I’d like to introduce you all to an author who wants some mystery or suspense in with her romance: Addison Brae. Welcome! Let’s find out a bit more about her via her professional bio and then we’ll move right into the interview.
Addison Brae lives in Dallas, Texas on the edge of downtown. As a child, she was constantly in trouble for hiding under the bed to read when she was supposed to be napping. She has been writing since childhood starting with diaries, letters and short stories. She continues today with articles, video scripts and other content as an independent marketing consultant.
When she’s not writing, Addison spends her time traveling the world, collecting interesting cocktail recipes and hosting parties. She’s still addicted to reading and enjoys jogging in her neighborhood park, sipping red wine, binge-watching TV series, vintage clothing and hanging out with her artistic other half and their neurotic cat Lucy.
Betty: What genre(s) do you write in and why?
Addison: The genres that call to me are always contemporary because my mind lives in the present day. Thrillers and mysteries in book, movie or TV form are my all-time favorites. I love action, so I also write romantic suspense with a thriller/mystery twist.
Betty: What themes or motifs did you use in your recent release and why were they important to your story?
Addison: Readers will always find a strong female heroine in my books. These women have fought to get past physical or emotional abuse or extreme control. For anyone who knows someone who’s fought these demons or if you have yourself, you understand how difficult it is to become strong and self-confident. Gillian, the heroine in Becker Circle, is on the journey to forget what happened in the past, not repeat it, and become the badass she knows she can be.
My first and only boyfriend believed I was too gutless to leave. He was dead wrong. My name’s Gillian, and I graduated Harvard early and left his hot temper and everyone else behind for Dallas. Determined to make it on my own, I land a second job bartending at the neighborhood pub smack in drama central where most every jerk in the neighborhood hits on me—at a huge price.
A week into the job, the neighborhood’s very popular drug dealer falls to his death a few feet from the table I’m serving. The cops say suicide, but the hot guitar player in the house band and I suspect foul play, and I intend to prove it. We dig deeper, grow closer, and make a shocking discovery. We know the murderer. Watch the trailer.
Betty: Do you have a specific place that you write? Revise?
Addison: The most inspiring places for me to write or revise are where scenes take place. Since Becker Circle is about a part-time bartender, most of it takes place in bars. I wrote much of the manuscript observing bartenders as they work and interact with customers. I also enjoy writing on our rooftop deck overlooking the beautiful Dallas skyline. There’s one place I don’t do my best thinking—at my desk on my work computer.
Betty: What helped you move from unpublished to published? A mentor or organization or something else?
Addison: There’s an amazing group of badass women I’m lucky enough to know from my membership and work with the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. I didn’t just join. I got involved and led my chapter and attended conferences and workshops, which is how I met these women. We help each other learn to become better writers, build each other’s confidence, and never give up. Tirgearr Publishing, which published Becker Circle, and I connected on Twitter via #PitMad. Luck was on my side that day.
Betty: What do you think is your greatest strength in your writing?
Addison: This is a hard question to answer about my own writing. According to the reviews, readers respond most to the vivid, realistic characters, settings and storytelling. The characters make big mistakes to which we can all relate, and there’s always a kickass heroine who’s caught up in the action.
Betty: What comes first when you’re brainstorming a new story: setting, situation, characters?
Addison: I think about the characters for an eternity before I write anything down. The first thing I type is a short synopsis so I know there’s an interesting plot the cast of characters in my head can play out. Then I start writing.
Betty: What is one recent struggle you’ve experienced in your writing?
Addison: My natural instinct is to write in first person, present tense because I very much like to live in the moment. That means the page only shows what the main character knows. The struggle in a thriller, mystery, or suspense is keeping track of who knows what. I challenge myself to write this way because many readers like the suspense of the story unfolding along with the main character, which can make it even more rewarding to escape into a fictional world.
Betty: What is your favorite genre to read?
Addison: There’s honestly no favorite genres. I’m a book junkie. I love thrillers, contemporary, science fiction, fantasy, and non-fiction—targeted to adults or young adults.
Betty: Do you have a “day job” or do you write full time?
Addison: Absolutely! Unfortunately writing novels wouldn’t pay for the shoes, vintage clothes, and travel I enjoy, so I’m a public relations and marketing consultant by day. I advise on strategy and write articles, video scripts, news releases, and web content for corporate clients. With fiction, it’s freeing to create my own stories and characters without having to get a zillion approvals.
Betty: What do you wish readers knew about the publishing industry?
Addison: Many people think books should be super cheap or free. But these readers don’t know how much work and hundreds of hours multiple people put into to creating those electronic or paper pages. Authors spend a year or more writing and revising each book. Then some authors have an agent to help them find a publisher. Others work directly with the publisher. The publisher edits, designs an original cover, and then formats, prints, distributes, and markets the books. The small amount of money people pay to purchase a book puts food on these people’s tables and pays for the roof over our heads. We hope people will continue to buy and read books!
Betty: What advice do you have for new writers?
Addison: Writing is a team sport. People often write in solitude. Join a writing organization and a critique group to get out of your space, your comfort zone to learn, share, network and become an even better, more connected writer.
Betty: Any hints of what you’re next writing project might be?
Addison: I just finished the nail-biting stage of writing the climax to the Becker Circle sequel. Now I’m revising before handing the manuscript over to my publisher. The story picks up where Becker Circle left off with many of the same characters readers love and hate. The fun part is bringing in a really edgy cybercrime angle—cryptojacking (that’s pickpocketing digital currency). Some authors, like me, feel every painful heartache and joyous emotion their characters experience. This one takes a lot out of me to write, which is a good sign that readers may enjoy it.
Betty: What kind of writing would you like to experiment with? Or what’s a different genre you’ve considered writing but haven’t yet?
Addison: Since my day job has me writing about how businesses can use artificial intelligence, it launched a fascinating idea brewing in my head that could be speculative fiction.
Thanks for stopping by to share your writing process and your thoughts on the world of publishing books!
I love that Addison writes in the locations of her stories. The immediacy of setting as well as the visual details of the people working in those settings must bring those scenes to life.
Until next time, happy reading!
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