This is the second part of my interview with Bre. If you haven't read part 1, you can find it here.
These questions are about her writing in general. Hope you enjoy!
- What genre are your books?
Most of my books are paranormal and fantasy. I dabbled in romance for a while, but I realized recently that I want to write paranormal full time instead. It’s what makes me truly happy and satisfied at the end of the day.
- What draws you to this genre?
I’ve always had a healthy fascination for anything paranormal and occult-ish. Magic, faeries, vampires, ghosts, etc. Real life is depressing and hard. I like the idea of escaping into a realm of things that others don’t find realistic. I don’t read to get a lecture on how hard life is from a book that’s considered a literary masterpiece. I read to be drawn into a story and taken away from the daily grind of life. Vampires, witches, ghosts, and magic have always done that for me.
- Do you write full-time or part-time?
I’m currently trying to be a full-time writer. To me that doesn’t mean that I write from dawn 'till dusk. It just means that I’m not pursuing any other career at the moment. I write every day until I reach a certain word count, then I do whatever editing or marketing I need to do when I’m done. Being a full-time self-published writer means you are your own writer, editor, cover designer, marketer, formatter, etc. It’s definitely a full time job even when you’re not actually writing.
- Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured?
Currently, I wake up between 6 – 7 am. I work out, have breakfast and coffee. I get to writing around 9 or so. I usually finish around noon. I take a break, eat lunch, and then I do whatever editing I need to do that afternoon. I sometimes do this at cafes, but lately I’ve found myself more productive at home. I need a strict schedule and a goal for each day, otherwise I don’t get things done. But it’s usually writing in the morning, editing and marketing in the afternoon. Anything more than that and I get the brain drain.
- What is the hardest thing about writing? What is the easiest?
The hardest thing to me is knowing that I might be doing all this work for nothing. There is a chance that I won’t succeed as a writer and that my stories will never be truly discovered by anyone. But I keep doing it because it’s my job. And I enjoy the high from a good work day.
The easiest thing, or the thing I most enjoy, is being able to get up and have that cup of coffee at home, ease into my day, and get to work on my own schedule. I hate working for others and being told what to do with my time. So being able to dictate how I organize my day is very relaxing to me.
- How do you come up with plots, characters and settings?
I literally see everything in my mind like a movie. I see the characters like actors in a film. I see a set/setting as though I was watching it unfold before me in a movie theatre. As far as the plot, I come up with it a day at a time. Some people call my style of writing “pantsing.” Because I fly by the seat of my pants and write the story as it comes. I generally plan my story a day ahead of time so I know what scene I’m writing the following day. I can’t plan a whole novel to save my life. But I can come up with one scene. And if I can do that for a few months in row, I have an entire plot. Scene to scene, and then eventually I have a whole story.
As far as characters, I find that most novels have three essential people. The leader of the story, the villain, and the ally to the leader of the story. You can change up the formula, but most stories have those three essentials. Keep it the same, but give those three people different characteristics and you have a cast for your book.
Setting, I draw from what I know. I set a story in England because I lived there. I set a story in New Orleans because I was born there. I set a story in Colorado because I lived there. I draw from what I know then roll with the rest of it.
- How much research do you do?
It completely depends on the story I’m writing. For ‘The Elder Origins’ and ‘The Keeper’s Realm’ I did a lot of research. They both had lots of history woven in them, so it was necessary. For ‘Violet Blake’ I was creating my own world within the real world, so there wasn’t as much research. When writing a story involving lots of research, I’ll usually spend about 1-2 hours a day checking on various facts or just doing some reading about the time period so I can portray it accurately. Doing my major in history helped with that a lot too. Many things I wrote about in ‘The Keeper’s Realm’ were based off case studies I read in college.
- How do you come up with a title for your book(s) / series?
I try to draw from the story for this. For the 'Elder Origins' the original tribe of vampires referred to their vampires as the ‘Elders’. And it was a vampire origin story. Therefore, 'Elder Origins'.
For 'Keeper’s Realm' the main characters in the story were all Keepers to another realm, the realm of the dead. They were beings from another dimension. So it made sense to me.
Violet Blake was originally called 'The Resurgence of Violet Blake'. I was inspired by the title of the popular novel 'The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer'. But I decided later that it was too long and chunky. Even so, the subtitles of each novella in that series have names beginning of “R’s” in that same way. I tried picking a word that embodied what happened in the plot of each individual novella.
Overall my titles are drawn from what happens in the story. The title has to tell the reader a small detail that entices them to know more. It should be mysterious, kind of like the genre of paranormal.
- Which type of characters are easier to write, the good or the bad ones?
The bad ones. Hands down. I find the really flawed characters are the most fun. As long as they think their motives are legit, you can make them interesting.
- Do you get inspiration from your personal life / experiences?
All the time. I draw from things I’ve read, places I’ve been to, things I’ve seen, conversations I’ve had, friendships I’ve experienced and emotions I’ve felt. Anything a writer sees or feels can and will end up in a story. Many conversations I’ve had with my dad ended up in ‘Keeper’s Realm’. And Violet Blake’s experiences in high school mirrored mine in so many ways. I even included a few of the bullies who gave me a hard time over the years. My own personal revenge.
- What are you working on at the moment?
Right now I’m working on the middle book to a trilogy I have planned. The first book is near completion. I’m determined not to publish the first book until the entire trilogy has at least been through one entire revision, so as to avoid continuity errors. I’m finding it very challenging and unlike anything I’ve ever done or written. I will be very excited to release the first one hopefully in January or February (at the latest).
That's all for part 2, look out for part 3!