She's written three manuscripts at this point, and even though it's hard for her to put herself out there, she's here and ready to get some advice. She's ready to know where she's "gone astray".
Brandi is an amazing example of not giving up. She still continues to write and she continues to send it out in her journey to find representation. Her passion and determination are quite inspiring!
I started by asking Brandi some questions about herself and her writing. Then she was awesome enough to paste her work for your critique. (She will also receive a detailed critique from me via email)
When did you start writing? How long have you been writing?
The first story I wrote was for a fifth grade English assignment. We were supposed to write about spring… I wrote a story about a girl whose name meant spring. (I like bending things.) I started writing for fun when I was 12. I had part of a story in a notebook at my seventh grade orientation that got passed through two rows of kids before I got it back. I never really stopped, though I did have several breaks. It wasn’t until the last few years that I’ve been able to give it the focus I wanted and needed to.
What category/genre do you like to write?
I’m a fantasy girl. High or contemporary, fantasy is by far my favorite.
How many books have you written? Tell us a bit about them.
I’ve written three novels. The first two are high fantasies, and the third is a contemporary YA fantasy. Since I suck at titles, I’m not going to name the first two. The first one took a little time to come around, but I love Nick. He’s half-mad, the champion of pixies, and his best friend’s an overly cheerful swordsmith. And he loves a good story.
Asher is my second novel and is also high fantasy. Asher’s got a small problem with a fire spirit cohabitating his body and a dark wizard who wants to use his power to claim the king’s throne.
Then there’s WE REMAIN LOST. One day, my MC popped into my head and said, “Hey, I’m Charlie Brimm.” I’d never had a character do that before. I was supposed to be writing sequels for Nick and Asher, but I couldn’t get Charlie out of my head. So, to the rumblings of my teen beta readers—affectionately known as the Angry Mob—I started in. He took me out of my comfort zone of swords and magic and made me get personal in a way I hadn’t done before. I liked the idea of faeries, but I didn’t want to go the traditional Seelie/Unseelie route, so I bent mythology to suit my needs. I created my own fey, tied them to my love of music, and set it all in the city of Kroewe. The Angry Mob loved it. (And forgave me for my sequel neglect…for now.)
Do you outline or write from the hip?
From the hip. I admire those who can plot out their entire novel. I’ve tried to outline, but I’m not organized enough for that. Not to mention, I’m not always sure where I’m going…
When do you find time to write?
I write whenever I can. In free moments at work, in the kitchen while I cook. Sometimes, I write in the notes on my phone when I’m supposed to be going to sleep.
Have you had anything published or other credentials?
I have a BA in writing and many pencil nubs, but as far as publishing, I’m a newb.
Do you have a favorite book/author?
Haha! I have so many. I really can’t name just one.
What’s your favorite music to listen to while writing? And writing snack food favorite?
Rock. Lots and lots of rock, from Tool to Halestorm, Apocalyptica to Janice Joplin. With some Trans-Siberian Orchestra thrown in here and there. Chocolate is brain food, hehe.
Who’s your favorite hero? Heroine? Couple in literature?
Oh, do I really have to choose? My favorite hero would have to be Ged from Ursula K. LeGuin’s EARTHSEA saga. He’s badass powerful, but he’s humble, too. Though he does have to learn that the hard way. My favorite heroine… I’m fond of Nynaeve from Robert Jordan’s WHEEL OF TIME series. She’s brave, an unmatched healer, and stubborn as a mule. Currently, my favorite couple would have to be Nora and Bram from Lia Habel’s DEARLY, DEPARTED. They’re so sweet and I fear they’re going to break my heart.
Anyone you want to give a shout out to?
To my beta readers, the Angry Mob, for sure. They keep me going with encouragement…and the potential of pitchforks and torches if I don’t get my butt moving. I have to give props to my friend, Roy, whose email I clog with 1,000 word clips of WIPs, and to my mom who told me my MC in my first novel cried too much. (He did.) To my friend and beta reader Jolene, who spawned the name Kroewe. My fellow writers, of course! Without great things to read, I wouldn’t have the inspiration to write. And thanks to you, Cupid, for the chance to let me talk about myself!
Please share a query and first page for critique:
WE REMAIN LOST
YA Contemporary Fantasy
Dear Awesome Agent,
The crush of bodies packed onto the dance floor. The held-breath hush before the first note. The roaring cheer between songs: seventeen-year-old kinetic Charlie Brimm lives for it all. When the house lights go down, he throws himself into the music...and feasts on the brilliant auras of the human crowd around him. Not only do they drown out the stage lights, they keep Charlie alive and healthy—if not completely satisfied.
When Charlie’s techno menu gets swapped for a rock band, he’s unprepared for what he finds. The lead singer, Len, is like no one he’s ever seen before. Her voice and aura leave him speechless, breathless, and craving more. She’s the girl of his dreams. But her band mates don’t want him hanging around. They have another mission besides rocking the ears off the local teens. If they have their way, Charlie will be dinner for an ancient faery come the fall equinox. They need Charlie starving before then, but the more of Len’s aura he absorbs, the smaller his appetite gets. That’s bad news for the band, but Charlie creates another problem. Their singer’s falling for him. The closer she and Charlie get, the less she wants to gather the other ingredient for the big meal...the city’s teens.
This is one meal Charlie plants to skip. If he can dodge the band until the fall equinox passes, he can save the teens and go back to his world of music and energy. But staying away means letting Len and her stabilizing aura go, something Charlie has no stomach for.
WE REMAIN LOST stands alone but has series potential. I graduated in 2007 with a BA in writing from the University of Central Arkansas.
Everything living gives off colorful haloes of energy, creating what human seers like to call auras.
I like to call them dinner.
Dinner’s where I’m headed right now. With all the clubs, concerts, and parties a guy can crash, the city of Kroewe is the perfect place to get some energy. Which is important for a kinetic like me. All I gotta do is throw myself in the middle of a crowd, get close to the auras that appeal most to me, and draw some energy here and there until I’m satisfied. And no one knows anything happened.
I’m hitting a club called Beatz tonight. Techno’s not really my style, but the place is always packed when they’ve got DJ FYXE. I love watching the kaleidoscope of energies as everybody hits the dance floor. With all the reds, blues, yellows, and greens mixed together, it’s like my own light show. In front of me stands a cute redhead. I know she’s interested because she keeps glancing over her shoulder at me and then giggling with her friends. Too bad her aura’s a funky mix of greenish-pink and red. She’s got some issues going on I’d rather not taste. The glances over her shoulder are becoming longer and slightly uncomfortable stares, but since I’m curious why the line seems extra-long tonight, I introduce myself. “Hey, I’m Charlie.”
Red giggles with the girls around her before she answers. Already I’m wishing I’d kept my mouth shut. She’s gonna be hard to ditch when feeding time comes, and I’m not in the mood for her brand of bruised energy tonight.
Anything else you’d like to share:
If anyone wants to connect with me, I spill out random thoughts on writing, games, and the occasional poem over on my blog. The link’s www.branwrites.blogspot.com. I also lurk here:
Twitter at @branwrites.
Google+ as Brandi M Lynch
Goodreads as Brandi M Lynch
Facebook at www.facebook.com/branwrites.