One of my favorite Boroughs authors, I met Brooklyn at the 2016 Romance Writers of America conference. She gave me one of her books and I’ve been a fan ever since. She’s a delightful person and one of the best writers in the business. So, in her own words, here’s Brooklyn.
- What made you sit down and write your first novel? Have you always been a writer? Is it something you’ve done all your life or something you came to later?
Even though I’d been writing stories since I was a little kid, and even started a novel when I was fifteen, I denied being a writer. People filled my yearbook with proclamations that I’d be an author, and they ended up being right! My first two manuscripts I tried to submit got a ton of rejections, but after my mom passed away, I came up with the idea to write a lighthearted regency vampire romance. Bite Me, Your Grace landed me my first book deal. After the first three Scandals With Bite books were finished, I went back and polished my first two novels and indie published them. The novel I started when I was 15, based on a dream of a sorcerer in a dark tower in a world with two moons eventually became Conjuring Destiny, the third book in the Brides of Prophecy series, though it underwent countless rewrites..
- Why do you write romance novels? Do you read them as well as write them?
When I started writing, I’d originally planned on writing epic fantasy or horror. But every time I tried, the characters fell in love, so I resigned myself to be a romance author. It was only recently that I’ve been able to branch out and write straight horror. I will ALWAYS come back to romance, though. I’ve read romance since high school. I can’t remember where I picked up my first one, but I was hooked. A few other girls and I would hide them in our backpacks and pass them around. I tucked them inside my Stephen King and Michael Crichton novels at first. And then later on, hide them in my toolbox in my mechanic days. Then one day, I realized it was ridiculous to be ashamed of something that makes me so happy, so I quit hiding them. The other guys at the shop never mocked me for them.
- You have four series (that I know of)-Brides of Prophecy, Scandals with Bite, Hearts of Metal, and B Mine. Could you tell us a little about each series?
My Scandals With Bite series was my debut series. They’re vampire romances set in the late Regency period. Think Bridgerton, but with vampires. My Brides of Prophecy series is my Dark Tower. Every work connects to it. They’re urban fantasy romances with fated mates including vampires, sorcerers, luminites (a cross between muses and angels), and fae. My Hearts of Metal series are rockstar romances that explore the difficulties of finding love in the metal industry. And my B Mine series are horror romances that pay homage to 80s B horror movies, but have a final couple instead of just a final girl.
- At least one of those series is horror. What prompted you to want to write horror? How is writing horror different from writing romance?
Although I got my start writing romance, and will always love reading and writing romance, my first love has been horror, ever since I watched A Nightmare on Elm Street at age two. But any time I tried to write it, the characters would fall in love, so I resigned myself to being a romance writer. Eventually the lightbulb came on that I could do both. The 80s horror films I loved most had a Final Girl. I wrote the B Mine series to pay homage to them, but featured a Final Couple. There was a bit of a challenge in being able to have the hero and heroine get to know each other and fall in love while also keeping good pace on the building dread and murder and mayhem, but it was great fun to work out.
I’d say the difference between romance and horror is that horror should build up a sense of either dread, spookiness, or fear. Some subgenres lean more into the gross-out, which can sometimes be fun. Either way, horror is more about creating a vibe, even character-driven horror has that factor. Romance focuses more on the characters, and while there’s no real tension about knowing about the ending given that it delivers the promise of the characters ending up together, just as a mystery novel promises you the answer of whodunnit, a good romance will make you care about those characters and be invested in every step towards their happily ever after.
- What is your writing process? Are you a ‘plotter’ or a ‘pantser’?
I’m a combination of both. I make notes about the things I know will happen and then improvise the rest.
- What are you working on right now?
I have three projects in the works: Bewitching the Vampire, which is book 9 in the Brides of Prophecy series is a fun urban fantasy romance between the Lord Vampire of New Orleans and a powerful witch. That one comes out July 21st. I’m also writing a short story about a haunted garage for the House of Haunts anthology, which will release in October. Lastly, I’m working on a coming-of-age horror novel called The Graveyard Girls.
- What do you do when you’re not writing? Do you have any other passions besides storytelling?
I was an artist before I was a writer. I paint, draw, and do scratchboards. I also love to cook, and love music and movies.
- How do you balance writing time with everything else in your life?
I keep a calendar and a to-do list and have a productivity group where we set a timer and write together. I also have a critique partner I check in with so we can keep each other motivated.
- If you could give one piece of advice to a beginning writer, what would it be?
Whether you pursue indie or traditional publishing, be prepared to be able to do a lot of marketing.