Today I'm delighted to welcome to the blog author of unconventional romances, Jennifer Brasington-Crowley, who is not only a brilliant author but a wonderful human being.
So, let's get started...
Hello, Jennifer, and welcome! Please introduce yourself to my readers, and tell us a little about your books.
Hi Saffron, I’m Jennifer aka @brasingtonbooks. Thanks for having me! I’ve written a little bit of a lot of things, but I mostly write about people with addictions trying to make their way in the world. I try to shed light on some serious topics like addiction, depression, mental abuse, but with enough levity and humor so it’s not a downer. I really do try to add enough hope, even when things get pretty dark.
You certainly get the balance right, in my opinion! Obviously you have a lot of topics that are important for you to highlight in your work, but why did you start writing?
In the words of famed street urchin Aladdin, I write to “escape the pressures of palace life.” Not that I live in a palace (far from it), but just as a means to escape the real world for a while and enter a place where anything can happen.
An excellent reason to write :) And fiction is generally more fun than reality anyway. You've got a few books under your belt now, Which is your favourite, and why?
I would say the best book I’ve written is BirdSong. It’s dark and awful, but it has so much hope! But my favorite book is Cayman Island because it has ALL THE FEELS! It’s like a warm sweater – I will go back and reread passages of it when I need some comfort.
BirdSong is one of those books I wished I'd read sooner, for sure! You have some amazingly complex and nuanced storylines. Where do you get your ideas?
And by pantsing, I pretty much just let the characters lead me to those points that I’ve already thought up.
Most of my ideas come either in the shower or on a walk. Anywhere where I don’t have a paper or pencil to jot it down!
That's a fun and creative way to write - but I feel your pain about getting ideas at inconvenient moments! >.< That's not so great, but what’s your favourite thing about writing?
The limitless possibilities!!!! Anything can happen when you write!
So true! And what’s your least favourite thing about writing?
Marketing my books!
Marketing is so difficult! Especially when you'd rather be writing (it's what we do, after all...) You’re an indie author. Why did you choose that route?
I did try to get traditionally published, but after receiving response like “we can’t accept a story that involves adultery” or things like that.
I thought, well, I sure don’t want to have to censor my stories to appeal to a publisher.
I mean, bad things happen in real life, so why edit those out of stories? Especially the stories I feel compelled to tell. Stories that real live humans can relate to, so they don’t have to feel so alone.
So as an indie author, I have complete control over my storyline, and I don’t have to cater to the masses or the trends, and that is really important to me.
I'm so glad you stuck to your principles - we need more stories in the world that have that heart and soul to them, rather than trying to please as many people as possible. What stories are you working on at the moment?
Nothing and it’s infuriating! I always need to have some creative outlet going on, but right now, I am having the absolute worst writer’s block and it’s driving me crazy.
Aw man, that sucks :( I hope you get your writing mojo back soon! There's so many great resources available to help writers do their thing. Which is your favourite?
The writing community on Instagram has been such a positive source of inspiration. I have met some of the brightest, most talented writers on here, and everyone is just so supportive. The writing challenges, like #SaffronSaysWrite and @jodimay15 ‘s upcoming #CharacterAppreciationWeek and @writertracybrown and @robincastle #TopysTurvy challenges are always such fun ways to get the creativity flowing and a wonderful opportunity to discover new indie authors in the community.
I could not agree more, I've met so many wonderful people on Instagram - yourself included! You are always incredibly generous will offering help and advice to other authors, what advice would you give to any aspiring authors reading this interview?
Don’t let the trends dictate what you write. If the market is saturated with The Hunger Games ripoffs, please write something else! Write what YOU want to write!
Yes, absolutely! Part of that is always going to be bringing in personal experiences to a piece of writing, so what real-life references have made it into your books?
I always try to sneak little biology tidbits into my books – like the lifecycle of the seaturtle or how snakes mate or the plight of the Key Deer in Florida. I always wanted to be a zoologist, so I usually have a character who works with animals in some regard so that I can nerd out through them.
I love the mini biology lessons in your books, they're so much fun :) Which of your books would you recommend people start with?
I would recommend Raven Song. It’s easy to digest, but it’s a good view of how I write and who I write about. It’s the story of a straightlaced biologist who meets a notorious rock star on a airplane. While it sounds like an opposites attract rock n roll romance, and it is, it is also not your typical romance.
It really isn't, and I love it for that reason! We couldn't do this writing thing without readers, and as you know, we need their support. For any readers wondering how to help their favourite indie authors, what advice would you give?
It costs absolutely nothing to leave a review on Amazon or Goodreads – you don’t even have to buy/read the books!!
Word of mouth is the best advertising, and just telling your friends about an indie book you enjoyed is the best thing you can do for us.
Excellent advice, and another example of how the author community on Instagram helping each other out :)
We're nearly at the end of the interview now, but for those who want to keep in touch with you, where can they find you online?
Lovely, thank you :) Before I let you go get a coffee and go about your day in peace, are there any final things you'd like to share with my readers?
As an author who writes often about abuse and addiction, if there is anyone out there who is curious about my books and cannot afford them, or if you are in a personal situation where you don’t feel safe or free to buy my books from Amazon, please reach out in a DM. I am not in this for the money.
A huge thank you to Jennifer for joining me today and sharing her wisdom about writing and publishing, and talking about what goes into her books. I hope you'll go check them out on Amazon, because, as you might have guessed, I'm a huge fan and want to share the love of these insightful and thought-provoking books :) They're also all available in Kindle Unlimited, so if you have that, definitey take a peek as part of your subscription, as not only will you find great stories there, you'll be helping a pillar of the indie author community <3
Next time, I'll be doing soething I haven't done before and sharing a round-up of what I've been reading in the first quarter of 2023 - so if you've ever wondered what kind of things I read (and why wouldn't you?! Oh, so many reasons, I see...), that'll be your chance to find out :)
Catch you next time!
Love, Saff xx