Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Ask An Author: Rhonda Brutt


This bit will run somewhat like a series for the next couple of weeks. Each week, a new set of questions shall be answered. Rhonda Brutt will be sharing about her book, Voyance, and answering the questions that you asked. Without further ado, the questions you asked that have been answered.

Asked by Kristen: What was the inspiration behind the story?

Answered by Rhonda:
I grew up in Florida, less than 3 miles from the ocean. As teenagers, we used to drive north of Palm Beach County along the Atlantic Ocean to this old abandoned but yet elegant beach club. I don’t remember that it even had a name. It was in a remote location and the beach was great. You could tell that at one time (maybe way back in the 1940’s or 50’s?) it had been quite a splendid place but the buildings were crumbling down, windows were broken out, the pool was coated with thick slime, plants and trees were overtaking the place, you get the picture. It was posted with no trespassing signs but that never stopped us! We used to explore the buildings and I used to think that they should fix it up and make it into a school. (with me attending there naturally!)

Never in my wildest dreams, did I ever think that this would become a setting for a book I’d write. I enjoy paranormal romance but I wanted to write a story where the characters were actually alive and not dead or half-dead. I also wanted to write something that on a small level was almost believable so that a reader could relate. So Voyance is a real place for me, it actually existed. Several years ago when I was visiting Florida, my husband and I went searching for it. Not only could I not find it, but I couldn’t even find the location where I thought it had been! I’m sure it was torn down long ago and a developer most likely built houses on the property. But I’m glad I remembered it. It’s amazing how the memories come back to you as an adult! So take note of the seemingly ordinary things in your life, a book just might be born from them someday!

Asked by Greg: Why do you write?

Answered by Rhonda:
On a simple level, I write because I like to. The real answer though is because for those of us who enjoy writing, it takes us inside ourselves,into our minds. When I put thoughts down on paper it reduces the clutter in my brain and therefore the clutter in my life. I have a feeling that others who like to write feel the same way. Writing calms me down actually and I try to write in a journal every night, something I'd highly recommend! When I write it ultimately forces me to slow down and think about things from more than one point of view, especially after I've gotten it all out. For example, I may write an article or a chapter on a topic that I feel strongly about but then after a few re-reads, I start to think about it from another perspective. Once I've expressed myself on paper, then it seems as if I am more capable of pondering the what-ifs. My advice to any writer is this, never write something, check it only for grammar and spelling, then hit the "send" button! Always give it a few days, or even weeks, at the very least. I realize this can be hard if you are writing under a deadline but an alternate thought may come to you or you might just think of a better way to say it so always try to buy yourself some time.

Asked by Alysha: What was the most frustrating part of the process?

Answered by Rhonda:
Re-writes! You get it all done, it sounds good, until the next time you read it. So you go back, make changes, write it a different way, and then you think "OK now it's done" until the next time, and the cycle repeats itself! My oldest daughter, who is a hair stylist, finally gave me some words of wisdom. She compared writing and editing to cutting hair. As a stylist, you finish with a cut, you think it looks good, but then just as the client is about to get up, you notice one small thing wrong, like maybe you think one side is slightly shorter than the other, so you pull the scissors out, even it up and then the new side looks too short, so you keep going back and forth until the poor person is either left with a hair cut that's not at all what they wanted or they are left with very little hair! It's the same with writing. At some point, you have to decide that your book is done. Period. Otherwise, it will never move forward. To this very day, as I sit here with my Kindle, I think, why did I write it that way? Or why didn't I say this instead. Since there is nothing I can do about it now, I guess the next best thing I can do is to write another book!

Thank you all for participating in this series by asking questions. If you so desire, you may still ask Rhonda questions. Please leave your questions in the comments section. Thank you!