Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Interview and Giveaway with Brooke Williams!!

Wow!!  What a treat! Brooke has two books just out. A Christmas novella called Backwards Christmas:
Local tour guide Noelle Richards loves everything Backwards Christmas has to offer in South Pole, Alaska. She gets wrapped up in the upside down trees, taking presents TO Santa Clause and all the festivities. Sled dog trainer Chris Furst, on the other hand, approaches the holiday with nothing but skepticism. When their history bubbles into the present, their difference of opinion comes to a head. When Chris gets himself into a dangerous situation in the snow, Noelle and the hope of Christ are his only hope for redemption.

And she has another "Dandelion" book out now as well, full of fun and Brooke's marvelous sense of humor:

Dandelions on the Road
Twelve men…one woman…plenty of dandelions. Eva Merida has her life in order. She loves her job at the Furry Friends Rescue League and has a loving, supportive family. But she’s still missing that one special person to stand by her side. When she comes in third place on the local TV version of “The Bachelor,” entitled Accept this Dandelion, she nearly loses all hope for romance. Fortunately, the TV station decides to do a second season of the dating show…and they name Eva as the Bachelorette! With a plethora of dating mishaps recorded for TV, Eva finds herself falling for several men at once…including the show’s host. Will she find love at last or simply embarrass herself in front of the entire city? 
Now that you've enjoyed a bit of a preview, let's move on to the interview! And don't forget to leave a comment for the chance to win a free copy of one of Brooke's books!!

Hi Brooke, and welcome back to The Diamond Mine. You’re a prolific writer, and a mother of small children. That’s quite a busy life! How do you manage?

One day at a time! Sometimes one hour at a time! I have priorities and I stick to them. When my daughters are awake and with me, they get my attention and that's that. Though I have to admit, sometimes I think about my novels and do a little plotting while I play. When my oldest is at school and my youngest is napping, that's when I write. I type really fast and write about as quickly as I think. I have 1-2 hours a day to get my writing in and I do my best in that amount of time. That being said, I hardly ever clean or put away laundry. :)

Good for you! I think you've got a good balance of priorities there! Tell our readers a bit about your new stories coming out this fall. 

"Dandelions on the Road" is book two in the Dandelion Series, but it can be read as a standalone as well. When I wrote "Accept this Dandelion," a book about a local TV show version of The Bachelor, I thought that was it. But some of the characters from that book kept bugging me to continue the story, so I did! I also wrote a third book called "After the Final Dandelion." It' involves a wedding and I hope to put it out this spring.

"Backwards Christmas" is a short, sweet, humorous Christmas-oriented tale. It takes place in the town of South Pole, Alaska (get it? Rather backwards, right?) in which they do the Christmas traditions backwards in order to draw tourists. There's a romance involved, a little danger, and plenty of laughs. It's a fun story and a quick, easy read.

They both sound delightful! 
Do your main characters in these stories have anything in common with you? If so, what? 

Yes, they often take traits or even stories from me. The women often don't care about hair and makeup and clothes (you've seen my picture, right?) :) They're often clumsy and don't always say the right things. Some of my background stories I get from my own experiences and some of the professions. I was in radio for a decade (the main character in Accept this Dandelion is in radio). I worked in TV news for a few months at one time (the main character in Wrong Place, Right Time is in TV news). As for what background stories are my own and what are made up, I'll let you wonder on that one!
We writers have to keep some secrets to ourselves! I'm curious: What’s the first story you remember writing? 
I actually have at least a dozen laminated, spiral bound books that I wrote in elementary school. There was a writing center at school and you could go there and "publish" your stories. The volunteers would type out a sentence or two per page and then you could draw pictures under them. They would help you pick a cover from magazine pictures and they'd laminate it and bind it for you. A full fledged book! I LOVED making those books. One in particular I remember is called "The Fuzzy Family." It's about a family of these fuzzy little creatures who live in the town dump. And they use people for chairs!? The fact that my parents weren't more worried about me as a child is beyond me! :)

I think that's awesome, that you had an opportunity like that at such an early age. And look at the fruit it's brought forth! 
So, do you have a favorite character from your stories?

I really enjoy Renee Lockhart from "Accept this Dandelion." She's also slightly in "Dandelions on the Road" and will be in "After the Final Dandelion." She's an everyday gal and she knows who she is and isn't afraid to speak her mind. I could use a little of her confidence some days! And because of the amount of terrible/funny things that happen to her, she's a hoot to write!
Tell us how your ideas come to you, and which element is first. Plot, characters, location, or dilemma? 
They come from a variety of places, but it's usually the main plot or general idea first. Then I come up with a title and forming the characters and the dilemma comes as I write. I don't plot in advance much. I simply sit down and see where the story takes me. The characters have to lead me!

Do you work from outlines, or write as you go? 

Ooh, I guess I just answered that! I never outline. I recently wrote another novel and actually TRIED to outline and miserably failed. Where the story goes depends on what mood I'm in on the very day I'm writing that scene. I honestly don't know exactly what will happen until it happens!

The same thing happens to me! The story and characters kind of take over. It's an interesting process.
How do you think your writing has changed over time? 

I feel like it's gotten better, in general. I've learned a lot about what not to do from working with editors etc. And I've grown as a reader and that always helps writing as well. It's also morphed into something much more humorous. My first novel, "Someone Always Loved You" is a serious, family drama. I also have a couple of Christian romance novels out there that are serious. But lately, I just like looking at the light-hearted side of life. I hope my romantic comedies give people a break from everyday life and stress. That's what they do for me!

And it's a very needed break these days! Tell us what you love most about being a writer. 

The actual work of writing. Doctors tell you to exercise for your health and while I agree that's important, I also feel like in order to maintain my health, I have to write. It's that important. I don't feel as good on the days I don't write! The act of writing is very important to my day. I love the way stories I dream up come alive and take a direction of their own. I feel like the stories and characters just use me to get out. I don't really have that much to do with it!

But you do! You enhance it with your personality and wit, and that makes your work special and unique. What are you working on now?
I've started editing "After the Final Dandelion," the third book in the Dandelion Series. And I just wrote a new novel called "The Leftover," which actually has nothing to do with food. I don't know what I'll do with that one yet. I need to let it sit for a bit before I revisit it!
I bet it will be wonderful, like all your other work. Thanks so much for sharing yourself with us today, Brooke!
Now here's a bit more about Brooke:
Brooke Williams is a sleep-deprived stay at home mom/freelance writer/author who has an unnatural interest in dandelions. She attributes her humor to her two young girls for keeping her in the lack of sleep state on a regular basis. She has been married to her husband Sean since 2002. Brooke has a background as a radio announcer and producer and also did a short stint as a TV traffic reporter. Brooke specializes as a freelance writer and creates blogs, articles, web content and more for clients all over the world. She has written a number of novels including: “Someone Always Loved You,” “Beyond the Bars,” “Wrong Place, Right Time,” “Accept this Dandelion,” and “Mamarazzi.”

And here are Brooke's social and purchase links:


Rebekah Millet said...

Welcome to the Diamond Mine Brooke! It's great to meet a new author!

Deanna Stevens said...

I have some of Brooke's books & would love to read her Christmas books too!
dkstevensneAT outlookD otCom

Ann Ellison said...

Enjoyed the interview. I would love to read her Christmas book. abilene_nana@yahoo.com