AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT: BROOKLYN RIVERS
Author Brooklyn Rivers has stopped by for a quick chat at the Joyfully Reviewed Bunny Caves…
What is your most current work out?
My latest work, Conquered Shores, is a self-published novel available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and all major ebook retail sites. Filled with steamy romance, action-adventure, magic, and mystery, this story pulls readers into a Viking fantasy that will have them on the edge of their seats.
Tell us a little about Conquered Shores:
First of all, I am a self-professed history fanatic. Researching historical figures and time periods get my creative juices flowing. Several years ago, I watched a documentary on The History Channel about Vikings that really kick-started Conquered Shores. I was intrigued by their culture as well as their religious beliefs. Vikings were incredible fighters as well as amazing lovers, protecting their women at any cost. I started thinking about the characters of the story and began mapping out their personalities. Who wouldn’t be attracted to a handsome Viking determined to tame a spirited maiden that he kidnapped off the shores of Ireland? Mix in a little mystery and Norse Mythology magic, and a recipe for a hot romance was simmering on virtual paper!
When you start writing, do you already have the story plotted out or do you let the characters dictate what will happen?
A little of both. The plot is roughly worked out, and I know the general story that I want to give my reader. After mulling it over in my head, I outline the story on paper, then develop character personalities. There have been times where I let the characters “take charge” of the story and see where it goes. For example, in Conquered Shores, I wanted to have a confrontation between Shannon (the love interest) and Kiera (Gunnar Ravenshield’s jilted lover). Having developed Shannon’s character as a strong-willed woman who can stand on her own, I wanted the reader to see that she will take up for herself even though she has been conquered by a Viking.
What inspired you to write in your genre? Is this the genre you started writing in or have you morphed to this one?
I’ve always loved reading romance novels and losing myself in a compelling story. That love really flourished after I vacationed in Ireland, Scotland and England where I set off on an adventure of a lifetime. There’s nothing better than renting a car and creating a spontaneous itinerary! Inspired by majestic castles and rich history, I couldn’t help but wonder what romantic stories lay hidden inside the walls.
Do you have a favorite character you have written?
That’s a tough question. I try to give my characters unique personalities in order for my stories can stand alone. There are elements in each of characters that I can call my favorite. In Conquered Shores, I love Gunnar’s strength and his determination to win Shannon’s love. Her feisty personality is contagious and admirable. My first novel, The Road to Dark Desire, introduces two characters that are complete opposites–an irresistible highwayman on the run and an aristocratic lady determined to save his life. Quentin Ellesbrooke is the ultimate “bad boy” who is out for what he can get, but everything changes when Skyler Weston saves his life.
Who was the toughest character for you to “get right” that you have written so far?
Gunnar Ravenshield. He is a conqueror, a man feared by many. I wanted him to not only show strength, but also exhibit a softer side. Developing his character was a challenge, because I wanted him to have the perfect mix of power and vulnerability. The reader can get into his head and feel what he is feeling throughout the story as he falls in love with Shannon.
Do you draw inspiration for your characters from real life? Any fun stories you could share?
Oh my goodness, yes! I have immortalized my father in the book, The Road to Dark Desire through the character William McAllen. His stubborn personality and strong Scottish roots are unequivocally my father! In Conquered Shores, I immortalized my two cats, Stewie and Malcolm, by describing them as Freya’s cats. Stewie was my baby (he lived a very pampered life for 18 years). I’ve described him just the way he was–sweet and sassy! Malcolm was a blast to incorporate–even the description of his green eyes.
What do you find the hardest part of writing?
Finding time. I’m a single mom to a middle schooler and a high schooler. Schedules are crammed with play practices, soccer games, and school work.
Name one thing that your readers would be surprised to know about you.
I’m a Chess addict! Love the game!
Do you have a guilty pleasure?
Anything dealing with chocolate.
What TV Show are you addicted to?
I don’t watch a lot of television, but I do like the ID Channel and the History Channel.
What do you need before you start writing? Anything that is just a must have or the creative juice don’t flow?
Writing is my stress reliever. After a long day of work, I like to camp out in my jammies, and lose myself in my imagination.
Does music influence your writing? If so, do any of your stories have a theme song?
Music plays a MAJOR role in my writing. Almost all of my scenes within my stories have been influenced by music. Movie soundtracks are great to listen to when I write. I recently downloaded the soundtrack to the movie Gladiator in order to write an escape scene in the third installment of my series, Raw. I’m finishing up the last chapter before releasing it in March 2013. The final installment will be ready to go in April.
If your story was optioned for a movie, who would play your characters?
Gerard Butler would definitely be cast as the hero in any of my stories! The man is sexy beyond comprehension.
Where were you when you got your first contract? Who did you tell first?
Contracts. I’ve been offered contracts from two different publishing firms; however, I decided to branch out on my own. Don’t get me wrong. I am not a control freak, but I wanted to move faster in the publishing process than what I had encountered with both companies (one company kept Conquered Shores for over a year, the other kept losing the manuscript to The Road to Dark Desire). I do not regret venturing out on my own, because both works are selling well and I hold all rights.
How old were you when you read your first romance book?
About 14 years old.
What author causes you to “go fan girl”/ squeal over/anticipate upcoming books? I really enjoy Connie Mason and Hannah Howell. Love their style, and the historical genre.
If you still have one of those pesky non writing jobs what is it?
A piano teacher
Do you have a favorite movie you have seen in the last few months and/or an all time favorite?
My favorite all-time movie/musical is The Phantom of the Opera. The music score is the most haunting and beautiful I’ve ever heard. The story is timeless–a love triangle, action-adventure, mystery, and danger all wrapped up into one romantic tale.
What are you currently working on, and what else is in the wings?
I’m currently finishing my third installment of Raw. Hopefully, the complete series will be finished by the end of April. You can check out the first two installments on Amazon. It is a four-part series that is guaranteed to get your blood pumping! My next novel is based on a Norse myth involving a werewolf. A handsome Viking is set on pillaging a village, but things do not go as planned when he discovers it destroyed. As he rummages through the rubble, he discovers a survivor–a beautiful woman. He whisks her back to his settlement and that’s when the story heats up. Long nights and intense passion ignite a torrid affair that leads to love. But terrible things begin to happen in the quiet village–people disappear, wolf tracks are found. Dark rumors of the monstrous wolf, Fenrir, and the beautiful woman erupt among the people. Has the beast possessed the beautiful maiden in order to protect himself? Or are dark forces working against the lovers to keep them apart? This story will be packed with passion, danger and mystery that will keep my readers up all night wanting more!
If you could co-write with another author who would it be?
I plan on writing a novel with my sister, N. R. Allen. She has several works already published and her descriptive style makes the scenes come alive. It would be awesome to blend the genres of horror, fantasy and historical romance and see what happens.
How do you pick your characters names?
Sometimes, I research character names to have some sort of hidden meaning or significance. If there is a specific name that strikes me, then I will incorporate it within the story and character.
Do you prefer the love at first sight approach or a steady growth throughout?
I’m a fan of “steady growth” regarding finding love and character development, because I like to have my characters grow from experiencing true love.
What is your reaction to people who say one of the following…”Oh you write romance, I thought you were a real writer”, “Romance isn’t a real writing career” or the ever popular “Oh, one of those books”.
I smile and think, “Things that make you go hmmmm…” I write what I want to write, because I enjoy the romance genre (it happens to be one of the most popular genres according to my last research). My books blend together sizzling romance, historical information, action-adventure, and much more. If I can captivate my readers and paint a picture in their minds that is vivid enough to give them something to talk about, then I feel that I’ve done my job.
Where can readers find you?
Connect with Brooklynn Online
And for the silly side – What is your favorite type of chocolate?
Lindors, Godiva, Ghirardelli.