Today, my guest is Linze Brandon. I hope you enjoy getting to know a little bit about her and her writing process!
1. When did you start writing?
I took up the pen in 2001. I had all these stories (voices?) in my head that refused to let me go until I wrote them down.
2. Are you a pantser or a planner?
A bit of both actually. Sometimes I get an idea and need a proper plan to figure out the plot – especially where there are fighting and/or war scenes in the story. If I don’t plan these scenes in detail, I will lose my bearings and insult readers that might be knowledgeable on sword fighting or military strategies.
On the other hand some stories, just write themselves. All I have to do is to sit down at my computer and put the words in the right format. These are typically my short stories, and the time to write them are only limited by my typing skills – which is nothing to brag about.
3. Can you give us an idea of your writing process?
I am a project manager but when it comes to my writing I am disgustingly disorganised. I think it is partly to blame on the fact that I have to write after hours. I do try to write every day even if it is only to update my blog, or make an entry into an online journal that I keep. The journal has been helpful in noting down ideas, since I have the software on my smartphone that I can synchronise with the internet to download to my computer later.
I also have a notebook and pen in any bag that I carry with me, this had been a life saver on many occasions when I get an idea and cannot remember it later on without the notes.
I write using YWriter5 software, but I do recommend anyone to use a software package that was developed specifically for writers. There are a number of them available to choose from. This type of software keeps track of plotting details, character details, or the world in a fantasy novel that is very important if you plan on writing a series.
I write even though I might be editing another story. Not only does it help both stories through tough scenes when I get stuck, it keeps my creative juices going.
Even though I don’t have a daily word count target – except in November of course – I do set myself a deadline date for publication. From this date I work backwards to determine the milestone dates for the cover, the marketing materials, the editing and proofreading, etc.
4. Which authors have influenced your work?
I own every single book written by Nalini Singh, Portia da Costa and Maya Banks, and have read almost all of them already. There are many others, and the must have and read list also acquired indie authors Charity Parkerson, Regina Puckett, Red Phoenix and Moira Rogers.
I also love Louise Allen and Stephanie Laurens, although I don’t write historical novels. I have learned much from authors of historical novels especially in scene setting as I need do to the same for my fantasy series.
5. What are you plans/future projects/new releases that we should be aware of?
I had published a novel and two short stories in 2012.
In March 2013 I plan to publish another novel, called Keeper of the Dragon Sword. It is the second novel in my series, although each book stands completely on its own.
I also plan to publish three erotic romance short stories, the first, called Two + 1, only needs final editing and a cover.
I also a novella planned, it takes place in the same setting as my fantasy series but does not form part of the series. It is called Love Extinct, for now.
Whether or not these will find their way to the world of the published will depend on my work schedule, since my project is entering a critical test phase in 2013 and I will be away from home a few times.
I will be starting a graphic design course in January as I want to learn how to do my own book covers to really wow my readers. As a painter I have the artistic eye, but I need to learn the skills to really do the designs I see in my head on my computer.
6. Any tips for new writers?
Never give up. It took me a long time to gather the courage to publish, and fortunately didn’t take the rejection letters I got as a personal insult. When I studied the letters I realised that it wasn’t my writing that was lacking, but other things that the publishers wanted.
I only learned years later that unless I wrote self help books, or fiction in an African language, that South Africa would never be the market for me. Self-publishing then became the best option.
From what experts have said, and I believe they are correct, is that you should not just publish one book.
And the marketing experts say the same – the best marketing a writer can do…is to write.
7. Any tips for old writers?
Write more books. Please!
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Linzé Brandon is the pen name of a South African engineer and project manager who taught herself to read before she went to school. She started writing in 2001 but it took years before she had enough courage to try and publish her work. After encouraging rejection letters from two different publishers, she decided to self-publish instead.
Focusing on writing what she loves to read, fantasy and paranormal romance, she also dabbles in SF and erotic romance when writing short stories. It is her dream to write full time, but until then she divides her time between work, writing, marketing her books, cross-stitch, photography, archery and painting mixed media abstracts.
She lives in Pretoria, South Africa with her photographic guru, engineer husband and three German Shepherds who own the place, and graciously let their humans live there too!
Published Short stories
Follow Linzé online