Please welcome the awesome Infamous Scribbler, the one and only Rachel Brune!
Welcome to my blog, please tell us a bit about yourself.
I am a former Army journalist and current brand-new mom living in Fayetteville, North Carolina. I’ve been writing all my life, but only in the last few years have I started getting serious about it. In addition to writing and taking care of my two-month-old, my husband and I also foster Basset hounds with the Carolina Basset Hound Rescue. I blog about my adventures, and host interviews with interesting characters, at the Infamous Scribbler.
Congratulation on being a new mom - enjoy every moment of it :)
What brought you to the world of writing?
First and foremost a love of reading. There’s nothing I love better than to lose myself in a good book, and when I write, it is my goal to give that gift to my readers.
What is your first book and what do you think of it now?
My first book was a sword-and-sorcery fantasy entitled “Winter Skirmish.” I’m still in love with it, but not blind to its flaws, and so one of my “someday” plans is to go back and re-haul it. I did write a prequel for it during NaNoWriMo 2010, and the early chapters received positive feedback at my writer’s group. I would love to get back to it and whip the series into shape, but the time isn’t right just now.
My books that are available are non-fiction essays & photography (Echoes & Premonitions), action suspense/thriller (Soft Target), and shifter urban fantasy (Cold Run.) I’d like to think they fulfil my readers’ needs, except they keep asking for the sequels, and I haven’t written them yet…!
How long does it take you to write your first draft?
Sadly, I am not a fast writer. Also, the flash-to-bang from idea to finished novel is typically years. I tend to let an idea stew and stew until something happens to let me know that I’m ready to go. I’ll also do a lot of research, even for a fiction novel. When I actually sit down to write, it can take me from as little as a month (if it’s November!) to half a year to hammer out a first draft.
Do you plot or not, if so why?
Yes, absolutely. I’ve tried pantsing it, but I ran into trouble and lost track of where I was and had to stop and finish plotting. I may start out with just a jumble of notes and an extra-large cup of coffee, but somewhere along the way, I have to set up a structure and plan my path forward.
Do you write in 1st or 3rd person, or have you do both?
I tend to write both. In Soft Target, as well as the novel I’m working on now, I wrote in third person in order to move around and give myself some freedom of perspective. In Cold Run, I wrote in first person, because a lot of the information – and wisecracks – happen in the main character’s head. I enjoyed clueing in the audience as he became aware of things, and treating them to the snarky comments he makes at other people’s expense.
How do you edit your work? Do you leave your draft alone for a while or edit as you write?
I start a few pages back every time I sit down to write, so that I can review what I’ve written and get back in the swing of things. When I do, I can’t help but fix things that I see. After I’ve finished the book, I have a few trusted beta readers. Also, I’ll workshop the first few chapters with my writing group, to see if they pick up on any patterns of editorial wrongdoing that I can go ahead and fix. Then, after I revise with those edits, I’ll do a personal proofreading pass where I start from the end of the book and read backwards. It’s amazing what you can pick up when you’re not caught up in the story. Then, I’ll start to query it to publishers, or if I’ve decided to go the indie route, hire a professional editor. After receiving his/her edits, I’ll begin sending out ARCs, hiring a graphic designer, planning the launch, and all the other stuff the indies need to do to get their work out there.
Would you like to feature a book, if so which one? Tell us about it?
I’d love to feature Soft Target! This is a book that took me on a journey that taught me a lot about independent publishing. In fact, I think the lessons learned from writing, editing, hiring a graphic artist, starting a Web site prior to the launching, then launching, formatting the print edition … every step of the journey was a learning experience. Even after publishing with a small press publisher (Cold Run), I realized that every writer needs to learn these lessons and put them into practice. No one else will believe in your work as much as you do!
What type of people/readers do you market your books to?
Do you like to read? Excellent! Buy my book. :D
Do you self-publish or have you worked with an Agent/Publisher
Both! I find that both paths are rewarding, and you can learn a lot from them. I would love to try finding an agent, and perhaps submitting at a large, traditional house, but until then, I’ll continue to hone my craft and hopefully people will enjoy the books I’m writing.
How do you promote your writing?
I am a member of a number of Goodreads and Facebook groups for readers, reviewers, and writers. I’ve also found a circle of friends who enjoy my work and will share it with their circle of friends. I try my best to get reviews, which as every writer knows, are the best things EVER. And if anyone has any other ideas, I’m willing to try anything once!
Where can we buy your books?
Amazon is your best bet!
I also have a number of eBooks available for reviewers.
Who are your favourite authors?
So many! I love Ray Bradbury, Mercedes Lackey, Jim Butcher, Robert Crais, Michael Connelly, Umberto Eco, Joseph Conrad, Anne McCaffrey, Tanya Huff … I could go on, but these are my top faves that I return to over and over again.
I love you selection of authors, I have many of those on my own bookshelves.
Do you have any more information you’d like to share with us?
In addition to being a mom-mom, I’m also a rescue mom. We have a cat, Schnapps, a cattle dog, Brandy, and a Basset hound, Captain. I’d have more, but my husband and city ordinances forbid it… J
We have one rescue cat called Sylvia who I have nicknames "Fat Cat" and the other we inherited. She is known as Tilly or "Flat Cat." Polar opposites.....lol