Blogs by L.T. Suzuki
Brenda Sedore Interview
11/9/2010 7:13:07 AM
LTS: If you’re a fan of smart, suspense-filled women’s fiction, then you’re in for a treat. Today’s guest blogger is the lovely and talented author Brenda Sedore. Born in Northern California, Brenda now calls Kelowna, BC home. What else would you like to share with our readers?
BS: First of all, I'd like to say thank you for having me on your blog. It's an honour.
I guess I'd share with the readers that I'm a wine freak.
LTS: A wino, you say?
BS: Now, wait, I didn't say wino, there's a difference. It does mean I drink large quantities of wine, just not all at the same time! I'm also fascinated with the entire process of wine-making from the grape to the table. It's a very interesting subject, which is why wine had to be part of my novel.
LTS: Okay, I understand! Now, you have been writing for a number of years, Brenda. Was becoming a published author a life-long dream for you?
BS: Oh, yes, of course. Ever since I first held a book in my hands, I wanted to join the 'rock stars'; published authors. I have always dreamed big, so it never occurred to me that I wouldn't be published one day. I guess I also have a firm belief that if you dream big and work hard you can accomplish anything.
LTS: Your debut novel, ‘A Snake in Paradise’ made me squirm as memories of the infamous Lorena Bobbit and her husband’s castration news a few years back played out in my mind. What was the inspiration behind your novel and can you tell us a little bit about your protagonist, Aja Rain?
BS: Hmmm... the fact that I left my ex-husband right around that time... kidding. The Lorena Bobbit story did occur to me after I came up with the premise, but it definitely didn't inspire me. I can't really say where my crazy ideas come from. It just popped into my head one day. I love starting with a crazy premise and building from there. You won't believe the premise for my next book, ‘High Heeled Killers’!
LTS: Without giving away too much, can you reveal what’s in store for the reader when they crack open ‘A Snake in Paradise’?
BS: Sure. A Snake in Paradise is about a young woman who gets into a nasty fight with her boyfriend and almost castrates him, trying to defend herself from being raped after he came home drunk. Aja, the Protagonist suddenly becomes a media sensation. Stephen, the Antagonist, is furious at what she's done to him and he vows to make her pay. Aja runs away to Italy to escape the attention and Stephen follows her. The situations she gets herself into are hilarious and the tension mounts as Stephen stalks her every move.
LTS: Exciting, but unnerving when you consider how many women are stalked and murdered each year by men they know! Now, the road to publication is difficult at the best of times. Do you have any advice you’d like to share with the author struggling to find representation?
BS: There's lots of advice out there, so I can only speak from my own experience. First of all, decide if you can live without writing because it's bloody hard work! If you can't, then don't be afraid to put in the hours. There's no way around it. You only get good with tons of practice. Don't be afraid of the work, don't give up, and you'll eventually get there. Oh, and always keep a bottle of wine handy. The inspiration I've found in a perfect shiraz...
LTS: What made you decide on self-publishing your novel? And what do you know about the business of traditional publishing that you wished you had known when you began writing?
BS: I always planned on going the traditional route. Finding an agent and then a publishing house, hitting the bestseller list, you know the drill. But, then I started getting more involved in the industry and seeing how the wheels turn. And I didn't like what I saw. My husband started doing research for his soon to be released book, Publishing Exposed. That was when we both decided to take our career into our own hands and self-publish. I like the idea of having control over my own books. With the way the industry is going, it made the most sense to me.
LTS: What was the most positive experience in your self-publishing adventure? Also, who should consider this route and why?
BS: I would have to say it has been the response of my beta readers first of all, but then the anticipation of people wanting to read my book. It's such a rush for a new author to discover that people want to read what I've written. It just makes me want to write more.
I would say that any writer who wants to retain control of their work and who wants to have more than a 10% royalty, should consider self-publishing. Amazon and Smashwords make is easy. The hard part is making sure your work is top notch. Self-publishing is not an excuse to do sloppy work. You won't keep readers that way. But, you can slowly and surely build a following with great stories, great covers and social media. Again, that hard work thing.
LTS: I’m curious about your writing style. Are you one of those disciplined writers who must dedicate a certain time each day to producing so many words, or are you more relaxed and tend to write when it strikes your fancy?
BS: I'm a little of both. I am a Gemini after all. Truthfully I try to set a word count goal for each day. If I don't meet it, though, I don't waste time beating myself up. I just try again the next day. Right now with having a day job, it's tough to find the time, but I believe if you don't have a goal to shoot for, you won't get anywhere.
LTS: Still on the subject of writing styles, are you a plotter or pantser? The readers would like to know if you tend to plot out your story line in great detail or if your writing is more organic with the characters and events unfolding as you write.
BS: Oh, a pantser all the way. I love to learn about the story and characters the way my readers will. Once I'm well into the story, though, I'll often stop and make a few notes just to make sure I follow the train of where things are going. I have a great writing program that keeps me on track. Scrivener for Mac.
LTS: I’ll have to check out this programme, it sounds useful. And getting back to the subject of writing, some authors meditate, others need to fuel up on coffee or listen to music. Do you have any rituals, ones that can be shared with the readers, that you must do before you hunker down for a writing session?
BS: I used to have one, but now I usually just sit down and get to work. It's probably because of having such a small amount of free time to write. It's like a mom who learns to sleep on a dime in between her baby waking up. But, when I was first writing, I used to write longhand in my journal to get myself into the flow of 'writing time'. It worked very well. Another thing I would do is edit the previous day's writing before starting on the new stuff to get into the mood of the story again.
LTS: At one time or another, most writers hit the wall and their work stalls because of the dreaded writer’s block. What do you do to get around or over this mental wall to resume writing?
BS: I have to honestly say I've never experienced writer's block, so I can't answer that. I guess I'm just too full of it to shut up. But, seriously, I have always felt that if you're writing in your 'voice', you'll never run out of words. It's when you try to force yourself into a mould that doesn't fit, that will cause you to get stuck.
LTS: Who is your favourite author and how has he/she inspired you to write or influenced your writing style or choice of genre?
BS: Hands down Diana Gabaldon. She's the master of characters, action, romance, and so much more. If I could write like her, I'd be over the moon. The thing is, I don't write like her. My voice is different. But, I've learned a lot from her and always enjoy her new books.
LTS: What is the most profound discovery you’ve made in terms of your writing and how it has touched the lives of others?
BS: I would have to say it's been discovering my voice. I always had this dream of being this serious literary writer. Don't most new writers have that dream? But, what I discovered is I like making people laugh. I want them to be entertained and fall in love with my characters. When I discovered I could write witty lines that made people laugh out loud, I was hooked. A Snake in Paradise is a funny book. I'm very proud of that.
LTS: When writers can evoke such emotion, to me, it’s a true sign of their talent to entertain. Can you share with our readers what is the most important lesson you’ve learned on the road to publication?
BS: Believe in yourself. I'll say it again. Believe in yourself. If you don't, how do you think your readers will believe in you?
LTS: What are you reading now, and how did this particular book make it onto your to-read list?
BS: I'm reading Black Valley by Jim Brown. I recently discovered Brown's books because of his crazy premises. I love a premise that grabs me by the throat and sounds impossible. Just reading the cover copy made me HAVE to read his books.
LTS: What do you foresee in your future over the next five years and do you hope to branch out from women’s fiction into other genres? Can your fans expect a sequel to ‘A Snake in Paradise’ in the near future?
BS: Well, I'm dreaming of bestselling books of course. But, I'd be happy with solid sales and happy readers. There will definitely be a sequel to A Snake in Paradise, probably after the current book, ‘High Heeled Killers’.
As for branching out into other genres, I'm already writing a travel book. That's my other love. It's titled Call Me Crazy. I don't have a time slated for release yet, it depends on my travel schedule. It's rather hard to write a travel book without traveling.
Thanks again, Lorna for doing this interview. It's been a lot of fun!
LTS: You are welcome, Brenda! Good luck with your impending book launch and we’ll have to do this again when ‘High Heeled Killers’ is published!
For more information about Brenda Sedore and her debut novel, check out:
Follow Brenda on Twitter: .brendasedore
Buy the book on Amazon.com: http://t.co/E9ZI6nx
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