My Author spotlight is shining on...Brook Williams...
Brooke Williams graduated from college with a Bachelor of Arts Degree and a double major in Mass Communications and Religious Studies. She then spent 12 years in radio as a Production Director and on-air host. Once her first daughter was born in 2009 she cut back her hours and put being a mom first. After a year of the long commute to work, she decided to find something she could do at home. Her freelance writing career took off and she has since written everything from travel-related articles for a company in England to blogs for Goodbye Crutches. She has also written dozens of first chapters for Chainbooks as well as several complete novels of her own.
Brooke completed her first novel during her career in radio. The prologue for “Someone Always Loved you” came to her and would not leave her alone until she wrote it down. Afterwards, she proceeded to complete the book. This novel is still one of her favorite pieces. Brooke has also written several shorter novels for Blue Ribbon Books and she recently began writing short “choice” stories for Silk Words, an upcoming romance website. She is also currently in the contract phase with The Writer’s Coffee Shop Publishing House for a romance novel she wrote a year ago.
Brooke has been married to her husband Sean for 11 years and they have two young daughters Kaelyn, age 4 and Sadie, 6 months. Brooke writes fast and it is a good thing since her daughters allow her very little time…and she wouldn’t have it any other way.And now for my questions...let the nosiness commence...
Do you write as yourself or under a pseudonym? Why?
I write under my own name…Brooke Williams. I feel that writer names should be easy to remember and melodic. My name is already easy! I was in radio for the majority of my career and I chose a radio name to use on the air. Back then, my maiden name, which was not Williams, was harder to pronounce and remember. I ALMOST chose Williams as my radio name. Then I later married a Williams. I think my name sounds decent and is easy to remember. Plus, I like the idea that people who already know me know for sure it’s me that wrote the book. My name is established around here so I feel it would be harder for me to work under a pen name.
What made you want to be a published author?
I’ve always loved to read and writing is something that is fun and entertaining for me. I’ve wanted to be a published author since I was a little girl. Once my first daughter was born I left radio and started a freelance writing business. I wrote articles on every topic under the sun. If you have spent any time online, you have probably read something I wrote. J However, my true passion has always been fiction writing. After all, who doesn’t want to get paid to make stuff up? After success in the freelance world, I branched back into writing full books. Most authors want to have their stuff out there for the public to enjoy!
What genre do you write in and why?
I write a little of everything. The first book I self-published is a family drama. I also have a self-published thriller. I have had recent success in the romance genre. I like to write stories that are fictional, but have bases in every day life. They are things that could really happen, but that allow the imagination to wander as well.
If you could talk to your 12 year old self, what advice would you give?
I would tell me not to give up on writing and to keep at it because it is something I’ve always loved. I would also tell her that discouragement will come but not to let it get to her. Not everyone is going to love everything you do but as long as you love it, it was worth writing.
Have any other authors influenced your writing through theirs?
I find that my writing is influenced by whatever I’m reading at that moment. One book I wrote definitely has the tone of a Richard Paul Evans book while another is more Karen Kingsbury. I also have some James Patterson in me and perhaps even a little Danielle Steele.
If you are a self-published author what made you take this route and what was your experience (good or bad)?
I self-published the first novel I Wrote because I took it to agents and never did secure one. I had several ask for more information and ultimately reject me. Eventually, I got discouraged but I felt like the novel itself deserved to be read and not stuck on file on my computer. I wanted to at least make copies for family and friends. I also self-published another novel I wrote because I didn’t want to spend time trying to find a publisher, but I wanted to put it out there. Self-publishing is fun, but it’s really hard marketing-wise. I’m not a marketing expert and I don’t feel the books I self-published will ever get much recognition. However, I have published e-books with Blue Ribbon Books and those are getting read regularly. I also have a publishing contract in progress with The Writers Coffee Shop Publishers and I’m excited about that.
How would you rate your writing?
I have no idea. J I think it’s decent, but I wouldn’t write if I didn’t. Sometimes what I have written in the past makes me tear up or get goosebumps. I relate to it. I should! I wrote it. J
How do you react to poor reviews of your book?
They make me sad and they sting, but many of them have relevant points and it’s a learning and growing experience for me to read what others think of what I have done.
What influences your choice of book covers?
For my self-published books, the storyline influences it most. For published books, the opinion of those putting the book out means quite a bit. I’m a pushover for advice from people who really know what they’re doing.
How do you balance your writing with your real world responsibilities?
My life is a constant balancing act. I have two young daughters who demand most of my time. They are 4 years and 6 months old. I try desperately to line their afternoon naptime up so that I can get some writing in. Some days it works and other days it isn’t. Though I always feel better about life on the days I can write, my daughters are my first priority. Their needs come above anything else. The plots remain in my head until I have the chance to get them out!
Do your characters drive the plots of your stories or do you plan out your plot?
Maybe a little of both. I usually have a general idea or I’ll get a prologue stuck in my head. I absolutely HAVE to write that basic idea down or it drives me nuts. Once I have the beginning down, I figure I should finish it, but I don’t usually know where it’s going to go. I usually have just as many questions in my mind as a reader might later. I let the characters and the original situation I put them in guide me as to where the story should go. People often ask how I came up with this or that and I never know how to answer because I really didn’t think about it too much in advance. It just happened as I was writing.
Do you ever write what you dream? Give an example.
I have had ideas come to me in the middle of the night. I don’t think I’ve ever written out a dream. But one idea I have is about a man who can interpret dreams. I’ve always been fascinated by dreams and what they might mean. Mine are usually nonsense so I can’t imagine beginning to try to describe them!
Do you market yourself or pay a professional?
I market myself at this point, though various publishers help in terms of the books of mine they have put out. I run my own facebook page and am currently having someone build a website for me.
What are your tips for editing?
My biggest tip is one that I don’t often do
myself…let it sit! My biggest editing
problem is that I want to go back and read it right away so I can fix it up and
forget it. However, I often read what I
meant to say and not what I actually said.
So the best thing I can do for my editing is to let it sit a while so I
can go back and look with fresh eyes.
What inspired you to write your current WIP or current published work?
The book that I am working on editing with The Writer’s Coffee Shop Publishers was inspired by a conference I attended last November. They had a variety of workshops that helped push me to write a novel in a specific manner. I already had the idea for the book, but the way in which I wrote it was new to me. I think it worked because I had interest from several publishers! I’m excited to see it come out.
Do you prefer to write stand-alone novels or a series? Why?
I prefer to write stand alone novels. It is hard for me to remember the details I laid out before and I don’t want to get anything mixed up. I like to get one character’s story out and then let it be. So far, I haven’t written anything that I feel needs to be a series. Though I have a few series ideas in mind for the future so we’ll see!
If you could change one thing in the publishing process what would it be?
I would make it easier for new authors to break in. How…I’m not sure. J It seems like publishers often only pay attention to people with big names. Those people may write great or only mediocre books. There are tons of authors out there who have striking novels and no one will pay any attention because they don’t have a big name.
What advice would you give to a new author?
Enjoy what you do. The minute it becomes actual work, stop doing it. Writing should be fun and fulfilling. Also, don’t give up. There’s a place for you in the writing world. You just have to find where you fit in!
Share a favourite quote.
“It is better to be loved by one person who
knows your soul than millions who don't even know your phone number.”
― Richard Paul Evans, The Walk
What a cool interview. I know exactly what Brooke means about getting emotional when reading your own writing. I can cry like a baby at some parts!! So let's have a looksy at her work shall we?
Someone Always Loved you synopsis:
His first day on the job, ambulance driver Jay has a horrible accident. The victim of the crash is thrown into a coma and Jay keeps vigil by her side. As their lives, past and present intertwine; a story of love through time unfolds. An intricate drama including adoption, love, suspense, and plenty of questions, Someone Always Loved You is a novel that keeps the mind churning and the soul alive.
Check Brooke out here : Link
Want to become a stalker??
authorbrookewilliams.com (in progress, not up yet)
(Link to first self-published book)
(link to one of the books from Blue Ribbon Books)