in print, and see the monthly sales figures. Knowing that people all over the world are enjoying something you’ve created from a blank Microsoft Word page is such a great feeling.

Disadvantages: Time-consuming, as I have to do everything myself. Low profit, as you don’t have the marketing schemes employed by large publishing companies. Time-limited, as I don’t make enough money to earn a living from my writing, I also have to work elsewhere, which cuts into my writing time.

What advice would you offer to other writers who would consider self-publishing?

Always, always, always get someone else to read your book. Not necessarily to proof-read, if you can do a good job yourself, but to check that the plot has not holes. It’s much easier for someone else to spot the flaws in your book, which is why I post on Wattpad and ask for feedback.

Also, try to ensure that you book isn’t entirely cliché. I know that these books can do well on Wattpad, but the published book work is completely different. People are paying their hard-earned money for your books, and they want a book with some substance, a well-thought-put plot; in general, a book that is worth their time reading and their money paying for.

The story about the outcast male cheerleader who falls in love with the school’s bad boy and miraculously somehow managed to turn him gay, while maintaining straight A grades whilst dealing with abuse for being gay at home and school is all very well when you’re writing for a primarily teen/young adult readership on Wattpad, but Amazon and Smashwords have readers that are primarily older readers, who want a little more substance to their stories.

So, bear that in mind the next time a cliché pops into your head!

Do you have a favourite author / book?

I love Terry Brooks’ fantasy Shannara series. They’re un-putdownable books for me; when I pick one up, I have to make sure no-one is going to come and interrupt me while I’m reading.

I also love Karen Rose’s American crime series, and Mark Billingham’s Tom Thorne London-based crime novels.

What is your next project and what should we expect?

With any luck, after I finished The Porn Star and Moonmount Castle, I’ll finally be able to settle down and write the Gabriel sequel.

I’ve been saying for months now that I’ll be writing one, but I just haven’t been able to find the time yet!

After that, I’ll try to re-write my crime series, and get those published at some point.

Where do you see yourself five years from now?

With any luck, earning more money from my writing!

Possibly owning my own smallholding; I’ve just finished my degree in animal care and management, so I’d love to own and run my own small little farm. At the moment, I’m considering keeping pigs and chickens.

How can readers discover more about you?

Website  :  Amazon UK  :  Amazon USA  :  Smashwords  :  



Thank you Laura for taking the time to answer our questions. We wish you all the best with your future projects and look forward to reading more from you.

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A collection of Self-Published LGBT ebooks

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