Hello, Brandi. It’s so nice to have you here. Before we get started with your writing, please tell us about yourself, where you’re from/grew up/live now, what you do for fun, if you work at “day job” what do you do that may impact your writing, favorite pet/color/movie /book/actress/actor—you know, all that stuff that makes you interesting!
I’m from Northwest Ohio and have lived here all my life. For fun I like to hit up the parks with my family. My favorite is a historical park complete with locks and canals. When the weather is really nice, we like to hang out at the beach.
My “day job” is schoolwork, which takes me away from writing more than I’d like, but it also gives me some insight into some interesting topics that I can incorporate.
My favorite color is blue. My favorite animal is anything ridiculously small or overly large and is of the mammalian or reptilian variety. I love romance and young adult movies and/or books. My favorites are Princess Bride and Vampire Academy. As girlie as all that may sound, I enjoy heavy metal music and all that “emo” stuff.
Eclectic, heh? When and why did you begin writing?
I began writing as a kid just for fun. Later I would write short stories and poems to share with my friends who also wrote. I forgot about it for a while then came back to it a couple of years ago when a friend of mine picked it back up, and I have been writing ever since. It has become an outlet for me and I have tons of fun with it!
What is your genre?
A lot of people have asked me this and I have to say, I don’t really have one. I write what comes to me and figure out the genre after the fact. As a result, I have written some romance, fantasy, mystery, action, etc. If I had to pin it down, though, I would say that I lean heavily toward romance.
Also eclectic! What’s your process? Seat of pants, well-devised outliner?
When I am struck with an idea, I write it down. I usually pump out a couple of chapters before I slow it down and really take a look at where the story is headed. It’s then that I am able to really learn who my characters are, what they want, where they are headed, and so on. So I am a bit of a fly by the seat of my pants kind of girl, and a bit of a plotter, too.
I’m seeing a trend here. What other writer inspires you? Your work?
I really love J.R. Ward’s writing style, but I can’t say that she is the only one that inspires me. I pretty much get that from any author who writes well and is clearly driven. An example of this would be Larissa Ione and her experience in the field as a paramedic as well as many other jobs that have helped influence her writing. She is also a mother and a wife, so in that way, I can relate.
What is your favorite work by you? And why is it your fav?
That would be “Spring Cleaning”. It is a very raw story about abuse and self-discovery. It has a lot of me in it, so it holds a special place in my heart.
Where does your character inspiration come from?
My characters jump out at me and tell me who they are. Like my story ideas, they tend to just show up one day and settle in. I learn who they are as we go along, so I can’t say that I ever sit down and conjure a character from something I have experienced in real life. How they are shaped, however, and some of their experiences, desires or quirks do come from my environment, and that can result from anything from music to television to the person I met in the toothpaste aisle.
(Laughing here.) I never thought of using that guy! What’s your best/worst experience as a writer?
My best experience has been and always will be when a reader truly enjoys my work. I gain so much satisfaction from that and it really inspires me to keep going.
My worst experience really isn’t so bad, but it is when a reader doesn’t connect with my work for whatever reason. I take every single word to heart, but it has helped me grow too.
Share the best/worst writing advice you ever got?
The best writing advice I ever got was to write for myself. Not to try to please everyone else, but to write what is in my heart.
The worst is to ignore the bad reviews. Certainly, they can drive a writer crazy, but I have found that it is a valuable learning experience. I find out what people like, what they don’t like, what they want more of, less of, and if there is anything wrong (Did I leave something out? What a character’s name switched on accident?). I like to address any problems that might arise, so if I ignore those reviews, how will I ever find any of that out?
What is your latest work?
My latest work is “Stranded (Night Calls)”.
It is part of my new adult romance venture, which I write under the pen name J.C. Valentine. It can be found on Amazon
I am currently working on the second book in the Night Calls series, “That First Kiss”.
I also have plans in the works to finish up the second novel in the Addicted to Magic series, Crossfire, which I hope to have out sometime this summer.
What do you want your fans to know about you and your work?
I take my writing very seriously. When I write, I pour my heart and soul into it and I try to give the readers the best quality story I can manage. For that reason, I love to hear from my readers. I want to know what they think, how the story made them feel. It all inspires me to push forward and continue to develop new ideas.
Just for fun, tell us something about yourself that your readers don’t already know.
I am an incredibly random person. Sometimes, if you pay close enough attention that comes through in my characters.
Where can we find out more about you and your work?