Tuesday, January 14, 2014
Today I have author, Briana Lawrence on the hot seat. I know you can't wait to read the excerpt from her page-turning mystery, but first I want to ask her a few questions. Oh, and don't forget to leave a comment for a chance to win an ebook-- epub, mobi, and pdf formats available.
Hi Briana! Welcome to the Wild Side.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? What do you do when you are not writing?
I’m a kid cleverly disguised as a 30 year old adult. All right, fine, I’m not a kid, I’m just a kid at heart who can be easily entertained by some Netflix cartoon marathons and a bowl of cereal. I’m a huge geek. I love anime and I especially love video games, but lately I haven’t had much time for them. I also love to do crafts. I paint and I woodburn, and my partner sews, so we have our own little Etsy shop and go to conventions with our art. I also cosplay, too, because sometimes you just have to dress like a Disney princess.
Along with that, I live with my partner of 12 years and we have three cats, a house full of geekery, and family and friends who somehow put up with our hijinks.
How did you choose the genre you write in?
Honestly, my muses chose it for me. I got the idea in my head, started writing, and suddenly it fit in with a number of genres. That’s usually happens when I write. I don’t go in thinking, “All right, going to write a suspenseful supernatural book full of twists and turns.” I usually go in with an idea, maybe a character or two, a location, just pieces of something that eventually turns into, well, a book.
Do you ever experience writer’s block?
Yes. Everyone does at some point. I usually move onto something else, like crafts or watching something on T.V., anything to get my mind away from the story for the moment. If you feel a block you should take a break from your story. Don’t force yourself to write, and don’t get frustrated if you feel a block. Just step back for a moment, your muses will speak to you again.
Do you work with an outline, or just write?
I do. Or rather, I try to. When I get an idea, if I really like it I will map it out and create an outline as a guide. However, somewhere during the writing process I inevitably go off track. It’s fine, though. The outline is there to sort of remind me what my initial thoughts were, so I can be like, “Oh yeah I wanted that character to do that.” Whether or not it works? That’s for the muses to decide. The outline does, at least, map out the plot, or character descriptions, and things like that, so I think it’s very important to have one.
Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published?
Telling myself that I’m ready for rejection, then not being ready at all. My first book, “Treat Me Kindly,” met with quite a few rejections. When you go into writing, you hear a lot about how rejection comes with the territory, so you try to mentally prepare for it. You tell yourself not to get upset because it’s something that happens. The truth is this: rejection sucks. I learned, after a couple, to actually admit that I was feeling upset, angry, anything and everything. I let myself feel all of that for a day, then my partner and I would do something fun: go get ice cream, drive around, something like that. It’s fine to feel upset when you hear, “no,” the trick is to a) step away from the letter, and writing, for a little bit so you don’t dwell on it and b) after you have your upset time, close your eyes, get some rest, then try again later.
I also had to learn how much work went into this whole writing business. The job isn’t over once you get the “yes” from a publisher. There’s editing, cover, dedications, acknowledgements, do you have any form of social media, a website, just… there’s so much to think about! And that’s before the book comes out. After that, it’s promotion, promotion, promotion. Seeking reviewers, getting your book and yourself out there, there’s so many things in the process. You don’t just get to sit back and relax while the publisher does everything. They’ll do work too, of course, but you have to work just as hard – maybe even harder.
What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?
I really liked writing the relationship between Gable and Avery. It was a nice break from the heaviness that is, “Double Hue.” Crazy killer who targets gay men. Avery’s parents disowning him for being gay. Gable being worried about what his own parents are going to think of Avery. There were some heavy things at times, so it was fun to write those scenes of Avery sitting down and playing video games with Gable in the back like, “Why does your main character use a key for a weapon that’s dumb.”
On the flip side, I did enjoy creating the story’s villain. I feel like I made a character that people will hate, but also sympathize with, and that will probably make them feel uncomfortable. It was uncomfortable for me to write him. At the same time, I feel like there are people in the gay community who feel like he does: being attracted to someone of the same sex, but feeling like it’s wrong because there are people out there who say, “It’s a sin.” It kind of hits on a personal note for me, because when I was 18 and started to feel attracted to a girl, I thought it was wrong. I panicked and thought there was something wrong with me because I’m supposed to like boys, right? So I avoided her for a while before I finally came out and told her the truth.
We’re still together after 12 years, but I still remember that first moment, that, “Oh god oh god oh god,” moment when I realized that I was attracted to women. The killer in this book is the same way. Yes, he takes it way too far, but some of the things he points out is like, “… wow, that’s a good point.” And it’s unsettling.
What project are you working on now? Will you have a new book coming out soon?
Actually, my partner and I just realized the first in a series of books. This first book is called, “Seeking the Storyteller.” We want to get started on the second book in the series now that the first is out. The rough draft is actually already done, but now we have to read over it and make edits and things like that.
I also have two more romance book ideas. I’ve written down an outline, it’s just a matter of getting that urge to write them. Currently I’m focused on promoting the books I have out now and getting them out there, so I’ve been sending them to reviewers, posting on different groups in Goodreads, Facebook, and working on bringing them to the conventions we go to.
Is there anything that you would like to say to your readers and fans?
Thanks for all of the support! Keep reading, and also, keep talking about what you read and sharing your thoughts on it. Authors crave feedback, because it not only gets others to read their work, but it helps them improve.
"Maybe he's right. Maybe I am the cause of this. Maybe you were normal before meeting me."
When something tragic happens, you want nothing more than to close your eyes and make all of the pain go away. For Gable Peterson it's a little more complicated than that. When detective Maurice Ashford shows up at his door with news that his boyfriend, Avery Blair, has been found dead, Gable is left devastated. Seeking some sort of comfort, Gable closes his eyes and imagines a world where none of this happened.
Only, when Gable wakes up, he's surprised to see that Avery is still alive.
“Ah yes, the mysterious bra.”
Gable smiles more. He can imagine the playfully serious look on Avery’s face as he pretends to play detective.
“Black lace. Very forbidden. It’s pretty small though; I thinkt he lace might be makin’ up for the lack of breasts.”
“Right, because you’re such an expert in women’s underwear.”
“And you are? Is there somethin’ you’re not tellin’ me abouthow you spend your evenings without me?”
Gable takes a deep breath. “Yes. I enjoy wearing women’s underwear.”
Gable is suddenly thankful that he hadn’t been drinking anything; otherwise, he would’ve ended up choking on it or spitting it all over his computer keyboard. “Hot? Really?”
“Yeah sure. But I am surprised. I didn’t think you were that creative.”
“So, do you still go by Gable when you dress like a lady?”
Gable frowns, a thoughtful look on his face. What would his name be if he were a woman? Part of him is torn between Gabbie and Gabriel while another part of him wonders when this became a serious topic. “No. I go by Gabriel,” he says.
“Ooooh, sexy.” Avery giggles.
“I guess, but I think it would be sexier if you tried the forbidden black lace.”
“Maybe with some black pumps and bright red lipstick?”
“Do you even know how to walk in heels?”
“I’m an actor. I can figure it out.”
1. Amazon: http://amzn.com/B00GPAFCEI
2. Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/double-hue-briana-lawrence/1117563634?ean=9781629290782
3. Eternal Press: http://www.eternalpress.biz/book.php?isbn=9781629290775
My Website: http://brichibi.wix.com/whisperedwords
My Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/BrianaLawrencesPenAndPaper
My writing blog: http://brichibiwritesthings.tumblr.com/
My Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7055998.Briana_Lawrence
My Amazon Author page: http://www.amazon.com/Briana-Lawrence/e/B00D9ULZ70/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1