Thursday, March 20, 2014

Countdown to RainbowCon: Interview and Giveaway with Brenda Cothern

Today I have an interview with Brenda Cothern as part of the Countdown to RainbowCon!  Brenda is the author of so many great reads!  So, without further ado, here is the interview!

M- What is your writing process like?  What kind of environment do you find most conducive to writing?

B- My process is to get the voices out of my head as quickly as possible without permanent damage to any of us! *Grin* Actually, that is only partly true. I have dubbed my process the ‘Hemmingway Style.’ Most writers head to Starbucks, I head to one of two bars close to home that let me treat their establishment like my personal office. Two or three legal pads, several pens, cigarettes, and a pitcher of beer get me started. Yes, I did say legal pads and beer! Oh and sushi is usually part of the process there as well! Oh course, that is just the first step in getting the voices out of my head. Once I have the story on paper, I use the Dragon software to read it into Word. This serves as round one of editing before I let the software read it back to me. After that, I do any re-writing that needs to be done and after a final listen to Dragon reading the chapter; I send the chapter out to my beta team to pick apart. I don’t look at any of their feedback until the story is completely out of my head. Then, it’s usually another re-write and edit, send the final full novel to the beta team, review their feedback once last time, and onto formatting several different ways for the various sites that will distribute the book.

M-  You seem to have a definite flair for fantasy and paranormal writing, what inspired you to write in those genres?

B-  I am a huge gamer-geek! I have been playing D&D for the last 36 years and MMO’s since they were MUDS (text based, with no pretty graphics) so I am sure I have always had a pretty active imagination. Since I have started writing novels in 2010, I think all my years is setting the scene and characters for my D&D group to ‘see,’ made writing fantasy and paranormal easier. Once I got Zarkina (she has been my D&D characters since 7th grade) out onto paper, the floodgates opened!

M-  How are your characters created?  Are they based on people you've seen or met in life?  Or are they created entirely in your mind?

B- As weird as this may sound, I am not sure I would say I create my characters at all. Generally, they introduce themselves to me usually in dreams (when they do it when I am awake, it really makes me think about those meds I should probably be on! *grin*). They show me what they look like and what their story is and depending on how much they share, is what determines if there is a book or not. I can’t tell you how many characters have made themselves known to me but are just sitting in a folder now because they went silent! I just write what they show me without giving much conscious thought to it. So, I guess my mind is creating them … or I am being randomly possessed by hot guys with hot stories!

M-  Your author site shares a bit about your love of leather.  There's something so decadent about leather.  It is a very primal material with definite tactile appeal (nothing feels quite like leather under your fingers).  What is it about leather that you enjoy?

Leather naturally became part of my life because of the BDSM lifestyle. I love tactile play and leather is just one more item that offers a variety of sensations to blow the mind. But aside from the feel and smell of leather (even sweaty leather, that many do not find attractive!), leather is a mindset; a type of lifestyle in and of itself. If you see someone wearing a leather vest with patches, they are either a biker or into the lifestyle.

M- Do you have a mantra or a phrase that means a great deal to you in your life?

B- Oh yes, but it didn’t kick in until I had children of my own – Life doesn’t suck, life is what you make it – but it can apply to anyone at any age. If we are unhappy then only we can take the steps to change that and sometimes the first step is just admitting that we are unhappy.

M- What one panel at RainbowCon are you most looking forward to?

B- I don’t have one in particular since there are several that are sure to be entertaining due to the topic and the authors. I am going to try and squeeze in a few publisher geared panels since I am not incorporated and can publish others. But of the panels I am speaking on, I would say the Publishing DIY is the one I am looking forward to the most. I enjoy sharing what I have learned over the years about self-publishing. With sites like Smashwords and KDP (Amazon Kindle), it is easy for anyone to upload a word file and say “I’m published!” But in reality, it takes so much more and there are a lot of things new authors sometimes don’t even think about before they unleash their stories upon the world. I had three authors who answered my newbie questions and pointed me in the right direction when I got started so I enjoy paying it forward.

M-  What, in general, are you most excited for at RainbowCon?

B- I have to say that I am most excited about the Tampa Bay getting its first dedicated GLBT convention. The Bay area has the largest GLBT population in the state of Florida and aside from FetishCon, Florida Leather n’ Fetish Pride, and a few other fetish/leather conventions, we don’t have a GLBT specific convention, especially one that is based on literature. I am also excited about meeting my fellow authors who I have known for some time online and am a huge fan of their work.

Thanks so much Brenda for taking part in the Countdown and for being willing to answer some questions for me and my readers!  Here is Brenda's panel schedule for RainbowCon:

Marketing 101 (Thu 1pm)
Roundtable Discussion: Paranormal Romance (Fri 10am)
Behind the Curtain: An Inside Look at Publishing (Sat 4pm)
Publishing the DIY Way (Sun 11am)

You can find out more about Brenda and her works on her website, Facebook, Twitter and on her blog.

Brenda is giving away a PDF copy of her bestseller, Sixth for one lucky commentor on this post.  Just comment with a way to contact you (email in this format: yourname AT email DOT com or a twitter handle) and I'll choose a comment at random at the end of the Countdown.

Brian Hay’s only dream in life was to be part of America’s elite, yet unacknowledged, Delta Force. After years of training to be the best the 75th Ranger Regiment had ever produced, his dream was finally coming true. But what starts out as what he thinks is a Delta hazing op soon turns into much more when Brian not only becomes a Delta Force soldier but a Mad Dog.
This book contains m/m adult sexual situations and is intended for readers of legal age in the country in which they reside. Please store your adult literature responsibly.
The only restriction is that readers must be at least 18.

1 comment:

Stephen del Mar said...

Nice interview. I'm so excited to meet all the amazing people coming down for the Con. I didn't know Tampa Bay had such a big Queer population. Where is everyone hiding? Or do I just need to stop writing and get out more? :)