INDIE BLOGGER & AUTHOR – STEPHEN HISE (aka The Evil Mastermind of Indies Unlimited)

Stephen Hise      

First of all, I have to say how much I appreciate the evil mastermind of the very busy website Indies Unlimited taking time to do a very rare interview. We don’t expect you to get fully clothed to do this interview, but would at least appreciate you’re being fully covered before we begin.

That’s better! Now, before we get started talking about your thoughts on writing and your wonderful website, Indies Unlimited, tell us a little about yourself, where you’re from, what you do for a living—I understand you’re not a fulltime writer, what hobbies do you have. That sort of thing!

What do you do for fun?

Well, I enjoy singing loudly while sharing an elevator with strangers; walking up to people I don’t know and telling them I’m a knife-thrower in training and handing them a blindfold – asking them if they would mind helping me practice; visiting the elderly and changing their medication labels – just the usual stuff, really.

I see, ahem, nothing we wouldn’t expect from an evil mastermind, I suppose. Let’s get down to some basic personal information. What’s your favorite animal, color, season of the year?

My favorite animals are the ones that are in season. Hunting season is my favorite season, and I guess my favorite color would be clear, because that goes with anything.

Aha, okay, let’s try music–who is your favorite singer, your favorite song, perhaps the type of music you like most?

Hard to say. I like to listen to elevator music, but I crank it up really loud.

Well, here’s a safe topic! What’s your favorite movie?

I like romantic movies like “Tombstone.”

Yes, well, we all like a good love story, I suppose! (Wasn’t the female lead on mind altering drugs in that story?) Who’s your favorite actress/actor?

For what purpose? I don’t know that I’d necessarily like to sit down and have dinner with any of them. Unless they were buying. Then I guess any of them would do.

In some strange way, that makes complete sense. Now that we know you a little better as a person, let’s get into your writing! I understand that you are currently spending the bulk of your time working on Indies Unlimited. Why don’t you tell us a little about the writing you have done.

I don’t know how to describe my writing except to say the words I use meet or exceed the recommended daily allowance of both consonants and vowels.

My last novel was “Upgrade.” It is a terrible book. I recommend people do not buy it. Just awful. I don’t know how it got all those 5-star ratings.      

Well, I did ask, didn’t I? Perhaps I should ask how many books  have you written so far? 

Well, I’ve been writing for a very long time. Most of my books are still in the process of being converted to digital format from the original stone tablet or papyrus scroll. That might take a while.

Is it safe…ahhhh,..would you tell us about your next book & when is it being published? 

My next book is a collaboration with two other authors. We are just now finishing up the project, then it has to go to editing and decontamination and whatever else. I doubt that it shall ever see the light of day. Or it may be out in mid-Spring.

I’m almost afraid to ask, but when did you start writing and why? 

I started writing back in junior high school. Mostly, I forged notes from my dad to get me out of school early. Ah… that was back when my writing had real purpose!

Are you an avid reader & when you do read someone else’s writing, what is your favorite genre?

I would not describe myself as an avid reader. I do read. Mostly appliance instruction manuals, and kite assembly instructions.

Oh, dear. I really thought I’d gotten into safe territory. Let’s try this.  Who is your favorite author & why?

I always liked Michael Crichton. He was very tall. I liked that about him.

Now that we know a little more about our evil mastermind’s writing background,  maybe it would be best to change subjects. Tell us about Indies Unlimited! Why did you create the site?

I decided to take over the world one word at a time because they are doing it wrong.

(I’m afraid to ask who “they” are! Isn’t that the first sign of…something?) What is the site’s goal?

We want to promote, inform and celebrate the indie author movement and indie authors in general. We give readers a place to discover authors, for free, that they may not otherwise encounter.  And also rule the world.

Where do you see it going in the future?

Um… Well, there is the ruling the world thing. I already touched on helping indie authors – that’s pretty much my whole platform there. 

Oh, yeah. I think maybe I moved back too far–couldn’t really hear too well. I’ll try moving closer again. The site has really grown in the last few months alone. How do you decide who to add to the staff—I’m assuming that, as our evil mastermind no one would dare to refuse an invite!

The site has grown a lot. I try to select authors who write well and who have a reputation as mentors and leaders in the indie community. Then it’s just a matter of finding them alone and getting a clear shot with the tranquilizer gun.

(I fearfully move away again.) How do you decide what new features to add to the site?

At the IU staff meetings, I hit the button to gradually retract the floor, which is situated over the crocodile pit until someone comes up with a good idea. Someone almost always comes up with a good idea or two pretty quickly. I’m very big on motivating people.

(I grab a tissue as I begin to cry!) What is your personal favorite of its features & why?  

I like all our features, the contests, the interviews, guest posts, video trailers, announcements. Freebie Fridays, Likefest Wednesdays, Tutorial Tuesdays. If I didn’t they wouldn’t be there.

(Back under control again.) What’s the best/worst experience you’ve ever had as administrator of the site? Perhaps you’d like to explain the great poll debacle? (Let’s hear him explain that one! I will get the upper hand just once. After all, I am doing the interviewing here! )

Best:  Naming K.S. “Kat” Brooks as my co-administrator was probably the best decision I’ve made. She is very knowledgeable and well-connected. It is an honor to work with her. She really shoulders a big load at the blog. Every one of the contributors I have brought on has just been stellar: JD Mader, Cathy Speight, Ed McNally, Valerie Douglas have been on board a while. We just added Rosanne Dingli and David Antrobus. Joining the team next week are Jim Devitt and L.A. Lewandowski.

(Hum. I’m sensing sincerity here. Can it be?)

Worst:  I can’t say that the great polling debacle was a horrible experience. We ended up with polling software that simply did not meet the needs of our nuclear powered Death-Star of a blog. We had to scramble at the last minute to set up a really less-than-optimal workaround on Facebook. That lasted for only one event though, and all the engineers who were responsible have been (ahem) disposed of. The new polling software works great, and people love the writing exercise competitions.

(There is simply no justice here!) What is the best/worst advice you have ever gotten about the site? Here’s your chance to really cleanse yourself of all those pearls of wisdom that made you cringe!

No one really offered me any good or bad advice per se, it is just that all the available advice I could find was for single-author blogs instead of the multi-author machine I envisioned. So, I’ve sort of just felt my way through it.

(At last he’s under my control!) What advice would you give a new author?

Any new author should begin networking with other authors as soon and as much as possible. The community is so mutually supportive and resourceful. Of course, appearing on Indies Unlimited doesn’t hurt either….
If you hadn’t become a writer/blogger, how else might you be exercising your right brain now?

I like to think I would have been a ninja, or maybe a millionaire playboy.

Is there anything I didn’t ask that you would like to share? (Please be nice to our audience! Many of them go to church on a regular basis!)

I would like your audience to know that our blog is family friendly, with PG-13 type content. It is a great place to meet and learn about books, indie authors and other independent writing professionals.

Where on-line can people find more information about the site?

The site is at:




Where are your personal books available in print and/or digital? 

UPGRADE is available at the following:


Amazon US:

Amazon UK:


Thank you, Stephen, for taking time out of your very busy schedule cracking the whip and handing out non-existent awards and all those other important things you have on your calendar–was that ketchup? 


9 thoughts on “INDIE BLOGGER & AUTHOR – STEPHEN HISE (aka The Evil Mastermind of Indies Unlimited)

    • Patty, don’t miss the other interviews. We’ve got some really great authors already! Mr. Hise included, of course. (pssst, Patty–please don’t tell him I said that. Can’t have an evil mastermind with a swollen ego…it could be disasterous!)

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