Today I’m welcoming to the blogging studio a special friend…Brinda Berry. Not only is Brinda a published author who recently released her second book, Whisper of Memory, but she and I also have a unique relationship. You see, I used to work with Brinda’s husband several years ago and therefore knew her in a cursory fashion. But just last year we stumbled across one another at the Ozark Writers Conference and discovered our shared passion. I was so thrilled to finally have someone other than my wife to discuss writing related topics with and who shared a burning desire to become published. We hit it off immediately and I’ve been milking her expertise ever since. :)
Whisper of Memory, the follow up to Brinda’s well-received first novel The Waiting Booth, was released last Friday and she is now making the promotional rounds. So of course I grabbed hold of her and yanked her here today before anyone else could. I have a pretty good track record when it comes to interviewing authors…the last one (Shelli Johannes) ended up being nominated for GEORGIA AUTHOR OF THE YEAR. I’m just saying. *wink*
So Brinda…are you comfortable? Coffee made like you asked?
Did you say I have a chance at Author of the Year? Yes, the coffee is just the way I like it.
Great! Let’s get some basics out of the way first…okay? How tall are you?
Tall enough. If you ask my weight, you are in big trouble. You saw me on the treadmill the other day at the gym. I looked tall on it, didn’t I?
You bet! I’m just limbering up my questioning muscles. Are you allergic to anything?
Cats. *looking around*
Don't worry, you're safe. Okay, I think I’m ready to dive into the good stuff. How about you Brinda, are you ready?
Good stuff? You’re not going to ask me about my sleeping habits, are you? I’m sleeping better now that my book has been released.
Um...No...but I'm glad for you. So, in your book…Whisper of Memory…your MC has a medical condition called synesthesia. Tell us about it and how you came about using it as a character trait?
The name synesthesia sounds like something awful, but it really isn’t. It’s where your sensory perception overlaps. A person is born with this or can find himself experiencing it after an accident. Grapheme is color synesthesia and is only one form. Fro example, a person might see letters and numbers in certain colors. There are over 60 types of synesthesia and 1 in 23 people may experience a degree of it. My main character, Mia, has multiple forms of synesthesia. Her condition aids her in locating portals.
Some people assume that portal travel equates to time travel, and that's not the concept in your book. The portals exist as doorways between dimensions. Explain more about that concept to us.
You should imagine our world like an onion with layers. Each layer holds a dimension of life and activity. The layers that are next to each other have very similar activity and life forms. Pick at the layer (dimension) on the outside and near the core to see great differences in these worlds. In my story, there is an entity who believes they control travel between these dimensions. Portals are the access point.
I understand you originally pitched it as sci-fi, but your publisher chose to categorize as Young Adult Fantasy. How do you feel about that now?
I don’t have a problem with how it’s categorized. At first, I worried that readers might look for trolls or vampires in my novels. That doesn’t seem to be the case. It’s a good thing since they won’t find them.
I’m drawn to books that revolve around an ensemble cast of friends rather than a single character. Whisper of a Memory fits that mold, right?
Definitely. Mia is very independent, but she soon learns that she needs her friends.
Like many of my readers and other aspiring writers out there, you have a full-time job that leaves little time for writing, much less promoting. How do you make it work?
This is working? Just kidding. It’s a juggling act. I’ve had to give up some things. I’m sure everybody does. You can’t add writing to the mix and not replace some other activity.
I know you’re busy, and the way you’re squirming in your chair I’d say you need to visit the little girls room…so just one more question. What one piece of advice would you give my readers who are looking to become published that we haven’t touched on yet?
If you love it, don’t give up. It’s far easier to become discouraged than encouraged. Surround yourself with writing peers and mentors.
Once again, thank you for being here!
My pleasure! Thanks, DL.
That’s it kiddo’s. Run out and pick up Whisper of a Memory this weekend! You won’t be disappointed.
It's great to get to know you a little better, Brinda. Great interview, DL. Your book sounds great.ReplyDelete
LOL. Great interview. And I love her name. It sounds like she should be a TV anchor woman "This is Brinda Berry, and you heard it here first." :) It's a good author name too *wink*ReplyDelete
I learned about synesthesia a few years back and I think it is absolutely fascinating. What an incredible topic to weave into your story! Thanks both for this interview :)ReplyDelete
Promise I won't look for trolls or vampires!ReplyDelete
Georgia Author of the Year - wow, congratulations, Brinda.
Great interview, and I agree with Tiana - what a beautiful name, Brinda!ReplyDelete
(Tiana, you have a great name too!)
The book sounds so interesting. I've heard of synesthesia but never knew the name for it. I would love to be able to see what I'm reading...in colors. At least, I think so. I'd have to give it more fault to see if it could have any downside. But to me, the idea of that disease is beautiful, no matter what form of it you have. I can't wait to read it!
Hi DL, Thanks so much for having me here today! Your interviews are fun. :) Plus, you have coffee.ReplyDelete
Jessica, Tiana, and Alex- Thank you so much for reading!ReplyDelete
Julie and April- I think more people have some degree of synesthesia than we realize. There are lots of famous artists and musicians who have synesthesia.
I absolutely love the cover on your books and I like the story line.ReplyDelete
I'm going to have to check out the Ozark writers conference since in my neck of the woods.
Sia McKye OVER COFFEE
Awesome, I'm a fan of ensembles too!ReplyDelete
Cool to learn about synesthesia. Thanks for the education, Brinda. Sounds like a cool book.ReplyDelete
The book sounds fabulous! Good luck with it :)ReplyDelete
Last year, I read a fascinating book about synesthesia. Weaving it into a novel sounds quite intriguing. Good luck with your book, Brinda, and D.L., super interview.ReplyDelete
Sia- Last year was the first time to attend that conference. The speakers were very good.ReplyDelete
Cassie, Mary, Jemi, and Susan- Thanks for stopping by to read!
Awesome interview. I particularly liked this line: "If you love it, don’t give up."ReplyDelete
Brin and Dave together on one site. How fun is that? I may have to drive to a meeting in the Ozarks to meet the two of you in person.ReplyDelete
Great interview and wonderful books, Brinda. LOVE your voice and plots.
In re: the question on weight. I always answer those.
I really enjoyed Brinda's first book in this series. It had great characters and the portals at the waiting booth were a fascinating concept. Plus she knows how to write hot men. I just can't wait to read about finding her brother.ReplyDelete
I enjoyed this interview, DL, especially as Brinda was a guest on my blog last week. Having someone hop around on various blogs helps us all to meet more and more writers and people who just love the world of writing. Great questions and a light humorous tone have made for a short and snappy blog post. Good job, both of you!ReplyDelete
Another fun interview, Brinda. I have my copy, burning a read-me sign on my iPad. I can't wait to dig in.ReplyDelete
Brinda, I had no idea you had pitched as Sci-Fi. What will I learn about you next?ReplyDelete
When (not if) we finally meet, you'll have to sign my iPad. WOOT.
What a fun backstory you two have! Great interview. Love the name Mia. :) And man, would I love me a portal right now so I could skip the whole airport thing tomorrow, haha.ReplyDelete
The books sound quite intriguing. Congratulations, Brinda!
Fun interview. Thankyou xxReplyDelete
Thanks for the interview. I can't wait to read the book as it sounds like this is a different twist than any I've read.ReplyDelete
Terrific advice, Brinda. You're so right about writers needing to be surrounded by other supportive writers. I consider you one of these people in my life!ReplyDelete
I like the concept of the story. Best wishes for your success.ReplyDelete
An A to Z Co-Host
Tossing It Out
The book sounds great. It's nice to have writing friends that you can hang out with in person, isn't it?ReplyDelete
I did a Medical Mondays post on synesthesia, so this book sounds particularly interesting to me. :)
Hi again, Brinda - good luck with the new book!ReplyDelete
Thanks to DL and everyone who left a comment! I truly appreciate it.ReplyDelete
What a fun interview. I'd never hear of synesthesia before. Best wishes with the book.ReplyDelete
Great interview. This books sounds really interesting!ReplyDelete
I find synesthesia fascinating.ReplyDelete
Great interview! The book sounds awesome.
awesome interview! Loved learning more about Brinda and her books! And love that coverart!ReplyDelete
Wonderful interview, and quite amusing. Great advice! Good luck with your promoting.ReplyDelete
Shannon at The Warrior Muse, co-host of the 2012 #atozchallenge! Twitter: @AprilA2Z