Hi Brenda! Thanks for stopping by my blog to answer a few questions 🙂
Thief of Lies turned me into an instant Library Jumpers fan! I can’t wait for Book 3 to come out. I’ve passed along my finished copies to my niece and now she’s a fan too. I just got my copy of Touching Fate and can’t wait to dive in to that series too.
1) Your social media/web presence is so supportive of other writers. For example, the workshops and contests for writers such as Pitch Wars and Pitch Madness on your blog and the Twitter pitch parties on the hashtag #PitMad. Why is it so important to you to help new authors?
Seeking a career in writing can be a daunting, lonely journey. When I started out, contests, blog hops, and NaNoWriMo were instrumental in helping me to come out of my shell and meet my writer friends. I learned a lot by participating in them and the writing thing seemed less lonely because of the writers I was meeting. But the contests back then were once a year, so I decided to throw one on my blog and it took off. I wanted to help other writers navigate their journey and to create a community around my contests. Where writers could find their tribe and possibly get their work showcased to industry professionals. I love hearing about other writers’ successes and cheering them on. I also feel blessed when I can help a writer who is lost or ready to give up.
2) Tell me about your experience finding an agent. Did you toss your hat into the query slush-pile? Or did you meet your agent at a conference?
My first agent signed me from her query slush-pile. It wasn’t a good relationship, so we parted ways. When it came to querying again, I had gotten to know many agents from my contests. I choose a small list of agents I felt were a match that I’d want to work with, and sent handful of query letters out. I signed with Peter Knapp with the Park Literary a few weeks later.
3) Are you a plotter or a pantser? What does your first draft process look like?
I used to be a panster, but have gone over to the plotter side. I find it’s working better for me, especially while writing books two and three in a series. The first drafts of my manuscripts are pretty clean. I have to edit as I go along. I get nervous with mess, so a fast draft isn’t my thing. I usually write a chapter, and then revise it before moving onto the next one. I’ll do another revision before sending off to critique partners and readers.
4) You traveled quite a bit during your childhood due to your father’s career in the Air Force. How did traveling and living in different places influence your writing?
Living in many places has given me a view of diversity in the world. I draw from places I’ve lived and from people I’ve encountered. That is, I hope it comes through in my writing.
5) There’s a thread of magic/fantasy in each of your novels—do you tend to read books with magical elements too? Do you see magic/fantasy as an escape or do you view it as a tool to help with symbolism in the storyline?
I read in all categories and genres. My writing always has magical elements. I grew up in an unhappy family, so getting lost in a fantasy book was always an escape for me. I think that’s why my heart is in fantasy. For a long time, I wouldn’t read books with real world problems. It was my way to deal with the anger around me. Now that I’m in a better place, I enjoy reading a variety of books.
For more information about Brenda Drake, please visit brenda-drake.com
Touching Fate (Book 1) ~ available now