Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Spotlight on Brinda Berry, YA author “The Waiting Booth”

A missing boy, government agents, an interdimensional portal...

Mia has one goal for her senior year at Whispering Woods High—find her missing older brother. But when her science project reveals a portal into another dimension, she learns that travelers are moving in and out of her woods in the most alarming way and government agents Regulus and Arizona are policing their immigration. Mia’s drawn to the mysterious, aloof Regulus, but it’s no time for a crush. She needs to find out what they know about her brother, while the agents fight to save the world from viral contamination. But when Regulus reveals that he knows Mia’s secrets, she begins to wonder if there’s more going on than she thought...and if she was wrong to trust him...

Buy links: 

Amazon            Barnes & Noble        Kobo Books
Etopia Press    All Romance eBooks        Borders Online

D L Richardson on “The Waiting Booth”

I started reading this book and found I couldn’t put it down. Brinda has a nice, steady pace to her writing that keeps the pages turning and the excitement mounting. The suspense was well done. Throughout the book I knew there was someone I couldn’t trust, but I didn’t know who till the very end, which left me nicely surprised.

Book One introduces Mia, an independent girl who already has enough drama in her life, yet she attracts more when she accidentally discovers an interdimensional portal. Her brother is missing and travellers from this portal lure her into helping them find the bad guys by promising to help her find her missing brother. Along the way Mia is thrust head first into more than one dangerous situation. I found myself rooting for her to come out of these experiences unscathed because she is an easy to like character and I became slightly protective of her. There is more to come on “The Waiting Booth” story and I look forward to reading about Mia’s attempt to track down her brother when Brinda’s second book in the series is released.

Interview with the author

To get to know you better, tell me 3 things about yourself using words beginning with D  : 
I'm a daydreamer, deliberate, and durable.  I think these show the conflicting sides of my nature. From the time I was a kid, I would dream up stories. If I wrote down every scene I thought about, I'd be sitting in a room piled high with my own manuscripts.  On the other hand, I do have the practical side. I'm a list maker. I'm deliberate about what needs to be done to accomplish a goal, and then I set about doing it.  I'm also durable. I think of myself as a strong person.
To get to know your novel better, tell me 3 things about your novel using words beginning with L  : 
Three L words come to mind when I think about The Waiting Booth: loyalty, laughter, and love. The main character, Mia, is very loyal to her family and friends. This is one of her best character traits. Personally, I enjoy being around people who make me laugh. Mia has several upbeat friends who each have a great sense of humor. Last, Mia's not the type who falls for every guy who comes along, so she’s not experienced in the love department. As a matter-of-fact, she’s never even had a boyfriend. So, romantic feelings are a new thing for her.
How long have been writing for? 
Fifteen years ago, I wrote a romance book and began querying agents and publishers. I became disillusioned with that process and gave up. Two years ago, I decided to do it right. I took classes on the writing craft and business and wrote The Waiting Booth.
Have you always wrote or wanted to write YA fiction? And why?
I'm interested in many different genres. If you look at my Goodreads list, you will see that my taste varies. I must admit that Twilight renewed my interest in YA. After reading Stephenie Meyer's books, I couldn't stop reading YA. There are some talented authors writing terrific YA. I love the themes and deep emotions conveyed in so many YA books.
What was your most valuable lesson learned whilst writing The Waiting Booth?
When you write THE END, you are not finished.
What is your all time favorite YA novel? 
That is truly a difficult question. I think my answer might change every year. Last year, I loved Beautiful Creatures by Garcia and Stohl. Last month, I read Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver.  I cried like a baby over that book. Sorry…I can’t pick just one.
These days, authors have to be self promoters as well. How has your experience been learning the business of marketing? Good or bad? Takes up too much time?
I love technology and so many promotional tools are easy for me to learn as far as the mechanics go. I do my own website, engage in Twitter, post on Facebook. It does take A LOT of time. The hardest part is coming out of my shell because I'm basically a shy person. I also don't have enough hours in the day. Most authors are in the same situation that I'm in with a job and family responsibilities.
You work a day job as well as write. What support do you get from your family (if any) and how do you make time for writing? 
Between my job and commute, I'm away from home 11.5 hours a day.  I'm lucky that my husband is super supportive of my writing. He has resigned himself to being the primary cook in our house. My son attends college, so I don’t have children at home. Also, I do the bulk of my writing on the weekends.
Writing these days is a very competitive business. If you found the secret formula to writing and selling a best seller, would you take the secret to your grave or would you share it?
I'd share it. I feel very blessed that so many authors have shared knowledge about the industry with me. There's no way I couldn't return the favor.
The cover art to The Waiting Booth is gorgeous. I take it you’re happy with it. Is it what you imagined? Better than hoped for?
It is better than I imagined. Cover art is so important. Your reader needs to notice your book. I don't know how Amanda Kelsey took the descriptions I wrote on a form and translated it into the perfect cover. She is amazing.
Do you plan your novels? If so, do you use an existing formula or did you create your own style?
Yes, I planned The Waiting Booth on a spreadsheet and outlined each chapter. For Book 2, I didn't outline to the same detail. I'm evolving and learning about what works for me. I need a little structure, but I don't want to feel guilty if I stray off course.
Did you do any creative writing or editing courses prior to writing The Waiting Booth? And if so, did the course/s help? 
Yes, I'm a course junkie. I belong to several writers’ groups, and they all offer wonderful courses. I've had to stop myself from signing up for a course when I don't have enough time to do it justice. Did I mention that I taught English in the past? No? You would think that qualifies anyone to write stellar fiction, but it doesn’t.
Were you an e-book reader prior to getting published by Etopia Press? And if not, are you now a convert? 
My husband bought me an iPad for Christmas in 2010 and that's when I converted. I signed with Etopia Press a few months later.
The Waiting Booth is Book One in a series. How many books do you see being released?
I recently completed the second book, and I’m starting the third in the Whispering Woods series. That is all I have planned at this time.
How did you come up with the title to The Waiting Booth?
In my commute to work each day, I pass a red, wooden structure at the end of a long driveway. My curiosity about the “waiting booth” led to imagining the history for it. I’m sure that it was built for the owner’s children to wait for the school bus as I live in a rural area.
Is The Waiting Booth based on any real experiences in your life?
Authors always borrow things from real life. I think that is inevitable. Do I have a portal near my house in the woods? Um, I don’t think so.  *wink*  I will say that the main character, Mia,  reminds me a lot of one of my nieces and my son. Mia is a gamer and techie like my son. She’s also laid-back, funny, and strong like my niece.
Check out more at Brinda Berry's website

Tip of the week. Avoid adverbs! They will undoubtedly and surely bog down your wonderfully and beautifully written prose.
Catch ya!D L

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