Leon Mostert lived many lives before he became JC Ryan, the best-selling author of spellbinding archaeological mysteries and action-adventure thriller novels.

Born and bred in Namibia, with Afrikaans as his first language, Leon served in the military for seven years before a crippling back injury forced a change in careers. Returning to university to study law, Leon ran his own private practice for more than 15 years, before moving first to New Zealand in 1997 and to the Gold Coast in 2008 working as an IT project manager.

Living on the Gold Coast and working in Brisbane, it was the commute into the city that finally did it; the same train trip, day in day out for ten years. He knew he had to keep his mind occupied.

“I always wanted to write but never saw myself as a fiction writer,” he remembers. “I didn’t believe I had the imagination to come up with a good story.”

Starting with non-fiction, Leon penned books on self-improvement and natural health but didn’t find it all that fulfilling. It wasn’t until, watching a documentary on the pyramids in Egypt one night, that he realised he might just have a story in him after all. And that's when he decided on the penname JC Ryan.

An older, distinguished man sits on his book shelf ledge, while paging through a book he wrote

Working with an editor friend in the US, JC published his first novel in May 2014 via Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP). KDP is Amazon’s self-publishing service which enables authors to self-publish in both print and digital formats. Authors that publish through KDP retain their copyright and can get to market fast, distribute globally and earn royalties of up to 70%. To say he was pleasantly surprised is an understatement.

“I thought I’d be shot to pieces!” he says, smiling.

Instead, a fan-base started to grow…

Three hours a day of writing to and from his office turned into writing sessions each evening and weekend until, in October 2019, at the age of 63, JC left his day job and turned to writing full-time.

Now, with close to 30 books under his belt, JC has only ever published with KDP and hasn’t looked back. JC also appreciates how easy it is to publish with KDP and its step-by-step process that has become second nature to him, with the control that he has over every element being paramount. He especially appreciates how well marketed and promoted his books are in their categories; with high rankings meaning everything in terms of exposure.

It has been 12 months since JC became a full-time writer and there is no turning back now. The level of control for the author and the high royalties that KDP offers allows a bestseller like JC to make a comfortable living, much of it off a passive income from eBook sales of earlier titles. And, as for that doubt he had as a younger man who questioned his own imagination? It no longer lingers.

“I surprise myself with my own ideas,” JC laughs. “It is all very exciting.”

JC is one of thousands of Australian writers who are self-publishing via Kindle Direct Publishing. To find a new book to dive into visit Amazon.com.au. If you are interested in self-publishing please visit https://kdp.amazon.com