Interview: Bronwyn Storm

There was only one thing Bronwyn Storm wanted to be when she grew up: a superhero. Sadly, this goal was made moot when she realized that being a klutz was not, in fact, a super power, and her super-weakness for anything bright and shiny meant that a magpie with self-control could easily defeat her in a battle of wills. So, she turned to writing as a way to unleash her inner superhero.

Enjoy this interview.

Tell us a bit about yourself. Where are you from and how long have you been writing?

I am a 5’2 brown girl (brown, it’s a color, not a racial identification, but when you’re heritage includes Chinese, African, East Indian, West Indian, and (possibly) Caucasian, it’s just easier to be brown) who lives for her four furry children and who finds great pleasure in harassing her husband. If driving your spouse crazy was an Olympic event, I think I could take home the gold. At the very least, I’d net the silver.
I’m Canadian, eh, and I live in Edmonton, Alberta, home to the largest mall in Canada. I’ve been writing for five years, and been a published author for two.

Tell us about your latest book. What do you hope readers take away from it?

When it comes to Ethan’s Chase, I hope readers take away the book’s (very) important lesson: there is no problem that chocolate can’t solve.

Seriously.

Hee hee hee.

I did have another goal with the book: make my reader smile.

As for what it’s about, this is from the back cover:

Still wounded from a disastrous love affair, advertising executive Ethan Phillips has spent the past five years outwitting Cupid with a series of dekes and fakes. Who knew the tricky cherub would get wise? Rather than piercing Ethan’s heart with an arrow, he douses it with amaretto-flavored milk. A quick visit to the drycleaner and a stern lecture on the dangers of gorgeous, charming women, and he figures he’s made another clean getaway.

But when the sexy woman turns out to be Chase Logan, his new systems programmer, Ethan’s got nowhere to run. Suddenly, the man who spent his time running from Cupid, is now looking to borrow a few arrows. Ethan’s ready to give chase and pursue love. Will he catch the heart of his programmer or just be left catching his breath?

Share some of your writing goals. What’s next for you?

My goals are pretty simple: write five pages a day. Simple, not easy. Yikes. Some days, I’m at the computer for ten hours and at the end, all I have is a sentence. Sometimes, I don’t even have that. Those are the days you’ll find me under the desk (sharing the space with Murphy the dog) and stuffing myself silly with chocolate, pop, tea, and chips.

Right now, I have two more stories with The Wild Rose Press, Love in Miami (Golden Girls meets Driving Miss Daisy) and What Happens in Vegas (The Nutty Professor meets Romancing the Stone). So my goals with those stories is to get the edits done, and make my editors happy.

Also, I’m working on a cozy mystery with inspirational elements, and a children’s story that features a nine-year-old detective…and one of my editors mentioned needing more Christmas stories, so I said I’d see what I could do…

Hmm, now that I think about it, I think my main goal should be keeping what’s left of my sanity…

What’s the most interesting book you’ve ever read?

Wow, that’s really hard. I mean, some books are interesting because of the author’s ability to layer in setting. Others, like Dean Koontz, amaze me because he can make me laugh at the same time he’s scaring me silly…

I guess, if I had to choose, I’d say Viktor E. Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning. It chronicles his experience in the concentration camps, but what always blows my mind is when he talks about realizing that though the Nazis could hurt his body, mind, and spirit, they could never touch his soul. Because they couldn’t hurt that part of him, Frankl says he realized that he was the free one and the soldiers were the prisoners…he then goes on to say that in every situation, we always have a choice, even if the only choice we make is to choose to not allow the experience to make us bitter.

That book, his courage and sheer force of will, has always stuck with me. And every time I think about him walking through that camp, pitying the soldiers and telling himself, “I’m free, they are the prisoner,” it gives me goose bumps (and makes me cry).

Favorite authors?

Yowza. Too many to mention.

Book you’re currently reading?

I just picked up Philip Gulley’s Home to Harmony.

Any type of writing ritual you have?

Does eating chocolate first thing in the morning count? I don’t know if I have a ritual, per se, but every morning, I get up, write down all the things I have to do, and plan my day. Then, at the end of the day, I track what I’ve been able to accomplish…and eat copious amounts of chocolate…and drink more tea than a woman ought…

Do you believe in writer’s block? If so, how did you get past it? If not, why not?

Oh, yeah, writer’s block totally exists. For me, though, I find I’m usually over thinking a story, or I’m trying to write and edit at the same time. It’s impossible. If a person tries to write while at the same time, thinking about what editors/agents/readers are going to think about the book, they’ll never get anything done.

You have to write first, think later. Write for yourself, your enjoyment. Then, when it’s done, you think about your Ideal Reader (that’s from Stephen King’s On Writing), and then start your edits.

How to get past writer’s block? Sometimes, I read, sometimes I watch television or take the dogs for a walk…plus, truly, I don’t think you can underestimate the power of rubbing furry bellies. We have two dogs and two cats, and when the writing gets to be too much, hanging out with them can fix almost anything.

In your opinion, what’s the measure of a successful writer?

In my opinion, if you’re writing, then you’re a successful writer.

There are so many things out of a writer’s control. You’re writing dystopian fantasy and the market wants romantic comedy. You sign with an agent and then he dies. You sign with a publishing house and it goes bankrupt. Your book gets shelved in the wrong part of the bookstore and your sales drop.

You can’t get published, or the books don’t sell, or the reviewers hate your work.

Truly, the only thing (in my mind) that defines a successful writer is if (s)he is writing. I mean, people will say, “I’m a runner,” and we never ask them “Have you won any awards? Broken any records?” Nope, we know if they’re running on a consistent schedule, then they’re a runner. I feel the same way about writers. If you’re writing at a consistent pace, then you’re a successful writer.

Advice for other writers?

Write.
Write.
Write.

Find people who will encourage, support, and respect the intention of your work (by which I mean, they’ll be honest when your stuff sucks, but in a way that inspires you to go back and edit).

Research your publishing houses, agents—make sure you know what’s going on.
Write.
Eat tons of chocolate.
Write.
Read books that make you happy that you paid attention in elementary and learned to read.
Write.
Then write some more.

Where can we learn more about you?

I have a website, blog, plus I’m on Twitter, Facebook, and Goodreads. I’m still trying to figure out Goodreads, but I’m on there.

Anything else you’d like to add?

If you’d like some free reads, head to my website. Thank you so much for hosting me.

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