This Author Spotlight features supernatural novelist D.A. Brown, author of COUNTERPOINT.
D.A. Brown is a 28-year-old author living in New York, NY with her Mac Book and various flights of fancy. She is a graduate of both Howard University in Washington, D.C., where she received her B.S. in Political Science and of Thurgood Marshall School of Law at Texas Southern University, where she received her Law Degree. In her free time she enjoys writing (naturally) and practicing not ripping her hair out while writing. Occasionally, she also enjoys sleep; although she cannot remember the last time she actually had any.
1. How did you get into writing?
I became interested in writing at a very early age. Even in school as a child, it was my favorite subject and something that I explored in various mediums, from short stories to poetry, to my first novel, Counterpoint. On a certain level, I believe it is a passion that you are born with and so one could say that I was always interested in writing, even when I wasn’t.
2. What do you like best (or least) about writing?
Interestingly enough, the things that I like least and best about writing are the same things. It’s the isolation and competition within myself that I love about it dearly, and that at the same time drives me insane. I love that I can tell my own story, and that it is just my story. And I hate that I have to carry that burden alone and that I cannot share it with anyone. You are the only person who can write your stories.
3. What is your writing process? IE do you outline? Do you stick to a daily word or page count, write 7 days a week, etc?
My writing process varies from novel to novel. With my first novel, Counterpoint, it was such an intense passion and push for the words to be out of my head and into the atmosphere. Initially, I did set a daily page count, and realized that stories are living, breathing entities of their own; and when it is time to write, it is, and when it’s not, it’s not. It can’t be forced or dictated, it can just be obeyed. Now in my second novel, I spend a lot of time contemplating the how and the where of the story telling and let the words come forth as they wish, in the time that they want.
4. Who are some other writers you read and admire, regardless of whether they are commercially “successful?”
Christopher Buckley is the author that I admire the most. If every musician is chasing the greatness of Michael Jackson’s Thriller, then I am chasing Christopher Buckley’s Boomsday. The way he weaves intelligence and humor and compassion through his tales in an endless, unbreakable seam is truly something of wonder.
5. Should the question mark in the above question be inside or outside the quotes?
I would say that the question mark belongs outside of the quotations since the question mark references the question as a whole and does not just pertain to the word successful. But don’t quote me on that that!
6. What’s your stance on the Oxford Comma?
I think that, like everything in literature, it has its place. It really depends on what the writer is trying to convey and what they want their reader to walk away with. Writing is a tangible manifestation of what we speak and feel; and as human communication redefines itself with each new generation, there can be no absolutes. Grammar has to be able to evolve.
7. What is your book Counterpoint about and how did it come to fruition?
Counterpoint, on a smaller scale, is about a woman, Oro Stillwater, who is struck by lightning and develops supernatural powers. In the course of learning about her powers, she falls in love with Anthony Giordano, a man who has been her confidant and friend for several years. Her powers generate unexpected threats and dangers, as well as gifts and opportunities that she must navigate as a superhuman. It isn’t until she fully begins to surrender herself to what she has become that she learns who she truly is and the purpose that her life has.
On a greater scale, Counterpoint is about having a pressing need that you can’t identify, and having that need met by something that you least expected to fulfill it. I wrote Counterpoint at a very barren point in my life. I was unemployed and emotionally desolate. I never knew that what I needed was to sit still and pursue my passion. I never thought writing was what I needed and it turned out that it was all that I needed. What Oro thinks she needs is superficial to what will truly sustain her.
8. What’s your current writing project?
My current writing project is Lurien: The Redeemer. Keeping with my love of all things supernatural and without giving too much away (insert wink and laugh here), it is about human-angel hybrids that are the direct descendent of Adam and Lilith in the Garden of Eden prior to Eve’s arrival; and all that they go through to save their species from the constant threat of annihilation. It’s intense, and a lot! It is a glorious and enraging challenge. I love and hate every minute of it!
9. What book(s) are you currently reading?
I am currently re-reading Hamlet for probably the one-millionth time. Hamlet is the fictional character that I most identify with in all of literature. His constant confusion at the world around him and living on the brink of insanity; it resonates. No one ever really knows how close he is to losing his sanity, and his struggle to remain level is often taken for granted. I feel that is something that everyone can identify with, the daily struggle to retain control of one’s mind.
10. Who or what inspires your writing?
My inspiration for writing comes from so many places! Ultimately, my inspiration comes from the various forms of freedom that I am trying to obtain daily. I like to write about the disparity between the massive amounts of fight that is required to obtain the smallest amount of freedom, be it spiritual, emotional or physical.
I am also very inspired by comic books and superheroes. The idea of being so completely different from everyone else that you have no choice but to be who you are and embrace that to the fullest capacity intrigues me; especially in a society where standing out is something that is viewed as antagonist. I suppose it ties into the isolation that I associate with writing, being the only one who can do what I was put here to do. There may be a million writers, but those writers are the only ones who can write the stories that they are going to write. The singularity of it all is highly magnetic.
Finally, is there anything you’d care to add? Please also include where people can read your published stories, buy your book, etc.
People can download Counterpoint for their Nook, Kindle, iPad or any e-Reader that they own. The book is available for purchase from www.barnesandnoble.com as well as www.amazon.com for $4.95. Search “Counterpoint by D.A. Brown” and it will come up!
I’d like to leave all of my readers and fans, new and old, with the knowledge and understanding that they were not called to writing by accident. There is a unique and specific purpose in every word that they draft. We are called to an elite and higher purpose as writers; and no word, no matter how trivial, is ever in vain. And of course, I want readers and writers to keep reading and keep writing. Success is not given, it is taken; by grace and by force, and by unshakable mandate is taken, and also by these means kept.
Thank you, D.A. Wise words well said. Greatest of luck with COUNTERPOINT and with all future writing endeavors.
Be sure to check out COUNTERPOINT, and follow D.A. on Twitter.