Everyone please welcome the lovely and amazingly talented Author of Fantasy, Miranda Brock. We are so pleased to have her here for this interview. Feel free to post questions to her and she will get back to you as soon as she can.
What made you want to be a writer?
I love to create. I have this vivid imagination that never stops going and putting my words onto paper is the best way I can express myself. I have always enjoyed writing and for a long time played with the idea of being a writer. It wasn’t until a couple of years ago that I decided to really go for it, though. I was finishing up my first novel, Souls Discovered, and thought ‘Hey, maybe this is something I can really do.’ Even in college as I was studying animal science I was still writing stories or poetry whenever I had the chance.
What genres do you write or delve into?
Fantasy is what I enjoy writing the most. I find it thrilling to create new worlds and creatures and characters. I love bringing things to life that do not exist in reality. I also like throwing a little romance into what I write. Souls Discovered leans more toward an urban fantasy type of novel, no elves or wizards in that story, but still plenty of supernatural elements. Poetry is also something I have always enjoyed although I haven’t written anything new in a while.
Tell us about your novel and how it’s available
Souls Discovered is a fantasy novel that centers around Autumn, a seventeen-year-old who has just finished her schooling and has her sights set on college. As she is walking through the forest on her family farm she finds a mysterious necklace, later revealed as ‘The Window’. Autumn takes the necklace home and unknowingly unlocks her destiny as the Keeper. The very next day she encounters a small group of mysterious, and creepy, men who are intent on her capture. Autumn’s family is killed but she is rescued by seven Searchers, protectors whose job it is to look after Autumn and are good-looking, too! As Keeper it is up to Autumn to bestow Power on her Searchers so they can battle Dehmons, the evil and dead-eyed enemies who are after Autumn and the Window. Autumn forms unique and strong bonds of love and friendship with her Searchers. Souls Discovered is not only a good-versus-evil story, it is also a coming-of-age type of book. Autumn has to overcome many obstacles and find her own inner strength. Not only does she have to tap into iron willpower to fight the enemy she also as to keep the essential bonds with her Searchers from weakening through the adversity they face, all while trying to learn how to use and control the Power she suddenly has. This novel has diverse characters, a strong heroine, and supernatural elements and can be found in paperback and ebook at
Do you find yourself identifying with the protagonist Autumn in your story? If yes then tell us how?
Oh, definitely! For one thing Autumn is a country girl who hasn’t seen much of the world. That’s totally me. She also has a stubborn streak that I can really identify with. If someone tells me I can’t do something I’ll work as hard as I can to prove them wrong. I guess that can be a fault sometimes but it certainly works out for Autumn, especially since she has to hold her own in a house full of overprotective Searchers. Autumn is also a very adventurous person and isn’t afraid of a challenge and that can be me at times, too. There are a few other little tidbits of me that I’ve given Autumn. Her fear of ferris wheels, for example. I’ll ride a roller coaster but a ferris wheel? Nope!
What audience do you want to reach and why?
My writing tends to focus on a young adult/new adult audience. I think a lot of young men and women struggle at times to find who they are and what their purpose in life is. My stories often have a coming of age theme and I want my readers to find encouragement from and identify with my main characters. I want readers to see my characters overcome struggles and adversity and be inspired.
What kind of impact ‘if any’ do you want your book to have on the next generation?
Hmm. I’ve never really given that much thought. I mostly just want people to enjoy reading my work. Souls Discovered has a very good-versus-evil element to it. It has a lot of focus on bonds forged with love and friendship and using virtues such as courage, wisdom, and hope to overcome obstacles. If my book was going to have any kind of impact on the next generation it would be that the virtues highlighted in Souls Discovered are amazing tools to get through life and that you should always fight for what you believe in.
Which part of the publishing process do you detest the most?
Waiting for my manuscript to be edited was probably the hardest part for me. Not that I detested it, really, just that I have the tendency to be impatient from time to time. I was so eager to hear back from my editor and couldn’t wait to see the finished product.
Tell us how the atmosphere need to be for you to be able to write. Example, music on or quiet, etc.
I write best when I’m upstairs in ‘my space’ as I call it. It’s just a little half of the loft that has my bookshelves, art supplies, and artwork. There’s a table and chair next to a window that I sit at. I love to open the window in the spring and summer while I write. Our house is in the country so the only sounds I hear are the chickens and the wild birds. It really creates a very peaceful setting. I do listen to music occasionally as I write and the kind of music I listen to really depends on what I’m working on at the time. For example, if I’m writing a battle scene I always listen to Dropkick Murphys. They’re a Celtic punk band and when I have them playing it really helps to set the mood for what I want in a fight scene. I also enjoy playing film scores from the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movies as I write. Of course, complete silence is called for sometimes, too, but with a four year old and a two year old in the house that can be hard to come by.
Do you need special treats or goodies to help you write?
I have a major sweet tooth so when I go upstairs to write I usually have a few cookies or a bowl of ice cream or the like with me. I don’t really need them, in fact my thighs would probably be better off if I didn’t have such a fondness for sweets, but I do enjoy them. I always have either coffee or water with me while I write.
Which do you prefer the most, traditional or self-publishing and why?
Souls Discovered is my first and only published work so far. I went the self-published route. I did a lot of research on traditional versus self-publishing before I published my novel. I decided to self-publish in large part because I want to be in control of my work and I can do things my own way and in my own time. I also love the community of self-published and indie authors. Everyone is so supportive and encouraging. I may decide to go through a traditional publisher someday but right now I am content with where I am.
What is the worst thing you’ve had to overcome before publishing your novel? If it’s too personal just make a generalized statement if you can.
Self-doubt, for sure. A lot of times I would find myself wondering if what I was writing was good enough or if people would enjoy my work. I finally told myself ‘you know what? I love writing. It makes me happy and what does it matter if people like it or not?’ I’ve decided that I’m not going to worry about whether readers like my work or not. I write because I find it freeing and invigorating. If other people happen to enjoy reading my work then that is just an amazing bonus.
When you need some extra encouragement who do you turn to?
My husband, Justin. He is always there for me, whether it’s to boost my morale or to tell me to chill out and that everything will be alright. He is very patient and endlessly supportive.
How do you market your novel?
Marketing has definitely been a learning experience for me. I find marketing more difficult than writing my novel had been. Right now I do most of my promoting and marketing on social media such as Facebook and Twitter. I’m not the most tech savvy person so that in itself holds a lot of new aspects for me but I’m making progress. My husband is also a great salesman for my books. He once sold a copy of Souls Discovered to a man pumping gas next to him. A week later I received an email from the man’s mother telling me how much she enjoyed my book. Hey, whatever works, right?
Who is the first person who reads your finished manuscripts?
That would be my mom. She is an avid reader like me and also enjoys the same genres that I do. I learned from the best! I really value her opinion and I know that I can always count on her for honest and constructive advice.
Tell us about your first book signing. Take us there with your description of people, place, food, decor, etc.
I actually haven’t had one yet but I am hoping to have a book signing over sometime this summer. For my first signing I’d really like to have it in a smaller, more intimate setting, such as the local coffee shop. Who doesn’t love coffee and books? I’m really looking forward to the experience and plan on moving to bigger venues from there.
How many book signings should an author have a year?
I think that really depends on the other. Book signings are a great way for readers to engage with the author so I think the more you can have, the better. For me, personally, I would love to have at least three book signings in a year.
Since my blog is part about the supernatural and paranormal, do you believe in the supernatural or paranormal realm? Even if it’s not your genre.
Well, the best way I can answer that is, yes and no. I do not believe that people can have magical powers or telekinesis or anything like that. I also do not believe in the existence of ghosts and such. I do, however, believe in God and I guess a lot of people would consider Him a supernatural being. So, in a sense, I do believe in the supernatural but only as it pertains to God and the amazing things that He can do.
Do you believe in the existence of Jesus and Satan?
Absolutely! I couldn’t get through my days if I didn’t have Jesus!
What do you believe is the way someone can get to heaven?
In my opinion the only way you can get into heaven is through Jesus Christ. Admitting you are a sinner and asking forgiveness for your sins. Just because you are a good person, do good things, and believe in God does not mean you will go to heaven.
What sort of things do you enjoy when you aren’t writing?
When I’m not writing I’m usually drawing or painting. I love being creative and if I’m not writing a novel I enjoy drawing characters from my works. I’m wanting to get some of my pieces up on my website sometime in the future. My mind is always full of ideas so if I’m not creating something I’ll go crazy. I’ve also gotten into sewing over the past couple of years, though my skills have only progressed so far as to make hand warmers. I also love being outdoors, whether it’s gardening, fishing, hiking, or camping. Horses are a big passion of mine, too. I don’t have any right now but hope to have horses again and get back in the saddle sometime in the next few years.
Tell your readers what your favorite food and color is. I know this may seem silly but allow your readers to know more about you.
This is a very broad answer but I love seafood! If we go out for Italian, I get something with seafood in it. Same if we go out for Chinese or Mexican food. I can’t get enough seafood, though I don’t have it as often as I would like. I’m also very fond of cheesecake! My favorite color is green. It is such a vibrant and beautiful color. Since I’m such a nature lover I just tend to favor green.
What kind of advice can you give to other either aspiring authors or published authors?
The best advice I can give is to just write. Don’t worry about what other people will think of your work. If writing is something you really enjoy then just do it and don’t give up. There will be times when you can’t think of anything to write and you just want to quit but keep at it. Keep writing, even if you thing what you’re writing sounds awful. It doesn’t matter what you are writing or how well you are writing, just that you are writing.
Do you doubt yourself at times? When you do what helps you get over the slump?
Of course. This may seem silly but when I find myself doubting or in a slump I like to get out my quote book. I love collecting quotes so whenever I find a good one I write it down. It’s always great to go back and read through them and find inspiration and encouragement. One of my favorites is “If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours” by Henry David Thoreau. There are so many others that help lift my spirits, too!
When is the release of your next novel? Name genre or if it’s part of a series?
I am currently working on the sequel to Souls Discovered and plan on releasing it sometime next year, though I don’t have an exact date yet. It will be a YA urban fantasy as well and I hope to have at least four books in this series.
Where can we find your author page of your work to follow you and purchase your awesome book? Also, where can readers follow you?
My website is http://www.mirandabrockauthor.com. Readers can also find me at http://www.goodreads.com/miranda_brock , http://www.facebook.com/miranda.brockauthor (I don’t have an author page on facebook as I like to connect with readers and fellow authors more personally so I accept friend requests) and http://www.twitter.com/miranda_brock1