Middle School Contemporary Fantasy by Author C. L. Roth

My guest author today is  C. L. Roth originally from Lyons, Kansas.  She loves nature, dogs, horses and spooky houses.  I meant her as a fellow student, while taking Holly Lisle’s writing courses.  Ms. Roth writes middle school contemporary fantasy.  She has released three previous books, Bone Weary, Cosmic Shift: Book 1, Cosmic Chaos: Book 2, in her Cosmic Chronicles series.  She  will be releasing her fourth book this fall. 


C. L. Roth is an artist, caregiver, and author. She’s

spent twenty-five years learning her crafts. She spent a
year writing articles for her local newspaper. A job that
taught her to write tight and meet her deadlines.
She is a full-time caregiver for her son. Joshua was
born with cerebral palsy but much to C. L.’s surprise
indicated a love of art and has become a very talented
watercolor and acrylic artist. C. L. manages Our Home
Studio which showcases her son’s artwork as well as
rare pieces of her own work.
 She manages two websites:



Our Home Studio

If you get the chance, I highly recommend checking out Our Home Studio, where you can  read about Ms. Roth’s and her son Josh.  See the photos and their art.  Heart Lifting, Inspiring and Amazing.




I chose to be an independent author. Before I made this decision I ran the numbers on both traditional vs. independent. In all areas, but one, the independent route won.

  1. Length of time from submission to acceptance to publication is perhaps one of the biggest reasons I rejected the traditional route. First comes the query letter to an agent. If you are lucky, they reject you out of hand and you move on. But if they don’t bother to respond you are left wondering. Did they get the letter? Are they mulling it over trying to decide if they want to see the ms.?

And what if they do request a ms.? Once again you are left waiting. For months if you’re a patient, hopeful soul. And more often than not, you never hear a word back. You wait until your hope dies and you move on. You can waste six monthsor moregoing through this process. The independent author would have the book written, polished, edited, proofread, and live in this amount of time.

  1. The next number that jumped at me was the royalty fee. A traditional author might get a small advance if their work has been accepted. Then they might get an offer of a 15% royalty. When I looked at the independent author route I see 70% royalty and I retain ALL of my copyrights. They are mine to do what I choose with them.

I like control. I like getting paid for my work. I don’t like giving away my rights, or a percentage of my income to some faceless stranger who didn’t do anything to help me during the creative process. Yes, they provide editing and other mundane chores of publishing, but more and more the work is still falling on the author anyway. To me, I end up feeling like I’m living the story of the Little Red Hen. I end up doing all the work and somebody else wants to come in at the last moment and claim it.

  1. The one area that traditional publishers have it easier is marketing. Once you have a book in hand, how do you get that product seen? How do you get your author name, or your series branded? This is the area I’m now struggling with.

The traditional publishers have distribution avenues that I, as a lone independent author, don’t have. I’ve tried digital distributors, like Smashwords. They can get my book into stores that I can’t but once there how does a single author get their book seen above thousands of others?

Every book I put out I try something different. The things that work I keep. The ones that flop, I mark off my list and move on. I learn best by doing, but the frustration level in this type of learning is huge. It would be so much easier if there was a checklist and I could just go down the list and mark each item off.

I have three novels out. Cosmic Shift and Cosmic Chaos are middle school contemporary fantasy books. If you like magic, and action adventure, and humor these books will appeal to you.

Bone Weary is an adult cozy mystery heavy on family and fun.

Knock Knock will be out this fall. It’s a YA paranormal/SF. And book #1 of the Spirit Touched series.

I’m enjoying my independence. I’ve had to develop a new set of skills. I’ve had to learn how to run a business because being your own publisher requires you to wear many hats. But when I hold one of my books in my hand, and it looks right; it feels right; the sense of pride I feel in what I’ve accomplished is priceless.



Bo Tanner and Mark Cooper are looking forward to a summer of fun. Everything seems to be going well until the sky rips open and lets loose all kinds of trouble. Before they know what hit them, the celestial tear spews dimensional renegades and pursuing Hunters into Earth’s atmosphere.

Everything is going crazy. There is no power, people are changing, and then there’s the whole thing with the French fries. Joining together with the space travelers, Bo and Mark, with a little help from Bo’s sisters, go after the group of escaped criminals from another world. Their only hope is to learn the secrets of the magic the skies have unleashed.

But does magic really exist, or is this some kind of wacky dream? Can Bo save his littlesister or will the world gone wild destroy them all?



Mark Cooper’s parents are three weeks overdue. Something is wrong and he’s not waiting any longer. The children, Flicker, and Great-Uncle Harley set off for Grayson where the change has already started.Cosmos hunts for the renegades, Hemlock and Dalt. Can Harley, Flicker, and the children rescue Mark’s parents before the renegades find them?
Charly Edgewood’s husband lost his mind. He doesn’t want a divorce; he wants a vacation–in Australia, and he intends to be gone for a whole year. Unable to change his mind, Charly, with their seventeen-year-old disabled son, Jake, moves back to Weary, Kansas (pop.400) where her seven siblings will all be in one place for the first time in her adult life.
Settling in among her family, Charly feels like she’s home again. But her brother is being stalked, she finds herself in the middle of a town-wide feud, and somebody vandalized the local cemetery. When the bones from the cemetery end up in her fruit cellar can Charly figure out who stole them?



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  • Tyrean

    Thanks for the inspiration, C.L.! I went indie for many of the same reasons, although I am considering sending a later project to a small to mid-sized press just to see what that experience is like. The marketing angle is the toughest part for me too.

  • This was truly inspiring. CL sounds like an incredible woman. I did both traditional and self publishing. It’s a little different here in Canada. We don’t have the access to tools that I wish we had. Thanks for sharing CL with us, Juneata. I’m off to check out her books.

  • Sharon

    I have read C. L. Roth’s first two books Cosmic Shift and Bone Weary. They were a fun read. Can’t wait to start Cosmic Chaos. I am an adult and I enjoyed them both. I love a book I can’t put down.

  • So what’s with the french fries? *LOL* And “Bone Weary” sounds the right kind of spooky!

    • To be honest, Cosmic Shift was my first book out and I didn’t have a clue how to write a back cover blurb. The editor’s voice can be heard on the back cover. When the children first learned to use magic French Fries is the object that Shelly managed. Needless to say, I learned how to write the back covers and from that point forward you only hear my voice. I learned my lesson well.

  • Thank you for taking time to read and comment. I appreciate it.

  • I couldn’t agree more. I too like to be in control. This is a game of perseverance, but I’m sure that if one does persevere, in the long run, indie publishing will pay off. Thank you for the insights!

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