Title: Fat Chance, Book #1 in the Kingsley Series
Author: Brandi Kennedy
Genre: Contemporary Adult Romance
Release Date: April 15, 2013
Where to buy: Amazon Kindle (http://www.amazon.com/Fat-Chance-Kingsley-Series-ebook/dp/B00B42Q8OA/ref=ntt_at_ep_edition_2_2)
Reviews: Fat Chance Book Tour (http://authorbrandikennedy.blogspot.com/p/fat-chance-book-tour.html)
Other Work: To Love A Selkie (Selkie Part 1), and Fat Chance (Book 1, The Kingsley Series)
Please provide a snippet from your most recently released book.
Meet Cassaundra Keaton, an adult orphan raised in the foster system. She’s overweight and struggling to survive in a world that makes her feel like she can never fit in. Follow her journey as she learns to trust and love herself, and watch her grow as she finds love. But will an issue from her past rise up to ruin her new life?
1 When did you first start writing? I’ve been writing all my life. I spent most of my childhood writing little stories (with notebook and pencil!!), giving life to my childhood fantasies. I think part of the draw of writing is that you get to escape where you are, or who you are, and you can be anything, anyone, that you want to be. Anywhere, anytime.
2 Did you always want to be a writer? If not what did you want to be? When I was little I wanted to be a lawyer. I was gonna be famous, and rich, and well known, and win, always win. And I’d drink champagne in my hot tub bubble bath every night, with candles all around, and soft elegant music. Later, when I lost faith in the justice system, toward the middle school years, I was, of course, going to be a singer. But somewhere in the back of my secret longings, there was a book with my name on the cover.
3 What genre do you prefer to work within? Or do you mix it up? Generally, I’m a romantic, and so I focus there. I’m pretty sure everything I ever write will have a little taste of a love story in it. But I do want to try my hand at other genres, too, pay around with other ideas, and touch on less-than-romantic subjects. It might be fun one day to write a paranormal, or maybe a mystery.
4 Where does your inspiration for these stories (this story) come from? It’s a mix, kind of a cross between what I have, what I want, and what I’ve lost. My characters are often a mix of characteristics, a little bit of this person I love dearly, a touch of someone I loved and lost, and I bit someone maybe I hope to meet someday.
5 What has your publishing experience been like? You know, it took me forever to pursue publishing. Long after I knew for sure that I was meant to be a writer, and long after I knew for sure that I wanted to chase that dream, I held back. Why? Your average paralytic fear of rejection. I couldn’t imagine pouring my heart and soul into a story, and sending it with all my hope to some “professional” who could crush my dreams without even flinching. Self-publishing gave me the ability to avoid that, and also to control my own career, to step out on my own terms, and I’ve loved every second of that choice.
6 Do you have a certain routine you have for writing? i.e. You listen to music, sit in a certain chair? Ideally, I’d be all alone in a cozy desk chair with perfect lumbar support, on a desk that I built with my own tools, my own hands, surrounded by posters of my covers and mementos of my writing. In effect, surrounded by the characters and the evidence of my creativity. But in the moment, when I write, it’s little stolen moments throughout the day, spent tapping gently, and sometimes NOT gently, on the keys of my tablet computer. I generally have my dog at my feet and my toddler running around, singing or playing, and cartoons or music in the background.
7 How do you come up with characters names and place names in your books? Well, the places are, for the most part, based on some place that touched me once, some place that I liked, or specifically didn’t like. The names, I try to keep them relevant to the work and the characters, to make it sound like somewhere my people would go. As for the character names, sometimes they’re family, sometimes they’re friends. Sometimes I open to a random page in the phone book, or latch onto a name I saw online somewhere.
8 In your most recent work, who is your favourite character and why? I wonder if my favourite character will always be Cass, no matter how many books I’ve written. I relate so strongly to her, and so much of her inner working was specifically drawn from my own life, my own memories. She’s made up of broken bits and pieces of me, and because I’m on the other side of her journey, I love that in her.
9 Did you learn anything from writing your book? What was it? I think maybe I learned a bit more about self-acceptance, but for the most part, this book was more about me sharing what I’ve learned, and less about me sitting back to take something in. I’d like to have that happen to me one day though, to have some characters come out of my mind and onto the screen bringing something new into my life and some new lesson into who I am.
10 How did you/do you market your work? I’m active on facebook and my blog. I’m slowly learning twitter, and I’m getting the hang of facebook events, giveaways, and contests. I find that making friends, and being real to your market, makes them love you as a person, as a human; you’re therefore somewhat more forgiven if/when you mess up as a professional.
11 Can you describe the feeling you had when you saw your published book for the first time? That’s easy; I cried. I stood there looking down on it, squealing and shaking with excitement and pride. I’d dreamed ever since I’d read my first romance novel that someday, I’d hold a book in my hands that was MINE. One that I’d written, one that had MY name on it. That day, a childhood dream came true, and in that moment, I’d really “grown up,” you know? And I just stood there and cried.
12 Favourite authors? As a reader, my favourites are all the greats, spanning different genres. I love Stephen King, I love Anne Rice. I love Nicholas Sparks, and Nora Roberts. James Patterson is another favourite. As an author, who understands what each and every author puts into their work, no matter how great or how terrible, no matter how “badly wrote” it may be … I love and admire them all for chasing the dream.
13 Have you ever suffered from a “writer’s block”? What did you do to get past the “block”? Writer’s block is a big thing for all of us, I think. There’s that need inside of you to write something down, like a hunger. And when you can’t write, and you find yourself standing there with nothing to say, it’s almost literally painful. I have a variety of methods, because writer’s block has a variety of causes. If I’m trying to force my characters in a direction that they don’t want to go, I get stuck and freeze up, like my subconscious knows that I’m doing it “wrong.” So I just give in, I let the characters do what they want, and it always comes out easier that way. If I’m stuck in the sense that I want to write but simply have nothing to say, sometimes I wait it out, and rest until it passes. Other times, I try picture prompt writing, or journaling. Reading helps me, too, and music. Both of those things inspire me greatly.
14 What piece of advice would you give to a new writer? Stop being scared and just do it. But polish your work first. The best way to get lost in the crowd is to release something with horrible editing, horrible formatting, or incorrect vocabulary. Even grammar can be played with, and the grammatical rules are a little bendy. But don’t use one word when you meant to use another, don’t skip your research, and certainly never forget to edit many, many times.
15 Are you working on anything new? If so, can you tell me about it? I am working on something new, actually. I’m releasing Prescription For Love, the second book in the Kingsley Series in a few days, on April 15th. There will be a final excerpt on my blog tomorrow, followed by the release on the 15th. After that, I’ve got a few things I’m working back and forth on, so we’ll just see which of those comes out first.