Author Interview with Brooklyn Hudson
February 15, 2013 4 Comments
One of the things I love about doing these interviews, is discovering authors who write in the same genre’s as myself. This month, I wish to introduce to you Brooklyn Hudson.
So let’s begin…
I was born and raised in Staten Island, New York. My dad was a fireman at Engine 160 in Staten Island; my mom taught dance from a studio built in our finished basement.
My books fall into the horror genre, but they’re more of a mind-bending type horror than slasher or gore. Mature horror that is frequently compared to THE SIXTH SENSE, SHUTTER ISLAND, or THE BUTTERFLY EFFECT. In reviews, my writing is often compared to Stephen King; this takes my breath away every time. Incredibly flattering, but oh so hard to wrap my brain around with confidence. For the most part, my monsters are much more vividly created in the reader’s mind than found in my actual written descriptions; I think they’re far more scary that way. Human behavior can be more frightening than the boogeyman so I tend to write about “real-life monsters”. The first third of WISHBONE could almost be mistaken for a contemporary drama…and then it shifts to more of a suspense-thriller with a horror thread. I have a book coming out soon called EYE OF THE BEHOLDER, which is probably best classified a suspense-thriller, but also has a horror thread running through it.
2. With all the risks and uncertainty around publishing, what was it that drew you to a career in writing?
I have always loved reading and also movies. When I was five-years-old I saw the Exorcist. It didn’t frighten me but rather peeked my curiosity…how did they make that girl do those things. I somehow knew it was movie magic and I wanted to create that excitement and trickery for others. When I was ten, my brother placed a copy of CUJO on our bookcase; he had just finished reading it (five years my senior). I saw that black cover with the circular, foaming snout of a dog and picked the book up. My brother said, It’s not for your age; you won’t get it. Of course that was as good as a dare in our competitive sibling rivalry. I spent the next several days engrossed in the words of Stephen King. When I finally read that very last line of CUJO, I had not only found my idol in King, but I knew what I wanted to do and what genre I wanted to do it in. From that day on, I was always writing something. Writing is a calling; those of us who hear it all seem to suffer emotionally if we resist it.
3. Have you thought about, or have you written in other genres?
I’ve written Horror, Thrillers, Mind-benders, and Contemporary Drama/Fiction.. This seems to be my pocket…a combination of any and all mentioned. I’ve also written several Animal Behavior and Training Manuals and various animal related articles for magazines over the years. Though, it has been a while since I did much of anything in the animal world.
4. Now that you have a few books under your belt, what’s your take on the whole process? What was the hardest part for you? What was the easiest?
Clearly, the hardest part of self-publishing is the marketing. With social networking being what it is today, almost all of us have an audience. Not just our friends and followers, but their friends and followers and so on. However, people are protective of their profiles, pages, and walls; not to mention their time, and encouraging people to share your book without being a pest, can be tough. Reaching a steady stream of new eyes takes patience, perseverance, and a whole lot of creativity. There’s a reason whyWendy’s Fast Food didn’t just say BUY OUR BURGER. They spent millions on creativity and born was WHERE’S THE BEEF? Love it or hate it…we never forgot it. It endeared their product to us collectively and put Wendy’s on the map to compete with The Clown and The King. Coming up with new and creative ways to say BUY MY BOOK takes hours, and seeking out new outlets (and eyes) for those ads takes a whole lotta time too.
The easy part was the process of getting the book up and running on Amazon. Both Kindle Direct Publishing and Create Space (print books), make the process extremely simple. Now, with the click of a computer key, anyone can say they’re an author. Not that I’m saying this simplicity is entirely a good thing; after all, not every book out there is quality and this thins the proverbial stew and, in many ways, makes a mockery of the craft.
5. As an author who self-published, what were some of your expectations? Did you have any pre-conceived notions before you published?
Oh, sure! I had pre-conceived notion. I pre-conceived that it would be easy. That you slap your book up and nearly everyone in my contact list would snatch it up and spread the word, and before long, I would be the female equivalent of Stephen King. Boy, was I wrong! It was nearly impossible to get even my friends to share the book on their social network pages. Nevertheless, spend a few minutes writing a review. I also had no idea how steep the competition was. I was completely new to the process of self-publishing and hadn’t a clue…just a lot of pre-conceived notions.
6. What has surprised you the most about your writing journey so far?
The biggest surprise was probably the sheer number of hours you must spend marketing your work. I wanted to believe it would take on a life of it’s own, and don’t get me wrong, in many ways it did and I’ve been so blessed with a generous and supportive fan base, but they can only take you so far. I spend a good third (sometimes half!) of my day just marketing, creating ads, tweeting, sharing, tweeting others so they’ll tweet me back…it’s very time consuming and can easily suck the creativity out of you, so by the time you’re done with your day’s marketing, you have zero energy left for writing. It took me about one year to really find a pattern and have it all make productive sense. Ya know, as authors, we’re lucky…we don’t have to go for 12 years of college to do what we love…we don’t necessarily need a degree, just a natural talent…we don’t have to spend two years being certified then working as an apprentice or intern. Therefore, I feel like the learning curve is our college…our degree. We are blessed to have it so easy and can’t expect success over night. We have to pay our dues, just like doctors who spend years in a classroom and interning, or plumbers who spend years cleaning up after their boss as an apprentice. The first few years in self-publishing are WRITER’S COLLEGE, and I don’t resent it. I’ve learned to respect it and be grateful for it.
7. Have you ever thought about giving up? If you did, what changed your mind?
I have never thought about giving up writing, nor could I, but I have often thought about giving up on self-publishing and going back to traditional publishing. A while ago, I sent a note to a publisher who made me the offer two years ago (which I declined in favor of self-pub at that time). I let him know the book’s sequel was ready for release and that I was now reconsidering traditional publishing; that he could have the original book along with the sequel and pending subsequent novels. Without hesitation, this Big 6 publisher declined and made it clear they would not publish a book which was already self-published. Now call me paranoid, but I do not believe this is true; I have seen other books picked up which were previously self-published. I believe he was teaching me a lesson, giving me grief for declining his initial offer. I feel strongly that traditional publishing houses were quite shaken by the initial Amazon/self-publishing boom. It took them a while to figure out what they would do to regain their ground as they sat back watching their earnings dissipate. Now, with the recent changes recently made by Amazon (author complaints of sudden decrease in sales, falling ranks, self-published books no longer turning up in Amazon’s recommendation lists and genre searches), I’m fairly sure trad publishers have made a stand (and possibly some threats) and forced Amazon to tweak their system which, for a while, worked in favor of self-published books. Now the power is back in the hands of Trad Houses – of course, this is all my opinion and while it would explain some of the recent changes on Amazon, I do not know any of it to be fact.
8. As a reader, what are some things that attract you to a story?
After skimming the back cover for genre and subject matter which speaks to me, character development is what I am drawn to most. If a book can make me feel well acquainted with its characters quickly and early on, I’m usually hooked from there. I prefer a modern, conversational voice to an old school, heavy, lit style of writing. I love horror and contemporary drama, and when they two combine, I like it more. WISHBONE is exactly that…a mind-bending mature horror (no blood and guts, but lots of twists and turns) mixed with contemporary drama. It is often compared to The Sixth Sense, The Butterfly Effect, and Shutter Island…creepy plots with a twist that blows your mind and lots of real life drama and character development.
9. What were your experiences like with self-publishing?
Overall, my experience in self-publishing has been eye opening and a lesson in patience and perseverance. I’ve learned a lot in this trial year and I’ve honed some new marketing skills and made several really great friends along the way. Regardless of the struggles and hard knocks, I wouldn’t trade the experience and will consider it a worthy class in my writing education.
10. Most writers have manuscripts that will never see the light of day. Do you have a few of those or will they eventually come out?
I do. I have 13 completed manuscripts beneath my bed in color coded folders. Out of that lot, perhaps six or seven could potentially see the light of day. Some were written as far back as my teens in the 1980’s; therefore, a hot mess! Some are written in pencil on pads or loose leaf paper, hardly legible from fading. The topics vary from vampires to rival gangs and all show the evolution of my writing style and competence; I’m pleased to still have them, though few would be worthy of publishing and would need a thorough overhaul before any attempt.
For more on this author, please follow the links below.
Find WISHBONE ON AMAZON: http://www.amazon.com/WISHBONE-ebook/dp/B007C7BR1K/ref=ntt_at_ep_edition_2