Welcome Chicki Brown!
Please welcome our very first guest to Women Unplugged, the fabulous author, Chicki Brown. Chicki and I met several years ago through Georgia Romance Writers. We reconnected through the Writer’s Guide to ePublishing and, along
with Sheila Seabrook, are some of the authors featured in WG2E’s Valentine’s Anthology.
Chicki was kind enough to answer some questions for me and I hope you enjoy finding out more about this talented author!
Are you a full time writer? How did you get into writing and why?
Yes, I started writing prior to a job layoff back in 2002. I was bored to tears because the job was so slow, and started writing what was originally supposed to be a short story kept me from losing my mind. That short story eventually morphed into my first full-length manuscript. Thankfully, it was never published, but it clicked a switch that I haven’t been able to turn off. I always loved reading, but I never thought I had what it took to be a writer.
Are you a plotter or a pantser?
Definitely a plotter. I outline, complete personal profiles for each of my characters and do online research into the setting, character professions, and anything else on which I need details.
Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?
There are little parts of me in every book I write. For instance, in Have You Seen Her? Dani Reynolds reflects on her days visiting Atlantic City, New Jersey as a child. Atlantic City was one of my parents’ favorite day trip spots, and those days are some of my fondest memories. In Hot Fun in the Summertime and Hollywood Swinging, Shontae Nichols is a romance author. J Dee Reese in Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing is an interior designer, a field I was certified in back in the late 90’s.
How do you come up with titles?
All of my titles are taken from old school R&B songs, my favorite style of music. Thankfully, you are allowed to use song titles without legal repercussions.
What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?
“I bought Hot Fun for Kindle because it has a good review and was cheap! When I started reading it, I realized that it was about black characters and I thought I wouldn’t be able to get into it or enjoy it at all. I was SO wrong! I am a
very white, Mid-Western, woman. I live in an all-white town, never have had a relationship with any black people and graduated from an all-white school in Iowa and both my colleges were 99% white. You can see why I felt out of my comfort zone. There were a lot of things in the first book that I had to just figure out from context, but that wasn’t a distraction and it never hurt the flow of the story. As soon as I finished the book, I immediately bought Hollywood Swinging and have just finished it. Loved the second book, too and hope you continue those character’s stories in another book.”
Chocolate or vanilla?
Chocolate, of course. LOL!
Do you set writing goals for yourself? If so, are they daily, weekly or monthly?
I did when I first started writing. Now I just work all day, every day and am satisfied with whatever I accomplish.
What do you do when you get stuck while writing a book?
I stop writing and read for a few days. That usually loosens up my creative muscles.
Tell us about your upcoming book or new release.
Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing is the inspirational story of Michael and Dee Reese. Dee and Michael Reese have been married for two years. They have a loving, passionate marriage, are raising a beautiful toddler, are actively involved in their church and are successfully managing two businesses.
But their perfect life is unraveling at the seams.
Can Dee’s marriage survive the ultimate betrayal? And will Michael pay for this betrayal with his life?
If you could only read one book for the rest of your life, what would it be?
The Bible. It’s the only book with all of the answers I need to live out the rest of my life.
Dogs or cats?
If you couldn’t be a writer, what would you be?
Not what, who – Oprah Winfrey!
What advice would you give to authors considering self-publishing?
Learn everything you can about the industry before you publish anything. Whether you go all electronic or POD, there’s a tremendous amount you need to know in order to be successful.
The industry is changing so fast, it’s crazy. Newbie authors need to understand that writing is a business, and every day there is some new facet of the business pops up. Writing is the easy part. Learning the technology and planning marketing and promotion are major undertakings. Stepping into the electronic publishing arena isn’t something you decide one day and do the next. At least you shouldn’t!
I advise new authors to devote time to daily reading of the best web sites and blog on e-publishing. There is a wealth of free instruction out there, and these people know what they are talking about. Don’t think you can skip steps in order to get your book out quickly and expect to succeed. Follow in the footsteps of those who’ve gone before you.
Contemporary women’s fiction/romance author Chicki Brown has published five Kindle novels, four of which had made different Kindle bestseller lists.
An avid reader, her favorite authors are Beverly Jenkins, Eric Jerome Dickey, Lisa Kleypas, J.R. Ward and Suzanne Brockmann.
A New Jersey native, Brown and her family relocated to suburban Atlanta, Georgia in 1994, and she now proudly calls herself a “Georgia peach.”
Her many homes in cyberspace include: