22.1.11

Interview with Author Brandy Bruce

I sit down for an exclusive interview with Brandy Bruce, author of Looks Like Love and book editor for Focus on the Family, as she dishes on God, love, and her top advice for aspiring authors.

WHEN DID YOU DISCOVER YOUR PASSION FOR WRITING?
I can remember writing stories from the time I was in the sixth grade. I fell in love with books at a really early age. I think it was my love of reading that inspired me to want to write my own stories.

WHAT WAS WORKING AS A NONFICTION BOOK EDITOR FOR FOCUS ON THE FAMILY LIKE?
Well, I'm still currently a book editor for Focus. I've been with Focus for more than 6 years now and I love it. Working with authors, editing manuscripts, reviewing cover comps, going to writers' conferences--it's the perfect job for a book-lover like myself. And actually, we're considering breaking into the fiction market as well as nonfiction. I'm pretty excited about that. I've worked on some amazing book projects at Focus; it's been a phenomenal experience for me.

HOW DID YOU GET THE IDEA FOR YOUR NEW BOOK?
I went on a European tour the summer before I graduated college, and I fell in love with London. I knew I wanted to write a story that involved London in some way. I also really love the contemporary romance genre. So I was inspired by writers such as Robin Gunn, Susan May Warren, Tracey Bateman, Kristin Billerbeck, and Jenny B. Jones.

TELL US ABOUT YOUR BOOK.
Looks Like Love is basically about a girl, Kasey Addison, a junior marketing consultant, who's starting over. Everything she thought she knew about love suddenly feels like a lie. So Kasey takes off on a journey to rediscover life and faith and love. Her adventure begins in London while she's visiting her best friend. When her little whirlwind trip to England is over, she comes home to find herself suddenly on the marketing team for LETA, a growing cosmetics company. When LETA decides to release their very first fragrance, Kasey's challenged to find out what love looks like and find a way to sell it. Along the way, Kasey learns that love looks like what she least expected.

WHAT MESSAGE DID YOU WANT YOUR READERS TO GET FROM YOUR BOOK?
That love doesn't always come wrapped in neat little packages. It can be messy; it can be painful; it can be hard. But it's worth it. And that no matter what we go through in life, God's love is always available to us.

WHAT CHALLENGES HAVE YOU FACED WHILE WRITING AND PUBLISHING, AND HOW HAS GOD HELPED YOU OVERCOME THEM?
If you talk to most writers, they'll say that they just have to write. It's who they are. They'll find the time to do it somehow. For me, I had this story that wouldn't stop bugging me. I had to write it. Once I did, I showed it to an agent (Chip MacGregor) who loved it and signed me as one of his authors. That was a great day. Then came the hard part--selling it. We came really close with a couple of publishers and got some great feedback, but just weren't able to sell it. I told Chip I wanted to self-publish it at that point, and he was totally supportive. Working in the industry myself, I know how difficult it can be for new people to break into the business. So I self-published with WestBow Press and it's been a wonderful experience. I had a few authors come alongside me and give me some great endorsements. I had editorial help from fellow editors as I polished my story. So I felt really blessed with all the support and encouragement I received. Now the book is out there and I am thrilled with the final product.

ARE YOU WORKING ON ANY OTHER UPCOMING PROJECTS?
Well, as an editor, I'm currently juggling two book projects. That takes a lot of my time. But I'm also working in a little time to write. My sister and I have been working together, co-authoring a fantasy YA (young adult) novel. I'm super excited about it!

WHAT'S ONE RANDOM FACT ABOUT YOU THAT MOST PEOPLE DON'T KNOW?
I'm more than a little bit obsessed with Diet Dr Pepper.

WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR YOUNG ASPIRING AUTHORS?
Go to writers' conferences and make contacts. Create the best book proposal you can and shop it to agents. And if an agent tells you that something is missing, listen to him or her. Join a critique group and get feedback on your writing. And most of all, know your genre and audience. So read, read, read!

8 comments :

  1. What a great interview! And it sounds like a great book... you know, I really should check out these writer conference things. Stephanie Morrill over at Go Teen Writers said that, too...

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  2. I've read Looks Like Love and highly recommend it to teen girls and older. Brandy sounds like a great author and so down to earth. Great interview. Loved your book! 5stars:)

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  3. Brandy! Ican't wait to read your book! It sounds great. It was fun to see how you picked up writing and fell in love, and enjoyed the advice to aspiring writers! Loved the interview:)

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  4. Loved the interview! Writing is definitely on my options list.
    I'm going to dinner with one of my favorite writers this week. So excited!

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  5. Thanks to Girls for God for doing the interview and to everybody who stopped by! This was so fun! :)

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  6. I've read Looks Like Love, too, and definitely recommend it! Great interview!

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  7. I'm going to see if I can get your book.It looks really good.Great interview!Sierra

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  8. I'm glad you girls loved the interview! It was so much fun.

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