As a fan of Brandilyn's writing, I have reviewed several of her books on my blog, and today I am happy to host her for an interview! And read on to find out how you can win a copy of her latest book, That Dog Won't Hunt.
Welcome, Brandilyn, please tell us about your favorite book as a child and your favorite book as an adult. Can you see a connection between those books?
As a child I remember reading the Bobbsey Twins books. The first full-length book I read (in second grade) was one of that series. I also loved the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew. All of these series had mysteries in the plots. So I guess they were a forerunner of my suspense novels today. The Bobbsey Twins books were more character-centered, however. That would be the forerunner of my contemporary fiction writing.
I also read the Bobbsey Twins and Nancy Drew. Glad you read both genres and are writing again in both genres. What is your favorite Scripture? Do you also have a favorite Scripture that encourages you in your writing?
My life verse is Psalm 138:8, part of which reads: :The Lord will accomplish what concerns me." That entire Psalm is one that I live by and pray by memory every day.
I love to travel. If you could go to any place in the world to research/write a book, what setting would you choose?
Well, let's see, I've been to quite a few countries. Haven't visited Australia yet, though. I'd pick that one. Wild and beautiful land.
I would love to visit there if it wasn't for the loooong plane ride! I often wonder if I would write if I had to do it the old-fashioned way without computers and spell-checks and email. Is there anything about technology that you don't like? Or anything about it that you feel enhances your writing?
I don't like technology when it doesn't work. Methinks we all usually love our computers—until they act up. Then we hate 'em. Sometimes I'd love to throw mine in the hot tub.
Wait a minute. I did that with a dead body once …
I remember! I even blogged about it on this blog on June 5, 2008. As a writer how have you had to grow and stretch out of your comfort zone?
Oh, goodness, writing itself is a stretch. It's hard. I struggle with every book. Always think I'll never finish the thing, and when I do, it's certain to be The One That Will Ruin My Career.
You are always so helpful to new writers, Brandilyn. What advice would you give to a beginning writer that you wish someone had given you?
Enjoy the period before you're contracted with a traditional publisher and you're learning the craft. If it all gets to be too much then, you can quit. Or take a break for awhile. Once you're contracted, you can't do that. And by the way, getting a contract isn't the end—it's just the beginning. I worked for 10 years to learn fiction before earning a contract. (I didn't have the Internet and all its resources, as we do today.) Once my craft was ready, the contracts came hard and fast. It's a lot to keep up with.
Why are you suddenly writing a contemporary series, when you're known for your Seatbelt Suspense®?
The main first response from readers when they hear about That Dog Won't Hunt is, "What? You wrote a book and didn't kill anybody?"
Readers who go all the way back with me to my first books will remember that I started out writing in both the contemporary and suspense genres. I wrote the Bradleyville series—a three-generational saga of interconnected family in rural Kentucky. These books were popular and won quite a few awards, especially the second in the series, Color the Sidewalk for Me. When I began writing suspense full time I did miss writing contemporaries. (My readers let me know they missed them too.) Now with the advent of self-publishing I can write these contemporaries again, in between my Seatbelt Suspense®.
I had the idea for the Dearing Family series years ago, but just when I was ready to write them, my publisher wanted me to go into suspense full time. So the books were set aside. Now that I've taken up the idea again, I wanted to write about this boisterous family using plenty of humor. But a light-reading, humorous book isn't enough for me. I also want to tackle a difficult issue amid the humor. That Dog Won't Hunt looks at the fall-out in an adult's life after suffering an abusive childhood. How that past can ruin current relationships, even if those relationships promise to be very good. So into the midst of the crazy Dearing family I bring Christina, who's endured a terrible childhood.
The reviews reflect this mix of humor and poignancy. Readers are soaking in the substance of the book. I'm glad to see that. The best letter I've received so far was from a reader who'd been raised by alcoholic, abusive parents. She said Christina's reactions to being thrust into a big family were exactly what she'd felt in a similar circumstance. She totally related to Christina's character and felt the book would be helpful to many readers.
That Dog Won't Hunt is only $2.99 in ebook form and $9.69 in paper. Please go to my web site for various links to order. If you'd like to sign onto my mailing list in order to be notified of my next releases—suspense and contemporary—please go here.
The second in the Dearing Family series, Pitchin' a Fit, will release in November.
Now for the directions to be entered in the drawing for a digital copy of That Dog Won't Hunt drawing to be held next Monday, July 22nd: to put your name in the hat, leave a comment. If you tweet about the book, or put it on FB,--and link to amazon to buy—your name will be put in the hat again. Here's a sample tweet to get you started--
Check out THAT DOG WON'T HUNT—a humorous and poignant new release from Brandilyn Collins. $2.99/ebook, $9.62 paper. http://is.gd/4fQXKW