Tuesday, January 20, 2015

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Brittany McLaughlin, author of Languish

Tell me a about yourself. What got you started in writing?
            
I've always been a writer. The first manuscript I wrote was back in third grade. Childish, and lacking in everything that could make one consider a manuscript, maybe, but it was the first step in the direction that I wanted to go. Writing has always been an outlet for me, and getting better at my craft and honing my skills have been my main focus the last decade.


How and where do you write? Do you prefer a lap top or do you prefer writing freehand?
            
I like writing on my laptop, mostly because my hand can’t move fast enough for the page. I've gotten extremely efficient at typing quickly, and it only seems to get better the more that I write. It also seems to help keep everything neat and legible when you type. Soon, I hope, I want to delve into talking into the computer to see if that kind of writing style would be interesting or not. Possibly when one’s hands are so cramped that you can’t write another word.

What's your favorite part about writing? Your least favorite part about writing?
            
My favorite part about writing is learning about how far my characters will allow me to take them before they break. There is an odd fascination with just how strong a psyche is, or how durable they can be. Not to mention that great strength also makes for a great thriller.

My least favorite part? I would probably have to say that would be final draft editing. I go through a loooong editing process and it is usually at its fifth edit stage before I dare send it to my editor. Because of that, I am usually sick of seeing the words at that point, and physically have to push myself to continue doing what I need to do. Fortunately, that isn't too hard.

How do you come up with your characters? Why would readers want to get to know them?
            
It really depends on the character for me. Some characters come to me after people watching, some come to me after watching a moving and going “hey what would this and that be like together?” and some of them just show up on my mind’s doorstep begging to be let in and out of the cold. How could someone say no to a request like that? My characters are human. Not just because of the fact I haven’t written anything other than humans, but because there is an innate imperfect feel to them: a complete and utter human need, for love, for life, to thrive even in the worst situations.  They grasp your heart before breaking them.

What types of marketing do you do to promote your writing?
            Lots.
            And Lots.
            And A little more.
            I talk a lot to people that read the same genre. Read their books—if they write—and ask them to do the same for me. I promote through my Universities, and walk to bookstores, somewhat following people and seeing if I can find a mystery reader and pitch it to them after some chatting about books. Usually people in bookstores are super open to hear some ideas. Facebook, and online stuff happens, but I don’t like telling all of my secrets ;)

How do you schedule your writing time? When do you write?
            
After homework and school. My peak writing times are normally between 7 pm and 1 am. School during the day, as well as trying to do homework at a normal time keeps me from always writing during the day. Sometimes I get lucky and have the chance to sit down for hours and write. This semester I might be a bit more lucky. I have less credit hours while I am abroad, and nothing to do on Tuesday but homework and writing.

What are you currently working on? Do you have a new book out?
            
I just finished my debut novel Languish, a mystery thriller  about a mother in search for her lost daughter. It was an exciting run and less than a week after it’s release I have been getting some good feedback.

Languish can be found at Amazon

*The main character and her partner are lesbian; 
nothing overt or sexual is included in the text
Amazon Best Sellers Rank: 
#89 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
#1 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Mystery, Thriller & Suspense > Mystery
#4 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Mystery, Thriller & Suspense > Suspense

Now, I am working on a separate trilogy entitled: You’re Next: the Descent. It’s a Thriller/Horror with a Dystopian theme twined in. It questions human ideals when playing a terrifying game with a chance of winning money. Just exactly how far will someone go for the chance at gaining riches and fame? It’s probably going to be longer than my first, but it is going to be three books as well.

Do you have a project on the back burner? Tell me about it.
            
Lots of piles of projects on the back burner. Any time I have a dream that sticks with me, I write it down and keep the journal with me so that I can use it for a rainy day. Many of them don’t stick to the Genre’s that I like to write, but I put them down anyway just in case I did decide to use them. There are too many to count, or even explain. Unless, of course, you want to be here all day.

What would you tell a beginning writer who wants to publish but doesn't believe he/she has enough talent?
           
Don’t stop writing. Ever. Take criticism, but take it from those you believe to be telling you truthful information. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Talent is half the battle while good editing, formatting, and marketing is the second step. Love your work and realize that writing a book is like having another child. Independent publishing is difficult, but it is possible. Your book is your business, and sometimes you have to put money into the business before you can get money out. Write without fear, and edit without mercy.

***
Thank you, Brittany!

Learn more about Brittany here:


          
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