This Author Spotlight features novelist Frederick Lee Brooke, author of ZOMBIE CANDY.
Born and raised in the Chicago area, Frederick Lee Brooke graduated from Amherst College and studied writing at the University of Montana. He has worked as an English teacher, language school manager and small business owner. Having lived in Germany, France and Switzerland, he has also travelled extensively in Tuscany, the setting of part of Zombie Candy. The first book in the Annie Ogden series, Doing Max Vinyl, appeared in 2011 to wide acclaim.
1. How did you get into writing?
Through reading -- I always loved reading so much, and then I started writing my own stories. On long car rides my sister and I would write stories and then read each other's work. Our parents were happy if we were quiet, I guess.
2. What do you like best (or least) about writing?
The Turkish author of Snow and My Name is Red, Orhan Pamuk, said that to write fiction is to take a journey inward into the depths of your mind. This is unexplored territory, and when I go there I feel the excitement of an explorer. This is addictive.
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?
I make a pretty detailed plan before starting to write. I want to know where I'm going, who the main characters are, the main plot points. I don't want to get two-thirds of the way through my first draft only to find out there's some logical error. But I also find that I can plan all I want, and strange things will start happening between the characters that I didn't plan at all. When the sparks are flying, I follow the characters where they lead me.
4. Who are some other writers you read and admire, regardless of whether they are commercially “successful?”
Well Orhan Pamuk is one of them. Another one is Vikram Seth, who wrote A Suitable Boy. I just read a book by Christine Nolfi called Treasure Me that was an absolute stunner. There is no shortage of great books. As an author, I also read a lot. Can you imagine a better job than reading books?
5. Should the question mark in the above question be inside or outside the quotes?
I'm lucky enough to have a professional editor. Can I get back to you on that one?
6. What’s your stance on the Oxford Comma?
Ryan, some things are just not open to negotiation. Grammar and punctuation rules exist for clarity. When authors decide to make up their own rules, meanings become unclear. Nobody's perfect. That's why it's so important to pay a professional editor to look at your work.
7. What is your book ZOMBIE CANDY about and how did it come to fruition?
Zombie Candy (Annie Ogden Mystery 2) is the second book in a three-book series revolving around an Iraq War vet named Annie Ogden who comes home to Chicago and becomes a private investigator. Annie is a smart, stubborn, and slightly mixed-up woman due to all of her experiences. (Did you like that use of the Oxford comma?)
8. What’s your current writing project?
I'm working on the third and last Annie Ogden mystery, in which Annie will play the starring role.
9. What book(s) are you currently reading?
Right now I'm reading Mark of the Loon, by Molly Greene, a marvelous book.
10. Who or what inspires your writing?
I feel inspired every time I read a good book. Writing a book is like running a marathon that goes on for months or years. I read a lot in the evening, to relax. Sometimes you discover a new gem. Often, in fact.
Finally, is there anything you’d care to add? Please also include where people can read your published stories, buy your book, etc.
Thank you for the interview!
My website links everywhere for more information about my books:
My Amazon US link is here:
My Facebook author page is here: