May has been officially declared as the “Interviewing the Indies” month. As such, all month there will be posts containing interviews with indie authors. Today’s guest is Andrea Marie Brokaw, author of two young adult novels.
What do you have published?
I have two YA novels which I’ve published under the Hedgie Press imprint. The first, Pride, Prejudice, and Curling Rocks, is a loose retelling of Pride and Prejudice that centers around a contemporary junior curling team rather than a Regency Era family of sisters. The second is called I’d Rather Not Be Dead and focuses on a teen girl who suddenly finds herself watching the last few weeks of her life as a ghost. Both are available in print or digital form at a wide variety of places.
I also have an ongoing serial that I do more for my own entertainment than anything. It’s a portal fantasy called Washed Up and features a girl who washes up onshore in another world with no memory of who she is, but with a lot of knowledge from our world. It’s a retelling of the first novel I ever wrote, back when I was fifteen, so of course she gets adopted as a princess and winds up with magic powers. I’ve been posting it without editing under the pen name I used way back then, and you can find it at auroratalisan.blogspot.com. Please keep in mind that it’s not an example of my polished work.
Additionally, I post pieces flash fiction at andybrokaw-stories.blogspot.com whenever I remember that I enjoy doing that.
What are you currently working on?
I hate it when people ask me this because it takes me so long to figure out what the answer is. That makes me feel like maybe I’m not doing anything at all, when the truth is probably closer to me doing too much. At dinner recently, an acquaintance asked, “How’s the book going?” I gave her a look of confusion and asked, “Which one?”
Right now, I’m working on the finishing up the serial and navigating my way the rough draft of a second curling novel, Much Ado About Curling. I’m also constantly tackling problems from other projects in my mind and worrying about what I’m doing next.
I’m honestly not sure what I’ll be doing by the time this is published. If I’ve completed the serial and the rough of the curling novel, I may be revising one of the many rough drafts floating around on my hard drive. Or I might be taking another shot at the project that stalled during NaNo, which features a girl who moves to a space station, races spacecraft, and meets the girl of her dreams, who happens to be from the moon.
How do you stay motivated?
My biggest motivation is that happy glow-y feeling I get when I finish good books by other people. I recognize this a cheesy answer, but that doesn’t alter its validity.
What has been the most challenging aspect of being an indie author?
Learning to trust myself. I’m not a take-charge kind of person by nature and being the one who makes all the decisions is an ongoing challenge for me. I’m much more comfortable being told what to do by other people because I have great difficulty respecting my own instincts and skills.
And as you may have gathered from my earlier answers, I also have a lot of trouble figuring out what I’m supposed to be doing and when I’m supposed to be doing it. No one sends me tasks lists or deadlines, which on one hand is liberating but on the other is scary for someone who is not comfortable with giving directions.
As a writer, what is the one thing you cannot live without? Why?
Solitude. If I’m having to interact with people, I’m not writing. I’m an introvert, so people drain me. And I have ADHD, which means I have more trouble than most people shifting focus, so when someone interrupts for “just a second” they may actually take ten minutes of my time even if they just ask a simple yes-or-no question. Or maybe I was hyper-focused and never noticed them asking the question. But that’s just self-created solitude.
It also really helps to have something to put the story down on, preferably a computer.
You can purchase any of the YA Indie Books from amazon. Stay tuned for more Interviewing the Indies, happening all May long!