I thought the entire concept of this book was so intriguing and enjoyed the characters and connection between the main character and his surprise bride. I think I would have enjoyed it even more if the author had explored their relationship further. I know that in a novella you don't have much time to get to the whole story, but this book could easily have become a full blown novel. There was so much she could have done with it, and can still do with it. I hope she might consider lengthening the time the couple is married and stretch out the time it takes for them to fall in love with more dialogue and conflict.
Interview With Brooke Williams:
Tell us about your writing journey.
Well, I started out by cutting pictures from magazines and pasting them to clean sheets of paper and writing stories around the pictures. I would then sell them to my parents. Believe it or not I didn’t make enough to retire on, but I was only 6 or 7 at the time. I’ve always loved to write. I was the one in college fixing margins so I could allow for MORE room and not less in a paper. When I graduated college, I went into radio and I enjoyed writing scripts, but it wasn’t the same as long form writing. So a year or two after I left college and no longer had my paper-writing outlet, I wrote “Someone Always Loved You,” my very first novel. I tried and tried to find an agent to help me get it published, but I got rejected so much that honestly, I gave up. That was the biggest mistake I made. I didn’t write anything but scripts from then on for the next decade. When my first daughter was born in 2009, I left my career in radio to stay home with her. I wanted to continue to work in some capacity, but it had to work around her schedule, which mean it had to be something I could do at home. I figured writing would be a natural fit and wanted to find something that would relate to writing. My freelance writing career was born. At first I was writing for pennies. Actually, less! But I was writing and it made me happy. The freelance stuff took off and I was writing articles for companies all over the world on a steady basis. And as much fun as that was, it still wasn’t fiction. I started to dabble again. A chapter here. A chapter there. Eventually, “Beyond the Bars” was born. And then, I couldn’t stop. I wrote “God in the Kitchen” and then “Taxi Delivery” and a few other novellas. I went to writing conferences and tried to further my goal of being published by an actual publishing company. At one of those conferences, I ran into an agent who suggested romance to me. Some of my books have romantic elements, but I’ve never done a full force romance. When I went home, I wrote “Wrong Place, Right Time.” Feverishly, I might add. I was largely pregnant with my second daughter and racing against the clock. I wanted to finish before she was born or I knew I’d never get back to it. At least not anytime soon! And I did finish. And eventually, got around to finding a great publisher…The Writer’s Coffee Shop. Since that time, I’ve realized that romantic comedy might be my niche and I’ve written two others that are also under contract for publication. I don’t mean to be funny, but sleep deprivation does strange things to a person!
What are the benefits of writing a novella?
Writing a novella is shorter than a full length novel. When you have a plot in mind, you have to get to it fast! You don’t have as much space so you have to pack in the things you want to do with the piece. That makes it fast paced and exciting the whole way through. You have to also show your character’s personalities in a unique way. You don’t have time to draw it out and show things gradually. You have to be creative about the way you show them so they are people readers care about…fast!
What do you think are the best marketing strategies for writers?
I think using connections is huge when it comes to marketing. I used to be in radio, so I called my old co-workers and told them about the book and they asked me to come in for an interview. But even if you don’t have media connections, just personal connections help. Tell the people you know. They’ll want to read the book and they’ll tell others. Word of mouth from connections can be huge. And online connections give you an enormous opportunity today. You can “know” people without ever having met them. Attend online parties. Help other writers. Read other books and leave reviews. Do unto others, basically!
How has your writing developed over the years? What was the hardest thing to master?
I think the biggest thing that has changed and that I’ve learned is the importance of a timeline in a novel. I have a tendency to start the story in a dramatic place without explaining anything and then I Want to go back and explain those things later. But readers don’t always follow along with flashbacks. So I’ve been trying to start the story and follow it along in one timeline instead. One hard things to master is dialogue. I think I write decent dialogue, but the tags can be tricky. You don’t want to overuse “said” but being too creative can be grating to the reader as well.
What authors have influenced your writing?
It depends on who I’m reading at the moment. But I feel a lot of influences from some great authors. I was reading a Richard Paul Evans book just before I began “God in the Kitchen” and I began that book in his vein. I feel like Karen Kingsbury can be seen in “Someone Always Loved You” and some of the other books I’ve written. There’s even a little James Patterson type action influences in “Beyond the Bars.” I didn’t start reading Janice Thompson till more recently, but because of her comedy aspects, she’s influencing me now.
Is this your first time writing humour? If so was it difficult?
It is and it wasn’t hard at all. Honestly, I didn’t mean for “Wrong Place, Right Time” or any of my more recent works to be funny. I think I wrote them in a giddy, sleep-deprived state and that’s just what ended up happening. After “Wrong Place, Right Time” I wrote “Accept this Dandelion” and I really had no idea it was comedy. When my editor said that it was, I was surprised. Then I read it back. And it really is funny! I think that if people read it when sleep deprived like I wrote it, they’ll be good to go!
What do you want your readers to gain from Wrong Place, Right Time?
I want people to walk away from the book with a smile on their faces and a light feeling in their heart. We’ve all ended up in the wrong places at times and with any luck, some of those occurrences may have ended up being at the right time. But really, I want to give people a break from their stressful, everyday lives. If I can take their minds off of everything that’s going on in their lives and give them a break and a smile, I’ll be very happy!
What are your future goals in writing?
I have two young daughters ages 5 and nearly 2. They don’t allow me much time to write so it’s really amazing to me that I’ve gotten as far as I have with it. But someday, when they’re both in school, I have major plans! I have so many novels in mind and even series I want to write. I hope to get all of that out and into the publishing world. I also have a huge goal/desire to see some of the novels I’ve written make it into Hallmark or made for TV movies. I have no idea how to make that happen and I realize it’s a pipe dream, but so was getting published in the first place! You never know unless you try!