Monday, September 30, 2013

A Short Q&A With J. Brownell


1. Why did you start writing?
That’s a really good question and I don’t have a really good answer for it. I’ve been putting my stories on paper since I learned how to write. Maybe because I started reading at a young age I just thought it was what you do with stories that aren’t real.

2. If you had to do it all over again would you still write?
Today the answer to that is yes. But there are times I wish I had an off switch for my brain.

3. Once you’ve written a story do you ever sit down and read it for enjoyment?
No. The only time I ever look at the stories that are posted online is if I need to verify a fact. I do however have alternate versions of stories and chapters that didn’t go where I wanted and those I do go back and read for ideas.

4. How did you start writing Xena fan fiction?
I was a fan of the show and I liked what I was reading online.

5. Is your muse a constant companion, or does it abandon you for long periods of time?
She’s a constant and fickle companion. It’s not always easy to get down on paper what is happening in my head.

6. How do you feel about sequels?  
As a reader, I love them. As a writer, I hate them. Sequels are harder to write than the originals for me. I can’t just write anything this time because I am limited by the choices I made in the first story. I like it best when I can write whatever I want for whatever reason I want to write it.

7. Is writing a quiet thing for you, where there can't be any noise or conversation going on?
I would probably write more often if I did write in a quite space, but I always have the TV on.

8. Do you prefer to write/read romance, angst, horror etc, etc?
I like romance for reading and writing. I like the exploration of relationships and not just those of the main characters. People fascinate me.

9. What usually sparks a story idea for you?  
Song lyrics, something seen on TV or read in a book. There are parts of my brain that seem to always be working on something.

10. Where do your ideas come from?
See #9

11. What advice can you give to future writers?
Write the kind of books you like to read and about what interests you. Books aren’t read the way they are written and you will never be able to satisfy everyone, so write what you like so you’ll enjoy the writing.

12. What has the show Xena meant to you?
I don’t know that I would have ever posted if I had not been a fan of the show and found the wonderful world of uber fiction.

13. How do you feel about the way it ended?
I hated it, but there wasn’t a real finality to that ending for me so I believe that Gabrielle finds a way to bring Xena back and they are together working for the greater good.

14. How real are your characters to you?
They are very real for me. I know everything about them. I am entertained by them. They are with me always in ways that no one else in my life can ever be.

15. Do your characters speak to you?  
Not to me, but they talk to each other a lot.

16. Are you in control of your story, or do the characters run the show?  
I’m in control, but they don’t always want to go where I want them to go. That’s why I have alternate chapters that are never read by anyone.

17. Have you created a character that you would like to meet?
Whitney or Shea from Charade. I would love for time travel to be real and one of them could get me on the fifth floor.

18. How would you feel about another writer giving one of your characters a cameo in their story?
I’m not sure I would like that very much. These people belong to me and I don’t know that I want them playing with someone else.

19. Has online writing changed your life in any way?  
Not really.

20. Have you ever been stalked on the internet by an overzealous fan?  

21. Which one of your online stories is your favorite?
I love them all, but I had the most fun with Charade. I love history and if I could do anything in the world, I would chose to go back into the past. I would never chose to go to the future because I’m a little concerned that the future I envision for this planet is too close to being a reality. I would rather not know that we destroy the planet.

22. Do you have to do a lot of rewrites?
Yes and I sincerely wish that I didn’t. I would probably post more often if I didn’t keep editing things I’ve already written.

23. Is there ever a point in your writing where you get stuck each and every time? How do you get out of it? The longer I write on a story, the closer I seem to get until I reach a point that I am looking at a tiny part of the story and just can’t see the whole of it anymore. When I reach that point, I put that story away and pull out another one.

24. Which part of the writing process do you enjoy the most and why?
I love the beginning. There are all those wonderful choices to be made and the world I create can be anything I want it to be.

25. When you're working on a story are you obsessed with it until it's done?
No. I am always working on more than one story at a time. Right now I have four going.

26. Who are your favorite top five writers? Online or published.
Nora Roberts (AKA J D Robb), Melissa Good, Mavis Applewater, Catherine Burke, Advocate/ T Novan.

27. The song says "Who rules the world? Girls." If that were true would the world be a better place?
Yes. There could be a debate on how much better, but yes, I do think it would better.

28. Do you write a story straight through, or do you write in pieces, then put it all together.
The story itself is written straight through, but I never work on just one story until it’s completed.

29. Do you read books for pleasure while you are writing?
Yes and I have this horrible little voice in my head that tells me that if I have time to read then I have time to write.

30. Do you have a favorite Greek God?
Not really. My love of history has never extended to mythology.

31. Do you have a pet peeve?
Bad, slow and stupid drivers. I have a video game I can play when I’m driving so that I don’t get absolutely crazy insane when someone’s grandmother drives really slow in front of me until she sees the light go yellow and then speeds up to leave me sitting at a red light.

32. What do you see yourself doing in the future?
I see myself where I am now, but hopefully with a few more stories posted online.

33. What is your favorite word?
I don’t have one, but I love adjectives. They are the most awesome words.

34. What is your least favorite word?
Any word that is solely used to cause someone pain.

35. What turns you on?
Ahh . . .

36. What turns you off?
Crude humor.

37. What sound or noise do you love?
A little kid laughing.

38. What sound or noise do you hate?
People yelling.

39. What is your favorite curse word?
I don’t have a favorite word, but phrase would be- Son of a fucking bitch.

40. What profession other than yours would you like to attempt?
My brain lit up on that question so probably a lot. I don’t know that there is a certain profession I would like to devote my life to doing.

41. What profession would you absolutely not like to participate in?
Anything that does anything with dead people.

42. If Heaven exists what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates?
I’ve been waiting for you.

Here is J. Brownell's favorite story:
Charade - 184 pages
Whitney Eisner leads a double life. In one she is a playgirl who travels and in the other she works for a secret agency that allows people from the future to travel into the past. Her life becomes even more complicated when she is implicated in a series of assaults on women travelers. When one of the women dies and Whitney is the only suspect, she breaks all the rules when she reaches out to Atlanta Detective Lauren Shea for help.

1 comment:

  1. It's a real pleasure to hear from Ms J. Brownell, all her stories are amazing and I look forward to reading more of them, she has all my thanks and encouragements.