My guest this week is author Miranda Brock. From an early age she has always loved fantasy and adventure everything. Since she doesn't live in a world of enchanting powers, mythical beasts, and things unbelievable she has decided to write about them (although, if you happen to see a dragon flying around, do tell her).
Born in southern Illinois, where she still resides with her husband and two children, she grew up running through the woods, playing in creeks, and riding horses. What started out as writing poetry grew into short stories and eventually led to her first novel, Souls Discovered. Miranda lives in the country where she finds inspiration in the simplicity and beauty around her. With the help of a ridiculous amount of coffee and some good music she writes whenever she gets a chance.
Miranda has a published book, Souls Discovered, and I encourage you to check it out by clicking the book cover. Here's a summary about the book.
"Spin away with young Autumn as she finds a seemingly innocuous gold necklace on her family’s farm and inadvertently uncovers her destiny as 'The Keeper'. Autumn’s discovery of the necklace activates “The Window” and alerts both good and evil forces to her whereabouts. Autumn is pulled from everything she knows, and is tossed into a life of unknowns. Enigmatic enemies called Dehmons hunt her at every turn, and if captured the very world she lives in will fall into destruction. With the help of seven Searchers Autumn must learn to use the power she has been given before it is too late. Will she choose to follow the dangerous destiny thrust upon her? Will she be able to withstand the temptation of a relationship that could jeopardize everything? Most importantly, will Autumn be able to find the strength within herself to fight the dead-eyed evil Dehmon souls?"
I was able to catch up with Miranda and ask a few questions.
1. Does writing energize or exhaust you?
I would have to say both. Nothing is more energizing than starting on a new scene or chapter, especially if I'm working on a battle scene. Writing a fight scene can really get me amped up and I can hardly get my pencil across the paper fast enough. Afterwards is when I will feel mentally exhausted and wrung out. It's a good feeling though, especially when I see what I've accomplished.
2. Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
I tend to lean towards being more original. I didn't start out writing with the potential readers in mind. I started writing because creating stories was something I loved doing. Of course, now I want to write books that readers will enjoy but not at the sacrifice of being original and true to myself. I would much rather gain readers that enjoy what I write than to write something I do not feel drawn to just to gain readers.
3. What is one thing you wished you had known when you first started writing?
This one is easy. I wish I would have started building a platform sooner. I did not start promoting myself or my work until after I had released my first book. Oh well! Lesson learned, right? I'm catching up now and I've been having great fun meeting so many wonderful fellow authors and spending countless hours on social media.
4. What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
I spent a lot of time doing research for my debut novel, Souls Discovered. A great deal of my research went towards researching culture, accents, and weaponry. I have characters From Ireland, Scotland, Russia, and Japan in my novel. I knew doing accents could be tricky and annoying if done incorrectly. The last thing I wanted was for my Irish character to sound like a pirate with an addiction to Lucky Charms cereal. I believe I’ve found a good balance so the characters sound authentic without sounding, well, hokey. Researching weapons was a lot of fun. I even got hands on! My heroine, Autumn, has to learn how to throw knives, so I bought throwing knives to practice with. It was fun to learn the technique, how to stand, and which muscles became sore. I still throw them from time to time. I might even be able kill a Dehmon three feet away, now!
5. How do you select the names of your characters?
Picking character names is a lot of fun with a little bit of pressure. It's a lot like choosing a name for your child. It has to fit. Having so many foreign characters in my books provides a little bit of a challenge. I usually look at lists of names.
Thanks to Miranda Brock for visiting with me and answering my questions. If you want to know more about her and her books, check the links below.